When is a burger not just a burger? When you indulge in one at Violetta, one of downtown’s latest eating establishments located at Director Park, whose tagline is Slow, Fast Food. These pasture-raised Black Angus beef burgers, served on local brioche buns, will have you mooing for more. Because all ingredients are prepared from scratch, there’s usually a small line but you’ll easily get in and out of there on a lunch hour.
There is no such animal as a ‘plain’ burger here. The Violetta Burger (1/3 pound $6.50, 1/2 pound $8.00) is laced with a burger sauce – reminiscent of Thousand Island – and topped with butter lettuce, red onion, “10 hour tomatoes” and super dills. Add white cheddar cheese or bacon, for a bit of heaven, for an additional 50 cents. My favorite? The mouthwatering Oregon Blue Burger (1/3 pound $7.00, 1/2 pound $8.50) topped with burger sauce, Rogue Creamery’s Oregonzola cheese, caramelized onions and bacon. Another ‘not to be missed’ burger is the Park Block 5 Burger (1/3 pound $7.00, 1/2 pound $8.50), doused with basil aioli, “10 hour tomatoes”, balsamic glaze and fresh mozzarella – a real savory delight. Heirloom tomatoes are available seasonally by request.
Would you like fries with that? But, of course. While Violetta does serve ‘normal’ fries – hand cut Yukon Gold Fries (small $3.00, large $4.50) – do yourself a favor and try either the Sweet Potato Fries (small $3.00, large $4.50) or the Oregonzola Fries (small $4.00, large $6.50), crowned with blue cheese sauce and parsley. The crème de la crème of fries are the White Truffle Fries (small $4.00, large $6.00), dusted with pepper, chives and aromatic Oregon white truffle oil. If truffles are on your bucket list, you owe it to yourself to experience their worthiness.
The kids, and maybe you too, will squeal over the hand-dipped corn dogs ($5.00 single, $7.50 double) — Kobe beef franks dipped in cornbread batter. The dogs come with herbed aioli, harissa ketchup, ranch, and honey mustard or burger sauce. Other kid favorites are the milkshakes in vanilla, single origin chocolate or seasonal fruit (small $3.50, medium $4.25, large $5.00). And don’t even think about leaving without a Brown Bag of Beignets (small $3.50, large $5.50) for the office or home, your choice between fruit compote or chocolate-espresso sauce.
There are vegetarian and lighter choices available, but beef is king at Violetta. Organic turkey or spicy bean patties can be substituted for beef. A nice variety of soups, salads and sandwiches are on the menu, one in particular is very appealing packs a punch in the flavor department: the Seasonal Fruit and Goat Cheese Salad ($7.00, add grilled chicken for $3.00) consists of mixed greens, lavender-white balsamic vinaigrette, chives, fresh fruit, panko-fried goat cheese and honey-spiced hazelnuts — a solid vegetarian and lighter choice fare option.
While eating here is, albeit, a little spendier than the place with the golden arches, they don’t have anything over Violetta.
Violetta | 877 SW Taylor Street, Portland | (503) 233-3663 (FOOD) for carryout, (503) 234-3278 (FAST) for box lunches and catering