Word of Mouth

What to Eat at SuperBite's New Happy Hour

From a $10 double-decker burger to $2 microplates, here's how to maximize a meal at the downtown restaurant.

By Karen Brooks March 20, 2017 Published in the April 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

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SuperBite’s behemoth happy hour burger

Image: Karen Brooks

The biggest question, after a year in business, for downtown’s SuperBite? Where’s the super? Now with a bold happy hour, star chefs Greg and Gabi Denton (of Ox fame) may have found the true calling for their restaurant specializing in miniature dishes: super prices. A high-voltage, double-decker burger for a sawbuck? Made-to-order $2 microplates? Now, that’s pretty super.

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Salmon with shiso and ponzu sauce

Image: Karen Brooks

The Bites

Five "bites” are on hand daily, most just $2. For real fun drop $12 for the whole shebang, presented in a leisurely procession. (The same lineup costs more at dinner, skewing the price-to-expectation ratio against the house.) You might find a coil of raw salmon and bright shiso leaf plopped in hibiscus-infused ponzu, which tastes like floral salty tea, or a riff on Hawaiian musubi, with melting house beef tongue subbing for Spam over a nori-belted rice block. The terrific duck croquette à l’orange—a crispy-crackling “meatball” of shreddy, creamy rillettes beneath tangerine mayo—captures what SuperBite’s small plates sometimes lack: the Dentons’ telltale full-frontal flavors.

The Double Stack

The last time the Dentons unleashed a monstrous cheeseburger—at long-gone Metrovino, circa 2011—it vaulted them into Portland’s food pantheon. The core idea remains: beef attack, salt and char, pickle zing, lettuce crunch, melty cheese, and sweet-spicy mayo dribbles galore. SuperBite uses thinner patties ground with shiitake mushrooms and a lighter sesame brioche bun. It is still a vast mouth-stretcher that required three visits to forge a how-to-eat battle plan. This is it: 1. Step away from the knife. Cut this sucker, and its saucy halves slump into juicy mush. 2. Activate a yoga head-to-knee pose, and lean in on the stack. 3. Channel your pre-braces, bucktooth self eating corn on the cob—start with edges and mow with determination, rotating and squooshing as you nibble. It’s not yet a Metrovino-level work of meat art: the kitchen insists on grilling its patties to medium, and that cheddar could be sharper. But, it’s pretty darn wonderful. With a few tweaks, it could be canonized. 

The After-Dinner Drink

Have 12 smackers to spare? Lay them down on bartender Beau Burtnick’s Office Politics. Nominally, it’s a coffee-fueled gin negroni. In reality, it’s a killer Vietnamese iced coffee makeover, complete with a pitcher of dense, sweet coconut milk on the side for pouring.

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