Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Lunchbox Laboratory

Liam: This week we decided to try a place that we'd read a couple of reviews of, The Lunchbox Laboratory.

Lunchbox Laboratory
7302 15th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

The boys, about to commence lunching with.

Like I said, we had read a review of this place, and I for one was intrigued by the inclusion of "dork" (duck and pork) burgers on the menu. However, for this initial visit I decided to forego the dork, and ordered a burger off of the specials menu. Not really specials, per se, more like suggestions or recommendations. A nice touch, I realized, when I walked in further and tried to find something to order off the menu. There was too much. I wanted it all! So I ordered "The Fatty" - beef burger, havarti, bacon, and chipotle sauce. As my side I ordered the thin-cut fries with a side of sweet chili mayo.

not just whelmed....OVERwhelmed!

The Fatty

This was a big burger. I mean BIG. And tasty. I love big tasty burgers. One of the things which made my burger stand apart from most other burgers was the bun. It was really good. Not too bready so as to dry everything out, and it held together in spite of the sauce/weight/grease involved. YUM!

which bite first? I can't decide!

Next time I go, I am definitely ordering the dork, and tater tots, and I'd really like to try the mac 'n' cheese. Several folks in our group (we were joined today by David, Mark, Joe, and brand new LWTBer Atsuko, also the first girl to lunch with the boys). David accidentally got Mark's burger. Mark sent his back because he accidentally got David's burger. Joe and Mark ordered tater tots as their side, and they reported positively regarding the tots. Atsuko ordered mac 'n' cheese, and by all accounts it was tasty too!

mac 'n' cheese mac 'n' cheese mac 'n' cheese mac 'n' cheese

9/10 for me. I mean, I've had many a bad burger before, but boy this was a good'un. As an added bonus, my fries were hairless today!

Jacob: It was cool to have so many options for burger-ness, but it was genuinely overwhelming. I think I would have preferred to see a more "curated" and selective approach to the menu, instead of offering every possible burger in existence. It was kind of hard to make up your mind with a giant board of a zillion possibilities and an additional board of 10 specials. Maybe a more selective menu could be rotated out regularly, so people are inclined to come back and try the new specials.

The operation is pretty new and they seem to be working the kinks out. The crew is pretty friendly with an aging punk rock edge. There's limited seating inside, and the seats themselves are a bit awkward. If it's nice out, the outside seating is great. In fact, do go when it's nice out, because the ventilation system inside makes everything totally freezing. A little uncomfortable. But probably nice for the cooks.

My burger (which I forget the name of, since my eyes glazed over from the choice options), was really tasty and juicy. I got a side of fries, but I'm not a fan of fries that are too dry and these were. I should've gotten the tater tots. I tasted Joe's and they tasted especially good. I also got the Nestle Quik malt, which was decent and served in a Pyrex lab beaker.

About halfway through our meal the whole Laboratory kind of imploded. They're credit card machine didn't work, and then the phone died, and then something happened with the stove or something else, because the crew just shut the place down immediately and told several people in line that they unfortunately were closed because of technical difficulties. It was sort of amusing and sort of awkward (for me at least.) The staff seemed very frustrated. Hopefully they will get everything working smoothly, because it definitely is a good burger joint. I'd give the food an 8/10 and the service and overall dining experience a 6.5/10.

1 comment:

Covey said...

I tried this restaurant because of you guys and it definitely has a niche, square in the middle of the apparently hip new 'comfort food' market.

I agree that there are just too many options and the space is too cramped to feel comfortable while figuring it out. That said, the burgers are awesome. Messy with sauce and real cheese and general goodness. I got the Hothead (not that hot-- just nicely spicy) and perhaps it's uncharacteristic of their fare but it was rich to the point of excess. I couldn't finish the burger even though I was still hungry. I didn't even know a burger could seem so decadent.

As great as the burger was, it's not something I could eat more than once in a blue moon.

Vegetarians note, they serve a falafel patty which my wife liked. She couldn't finish simply because the portions are generous.