Violetta occupies an enviable location. On the Southwest end of downtown’s Director’s Park, itself southwest of Pioneer Square (and directly south from the east/west bound MAX train confluence), Violetta overlooks a wide expanse of terrace space. And a fountain! Something about bubbling water that really gets the stomach growling.
On a sunny day in downtown Portland, there may not be a better space to while away a lazy afternoon.
This presents a unique opportunity to serve up simple, ingredient-driven fare for workers toiling in the city core and tourists alike. And Violetta delivers in spades with a limited yet delicious menu of crowd-pleasing burger and fries.
The burger itself starts with a wonderfully toasted, seeded Grand Central brioche bun that bookends high-quality beef (seared to an acceptably tender medium), butter lettuce, red onion, pickles, and Tillamook white cheddar.
Solid fare, but the real queen of the garnish prom are the roasted roma tomatoes subbing for the (often mealy) fresh sliced tomatoes you’ll find draping many out-of-season burgers, as seen below:
Sometimes fresh isn’t necessarily better.
The yukon gold thin cut fries my daughter declares “are the best fries” she’d had in her life to this point. That is, until she eats her next order of fries. But I’m inclined to entertain her world view vis-a-vis these fried spuds–they were quite crispy and delicious.
Violetta to me is emblematic of a comfortably acceptable Portland ethos. Take a stock concept, in this case the prototypical quick-serve burger joint, and execute with a requisite level of panache that impresses us plebes. The burger I’ve had here rivals if not bests many of the bistro burgers served at many of our city’s fine dining establishments.
There’s a lot of chatter about the viability of this concept and the future of Violetta thereof, but I for one would be sad to see it go.
877 SW Taylor
Portland, OR 97223