Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Not Your Basic Burgers

I love a good burger.  I’m a big fan of this classic.  Though I don’t like bread, and therefore am not a huge fan of the buns, I’ll gladly just eat the middle out of it!  A couple years ago I stole the recipe for yummy burgers from a friend’s mom.  I simple add a packet of onion soup mix to a pound of ground beef, mix it up well with my fingers and then form into patties.  My mom always used seasoned salt, which is still high on my list. 

Here are a few places around town where I can enjoy a good burger (in no particular order):

Stella’s – this is a Bellevue tradition and the place recently got quite a facelift, which is good since it was kind of nasty in appearance.  But the burgers haven’t changed.  They’re still served on a napkin and are some of the best around.  They’re hand-formed and dripping with taste!  (I think that’s taste; maybe it’s something else!)

Five Guys Burgers and Fries – this East Coast chain has won me over.  I’ve heard other complaints, but they’ll get none from me.  Their burgers aren’t seasoned, but they are freshly made and all toppings (with the exception of cheese & bacon) are free to add as you like.  My faves are grilled onions and mushrooms, tomato, lettuce, and mayo.  Be on guard that their regular burger comes with 2 patties.  I’ve always gotten their “little” burger, which has one good size patty and is plenty for me with all the added toppings!  They also prominently display on whiteboards the exact location of where the potatoes they’re making into fries came from that day.  Love it!  A regular size fry is large enough for Jake and I to share.  And my seasoning-loving husband tried the Cajun fries once, but thought they overdid it on the seasoning, which means it had to be A LOT.  Lastly, for some unknown reason, their Cherry Coke leaves something to be desired.  I’m a big fan of places that have this option on tap, but it always tastes “off” here.

Red Robin – This chain has a great selection of gourmet burgers.  Though it’s definitely on the pricey side, I think you get a good portion and the fries that come along with are bottomless.  Their ranch is great for dipping the fries in too!  And if you’re in the mood for a good burger but your dining partner isn’t, they have a great selection of other options.  I like their BLTA croissant and the French Onion Soup (without the soggy crouton!). 

Tropics – It’s a sports bar & grill that serves up $4 burgers with tons of toppings, lots of them free like the grilled onions and mushrooms and fancy cheeses (even cream cheese – a little strange on a burger to me but maybe worth a try sometime at this price!), but also some fancy ones like blue crab meat or a fried egg for only $1 more.  It also comes with a load of homemade fries or substitute tasty sweet potato ones for just $1.  Lunch is the best time to go, we’ve found.  The one time we went for dinner it was just so packed and the wait was long, service slow.  Though to be fair, we did arrive a bit later in the evening, had a larger group, went during the College World Series finals, and a large group had reserved the top seating area so that held things up too.  A perfect storm of chaos, I guess.

If you’ve only got $1 to spare for a burger craving, you can’t beat Burger King’s Whopper Jr.  This has come in handy on more than one occasion for the Christian household!


  1. Seriously the best pizza I've every had is from a dive called Welch's in Pender, Nebraska. It's a small town so it's a bar that serves food. But the pizza is sooo good. The taco pizza is like two inches thick and is the only place I've found that I like that variety at. Alas, I haven't eaten there in years.

  2.'re making me want a burger! Do you ever get the McDouble from McDonalds? I know it's not all "real" beef, but it's two patties with one slice cheese. Delish. Plus it's on the dollar menu. HOLLA!

  3. Jenny- Thanks to you I do partake of the $1 McDouble from Mickey D's from time to time! I just prefer the Whopper Jr from BK for a buck if I have the option. :-) I like the real onion, tomato, lettuce, etc. And for some reason, I'm becoming less of a fan of cheeseburgers as I age. Weird... My hubby's rubbing off on me, I guess. Oh, no! :-)