The Pumphouse Bar & Grill

The Pumphouse is a sports bar in downtown Bellevue.  With 8 HDTVs and a stack of sports packages via DirecTV there’s almost always something good to watch if you’re a sports fan.  Seattle’s Eastside isn’t exactly stacked with great sports bars – so is the Pumphouse a worthy hangout?  If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’ll agree with me that it depends on the burger.

I ordered the Bacon Cheddar Burger – a 1/3lb patty “cooked medium and served on a sesame bun with our own special sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, dill pickle, and onions” minus the pickle.  Although the house was packed – there were people standing in line waiting for tables or a seat at the bar – there wasn’t much of a wait for our food.

When the burger landed in front of me I wasn’t sure what to think.  Shredded lettuce isn’t normally a sign of a great burger.  I took a bite and was pleasantly surprised.  After a few more bites I realized that I was enjoying my burger far more than I’d expected to.  Looking at the burger I realized that while I’m not ready to crown them the “best burger in Bellevue” as the menu proclaims, they do take their craft seriously.

The bun was toasted.  The cheese was melted.  The patty wasn’t overcooked like you’ll find in most bars.  The bacon had a nice crunch to it.  While the ingredients might not be stellar, the burger in front of me was made with care.  As a result, they got everything they could out of the ingredients they use.

The fries were good, and so were the chili-cheese fries and onion rings we wolfed down on arrival.  It’s also the only place in Seattle I’ve found Ninkasi IPA from Eugene on tap, and that’s a beer that goes perfectly with a burger and a game on TV.

I may not think of the Pumphouse when I want a burger – but when I want to go to a bar and watch a game with some friends I’m going to the Pumphouse and having a burger while I’m there.

+ Attention to details delivers a very satisfying burger.

– Shredded lettuce, otherwise average ingredients.

Rating: ★★★½☆