About a year ago we, at The Oregon Wine Blog, got word that Burgerville, a chain of restaurants exclusive to the Northwest, would be serving wine at one of their restaurants near to us. When I heard about this, I pleaded to be able to do this review, and my colleagues conceded. I kept waiting for the perfect moment to go to Burgerville, but it didn't present itself until just recently.
A couple of weeks ago, on a Friday, Zac came into my office at 3p and asked if I was interested in going for a drive after work. I said sure, and he mentioned he was thinking of going to Seattle, as he had never been there, and while taken aback, I was game. He also mentioned that it would be the perfect time to go stop at Burgerville and make that post I needed to do. Nothing like a co-worker to remind me of my wine blog responsibilities. I had to find out from Josh exactly which Burgerville was serving wine, and at 6p, we were on our way for an adventure.
To share with you a little bit about Burgerville - they pride themselves on providing their customers with the best possible food while getting their products from local farmers and growers. There are currently about 40 restaurants scattered throughout Oregon and Washington. Parts of their menu will vary based on what is in season. As an example, when Walla Walla sweet onions are in season, that becomes part of the menu. Another example is that strawberries are currently in season, and as a result, they are part of the
seasonal menu. I have been a fan of Burgerville since I moved to the NW and was introduced to them 6 years ago, and am really glad that there is one a mere 20-25 minutes from me. It is a nice treat to have every once in a while.
I currently only know of one Burgerville that serves wine, which is the one in Salmon Creek, just about an hour and half north of Salem. Some information about Burgerville #21 is that: "Originally built in 1979, this restaurant has recently been replaced with a re-designed restaurant configuration, nearly doubling its volume. This restaurant serves two nearby hospitals, as well as the WSU Vancouver campus. It is the only Burgerville with a sunroom that can be used for community meetings." They also have free Wi-Fi.
Zac had never been to a Burgerville, and he was excited to see what this was all about. We both ordered the same thing, unintentionally, and I got the lucky fortune of adding something more to my order, a glass of 07 Lenore Syrah from Corvidae. I had never heard Corvidae and figured that if I was having a familiar burger, I had to try an unfamiliar wine. Based on their website, Corvidae specializes in wines that are under $20 per bottle. They appear to be an offshoot of Owen Roe Winery. The 07 Lenore Syrah that I had was paired perfectly with my pepper bacon cheeseburger.
Zac and I both liked the nose on this wine. It was full and had a bit of sweetness tied to it. But when it came to the palate, I definitely liked it more than Zac. I found the taste to be nice and full while it was also subtle. Zac on the other hand, having tried my drink since he was the one driving, thought
there was a disconnect between the nose and palate. He didn't think the way it was on the tongue mirrored what was on the nose. In his own words, "If I like the name better than the wine, that is a problem." While he and I disagreed with the palate of this Syrah, I could potentially see where he would anticipate this to be more full throughout. I, on the other hand, enjoyed that it wasn't overwhelming, and went down smooth. Oh well, to each his own.
I doubt this will be the last time I head up the road to Salmon Creek, and I would definitely recommend it for you to try for yourself as well, and please let us know what you think. I do hope that Burgerville will be able to expand wine to more of their restaurants as well.
Until next time...