Fist-Pumpable Burgers and Beer at the Pumphouse

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© Siiri Sampson 2011.
Is it possible to eat this BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger with one hand, drink a beer, and fist pump all at the same time?
Three things stand out about the Jersey Shore (and this applies to the actual place, not just the show): The natives have a distinctive accent and tans to match, there's a whole lotta drinking going on in, out, and around all the restaurants and bars, and they like a good, solid fist pump. There's probably a place called the Pumphouse there, but there's no saying what kind of establishment lies within those four walls. It seems like the whole country these days knows the antics and perils that consume kids from the Jersey Shore, and everyone is still baffled that half the kids on the show have their own book deals, pulling in hard cash money for appearances. What's the appeal? Who knows, who cares?--just bring on the fist-pumping, hair gel, and obnoxious T-shirt and meet up for a pre-funk burger and beer after you get your GTL on.

For those who may have not yet indulged in the sickness of the "reality" that is Jersey Shore, congratulations, that's quite the feat. You are officially smarter than everyone who caved to the acronym-creating, lady punch-throwing, gel-wielding crew of hoodlums. Besides the liquor-fueled boardwalk tirades those girls are constantly finding themselves in and the "Bro-brawls" the gel clan seems to attract like a "grenade" to "The Situation," there's another thing those Jersey kids are known for doing well: eating a lot and often. There's always something marinating in the fridge precariously as a set up for the next hung-over roommate to step into or drop, or a jumbo bowl of cereal with Bailey's when there's no more milk.

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© Siiri Sampson 2011.
This is literally HALF a turkey sandwich. Who, pray tell, is ordering and finishing the full?
If those fire-starters lived in this neck of the woods, they'd probably have their own late-night corner table at the Pumphouse in Bellevue (11802 N.E. Eighth St.). Of course late night for them is more like opening for lunch the next day for everyone else, but let's not split hairs. All the makings of a good old-fashioned pig-out session are present: quick line cooks, multiple flat-screen TVs for the fellas, more than 15 beers on tap, and a full bar--what more could a Guido or Guidette want?!

Well, for starters, they may want less of a wait. Showing up between 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. results in up to a 20-minute wait for a table on a regular weekday. There just aren't enough tables in this little old bar and burger pit. Most of the time the kitchen is quicker than you'd ever imagine; after all, they don't want any Snookies hoisting themselves over the counter and into the kitchen. What follows is a fist-pumping breakdown of what the Pumphouse has to offer the crowds of downtown bankers, car salesmen, sports fanatics, and regulars.

The regular slew of burgers, hot sandwiches, and salads litter the menu, hanging out to soak up every last ounce of the four pints of Super Goose IPA those Jersey Boys shotgunned during lunch. A couple of highlights worth noting from the Eastside institution include the bleu-cheese burger and the toasty club sandwich, both served with hot, greasy fries that are actually worth the calories and salt. Just make sure you're vocal about how you want your burger done, otherwise it's always well done. The daily specials menu usually beats whatever craving brought you in originally. Ladies' choice for full clubbin' energy would definitely be the half-turkey sandwich with both fries and salad, while the man clan would at least get the BBQ bacon cheddar burger with fries to get their game on. There would also be mozzarella sticks, bedazzled heels and jeans, pitchers of beer, acid-washed booty shorts, and a special order of cheese fries involved.

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