Raising Burgerville in casual conversation in Portland will inevitably lead to a vigorous discussion over whether Burgerville can claim the same iconic cultural status enjoyed by In N Out and White Castle.
Because law students like to find distinguishing elements when comparing things, let’s talk about what makes Burgerville stand out from your average fast food chain. Burgerville is largely a product of the Oregon lifestyle. It prominently touts its fresh, locally grown ingredients and sustainable business practices. The chain prides itself on being as green as possible, recycling or composting nearly all of its utensils and powering its stores with renewable wind energy. It also goes above and beyond the usual fast food menu, featuring a wide range of meats (and meat substitute options for vegetarians), salads, shakes, and miscellaneous options.
Burgerville also sets itself apart with its seasonal menu, which adjusts itself year round when certain produce is ripe. Sweet potatos and pumpkins work their way into the menu in the fall, whereas the summer fixation is sweet onions from Walla Walla, WA, which have made their way into onion rings and some of Burgerville’s cheeseburgers. Seasonal fruits are often incorporated into milkshakes.
Admittedly, you do have to pay for the additional quality. Burgerville will probably run you about $7 - $12 for the whole meal, more than one typically anticipates spending at a fast food restaurant. There is no dollar menu to be found here.
By Dan Simon
- Fresh ingredients
- Very green – recycle, compost, etc.
- Seasonal shakes
- Fast food still
- Closes earlier than other fast food spots
- Pricier than other fast food (but worth it)