I had the chance to visit Portland this last week which is one of my favorite towns for food and beer in the Northwest. I always try to find a new restaurant to visit and new beers to try and this trip was nothing new. I found Tilt on my Urban Spoon app rated as one of the best new burger places in town and while I couldn’t have beer at lunch, I could give a burger a shot!
Tilt has two locations in Portland, I went to the one in the Pearl district. I was there a bit after what I would presume was the lunch rush but I was able to walk right up to the counter and start looking at the large board above to choose a burger. There was no one behind me so I felt no pressure to hurry, and the lady behind the counter waited patiently for me to make my choice.
I think perhaps I should have been a bit concerned that there was no line because as I settled on my choice and walked up to the desk but I was clueless until I said, “I’ll take the Lambastic burger please.” The young lady smiled at me her nicest smile and said, “I’m afraid we’re out of that sir.” Out, really? They are a burger place after all, how could they be out?
I paused a second and looked at the menu again. The Urban Spoon ap had mentioned that the Woody Royale was quite popular so I took a breath and said, “How about the Woody Royale then please?” Once again I received that smile that said don’t you know you’re way to late for anything special now? She then spoke, “Oh, well, we’re out of the prime rib.”
Out of the prime rib too? Damn! Once more I had to step back and look up. Glancing back at her a bit forlornly I said, “What would you recommend?” Her response I’l admit was rather confusing to me, “The Freebird is quite good sir.” Really I thought? She’s going to tell me to have the chicken when I’d obviously been trying to order a burger? I responded with a “I was really rather hoping for a burger” and then sat back to see what she’d say.
"Well," she paused and thought for a moment, "we could substitute pastrami for the prime rib on the Woody." By now my stomach was screaming for food of any type so I conceded anything at this point in time would work and said, "Sure, I’ll have that."
I added a chocolate cream pie slice to my order and an ice water then signed the receipt as I waited for what was next. It turns out what was next was me staring at her back for the next few minutes. I had no idea what she was doing but I also didn’t know what I was supposed to do next. Apparently I was supposed to know that she was getting my pie sorted out. I was not able to see her very well behind the big case she was standing behind.
Eventually she returned to the register with my pie. Grabbing my empty cup, my buzzer and my pie I grabbed the shop towels they use in place of paper towels (this is Portland after all, land of all things “ECO”) I drifted outside to secure a place in the fresh air. Portland must have approached seventy when I was there and I didn’t want to miss a single bit of the blue sun filled skies.
Eventually my monster of a burger arrived at the counter, my buzzer notifying me of it’s towering presence, so I went back inside to grab what proved to be the largest hamburger I have ever had in my life.
And I have to admit, while it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, and I’m sure that even three days later I can still feel remnants of it sitting in my belly, it was an extremely delicious meal. The burger was tasty, the bacon divine, the pastrami wonderful and everything else just deliciously prepared.
Of course it was a lunch meal which turned out also was my dinner for the day as I was just way to full to even contemplate having any more food for many hours to come.
I look forward to returning to Portland in a month or two to give them another shot. One thing I do know, it’s not the type of place I could eat at more than once a month. With burgers that size I just can’t see doing that to my body very often at all.