So yesterday was my day off and I had every intention to do nothing, sit around, do laundry, clean, etc… All of that exciting Sunday stuff. Well, I fought off boredom for about 4 hours until the craving for a good burger came over me. Like most times I get a food craving, I acted on it. I hit up my bacon-eating-partner-in-crime, Tyler, to help me commit mass destruction on as many different kinds of meat smooshed between two pieces of bread with innocent bystanders of lettuce, tomato, cheese and whatever else makes its way in between. Our obvious choice was the nearby Lunchbox Laboratory, located in South Lake Union.. This trip was especially dedicated to the recently late, great, former owner of Lunchbox Laboratory, Scott Simpson.
After being, yet again, under the mercy of Seattle Metro, I show up late and join Tyler at the bar while we wait for a table. The “funkadelic” new location is inviting- bright, clean, and smells of bacon- and is a good size; big enough to handle a busy night but small enough to still feel like a local gem. Its a colorful splash in the grey midst of condo buildings, offices and construction on the corner of Thomas & Pontius Ave N, formerly the Southlake Grill. Lunchbox is the self-proclaimed “Best Burger in America” spot in Seattle and I have every intention of doing my research on supporting that proclamation.
On any other occasion, I would select a libation from their decent local beer selection while browsing the menu. Instead, we choose to share a milkshake. After much debate over the selection, we choose the Nutella flavor. It is a good milkshake, though not as good as the salted-caramel flavor that we had a few weeks ago which was damn near perfect. We were seated a few minutes later, ready to order, and out of the fifteen or so different burgers on the menu, it took only mere seconds for both of us to decide on the Kansas City Slasher, one of their specials, with a side of tater tots, of course. They have other sides available such as skinny potato fries, sweet potato fries, potato chips, and potato salad.
We are like giggly school girls when our plates arrive. This, folks, is an intense burger. It is a precariously placed, skyscraper of a concoction made up of their “Dork” patty (house blended duck+pork+spice blend= YOM), red cabbage slaw, barbeque sauce, cheddar, and bacon. Now, if this burger wasnt ginormous enough already, I add two servings of the onion, lettuce, tomato, pickle fixin’s (Tyler is, by my definition, crazy, because he does not like tomatoes, onion, or pickles. With coaching and support, we’ll get over this.). We were seated in a small booth, in the full view of every other diner and I didnt care that I had sauce dripping down my arm. It is part of the experience to go through twenty napkins.
This burger is almost perfect. I decide that mine has twice as much barbeque sauce on it and is a little difficult to eat, but I soldier on. The bacon is smokey but doesnt over power the ‘dork’ patty which is cooked perfecctly- juicy, well-seasoned and piping hot. The barbeque sauce is sweet with a good amount of picante. The slaw is fresh and adds a much needed crunch factor. People who know me know that as much as I love potatoes in any form, most of the time, I use them as ‘vessels for ketchup’. These tater tots were perfect little potato pillow vessels.
The prices at first seem a little steep for a casual burger joint at $14-$15 each, but it is totally worth every bite and better than most that I have had in higher-end restaurants. They use quality ingredients prepared by experienced cooks, executing everything successfully in a fun environment with good service.
I am happy to say Lunchbox Laboratory exceeded my expectations and will always be my go-to for a fantasticly creative, consistent, delicious burger. Just remember to ask for extra napkins…
1253 Thomas St Seattle, WA 98109