Coho Cafe

The Coho Cafe is a locally-owned pair of restaurants on Seattle’s Eastside – one in Redmond, one in Issaquah.  The Redmond location is a nice place to go for happy hour if you work at Microsoft.  I’ve been a regular customer of both locations over the years, and overall the food is very good – but the burger has never been better than average.

They’re active on Twitter and over the last couple of months we’ve had several conversations where I’ve shared what I think makes a good burger.  Whether that played into the changes or not, Coho has an all-new burger on the menu.  In their own words the Coho Cafe Burger is a hand-formed patty covered in aged white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a “secret sauce” – and like all good burgers is available with smoked bacon.

This burger made a great first impression.  Everything looked great, and a once-over showed that the burger was assembled with care.  The cheese was melted, the bun was toasted, and the veggies were fresh.  After a couple of bites it was clear that my burger was also the medium-rare I’d asked for.  The bun was nice – clearly not mass-produced – and held up well throughout the meal.  Overall it’s a very satisfying burger.

There aren’t a lot of knocks on this burger.  The first is the degree of verticality.  When I attacked it, the burger was a little too tall to comfortably get a bite of everything at once.  I’ll lay this at the feet of a fairly large piece of lettuce, but after a few bites everything compressed into an more easily eaten form factor.  The second would be the red onion, which was sliced too thin for my taste.  If there’s going to be red onion on my burger, I want it to come with some crunch so that I know it’s there.

The fries were solid, and there are some good beers on tap.

+ Solid ingredients all around, treated right.

– Too much lettuce, red onion sliced too thin.

Rating: ★★★★☆