Burger Madness is a seeded tournament pitting 64 Portland patties against each other. Our critics ate through the best Bistro Burgers, Bar Burgers, and Brewery Burgers and Burger Burgers in Portland—and will reveal their picks round by round until the best burger in Portland is crowned.
We're now down to the Final Four, in which the top burgers of each type will compete against one another. Here's the path to the Final Four:
This epic matchup pits the best classic burger, as chosen by writer Sophia June, against the best Brewery Burger, chosen by Martin Cizmar. Seeds don't matter anymore: It's Classic Burger vs. Brewery Burger, Stoopid Burger vs. Ecliptic.
Stoopid Burger vs. Ecliptic Brewing
825 N Cook St., 503-265-8002, eclipticbrewing.com. 11 am-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday, 11 am-9 pm Sunday.
The monster house burger ($14 with fries) is served on a plump potato roll that crushes pleasantly in the fist. It's topped with a lot of aggressive ingredients—pancetta, red onions, melted Gruyere, and Russian dressing—which are applied gently, bringing it into perfect alignment. My server didn't ask how you want the burger done, and mine came out medium-well, a little overcooked for my taste. It's also arguably a little salty thanks to the pancetta and Gruyere. But it's a damned good burger.
3441 N Vancouver Ave., 971-801-4180, stoopidburgerpdx.com. 11 am-9 pm Monday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday.
There's nothing as stupidly good as the Stoopid Burger ($11.75), which comes with salty, hot fries served in a paper bag. It's got beef, bacon, ham, a hot link, and egg, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles, for God's sake. If you want more, you always will. Although you'll be unable to get everything in your mouth for the first few bites—it's served basically like a taco, it's so full—every bite stands on its own as a thing of wonder.