Return of a Ballard Staple

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Typically here at Emerald City Burgers and Brews we focus principally on the burger or brew that we are reviewing, but today I feel like veering from that a bit. We will of course be reviewing a local offering, in this case the Dock Street Burger (slider variety) from Bad Albert’s. In addition we will also be bringing you an update on the establishment. For those of you that don’t know, Bad Albert’s shut its doors last summer leaving many of its regulars rather disheartened. There were rumors that new ownership may opt to reopen in the future, however there were no guarantees this would happen.

I can tell you that the day Bad Albert’s closed its doors late last summer I felt a little part of me die or maybe it was my stomach rumbling at the thought of all the future meals I wouldn’t be enjoying from there.  For those of you who never visited Bad Albert’s in the past it was the epitome of a dive, the food was great, the place always had the same set of regulars enjoying their favorite meal, and the staff treated these people like family. It was also the “Home of the Famous Dock Street Burger” (former winner of best burger from Seattle Magazine) which many people had come to enjoy over the years, but I feared I would never enjoy again.

Fast forward a few months and we find Bad Albert’s rising from the ashes like a phoenix. Gone are the slightly drab interior, old school TV’s, and recycled cafeteria tables. In their place we find newly revamped décor featuring nearly a dozen plasma TV’s airing the major local and national sporting events, new seating, and an overall fresh feel to the place. While Bad Albert’s had a familiar and charming feel to it in the past I feel that the renovations were a necessary and positive step for the future health of the business. One thing that didn’t change though was the food. Like clockwork Bad Albert’s continues to churn out some of the best tasting neighborhood pub fare around brought to you by the same cooks as before.

I don’t necessarily grab a burger every time I walk in the door but it’s definitely my most ordered item on the menu. Recently I found my way over to Bad Albert’s for happy hour (1/2 off all starters during happy hour). The Dock Street sliders happen to be one of the offerings on the menu during happy hour and I was glad because I wasn’t really sure what I was in the mood for at the time and it gave me the option to order multiple items.

Unlike most slider options, especially during happy hour, the Dock Street sliders still come loaded with all their typical toppings including the bacon. For under five bucks you get three of these larger than mini burgers and a healthy portion of fries. Given the typical slider’s propensity to be thin, overcooked, and dry, these burgers still came out with a fair amount of juice and tasting nearly as good as the full grown version. My only qualms were that I could have gone for a little more cheese on the burger and the amount of shredded lettuce (I felt like they went a little overboard).

While I do occasionally love a good slider I can’t honestly compare it to the big boys of the burger kingdom, even these Dock Street sliders, tasty as they may be, still pale in comparison to the “Famous Dock Street Burger.”  In the future we will be reviewing the Dock Street Burger for you, but for today’s offering of the Dock Street slider I give them 3/5 stars.

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If you have never been to Bad Albert’s in the past I highly recommend a visit. Not only do they have some great food but they also constantly have a fairly large selection of local brews on tap including beers from Odin, Hale’s, Maritime, Georgetown and Silver City.

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