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Is This Seattle’s Best Burger?

Is This Seattle’s Best Burger?


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The Daily Meal recently published our 101 Best Burgers in America for 2014, and in order to compile our ranking, we assembled a list of nearly 200 burgers from all across the country, from Spruce Pine, North Carolina to Hillsboro, Oregon. We then divided these burgers by region, and compiled a survey that was taken by a panel of 50 noted food writers, journalists, bloggers, and culinary authorities from across the country, asking them to vote for their favorites; limited, of course, to the ones that they’d tried. We tallied the results, and published the 101 stellar American burgers with the most votes.

The Classic 8oz at the chain restaurant 8oz Burger Bar snagged the top spot for burgers in Seattle (#40), narrowly beating Dick’s Drive-In’s Dick’s Deluxe, who placed #46. This comes as quite a surprise, as the internet is chock-full of declarations of Dick’s Drive-In’s excellence from adoring fans. Nonetheless, 8oz Burger Bar has earned its place in the ranking; for 60 years, the joint has been serving an unchanging menu of never-frozen eight-ounce burgers delivered daily, hand-cut fries, and milkshakes, and its owners follow the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Deluxe is made up of two patties, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and pickle relish, on a soft, squishy bun, sold for a whopping $2.90. Want onions? That’ll cost you an extra five cents, please.

8oz Burger Bar also took home the prize of the best burger in Miami, so it seems that the chain might be responsible for one of the very best burgers in the country.

Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant/City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.


The Top 16 Quintessential Seattle Things to Eat

1. Oysters
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Ballard
If there’s a single, precious food pulled from our nearby waters that epitomizes Pacific Northwest flavor, it’s the oyster. And this tucked-away bar is, quite simply, the greatest place to enjoy them (market price).

“What can I say, it’s just the best. I send everyone there. There are lots of places to get oysters in town, but they do them right: beautifully shucked in just a magical little place. While you’re there, you might as well get the tartare, sardines and fried oysters, too!” Zoi Antonitsas, chef at soon-to-open Pike Place Market restaurant Little Fish

2. Chicken teriyaki
Toshi’s Teriyaki Grill
Mill Creek
Alongside pho, teriyaki is Seattle’s comfort food, and many foodies credit its origin story to Toshi Kasahara, who opened the first Toshi’s Teriyaki on Lower Queen Anne in 1976. Now, the Toshi’s restaurants throughout the region are owned and operated by others, except at this unassuming strip mall location. There, you’ll find master Kasahara himself grilling tender chicken thighs and slathering them with his proprietary marinade. The beauty of the chicken teriyaki ($7.95) here is in the details: juicy meat, just enough sauce, a pile of rice and the coleslaw that ties it all together.


Short rib pho from Pho Bac Súp Shop

3. Short rib pho
Pho Bac Súp Shop
Chinatown–International District
The long-standing, family-run Pho Bac business has changed guards with the opening of Pho Bac Súp Shop, a passion project of the owners’ kids. With the revamp, they added a few new items to Pho Bac’s notoriously short menu, including this excellent meat-filled bowl.

4. Triple coconut cream pie
Dahlia Bakery
Belltown
If there’s a testament to the power of a homespun dessert, it’s this little slice of legend from Tom Douglas. In 1989, when the coconut cream pie debuted on the menu at Dahlia Lounge, the restaurant made a single pie each day. Now, Douglas’ production bakery in South Lake Union churns out more than 13,000 a year. With a coconut crust, coconut custard and whipped cream sprinkled with toasted coconut, it is the ultimate pie for coconut lovers—and anyone who revels in a little piece of Seattle history. Pick up assorted sizes from bite-size ($3) to whole pies ($47) at Dahlia Bakery.

5. Hot dog
Deep Dive
South Lake Union
Local rumor has it that the Seattle dog—a culinary twist that involves a smear of cream cheese and grilled onions—emerged as king of the late-night foods in the late ’80s. While a dog from one of the after-hours carts is still a rite of passage, you must also partake in the most extravagant version of the dog to date. Called simply the hot dog ($18), it’s on the menu of this breathtaking new bar inside the Amazon Spheres. To cut the richness of the requisite cream cheese, chef Renee Erickson adds pickled jalapeños and red onions, plus salty pops of salmon caviar. It’s cheekily over the top—in the best way.

6. Canlis salad
Canlis
Queen Anne
It’s perhaps the most dated dish on this impressive 68-year-old restaurant’s menu: a simple house salad, tossed tableside and easy to overlook if you don’t know better. But the Canlis salad (available as part of the $135 prix fixe menu) is the very definition of something being greater than the sum of its parts, which are little more than lettuce, herbs, Romano, bacon and a zingy dressing of lemon juice and olive oil. It’s been a favorite of Canlis regulars for decades, and co-owner Mark Canlis says it’s still the most coveted dish at Canlis family gatherings, too: “It’s all my wife craved during her pregnancies. It’s the only salad my kids will eat.”


Passionfruit yogurt from Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt

7. Passionfruit yogurt
Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt
Pike Place Market and other locations
When you turn the corner from Pike Street onto Pike Place, the gleaming, jewel-like case of Ellenos’ yogurt stands out, even from the visual cacophony of Pike Place Market. The yogurt, rich, creamy, thick and bearing little resemblance to traditional supermarket yogurts, wins fans easily. But while the yogurt is Greek style, the family that makes it came here from Australia, and they brought with them the best flavor from there: passionfruit. Brilliantly yellow, sweet and tart, naturally crunchy with seeds, this flavor beats even the local marionberry and the creative, crumble-topped pie flavors on Ellenos’ menu ($4 for a “walkaround” size).

8. Dick’s Deluxe
Dick’s Drive-In
multiple locations
Some things have changed at Seattle’s iconic burger outlet: There are now seven locations, it’s recently started accepting credit cards and customers are allowed to order a plain hamburger. But the Deluxe ($3.40)—two eighth-pound grilled patties, cheese, lettuce, mayo and relish—hasn’t changed one bit. There will always be some who say this isn’t their ideal burger, but for true Seattleites, a Dick’s Deluxe tastes perfect—like nostalgia for late nights in high school and the kind of dates that stretch into the wee hours.

9. Omakase
Sushi Kashiba
Pike Place Market
Sushi chefs around town offer omakase, a chef’s choice tasting menu of the freshest fish many do it well. But one sushi chef in particular is a legend in these parts: Shiro Kashiba.

