Archive for the ‘Fast Food’ Category

Fatburger

No.

Fatburger is about as close to fast food as we get, but there are a few key points which make it rateable for us. These burgers are cooked to order with what they claim to be the ‘100% pure lean beef and only the freshest ingredients’, and frankly, they were the only place open when I was out marauding for a burger late on a Friday night. Does their reputation for being a cut above the other fast food titans hold up to legit scrutiny?

Let’s start with the beef. It tastes awful. It’s “seasoned” with salt and pepper, from what I could discern, but the ratio is off and it takes away from what I consider to be okay beef. Credit where it’s due: the beef was cooked to medium-well and had a good texture and sear on the outside. It just tasted bad, is all.

The bun was mediocre, of course not toasted, and you’ll be glad they wrapped it with wax paper by the time you get to the end, as grease saturates the bun and becomes a condiment for your fries. The bacon was a little thin and fatty, but tasted alright. The cheddar cheese tasted more like American and the melt could use a little work.

The lettuce was limp, bland, wet; it was everything that’s wrong with shredded lettuce.┬áThe rest of the veggies were bland and, over time, something about their combination became offensive. They throw some mayo and mustard on there as well. I didn’t care for that either but couldn’t tell if it was just tainted by the meat seasoning.

This is the kind of food that cuts through you like Drano, however I do acknowledge that Fatburger has a place in the world of burgers. This is one of those burgers that could have been vastly different if I’d been around at a different time of day with a different cook and fresher ingredients during a high-traffic time of day, etc. But the burger before me fell short in so many ways. It’s a step above the big fast food guys, but don’t expect anything more than that or you will be bitterly disappointed.

Unbeef: Open late! Fries taste like death.

+ Good looking beef.

– Beef was seasoned to death. Veggies combine to form the sour megazord. Needs a real burger sauce.

The King Burger at Fat Burger

Rating: ★½☆☆☆ 

www.fatburger.com

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

five guys

Ah yes. Five Guys Burgers and Fries. If you have one of these near you I definitely recommend you seek out and destroy one of their burgers. I’m not going to go into detail about the place, they are nationwide and have a healthy web presence. Honestly, I have a few easy take aways from my numerous encounters with the place. First off, their fries are legit. Freshly cut, skin on, deep fried in 100% fresh peanut oil, they are good. Damn good. Few, if any, burger franchises can match their fries. Secondly, they are consistent. I’m not sure there is much variation from a good day to a bad day at Five Guys. And lastly, they are very reasonably priced and they source quality ingredients.

The ever popular conversation around these parts is how Five Guys matches up to the juggernaut Red Mill, arguably the top two fast food/burger joints around. For me, quite frankly, time and time again I’m finding Five Guys beats Red Mill. I think the beef is levels better, the fries are better, and they are tiers more consistent. I’ll call the bun a wash and give Red Mill props for better bacon, better toppings, better choice of cheese and clearly better hype. By a slim margin, I give Five Guys the nod.

Having said that, Five Guys has room for improvement. The bun is stock and noticeably lacking a nice toast. I’ve seen their buns on the grill toasting but time and time again the toast simply doesn’t translate well to the finished product. Their toppings are nice but they don’t deliver anything extraordinary. And their cheese is stock american, which is an unwelcomed addition to all things culinary in my world.

+ We give hooves up for excellent juicy beef given the category, great value in terms of price, and a very harmonious burger dinning experience. Everything works well together.

– We give hooves down for a stock untoasted bun that just doesn’t seem to hold up, and wank cheese.

Five Guys Burger and Fries hamburger

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

www.fiveguys.com

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers

Teddy's Bigger Burgers

Teddy's Monster Double

Inconveniently located in Woodinville, Teddy’s Bigger Burgers live up to their name, weighing in at 5, 7 and 9oz sizes, with the option to double up. Claiming to have “reinvented” the burger, the Teddy’s franchise originated in Hawaii and has since spread to the mainland, we put them through the rigorous test of our digestive systems.

The beef is cooked to order, medium with a nice char on the outside. The quality of the meat is good, well above average, but no Jak’s. The bun gets the job done and the sauce which adorns it is alright, however both are otherwise forgettable. Most impressive was the bacon, which was cooked to chewy but not crispy and never left its rightful throne atop the melted cheddar. The lettuce, tomatoes and pickle were all fresh and a-okay in my book, but Teddy lost me at the onions. A cold mess of raw, thinly sliced white onions sits in the middle of your burger, begging to be released from their prison to die a lonely death in your fry basket. If you’re in the area, stop by for a burger and you won’t be disappointed, but don’t expect a transcendent experience.

Unbeef: fries are very good, menu has great variety, friendly staff, seating area is large and clean (unlike 90% of burger-dedicated shops).

+ Good beef, good cooks, great bacon.

– Cold, raw, hateful onions. Bun, sauce, cheese, veggies are bogged down by mediocrity.

The monster double bacon cheese burger at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

www.teddysbiggerburgers.com/

Red Mill

Red Mill

Double Bacon Deluxe w/ Cheese

Red Mill is a Seattle joint devoted to the art of the burger and what we call the greater burger experience, a staple among Seattle’s “best burgers” lists. We’re not out to shatter anyone’s perception of the world, this is a quality burger, but how does it stack up to a beef enthusiast’s lofty expectations?

The bun is the standard sesame seed fare, seemingly untoasted. The beef is nothing special, a couple 1/4 lb patties cooked to medium-well. Things begin to pick up with their accompaniments; the bacon is well-cooked but still chewy, the lettuce, tomato and pickles are fresh, crisp and working in perfect harmony. The sauce is good, with a slight kick, however it is slightly overwhelming at times. They absolutely nail the cheese, ooey gooey goodness, barely congealing along the sides of the burger.

Unbeef: Fries were quite good, onion rings were different, but good, milk shake was excellent.

+ The pieces fit: the burger is held together by the exceptionally fresh veggies, bacon and heavenly cheese.

– The bun isn’t anything special and the beef is not the star. That would be okay if we were called Legit Condiments.

The double bacon with cheese at Red Mill Burgers

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

www.redmillburgers.com

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