Burger mecca launches first franchise in Happy Valley

Saturday the first franchise in the Killer Burger chain had their "Friends and Family" night, and my wife and I were on the guest list. Located at 147th and Sunnyside Rd. in Happy Valley this newest location is sure to bring local diners to the Killer Burger bandwagon.

With a Killer new design esthetic and a full bar this is my kind of burger joint! 

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A fresh faced young crew works the main food counter, but grizzled veterans run the bar and keep the peace.  With a great selection of punch drinks and beer on the menu and a full bar for those over 21 it's a burger joint concept for a new generation.

 Fast food burger joints with full bars? Bye bye McDonald's  

Fast food burger joints with full bars? Bye bye McDonald's  

With burgers ranging from the basic "Purist" (with just onions, pickles, lettuce, mayo, and ketchup adorning the 1/3rd pound patty) to the "Barnyard" (which adds bacon, ham, egg, and a second patty along with Smokey house sauce in place of mayo)  these burgers are built to appeal to every craving.  Every sandwich includes unlimited fries as well.

 " The Lineup" 

" The Lineup" 

I went with the above mentioned Barnyard, and overall was impressed.  The burger itself was juicy and full of flavor, with plenty of fat to deliver the flavor you would expect from a premium burger.  Constructed with a great balance of toppings  there wasn't too much lettuce or too little sauce, and the tomatoes were firm and flavorful. I would have preferred a fuller flavored pickle, but no burger is perfect.  In my opinion, an egg on a burger should be runny so that the yolk creates a sauce for the burger and this was served over medium and firm, again a matter of preference not a deal breaker.

 " The Barnyard Burger" 

" The Barnyard Burger" 

The fries were crisp and delicious, cooked all the way through in the center without being too starchy. 

Overall it was a great dining experience in a great new venue that will spell a great new future for a PDX favorite.  Franchisees Wes and Coral Welterman can be proud of their new project.  If what I saw tonight it's any indication they have a hit on their hands.

 Coral and Wes Welterman pose in front of the kitchen at Killer Burger - Sunnyside  

Coral and Wes Welterman pose in front of the kitchen at Killer Burger - Sunnyside  

Fat Boy Summer Road Trip, Part 3

The final installment of our summer journey covering the drive from Roswell, NM to Salem, OR during which time we discover that Chris Ledoux was right, life really is a highway.

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Fat Boy Summer Road Trip, part 2

Day 5

We left St. Louis after a great time catching up with the Golden family and headed south to Memphis.  Alongthe way we stopped at Stonie's Sausage Shop for some road snacks.  They had a great selection of fresh made smoked meats and sausages, great homemade jerky, and a wide selection of local area products from pickles to pork rinds, wine, and sodas.  It was a great find.  We picked up some cheese, some snack sticks, and some bologna and sausage to thow in the cooler for the drive to Memphis.

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 Even on a Monday evening Beale Street was busy.

Even on a Monday evening Beale Street was busy.

After a long drive we made it to Memphis around 8pm and headed straight to Beale St., starting at the West end at the Hard Rock Cafe.  If you have never been to Memphis, TN it really is a trip every music lover should take.  The sights and sounds even on a Monday night were spectacular, with live music coming from every juke joint on Beale.  We walked "with our boots ten feet off of Beale" taking in the sights and sounds until we reached the end of the entertainment district and were waived into Coyote Ugly by their manager T.  It was quiet on a Monday night, but we ended up having a ton of fun and closing the place down with Morgan and Evee.

 In this job attitude is everything, and the Memphis Coyotes had it.  Evee was fiesty and up for a challenge.

In this job attitude is everything, and the Memphis Coyotes had it.  Evee was fiesty and up for a challenge.

 Morgan was pure attitude, running the bartop like it was a circus tent at times to try and get tips from a small crowd while drawing people in off of the street.

Morgan was pure attitude, running the bartop like it was a circus tent at times to try and get tips from a small crowd while drawing people in off of the street.

 Some customers relucktently dance on the bar for a photo....