“I’ve said it a thousand times, Shiro is the best chef in Seattle. And his omakase market price is the perfect way to enjoy the best that the waters of the Pacific Northwest provide, prepared by the best chef in town. Ask for an uni cone!” Ethan Stowell, chef and owner of Ethan Stowell Restaurants

10. Dutch baby
Tilikum Place Café
Belltown
Seattle’s adaptation of this German treat dates back to the early 20th century, but the top spot in the city today for this fluffy, custardy reimagining of a pancake is Tilikum Place Café. A classic Dutch baby ($10), on the brunch and lunch menu, will feature traditional toppings of lemon and powdered sugar, while an upgrade to the sweet Dutch baby ($12) will fetch you spiced pumpkin and cream cheese frosting. For those without a sweet tooth, Tilikum Place also offers a savory variation ($12), filled with duck sausage and goat cheese.

11. Curry beef hom bow
Mee Sum Pastry
Pike Place Market
Although the line stretches out the door at Piroshky Piroshky, the Pike Place Market holds an even better meat-in-bread treat. The hom bow, a specific-to-Seattle nomenclature for Chinese bao, is offered baked or steamed and stuffed with barbecued pork, vegetables or the unique, incredible curry beef ($3.41). At Mee Sum Pastry each morning, the hom bow is made from scratch (arrive early and you can watch) the finely chopped beef and smooth Japanese-style curry is wrapped in dough before it’s baked into a fluffy bun. The crowning touch is the sweet, crunchy top, the perfect foil to the savory stew hidden inside.

12. Old-school geoduck sashimi
Taylor Shellfish
multiple locations
The geoduck is Seattle’s greatest joke: It’s funny looking and funny sounding, but the funniest thing of all is that it’s delicious. Pronouncing the name of this giant phallic-like clam correctly (gooey-duck) serves as a de facto citizenship test for the region, but its truest test is how it brings the briny flavor of Puget Sound and a crunchy-chewy texture to the plate. The simple, thinly sliced version ($18) served at Taylor Shellfish’s Oyster Bar in Melrose Market, which serves pretty much only chilled seafood (unlike the other locations), comes with only a bit of soy sauce and a dab of wasabi.

World’s Best Mac and Cheese from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

13. World’s Best Mac and Cheese
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Pike Place Market and other locations
Today, you can buy frozen versions of Kurt Dammeier’s famous mac and cheese at grocery stores and even Costco, or make it yourself from a recipe that is easily found online. But nothing beats the original version of the dish ($5.99 for 8 ounces), made with penne and a combination of Beecher’s own Flagship and Just Jack cheeses, eaten at Beecher’s Pike Place Market café with a view of the cheesemaking operation. Thick, rich and as gooey as possible, spiked with a bit of garlic powder and a touch of heat from chipotle powder, the dish deserves its boastful name.

14. Seafood chowder
White Swan Public House
South Lake Union
Boston can keep its clams: This is how the Pacific Northwest does chowder, with big chunks of potato, gobs of bacon and plenty of local seafood. The chunky chowder ($15 at dinner) comes stuffed with a rotating selection of local creatures—some days it’s salmon, on other days it’s rockfish or Dungeness crab—and showered with snipped chives. The warm, bacon-scented hug of this hearty bowl of seafood, from this spot on the southeast shores of Lake Union, will be what tows the town through the dark winter months, while the stunning views of the lake and the Seattle skyline—from the restaurant or, in summer, the patio—remind us all of why we live here.

15. Salted caramel ice cream
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
multiple locations
For a climate as cool as ours, we certainly have an abundance of (really great) ice cream. But Molly Moon Neitzel was among the first to bring artisanal scoop shops to Seattle more than 10 years ago, and with it, our favorite flavor.

“My favorite treat is the salted caramel ice cream ($4.50 for a single scoop) at Molly Moon’s. Salted caramel is everywhere as a flavor now, but I’ve never tasted anything that beats this. It’s super rich and dense and amazing. So, I eat with one of the tiny spoons I keep in the silverware drawer—bit by yummy bit—and make it last as long as I can.” Mónica Guzmán, director and cofounder of The Evergrey

Salmon with kasu “risotto” from Opus Co.

16. Salmon with kasu “risotto”
Opus Co.
Phinney Ridge
For a tasty dish that you can be sure came from a sustainable source, this charming neighborhood restaurant serves a seasonal fish ($24)—usually salmon (coho, king, sockeye), but occasionally something like black cod, always from purveyor NW Bounty—with kasu “risotto” made from sake lees (a flavorful by-product of sake production) provided by Ballard-based Tahoma Fuji Sake, and a leafy garnish such as bok choy or Treviso, plus something sweet and tart, like quince or pickled cherries. It may not be iconic yet, but it should be.


THE SPOTS

Bateau

This is the anatomically perfect burger you’d choose over your naked significant other. The patty is substantially-sized, freshly ground from really good beef, and topped with caramelized onion jam and garlic aioli on a challah bun that’s equal parts squishy and toasty. It’s $20 a la carte, and it’s all we want. You won’t crave cheese, hydroponic baby arugula, or even human companionship when you have the best burger you’ll ever find in Seattle.

Taurus Ox

Lettuce, tomato, and onion have their rightful spot in the burger topping Hall of Fame. But Taurus Ox, a Laotian restaurant on Capitol Hill, proves that things like taro stem, spicy lemongrass-y pork skin mayo, jowl bacon, and cilantro deserve a place as well. In addition to all those Laotian ingredients, this double cheeseburger also has a bunch of provolone and gets served on a soft pub bun. The result is a f*cking amazing burger that gives you fresh herbs, nuttiness, and just enough pork fat to not be a greasy mess. It’s the best burger we’ve had in Seattle in a while.

Loretta's Northwesterner

The tavern burger at Loretta’s tastes like a backyard dad burger, but better. This thin little thing with special sauce, pickles, plain American cheese, and onions lives up to the hype, and tastes just as good with a beer at the bar as it does wrapped in wax paper to-go.

Lady Jaye

Lady Jaye’s Happy Hour-only double smashburger is like what would happen if the tavern burger from Loretta’s took a few Crossfit classes. This big beast comes with caramelized onions, a ton of melty American cheese, shaved pickles, and a soft bun that still holds up despite two patties that leak a little bit with each bite. While we used to go to Lady Jaye mainly for the bologna sandwich, we’re now going to pop in at 3pm with a friend and cut one sandwich and one burger in half to share.

Perihelion Brewery

If drippy topping-heavy burgers are your thing, the beacon burger at Perihelion is your ideal meat sandwich. The cheddar, thick pork belly, and chile aioli work better together than Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor in the tap dance sequence in Singing In The Rain. It’s a masterpiece.

Quinn's Pub

There are rumors of a secret daily burger at Quinn’s, but we’re not interested in any of that when their tenured burger is such a hit. The patty is the perfect thickness (and pinkness) and the toppings form a holy trinity of white cheddar, bacon, and horseradish mayo. We’d eat this any day of the week.

