Burger Stop: Baker’s Burgers

Baker's BurgerI made a special trip into downtown Hillsboro (Ore.) right after work Friday night for this burger stop. I never heard of Baker’s Burgers until recently when it was announced in the news that this quaint burger diner will be closing at the end of September.

Why is Baker’s Burgers closing? The Oregonian is reports, Baker’s Burger is closing to make way for a neighboring Chevron gas station expansion. The Hillsboro Tribune’s Baker’s Burger closing story is more detail and heart-wrenching, and in a way, leaves me a bit frustrated for a small business being forced out to yield for big corporation. It’s sad, but business thrive on money.

Baker's BurgerOkay, onto the food. Baker’s Burger is everything one would find in a burger diner. The menu offers various burger sizes, fixings, and combinations. I had the No. 6 combo, the half-pounder Big Baker’s Burger, crispy fries with zesty fries sauce, and a 20-ounce soda for under $10. The burger was very juicy and delicious.

The incandescent-lit dining area was spacious and clean. I was a bit caught off that Baker’s closed at 8:00 p.m. on a Friday night. Staff was beginning to clean up and lock up as I received my order.

Baker’s Burger is at 807 SE Baseline in Hillsboro, Oregon. The restaurant is a block away from the TriMet MAX Blue Line Tuality Hospital/8th Ave. stop. The hours are very short and aren’t posted. Baker’s Burger accepts Visa and MasterCards’ too.

Fort Stevens

Fort Stevens 320Fort Stevens is one of my favorite locations to visit and photograph. This former base dating back to the Civil War near Hammond, Oregon, features numerous relics and bunkers to check out. Battery Pratt, Battery Lewis, Battery Walker, and Battery 245 are sites I’ve visited. Battery Pratt and Battery 245 have lighting, so it’s easier to see the various rooms and equipment remains. Being a former U.S. Army soldier in communications, I’d love to see history come to life in Battery 245’s radio room. Battery Lewis and Battery Walker were closed off in 2014 due to deteriorating infrastructure.

The four batteries are in the Fort Stevens State Park day-use area. The day-use area requires a fee or annual permit. There is overnight camping at Ft. Stevens.

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Burger Stop: Dairy Maid

Dairy MaidA little blue and white burger shack with the neon sign on the roof, sits in the middle of a fishing town at the mouth of the Columbia River. Dairy Maid is a neat little drive-in burger shack worth stopping in on the way to Fort Stevens or Clatsop Spit.  I had a cheeseburger, which was served juicy and cheese oozing off the meat on a standard sesame bun. The crinkle fries were crispy and served with very little or no salt, which was very nice compared to the salt sticks I’m normally served at other places. I also ordered a medium soda. The meal runs for under $7 and is was served under five minutes.

Dairy MaidThe best time to visit Dairy Maid is on a warm, sunny or dry day since indoor seating is limited to two small tables. There are additional outdoor picnic tables to sit at. On a stormy winter day, however, you might luck out getting a table or dining inside your car.

Couple of things you should know before you go. There is no public restrooms at the restaurant. Do bring cash because credit/debit cards are not accepted.

Comments being accepted for North Cascades helicopter landing proposal

Washington Trail Association website announced comments about the North Cascades helicopter landing sites proposal are being accepted. The proposed sites are to allow Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) military helicopter training in wilderness areas in northern Washington Cascades where hikers and campers recreate. The training may take place 24-hours a day, mostly at night, except on federal holidays. The main focus is on how the noise may impact hikers and campers. Comments are due July 30, 2015. More details are on Washington Trail Association’s website.