Some customers relucktently dance on the bar for a photo....

 Other customers are much more enthusiastic!

Other customers are much more enthusiastic!

 What's a guy to do when his buddy wanders away and the next round comes?

What's a guy to do when his buddy wanders away and the next round comes?

 This fat boy drinks them both and hopes his boy comes back before the next round hits the bar....

This fat boy drinks them both and hopes his boy comes back before the next round hits the bar....

 And then your bartenders steal your phone off the bar to take a selfie!

And then your bartenders steal your phone off the bar to take a selfie!

Day 6

Left Memphis for Shreveport, LA.  The long night had us so tired we forgot to set the alarm and were woken up by the guy at the front desk telling us it was checkout time.  Fortunately he gave us a late checkout without a hassle.  We had a huge breakfast at Cracker Barrel and were on our way.

It was a long drive, but we made it into Shreveport and got checked into our hotel.  It was right next to the Louisiana Downs racetrack and casino, so we walked over there to find dinner.

Fuddruckers was the only restaurant in the casino still open, but they have always made an amazing burger so we had a nice meal.  We played the slots for a few minutes after dinner then called it an early night.

 

Day 7

After an early night we got up and packed after a decent breakfast buffet at the hotel.  After a long drive made it to Austin, TX.

 Stubbs BBQ has quickly become one of the premiere music venues in Austin, and they proudly have decorated with concert posters from previous shows.

Stubbs BBQ has quickly become one of the premiere music venues in Austin, and they proudly have decorated with concert posters from previous shows.

 I had the 3-meat combo with spare ribs, brisket, and classic sausage.  On the side I had Serrano Cheese spinach and mashed sweet potatoes.  

I had the 3-meat combo with spare ribs, brisket, and classic sausage.  On the side I had Serrano Cheese spinach and mashed sweet potatoes.  

No trip to Austin is complete for me without a trip to Stubbs BBQ.  Stubbs Legendary BBQ has been doing pit style BBQ right since Mr. Stubblefield opened the original (and now closed) joint in Lubbock in 1968.  He was instrumental in breaking musical talent like Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughn back then and ever since live music has been almost as important as the food to Stubbs' customers and fans worldwide.

After a great dinner at Stubbs we headed for 6th Street to find a party.  We walked the North side of the block then crossed to come back to Chuggin' Monkey to get a look at the band that we could hear from across the street.

The Blues Posse were tearing it up! Their lead guitar, Jack Edery was pulling blues licks from all over the spectrum and doing them well.  Vocals from Mr. Jamie van Beek were tight and accurate.  A great show.  On to the next spot.

 Blues Posse blew the roof off of The Chuggin' Monkey during their first set

Blues Posse blew the roof off of The Chuggin' Monkey during their first set

We left the Chuggin' Monkey and wandered into Pete's Dueling Piano Bar.  It was packed, with hundreds of people all singing along and shouting requests spanning the decades.

Another music town, another Coyote Ugly! Rosalyn, Morgan, and Ashley were fun but didn't match the energy or fun of the great ladies we met a couple of days ago in Memphis. 

We closed Coyote Ugly down again, and headed back to the hotel.

Day 8

We got up and moving planning on heading for Amarillo, but plans to see a friend fell through so we changed our routing a bit, heading to Roswell, NM instead. It was a long drive, but we made Roswell about 7:30 local time.  We had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant recommended by the girl at the front desk called Los Cerritos.

I had a great stuffed sopapilla with all the trimmings.  The recommendation if anything undersold the food.  I love New Mexican food, with the great use of hatch green chiles and a unique addition of fried dough.

Fat Boy Summer Road Trip

Day One

The Fat Boy Summer Road Trip started out with a day of flight from PDX to Kansas City. 

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After my arrival we went to dinner at a local spot called Nick & Nino's Pub. I Continued celebrating the #OldFashionedFortnight with a strong but decent Old Fashioned made with Makers 46. For an appetizer we had the Fried Trio, a combination of fried pickles, fried zucchini, and fried green beans. Dinner was a 16oz Rib eye, served with mashed potatoes and fresh sauteed veggies. The rib eye was perfectly cooked and seasoned, in addition to being tender enough that I didn't realize I was using my butter knife until the second bite.