FlintCreek Cattle Co.

To get your hands on a butcher’s burger at FlintCreek, you have to be strategic. Get there when they open, sit at the bar, and secure one of the 12 burgers available per service. This burger topped with onion jam, blue cheese, and arugula is excellent.

Sam's Tavern

Some little-known Seattle trivia: The original owner of Sam’s Tavern went on to found a national chain of burger restaurants called Red Robin. Sam’s 50 burger is kind of like a Red Robin burger, only a million times better, and you don’t have to eat it next to a child sticking a crayon up their mother’s nose. It comes topped with bacon, avocado, gouda, and a creamy bacon ranch. Just in case there wasn’t enough bacon, there’s some blended in the patty for good measure. And as an homage to Red Robin, you better believe you get bottomless steak fries with this beautiful thing.

Dead Line

A lot of bars have a burger on the menu, but unless they’re truly outstanding, they kind of all blur together. Dead Line’s, however, is an exception. This South American cocktail spot in Pioneer Square has a burger made from beef ground in-house and topped with herby chimichurri, smoked garlic aioli, fried onions, queso fresco, and Heinz ketchup. Usually, we’d endorse having a burger and a beer anywhere else, but you’ll want a daiquiri with this one.

Ma’ono Fried Chicken & Whisky

Ma’ono specializes in tasty fried chicken, but the best thing on the menu is the burger. The three toppings come together to form the ultimate alliance: caramelized onions, kewpie mayo, and kimchi-infused cheese sauce. Those combined with the well-seasoned patty make this the most addictive burger on this list (and the gooiest). As long as it’s on the menu, we might not care if we never eat the fried chicken again. OK, we’d care a little bit.

Essex

The Essex burger is proof that if you cook a mound of beef like you would a pizza, it’s going to be great. Essex is from the same team behind Delancey, one of our favorite spots for charred pizzas, and their burger is seared in a wood-fired oven as if it were a Neapolitan pie. The result is outrageously good, especially topped with two secret sauces: an orange one that tastes like pepperoni, and a white one that tastes like caesar salad dressing.

Frank's Oyster House

Our first taste of the burger at Frank’s immediately made us drop our utensils and say, “Oh yeah.” That’s how good it is. While everything’s tasty here, skip the oysters and move directly toward the burger for dinner. The well-salted patty, tangy pickled onions, white cheddar, and seafood Louie sauce all in one bite is way better than an evening of slurping down ocean phlegm.

Bite Box

Bite Box is a Queen Anne coffee shop that smells like meat instead of espresso beans. That’s because, in addition to crumb cake and scones, they make an incredible burger. It’s got a lot going for it, like grass-fed beef, a spicy pickle, chipotle aioli, and your choice of cheese (go with cheddar). But the main thing that sets this burger apart is that it comes with a bunch of tender braised oxtail. The only downside to this beautiful creation is that it’s going to ruin a lot of other burgers because they won’t have braised oxtail.

Sawyer

At first, the “animal-style” burger at Sawyer made us angry, because a) it reminds us that Washington state doesn’t have In-N-Out, and b) this burger doesn’t even have cheese. Then we took a bite, softly apologized, and gave the burger a little pat on the bun while onlookers stared. It’s a super tender double wagyu patty with a caramelized onion and mint mornay sauce so rich you will not miss the cheese.

Bar Melusine

The burger at Bar Melusine is like the Bateau burger’s little sister. It’s from the same team, and it’s smaller, not quite as impressive, and is probably super jealous of the older sibling for being more popular, naturally. But while you could fit the whole thing in the palm of your hand, it packs a tasty punch - from the onion jam to the tiny seeded bun.

Shake Shack

If you didn’t know what Shake Shack was until Seattle got one, it’s the result of a world-class restaurateur opening up a near-perfect burger chain. And while the city-specific ones with Washington ranch beef and Macrina buns are good, they’re missing the point when they share menu real estate with the perfection that is the classic shack burger. With crisped edges, cheese, mayo-y shack sauce, and a toasted potato bun, it’s our go-to fast food burger, every time. Sorry Dick’s.

Broiler Bay Burgers

In a faraway land called the Eastside, there’s an ugly little Bellevue burger joint that smells like fryer oil, looks like it hasn’t been updated since they opened in 1989, and serves the best charbroiled cheeseburger in the Seattle metro area. These are juicy and taste terrific with bacon and fry sauce on one of those huge sesame seed hubcap buns. Also, this isn’t an onion ring guide, but we can officially advise you to pop a ring on your burger for a good time.

Bait Shop

Normally, you’d hit up Bait Shop for fish sandwiches and the best fries in the city, but don’t you dare ignore the double cheeseburger, which is exactly what you want while drinking your weight in frozen tiki drinks. If you’re splitting it with someone, they’ll even cut it in half for you, which is super thoughtful considering you’d likely cause an avalanche of lettuce and special sauce if you tried to do it yourself.

Harry's Fine Foods

Harry’s serves a textbook cheeseburger. It looks like an emoji stacked with the usual suspects, and the bun is toasted just right. And somehow, the not-so-compact texture of the patty makes us feel like we’re eating an old-school burger from a ’50s diner. We like it best with a negroni on the side.

206 Burger Company

Everyone has their local Seattle fast food mom and pop kind of place that they’ll defend to the death. Ours is 206. Their burgers are delicious, and come in many varieties - they even have one that’s marinated in Indian spices. The one that makes us happy every time is the classic, covered in their house sauce which is a little smoky, a little sweet, and would even make raw cauliflower taste great.

8oz Burger Bar

Maybe you throw your head back and laugh in the face of thin patties. If so, 8 Oz. Burger Bar is your home. Their half-pound burgers almost look like cue balls, and come with creative toppings like braised short rib and gruyere fondue. Our favorite, though, is the namesake 8 Oz., which has bacon, arugula, Beecher’s, balsamic onions, and truffle aioli. Name anything that can’t be improved by truffle aioli. OK, name anything other than chocolate cake or orange juice.


Quintessential Seattle Food

Smoked salmon

where to get it: Drifters Fish or a Seattle fish market

I’d be remiss to not start this list with the most Seattle ingredient: salmon. There are five types in the Pacific Northwest: Chinook (also called king), coho, chum, sockeye, and pink. Salmon are abundant as far north as Alaska. But the numerous rivers and lakes in Washington state are prime spawning grounds for salmon.

Salmon is revered by Pacific Northwest Native American tribes, who prepare it in special ceremonies each year to honor their gift and sacrifice. One popular way of preparing it is through smoking, which prolongs the shelf life and and creates an addictive sweet and smoky protein.

Smoked salmon is one of the best Seattle gifts you can get online. You can pick it up in Pike Place Market, but my favorite versions are found at local Seattle fish markets.

