Seattle’s Search for the Perfect Burger Ends…

When a new restaurant advertises with a slogan like “Your search for a perfect burger ends here,” that’s a lot to live up to.

This is how Relish Burger Bistro, a growing chain in Starwood properties, advertises. Its newest branch opened this week in Seattle’s Westin Hotel, gleaming and glossy in the space that previously held Roy’s and the Coldwater Bar and Grill.

I was invited to a complimentary menu tasting as part of the grand opening celebration. While technically it’s too early for a true verdict, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for perfection. There were problems with everything I tasted, like a fried pickle with simply bad batter, and a burger with terribly under-seasoned and flavorless beef.

The “sweetest” part of the party and the only “burger” that brought a real smile to my face was this macaron-like dessert (pictured above)—though this was based on looks rather than flavor.

Luckily, I was leaving the party to be part of a panel judging the final four combatants in Seattle Weekly’s Burger Battle. On the Voracious blog, the public whittled the original 64 restaurants to these four: Blue Moon Burgers, Li’l Woody’s, Lunchbox Laboratory, and Skillet. A panel of food writers worked to pick the champion.

Westin guests can take a healthy, 15-minute walk to Li’l Woody’s to taste the winner of the Burger Battle. At just $4.50 for the basic burger, I’m betting it’s far less expensive than Relish’s. (The website for the Seattle branch doesn’t yet have a menu posted.) Recall that Li’l Woody’s serves my favorite local burger—one that’s well-seasoned, with excellent texture, and on the right kind of bun. In the overall burger battle, I continue to call for a ban on brioche.

Relish Burger Bistro on Urbanspoon

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