Posted tagged ‘Walla Walla Onion Rings’

Burgerville Once Again Redefines Fast Food

May 27, 2009

If you’ve been dying to try the new, seasonal, gourmet menu offerings at client Burgerville, be sure to check out a sample of this mouth-watering review by Jake Ten Pas of the Columbian on the latest May offerings: the Grilled Asparagus and Tomato Melt and Golden Fried Asparagus Spears. The full review can be found on the Columbian Web site by clicking the link below.

Over the last four decades, Burgerville has become nationally honored for its innovative approach to quick service and fresh, local, sustainable offerings, winning numerous awards for its healthcare, wind power and recycling/composting programs. But what has always set Burgerville apart from the competition has been its commitment to local purchasing and its high quality, seasonal menu items such as their real ice cream milkshakes made with local berries from Liepold Farms and of course their Walla Walla Sweet Onion Rings.

Starting in February of this year, Burgerville added two gourmet, seasonal food offerings to its menu each month that feature a high quality, local ingredient sourced from local partners who share the chain’s commitment to sustainable business practices. With these new, gourmet menu items, Burgerville is not only catering to their current guests ever-changing tastes, they are answering the demand of their younger consumers who want the convenience and cost savings of quick service with the quality and uniqueness of a more high-end gourmet establishment.

If you’re in the Portland/Vancouver area, be sure to stop by!

From the Columbian:

Burgerville has long existed in its own niche among fast-food burger chains by featuring seasonal ingredients grown in the Pacific Northwest. It espoused the ideals of the locavore before that term was in wide use, with seasonal specials such as Walla Walla Sweet Onion Rings and Yukon Gold Fries. As of February, however, Burgerville upped the ante in its bid to appeal to folks looking for a fresh, ever-changing culinary approach. Each month of the year, it will unveil a featured gourmet menu item using a local ingredient that is in season. In March it was rosemary, in April spinach and this month asparagus is in the spotlight. So, the question becomes, is Burgerville high-quality fast food, fine dining at a reasonable price, or something else altogether?

To get a sense of the variety offered when the menu changes monthly, I went to Burgerville in April to sample the spinach offerings, which were built around spinach grown in the Corvallis-Albany, Ore., area. The first was a spinach salad with Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese, grilled chicken, walnuts and dried cranberries from Dallas, Ore. The spinach was a vivid, pine green, which combined visually with the creamy white and blue cheese and the magenta cranberries to create a roughage rainbow. The chicken was moist, though I wouldn’t have minded a couple more pieces. It was served with a red wine vinaigrette that locked down the trifecta of sweet, creamy and slightly bitter flavors that is essential to a good spinach salad, with the nuts providing the textural counterpoint. Their second spinach offering was a breakfast pastry stuffed with sausage, egg and, of course, spinach. The pastry itself was both flaky and chewy, and there was no shortage of egg and sausage, making it filling. If anything, I could have used a bit more spinach, and cheese might have helped to bind the ingredients together.

To display this month’s ingredient, Burgerville unveiled a Grilled Asparagus and Tomato Melt and Golden Fried Asparagus Spears, both made with locally grown produce. The fries, in lesser hands, could have been a disaster. I worried that the delicate flavor of the vegetable would get lost behind batter and oil, but my concern turned out to be totally unfounded. Instead, a light batter clung tenuously to the crisp stalks, allowing the flavor of the main ingredient to shine. Not only that, but there was hardly a hint of grease on the fries, which were served with a delicious garlic aioli. Aioli is like mayonnaise, and the condiment was so simple and tasty that, were it not for the company’s emphasis on locally procured ingredients, they could consider opening up shop in France. Not to denigrate their bar-setting special sauce, but the aioli should be on the menu year-round.

The asparagus melt was similarly delicious, even though it lacked somewhat in presentation.  Again, the asparagus was a rich green and was paired with ripe, thinly sliced tomatoes and a gooey mass of mozzarella and provolone cheese. The bread was golden and buttery, if a bit greasier than the fries, and cradled the subtly Italian flavors admirably.