You can also buy it directly from fisherman-owned Drifter’s Fish. Husband and wife, Michael and Nelly, head to Alaska each year to fish and then come back to Seattle to sell it to locals.

Oysters

Washington State is the largest producer of oysters in the US. I always thought I didn’t like oysters growing up on the east coast. But once I tried Pacific Northwest oysters I was converted. They’re sweeter than anywhere else I’ve had oysters, and not unbearably briny or large. If you haven’t had oysters before, there’s no better place to try them than in Seattle.

The best places to get this quintessential Seattle food is at an oyster bar. The Walrus and the Carpenter is one of the best fish restaurants in Seattle and serves oysters from Hama Hama Oysters. They have a posh restaurant in Ballard that you won’t be able to stop taking photos of.

Taylor Shellfish Farms grows its own oysters up in Skagit Valley about an hour north of Seattle. Visiting their farm is one of my favorite things to do in Skagit County. But you can get their fresh oysters at their oysters bars in Seattle’s Capitol Hill and Queen Anne neighborhoods.

Clam chowder from Pike Place Chowder

website | 1530 Post Alley (Downtown) | pro tip:avoid their Pike Place Market location

Being from the east coast, there’s nothing I love more than a good bowl of clam chowder. Given our proximity to fresh seafood, Seattle makes a pretty mean version.

The best place to get clam chowder is Pike Place Chowder. It’s a New England-style chowder and has the perfect consistency. I love how it’s bacon-y and a touch spicy, but you can still really taste the clam.

A lot of people line up to get it from their Pike Place Market location. But locals know to skip it when touring Pike Place Market. Instead, order it online for delivery or visit their location inside Pacific Place a few blocks away from Pike Place Market.

Seattle hot dog

where to get it: Dante’s Inferno Dogs in Ballard (directions) or any late-night hot dog stand in Capitol Hill or Belltown

I’ll never forget the first time I had a famous Seattle hot dog. I was in my early 20s, a little drunk, and ate it hunched over outside of a bar at 1 am. It was a revelation, and I’m adamant it wasn’t the booze affecting my senses.

A Seattle hot dog consists of cream cheese and caramelized onions. The heat from the dog melts the cream cheese and transforms the flavor from what you’re used to spreading on a bagel. Instead it’s slightly sweeter and goes perfectly with the greasy frank.

The truest way to experience this quintessential Seattle food is from a nondescript hot dog stand outside the bars in Capitol Hill or Belltown, but my absolute favorite version of this is from Dante’s Inferno Dogs. It’s a hot dog cart at the Ballard Farmers Market on Sundays that serves Seattle dogs with all the fixings. It’s one of my go-to Seattle restaurants when I’m looking for some comfort food.

My go-to order is a jalapeño cheddar sausage with cream cheese, onions, kraut, relish, and mustard. I love it so much I included it as one of the stops on my self-guided Seattle food tour of the Ballard neighborhood.

Ellenos yogurt

website | 1500 Pike Pl (Downtown) | pro tip:grab a pint at any food store

I don’t really like yogurt. I find it too tangy and, honestly, it usually makes me gag to eat it by itself.

But that all changed the first time I had Ellenos. It’s a super creamy Greek yogurt that isn’t tangy at all. The plain is so good you could get it by itself and likely never find a better yogurt anywhere else. But the must-try flavor is the lemon curd. It’s a lovely version of the sweet and sour dessert that goes beautifully with their yogurt.

You can visit their Pike Place Market location for the widest breadth of options. However, it’s distributed in most Seattle food stores so grab a pint and enjoy it from the comfort of home.

Coffee

Many people go to Pike Place Market to visit the original Starbucks, but let me fill you in on a few secrets. First, the original Starbucks closed. The one in Pike Place isn’t the OG. Second, there is way better coffee than your typical Starbucks reserve roast.

I take my coffee very seriously, so I wrote a whole blogpost on the best coffee in Seattle. A lot of them ship, so order a few bags for when you get home! Here is a guide on how to choose the best coffee for French press and brew the perfect cup.

Molly Moon’s ice cream

website | 1622.5 N 45th St (Wallingford) | pro tip:get a waffle cone

Molly Moon’s is the original artisan ice cream place in Seattle, and many would argue they have the best ice cream in Seattle period. They making funky flavors like earl gray, honey lavender, and the like, all of which are so flavorful you don’t need to add any whipped cream or other sundae toppings.

Their must-get flavor is salted caramel. It’s super flavorful, way more than any salted caramel flavor I’ve ever had before. You can get it from their original Wallingford location, or from their 8 other locations around the city.

Beecher’s mac and cheese

website | 1600 Pike Pl (Downtown) | pro tip:you can get their cheese and frozen mac and cheese at most Seattle grocers

You can watch Beecher’s Handmade Cheese stirring milk into cheese through the large windows of their Pike Place Market flagship location. They use their excellent cheese to make a super creamy mac and cheese that has gained a cult following. It’s become such a quintessential Seattle food that you can find it in most grocery stores, Sea-Tac airport, and even at some restaurants.

I never had pho until I moved to Seattle. This Vietnamese soup is the ultimate comfort food, sort of like chicken noodle soup is in the US. You can get “pho ga” made with chicken or “pho bo” with an endless variety of meats like thinly-sliced steak, brisket, soft tendon, tripe, and meatballs. Regardless of the meat base, the mechanics are the same: a deeply flavorful bone broth steeped with star anise and other spices, then served with noodles, Thai basil, jalapeños, bean sprouts, lime, hoisin sauce, and spicy chili sauce.

Wander around Chinatown-International District and you’ll find a lot of options for authentic pho. One of my favorites is Phở Bắc Sup Shop. It’s owned by siblings Khoa, Quynh, and Yenvy Pham who grew up washing dishes in the OG Phở Bắc opened by their parents in 1982 inside the iconic red boat building. They refreshed it and opened up the sup shop with some of the best short rib pho I’ve ever tasted.

My go-to pho for when I want something quick and cheep is Pho Than Brothers. They have a few locations around the city, but the one in Ballard is my local haunt. I order a small pho ga without even looking at the menu and slurp it up quickly, rushing to get to the cream puff that they serve with it.

Rachel’s Ginger Beer

website | 1530 Post Alley (Downtown) | pro tip:get a float or alcoholic beverage

Rachel got started making ginger beer out of the kitchen of a restaurant she was working at. She had lived in Europe and grew to love the British ginger beers that weren’t too sweet, so she began experimenting to bring that version home.

The bartenders at the restaurants in her inner circle kept asking for more, craving the simple ginger beer with just fresh ginger root, lemon, organic cane sugar, and Seattle tap water. From there she opened her flagship store in Pike Place Market, and has since opened up a few locations around the city and now offers shipping.

