It wasn’t too long ago that I started writing and Twittering about food, and the one of the first Seattle area restaurants to start following me on Twitter was Blue Moon Burgers. I followed back and decided that when I got a chance I would be sure to stop in and try a burger that I had been reading about. Tonight, as I was deciding what I wanted to do for dinner, I got a tweet that said it was 1/2 price burger night at Blue Moon Burgers. I figured that tonight was as good a night as any to check it out, so after my run, I headed down to Fremont for a burger, filled with high expectations.
Walking up, I liked the area. It has a great location, with adequate outdoor seating. I thought this could be a good place to spend a leisurely Friday happy hour. Inside the restaurant was clean and wide open, with seating for about 50. It was about 3/4 full with a couple of people in the line. Looking at the menu, I decided to go with the Southwestern Burger. The Southwestern Burger included jalepeno bottlecaps (breaded jalepenos), pepperjack cheese and a spicy sauce. It was really the only one on the menu that really jumped out at me (I was actually planning on trying the Blue Moon Club Burger that I saw online, but it wasn’t on the menu board). I also ordered a side of the hand-cut fries. The burger is half-price on Wednesdays if you order a side or soda. So I was pretty excited when I got my whole meal for about $6. I asked for the whole order to go, and stepped aside to wait for my order.
After about 15 minutes of standing around waiting for my order, I was getting a little restless. I understand making things to order, but it seemed to be taking a little longer than it should. In actuality, it was taking about as long as you would expect a burger to take at a place like Sport, and I had expectations that it would be more the speed of Red Mill. Anyway, I decided to sit down at a table and wait. This gave me time to read up on the quality beef used in the burgers from Thundering Hooves in Walla Walla, WA. It’s all 100% grass-fed beef, with no hormones or grain feed. After about 10 more minutes, my food came out. I thanked the gentleman and headed out the door.
Upon arriving home, I was ready to eat. I pulled everything out of the bag, cut the burger in half and settled in. I picked up the burger and got ready to take a bite. The first thing that I noticed was that the burger patty itself was a little smaller than I had expected for a 1/4 lb. burger. It was also cooked medium to medium-well with just a hint of pink (a little more cooked than I like). Taking my first bite I was hit by a good bit of spice, which was enjoyable. But, I totally lost the taste of the burger. It wasn’t that the spice overpowered the burger, but more that the burger couldn’t stand up to the flavors being used as the seasoning or as part of the sauce. I took a couple more bites trying to coax flavor out of the burger, but just couldn’t really find it. I finished the first half, and turned to the fries.
Taking the first bite of fries, I was again let down. A great french fry is crispy on the outside, but still soft and moist on the inside. These fries were just cooked all the way through, almost like one of those natural potato chips, but without much salt. Not to mention they were barely warm. Now, I know I took them from the restaurant to my house, and ate half a burger first, but it couldn’t have been more than 15 minutes, and they were wrapped from the time I left until I got home. They really tasted like they had been cooked and left out where they just continued to cook under a heat lamp or above the fryer. I ate a few more fries, trying to dig through the pile for ones that were still a little soft on the inside. In the end, I just stopped eating them.
I really don’t like writing reviews like this, especially because I was so excited for Blue Moon Burgers. I really, really wanted it to be good. But in the end, it just wasn’t that good. The burger was small, not juicy at all, and just unable to stand up to the flavors. The lettuce was warm and just overwhelming (I had to pick off two chunks), and the onion was almost non-existent. When I bite into a hamburger I want to taste the beef, complimented by whatever is added to it, with juice flowing. You should be able to squeeze the burger and see the juice seep into the bun (like the burger from Lunchbox Laboratory). The one highlight was the jalepeno bottlecaps, which I could have eaten an entire tray of on their own.
If you are looking for a place to have an ok burger and a beer, and hang outside in Fremont with your buddies, then Blue Moon is a good spot. But if you are looking for a great burger in Seattle, Blue Moon is not the place to go. Sport, Red Mill, Lunchbox Laboratory. All of these offer a much better burger experience.
Final Verdict – 2 Stars