The Aloha Spirit in the form of a big, juicy burger is blooming in one of Seattle’s most popular urban lakeside neighborhoods.
At Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, the local offshoot of a Hawaiian mini-chain, every burger is “da kine,” made from 100 percent ground chuck nestled between a multigrained homemade potato bun and topped with Teddy’s special sweet-and-tangy “secret sauce.”
Owners Ted Tsakiris and Richard Stula opened their first of 11 Hawaii locations in April 1998, and the franchise journeyed to the mainland in 2009. There are two other locations around the Puget Sound region in Woodinville and Bothell.
The menu: Mix and match to get the ideal burger or choose from more than 13 different specialty burgers, including local namesakes such as the Green Lake and Woodinville burgers.
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Pick your patty size of “Big” 5 ounces ($5.69), “Bigger” 7 ounces ($6.69) or “Biggest” 9 ounces ($7.99). The basic burger comes with tomatoes, sweet white onions, lettuce and dill pickles. Those brave or hungry enough can take on the “Monster Double” stacked burgers ($7.99-$10.69).
Burger alternatives include a grilled or crispy chicken breast, fish or pastrami sandwich; and veggie and turkey burgers. Those looking for lighter offerings have a choice of a “Create Your Own” salad with four toppings ($5.99) or Caesar salad ($5.59).
Pay a little extra for the combo deal, which includes fries and a drink.
Sides are extra-crispy fries ($2.49-$3.69); spicy, garlic or cheese fries ($2.99-$4.19); tots ($2.89-$3.89); and onion rings ($3.89). Kids Combos include a choice of burger ($5.59) or corn dog or chicken nuggets ($4.99) with fries and a drink.
Wash it all down with nine varieties of extra-thick shakes ($5.19), or an ice-cream float ($4.19).
What to write home about: Those looking to spice it up should try the Volcano Burger ($9.59) stacked with jalapeños, pepperjack cheese and Kilauea Fire Sauce. The Aiea Style Burger ($11.13) was tasty, loaded with bacon, mushrooms and Swiss cheese. The spicy tots ($3.89) are a must-have, and came deep fried to crispy perfection. The tasty haupia “coconut” shake ($4.19) so thick it required a spoon at first. Be sure to check out the monthly specials.
The setting: The spacious Hawaiian-surf-themed dining area has 15-plus tables with ample seating and counter seating and chairs along the front window.
Summing up: Three of us ordered an Aiea burger combo with tots and a haupia shake ($17.36); a custom burger combo with cheese, mushrooms and bacon, plus French fries and a strawberry shake ($15.07); and the Volcano Express combo with onion rings and a soda ($13.66) for $46.09, tax included.