Stumbling Goat Bistro
Sliders have their detractors. Skeptics say the wee ’wiches are the favored fare of the credulous and the overdined, who salivate over whatever edible novelty the gourmet marketing machine tosses their way. Well, we can’t defend every baby burg ever plated, but judging by the MINI GRASS-FED BEEF BURGERS, $12, at Stumbling Goat Bistro, this is one bovine bandwagon on which we are more than willing to jump. The beef itself (Washington-raised Angus crossbreed) is a miracle of texture: crispy outside, rich-melty inside—the carnivorous equivalent of a perfect chocolate truffle. The farm-to-table Phinney Ridge restaurant keeps things flavorful by raising the fat level to 30 percent, then topping the two-ounce sammies with a teeny pat of Mt. Townsend Creamery Trailhead cheese, a crunchy bit of baby lettuce, and, smothering the buttery bun, a sweet-and-tart onion jam that lingers in your mouth long after the juicy hit of petite patty has passed. Stumbling Goat Bistro, 6722 Greenwood Ave N, Phinney Ridge, 206-784-3535; www.stumblinggoatbistro.com
Step one: So it doesn’t come with fries. Get over it. What the TWO BELLS’ TAVERN BURGER, $9.95, lacks in crispy side carbs it makes up for with its massive sourdough roll. Yes, roll, not bun—a buttery French baguette—that, given the scruffy, old Belltown surroundings, adds a deft gourmet touch for the unsuspecting customer.
Step two: Wait for it. Upon the Tavern’s arrival at your table, let it soften for a few minutes. The thick slices of deli deliciousness challenge even the biggest of biters. Sorry, but there’s simply so much the sourdough needs to soak up: Puddles of greasy bubbles hiding in the crevices of bacon; piles of grilled onions; rich housemade sauce so thick your body surrenders with a, “Welp, there go my arteries, but heck if I care right now.”
Step three: Give your bun a little love squeeze. Thanks to the roll’s now dripping sponginess it’ll go a long way toward giving you a good grip—definitely a necessity.
Step four: Heaven. The five-and-a-half-ounce, perfectly charbroiled patty is so juicy, so slippery and ripe, that each bite is like a sloppy wet one from great aunt Rhoda. But (here’s where patience pays off) those magnificent mouthfuls aren’t flooded by a dripping mess; your plate is only somewhat spattered, your chin (mostly) dry. Because that sopping onion-meat-condiment juicefest? It’s taken over the baguette, not your shirt. Two Bells, 2313 Fourth Ave, Belltown, 206-441-3050; www.thetwobells.com