Cheeseburger and fries from Butcher Burger in Portland. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

I didn’t know I needed anything more from a cheeseburger than its typical components, but after having one with a fried egg on it from Butcher Burger in Portland, I never want to eat one any other way.

Butcher Burger has been in operation in Old Orchard Beach since 2014 and also has a location in Bethel. The Portland location opened in November in the space previously occupied by Royale Lunch Bar on Union Street in the Old Port.

When I headed to pick up takeout on a recent Thursday afternoon with my spouse Tracy’s order in hand, I knew I would have to lock the bag in the trunk on the ride home not to be tempted by the aroma wafting from it.

Upon entering, I noticed the TV above the bar and made a mental note to add Butcher Burger to my list of places to watch a Red Sox game. The bar holds about eight people, and there are also also a couple of small tables.

Looking over the menu, I was mighty tempted by the chicken and waffle sandwich and I know Tracy would have loved the crispy fish one, but since this was a burger joint, we knew what we had to try first. Non-meat-eaters take note, Butcher Burger also offers a falafel burger and five types of lobster rolls, including the Shack Roll made with hand-picked Maine lobster, mayo, Maine Jonah crab, drawn butter and shredded lettuce on a brioche roll for $26.

I ordered the cheeseburger. It was a house patty (blend of beef and bacon) with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, cheddar and its signature block sauce (spicy mayo) for $12. For an extra $2, I went for it and added a fried egg. To complete the decadence, I got an order of sea salt fries for $4.


Tracy opted for the Mini McMac, which is a single house patty, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a house bun for $13. She decided this was plenty and didn’t pull the trigger on the Big version for an additional $5.

The burger menu also has something called the Surf & Turf for $26. This is a house patty with, you guessed it, hand-picked Maine lobster, lettuce, tomato, bacon and mayo.

I survived the short ride home and placed the bag on the counter like it was the holy grail. Being the giving person that I am, I shared some of the fries with Tracy, who noted that despite their dark color, they didn’t taste overdone or burned. We agreed they had a terrific taste to them and were very crispy.

Tracy reported that the burger was smashed style, cooked through and thin, and gave a nod to the shredded lettuce used instead of the usual leaf version – like a Big Mac, just better. She said that it was a bit on the messy side, with the burger sliding one way and the toppings another. I don’t disagree with this, and my advice is simple: Just don’t try to eat it while driving.

My cheeseburger was sensational, and I managed to not drip any egg on myself, which is nothing short of miraculous. Smashed, like Tracy’s, it wasn’t the type of burger you sink your teeth into but was no less delicious, especially with that wisely ordered fried egg. The block sauce brought some tangy zip, and I savored every last morsel.

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