1253 Thomas street, Seattle
Well we’re heading into another improbably beautiful week in Seattle. I read that the last time it was this dry for this long was in the 1920s and it’s a little depressing to realise that this is once in a lifetime weather.
But anyway on Sunday James felt like getting lunch out, and since we have coupons for Lunchbox Laboratory (a free shake and $10 off $30 courtesy of the South Lake Union block party) we decided to head there. I wasn’t sure what to expect because although it has an 80%+ rating on Urbanspoon the actual blog reviews are much more ambivalent. But coupons!
We started off with a chocolate-covered cherry shake ($6.50).
James and I both enjoyed the shake. Neither of us are fans of whipped cream though, so we just drank past it. It was quite thick and tasted exactly like you’d expect. I was glad we only ordered one because it was really filling.
Next we ordered some dork balls (I think $8.99). They were a mix of duck and pork dipped in corn batter, deep fried and served with a balsamic-hoisin reduction. When these arrived I remember thinking “wtf there’s only 3??”
I could only taste the hoisin if I really concencrated – it mainly tasted like barbeque sauce to me, which is disappointing because I love hoisin. The batter was sweet, like the cornbread we had when we went out for barbeque with Mike. I think the batter overpowered the meat and overall the dish was OK but blander than you would think a duck/pork/hoisin combination would taste. Also pretty awful value. 3 balls!!
Next up were the stars of the show: the burgers!
James got the Tear Jerker – super-beef patty, pepperjack cheese, lunchbox onions, jalapenos, habanero mayo and Satan’s-tears ketchup ($13.99). It came with a side of skinny fries and some weird salad. It was either a half-hearted salad or maybe we were supposed to put it in the burger.
The burger was quite spicy, though not tear-inducing for James. I had a bite and found it spicy enough that a bite was pleasantly hot but the whole burger would have been too much, but I’m pretty wussy when it comes spicy food.
I had the Burger of the Gods – super-beef patty, bleu cheese crumbles, candied balsamic onions and super gorgonzola spread ($12.99).
Both burgers were ridiculously oily. The oil and burger juice seeped through both the upper and lower bun so you had to eat it really quickly or else it became soggy. So the first bite was pretty good – very rich with the onions and the blue cheese – but as the richness and the oiliness caught up with me and the burger rapidly soggified it tasted worse and worse. I can’t remember how James phrased it but he said something about his burger losing consistency as he ate it (and then, with some mild panic “I can’t put it down!!”).
So yeah, overall a pretty big disappointment. With expensive burgers I expect either delicious or huge and Lunchbox Laboratory was neither. Although in hindsight I’m glad it wasn’t enormous – I think I would have died.
The pre-coupon bill came to $43ish but with the discount it was around $27 (and due to my tipping research I knew that we were supposed to tip on the original bill). I’m glad we had the coupons because it was an overpriced, below-average meal for $36 but for $50 I would have felt insanely ripped.
Actually wait. The coupons were what originally made us decide to try Lunchbox Laboratory. So I’m not glad we had the coupons. The coupons betrayed us.