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My ode to bar burgers: Tell us your favorites for the TNT Bar Burger Noshdown

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on June 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm | 12 Comments »
July 2, 2010 9:17 am

I’ve wrangled with two hands the towering, smoky El Gaucho burger, noshed the heck out of the chorizo-sirloin burger dip at Asado.
I’ve tuned out yelling sports fans as burger juice from a delectable kobe beef burger rolled down my wrist at the West End Pub. I’ve bit into the gooey, cheesy, bacony center of an inside out burger at Cheers South Hill Bar.

And recently, after being tipped off by a TNT Diner reader, I set my burger loving eyes on the bacon cheeseburger at the Parkway Tavern. And, oh, how I am smitten with that burger.

Click “more” to read more about the Parkway’s burgers. Have a favorite bar burger you want me to review? Weigh in on your nominee for the TNT Diner Bar Burger Noshdown in September.

The Parkway is one of my favorite places in town for its interesting and always-changing rotation of  beer taps. They’re also the place to find entertaining theme nights, whether it’s the annual IPA festival or the kitschy barleywine festival. And they also host beer events like their Oregon vs. Washington beer challenge last week and last month’s Stone Brewing Night.

What’s synonymous with craft beer? Noshable bar burgers, that’s what. You know one when you find it. Juicy patty, crisp veggies, gooey cheese, smoky bacon and punchy condiments are the hallmarks for my perfect bar burger.

I don’t know that the Parkway is well known for its burgers, but it ought to be. Namely, it’s how they construct their bacon cheeseburger that impressed me. Their daily specials sometimes include unusual burger concoctions. Their recent Tacoma Farmers Market burger was made with spinach and grilled Walla Walla onions, and locally made goat cheese. The Black Jack burger was dressed with an olive tapenade and served on a ciabatta bun. They have a standard menu of nine burgers, too (chicken, salmon and boca among them).

Their bacon cheeseburger is on the daily menu for a bargain price of $7.50 with chips (or pay 50 cents more for soup or salad). The bacon cheeseburger towers in layers. It comes on a sesame studded roll that has a difficult time containing the layers within. The patty looked to be about a third pound and was seasoned just the way I like – with a dash of salt and a touch of garlic. When squeezed, it released that vital drip of burger juice – the quintessential tell of whether a burger is going to be worth my time. This one was. Thick, chewy bacon, gooey melted cheddar cheese topped the patty, followed by thick rings of crisp white onions, a beefy slice of tomato and a layer of still cold green leaf lettuce. The lightly grilled bun was finished with just a swipe of mayo on the bottom bun. It was a perfect bar burger paired with a cup of soup. I had only one small quibble, and that was that the roll disintegrated as I bit into the burger. I’d ask that the kitchen consider just a tad sturdier bun.

Parkway Tavern
Where: 313 N. I St., Tacoma
Phone: 253-383-8748
Hours: 11 a.m.- 2 a.m. Mondays-Fridays; 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturdays-Sundays

Your turn:


So what are the hallmarks of your perfect bar burger? Who serves the best ones? Comment here and I’ll add them to the list of burgers for the TNT Diner Bar Burger Noshdown in September.

The details: Bar burgers must be nominated at bars, taverns, pubs or any other kind of watering hole in the South Sound region. Extra points are given to hand-formed fresh beef patties a third of a pound or bigger. To nominate, just comment here or email to

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