Rachel’s Ginger Beer cafes are quite trendy and a great place to throw a few back with friends. You can get the beer “soft” or “hard” with alcohol, or go crazy and have it with ice cream in a float.

Fried chicken

You may not think of Seattle when you think fried chicken, but there’s a big under-the-radar fried chicken scene here. The OG who started the craze is Ezell Stephens, who opened Ezell’s Fried Chicken with his then-wife Faye, her brothers Lewis Rudd, and his brother Sam. They built it into a local empire so good, Oprah asked them to cook at her birthday party in 1990 so she could have her favorite fried chicken.

Ezell’s is an institution and worth trying at least once. Unfortunately Ezell and his co-founders had a falling out that resulted in him leaving the company and starting a new fried chicken company called Heaven Sent. I love Heaven Sent, and many say Ezell brought the best fried chicken with him to his new business.

Another great option for fried chicken is JuneBaby. It’s owned by James Beard-winning Edouardo Jordan who is acclaimed for bringing authentic Southern food to Seattle and educating people on Black history. During non-pandemic times the wait for fried chicken dinners at the restaurant could up upward of 2 hours, but it’s worth the effort for his take on the classic.

Geoduck

I’d never heard of geoduck until I moved to Seattle. It’s essentially a big ass clam native to the Pacific Northwest. You’ll find it on menus at seafood and sushi restaurants in Washington state more than anywhere else in the US.

The first time I had it was at Shiro’s Sushi and it was kind of life changing. During non-pandemic times they serve it on their a la carte menu sautéed in butter with mushrooms. It’s so flavorful and tender, like an amped up version of clams dipped in butter at a clam bake.

Black cod

Black cod, or sablefish, is another ingredient I didn’t know about until I moved to Seattle. That’s because it’s found on the west coast, most common in Alaska but also found along the coast of the Pacific Northwest and California.

It’s a very common fish in Asian cuisine because it’s super fatty and goes well with acidic condiments or the umami flavors in miso. Shiro’s makes a beautiful version of this fish, but my favorite is at RockCreek in Fremont, one of North Seattle’s best restaurants.

Their signature dish is a black cod inspired by Vietnamese flavors. It has a nuoc cham-style sauce, a heaping pile of herbs, and crispy fried shallots. They sometimes make this dish with sea bass, but the fattiness of the black cod is where this dish really shines. I love it so much that I included this dish as a must-eat during my self-guided food tour of Fremont.

Fish and chips

Obviously there is more fish to be had on this list of quintessential Seattle food. Given how good our seafood scene is here, it’s not surprise that fried fish is a must get.

My absolute favorite is actually one of the best Bainbridge Island restaurants: Proper Fish. It used to be a Seattle food truck called Nosh before moving over to this island that’s a 20 minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. They are making some of the best fish and chips I’ve had in the US. It’s always perfectly seasoned and has a really flavorful crust. And it’s served with these minty mushy peas I never knew I needed in my life.

Artisan chocolate

Theo Chocolate was the first Fair Trade chocolate maker in the US, so Seattle knows its artisan chocolate. You can take a tour at their factory in Fremont and learn all about how cacao is grown and harvested. I used to live a few blocks away from it and could always smell chocolate wafting through the neighborhood.

Another quintessential Seattle food is the salted caramels from Fran’s. There is a gray salt and smoked salt version, which you can buy in a combo pack at PCC Natural Market. They are chewy, salty goodness that makes one of the best Pacific Northwest food gifts to bring home as a souvenir.

Dick’s Burger

website | locations in Greenwood, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, and Wallingford | pro tip:the deluxe cheeseburger is the only way to go

Dick’s is such a Seattle institution, Sir Mix-a-Lot shouted it out in his song Posse on Broadway:

“Now the posse’s gettin’ hungry, and Mix-A-Lot’s treatin’
We stopped at Taco Bell, for some Mexican eatin’
But Taco Bell was closed, the girls was on my tip
They said, “Go back the other way, we’ll stop and eat at Dick’s”

They make super cheap drive in-style burgers, fries, and shakes. They’re on the same level as McDonald’s, but definitely better both in terms of quality and taste. If you want to explore some of the best burgers in Seattle, make sure to visit this place.

Cupcakes

I remember the cupcake craze was going strong when I first moved to Seattle. The first one offering it in Seattle was Cupcake Royale, who made mini cakes a thing like Dunkin’ Donuts made munchkins happen. My dad used to always request we come here every time he visit, and with good reason because this place has a cult following.

However, my favorite cupcake place is Trophy. They have a few locations around the city and also offer Seattle dessert delivery. I find their cakes to be moister and lighter than Cupcake Royale, but visit both and decide for yourself which you like best!

Teriyaki

Seattle has less than 15 McDonald’s, but there are more than 100 teriyaki restaurants within the metro area. That goes to show teriyaki is Seattle’s OG fast food.

Seattle Weekly has a really interesting article on the origin of teriyaki in Seattle. They write how Toshihiro Kasahara opened Toshi Teriyaki in the 1970s and grew it into a franchise that solidified teriyakis presence in the Pacific Northwest.

While Toshi’s isn’t open anymore, Grillbird is a newcomer making excellent teriyaki. I don’t typically love teriyaki because it can be too saucy, but I love how Grillbird makes it light on the sauce. You don’t miss it with how juicy the chicken is, a far cry from the dried out versions I’ve had before. This is one of the best restaurants in West Seattle, so make sure to give it a visit!

Caribbean sandwich

where to get it: Paseo or Un Bien

Ask anyone the quintessential Seattle sandwich and they’ll refer you to Paseo, a Caribbean sandwich spot with locations in Fremont and SoDo. They make exceptional messy Caribbean roast sandwiches with juicy pork shoulder, grilled onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and aioli. This sandwich is so good, it was voted the #2 most loved restaurant in 2014 on Yelp.

Unfortunately Paseo went through some drama where employees sued the owners for lack of payment. It resulted in a settlement and a huge exodus of its staff to Un Bien. There’s a lot of opinions out there that Un Bien now has the best sandwich, and I have to say I agree in a taste test, but Paseo still makes one mean sandwich and is a quintessential Seattle food you have to try.

Hot cakes

website | 5327 Ballard Ave NW (Ballard) or 1650 E Olive Way (Capitol Hill) | pro tip:visit the Capitol Hill location for chocolate dip ice cream

Hot Cakes serves molten chocolate cakes that have such a cult following, lines can be out the door for hours during non-pandemic times. In fact, they’ve grown so much since they opened that they now ship their molten cakes nationwide so anyone can get their hands on some of the best dessert in Seattle.

