Dining Out: Brothers serves up top-notch burger

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Why: The newly opened Brothers has raised the bar for casual dining restaurants in Clark County. Though there’s limited space in its strip mall location, Brothers presents a distinctive décor. The food is prepared with fresh, quality ingredients and burgers are made with Certified Angus Beef.

Thanks to social media, featured menu items and upcoming events are at your fingertips no matter where you are.

Atmosphere: A warm, comfortable color palette has been used throughout the restaurant, along with interesting patterns and textures.

Seating consists of booths, tables and chairs, and a high bar with bar stools. Weather permitting, outdoor patio seating is available. Large-screen TVs for game viewing are strategically positioned and whimsical giant light bulbs hang from the ceiling around the restaurant’s perimeter. One gets the sense that nothing was overlooked when this place was put together.

What I tried: I decided on the Kahlua Pulled Pork sandwich and my dining companions both decided on The Hickory burger. We tried the tater tots as well, and for dessert, we had The Meltdown.

The pork sandwich was the best I’ve had. Lean pulled pork doused with Brothers’ homemade house sauce was topped with fresh coleslaw and piled on a pub bun fresh from the French Bakery in Portland. The result: scrumptious. If you try this sandwich, I advise using the fork and knife that it’s served with to keep mess at bay and ingredients in place. The house sauce possessed the essence of hickory with a sweet, rich flavor that lingered. There was a hint of horseradish in the coleslaw. I am not a fan of horseradish, but used properly, with the right companions, it does a terrific job in adding that special character that kicks things up a notch — which is exactly what it does in the pulled pork sandwich.

The Hickory is a popular burger and my dining companions soon discovered why. It is made with a brioche bun (also supplied fresh from the French Bakery), a 1/3-pound beef patty, Tillamook cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, hickory smoked bacon and barbecue sauce, topped with an onion ring. The bun had a melt-in-your-mouth quality to it and the ingredients were balanced and fresh, making it a crave-worthy and memorable burger.

All of Brothers’ burgers are made with a 1/3-pound Angus beef patty. The buns are butter-fried just before they are served, which imparts an extra-fresh impression.

We decided to try the Rosemary Parmesan and the Cajun-flavored tater tots. Although I enjoyed both, I favored the Rosemary Parmesan because their distinctive taste accompanied my pulled pork sandwich perfectly.

The Meltdown dessert is comprised of three generous scoops of vanilla ice cream on top of a giant, hot chocolate chip cookie drizzled with Hershey’s chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream and cherries. One was enough for the three of us to share. It satisfied our need for something sweet many times over.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: I was pleased to discover a Wedge salad on the menu — these can be hard to find.

If you can’t settle on one of the six Brothers burgers, you can build your own from a list of ingredients that include a beef, turkey, chicken breast or veggie patty, different types of cheeses, sauces and toppings.

In addition to a kids category, which includes Mac & Cheese and a PB&J Slider, the menu offers salads, sliders, sides and milkshakes. Domestic beer, microbrews and wine are available as well.

Other observations: You might expect a top-shelf burger experience as part of Portland’s dining scene, but I believe Brothers is unmatched on this side of the river.

The wait staff was professional and attentive to all our dining needs, keeping drink and tater tot refills at the ready.

Nobody who craves a satisfying burger should pass up the Brothers experience.

Keep watch for breakfast hours sometime in the near future; a full breakfast menu, which will include Chicken Fried Steak, Pancakes and Gourmet Breakfast Sandwiches, is in the works.

Cost: Though most menu items are between $6 and $8, the Family Tree option is $10.49, and comes with two 1/3-pound beef patties, two slices of cheese, a fried egg, smoked ham, lettuce, tomato and Brothers house sauce.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Telephone: 360-882-4608.

Where: 19206 S.E. First, Camas. www.brothersburgers.com.

Health Score: Brothers received a score of 8 on August 12. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.