Bottomfeeder: Mr. Lu's Bath-Towel Burgers

Embroidered IZODs deserve better protection.

The first face you're likely to encounter upon entering Mr. Lu's on the Ave is that of Henry Tran. Seated at the register, transfixed by something on his computer, Tran is apt to ignore you. If he acknowledges you at all, he will likely stare quizzically without uttering a word. Normally, such indifference might rub a first-time customer wrong. But Tran gets away with it—because he's 3, and cute as can be. Steven Tran and his wife, Mygung, opened Mr. Lu's just south of the Grand Illusion in what used to be a Sub Shop on January 15, 2009, Henry's first birthday. Previously, Steven had worked as an accountant for Hospice of Seattle, developing recipes with Mygung in his spare time. The brightly colored storefront sits across the street from a Jack in the Box. Anyone who opts to eat a burger at Jack in the Box instead of Mr. Lu's—which stays open until 10—is on crack. Then again, more than a few of the people who frequent the U District Jack in the Box are probably on crack for real, which explains its durability. The Trans hail from Vietnam. Unlike many Asian-American-owned burger joints, half the menu isn't devoted to teriyaki. Instead it's seafood. Thankfully, they keep with the Asian-burger-joint tradition of offering McDonald's-esque fries, which are the best on earth (sorry, Dick's). Mr. Lu's serves 1/3-lb. patties and makes its own sauces. The University Deluxe Burger contains two of these patties, plus stoner-sized portions of cheddar and bacon with smoky aioli sauce. It's so greasy that they should serve it with a bath towel instead of paper napkins, and it doesn't really fit in your mouth. It's also cheap ($7.95 with fries; most single burgers are under $6), delicious, and addictive; if you don't understand why obesity is such a problem in this country, a trip to Mr. Lu's will prove enlightening. So why not join Lu's Crew? By that we mean: Purchase a yellow IZOD polo with the restaurant's insignia on the back for $9. We weren't aware you could buy IZOD polos so cheaply to begin with, let alone ones with a potential-cult-classic burger joint's name on the back. Lu's Crew is swelling at the rate of its customers' paunches, and charter memberships are going fast. Hurry! mseely@seattleweekly.com

 
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