EDIT: Ok Ok Ok beside the guys that commented I have talked to about 4 others that have asked if I have tried this place or that for a burger. Umm...no I haven't tried every single place in town that is worth its salty fattiness. So maybe the title of this post should be best burger "I" have ever had in Oregon. Nevertheless, I am very interested in all of your suggestions.
I consider myself to be a true lover of the hamburger. I don't always have to have the best burger in the world to appreciate the wonder of the burger. Being from Southern California, I love In-N-Out Burgers. I eat them like crazy every time I visit my parents in California. I love the Burger Supreme Restaurant in Provo where I did my undergrad. I mean I even like McDonalds burgers, especially the cheap little ones that now come in a Happy Meal--I just hate the McDonald's cheese. These are just some examples of the types of burgers I enjoy. Some are cheap, some are super fresh and some are just full of flame broiled goodness. But I don't really like to compare them to each other because, well, like the those listed above, they are too different to compare really. After all, I would never choose a McDonalds hamburger when it was sitting side by side with an In-N-Out burger, that would be idiotic. But when I want a quick bite, sometimes the McDonalds burger fits the bill perfectly.
Here in Oregon we have many of the standard fast food joints. They all have their good and bad points. I don't really feel like anyone of them is the best or anything. I do like the Carl's Jr Western Bacon Burger, Jack in the Box sucks for regular burgers their spendy Ciabatta ones are fine (and I like their cheap tacos), Whoppers are just OK, etc. There are the one offs that I quite like, such as George's and Giant Burger. They are sort of close to the Burger Supreme that I mentioned before.
When we visited Virginia several years ago when I was considering going to one of a couple of law schools out there (and if I had I would probably have a better paying gig by now had I attended one of those...grrrr) we went to a place called Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I was a little timid about it and only had a small burger without all of the fixin's, just lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mustard. Boring, but it was pretty good.
Fast forward to tonight. On my commute there is a Five Guys that just opened either today or yesterday. I have been watching for the "NOW OPEN" sign ever since the sign went up that it was coming. That seems like ages ago. I almost stopped and ate there on my way in to work, but I didn't want to be rushed. On the way home I again almost stopped and walked in but I figured I should go home and see if I could help get the kids to bed. I figured that Bridget might want a late night snack too and so I could head back before they closed. I pedaled home to find an empty house. I called and found out everyone was out at various places, safe. Sweet, I was on my own! With our car sitting in the driveway it looked like it was time to head back to get some grub.
Five Guys just looks like burger joint. Nothing special except for the bags and bags of whole potatoes sitting all over the place. The bags of potatoes eventually will all be used to make french fries and they are always there in the dining area. Five Guys has a box of shelled peanuts that you can munch on as you wait to order or to get your food. And yes, it will take a bit to get your food. Everything is totally fresh so it takes a little bit to cook. The menu is simple, burger fries and hot dogs. I ordered the regular cheeseburger with everything but the mayo. I don't do mayo. But I did get grilled onions, grilled/sauteed mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard, ketchup and of course the cheese and what turned out to be two patties that come with the regular size burger. It is huge. It was messy. It was freaking perfect. Holy crap it was amazing. I had some expectations for the burger, but I wasn't expecting the best burger that I have ever had in this state. All of the flavors just went together. The fries are great too. Cut and fried right there in front of you. They had the perfect combination of grease, salt, and crispiness.
Now, there are a host of other things you can get put on your burger there. BBQ sauce, hot sauce, jalapenos, and several other things that I can't remember off the top of my head. I can see that I am going to need to make some trips back soon to try a few different things.
Prices aren't cheap, but I promise it is worth it. Here is the website: http://www.fiveguys.com/
Now I stated that this is the best burger in Oregon. Is it the best burger that I have ever had? Hmmm. Not sure. But is has to be in the conversation. And it is only 2.5 miles from our house according to my cyclometer. It is going to be rough staying below 190 lbs. from here on out.
Oh, and Fish...they have them in Utah if you didn't know that already. I hope they are as good there as they are here.