Seattle >Restaurants > Lunchbox Laboratory
1253 Thomas St, Seattle, WA | Directions 9811747.620742 -122.331341
Neighborhoods: Lake Union, South-Lake Union
Try the Dork Burger – The first time my hubby and I went to the Lunchbox Laboratory he tried the dork burger and was in heaven! He loves the juicy blend of duck and pork and said that it was the BEST burger he has ever had in Seattle. That's a huge compliment since there are so many burger joints in the area. Now I know just what to suggest to him the next time he's feeling down... give the man a DORK BURGER!
After waiting the allotted period of time for the hype to sufficiently die down, my beau and headed for the Lunchbox Laboratory on a sleepy Saturday afternoon prior to hitting the Majestic for a movie.
We live near Red Mill and so when craving a decent burger, are spoiled because we only have to walk out the front door and down a few blocks to indulge. That said, there is a world of difference between Red Mill and Lunchbox Laboratory in terms of their burgers. Red Mill is great for what it is - a quick greasy spoon-type frozen burger that's grilled and served in the same style as every other burger that comes out of the kitchen.
Lunchbox Laboratory takes the Honda Accord-esque burger, gives it a V12 "tastymatic" engine and retools the utilitarian exterior into a Lam-burger-ghini complete with leather from real Corinthian cows. Yep, they are indeed as good as you've heard.
After reading the previous reviews and realizing that I might be one of "those people" who freeze like a deer in headlights at the vast grandiosity of the menu board, I decided in advance to shoot for the Truffle Love burger unless another one of the specials really caught my eye. Truffle and mayo in the same breath? I'm all over that. I don't like Swiss cheese, but for the inaugural visit I decided to go "stock" rather than changing the cheese to cheddar. I did get mine without the caramelized onions (so shoot me) and paradoxically, the onion fries. My beau went for the menu board and ordered a Churkin burger with onions and Dijon. Poor soul, he was doing his best to eat healthy in the Laboratory.
We paid our cash (yes, they are not cheap) and grabbed two end seats on the leaning table, thoughtfully duct-taped to ensure that you not lose one precious morsel to the floor. We did share the table with other unknown Seattleites, and all was well. The burgers hit the table and my beau popped up to grab more napkins and a knife. I tend to giggle at those who feel the need to cut a burger in half (it's a burger, man up and just eat the damn thing already!)....but knowing the food coma I was looking at in the near future combined with the real threat of falling asleep and drooling in the movie, I cut my burger in half and boxed half to go. Then I settled in, added some ketchup to my plate (I love a little onion fries with my ketchup) and off I went. I picked up the half-burger and looked at the cut side, marveling at the glistening bacon peeking out at me from underneath a smothering cape of Swiss. And here and there dotted along the top underside of the bun the glorious goops of truffle mayo could be seen. I could actually scent my burger about a foot before it hit my chompers. The truffly goodness leaked out for all to enjoy and inhale. First bite was amazing. Messy, but amazing. And this was even with the Swiss on it, which I determined I still don't prefer. I savored the burger and demolished the onion fries (beau helped with the onion fries - because he didn't order them himself, perhaps they didn't count toward his calorie intake?). I felt sated but not stuffed afterward and was good to go for the movie. And, best part, I got to RELIVE the whole glorious experience when I had the other half of the burger for breakfast the next day.
Next time, lunch will be a banana cream shake from the Laboratory. And I will definitely be back.
Super greasy beef with a side of rude – I really wanted to like this place. Who wouldn't - it is a hole-in-the-wall AND there are lunchboxes on the wall AND it has laboratory in the name. We ordered an "homage to D!ck's" and a "burger of the gods," wanting to try a standard type burger and then a more creative one. The bill for lunch was almost $40 (two burgs, 1 shake, 1 pop)! Quite the markup. The homage was okay. I liked the peppery coating on the ground beef. But it was GREEEEEEEASY. So greasy that the bun was wet in seconds. Soggy. The burger of the gods was just gross. It has balsamic caramelized onions - which were all balsamic, no caramel. It was topped with blue cheese, lightly. The problem with the burger was that it tasted like plastic. I don't know if plastic fell into the frying pan when they made this one (the homage did not taste like plastic) or if it was something with the onions or cheese - but it most definitely tasted like plastic. The fries are okay - nothing to write home about. We had both sweet potato and skinny. The strawberry milk shake had an off taste - like they left the container of strawberries uncovered in the refrigerator and they picked up other smells. The service was okay, kind of a-la Ed Debevic I guess. But when one guy found out the price of his "design-your-own" burger and then started back pedaling to reduce cost, the guy in the kitchen said something about getting your f&$king order straight. I was uncomfortable. I don't want to go here again. Not even to see the cool lunchboxes and funny signs.
