Back from my Asian travel and food immersion, an all-American hamburger was high on my wish-list. So I appreciated an invitation from Giddy Up Burgers & Greens to try out some of their creations. I’d driven by the location in “Frelard” many times, and was excited to finally give it a try.
The restaurant has a casual vibe, with counter ordering and table delivery. There’s a lengthy bar befitting a lengthy beer menu (I enjoyed one of the weekly rotators: a refreshing Illusive Traveler Grapefruit Ale from Traveler Beer in Burlington, Vermont), and a bar of a different type, not seen so much these days: a salad bar. (Hence the “Greens” part of the restaurant name.) Note that it’s not the “all you can eat” variety, but instead salad by the pound.
My main focus, though, was the burgers. My meal came just before David Chang published his Lucky Peach manifesto about the ideal burger. I agree with much of his argument, particularly about the simplicity of the best burger. Just give me a squishy bun (hold the brioche), meat cooked medium-rare, American cheese, and no crazy toppings.
With that in mind, I started as always with a search for the basic burger. On Giddy Up’s menu, you have to skip all the specialty burgers to find the basic Buckaroo burger. This is one you customize, coming for with a quarter-pound patty, lettuce, pickle, and Giddy Up sauce. I added tomato and onion at no charge, plus American cheese for a dollar. For $6, I was more than satisfied with this burger. The sesame (on both halves!) bun was nice and squishy, and there was a good balance of ingredients. Minor quibble: the meat—hand-formed, I’m told, was packed a little too tight for my taste.
Next was the namesake Giddy Up burger ($9.60), which ups the meat to one-third of a pound, and includes bacon, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickled jalapeños, and fire sauce. Bacon lovers will like this one, as will heat-seekers. The specialty burgers, though, come on a house bun that the chef described as a cross between brioche and a Kaiser roll. It works, though I prefer something squishier.
From the specials board, I tried an Acropolis Burger. They say they’ve moved from 50/50 to 75% lamb and 25% beef, but I think it could stand to be even more lamby. Anyway, this burger had a good balance of flavors from the feta to the pickled red onions to the generous portion of arugula.
Finally, per on-site recommendation, I sampled the Kickin Fried Chicken. This felt a little forced in getting fried chicken on a hamburger bun. Good flavors, again, from the buffalo sauce and pickled jalapeños, but it pales in comparison to something like Skillet’s Fried Chicken Sammy. Better to stick with beef. (Or maybe try the Sloppy Joe? And choose the hand-cut fries over the haystack onions, in my opinion.)
There are 10 specialty burgers on the regular menu, plus specials, as well as endless ways to customize your own. All-in-all, Giddy Up Burgers & Greens is a good addition to the local burger scene. In fact, I was happy to endorse it as part of Eater Seattle’s best burger list, published just yesterday.