|Volume 17, Issue 3||
Oregon Duck football star LaMichael James opens Killer Burger in Cedar Hills
The burgers are carefully built with locally-sourced Fulton Provisions beef, crispy pickles, and bacon on every burger (except the Minimalist, where bacon is served on the side). From there, you can go classic or outrageous, including a burger with peanut-butter sauce. At first glance, you wonder how you’ll wrap your mouth around the thick burgers, but they’re wrapped in a way that makes it easy to munch away. Vegan patties, a lettuce wrap, and gluten-free buns are available, too. All burgers come with a side of French fries. Enjoy your burger with a choice of local beers and ciders, or fountain drinks.
La Mike was gracious in spending time with us to answer our questions about football and franchising.
In addition to all your accomplishments on the football field you also ran track while at Oregon, with high finishes at events like the Pac-10 championships. What inspired you to compete at track in addition to football?
I mainly ran track to stay competitive for football. Track helped keep me in top shape and I loved the challenge of competing at that level. I didn’t get much time to practice with the track team, so that was a bit of a challenge. But, it was something I look back on and I really enjoyed.
Can you pick a favorite touchdown play from your time at Oregon? The one against Auburn in the National Championship is up there for me.
All of them. Seriously I enjoyed each and every one. I can’t pick one. Well, maybe the one against Tennessee. That was a good one.
The 72-yard run?
Yes, that was a fun one.
Who would you consider the toughest rival while at Oregon, the team you got the most pumped up to play against and wanted to beat the most each year, and why was it Stanford?
It was definitely Stanford. Because they were always so competitive at that top level, that was the team we always got up for. Teams like Washington and Oregon State, yes that is a rivalry, but for me it was always Stanford because of the challenge of playing against a team that competes and drives at such a high level.
When you ran for 288 versus Arizona, what do you think allowed you to have a performance like that?
That was a special day. I know our offense lined up really well against their defense that day. They couldn’t keep up and we definitely had the stamina.
Playing for Coach Kelly in that era must have been pretty special. How different was he from other coaches you’d played for?
Just the level of dedication with him. It was all football all the time. His dedication was like no one else.
Was he pretty much all business with players or did you ever see a lighter side of Coach Kelly?
95% business, 5% lighter side. He was not hip but he was an excellent motivator and did a great job connecting with the players. We had a special bond in the locker room, everyone was working together with a common goal for that national championship, so we all supported each other, and a lot of that came from Coach Kelly.
Coming in to the NFL you played with guys like Frank Gore and Brandon Jacobs – what was it like playing with those guys?
Those guys taught me a lot off the field, as much as on. What it is like to be a professional. The locker room in the NFL is a lot different than in college. You have guys at all different stages, some guys are out to party and have fun, other guys have a family and are strictly business. So it is a different environment in the locker room.
Did you get to interact much with Kaepernick?
Oh definitely while I was in San Francisco. I really admire his dedication both on and off the field. He was very professional and I enjoyed working with him.
Are you involved in football these days?
No, not at all. These days my business is here at Killer Burger. I am 100% focused on this now. Not looking back.
How did you choose the Killer Burger franchise?
The Teemah burger comes with Bacon, Bleu Cheese Fondue & Crumbles, House Sauce, Grilled Onion & Pickle
I started eating their burgers at the Sherwood location, and I liked that they were locally run. They are very supportive for their franchise owners.
What is the best thing on the menu at Killer Burger?
All of it! I like the Jose Mendoza with the roasted green chiles.
What has been the biggest challenge in getting the business to the point its at today?
Hard to say one thing in particular. The amount of work it takes on a daily basis to be successful. There is a lot that goes into it. Creating structure is very important. I am here early in the morning and usually last at night. It is a lot of work but I love it.
What is your favorite part about owning a Killer Burger?
Getting to interact with customers and seeing how excited they get to come in and try the food. And I’ve been able to apply the lessons I learned about team play to building our crew. They know how to work efficiently and still have a good time.
LaMike doesn’t mind at all when customers recognize him and want to chat and take selfies. Killer Burger is located at 2905 SW Cedar Hills Blvd #105, in the new section of the Cedar Hills Crossing Center south of Jenkins. Call 503-747-3069 for takeout service, or use one of the delivery services.
Published monthly by Cedar Mill News LLC
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291