101 NW 2nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97205
The first time I stumbled upon NW Burger it was very late at night when one of my friends was hungry for a hot dog. This place is pretty much a hole in the wall, but the food is actually not as bad as you might expect from the slightly worn looking storefront in the heart of Old Town/Chinatown.
The menu is simple: burgers, hot dogs, polish sausages and fries. So it’s not necessarily a good pick for veggies. But if you enjoy a grilled burger and crispy fries, this place is at least worth trying.
On my last visit I ordered a hot dog and my friend had the mushroom burger meal. I thought the prices were a tad high (my hot dog was $3.50 and the burger meal was more than $7). It’s not unreasonable, but when you have a superior place like Ford’s just a couple of blocks away you’d think they would take that into consideration when pricing their dive-diner menu. Of course, NW Burger’s target audience seems to be the late-night crowd hungry for greasy grub after a night at one of the area’s many alcohol-driven party venues. I guess they figure the customers won’t notice the prices (or just won’t care) if they are drunk.
The service was good and the staff was friendly. The food came out fast and we both agreed that our meal was fine, but not as good as Ford’s.
Back to the décor. It’s certainly nothing to brag about. The place is pretty small, with the grill directly behind the cash register, and the seating area feels like a cheap cafeteria. NW Burger has been open about six or seven months at this point, but they still don’t have permanent signage outside-so look for the vinyl banners.
I might go back, but more likely after a night out on the town or when Ford’s is too busy or closed.
Pros: Good greasy grub, open late night
Cons: Prices seem a little high, lacking in the décor department