Burgerville
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What’s to Love:  I know I might catch some flack for putting a fast food restaurant on my site.  However, Burgerville has clearly distinguished itself as a company with a local/regional focus on sustainable practices, which aligns well with our Guiding Principles at Portland Family Adventures.  I remember an E coli outbreak in beef a few years ago.  In response, Burgerville was “…the first fast food company to join Food Alliance and feature all natural, grass-fed Oregon Country Beef in all its burgers, Burgerville has a reputation for taking sustainability to the masses.” (source

How many fast food restaurants can make this statement?

“Initiatives such as our corporate-wide purchase of wind power, recycling of used cooking oil into biodiesel and our composting and recycling programs are based around the belief that it is good business to adopt practices that are good for the local community and environment.”  (source)

Burgerville may be fast food, but it fits in well with the Portland spirit.  I think most people would agree (in terms of calories), there are inherent health risks related to constantly eating burgers, fries and soft drinks.  However, if you’re going to indulge, know that your meat isn’t coming from a myriad of foreign countries via processing plants.  Your meat is coming from Oregon and is 100% beef!  As a matter of fact, you can trace many of their food products to Oregon farms and businesses, and other products can be found around the northwest.

Of course, Burgerville offers healthier options (e.g., Wild Smoked Salmon Salad, Rogue River Smokey Blue Salad), but is that what really makes you crave Burgerville?  For me, it’s all about the seasonal/specialty items.  I have dreams about the onslaught of Oregon berry shakes (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and huckleberry, which appear throughout the summer berry season.  They are without a doubt the best fast food shakes you’ll ever taste.

Also, look for the sweet potato fries in the fall.  These are probably my favorite item at Burgerville along with the incredible Walla Walla Sweet Onion Rings (summer).

Caveats:  Like I stated earlier, I think we’re all very aware of the risks of eating a poor diet, which can happen within the confines of your home just as easily as it can at Burgerville.  At least, Burgerville is trying to offset some of the negatives with a plethora of positives – positives that resonate with the Portland community.

If I’m being picky, I wish they had sweet potato fries year round!  And, while the seasonal shakes are always spot-on, the chocolate shakes can be inconsistent from business to business.  Sometimes, they are almost like water with very little chocolate flavor.  If you ask them, they will fix this for you.  For the most part, you’ll never have a problem.  Finally, it would be nice to see Burgerville offer local-organic products as well.

WebsiteBurgerville

Distance from Portland: Locations all over Portland and surrounding cities

Recommended Ages: Even though I like Burgerville, my recommendation is to do everything in your power to limit fast food consumption by your kids.  Eventually, they will know about fast food, but you’ll know you did your best educating them on healthy choices early in life.  My son is almost 5, and he has no idea what McDonald’s means.

Parental Stress Factor: One of the positives about fast food restaurants is the low stress factor.  It’s a place where your kids can be kids without getting the evil eye from other customers.  No cooking, no clean-up, we all can appreciate that once and awhile.

Physical Difficulty:  N/A

Family Fun Factor:  Medium – it’s not like they have a jungle gym in their restaurants; thus, I don’t think I can give them a rating of “high.”  No doubt, most kids will be pretty excited about a stop at “BV.”

Pet Friendly:  N/A

Weather Considerations:  N/A

Insider Info:  I think I gave the big secret away – seasonal/local products are the way to go at Burgerville.  Personally, I like my onion rings with their “BV Spread.”  They don’t come with it – I think they come with a ranch dressing.  

Family Tips:  Be careful, Burgerville can be just as addictive as any other fast food establishment.  Make menus, buy food from Farmer’s Markets, Co-ops and/or New Seasons Markets, and cook and eat your food.  It’s the healthiest option we have for our bodies and the environment.  If you’re going to eat fast food, stick to Burgerville.

Technorati Tags: Burgerville, Vancouver, Washington, Portland, fast food, local, sustainable, responsible

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1 Comment


  1. We've been eating at Burgerville since 1987 when we moved to Marion County. We have just relocated to Bend, Oregon and to our dismay…..there are no Burgerville's here. Whaaaaat?
    Can someone please tell us why. There is a McDonalds (ugh) and a Burger King (yuk) etc. and no Burgerville. This is an outrage. What do we have to do to manifest one here? If Burgerville will build one, we will manage it for them. Having Burgerville withdrawels as we speak.
    Burgerville is healthy eating and family fun, Heather Stenson, Bend, Oregon

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