I'm officially in love...with a burger joint.
True, I tend to be a bit giddy about these things, and I'll make no apologies here. From truck stop patty melts to the foie gras & truffle variety, I love a good burger. And yes, if you ever find yourself outside the bus station in Cancun, Mexico, I can attest, there's a street vendor with a burger so fine, he'll make your mama weep. But here in Seattle, we are blessed with Scott Simpson's brainchild, Lunchbox Laboratory. Bar none, THIS is the best burger I've ever had.
So I'm saying it loud and proud: I'm in love.
At present, Lunchbox Laboratory is in a spot so tiny, it makes a street food trailer seem spacious. But, oh, what comes out of that 400 square foot space!
Seating, as you can guess, is at a premium. On good weather days, the lines...and temporary picnic tables spill out to the street.
For well over a year, there's been talk of a larger space. Lacking any specific details, Scott would tell me, coyly, "One spot we're looking at is 2 miles away; the other is 5 miles from here." Like two negotiation-weary warriors, we'd exchange knowing looks and he'd drift off, "You know how that goes..."
The latest news? The investor...and dreams of an expanded space...fell through. Details captured on their website:
"Many of you have heard we had an investor and former friend who would carry us to the promised land. Unfortunately he dropped us via email on news year eve very unceremoniously at the last moment. It put us on the brink of death but the Lunchbox and its family will fight to the death to keep a dream alive. We are happy to say we have signed a NEW one year lease here so please stop in often so we can all work for the ultimate laboratory."
With no move in the foreseeable future, there's no holding back.
Lunchbox Laboratory: GO!
A new lease. Same great burgers. And an expanded menu that may--or may not--include housemade Twinkies, served alongside Scott's legendary shakes. What more do you want?
At Lunchbox Laboratory, Scott's creative musings are immediately apparent. The counter does double duty, showcasing his ever-expanding lunchbox collection. Nostalgic memorabilia line the walls, and the tables inside are draped in black velvet, topped with glass.
But your first and most important hurdle...is a mind-boggling number of choices. Yes, you can build your own burger, but why bother? The daily specials include a delectable line up.
Strategy is in order here:
1. Bring a friend, or two, or three.
2. Order the combo. $15 gets you a burger (your choice) and a side. (Tater tots and sweet potato fries are my favorites.)
3. Burger choices are kid-at-Christmas kind of tough. Strength in numbers is key -- order a couple burgers and plan on sharing. (Anything with the dork--a la Duck + Pork should factor heavily in your plans.)
4. Drinks? Roadblock! Real Mexican Coke or a handmade shake? This is where dining with friends is in order. I say, divide and conquer: get both!
5. Grab a massive stack of napkins, and try, if you can, to control your anticipation.