A Hamburger Today

Hangover Helper: Rip City Romance Tater Tots from Timber's Doghouse PDX in Portland, OR

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[Photographs: Adam Lindsley]

Perhaps we're taking the old "hair of the dog that bit you" colloquialism too literally, but the thoroughly off-kilter* Timber's Doghouse PDX food cart is a natural choice for hot, greasy hangover food. There are burgers, yes, but the real draw here is the array of imaginatively topped tater tot bowls.

You could make the argument that tater tots are perfect as is and require no further embellishment, and you would not be wrong. But if the brain cries out for a little variety (or something to make you sweat a little), Timber's Doghouse PDX is ready and willing to serve up a bowl of the uncommon. Available toppings include caramelized pineapple, roasted garlic truffle aioli, chanterelle salt, and everyone's favorite add-on to anything and everything under the sun: bacon.

Served in an actual dog bowl lined with wax paper, the Rip City Romance starts with a pile of crunchy-on-the-outside-fluffy-on-the-inside tater tots and smothers it in pepper jack cheese, "kicker" sauce (a spicy habanero aioli sweetened with ketchup), diced onions, sliced jalapeños, and a fried egg. Nothing too exotic here, just a hearty blend of salt, fat, and heat. The jalapeños come with their seeds intact, injecting even more burn into a dish tailor-made for distracting you from the consequences of the previous night's overindulgence.

The egg is often called upon to bridge the gap between breakfast and an entree or dish from either of the other two meals of the day—frequently to less than satisfactory results—but in this instance it works. With a runny yolk spilling down into the craggy surface of the tater tots' shells, the fried egg almost succeeds in tricking your mind into thinking you're eating a perfectly acceptable first meal of the day. Which, if you hit the hooch particularly hard the night before, is all you can really ask for.

*How off-kilter? Well, they open at 11:47 a.m. and close at 7:01 p.m., for starters.

Timber's Doghouse PDX

SE Woodstock & SE 48th, Portland, OR 97206 (map)
479-236-1452; thedoghousepdx.weebly.com

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About the author: Adam Lindsley is a Pacific Northwest-based writer, musician, and the author of the pizza blog, This Is Pizza. You can follow him at @ThisIsPizza on Twitter. He is currently on a serious kristalweizen kick, so if you know of a better version than the one from Weihenstephaner, be sure to let him know.

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