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Gourmet Burger

So, when it comes to burgers, my opinion is that the best ones are either really cheap or really expensive (Sorry to all you Red Mill fans). For cheap eats, I've always been a fan of the classic Dick's cheeseburger (with cheese stuck to the paper, of course) and the double/double from In & Out burger when I'm traveling. The only places in and around Seattle I've found with great higher end burgers are the Kobe (style) burgers at Seastar in Bellevue and Coupage in Madrona. PLEASE, let me know what I'm missing....Thanks!

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  1. I agree with you, pretty much. Especially about Red Mill. So many fancy burgers tend to be too dry and fall apart instead of squishing together. They just don't achieve "burger-ness."

    That said, my favorite burger in Seattle so far is at the 35th St Bistro in Fremont - it's high quality, but has lots of juice and "squish". Good beef, nice crisp bacon. Good fries, too.

    But my go-to burger, when I want the full experience, is up here in Mount Vernon at Gentleman Gene's Pub - the mushroom burger with swiss, and cajun curly fries on the side. Gooey, juicy bliss!

    1. I like the burger at The Palace Kitchen and the one at The Jones Bistro.

      1. the lamb burger (w/ options for avocado and artisan cheeses) at 94 Stewart (available lunchtime only)

        1. I'm also not a big fan of Red Mill, I don't think they quite live up to the hype. But I really like the burgers at Duke's Chowder House. They fall in the kind of expensive range at 12 - 14 dollars. The Duke is great. Fries need work though.

          I'm also a big fan of the burger at Maple Leaf Grill. It's one of the best I've had. 8 oz. and hand formed around $10. Excellent fries.

          1. I'm really a no go when it comes to red mill as well. (I think they're burger hacks) and the fries blow as well.
            But, right down the road is "Olive You" with 8 different Kobe beef burgs.
            www.olive-you.com

            3 Replies
            1. re: SeattleJim

              How are those burgers at Olive You? It's right in my 'hood and hungry people need details!!!!

              1. re: allisonw

                allisonw - Good food, but get it to go, awful service everytime we have tried dining in.

                My neck of the woods too, and when I want a "gourmet" burger fix, I head to the Stumbling Goat for Happy Hour and have their Mini Wagyu Beef Burgers.... I may be partial since I love their food (and tuesday is half priced bottle of wine night), but those burgers always hit the spot for a happy hour nibble. Great staff too.

                1. re: nseattlefoodie

                  I agree with nseattlefoodie - Olive You's service has been declining steadily since it opened. I would argue that the food quality isn't what it once was, either.

            2. I had a damn tasty, perfectly cooked burger at Geraldine's Counter in Columbia City. A mid-priced burger. For the cheapy cheap, I like the soon-to-be-demolished Daly's on Eastlake. And if you go there, you can get a super thick milkshake too, mmmmm.

              2 Replies
              1. re: burritobelle

                Daly's going under? Say it ain't so!

                1. re: equinoise

                  Yeah, it's been out there for a while, they're being condo-ficated.

              2. High end nothing beats the Palace Kitchen burger. Guilty cheap greasy pleasure has to be a double bacon cheese burger with grilled onions at the Pic Quik in Tacoma with a side of limp fries - hear that sound? That's my arteries clogging just thinnking about it...

                1. Haven't been there since they opened, but Moxie used to have a Lamb Burger served with Sweet Potato fries on their Happy Hour menu that was awesome.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nseattlefoodie

                    That lamb burger is definitely still great. Perfectly cooked.

                    I still think that Palace Kitchen has the best high end burger and for less than you would think.

                  2. I like Red Mill, sorry. The verde burger, especially.

                    Elysian Fields makes a very good non-fast-food burger.

                    1. No one seems to have mentioned Matts in the Market yet. Their "Don & Joe's Lamb Burger" is to die for. Served on a Columbia City brioche bun, it's a nice fresh patty of beef and lamb from Don & Joe's Meats in the market with goat cheese, bacon, herb aioli, and grilled onions. Yummy!

                      Another excellent burger is available at The Ram Sports Bar, Northgate Mall and University Village.

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: bbqer

                        If i had to choose between Matt's lamb burger and 94 Stewart's lamb burger (and i like both), i would have to go with 94 Stewart, especially with all the cheese options there (ymmv)

                        1. re: barleywino

                          Re: white collar burgers- I like Palace Kitchen alot, but I think the steelhead diner wagyu surpasses it in its decadent grease. Two bells tavern is also good...maybe I missed it somewhere in this post.

                          1. re: equinoise

                            for cheap eats, i like zak's in ballard way better than red mill. fries/rings are better too. cascadia sliders used to be my fav for upscale, but last visit they were just "eh". palace kitchen will have to take the spot

                            1. re: bluedog67

                              All right then, I am heading to the Palace Kitchen for a burger pronto.

                              1. re: bluedog67

                                Update: I tried the Palace Kitchen burger. Have to say, the patty was fabulous - charred, thick and juicy. But the bun was not squishy enough and there wasn't enough condiment for both the burger and the fries. 35th Street Bistro is still my personal favorite. I'll have to try some of these other recs, though.

                          2. re: bbqer

                            Tried Matt's lamb burger today and I gotta say it was extremely excellent.

