Burger Madness Final Four: Brewery Burger vs. Classic Burger

Will Stoopid or Ecliptic prevail?

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.

Stoopid 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.

WINNER: Stoopid Burger. All four judges got together and tried both Stoopid and Ecliptic Burgers on the same day, and the vote wasn’t unanimous. Both burgers were solid contenders, but in the end Martin Cizmar worried about the meat-to-meat ratio on the Stoopid Burger: Did all that pork take away from the classic burger to pile on so much meat? Meanwhile, Matthew Korfhage worried about the salt on the Ecliptic Burger.  In the end it went 3-1 in favor of the big, meaty majesty of the Stoopid Burger. The many-meatwich advances, and the little food cart on Williams beats the giant brewery on Mississippi! Stoopid Burger is in the finals.

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