Inside Tilt, Now Open in the Pearl District

A former General Electric distribution plant becomes an industrial haven for blue-collar burgers, biscuits, pies, and one fully loaded bar.

By Erik Maurer December 17, 2013

Prepare yourselves, denizens of the Pearl: Tilt’s second location has just opened its doors on NW Everett and 13th.

A long-time destination for hungry comfort food seekers on Swan Island, Tilt has always long served as Portland's paragon of the blue-collar burger, keeping their style solidly American with little to no fancy-pants frills. With a new 175-seat outpost in the Pearl District (complete with an 85-seat bar, counter-service eatery with house-baked pastry case, and a full service espresso counter courtesy of local Ristretto Roasters) the Tilt empire just tripled in size.

Built in the long-abandoned carcass of a former General Electric distribution plant, Tilt's half-bar, half-lunchcounter eatery retains much of the timeworn building's history—think communal bars built on rustic iron I-beams, concrete walls and floors, exposed duct piping, and a gargantuan green drill press relic from the good ol’ days of Portland manufacturing. Tilt's aesthetic is industrial and utilitarian, slim on decoration save for the old style pinup girl mural on the wall and the bottom-lit American flag dominating the back wall of the bar area.

Owner Octavian Jurj espouses the KISS rule: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Tilt does just a few things, and they do them very well. Their philosophy is built on three points: the colossal hamburger, the rich heritage of industrial America, and the working class roots of the Pearl. That means Tilt’s menu sticks to three main staples of Americana: burgers, biscuits, and pies.

The massive "Big Tilt" burger, flagship of Tilt's line of monstrous offerings.

The menu features five “classic” and ten “signature” burgers; from the double-stacked, bacon-laden, in-your-face “Big Tilt” burger, to the “Island Trucker”, a nod to their Swan Island roots with beer battered onion rings, honey baked ham and grilled pineapple drenched in teriyaki sauce. These mountains of mouthwatering local, never frozen, 100% beef chuck are sure to satisfy even the most insatiable workingperson’s appetite, but don’t even think about forgetting the tots.

Another mainstay of Tilt's menu? “Blue-Collar Biscuits," with toppings from gravy, sausage, bacon, egg, and cheese, to corned beef, fried chicken, or country fried steak. If you can't make it over for breakfast, that’s just fine—they're served all day long. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, grab a slice of their home baked pie, cinnamon buns, or assorted desserts, made fresh behind the pastry counter daily with local ingredients by co-owner Brittany Jurj.

The 2nd Amendment Cocktail

On the other side of the U-shaped environs lies an impressively stocked bar. Stuffed to the gills with 100 kinds of whiskey, six local Willamette Valley wines, an eight-item tap with Oregonian beers from breweries no further away than Eugene, and a stock of American classics such as applejack and sarsaparilla, even the most discerning booze hound will find their drink here. Bar manager Nick Keane has mixed up a selection of six classic cocktails, along with a rotating assortment of seasonal drinks. Try the 2nd Amendment cocktail—with a sultry, funky mixture of two Caribbean rums (from Jamaica and Barbados), Aperol, Peychaud's Bitters, lemon, and cinnamon syrup, this deceptively strong drink is smooth and sweet, with a citrusy bite and spicy kick.

Tilt’s doors are now open, so check out our slide show by clicking on the photo above, and get on down to 1355 NW Everett St. as soon as you're able. Hours of operation: Sunday through Thursday 7a.m. - 11p.m., Friday and Saturday 7a.m.-midnight. Ristretto: 6a.m.-7p.m.  

1355 NW Everett St

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