Restaurant Reviews

Critic Watch: Uneeda ’Nother Review of Uneeda Burger?

You got it! Three local critics weigh in on one burger joint.

By Jessica Voelker May 25, 2011

The waffle fries at Uneeda Burger are “terrific,” says Providence Cicero.

Right, so. Not as many articles here as we had with Revel, but three local reviews of Scott Staples’ Fremont burger joint, Uneeda Burger, give us plenty to compare.

Let’s begin at the beginning with The Stranger’s Lindy West, who went to Uneeda back in February and ordered one each of the regular burger (made with Painted Hills beef) and the Waygu burger, a $4 upgrade.

Then she blind-tasted them to see if she could tell the difference.

First of all, let me say that both burgers were excellent. Nothing wrong with relatively well-off suburban cows. Painted Hills, A+. HOWEVER. The Wagyu burger was a revelation. I mean literally like the book of Revelation, like eight flaming man-goats descended on fiery Segways and beat me in the face with their righteous swords of deliciousness….The Wagyu patty was soft without being insubstantial, drippier, darker, and beefier than its counterpart. The Wagyu burger made you forget that ketchup exists. Seriously, it was so good. If my mother were a cow, I would still eat this hamburger. If I were a hamburger, I would eat this hamburger. If I were this hamburger, I would eat myself.

Three months later, Uneeda got a write-up in the Seattle Weekly from newcomer Hanna Raskin.

Much space was given over to an interview with Staples regarding concept and execution, and some was spent describing the presence of kids at Uneeda burger (“The adults responsible for the infants within don’t needa burger; they needa babysitter”). But there was plenty about the food too. Raskin’s advice: order your burger nude.

It’s a shame more customers don’t treat themselves to Uneeda’s naked burger, as the subtle, drippy meat is too easily eclipsed by the strong flavors of ingredients that are more bistro than ballpark. A burger seasoned with ritzy-sounding black-truffle salt and trimmed with deeply sautéed button mushrooms, shallots, and Gruyère tastes like a solidified French onion soup. And woe to the customers who waste their Wagyu dollars on a burger smeared with a vinegary, Lexington-style barbecue sauce and capped with a wig of faintly greasy fried onions. It’s not a bad sandwich, but it relegates beef to a nonspeaking role.

The very next day there came a review from The Seattle Times’ Providence Cicero. She bestowed three stars upon Uneeda Burger, complimenting just about everything on the menu. The only hint of negativity came when she mentioned that the line was long. Once.

And Cicero begs to differ with Ms. West on the matter of the Waygu upgrade.

If you don’t mind paying almost twice the price, you can substitute local Wagyu beef, delicious but really not necessary. The Painted Hills beef has great flavor. Every patty, griddled to a careful and consistent medium-rare, blushes a faint pink in the middle. Toasted, butter-slicked buns capture the gushing juice.

In the immortal words of Frank Zappa: “Hey, that sounds delicious.”

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