Nosh – Burgers and Fries, Oh My Gosh!


“Nosh” means to snack or eat on the fly. It’s also a popular burglar joint in Portland that is usually my go-to when I have to satisfy that burger need. Presumably, like many Portlanders, I was first prompted to visit Nosh after I saw their feature on Man vs. Food some time ago. This trip to Nosh found it busy as usual when we arrived early on a Saturday evening. The long bar was lined with patrons and the tables filled. We were quickly approached and told that it would only be a couple minutes before we were seated. That was good, because I was ready to show my carnivorous side.

Like clockwork, after a short wait, we were seated at a table close to the waiting area. We were given three menus – a drink menu, a food menu, and a specials menu. Three of us – my wife, cousin, and I – looked them over. When a waitress approached, we weren’t ready for anything besides water as my underage cousin was looking at the menu for the first time and the wife and I were still deciding on drinks.

Three waters came out quickly and we were ready to order some beverages. My first choice of a Dogfish Head seasonal was a failure as I was told that they were out. In the same breath, we found out that the entire menu – minus the steady favorites – was changing the next day. I was intrigued by the thought of a new menu, but I needed to provide my alternate beer. I had a backup in mind and went with the In’finiti Headstache from Portland. I was excited to add another local beer to the beer bank in my brain. My wife, reverting back to her on-again/off-again love affair with hard cider, selected the Whiskey Cask Thistly Cross Cider – a Scottish cider matured in whiskey casks.

As we continued to consider all our options, we wondered if we’d be ordering anything that would be gone from the menu the next day. It also crossed our minds that even better options might be available if we came a day later, but we were already there and the waitress approached with drinks in hand. It was time to order. My wife went with the Falafel, cousin took the Nosh Burger – no egg, and I took the Nosh Burger – as it comes. We also placed an order for the Fried Pickles, Sea Salt and Pepper Fries, and Red Wine Vinegar Dusted Fries to share. The fries come with ketchup and one sauce. They offer many, but we went with Sweet Chili Sauce and Sriracha. The waitress accused me of liking hot-spicy food, but I had none of it. Sriracha isn’t hot, only delicious.

I took a sip of my beer and absolutely loved it. It went down smooth and had a nice light flavor. I highly recommend it. Plus it had a cool name which reminded me that I should grow a sweet ‘stache in order to fully maximize my manliness. My wife fell in love with her cider which made me feel lonely and conflicted. Should I stay with her even though she loves another or should I find myself a new love? Maybe I should begin to try my hand at finding a nice Shiraz in order to make her jealous.

While contemplating love triangles with foreign adult beverages, our waitress snuck up on us. After two trips to our table, all our food was in front of us and begging to be consumed. A pickle spear immediately called my name. “Peterpeterportlandeater, now is your chance to eat me.” I grabbed it and shook it twice for no particular reason. I would have shaken it thrice, but three shakes are generally considered too many within gentleman’s circles. I ate a bite. It was good, but it probably could have used a bit more seasoning. For this reason, I usually prefer my fried pickles as slices rather than spears. The pickles get more batter per square inch leading to a more flavorful, more seasoned pickle. Nonetheless, they weren’t bad and the Chipotle Mayo they came with was very good and kicked them up approximately one notch.

My burger was next on my hit list. The burgers are a combination of beef, pork, and herbs and spices. Mine came with blue cheese spread, bacon, fried egg, roasted-garlic balsamic sauce and a brioche bun. I was a little worried about the blue cheese spread. Last time I ordered the nosh burger, I got it without the blue cheese. But I have a love/hate relationship with blue cheese which made me want to try it this time. I hate the harsh, pungent flavor of blue cheese, but I absolutely love it in a mild version like blue cheese dressing. I took a bite. Gadzooks! It was magnificent. The blue cheese spread had the consistency of boursin cheese, but with a slightly sharper flavor as you might expect. That spread combined with the garlic-balsamic sauce gave the burger a heavenly and robust taste with added substance from the bacon and egg. It was hearty and flavorful to say the least. No one at the table was disappointed.

Now I was ready for some fries. I grabbed a red wine vinegar dusted potato branch and ate it plain. Then I took one and dunked it in sriracha. A third got dipped in the sweet chili sauce. There was nothing bad about any of those, but I was really digging the sriracha as it was a great change of pace. Both the dusted fries and the salt and pepper fries were outstanding. The addition of the sauces was a great compliment to the flavor of the fresh and crispy delights.

We went on eating our meals. I finished mine, and then I finished the pickles and both of the fries. The two ladies could not finish their meals, but I stopped short of grabbing their remnants. When the waitress came to clear our plates, we were certain that dessert was out of the question. We asked for the bill which came to about 65 bucks.

Our meal was delicious. I was certain I was going to have a heart attack on the way out, but I knew it was going to be the happiest heart attack ever. Myocardial infarction aside, Nosh really knows their burgers and fries. They offer plenty of other options too and their new menu looks to be a bar food lover’s dream even more than the one we ordered from. The flavor they induce into a burger is certainly among the best I’ve had, and so are the fries. The little things like sauces and burger flavorings make all the difference to me and Nosh is a specialist in that department. What can I say? It’s definitely worth the trip to the Congress St. restaurant if you’re in the mood for some burger and beer goodness. Just don’t go overboard. Those things can kill you.

Stay hungry.

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