Elevation Burger - Portland, ME

Awake, Being of Supreme Evil, to find thy second coming. You have been reborn — after a life of diabolical and malicious pleasure — into the form of a decrepit 40-something man with low T.

            This, demon, is the bosom of an entirely foreign torment. Can you conceive of its depravity? No! The author of your dolor laughs at the horrors in store.

            Yes! Awake! Rise to a wife who is giving you the silent treatment for not putting out the trash last night. Do you not understand that it’s Wednesday and now you will have to wait a week?

            You alone — who was slain by Pietr III, Battle-Saint of Ygg — will know what your demonic ways have meted out. Open your sickening eyes, demon, to true pain. 

            Limp to the office, evildoer, in a POS Camry whose passenger-side lock will no longer rise to the remote’s command. Find a note at your memo-strewn desk, auguring demotion. Listen, demon! Listen as your be-goiter’d, sweating boss eats a cruller while lamenting your “consistent lack of initiative.”

            You, demon, who had every morning drank a hog-carcass of Elysium’s own mead, cannot even grab an after-hours drink with co-workers because you will be late in picking up your daughter from fencing practice.

            I bellow with laughter at thy torment! 

            You, who converted armies into strewn corpses — your battle-grin the most feared in the Yondersphere — just crossed a street so as to not walk by a particularly ragged bum. And what of the nubile maidens who lusted day and night after your blood-soaked loins, going so far as to make fellating motions using the hilt of your fabled war hammer Painlode? They bring cruel juxtaposition to these two girls wearing matching State hoodies that just walked by and paid you as much attention as they would a fallen leaf.

            Oh, how you wish, demon, that your son did not have dyslexia and a low-level form of autism known as Asperger’s. Would it be too much to ask for him to make a friend or two? Of course! All he talks about are the rare birds that he has been cataloguing meticulously despite the fact that — thanks to his dyslexia — he often spells the birds names wrong, invalidating the very data he is hoping to capture. Is this not your just reward?

            Look across the dinner table, demon, at a wife you feel only mild dislike for. Compare it, demon! Juxtapose it with the smoldering kiln of passion you felt for Ilrex Urmstum in the tent made from her slain husband’s skin on the eve of the Reddening. 

            Gaze upon your daughter’s genetically inherited ineptitude at fencing, demon. Her opponent, Jayden Springfield, is even now trying to help your daughter land a wobbling thrust out of pity, so as not to shut her out. And Jayden’s father, the be’goitered boss who recently demoted you, has not even said hi despite the fact that he inadvertently sat only two people-lengths away from you in the same row of bleachers. 

            When near-death at the fiery gates of Skuulnendorge you laughed! Even as Pietr III swung his lava-mace of holy wrath at your manacled frame. Yet now you’ve spent weeks in trepidation leading up to your first colonoscopy!

            Oh Demon, thy weakness is legendary.

            The Olive Garden endless breadbasket is a mockery of your past life’s heinous feasts. Sigh at the wilting flowers perched on the table and the acne-ridden waiter who can’t remember your order because he’s probably high. It is no coincidence they seem as wicked mummers to the lavishly grotesque celebrations of your past life. Whole kingdoms converted into dining halls. The lamentations of the newly acquired slaves as they were taken upon the tabletops — grisly writhing centerpieces. The bodies of slain royalty feasted upon by you, demon, not even rising to relieve yourself, simply making the lord’s former throne yours in every sense.

            And back in the office, genesis of misfortune, your workspace has been moved next to the noisy printer.

            Hear! Yes, truly hear the pain in thy mother’s voice as she mistakes you for your long-dead father and laments about how disappointed she is in her only son. Know that a new world of agony unfurls for you with her accumulating dementia that has, until now, only caused her to mistake the stuffed dog you got her last Christmas for a real one.

            Ah demon, can you even understand the lameness of the gifts your children offer you for father’s day? Compare this pinecone, haphazardly glittered — a gift from your twelve-year-old daughter — to the boon you received from Caanute: a seven tiered hot spring of pure platinum soaking a league of hand-picked pleasure-maids from the carnal gardens of Lady Laboris, their bodies covered in jewelry that could buy a hundred kingdoms or destroy them. And your son, he lost his gift running after a Boat-tailed Grackle in the nature reserve.           

            Yes, Demon, you heard correctly! Your wife has decided separate beds would be best!

            You could take your life, demon. You dwell upon it. I know this. Most often when you’re stuck in traffic on I-91 going west and the sun is right in your eyes. Yet still you know you could never end this life with the same grandeur as Lord Soalbandian, howling and aflame, setting light to what little was left of his kingdom with his own flaming hands. Indeed, demon, were you to slam the accelerator and plow into the silver Ford F-150 with the hunting stickers ahead of you, only three cars max would be involved in your suicidal blitz.

            Do you understand, demon? Can you feel the grinding knowledge that it can, and will, only get worse from here? Your last life, the millennia in which you took your eternal rule of darkness as a natural gift, do you see that metempsychosis has meted its just reward? 

            Weep, demon, for none can save you. None!




3.3 Stars

Ersatz Five Guys.


Sea level

Nothing cray. The whole lunch with fries and burger and soda will enter the low teens.


Socially Responsible Meat Eating Venue

I don’t know why I got a sort of corporate vibe from Elevation Burger, but the design just felt a little too clean for a burger joint. I know they’re all about “elevated” meats that make you feel good when you eat them, but the ambience was trying so hard to tie into the whole ethos that it felt like it lost its personality in the quest for minimalist cleanliness.



Ordered at the register, a fine young man brought me my food. Nice and prompt. Very fine.



You’ll note I don’t hand out too many skips. This is because I have great respect for the passion and energy that goes into turning a restaurant from idea to reality. However, Elevation really doesn’t seem to have much vision beyond a “mindful” tweak to Five Guys’ formula. Not that that’s bad in and of itself, it’s just that the notion of “burger” and “healthy” don’t mix for me. If I’m going to have a burger, I have already resigned myself to the future hypertension I am inviting. Elevation Burger’s burgers were indeed less greasy than many of their competitors, but they were also less satisfying. If it were between Elevation and McDonalds, sure I’d go Elevation. But if it were between Elevation and Five Guys/In-N-Out/Shake Shack, there is no question I’d be heading in the other direction. Elevation Burger is the Diet Pepsi of craft/chain burger joints. Take that as you will.

Elevation Burger
Address: 205 Commercial St. Portland, ME 04101