While I love me a good molten cake, my secret favorite item here is the ice cream available at their Capitol Hill location. They serve chocolate dip, which is a hardened shell around soft serve ice cream. I grew up eating these on the east coast and they’re difficult to find in the Pacific Northwest. Hot Cakes’ version has a thicker shell that’s more flavorful than the chemicals I’m sure they use to make the ones from my childhood. If you’ve never had this treat, add it to your list of quintessential food in Seattle!

Other Famous Seattle Foods

Washington state is known for these ingredients, so if you see them on a menu, get them!

  • Apples
  • Rainier cherries
  • Walla Walla sweet onions
  • Marionberries
  • Huckleberries
  • Mussels
  • Dungeness crab
  • Mushrooms
  • Truffles (the savory kind from the ground)

More Seattle Food to Try

Once you’re done eating through this list of quintessential Seattle food, go on the hunt for some of the other best types of food in Seattle.


These Burger Recipes Are Totally Delicious And Super Easy To Make

Finding a decent burger recipe can be hard, so we thought we'd help out. Burgers are one of our favourite kind of meals, you can layer them with almost anything you want, smother them in sauce and enjoy them alongside some proper chunky chips. But the thing we love most is that they're SO incredibly easy to make! Whether it's a hearty Beef Burger, delectable Salmon Burger or even a selection of Bacon Burger Bites, you'll be whipping up dinner in no time.

From the bun to patty ratio, the perfectly melted cheese, and of course the BIG MAC SAUCE, we can't get enough of this burger.

We wanted to use the traditional meal as inspiration for something a little more modern, and a chicken and haggis burger was a no-brainer. The patty is a mixture of chicken and haggis wrapped in cured streaky bacon. This is topped with melted Scottish Cheddar, and finished with a whisky and mustard mayonnaise.

Finding alternatives to meat can be hard, but we think these burgers really nail it. The secret? Stop trying to make them taste like beef, and focus on the flavour!

This grilled halloumi burger is so tasty, and the addition of a tangy sweetcorn salsa makes it a MEGA BBQ idea.


Seattle StyleTeriyaki

Teriyaki is a pretty big deal in Seattle. With more teriyaki joints occupying the region than the top 5 fast food chains combined, Seattle’s love for teriyaki is undeniable. Teriyaki has become an iconic dish of Seattle, just like pizza in New York and cheesesteaks in Philadelphia.

“Seattle boasts some of the best chicken teriyaki you will find in the world.”

- Travel Channel

Watch Travel Channel’s episode on Seattle teriyaki.

History of Teriyaki in Seattle

Toshi Kasahara, a Japanese chef and longtime Seattle resident, is widely regarded as the godfather of Seattle teriyaki. In 1976, Toshi opened Seattle’s first teriyaki joint near the Space Needle.

Locals immediately embraced the flavor of Toshi’s chargrilled, smoky-sweet chicken, and over the next few decades hundreds of teriyaki shops sprung up across town to satisfy Seattle’s craving for this new style of teriyaki.

“Modern teriyaki was pioneered in Seattle in the 70s.”

What is Seattle Style Teriyaki?

In Japan, the term “teriyaki” (照り焼き) describes a traditional cooking technique of grilling meat or fish over an open flame, while basting with sauce. The Japanese teriyaki sauce is usually made from a mixture of soy sauce, sugar and rice wine.

Seattle style teriyaki takes a slight departure from the traditional Japanese method. Fresh ginger and garlic is blended into the teriyaki sauce, which is then used as a marinade to soak meat overnight. The marinated meat is grilled over gas or charcoal and finished with a drizzle of teriyaki sauce. It’s beautifully charred on the outside and juicy on the inside. The flavor is a carefully balanced savory-sweet with a hint of smokiness.

“It’s a simple but sophisticated dish, with its success lying in the quality of a few ingredients and the nuanced balance between them.”

- Cook’s Country

Try the Seattle teriyaki recipe featured on the June/July 2020 issue of Cook’s Country.


Seattle's 48 Best Sandwiches

Is there anything better than a BLT on toast? A Reuben on rye? A grilled cheese on a rainy day? Sandwiches are the Barcaloungers of comfort food—and Seattle has some spectacular specimens. So sit back, relax and salivate at the prospect of enjoying one—or all—of the 48 sandwiches we’re delivering this month. Chips not included.

The Bucket List
Before you kick it, you simply have to try The 5 Best Sandwiches in Seattle at least once. or twice

The Classics
When you’re craving something familiar, these are the sandwiches you just can’t do without

One-Of-A-Kind Faves
Some sammies are hard to categorize, but oh so easy to swallow

Gyros

Sure, the Greeks gave us democracy. But even with lots of tzatziki, democracy doesn’t taste nearly as good as Greece’s other notable contribution to the world: the gyro.

Bánh Mì
Global politics aside, one of the great benefits of French involvement in Vietnam has to be this baguette-based sandwich, traditionally incorporating thin slices of pickled carrot, daikon, cucumbers, chile peppers and various meat (or tofu) fillings.

The Delicatessens
OK, this isn’t New York, but it’s not impossible to find a decent deli in the Great Northwest

Pulled Pork

It’s the sandwich trend du jour and these places—some new, some well seasoned—know how to play this little piggy to spectacular effect

Salad Sandwiches

Nothing takes you back to grade school like a basic tuna, chicken or egg salad sandwich. The best part about these: They hang together pretty well, so you can savor serenely—and leave the Shop-Vac at home.

Only in Seattle
This list could go on for days—Seattle restaurants are nothing if not diligent in localizing the classics with the bounty of the Northwest. Here are some of our favorites.

Sandwich Central
Where to find our featured sandwiches

Aladdin Gyrocery
University District
4139 University Way NE
206.632.5253

Baguette Box
Fremont
626 N 34th St.
206.632.1511
Capitol Hill
1203 Pine St
206.332.0220
baguettebox.com

Bakeman’s Restaurant
Downtown
122 Cherry St.
206.622.3375

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Pike Place Market
1600 Pike Place
206.956.1964
beechershandmadecheese.com

Buffalo Deli
Downtown
2123 First Ave., Suite B
206.728.8759

Café Happy
Kirkland
102 Kirkland Ave.
425.822.9696

Café Presse
Capitol Hill
1117 12th Ave.
206.709.7674
cafepresseseattle.com

DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine
Pike Place Market
1435 First Ave.
206.622.0141
delaurenti.com

Delicatus
Pioneer Square
103 First Ave. S
206.623.3780
delicatusseattle.com

Dinette
Capitol Hill
1514 E Olive Way
206.328.2282
dinetteseattle.com

Elliott Bay Café
Pioneer Square
103 S Main St.
206.682.6664
elliottbaycafe.com

Elliott’s Oyster House
Waterfront
1201 Alaskan Way
206.623.4340
elliottsoysterhouse.com