Creative burgers housed in cesspool – I have friends who rave out this place so I had to check it out -- after all, I love great burgers. Was impressed by the menu choices and the friendliness of the staff-owners -- BUT, I don't understand how they can create great burgers in such a filthy place (inside and outdoor seating next to overflowing garbage). I heard they plan to move which is good news but I don't if the new place will be any cleaner. It's a miracle the place hasn't been shut down by the city already. If they can clean up the place...then maybe it stands a chance of becoming the best burger in Seattle...but not yet.
Best Burgers in the NW – My friends and I are definitely food critics- we look down on (most) chains and make fun of people who like them. We like really good food. This is our favorite place for burgers in Seattle. I always split one with someone, they are huge but absolutely delicious. So many options, and all of them that I've tried, I have loved. All of the options are high quality choices and prepared great everytime. These burgers aren't cooked all the way through and brown throughout like lots of other places; there was definitely thought with each burger. The sides are great and definitely try a milkshake; they're not your typical milkshake. This is a great Saturday hangover lunch.
Nice folks, Greasy Food – I really want to like this place, the staff is so nice. We've been 3 times to try different things and its always the same -greasy beyond compare. I grew up in the Midwest and I'm no stranger to a greasy spoon, but Lunchbox is so bad it makes me ill. As much as I want to like it, this last time was the last time.
Huge, greasy and expensive over dirty tables – I tried the place after a friend's suggestion. I understand good food and know it pretty well. The look of the burgers being served turned me off: huge and greasy... like I've never seen before. I had to apologize for taking my friends there. They are busy, so be prepared to deal with a rude waitress that might not get your order right.
I have learned that you not always "get what you pay for". I believe the quality of their produce they handle is good, but the location and the condition of the joint makes this hamburgers overpriced. I will definitely stick with Tom Douglas' idea of gourmet burger.
Quaalude in a bun – There isn't much on the menu that would actually fit inside a lunch box. The hamburgers are enormous. After I finished mine I went home and fell into a two hour, burger induced coma. The food here is incredibly rich and flavorful. I have to say that what they are cooking is way beyond a mere hamburger. The bun and meat are just a vehicle for inspired combos of toppings and a foil for side dishes like Mac & Cheese and French Fries. The whole is hard to describe. In order to understand it you will simply have to try one. Next time I go I will take a friend to split with and a taxi so as not to risk passing out at the wheel on the way home. The only neg. for me was the onion rings. They were unique but not to my liking. Everything else is over-the-top, rich and good. This is like no other burger you ever imagined.
I only gave them 5 stars because 42 stars wasn't an option... – I have been to the burger mountaintop, and it is the Lunchbox Laboratory... Every burger I eat for the rest of my life will have to be compared to the "Big Game Hunter" I just devoured, and may God have mercy on their souls! If I ever get reincarnated as a cow, I hope somebody has the good sense to slaughter me and sell me to Lunchbox Laboratory so I can experience true perfection... Uhhh, so basically, I am saying it was really good!
"NO BURGER FOR YOU!!!" – I've actually been a little afraid to write this review, lest Allegra figure out who I am and shout "NO BURGER FOR YOU!!" next time I'm in there. Don't even THINK about not knowing exactly what you're going to order before you get to the counter, and since the counter is only feet from the door, time is precious. Allegra has a sweet and sassy streak, but she has absolutely no patience for helping you through the roughly 867 variations on a burger that their over-sized, hand-scribbled, nearly illegible menu board offers. This place is a 5-star experience if you like a little abuse with your order. If not, it's still great enough for 4 stars because of Scott, and you'll just have to know your order SOONER next time.
(At the risk of REALLY ticking off the owners, a suggestion: put the regular menu on the north wall so that everybody can see it while they wait in line. Otherwise it's just too big and too close to read while you wait. Also, have someone with better handwriting break that puppy down into categories. You can't blame people for not knowing exactly what they want when it takes 15 minutes just to read the dang thing. And lastly, when somone says politely, "What do you suggest?" just pick something. Pick one thing you need to sell more of and just say that. There's no reason to shame them all the way to the back of the line because they couldn't decide which of the 7 salts to add to your 12 side dishes after they've already waded through 10 different meats and 27 different toppings. Thank God there's only one kind of bun!!)
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