South Snohomish County's burger options will increase later this year, when Dick's Drive-In opens its sixth location on Aurora at 220th St. S.W. It's the first new location for the local burger chain in 36 years. In the Edmonds-Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace area there are lots of fast-food burger chains, and a few independent spots, but nothing quite like Dick's. Every month between now and Dick's we are visiting a nearby burger joint, in hopes of getting our burger fix. This month - we went to Fatburger.
Fatburger shares some similarities with Dick's, as it was also founded in America's burger golden age - the 1950s. Fatburger was founded in Los Angeles in 1952 and has expanded to 95 franchises around the country, including a few in Asia. In Washington State, there are four Fatburger locations: Redmond, Bellevue, Issaquah, and Lynnwood. The Lynnwood outpost of Fatburger is located across the street from Alderwood Mall in what I like to refer to as "The Burger Triangle." Fatburger is flanked by Red Robin and Blazing Onion Burger, but fits more into the fast-food category, even though they sell beer and wine.Upon entering any Fatburger location, you'll notice the large open kitchen. I don't know about you, but I like a burger joint that shows you what they are up to in the kitchen. When you place your order at the counter, the cashier doesn't miss a beat and immediately shouts your burger size and fry order over to the kitchen. Burgers are fresh, not frozen, and cooked to order. But, Fatburger still knows you want your burger in a hurry, so they get to work quickly.
Burgers come in sizes ranging from small (just 2.5 ounces of meat) to XXXL (24 ounces). They are priced pretty affordably, with the small costing just $2.69. The medium 5-ounce burger is $4.49, but on special Tuesdays for just $3 (limit four). Fries come in your choice of skinny or fat, and there are onion rings, chili fries, salads, and shakes. There are some specialty burgers, but otherwise the standard option includes mustard, relish, onions, pickles, tomato, lettuce, and mayo. Cheese is an extra 59 cents and you can add a multitude of other toppings.
I stuck with a pretty standard option, as I was too hungover to make any complex burger ordering decisions. The burger comes half-wrapped in paper, and for a reason. My small burger with American cheese was a hot mess. The person on the line was clearly more hungover than I was. The piss poor assembly led to a Technicolor spew of chopped lettuce, onion and sauce all over the discarded wrapping. The ratio of topping to meat was completely off. That little 2.5 ounce patty was lost in a sea of condiments and salad.
Once the majority of toppings were off the burger however, I was able to fully appreciate the fatburger. The well-seasoned beef is flavorful and fresh, and the patties are hand-formed which gives them a great crumbly texture. The squishy bun is merely a neutral flavored vehicle for delivering the meat. I suspect its integrity would have held up better if only the ratio of topping to patty been better.
Fatburger, 18530 33rd Avenue West, Suite B, LYNNWOOD, 425-673-4309. Open Mon 10:30am-8pm, Tues -Thu: 10:30am-9pm, Fri:10:30am-10pm, Sat:11am-10pm, Sun: 11am-9pm