That’s why, when Seattle Metropolitan magazine published a list of the 13 Best Burgers in Seattle, several people on Cobalt’s Human Resources team felt a need – nay, a duty! – to investigate for themselves. Thus began a quest for the best hamburger in Seattle.
The group first headed out to West Seattle for a burger at Zippy’s where they were not disappointed but not yet overwhelmed with meaty goodness. Next came Skillet Street Food, which had burgers cooked in a shiny silver Airstream trailer parked near Safeco Field, only a few blocks away from Cobalt’s Seattle office. Cobalt employees tested Skillet’s signature bacon jam and delicious, herb-seasoned fries. These items were far more unique than the previous outing.
Still, employees weren’t convinced of and didn’t limit themselves to Seattle Metropolitan’s list. Many workers and friends recommended Lunchbox Laboratory in Ballard. Off they went to a tiny shop, and perhaps, the rudest service outside of a real New York deli (maybe that’s part of the charm!). The Lab offered the most diverse menu imaginable with about 20 daily creations and the option of building your own from a menu of different meats, breads and condiments. Look at that burger on the upper left. Eat one of those, and you won’t need another hamburger for a month!
Blue Moon Burgers in downtown Seattle was next, another recommendation not on the original list. Closer to home and with a friendly, casual atmosphere, the burgers here were tasty but lacked individuality. A few weeks later, Cobalt employees took a chance on a nearly unknown spot on the Seattle Waterfront: the Grubstake. These burgers were simple with only three variations on the classic combination of bun, cheese and grilled meat. While the burgers were delicious and a meal in themselves, the small selection of side items (huge potato wedges or sweet onion rings) were not as satisfying.
The most recent stop was Two Bells Tavern. While they did not offer fries, the six different burgers on the menu more than made up for it. Served on a baguette and looking beautiful, Two Bells ranked high on most of our lists, and the cozy tavern atmosphere made it easy to want to hang out for a while.
So which is the best so far? Opinions differ. Skillet and Lunchbox Lab seem to be the strongest contenders with Grubstake and Two Bells close behind. For some, which burger is best depends partially on one’s gastronomic mood of the moment and budget, of course. (One creation at Lunchbox Lab costs roughly the same as two of the Grubstake’s huge delights.)
But the quest continues. Who knows what will be next? Something that will delight the senses and excite the palate is sure to follow. Perhaps, when you’re truly looking for the best, you never stop looking. However, one can always hope!