                            They really got the size of the patty and its ratio to the bun right - oversized and/or bad buns are a big pet peeve of mine.

                            I'll check out 94 Stewart's next - I was overdue for a visit to Matt's. (As an aside, I think the expanded space works a lot better at lunch than dinnertime.)

                            1. re: bbqer

                              Matt's burger itself was fine (a little overdone perhaps), but I lost it when my "server" refused--in a contemptuous tone--to bring me ketchup.

                              1. re: not the bad Steve

                                Are you SURE you're not the bad Steve?...
                                lol

                                1. re: mrnelso

                                  Are you suggesting that (a) I was refused ketchup because I was behaving badly at the restaurant, or (b) there's something wrong with criticizing a restaurant here for the poor attempt at service that I experienced?

                                  1. re: mrnelso

                                    Trust me. He's not the bad Steve. OMG - remember that guy? He was truly BAD!

                                    1. re: Lauren

                                      Thanks Lauren. And sorry Steve - I tried pulling your leg and it came off in my hand...

                                      1. re: mrnelso

                                        Sorry to be ingracious--somehow didn't discern the playfulness, despite your signoff.

                                      2. re: Lauren

                                        Oh, my yes I remember the "bad Steve", even though I can only recall him posting once on Chowhound - a kind of long thread, actually - but it was enough - yipes! Either he never showed up here again, or he changed his name, but my bet is the former - some of us may get a little cranky from time to time, but there is no one on the PNW board who writes posts quite like "the bad Steve" did. Peace on earth - we all welcome posts from "not the bad Steve" - kindly mrnelso is a warmhearted jester.

                                2. My usually place is Zesto's. Apparently, there's been a change in ownership recently, past few months, but I haven't been in awhile.

                                  Never caught onto Red Mill - a pretty burger but lacked flavor.
                                  I have a hard time paying for gourmet burgers since the $ to enjoyment ratio just doesn't cut it for me. I'd rather have a steak instead if I'm paying $$ for a gourmet burger.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: dave_c

                                    I have the opposite problem. If I go to a place like Red Mill or Zesto's and get a 1/2 burger + cheese + bacon + fries, I'm usually spending $7-8 easy. I can sit down at a good restaurant (The Jones, Palace Kitchen, Steelhead Diner) and get a much better burger with good ambiance for $11-13. Plus the burger is using higher quality ingredients, and was probably ground by hand. I just don't see how Red Mill can stack up. If I want cheap, I'll go to Dick's and get a cheap burger. If I want a bigger more substantial burger, I'd rather pay a little more for it.

                                    1. re: vanillagorilla

                                      I'm with you .. having a great burger and a sharing a nice bottle of wine with a friend is a nice way to pass a rainy PNW evening ...haven't tried Steelhead Diner, how's their winelist?

                                    2. re: dave_c

                                      Zesto's led the pack in frequency of health code violations in a recent report.

                                    3. Had the burger at Quinn's the other night. Med rare and tasty. Great bacon and fries too. Also they did offer ketchup.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: mr.chorizo

                                        Based on everything I've read, I can't wait to try Quinn's.

                                        1. re: not the bad Steve

                                          as a cap. hill'er I can say that they are without a doubt the finest addition to the hill, well since Cafe Presse and before that Lark ... whew, finally!

                                      2. Drive up to Bellingham for the best burger in Washington at Fiama Burger. It is downtown Bellingham near Holly Street. I have tried a lot of burgers in Seattle and this one beats them all. Pretty Cheap too. Try it next time you escape the city.

                                        1. For low cost burgers, I love the Burgermaster at Burgermaster on Aurora, just south of Oak Tree. It's a drive-in as well, so you eat in your car, something ridiculous indeed, but almost extinct in urgan areas. They have great fries as well. Somehow it all tastes better at the Aurora drive-in location, compared to the one near U Village, where you eat inside.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: itsonlyfood

                                            there is a Burgermaster on the Eastside ..between 520 & 405 ... I think it's the best of the three .. I agree the U Village is the def not nearly as good as the drive-ins.

                                          2. Hey Hungrydude - I have been on a similar quest: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/381001. I have tried many and have to say that Palace Kitchen is leading the race. I have also been pleasantly surprised by the burgers at Tap House Grill and Hales Ales. A special mention has to go to the mini duck burgers at Tilth.

                                            I have heard the burgers at Jaks, Paragon and Sport are good - they are on my list of places to try. I was less than impressed with the Ram (oddly dry), Steelhead diner and Two Bells (not a fan of the baguette bun).

                                            Good luck! I am following your thread and will be continuing my own tastings.

                                            1. Any other good burgers in Medford/Ashland/Rogue Valley?

                                              So far I think Porter's in Medford has the best burger for the best price $3.00 at happy hour.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: skipperr

                                                Skip,
                                                Save up and go try New Sammy's burger. Expensive, but well worth the $15. Sublime. I'd go so far as to say it is the best between PDX and SFO. A glass of burgundy and nothing could be finer.
                                                Will try Porters but I'm not fond of their fare in general.

                                              2. Eugene City Brewery (Part of Rogue Nation)

                                                Kobe Burger with Rogue Blue Cheese, nice crispy fries. That along with one of their Rogue Micro's is the perfect meal. Not cheap, I think the burger is $13.95 and worth it.

                                                Best burger between Portland and SF, no question.