Burger Project – Giant Drive In Lake Oswego

December 1, 2012

We had two places left on our original quest to match up with last year’s  Oregonian’s Top 10 Classic burgers contest. Our experiences have been very different from the Oregonian’s. Not sure why. At any rate I picked Giant Burger for this week’s quest. It’s just down on Boone’s Ferry Road south of Kruse Way which is the end of highway 217.

Now I’ve lived in the Southwest part of Portland for about 20 years and I’ve driven down 217 hundreds of times. You think I’d know how to get to a place as simple as Boones Ferry Road. Well, if you’ve driven with me you know I’m direction challenged. I was in the wrong lane at the end of 217 and ended up headed south on I5. I re-headed north but then missed the exit AGAIN heading back north on 217. Finally, 3rd time is the charm and I stayed in the middle lane to get to the end of Kruse Way. As Jay said, it was a no hitter so counts as a success.

A nice sign welcomed us to the parking lot.
Nice signage. Maybe the best thing about the place

As we prepared to get some exterior shots a young woman jogger came by and offered to get all of us in a a photo. That’s rare and welcome. I’m glad she didn’t just run off with the camera 🙂 I’d never have caught her.

A rare picture of all 5 of the project members (From Left: Ray, Jay, John, Norm, Howard)

We walked in and were greeted by a man who I bet is the owner (I should have asked). He was very pleasant as he took our order. I asked if he had root beer shakes and he said “No, we don’t have drinks requiring syrup; only the real deal”. Oh well.

The owner I think. A nice guy
They brought our order to us on a big platter. They dropped it off and didn’t bother to tell us which basket had which kind of burger. So we had to open them up to look at the ingredients and pass them to the rightful owner.
The burger
Then we got down to eating

Jay: a very happy guy. He’s got some cajun fries there. Regular fries with a shake of cajunseasoning

Norm is about half way through lunch
Ray saying “cheese”while John ponders his first bite

They make some serious money on the cajun fries. Regular fries with a shake of cajun seasoning. Probably less that 1 cent for which they charge an extra quarter.

Close up of the cajun fries; Not impressive




It was fairly big, the bun was substantial, there was ham along with BBQ sauce and onion.. but the patty appeared to be the previously frozen type from the gigantic hamburger patty factory. And I detected a strange aftertaste from the burger patty. It could have been seasoning or something else, not sure what. If it was seasoning it was not good seasoning. The patty did manage to contain the burger, which is a plus.

Nice melted cheese. That is all. Too much bun; flavorless meat patty.

Nothing great about this burger. There was no standout flavor to it, pretty bland. The patty on my burger was a little under-cooked although not enough for me to complain about. I noticed Ray’s was well done, by comparison. There was only a dab of mayo and no “special sauce” in evidence. The usual vegetable parts were good. Bacon was okay. The bun was toasted – nice.

Bun was too large and over cooked. As a result it was very dry. Meat was tasteless, very thin, and over cooked. Sauce was unremarkable. Had to remove raw onions. Bacon was not crispy..

This burger was average with tomato, chopped lettuce and mayo. There wasn’t a secret sauce and the burger was not juicy. My hamburger patty was overdone on one edge and just about right on the other edge. The buns sesame seed buns were were huge but a tad dry.

Side – French Fries

Standard French fries. Crispy and cooked well but nothing remarkable

Again, bleh. Not much too them. They weren’t hot, crisp, or salty.

Average fries. Not very tasty but well-cooked and not soggy or greasy. Maybe a lack of salt or anything else to spark them up.

Pretty standard fries. Better than some, but not the best.

The fries were hot with an adequate portion. The Cajun part was more or less missing. A few of the fries seemed to be sort of Cajun. It was what I expected.


Chocolate milk shake…in a paper cup, pretty thin. Average chocolate flavor. Would have fit in at Mcdonalds or Burger King

Average chocolate shake. No root beer shake.

Pretty good shake. Good consistency. Lots of flavor.

Pretty ordinary shake.

Again, this was an average soft ice cream shake with a light chocolate flavor. It was small for a one-size fits all shake.


Small town one-off hamburger place. It was clean but average

Nice burger joint. I like the booths; the counter; the location

Nice older place in Lake Grove. Well maintained and clean. Great “burger joint” feel. It appeared a lot of the customers we saw come in were regulars.

Clean, but pretty boring.

Giant Drive In (LO) was very clean. Our host and server were very friendly and obviously experienced.


The Gentlemen who took our order was friendly and efficient. Our food was delievered fairly soon after we put in our order.

Nice guy behind the counter; I think he is the owner. They brought our platter to us but left it to us to figure out what each basket contained.

Very pleasant gentleman took our orders. Pretty prompt getting the orders out.

Service was pretty good. Fast delivery to our table. The owner took our orders. He was nice and friendly.

Service was excellent and prompt. Our orders were delivered to our table.


Average experience. If you want to fill your tummy in a hurry this is your place. But you could do the same thing at McDonalds or any other fast food joint… and then there’s that strange aftertaste.

Not much to recommend it really. There are better burger places in town. Heck I’d go to McDonalds before I returned

I like everything about this place except the very average burger and fries.

The burger was very dissapointing.

It was a good average (Grade C) burger meal at a fair price.

About howardwthompson

I'm a person who likes to travel, read, cook, and eat
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2 Responses to Burger Project – Giant Drive In Lake Oswego

  1. Anonymous says:

    It's evident from the descriptions and photos that Giant is in decline. As a frequent patron in the 1970's and 1980's, I can say unequivocally that this place rocked – past tense. As a kid in that era, I was especially fond of their corn dogs and peanutbutter milkshakes. – Lerxst

  2. Pingback: Burger Project Summary | 2for66

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