The Eat It & Beet It food truck can be found at Belleflower, Battery Steele and Goodfire breweries throughout the week. Photo by Juliana Vandermark

As a vegetable, beets are pretty controversial. But the beet burgers at new Portland food truck Eat it & Beet It are not.

The day I had my first taste had gotten off to a rocky start. It was raining, there was traffic – you know the type of day. But when I pulled into the Belleflower Brewing parking lot and saw the bright purple food truck, it took a turn for the better. 

I arrived at the truck right when it opened at noon – always punctual when food is on the line. I was the first one there, and the two people working in the truck were excitedly putting together all of their burger fixings. The truck caters to both vegetarians and carnivores, offering a handful of specialty burgers, made with either a beef or beet patty. Immediately after I ordered my beet burger, a customer who seemed like a regular from his exchange of pleasantries with the server ordered a beef cheeseburger. They really do pull from both audiences. 

It wasn’t busy when I was there, but there’s a system for when it is. Upon ordering, I received a rectangular device that flashed once my burger was ready. The exchange was efficient and uncomplicated.

I ordered the Yippie Ki-Yay ($13) – cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion rings and barbecue sauce – and opted for the vegetarian beet burger. The sweet sauce and onion rings with the earthy beet burger and lettuce made me want to shout its name – or perhaps rename it Yummy Ki-Yay. I was initially ambivalent about the price, but it left me full and satisfied, so it felt worth it. For an additional $2.50, sandwiches can be made on a gluten-free roll.

I had planned on bringing my meal back to the office because of the rain, but it was far too delicious-looking and -smelling to resist. I had to take a couple big bites before doing anything else, and I’m glad I did. The warm flavors and temperature made the burger melt in my mouth. It took extreme self-restraint not to devour the entire thing right there in the parking lot.


The Yippie Ki-Yay burger with a beet patty from the Eat It & Beet It food truck. Photo by Juliana Vandermark

My expectations were fairly low, given the couple of beet burgers that I’ve had before. I was prepared for a soggy vegetable patty, hopefully compensated by delicious flavors and spices. Instead, I was surprised with a crispy fried purple patty peeking out between the two halves of the pillowy bun. 

After retrieving my order, I instinctively reached for the ketchup bottle, then stopped myself. As someone who is known to overly douse things in ketchup to the point that you can no longer decipher any other flavor, I’m glad I held off, because I would have missed the dance of sweet flavors and soft textures on my tongue. 

As both an imperfect vegetarian and an avid people-pleaser, I’m always looking for places where my carnivore friends and I can grab a bite without the inevitable comments like, “This is rabbit food!” or “Great, another protein-less meal.” Eat it & Beet it fills that niche. 

With fresh beef and beet burger options, neither idea feels half-cooked, nor tastes it. This beet burger doesn’t replicate the taste of a beef burger, but it doesn’t try to. 

My only regret is letting my love of onion rings stop me from trying a more adventurous option, because if everything is as good as the Yippie Ki Yay, I should have taken a chance on the PBJ ($13) – a burger with peanut butter, jelly and jalapeños. But there’s plenty of summer left to go back.

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