When I let FaceBook and Twitter know I was in Bend for a few days and looking for places to eat Pilot Butte Drive-In was mentioned more than any other spot in the area. With those kinds of numbers I knew I needed to give it a try, and I'm glad I did.
The Pilot Butte burger (the Drive-In's signature burger) is a monster! A single 18oz Patty served with all the toppings. Onions, thick sliced pickles, tomato, thousand island dressing and mayo and served on a homemade bun. It was more than the wife and I could eat together.
The burger itself was great, juicy and well seasoned, I can guess that their "normal" burgers are amazing. These are hand formed patties here, not frozen mass produced chain burgers. Toppings were fresh and tasty, although the amount of mayo and dressing made it hard to keep the burger from sliding out of the bun. The only downside of this burger for me was the thickness of the bun. I understand the need for some substantial foundation under a burger this big, but I would have preferred a denser and thinner bun, as this was just too much bread.
We had onion rings with our burger, and they were perfect for breaded rings. Crispy without being greasy, and cooked enough that the onion stayed in the breading when you take a bite.
The interior is your classic Drive-in feel, with big menu boards above the counter at which you place your order. They also have car service in typical Drive-In fashion, but we opted to eat inside. This burger would have been impossible to eat in the truck.
In all I enjoyed the burger and the atmosphere at Pilot Butte, and it will be a regular stop when we come through town.
If you are looking for a burger in Bend I don't think you could do better than this chunk of Fat Boy Heaven.