Facing East Taiwanese Restaurant
Bellevue
1075 Bellevue Way NE, Suite B-2
425.688.2986

George’s Sausage and Delicatessen
First Hill
907 Madison St.
206.622.1491

Grand Central Baking Company
Pioneer Square
214 First Ave. S
206.622.3644

Grinders Hot Sands
Shoreline
19811 Aurora Ave. N
206.542.0627

homegrown sustainable sandwich shop
Fremont
3416 Fremont Ave. N
206.453.5232
Capitol Hill
1531 Melrose Ave.
206.682.0935
eathomegrown.com

I Love New York Deli
University District
5200 Roosevelt Way NE
206.523.0606
Pike Place Market
93 Pike St., #4
206.381.3354
ilovenewyorkdeli.net

Kingfish Café
Capitol Hill
602 19th Ave. E
206.320.8757
thekingfishcafe.com

KISS Café and Wine Bar
Ballard
2817 NW Market St
206.789.5477

Louisa’s Café and Bakery
Eastlake
2379 Eastlake Ave. E
206.325.0081
louisascafe.com

Luna Park Café
West Seattle
2918 SW Avalon Way
206.935.7250
lunaparkcafe.com

Marination Mobile
Various locations
marinationmobile.com

Matt’s in the Market
Pike Place Market
94 Pike St., Suite 32
206.467.7909
mattsinthemarket.com

Mawadda Café
Hillman City
4433 S Graham St.
206.760.0911

MELT CAFE
Magnolia
2818 Thorndyke Ave. W
206.453.3745
meltcafe-seattle.com

Mr. Gyro’s
Greenwood
8411 Greenwood Ave. N
206.706.7472
davidmwall.com/mrgyro/

Nettletown
Eastlake
2238 Eastlake Ave. E
206.588.3607

The Other Coast Café
Ballard
5315 Ballard Ave. NW
206.789.0936
othercoastcafe.com

Paseo
Ballard
6226 Seaview Ave. NW
206.789.3100
Fremont
4225 Fremont Ave. N
206.545.7440
paseoseattle.com

Pear Delicatessen
Pike Place Market
1926 Pike Place
206.443.1926

Pecos Pit BBQ
SoDo
2260 First Ave. S
206.623.0629

Pig Iron Bar-B-Q
Georgetown
5602 First Ave. S
206.768.1009
pigironbbq.net

Pike Street Fish Fry
Capitol Hill
925 E Pike St.
206.329.7453
pikestreetfishfry.blogspot.com

Plum Vegan Bistro
Capitol Hill
1429 12th Ave. E, Suite B
206.838.5333
plumbistroseattle.com

Quinn’s
Capitol Hill
1001 E Pike St.
206.325.7711
quinnspubseattle.com

Rizzo’s French Dip
Ballard
7334 15th Ave. NW
206.588.2841

Roy’s BBQ
Columbia City
4903 1/2 Rainier Ave. S
206.723.7697
royscolumbiacity.com

Sage Café
Capitol Hill
324 15th Ave.
206.325.6429
hillsidequickie.com

Saigon Deli
International District
1237 S Jackson St.
206.322.3700

Salumi
Pioneer Square
309 Third Ave. S
206.621.8772
salumicuredmeats.com

Seattle Deli
International District
225 12th Ave. S
International District
206.328.0106

Smarty Pants
Georgetown
6017 Airport Way S
206.762.4777
smartypantsseattle.com

Spring Hill
West Seattle
4437 California Ave. SW
206.935.1075
springhillnorthwest.com

The Swinery
West Seattle
3207 California Ave. SW
206.932.4211
swinerymeats.com

Tat’s Delicatessen
Pioneer Square
159 Yesler Way
206.264.8287
tatsdeli.com

Three Girls Bakery
Pike Place Market
1514 Pike Place, Suite 1
206.622.1045


Classic Drive-In Burger Recipe

How many times this summer have you attended or hosted a gathering where hotdogs and hamburgers were served?
Okay – I’m sure there’s a lot of you. So tell me can you recall the last time you ate a burger and were so smitten with it at first bite you knew you would have another if you could? I’m guessing it is more likely that you been eating the same style burger over and over again all summer, like it’s an overplayed top 10 song on the radio. It’s there, and it’s okay, but it isn’t very special. After all, how special can a plain white hamburger bun, cooked beef patty, lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mustard be?

Well, it depends. By watching the line cooks at one of America’s favorite burger places I’ve learned that it’s the small details and little extras that go a long way in making the perfect burger. It just depends on how much effort you want to put into making an awesome burger. Here are some suggestions that will elevate and transform the typical summer backyard burger into a burger everyone will love, and not just eat because it’s there.

Buns – From the cheapo package of $1.50 buns to the $6 gourmet brioche variety, I’ve learned the secret to making buns more special is to spread a thin layer of either mayo or softened butter on the cut sides and grill or toast them so they are soft on one side and slightly toasted on the other. For the record, I prefer mayo. Either works and the added texture and flavor from the toasted side is noticeable enough to take your burger up several notches. Think of the difference it would make if you didn’t butter the bread when you made a grilled cheese sandwich – that’s the difference I’m talking about!

Condiments and toppings – You know when people say “the more the merrier?” Well, it’s true. A variety of condiments and toppings beyond lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard, and ketchup can go a long way in increasing the flavor profile of a burger. Even flavoring mayonnaise with a little pesto, sriracha, garlic powder, or anything else you want can transform a decent burger to an awesome one. If you have the time add caramelized onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Yellow mustard is fun, but now you can go the store and buy so many different kinds of mustard it’s crazy! Personally I love a spicy Dijon, but honey mustard is also a weakness of mine.
Lettuce – Ice berg is classic, but mix greens can make a burger look and taste more grown-up. I like a little arugula on mine.

Cheese – The last cheeseburger I made used smoked Gouda instead of my go-to medium cheddar. I also like blue cheese if I have any on hand. And the combination of melted Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms are made for each other.
Sauces – Although I could go on and on about toppings (bacon, avocado, relish, pickled peppers, fried runny eggs, etc.) it’s worth mentioning that “special sauces” can also make a burger really stand out. Balsamic glazes, sweet onion sauces, secret bbq sauces, thinned pepper jelly sauce, and many more can turn a regular burger into a “Signature” burger people will remember you by. My husband’s uncle was born in India, and when he hosts a barbeque he always adds condiments that make it his special recipe. For instance yogurt infused with mint and lemon, sweet tamarind paste, and chili sauces are always on the table to add to our burger.

