Park Slope Gastronome #8 - Field Trip to Seattle: Cheap Eats
We took a field trip to Seattle over the holidays and we ate a couple places worth mentioning.
First of note is Red Mill Burgers. Listmaker, J.E.R.C., B Zissou and I had lunch at the Phinney Ridge location (there's also one in Interbay). This had been a favorite of Listmaker's during his last visit to the Emerald City (I think that's Seattle's nickname and I'm too lazy to fact check at the moment) and he was quite eager to relive that burger experience. Red Mill Burgers is a made-to-order fast food joint. It looks like fast food, but it sure doesn't taste like it. You place your order and then you mill around while it cooks. They call your name when your food is ready and you hope you can find a seat. I ordered the bacone deluxe with cheese, which came with pepper bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle, red onion, american cheese and something called Mill Sauce. It's some homemade conconction that's sort of like Thousan Island dressing, but totally not. I also got an order of onion rings and they were some of the best I ever had. Unfortunately Listmaker and I had a tangle and some dropped to the floor. I was really tempted to invoke the 5 second rule and pick them up and pop 'em into my mouth. Ok, so let me tell you about these onion rings. They were coated in this delicious cornmeal batter that was light and crispy. It created a perfect seal to keep the onions moist while they cooked. I wish I had some to eat right now! Someone was disappointed in the burger, saying it didn't compare to Bonnie's, but I thought it was an unfair comparison. Red Mill's burger is a thin, unseasoned patty, while Bonnies, is a monstrous circle that's dipped into a blend of spices. It's more like an In-N-Out burger. Also Listmaker got the barbeque burger, sans lettuce and tomato so it was just a mushy, saucy mess. Oh, his fries were delicious too.
Service: n/a (although if it were, i would take off points cause they called me Susan when my food was ready. boo).
We also ate at a pho restaurant called Than Brothers. It's a chain in the loosest sense of the word - there are about a half dozen locations spread out Seattle and I'm sure all have the same mirrored interior and glass covered tables. Underneath the glass are clippings of reviews the restaurant has received over the years. The place endeared us immediately because as you sit down you are presented with a plate of creme puffs made by the owner! I tried to save mine for dessert, but I gobbled it down as an appetizer. Than Brothers serves a variety of pho in 4 sizes: small, medium, large and x-large. We were warned that the portions were quite generous and to order on the conservative side. My medium portion of Pho Bo Tai Nam was enough to feed two and less than $5! The broth was fragrant and tasty enough to stand by itself but I am never one to say no to sriracha sauce. I usually overdo it with the sriracha, but luckily at pho restaurants, there's plum sauce to balance it out. All the pho trimmings come on a communal plate, so it's this overflowing bounty of bean sprouts, hot pepper slices, lime wedges and thai basil that's presented before you. I don't really know much about the intricacies of pho to go on further.
Service: again, not really applicable. the waiters and waitresses bring you your food and then pretty much leave you alone. you walk up to the cashier when you are ready to pay.
In the next installment of the Park Slope Gastronome, I'll discuss the other places we ate at in Seattle that do not qualify as cheap eats.