The atmosphere at Nick & Nino's was great, with friendly staff and live music from a decent band.  Not a bad start to the adventure. 

Day Two

 

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Our second day started on base at Ft. Leavenworth for Maj. Michael Cooper's graduation from the United States Army's Command and General Staff College.  It was great to be able to be here and see Coop reach another milestone in his military career.

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The keynote address was provided by Gen. Abrams, Commanding General, U.S Army Forces Command.  His address focused on the bonds forged by graduates with each other and with graduates from the 93 nations represented in this year's class, the threats they will face in a faster paced global environment than his generation of staff officers had to deal with, and the relationships that would change to the organizations graduates would return to or be joining.

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After graduation breakfast was in order, so we headed to downtown Leavenworth to a restaurant that opened just a couple years ago in the old railroad depot, appropriately named The Depot. 

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My breakfast special included a biscuit with gravy, crispy and perfectly fried hashbrowns, two eggs, and two slices of crispy bacon.  The biscuits were flaky and amazing, gravy was peppery beauty.  One of the best classically dine breakfast Atos I've had in a long time.  Definitely worth a stop if you find yourself in Leavenworth, KS.

That evening we went out to celebrate before leaving town, and spent must of our evening at DraftCade in Kansas City's Zona Rosa mall.  Featuring 60 taps of craft brew goodness, classic pinball and arcade games, and a decent bar menu it was a fun place to hang out.

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  From there we headed out to local dive Arthur's for karaoke and drinks with some old friends to end the night.

Day Three

Day Three dawned with a delay after finding that the Uhaul had been stolen from the parking lot over night.  After a three hour delay to file the police report and track down a replacement trailer we were finally on the road to St. Louis and a home cooked meal with the Golden family.  Bob worked for Coop in New York, and I met them on our last trip West three years ago.  Since then they have become good friends.

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 We arrived to advance amazing meal and great time catching up with the whole family. We stayed up until after 3am laughing and talking around the fire out back.  It was the perfect end to a day that started out so crazy.

Day Four

We woke up and had a light breakfast before heading out to see a little bit of the city.  We stayed at Anheiser-Busch's Grants Farm.  The historic home if general US Grant's in-laws it became the country home of the Busch family in the early 1900's.

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 We expected to see the Clydesdale horses so famous for pulling the beer wagons.  We didn't expect to find camels, elephants, buffalo, and exotic birds.

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 From Grants Farm we headed downtown to visit the Arch.

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  the old courthouse in St Louis

 the old courthouse in St Louis

We were all hot and tired so headed back to Bob and Rinku's house for dinner.  On the way we grabbed pizza from local favorite Imo's.  Featuring a cracker thin crust and light sauce it is unique but a nice might take on a take out staple.

Day Five

We left St. Louis after a great time catching up with the Golden family and headed south to Memphis.  Along  the way we stopped at Stonie's Sausage.

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Snack stix and sweet bologna were my favorite finds, but a great selection of meat and sausage aft decent prices.

Remember last month when I said it was a big year?

I'm lying awake tonight, and as tired as I am after a full day working at The Pantry unloading trucks, stocking shelves, and then doing the other hundred things my father-in-law Alden and Mother-in-law Linda do there while they spent the bulk of their day at the hospital I'm not sure as we near two if sleep is possible tonight.

In about five hours my Father-in-law will enter a surgical OR for a valve and aortic replacement.  The surgeon will literally be replacing nearly a quarter of his heart!  This is major surgery, especially for a 75yo with long history of heart problems.   Ever since the aneurysm that necessitates this procedure was found six weeks ago as both a church body and a family we have been praying that God's will be done to heal him. All along we have felt reminded by the Spirit that sometimes God uses the hands of skilled surgeons in that healing. 

