Monday, May 24, 2010

Seattle Burger and Burgerish Things Roundup

Ahhhhhhhhhh Seattle: home of the Ichiroll, Electron Boy, and a heck of a lot of great burgers. Sadly I only got to eat one on my most current trip to the land of milk and honey, but one is better than none! Here's a recap:

1. Palace Kitchen
2030 5th Avenue
(add $1.50 for bacon)

This puppy is rated pretty high amongst Seattle foodies, so I had high hopes pre-Palace nosh. My expectations were met (and exceeded) in some areas, but I've danced with better burgers in the Emerald City.

The Palace Burger is made using ground in-house Oregon Country Beef (of the chuck variety). I asked our waiter what grind ratio was is used, but he only replied, "the kitchen doesn't tell us these things." Which could mean one of three things: he's too lazy to pose my question to the kitchen; their ratio is some closely guarded secret, which could bring down the entire Tom Douglas empire if revealed; or, finally, the kitchen hates bald people and just refuses to talk to him about anything.

So without firm facts, I am left to hazard a guess, and I'd guess their grind is more lean than fat. The bun—which initially appears to be too big for the package, but is actually quite a nice fit—does a superb job of soaking up the juices that do appear. Given the medium-rare nature of this burger though, I found it a little too clean for my personal preference.

Aside from natural juices, the burger is served on an otherwise dry bun. This would normally pose a massive problem, but the beef is good enough here to stand more or less on its own. Without the blue cheese accompaniment it may be a little bland, but it manages quite alright with it. It may not be as good as a high quality Alberta beef, but I'd say it matches most patties I've had that use Island beef (with Pink Bike perhaps being better on a good day). The big difference here is the char that comes from cooking on an applewood-fueled grill. Really suberb flavour and crustiness around the edges.

The real winner in this package though is the bacon. Thick, crispy, succulent, worth leaving your family for—just the perfect compliment to this unit. Onion, lettuce, and pickle is served as a side to this burger, but I don't think you need it (I'm just not sure how much it would have added). Speaking brass tackily; there are better burgers in Seattle. That doesn't mean this one is bad though, it just happens to be in a class of big performers.

2. Cheeseburger Doritos (Snack Bag Size)

My initial thought was, "hmmm, more cheese and sour cream than cheeseburger," but then Auggie said, "Dairy Queen," and I knew he was right. That Dairy Queen cheeseburger flavour is even more apparent when you let these little crunchers sit for a day. Their sister flavour "taco" does a better job of replicating cheap taco flavour (think Taco Time spice mix), but I can't say the cheeseburger chips don't taste a little like a fast-food offering.

A while ago I was complaining to friends that since the loss of Hostess, the potato chip market has suffered from a lack of innovation. They quickly countered that the UK is still a bastion of innovation. I guess what I meant to say is Canada lacks drive in the chip realm. The advent of the pizza-flavoured chip is now almost two decades in the past, and was BBQ Chicken all that special a flavour? What I'm trying to say is I'd like to harken back to those heady days of the late 90's where flavours like Fries and Gravy were poppin' off the shelves like jumpin' jellybeans. At least we don't have to look far to see that shining beacon of hope for the world of gluttony: America. God bless her, and God bless Doritos for continuing to be the Reese's of the chip world—few other companies have made snacking more exciting than they.


Not-So-Deep-Throat said...

The more I ate the cheeseburger Dorritos, the more they tasted like vomit. I couldn't finish the $.99 bag

John said...

The next time here you have to try the Counter and Lunchbox Laboratory. Whoa Nelly!

JB said...

Look no further than the Langford Superstore for potato chip flavours such as:

- Feta, Olive Oil & Oregano
- BBQ Baby Back Ribs

And who could resist this one?

- Ballpark Hot Dog Flavour Rippled Potato Chips (apparently made with a hotdog, mustard and relish seasoning)

dk said...

Yah I really wanted to check out Lunchbox Lab, but had limited time. Also it's a ways out of where we were staying downtown.

Langford Superstore sounds like an oasis.