There was a diner called the Red Mill in Seattle for thirty years starting in 1937. Twenty seven years after it closed, a new Red Mill opened in Phinney Ridge, and a hamburger legend was born. No doubt, Seattle is a significant burger city; and many of its connoisseurs believe Red Mill’s rate near the top. Flame broiled to a smoky savor, they come in many configurations from the basic version (lettuce and sauce) to deluxe (lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and sauce) and include patties topped with blue cheese, barbecue sauce and/or peppery bacon. You can get a double – that’s a half-pound of meat – and you even can get a meatless garden burger. We are fond of the verde burger, which is topped with roasted green chilies, jack cheese, red onion, lettuce, tomato, and the Red Mill’s proprietary sauce. Condiments and dressing are applied in abundance, so while the meat patty itself is good, it’s all those extras that put it over the top.
On the side, onion rings are essential. They are big hoops with fragile crust and thick ribbons of sweet, caramelized onion inside. And there is a whole menu of milk shakes and malts, plus fresh-squeezed lemonade.
As if burgers, o-rings, and shakes weren’t enough to like this place, we should add that it has a strict NO CELL PHONE policy. If you do need to take or make a call, there’s a Starbuck’s next door.
Seattle’s first Red Mill is in Phinney Ridge at 312 N. 67th St. The phone is 206-783-6362.