Dick's vs. Red Mill: One Burger to Rule Them All

Photos by Matthew Piel
The burger that inspired Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon to flex his political muscle to get a northern 'burb location.
Last fall, Dick's Drive-In had half of Puget Sound stuffing the online ballot box, desperately trying to get the chain's next location in their hood. Edmonds emerged as the big winner, but it got us wondering--what's so damn wonderful about Dick's, anyway?

Thus began a monthly challenge wherein Voracious will eat around the rest of Seattle's burger joints, seeing how they, erm, measure up. The inaugural match pits Dick's against another beloved, fast-food style, cash-only burger slinger: Red Mill, famous for the mountain of bacon kept at the ready beside the grill.

For the sake of continuity, I ordered each establishment's house "deluxe."

At Dick's (the location at 500 Queen Anne Ave., N., 285-5155), that means two patties, a slab of cheese, what looks to be mayo, and lettuce. (I added onions and ketchup for 5 cents each.)

The Red Mill Deluxe (obtained at 1316 W. Dravus, 284-6363) has very similar toppings, though more of them, and a $4.39 price tag.

Both burgers are shameless in their love of all things fatty and delicious (hello, processed cheese!) So at a base level both taste fantastic, and successfully do the job of a fast-food burger: satisfying your hunger and clogging the arteries.

Red Mill's challenger.
Not shockingly at all, the more expensive burger was also the better instantiation. Red Mill has crisper, fresher lettuce, biting onion, and drips in mayo-based sauce.

But a straight across-the-board quality comparison isn't really fair, seeing as how one costs nearly twice as much. So my burger-eating companion and I came up with a different test.

This Saturday is the 8-kilometer St. Patrick's Day Dash at Seattle Center. After eating burgers this week, I decided I needed to sign up. At nearly four miles, I will undoubtedly cross the finish line with a powerful hunger.

The question then becomes: Is Red Mill's burger so much better that it's worth getting into a car and driving the 10 minutes or so to Interbay? Or would I rather just grab food at the Uptown Dick's?

"Dick's," I concluded through a mouthful of burger.

Red Mill's got Dick's licked on quality, but when it comes to cheap and easy convenience, a Dick's Deluxe is tops.

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