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Jason Rantz


Seattle Burger Review: Popular Red Mill spot is good, not great

Red Mill's burger was good, but didn't measure up to the hype as much as I had hoped. (Tom Amato, KTTH)

I’m on a mission to find the best burger in the city of Seattle. I travel to various burger joints within city limits and rate the establishment’s MOST POPULAR burger on a scale of 1-10. Of all the measures I use, taste is most important.

No eatery has been requested more than Red Mill Burgers. At the same time, no eatery has been scrutinized more. The general criticism I’ve heard on Red Mill is that it’s good, but overrated. So I went to Phinney Ridge to try out the regionally famous burger joint, which has an additional location in Ballard. I ordered the “Bacon Deluxe with Cheese.”

The presentation stood out immediately. It looked like it could be the best burger in the city. From symmetry to stacking size, it’s a well put-together burger.

They add a ton of bacon, which is great, but be aware of the salt factor. The Bacon Deluxe with Cheese comes with pepper bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle, red onion, American cheese and Mill Sauce — which they describe as mayo — with a very light “smokey” flavor. I would agree with that description, and I was a fan.

By sheer holding size, it’s one of the bigger burgers I’ve reviewed, despite a relatively thin patty. It’s a quarter-pound of fresh, flame-broiled beef cooked to medium. The internal heat of the burger is what stood out to me, and it’s fairly crispy on the surface.

It’s served on a sesame seed bun that you could probably purchase at Walmart – it appears the main purpose of it is to hold everything together, as it won’t add much else. The onions are thin and I probably would have liked a little more flavor coming from them. The fries are OK and I went for them about halfway through.

The Bacon Deluxe with Cheese costs $7.75 which is a fine price for the burger you’re getting. It’s also important to note they offer other cheeses outside of American, but American is the default option for that burger.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a burger that you should reasonably expect to be consistently good. But it lacks something special the other burgers I’ve rated highly have had: That “it” factor that separates the good from really good.

Looking back at some of the “8” ratings I’ve given, Little Big Burger had very fresh onions that added some kick, as well as a good pairing between the burger and Brioche bun. Shake Shack masterfully chars the outside of the burger to add some crisp and crunch. And Zippy’s Giant Burgers just does everything well and nothing wrong. Still, I would actually recommend Red Mill Burgers to someone looking for a quality lunch.

Biggest strength(s): Presentation, meat temperature, sauce
Biggest weakness(s): Bun, onions

I’ll give the Bacon Deluxe with Cheese from Red Mill Burgers a 7.5/10.

What do you think of their burger? Where should I go next? Tweet me @NewProducerTom on Twitter.

Past reviews: 8 Oz. Burger (7.5/10), Little Big Burger (8/10), Uneeda Burger (5/10), Li’l Woody’s (7/10), CaliBurger (6/10), ShakeShack (8/10), Red Robin (7/10), BurgerMaster (4/10), Sam’s Tavern (7.5/10), Great State Burger (6.5/10), Zippy’s Giant Burgers (8/10)

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