I love a good burger, this is no secret. Lunchbox Laboratory and Quinn’s are still my go-to’s, my standing favorites. However, after a day at the beach, we wanted to try something new, so we headed to Fremont to try Uneeda Burger.
Scott and Heather Staples during the construction days of Quinn’s
Uneeda Burger is the third restaurant in the trio Scott and Heather Staples have created around Seattle. Their other two are the successful Restaurant Zoe and Quinn’s, both named after their children. Uneeda Burger was previously home to Uneeda Auto & Boat Repair and more recently, Urbanweeds, located in a 40-year old building down the street from famed Paseo and Swingside Cafe. The on-site business partner and contractor, Adam Turner and his team at Dovetail General Contractors built Uneeda as well as Quinn’s, La Spiga, Walrus & The Carpenter, and the new Sitka & Spruce. The restaurant is “road-side style” with 40 seats in a double-bay garage with shed-like roofs. The space is quaint, making you feel like you’re in the countryside with a great sunny patio lined with picnic tables. Inside, there are two-seat wooden tables with cute metal chairs.
Before the remodel..
The menu, Chef Staples says, is inspired by New York restaurateur Danny Meyers’ Shake Shack, and Northern California winemaker Joel Gott’s burgers-and-more store Gott’s Roadside. With only a few other guests when we arrived, we had time to peruse the menu. It is a good size, with 14 different burgers and sandwiches, with chicken and vegetarian options, a few salads and sides such as hand cut skinny or waffle fries, onion rings, chili-cheese fries and their Quinn’s famous poutine: fries topped with beef gravy and cheese sauce. They have a simple burger, the ‘Classic’, $4, a 1/4 lb Painted Hills Beef patty, tomato, lettuce, pickle, and special sauce. Add-ons included cheddar, bacon, fried egg. There are more creative burgers ranging from their Emmer Veggie Burger, $6.25 , to the ‘Medi-terra’ Lamb Burger, $12. Some that stood out were the ’Sonora’, their 1/3 lb beef patty topped with roasted chili relish, jack cheese and cilantro, and the ’Monsieur’, the beef patty topped with Black Forest Ham, Gruyère, and Dijon-mayonnaise. Add a fried egg and its the ’Madame’! Their beer selection is of Microbrews, Belgians, and Old Classics and old and new world wines available by the glass and half bottle. For a treat, they have floats and Empire Ice Cream hand-dipped shakes, $5, with flavors ranging from the traditional vanilla and chocolate to the more exciting ‘Black & Blueberry’, salted caramel, and Oreo.
You order at the counter, give them your name, and they call your name when your order is ready and you raise your hand, like a lot of road-side diners and burger joints. Keeping it simple, we both chose the ‘Classic’, side of fries and a shake. If it wasnt such a hot day I would have ordered more than just cheddar (I would have gotten all of the add-ons!). Tyler added cheddar and a fried egg.
Our order came out quick. For first impressions, it was ok. It is cheap and I understand it is a play on a burger joint, not a fancy burger pub, but I don’t really understand the romaine chiffonade, a slice of tomato that barely covered half of the burger, and one slice of pickle. It was like they were trying to make it look cheap on purpose? I wanted to believe they baked their own buns but they seemed like store-bought. The patty was delicious though: juicy and cooked medium as they advertise. I didn’t taste much their ‘Special Sauce’ that was supposedly on it, so I added ketchup. We were expecting Tyler’s fried egg to be over easy but it was fried hard, disappointing.
We received the wrong milk shake, so we thought. We ordered the salted caramel flavor but after tasting it, we realized they gave us the vanilla. Simple mistake. When I got up to get napkins, I mentioned it to the server (not that the ‘vanilla’ flavor wasn’t good, albeit way too sweet), and she happily brought us the right one. However, when the salted caramel flavor shake arrived, it was the same thing! There was no hint of salt or caramel in it! At $5, I wanted caramel and salt! Now we just have two vanilla-tasting milk shakes. To make that caramel flavor stand out in cream, you have to deeply caramelize the sugar and add enough salt to balance the sweetness of the ice cream. It was like they added a few shakes of salt and a squeeze of light caramel. Too bad.. I’m sure their berry and chocolate flavors are good, though.
The fries were perfectly cooked, dark and crisp, with lots of salt. However, I wished that they were a little longer than two inches a piece. It was like we go the bottom of the bag. They were still really good, it was just odd.
Size does matter.
We left ridiculously full, if not a little sick from all of the fat-eating we put ourselves through! I think we will be going back to give it another try. Next time, I’ll opt for the pricier BBQ Smash Burger and a beer, and skip the stomach ache and sugar high on the shakes!
4302 Fremont Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103