Well, as most who know me or have read this blog know, I love a good Hamburger. The more insane the burger, the better, in some cases.
So, one evening, my friend Mason and I are talking about where to meet up to grab a burger. Having eaten far too much of McMenamin’s food as of late, a lot of the regular close-by haunts were off the table.
Also, toss in that the place had to be convenient enough for Mason to reach via Transit, as he doesn’t drive, and our usual dialogue goes:
Mason: “So, where do you want to go eat?”
Matt: “I dunno, pick somewhere.”
Wash, Rinse, Repeat x 5.
Mason, being the more proactive of us (My brain cells don’t like to do too much thinking after 8-10 hours of staring a computer screen trying to break software), had been scouting around in downtown Portland as most of it is reachable via light rail, and in his wandering’s came across this place:
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He tells me about it, I pull up the website, read the menu, not really pay attention to a few important warning signs cause I’m at work, its towards the end of the day and I’m tired and hungry, I go “Sure, looks good, there’s large quantities of meat and you’re buying, so….”
We head to Hamburger Mary’s.
It’s not until after the male waiter starts flirting with me that reality starts to set in and that little voice in the back of my head goes, “Ohhhhh, this is a Gay Bar….”.
Like I said, tired + hungry + brain dead = I don’t really pay attention to the glaringly obvious
Think I managed a new first in strange places I’ve eaten dinner at for me .
I do find it rather odd that some of the better hamburgers I’ve encountered were at a place which usually goes hand in hand with the anti-meat counter culture groups….. Gay/Lesbian Bars aren’t usually the first thing that pops to mind when someone mentions medium rare ground beef.
Now, given that Portland is known as one of the “Weird” capitols of the US, one would think that Mary’s is a local haunt, but in actuality, it’s a chain restaurant.
The original Mary’s was in….. San Francisco (As if that was a Surprise ), originally opening in 1972, and has since expanded into a franchise of chain of eleven different restaurants located in: Portland (OR), Palm Springs (CA), West Hollywood (CA), Long Beach (CA), Denver (CO), Kansas City (MO), St. Louis (MO), Chicago (IL), Milwaukee (WI), Tampa (FL), and Orland (FL).
If you do decide to test how secure you are in your sexuality, just take this as a fair warning, just about everything on the menu has either double entendre or sexual innuendo involved in it’s name.
For example, my second favorite burger is called the “Guacamole B.J”, the B.J short for Bacon and Pepper Jack cheese.
Now, back at the beginning I mentioned the subject of “The More Insane, the Better”, when it comes to my burgers and I have been known to tackle more than one challenge meal in my time (I watch Man Vs Food for pointers on Places to Go…), so, naturally, I order the biggest thing on the menu, the “Get it Girl’d”.
This burger is just plain nuts…. First off, it’s got one pound of beef in two half pound patties that use three grilled cheese sandwiches as buns. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s got American Cheese, Bacon, grilled onions, Lettuce, pickles and Mary’s Sauce (you have trouble not letting yer mind go into the gutter for that one, given the type of place Mary’s is…) on it as well, plus one giant mess of fry’s along side.
Of course, I ate the whole thing, plus all of the fries.
I needed about six antacids afterwards to calm my stomach, but I ate it all!
So, over all, food was good, restaurant was kinda weird, not my normal type of haunt, and I definitely wouldn’t bring the kids there, but if you’ve got a craving for a crazy good burger, and care to be daring, Mary’s won’t disappoint.