Monday Meals: Why haven’t we ever been to…?

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We are the worst about food ruts. Certainly when it comes to cooking at home, but also with restaurants. We have our favorites and rarely veer too far off course.

When my friend JC visited, I was completely embarrassed to tell him that we had never been to many of the interesting looking restaurants he asked about as we drove around town. The minute something new opens, he and his husband are there! I wish I could say the same. Alas, I guess RF and I are greater creatures of habit than I realized. So, we’re trying to change that. Especially given this…

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OMG. So true!!

Yesterday evening, RF’s answer was a burger. So, I said that we should try someplace new. There are SO MANY BURGER PLACES around town. And yet, we tend to hover around just two – Five Guys, for the quick and easy burger , and Eureka! for a sit-down burger experience. I enjoy Eureka’s Fresno Fig Burger – but, tbh, the burger patty is really nothing special, and the preparation is highly unpredictable.

So, which new place would we choose? It was easy to come up with a list within walking distance or a short ride: Great StateRain City BurgersTeddy’s Bigger Burgers, the In-n-Out knockoff CaliBurger. After many Yelp searches and much debate (this is probably why we don’t try new things!) we finally settled on Uneeda Burger in Fremont. The reviews were solid, the pictures drool-inducing, and they offer a gluten-free bun. I don’t totally mind going bunless, but it is somewhat counter to the whole burger experience.

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For our introductory experience, we both opted for the Classic Burger – a quarter-pound patty of all-natural Painted Hills beef with romaine, tomato, pickles, and special sauce. You can add an extra patty, bacon, cheddar, or fried egg; we opted for cheddar. I also added grilled onions, which were not on the “add” list, but were listed as an ingredient on another burger. The awesome guy behind the counter didn’t bat an eye at my request, so it appears that customization is no bother. He did, however, talk at the speed of a seasoned auctioneer.

We were pretty sure the next steps were to grab drinks, find a table, and raise our hand when our name was called. That turned out to be accurate, and when everything was delivered, I was pretty excited to see this bun.

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If you’re gluten-free, you know the bun options are pretty abysmal. No brioche for you! But this bun looked promising. Not exactly brioche, but definitely not your standard Udi’s. The beef looked so moist, the tomatoes were stacked in hefty slices, the caramelly onions overflowed onto my plate…I couldn’t wait to dig in!

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Oh, bun…how you failed me! The top was so crispy that I couldn’t sink my teeth into my first bite. It had the consistency of an over-toasted bagel. A bagel chip? So sad. Once I managed to crack off a piece, it was tasty…but best when softened by burger juice. Of which, I will add, there was a lot. The patty was super moist and delicious. Cooked to perfection with just the right amount of seasoning. Plenty to enjoy here – in the future, I’ll just go bunless.

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We paired our order with some garlic-cheese fries. Best decision, even though I REALLY wanted a big stack of onion rings. They looked sooooo goooood. The fries hardly disappointed, though. The potatoes were super crisp on the outside without being overdone through the middle. I always worry that there won’t be enough topping to go around, but the garlic was infused through the entire plate, and the cheese grated finely enough that it fell into the cracks and onto the fries below. Can you see that fry flying off the plate at the top? RF couldn’t even wait for me to snap a picture! Little sneak!!

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All in all, we had a fantastic Uneeda Burger experience…and, because there were cupcakes at home, we didn’t even taste test the salted caramel shake! I think we have another winner to add to our short list! Although, we also have a long list of other “new” places to try. As it turns out, Uneeda Burger has been around since 2010. Perhaps we should describe our method as a longevity test. If you can survive the Seattle restaurant scene for at least 5 years, we’ll grant you a try.

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