So here we are: In three hours the rest of the family will get Alden checked in while I am home praying and getting ready to go back into the Pantry to make sure that things continue to run smoothly there while waiting for news from that hospital 12 miles away. 

I spoke to Dad tonight for the last time before surgery and he fealt at peace with the surgery moving forward.  The entire family is concerned, obviously at different levels.

My feelings are hard to describe as I lay here writing this.   You see, a little over 13 years ago my father went in for open heart surgery.  30 days later we had lost him.  Part of me really wants to be at that hospital to support my wife and her family, but a big part of me feels guilty that I'm glad I don't have to face that tortuous wait again, because I know I'll spend most of it thinking of my Dad.

I know this is all in Gods hands.  I know the only practical solution is for me to rest and be ready to fill Alden's shoes at the pantry for the next few weeks while he recovers, especially tomorrow while everyone is adjusting to his absence.  Now if I could get my body to cooperate. 

If it comes to mind between 7:00am and 12:00pm PDT your prayers and positive thoughts would be greatly appreciated. 

My thoughts on "A Letter To Christians In Indiana, From Jesus"

This is a great take on the way Christianity has become politically and radically motivated in recent years, posed as a letter from Christ to his church.  As we begin what the Christian Church calls "Holy Week" I thought this would be a great article to share with you along with my thoughts, especially given recent court rulings and laws passed in Indiana and proposed in Arkansas and Massachusetts regarding religious beliefs and civil law.

Regardless of your faith, the mixture of religion and politics is dangerous to our system of government.  We can't make laws based on Christian values and then yell about communities imposing elements of Shariah law. Separation of Church and State is an all or nothing proposition, and our constitution clearly calls for total separation.

Those of you that know me well are very aware of how my faith influences my life, my family, and our view of the world.  While that also influences my political views and how I vote on various issues, I have never been one to try and force my beliefs on anyone.  To me it is something personal, a relationship as important to me as my marriage to Carrie, and one I work just as hard to maintain.  

Just like my marriage, if people come to me asking how my relationship with Jesus is still so alive and vital I have no problem talking about it.  I talk about my Dad's theory of "Personal Theology" that helped me shape my faith and find peace and comfort in churches of all denominations.  I talk about being asked to leave the first bible college I attended and how theological differences caused that conflict.  Above everything else though I talk about the peace and joy I feel in those quiet moments with Jesus....from worship on Sunday morning at church, to quiet talks with him at 2am when I just don't know how to deal with my teenage daughter, and from laying in a quiet forest staring up at the tree tops to receiving communion.

Our faith was intended to be something intensely personal, yet so transformative that those around us couldn't help but ask about it.  It shouldn't ever be something we feel a need to force on anyone.  If it is, we are doing it wrong.

 

Source: http://johnpavlovitz.com/2015/03/28/a-lett...

The Wife and Daughter take a trip to NYC and review the experience

Note from the Fatboy-in-Chief: This article was written by my amazing wife about her recent trip with my mother-in-law and daughter to NYC for my daughters 16th birthday.  You will notice some stylistic differences but the writing is probably much better than mine.  Enjoy.

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Gizmodo has all the best CyberMonday deals in one place

As always, Gizmodo and Kinja have teamed up to put together a comprehensive list of CyberMonday deals for all things tech and geek, I'll post deals as I find them but their list is a good place to start today.

 

Source: http://gizmodo.com/the-best-cyber-monday-d...

Our pick for best headphones less than half price today

Microsoft is selling the V-Moda LP2 CrossFade headphones that won our headphone comparison this summer for only $99 as a CyberMonday special while supplies last both online and in store for those of you who live near one of their Apple Store clones.  Run, don't walk to grab these while you can!

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Great deal on one of the worlds best coffee makers

Amazon has discounted the price on the AeroPress, voted numerous places the worlds best coffee maker and one of our personal favorites.  Normally $30, it is now $25 and a great deal for the coffee lover in your life this holiday season.  We reviewed the AeroPress here early in the life of Fat Boy Heaven, you can check out what we had to say about it there and follow the link below for a great deal.

AeroPress


 

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