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

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on July 21, 2010 at 3:46 pm | 6 Comments »
July 21, 2010 3:46 pm
The bacon cheeseburger at Katie Downs.

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.

This week, after being tipped off by a TNT Diner reader, I set my burger loving eyes on the bacon cheeseburger at Katie Downs on the Ruston waterfront. I was glad I did.

Click “more” to read about my burger experience there, and read about how you can nominate your favorite bar burger for the TNT Diner Bar Burger Noshdown in September.

Noshing a burger on the sunny deck at Katie Downs is a pretty magnificent way to spend a few hours in July. The menu at Katie Downs lists 11 burgers, including a standard cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger, a teriyaki cheddar, guacamole burger and gorgonzola burger. Me? I pick bacon and cheese. Of course.

The bacon cheeseburger ($9.99) came with a thick patty, which looked about a third of a pound. It was moderately juicy and was fine as far as patties go, but the beefy flavor rated understated for my palate. Chewy, smoky bacon upped the flavor a bit. The plate was garnished with assemble-your-own toppings of shredded iceberg lettuce (note to kitchen: a little brown around the edges, ahem), tomatoes and onions. What I really liked about the burger was the relish. That may seem a strange thing to note, but if you’re a relish person, you notice when one is particularly good. This one was. It was tomato-based, crunchy and added a sweet sourness to the burger that aligned nicely with the savory, smoky bacon. If you’re a fan of Pick Quick burgers, you’ll know what I’m talking about. A good relish can give a juicy bacon cheeseburger a layer of sweet crunch that just makes you want to chase after the flavor bite after bite.

Burgers at Katie Downs come with a choice of cheese, but if you forget to mention you’d like real cheese, you’ll get stuck with processed American. Consider yourself warned.

Katie Downs
Where: 3211 Ruston Way, Tacoma
Info: 253-756-0771
NOTE: Katie Downs is a tavern, and all patrons must be 21 and older.

Hey! It’s 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.

See which burgers already have been nominated by readers here when I wrote about the Parkway Tavern burger a few weeks ago.

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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