Seasoning – Lastly, I cannot stress the importance of seasoning the hamburger patty with at least salt and pepper. Meat needs salt. When people cook steaks they often season it well with salt and pepper on both sides, so why wouldn’t you do the same with a hamburger patty? I see so many people not seasoning their burgers and it always puzzles me because in my opinion the meat is often too bland without it.

There are times you may want to prepare more simple hamburgers. When I’m hosting a lot of people, for example, I prefer to keep it simple. Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite burgers I often make at parties because it’s SO GOOD without being obnoxious. It is the flavor of the burger that hits the spot. It’s partly inspired by the “Special,” a very popular burger at Seattle’s famous and beloved Dick’s Drive-In. This is neither a copy-cat recipe nor an attempt to be a better version of it. It is simply a recipe inspired by the “Special” (so don’t send me hate mail, please).

I would love to know if you have a special burger combination that you’re known for. Share it with us in the comments below.


Chinatown/International District

Pho Bac $ — Opened in 1982, Pho Bac is Seattle’s first pho restaurant. At the heart of Pho Bac is its broth. The restaurant marinates beef bone marrows with spices for 10 hours to create the perfect beef broth. Choose from beef, chicken breast, prawn, or vegetarian pho. There’s also staples like bánh mì and bún (vermicelli noodles with protein on top). You’ll be served in a long room with a high ceiling, exposed brick, brightly colored metal chairs, large prints on the walls, and festive lights hanging from the ceiling. When they say they close at 9:00 PM, they mean it. Get there by 8:00 PM (7:00 PM on Sundays) to make sure you get service.

Tai Tung $ — This fifth-generation family business is one of Seattle’s oldest Chinese restaurants. It still serves the same family recipes from when it first opened in 1935. In the 1960s, actor and martial artist Bruce Lee was a regular at Tai Tung, always ordering his favorite dish: oyster sauce beef. With a simple setting, the paneled walls are covered in pictures and posters of Bruce Lee. There are seafood dishes and traditional favorites, like shrimp with crab sauce, squid with ginger, and Chinese mushrooms with abalone.

King Noodle $ — Build your own noodle bowl at this casual and intimate restaurant in Chinatown. Choose your soup base, noodle, and toppings like free-range chicken, beef brisket, and wontons. There are also rice dishes, mixed noodles, and soups. Since it’s a small setting, there may be a wait, but it’s well worth it.


Burgers 101

A burger might seem quite simple to prepare, but not all burger recipes are created equal. Whether it’s for a pan-seared burger made on a stovetop, or a classic backyard burger served at a Fourth of July barbecue, the perfect burger recipe starts with the right cooking techniques.

Keeping Burgers from Sticking to the Grill

SCRAPE CLEAN

Heat your grill up before cleaning it with a sturdy grill brush. Any residual debris will come off hot grates much easier than cool ones.

SLICK DOWN

Grab a wad of paper towels with a pair of long-handled tongs and dip them in a bowl of vegetable oil. When the towels have absorbed the oil, run them over the cleaned grill grate.

BUILD UP SEASONING

The oil will burn off at first. Continue to dip the towels into oil and slick down the grate it will become "nonstick." When the grate turns black and glossy, your grill is good to go.

Hamburger Keys to Success

Three common mistakes to avoid in the quest for the perfect burger.

DON'T UNDERSEASON

Just dusting salt on the exterior of shaped patties doesn’t cut it. Put the ground beef in a bowl. Lightly break up the meat with your hands and sprinkle evenly with salt. Use 1 teaspoon of table salt for 1½ pounds of ground beef, the amount you will need for four burgers.

DON'T OVERWORK

Ground beef is not Play-Doh. The more you handle it, the denser and more rubbery it will become when cooked. After you’ve seasoned the meat, divide it into individual portions and, with lightly cupped hands, shape into patties. As soon as the patties hold together, stop!

DON'T PRESS

Flip the burgers just once—after they’ve developed deep brown grill marks—and don’t be tempted to press on them. Pressing down on the burgers as they cook squeezes out the flavorful juices, which end up in your grill (causing flare-ups) instead of in your burgers.

Hamburger Temperature Guide

Many of us depend on thermometers when we’re grilling expensive steaks, but when we grill (cheap) burgers, we think we needn’t bother. Wrong. For consistently delicious burgers cooked to just the right degree of doneness, don’t guess. Take the temperature in the center of each burger with an instant-read thermometer.

MEDIUM-RARE BURGER: 125 to 130 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes per side

MEDIUM BURGER: 135 to 140 degrees, 3 to 4 minutes per side

MEDIUM-WELL BURGER: 145 to 160 degrees, 4 to 5 minutes per side

WELL-DONE BURGER: 160 degrees and up, 5 minutes and up per side

Burger Bulge

Making a shallow indentation in the center of the patty is the first step toward a great burger.

The collagen, or connective tissue, in ground meat shrinks when heated. This causes the bottom and sides of the meat to tighten like a belt, which forces the surface of the burger to expand. To prevent a bubble burger, press a 1/4-inch divot, or indentation, in the center of each patty. The collagen will still tighten, but the indented meat won't bulge.

FLAT PATTIES

If you start with a flat burger patty.

BULGING BURGERS

. you'll end up with a bulging burger like this one.

DIVOTED PATTIES

Pressing a small divot into the center of each patty.

FLAT BURGERS

. keeps the burgers from bulging. The result? Perfect burgers.

Start With the Right Beef

Most recipes simply call for "ground beef," but, as any supermarket shopper knows, the choices are much more varied. What are the differences between ground round, ground chuck, and ground sirloin? And what about fat content, which can range as low as 7 percent?

To find out, we prepared burgers using each type of ground beef and held a blind tasting, asking tasters to comment on the taste and texture of each burgers The results were clear differences between the cuts were obvious and noted across the board. Types of ground beef are listed below in order of preference.

Ground Chuck

Cut from the shoulder, ground chuck ranges from 15 to 20 percent fat and was favored by our tasters for its "rich" flavor and "tender," "moist" texture. The best choice for burgers.

Ground Sirloin

Tasters found ground sirloin a bit "dry" in burgers, though it did have "good beef flavor." Cut from the midsection of the animal near the hip, ground sirloin usually ranges in fat content from 7 to 10 percent.

Ground Round

Lean and tough, ground round comes from the rear upper leg and rump of the cow. Tasters rejected the round as "gristly" and "lacking beef flavor." The fat content ranges from 10 to 20 percent.

Ground Beef

Any cut or combination of cuts can be labeled "ground beef," so consistency is a problem. Because ground beef may have as much as 30 percent fat, greasiness can also be an issue. Our tasters dismissed the ground beef as "mushy," with an "old boiled beef taste."


Watch the video: Μπιφτέκια Κοτόπουλο. Άκης Πετρετζίκης


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