Burger Project – Stanich’s

Saturday April 28, 2012

John was the picker this week and he picked a spot that is near the place he grew up on the east side. We were just a couple of blocks away from the house he grew up in.

 If I remember the story correctly, Stanich’s was built in the late 40’s and was originally knows as “10 to 1” as in “open from 10AM to 1AM”.  As Jay says, it is a “burger dive joint”; a bar that service really, really good hamburgers.

John, Jay, Norm, and Ray. We couldn’t find anyone to take our picture so I was behind the camera

As we walked in the grill was just to our left.

Busy cooking!
Our waitress was a hoot; we really liked her. She’s been working there about 14 years and says she started a couple of years after the original “Stanich” owner passed away. It’s nice that they kept the name.
Our waitress and head bartender

We found a nice table for the 5 of us, which is sometimes hard to do.

Ray and John

Jay, Norm, and Howard

There were lots of choices for burgers but no milk shakes; the other guys had beers; I opted for iced tea, which I really enjoyed. Norm and John  had “The Original” which is billed as “The Worlds Greatest Hamburger – Includes Fresh Ground Chuck, Cheese, Ham, Bacon, Egg, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Onions, Etc” With all that, I’m not sure what “etc”means. The other three of us had the “George” AKA bacon cheeseburger

The Special. OMG that’s a big burger

The George.
We loved the burgers. We all rated them as either 4 or 5. I was especially fond of the secret sauce which I think was some sort of reddish burger relish. YUM.
Notice the chips on the plate. They are Ruffles, and I love Ruffles. Instead of all of us ordering sides of fries we got one big basket for all of us. We were not fans of the fries. 
Under cooked in grease that was probably there when it opened in 1949

Ratings & Comments

I’m trying something different today. I’m putting the ratings altogether and then add the comments down below. If you get frustrated trying to follow my rating and comments section, please bear with me while I find out what works best. If you like one format more (or less) than another, let me know.

Bottom line, we loved the burgers, atmosphere, service; and it ranked well overall.

The only rating that doesn’t track is Jay. If you like fries cooked the way Jay likes them, you’ve found your place.

Hamburger comments


Very good burger. The sauce successfully enhanced the ingredients. Could have had a bit more bacon, but the meat was cooked medium and the bun was very good – soft, fresh, and suitable to the sandwich.

This is a great burger. The bacon, sauce, pickles, lettuce, bun, fried egg, tomatoes, cheese, patty, ham and onion and whatever else was in there, were all good. The bun was moist, and big enough to hold this monster together pretty well. The patty was
cooked to order (everyone got a ‘medium’ ) and was juicy. The thing was nice and sloppy,
just like I like.

Excellent hamburger. Good condiments and I loved the hamburger-relish sauce.

Juicy tasty paddy, medium done, with whole leaves of lettuce, sliced tomato, secret sauce, and a fresh bun. Perfect.

Self proclaimed as the World’s greatest hamburger… it was pretty damn good… but not quite epic… and priced at $6.50! Everything seemed to be fresh… and the lettuce was NOT shredded. I especially liked the Egg. The meat was substantial and good, as was the sauce and the bacon. I don’t know about “World’s Greatest”, but it was one of the best we’ve had on our Burger Quest.

Fries comments


I love good fries, and these left a lot to be desired. To start with, the color was offputting – dark grey. The outside was soaked in oil and the inside was barely cooked. They were soft and floppy, not at all crispy. No seasoning, not even salt. I hope Howard posts a photo of them.

The fries were way too greasy for my liking and they were an odd brown shade, like they were cooked in used motor oil. They didn’t taste too bad, however. I was surprised at these fries, considering the burger was so good.

Worst. Fries. Ever. Gray, limp, greasy. We got a large order to share. I should have just stuck with the Ruffles potato chips which come with the burger.

Cooked in really old grease to give fries a burnt black look. Over cooked and greasy. Just the way I like them.

Horrible is a pretty strong term, but the next rating up is “not the worst ever” and they were. I’m not a french fry expert, but these were soggy and dark, suggesting to me that they had been fried in oil well past its prime. Sizewise, they were ok, for the most part… but when we got to the bottom of the basket there were a lot of fry fragments… the little dribs and drabs that should have been culled out somewhere along the line. I can’t imagine these fries were meant to be this way. If so, I’d like to know the thinking for this style of cooking. I suspect its more likely that someone dropped the ball somewhere along the line.


Drink comments

Ray, John, and Jay had the Total Domination IPA. Norm had the Widmer Drifter. Howard had iced tea


Beer is beer…pretty good choices though.

Ninkasi ‘Total Domination’ IPA. Yum. No opportunity to get a shake here, although you can get a soft drink, iced tea etc.

No milk shakes; but they do have beer. I’m a bit of an iced tea aficionado; this was excellent ice tea. They must make it from real tea bags rather than instant

A really good IPA

Its beer so it would have to be a number 4. I should say that there were no milkshakes on the menu…and we decided not to have coffee or tomatoe juice. Important note: Microbrews for $2.50!!!


Ambience and atmosphere comments


I liked the atmosphere a lot. Clearly a lot of history here. Lots of wood and hundreds of college banners hanging on the walls. It appears to be more of a bar than a restaurant, but a very old classy bar.

Neighborhood sports bar. Family- friendly with lots of team pennants on the walls and some old coin-op video games. Comfortable place with many years worth of ‘patina’.

Funky bar. I enjoyed all the sports pennants covering the walls

This is a perfect dive bar. I haven’t always been old enough to dine/drink here. However, they do serve kids all day long.

The atomsphere was NE Portland friendly. Stanich’s has been at this spot for 63 years. It was definitely not a stainless steel franchise operation but it was warm and welcoming, like putting on an old shoe. We enjoyed ourselves

Service comments


The waitperson was very friendly and got everything right. She was a pro. It took awhile to get our food, but the place was pretty busy.

Friendly and efficient

Liked our server; service was good but, slow.

Our server got into the research thing. Service was a tad slow, but friendly.

Unlike the fries, our server was pretty damn good. Knowledgable, prompt and with a great personality. She treated us well.  

Overall comments


Lots of fun and an excellent burger. Would certainly return, but would skip the fries.

I like this place. Great burger, not so great fries.

Great hamburger; terrible fries; no milk shakes but very good iced tea. If the burger hadn’t been so good, this would have rated 2 tops.

I like this place and the burger was almost perfect. It is one of the best we have checked.

Doing the math it would have been a 3.4. But I nudged it up to a 4, in spite of the fries. But be warned…unless we just got a bad batch! Bottom Line, everything great except the fries.

3 thoughts on “Burger Project – Stanich’s

  1. I like seeing all of the ratings all together! Makes it nice to track. 🙂 If I see a number out of alignment (like the fries), I can then go and read the comments.

    My husband is doing something similar w/ reubens — Reuben Quest. http://marksreubenquest.blogspot.com/

    I loved your business card idea. I think that I'll have some printed up for him to leave w/ our tip.

  2. Thanks Ida! I really appreciate your input. I'll keep working off this format then.

    Your husbands Reuben Quest blog is fantastic. Great pictures and write-ups. We've been pondering what to “study” after we are done with burgers: chili, Mexican food, and now perhaps Reubens so we can compare east coast/ west coast.

    Terry Grant's business cards are awesome!

    I hope to get our ratings from our latest outing posted today.

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