Monday, June 15, 2009

Red Mill Burgers

Hi everyone! I know I've been absent lately and I guess it is the weather and the end of the school year as well as everything else creeping up and smacking us in the virtual forehead lately that has kept me away from the keyboard. I guess it's more about making the time to get in here and write than anything else but many of you know the scheduling challenges of a league soccer playing 5th grader and his end of the year field trips, projects and ahem catchup homework assignments as well as a full time job, unusually good weather in the Puget Sound and all the attendant yard work that goes with. That's right, summer hit us about 6 weeks early this year and it has been glorious! The best late May and June I can remember since I moved here in 1992. Anyway, back to the food...

I decided to write about a restaurant that gets high praise around the Seattle area. Recently Seattle Metropolitan Magazine ran a feature of the 13 best burgers in the area and we decided to try one of them (this was my 3rd time; 1st time for 10 year old Henry), Red Mill Burgers.

I know this isn't really about frugality but we were on our way to the Sounders v Earthquakes game Saturday and we have been talking about trying the 13 different burgers featured in the article so we stopped. I was not all that hungry and certainly not enough for the burger the blurb was written about (double bacon cheese deluxe) so I went with the onion rings and Henry had the bacon cheese deluxe (the single) and fries. Henry decided against the veg on the burger as he has not gotten there yet so the tomatoes, lettuce and red onions were all left behind and the "Mill Sauce" (a chipotle mayo as I understand it) was on the side. Henry declared the burger "soooo good, you'll have to try one of these Dad" and the onion rings were once again a highlight. The rings have a thick (not too thick) batter with just a hint of cayenne that is crunchy, tasty and stays with the onion rather than dropping off onto the table. Really, REALLY good with the "Mill Sauce".

OK, so I know this is gonna sound like I have chip on my shoulder about this place but that was the all the good part so here comes the rest...

The floor was filthy, not a clean table and the place while only a couple years old by my understanding looked as if it has been open 50+ years and not just the nostalgic accoutrements on the walls either. The staff while clearly having fun with one another did not bring any of that camaraderie or happiness to serving the customers. The person that took our order clearly would have rather been eating cow patties fresh from the field rather than being there; he seemed very unhappy with his lot that day. There was little if any attention paid to the customers; I stood in line for a refill for my soda for which I was charged an extra $.25 unceremoniously along these lines...

Me: I'd like a refill on my soda please (after having waited 7 minutes in line)
Counter person: OK. OTHER PERSON!!!!! (no names)
Other person: That's $.25
Me: Fine
Other person: hands me the refill w/o a word
Me: Thank you
Other person: " "

While the food is good, the single line of service, the battered and filthy interior (unclean restrooms as well).

Overall, I'm still underwhelmed. The two times I have eaten there previously were similar, the burgers slightly better than average but still nothing to write home about and the atmosphere would be OK if it were only somewhat clean. So here goes...

Red Mill Burgers

Food - 6.5 of 10 (5.5 w/o the rings)
Service - 1 of 10
Cleanliness - 0 0f 10
Total - 7.5 of a possible 30

More soon, I'll continue to write about these spots in the article and let you know our thoughts on the burgers of the area.

Tonight, we made burgers again at home. Country Natural beef from Oregon with Tillamook medium cheddar. Way better than Red Mill...


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