Burgerville in Vancouver, WA Offers Fresh, Local, Sustainable Food

By Spencer Mohead on May 12, 2011 at 11:44 am EST
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PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Adkins

With a name like Burgerville, you might expect a generic fast food joint with the typical offerings. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Since its 1961 founding in Vancouver, Wash., Burgerville's standards for fresh, locally produced, sustainable food has set the Washington and Oregon-based chain of quick service restaurants apart. Only quality ingredients from responsible local farms make it onto Burgerville's health-conscious menu.

An average burger at any of the gourmet chain's 39 locations might incorporate fluffy sesame seed buns from Franz Family Bakeries, fresh lettuce and tomato, crisp peppered bacon, seared Country Natural beef and savory artisan cheese from Tillamook Creamery. In place of mayonnaise, burgers are supplemented by Burgerville Spread – a fiercely guarded secret recipe.

The crispy Onion and Spinach Turkey Burger consists of grilled Diestel turkey, provolone cheese, fresh baby spinach, fried onions from Walla Walla and sun-dried tomato and spinach pesto, all sandwiched between artisan French-style buns. A portion of the proceeds from the turkey burger go to Zenger Farm, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating families and farmers about sustainable food development.

Burgerville has an especially fresh take on the traditional french fry, sizzling shoestring potatoes in olive oil and dusting them with rosemary and garlic seasoning.

The vegetarian Yukon and White Bean Basil Burger, made from Great Northern beans, mushrooms, brown rice, onions, oats, sun-dried tomatoes, molasses, basil and Yukon Gold potatoes, was recognized as the 2009 Culinary Creation of the Year by Nation’s Restaurant News.

For a taste of Oregon, customers can try a Wild Smoked Salmon Salad with fresh greens, red cabbage, tomato and hazelnuts, which have, of course, been locally grown.

Seasonal Offerings

In-season strawberries, raspberries and blackberries from Liepold Farms are the key ingredients for Burgerville's unforgettable milkshakes, smoothies, lemonades, fruit teas and desserts.

In the fall, customers can enjoy sweet potato fries and milkshakes and smoothies that incorporate cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and fresh Oregon pumpkin.

Burgerville features a Cherry Walnut Salad, Cherry Chipotle Pulled Pork sandwiches and several blackberry beverages in the late summer.

Sustainability

Sustainability is the umbrella term Burgerville uses to describe its environmentally sound business practices. This means using range-farmed Deistel turkey, hormone- and antibiotic-free Country Natural beef and cage-free eggs from Stiebrs Farms.

Sustainability also means using compostable cups and lids, supporting green power by matching the chain's electricity consumption with windmill energy credits and recycling all of their restaurants’ trans- fat-free oil into about 3,400 gallons of biofuel each month.

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