No Ordinary Burger at Brunchbox


There is nothing ordinary about a burger served on mouthwatering Texas Toast. Brunchbox, a small burger joint tucked away in the 1904-built Eaton Building in downtown Portland serves up a serious burger. In this case, I ordered the YouCanHasCheeseburger, an angus beef burger with  American cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise packed inside two  Texas Toast grilled cheese sandwich with side of regular fries and fountain soda. I don’t know what genius dreamed up this bad boy, but it sure was satisfying my hunger and it was delicious.

BrunchboxYouCanHasCheeseburger is just the little guy of Brunchbox’s menu. You better come hungry like the wolf that has not eaten all winter if you decide on ordering the Redonkadonk or Monstrosity. If nothing satisfies you, you can “build your own” burger, even with the traditional hamburger bun. The menu offers a choice of angus beef, fried chicken, turkey, or vegetarian for the burgers. There is a good selection of sandwiches and breakfast items on the menu. A kid’s menu is available for the little tots. To wash it all down, Brunchbox serves fountain sodas (free refills), milkshakes, coffee, juice, milk, and beer.

Brunchbox is located in downtown Portland at 620 SW 9th Ave. For more information and view the menu, visit

McKenzie Pass Highway Closes for Winter

McKenzie Pass Gate

Oregon Department of Transportation has closed the gates on the Old McKenzie Pass Highway (Ore. Hwy. 242) on Tuesday. The gates are closed seasonally until after the spring thaw. ODOT announced they are opening the highway for the summer on June 19, 2017. That date may vary, depending on the snow pack level. ODOT also has a list of past opening and closing dates.

The historical highway cuts through thick old growth forest on the west side and through a lava bed on the east side. Both Proxy Falls Trailhead and Dee Wright Observatory are located along the highway and are now inaccessible.

“Know Before You Go”

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s motto “Know Before You Go” for and 5-1-1 is a good thing to remember. Unfortunately, for the third time now I have been surprised with a short-notice for McKenzie Pass closure.

I checked with about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. McKenzie Pass was indicated as open. Depending on your route, you may not receive much or any notice that the highway will close. That notice was announced at a time when I traveled through remote forest with no communications signal. Surprise! A closed gate.

This is not the first time this has happened, either. The similar thing happened to me on October 27, 2009, arriving to a closed gate, despite had checked and the road was not indicated closed at the time.

McKenzie Pass Gate

On November 14, 2011, the situation was a little different. The west gate was open. I made my trip, stopped at Dee Wright Observatory, shot some photos, then headed east. Guess what? ODOT was closing the gates as I was leaving.

McKenzie Pass Gate

Only if Oregon Department of Transportation could give at least a 24-hour notice of when McKenzie Pass Highway will be closing for the season would be nice.

Breaking Down VQ

Veritable Quandary Demolition

Demolition work started this month on the century-old building formerly Veritable Quandary restaurant. The building is being removed to make way for construction of the new seventeen-story Multnomah County Court Building. Veritable Quandary, opened in 1971, served its last customers on September 30, 2016. The white building in the background, Jefferson Station, is a historical building that will not be replaced or removed.

You can check out the post and photos when it was still in business in my post, “Veritable Quandary.”

Milwaukie Water Scare

Milwaukie Water Contamination

Milwaukie had a water scare on Thursday. At about 5:15 p.m. November 10, I received a phone call from the Code Red system notifying me a boil water alert. This is the first time that I have lived in Milwaukie for 14 years that a boil water alert was issued.

The City of Milwaukie posted on their website that had learned the water tested positive for E. coli and coliform bacteria after switching the water source to Portland water at a connection near SE Johnson Creek Blvd. and SE 45th Ave. on November 9. Switching the water source was necessary for the water tank repairs for the water tower at SE Harvey St. and SE 40th Ave.

From my own observations, McDonald’s at Oak St. Marketplace was open, but serving only bottled beverages. The Chevron gas station shut off their soda fountains. Taco Bell completely closed business for the night. Milwaukie Cafe and Bottle Shop closed early. L.A. Fitness’s water fountains were out of service.

Notices were posted on City of Milwaukie’s website at, Milwaukie Police Department’s Facebook Page, Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Neighborhood Associations website, Twitter, Facebook, and email list.

After 11:00 a.m. on Friday, another Code Red phone call was received, notifying the boil alert cancellation.

Happy Veterans Day

Dorr in Pan Mun Jom

As an Army veteran myself, I want to wish all you veterans who are or have honorably served our nation a Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service for our already great nation. I salute you. Hooah!

(The image is me at Pan Mun Jom in South Korea with a North Korean guard tower behind me, taken 10 June 2000.)