Archive for March, 2012

8 oz. Burger Bar Seattle (Part Deux)

The 8 oz Burger Bar

If there is anything to be learned in life, it’s this. There is no such thing as too many burger photos.

The 8 oz Burger Bar in Seattle sits smack on broadway on Capitol Hill, you simply can’t miss it. It’s near the legendary Quinn’s, my reigning favorite Seattle burger, and I have to say, I admire the moxie of their bullocks for opening a burger bar within the blasting radius of a god.

I ordered the 8 Oz – house blend sirloin, tri-tip, short rib, and chuck, iceberg lettuce, pickle, tomato, onion, light special sauce, and a slab of cave-aged gruyère cheese.

There really isn’t much to critique at this point kids. This was the real deal. Fresh, Real, Legit ingredients. Assembled neatly and with purpose. A large juicy patty, sumptuous, and cooked to order. My god. And they let the gorgeous meat speak for itself without a cluttered mess of other shit fighting for attention. Harmony. Astutely melted cheese. A very thinly sliced pickle, as all pickles should be. A little shredded lettuce and slices of onion and tomato. A soft and chewy bun. This is a very well sourced, prepared, and served burger. No question. Someone in the kitchen has pride. And rightfully so.

I do believe, no matter how slightly, that there is some wiggle room for improvement here. And with full transparency I’m being a burger snob asshole nitpicker at this point, I admit as much.

The burger was on the saltier side of the tracks, noticeable even to a salt whore such as myself. Ease up sunshine. And given the quality of the lettuce, shredded julienned iceberg was just not necessary. Would have I preferred a bit more toast on my buns? Yes. And maybe a bit more cheese on the meat? Absolutely.

But in the end, I ate surprisingly well. Very well. I’m happy to say that 8 oz makes an exceptional burger and I can’t wait to return. I can’t lie. I want their short rib grilled cheese.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

8 oz. Burger Bar Seattle

The 8 oz. at 8 oz Burger Bar
8 oz. Burger Bar recently expanded into the Seattle market. Food Network fans will recognize the name behind it – Chef Govind Armstrong.

The website is very promising, talking about “humanely raised, hormone-free Black Angus sirloin” and “the finest local ingredients”. When @drewbenz and I sat down to see for ourselves (expect his review soon as well) the first thing we noticed about the menu was that the house blend in the standard patty is a mix of sirloin, tri-tip, short rib, and chuck. That certainly sounds good to me – and what’s this? Hempler’s bacon? Beecher’s Flagship cheese? Clearly they’re not only serious about their ingredients, but they’re making some of the same decisions that I would in their place.

I ordered “The 8 oz.” – their italics, not mine – which is described as “house blend, wild baby arugula, balsamic onions, hemplers bacon, truffle aioli, beecher’s flagship”. I was happy to see that the menu recommended ordering your burger medium rare to medium. I asked for my usual medium rare, along with a side of roasted garlic fries.

When the burger hit the table I was a happy man. Everything looked and smelled great. All the obvious visual cues I look for were there – juicy patty, melted cheese, and a toasted bun. My first couple of bites confirmed that impression – this was a really top-notch burger.

The house blend patty was far and away the star of the burger, as it should be. Excellent flavor, good texture, juicy, and properly cooked:
The 8 oz. at 8 oz Burger Bar

I’d put this burger on my “Top 5 Burgers in Seattle” list.

It’s not easy to find flaws with it, but it was a few ticks short of perfect. The patty was a little over-salted. The proportions of the burger felt slightly off. The items that accompanied the patty felt like they were right for a 6 oz burger, but they were a little lost against the 8 oz patty. They were all very good – even though I’m not a huge fan of arugula on burgers as a general rule – but just a little too muted.

It doesn’t factor into the score, but I really like the roasted garlic fries. Great flavor, and the garlic was roasted enough that I didn’t go back to work with hideous garlic breath.

This was clearly a burger that was assembled from high-quality ingredients and cooked with care. Will I be back? Oh, hell yes.

(the fact that they’ve got Stone on tap doesn’t hurt, either)

Rating: ★★★★½ 

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