We know the story by now: Local food cart does good, and expands to brick and mortar. Sometimes, it slips. Other times, it gets even better. The latter narrative applies to Stoopid Burger, which started out in 2014 as a humble cart up on North Vancouver before blowing up in a barrage of good press—from a Final Four Burger Madness appearance in Willamette Week to the People's Choice Award from the local daily.
In late 2017, Stoopid's co-owners Danny Moore and John Hunt took their talents to Northeast Glisan, filling in for Slow Bar's "Slowburger" concept, which has retreated back to its original home. After multiple visits to the new Stoopid Burger (2329 NE Glisan St., 503-477-5779), I am left in awe of the textual literalism of the restaurant's name. A moment comes with every Stoopid Burger—be it Silly, Dummy, or flat-out Ignorant—when the sandwich takes over, edging out all distraction. It silences conversation. The burger renders you dazed, meat-drunk and dumbfounded. Not just stupid, but Stoopid.
The space is nothing special—it's hard to do much with the prefab functionality of the Ocean restaurant incubator. There's around a dozen seats, with eight more high bar stools and communal outdoor seating. The eponymous Stoopid Burger comes stacked high with beef, cheddar, bacon, ham, a hotlink and a fried egg, plus the traditional burger assemblage of lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle, and slathered with house Stoopid Sauce. This is the burg' that nearly won our 2017 Burger Bracket, back when Stoopid was a mere cart, and it's every bit as good in the brick and mortar, though at $15.75, you can argue it's pricey.
The rest of the menu rewards exploration. Stoopid's onion rings ($5.50) are exemplary—crispy, crunchy, never soggy, and served without risk of the dreaded onion sleeve pull-off phenomenon that threatens other, lesser form factors. I like my rings plain, but you can order them here as Stoopid Rings ($8.50), topped with good bacon and a healthy (volumetrically, not calorically) dollop of that house Stoopid Sauce, a kind of creamy, tangy, appealingly off-pink savory sauce that conjures childhood Big Mac memories.
My favorite vessel for said Stoopid Sauce is the excellent shrimp Po'boy ($13), upon which it comes dressed with lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and subtly spicy, perfectly breaded and golden fried shrimp. Stoopid's deftness with fried foods plays off that saucy sweetness. It's not traditional NOLA by any stretch, but in a town wanting quality Po' boy options, it's a strong new entry.
Those among us wanting to keep their burger purchase under the $10 threshold should get the "Almost There" ($9), in which the ostentatious house style at Stoopid is stripped down to the bolts. Cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce, Stoopid Sauce, super fresh—bigger than a fast food burger, not quite as big as a pub burger, spiritually somewhere close to what you'd find at a good cookout—it comes out looking like the burger emoji, and lacks for nothing. If you have a picky friend or someone who doesn't want all that other shit on their sandwich, get this.
My favorite thing there is the Wicked Burger ($15.50), an astonishingly spicy set of beef, bacon, cheddar, pineapple mango habanero chutney and peanut butter, stacked high and lurking with delicious malintent. That chutney, when fused with the peanut butter, becomes a kind of nuclear lava jelly of sweetness and depth, a slow-burning napalm of abiding heat, offset by the deep contrasting savory duo of bacon and beef patty. Your mouth will be spicy for another hour after eating. It is not for the faint of heart or meek of colon.
And then there is the Ignorant Burger. It costs $40. Listing its full set of ingredients would exceed my word count. It feeds three, easily, though co-owner Danny Moore told me that he has seen at least one solo diner take it down. It's too big to stand on its own, and must be eaten in shifts. This is not the best thing on the menu—but it is an experience you can't get anywhere else in town.
There's not much here not to like, though the Stoopid Juice ($3), a riff on a childhood purple drink, will be too sweet for some, I much preferred the rings to the fries. But these are minor quibbles. Stoopid Burger is like an antidote to all the fussy, minimalist, Scandinavian-influenced micro-plate light-roast pomegranate Portland bullshit. Which is not to say it's not photogenic. This, too, is Instagram food, but it's so stirringly maximalist, so indulgently outlandish, people can't help but mash that heart.
Stoopid Burger, 2329 NE Glisan St., 503-477-5779. 11 am-9 pm Monday-Saturday, 11 am-7 pm Sunday.