Monday, August 06, 2012

Joe's Burgers & Bar

4439 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 3 - 6 and 9 - close; Saturday 11 - 6 and nine - close; ALL DAY Sunday


During summer vacation, I'm pretty much on a mission to find as many new happy hours as I possibly can. So when we just happened upon a happy hour last night without having done any research, I was super excited. My fiance was in the mood for a hamburger and I was interested in finding someplace air-conditioned. The nearest hamburger joint (honestly, that's what it is) is Joe's. We hadn't been yet, but it's a huge building and we drive past it all the time...so we knew it was an option. There are three locations in the Portland area (this one on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, then there's one downtown, and the original in Bridgeport) but this one is the biggest.


Happy hour at Joe's is available for a good chunk of the day, everyday. And on Sundays, it's available all day long. Happy hour discounts apply to both food and drink, which is always a plus. Food items are priced at two, three, or four dollars and drinks run from one to five. (PBR is only a buck and well drinks are two. That's pretty CHEAP.) And they have daily deals...which on Sunday include a Burger Basket and a Bloody Mary, each for just five bucks.


I went with the Bloody Mary and I'm so glad I did. They have an excellent Bloody Mary Mix that they make themselves and they are well-garnished with celery, olives, pearl onions, carrots, and (WARNING to all VEGETARIANS) a piece of pepperoni. I was initially worried about the spice level. Our server was ready to go downstairs to get extra tomato juice to cut the heat and offered to do so more than once. She was especially accommodating. After tasting a sample of the mix, I decided I was strong enough. She did make it with regular vodka instead of the pepper vodka, just in case. It was so good, and only five dollars (on Sundays).


Since it's always best to really explore the menu when blogging about happy hour, we ordered a plate of the fried mac-and-cheese bites to start. They are SO not good for me...but I donated blood today (platelets, really) and my rule on blood donation days is that I can eat whatever I want. There were five little blocks of cheesy goodness in the basket and they were sprinkled with additional cheese (I think to soak up some of the oil). They were crispy on the outside but spilled with melty cheesy sauce when bitten into. They were good...super good...but definitely not something that I should order again.


There are three salads on the happy hour menu (two options for me since I can't really order the Caesar) and after ordering a plate of fried mac-and-cheese, I knew I needed to load up on one or the other. I opted for the house salad since it came with more vegetables than the wedge. I also thought it best to avoid my usual choice of blue cheese dressing and go with a light vinaigrette (on the side). It was a good choice and a good way to balance out the meal.


We both ordered Burger Baskets (a special on Sundays) but my fiance opted for one that was a little more dressed up. They have a number of specialty burgers (two that are topped with onion rings) that are served with either fries, a house salad, or a Caesar salad. They aren't included in the Sunday Special but none are too expensive. (The highest is only $10.25 and it's topped with blue cheese and bacon.) He ended up ordering the original 2X--made of more than one-third of a pound of beef--and added sliced avocado. He was impressed!


I ordered the veggie burger (really it's a vegan patty) and added a slice of cheddar. The burger was topped with crisp iceberg lettuce (crisp enough to stay that way throughout the entire meal...which is impressive when it's smashed between all that heat), a thick slice of tomato, and special sauce (similar to Thousand Island--like so many special sauces are--but with a little kick to it). I liked the burger but wanted a little more crunch to it. Maybe I'm just used to Gardenburgers that are a bit burned on their edges...or maybe deep down I wanted my burger to be topped with an onion ring. Either way, I'd have it again. And since I can switch out the regular patty for a veggie patty on any of their fancy burgers, I might just work my way through the entire menu (skipping the bacon, of course).

Food: Meets
Drinks: Exceeds
Service: Exceeds
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets

-b

Joe's Burgers & Bar

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