Although I grew up in Seoul and Korean food is still one of my top favorite foods, sometimes there is nothing like cheeseburger and fries. I'm not talking about some processed and transfat filled factory line burgers. I'm talking about some good honest burger and fries made with some good quality ingredients. To my surprise, there are big franchise burger joints that serve awesome cheeseburgers using fresh local ingredients including Tilamook cheese - Burgerville. Burgerville has about 100 locations throughout the state of Oregon and southern Washington.
Bergerville has three signature burgers - Tilamook Cheese Burger, Bacon Pepper Burger and Double Colossal Burger. They also offer seasonal side dish items such as fried portobello mushrooms in spring and fried Yakima Valley asparagus in summer. My favorite menu is the Double Colossal Burger. It's got the perfect level of juiciness and lots of Tilamook cheese. Tilamook cheese is native to Tilamook, Oregon located in Willamette Valley about half hour from the Oregon Coast. This place allows visitors to tour inside the factory and people can sample and purchase their cheese and ice cream, Tilamook's top two products.
So tonight I ordered a Bacon Pepper Burger and realized that I had a different expectation of this item. I thought this burger would include some hot pepper or grilled bell peppers all meshed up with their cheese, but it turned out the pepper meant "black pepper." This burger was still really good but the later half after the realization was much better perhaps because I let myself get in the way of interpreting a great burger for what I see through my own colored glasses of a certain set of expectations. I took out a bacon from the burger and it had crushed black peppers all over it. It made me happy that they use crushed instead of regular processed black pepper powder.
Burgers go way back in my childhood. Perhaps in modern days, every Asian kid in an Asian country growing up obsessed with eating burgers and fries compares to American kids' fascination for sushi and Chinese food that these foods coexist as comfort food years later for grown ups. Or maybe it's never too late to find a new comfort food as my old fashioned Korean father used to always call me out to his favorite restaurant - Jack in the Box. Really?