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Burgers and chips: Hop Jack’s in Bonney Lake and The Spar in Tacoma spare me from fry fatigue

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on July 15, 2011 at 7:22 am | No Comments »
July 15, 2011 8:10 am
Bacon cheeseburger at the Spar Tavern in Tacoma.

Burgers with fries. Anyone who follows this blog knows how much I’ve written about that combo in the last year. If not, just click here, here, here, here, here and here (did that make you dizzy?)

The last few months, I’ve encountered a few burgers served with house-made chips worth a mention. I was starting to suffer from fry fatigue, so the burgers at Hop Jack’s and the Spar, both served with crisply fried, thinly cut potato chips, found a fan in me.

Here’s a look at the two burgers:

The bacon cheeseburger at Hop Jack's in Bonney Lake.

Hop Jack’s
Where: 21290 State Route 410 East, Bonney Lake
Info: 253-862-6530 or

When I sit down at a restaurant and order a burger, one of my first questions besides, “do you flame grill?” usually is this: Are your fries frozen? Nine out of ten times they are. When they are, I look for other options, like tater tots or house-made chips. When the server at Hop Jack’s told me the house chips also were, ahem, frozen, I had my doubts. But what arrived was a mound of crispy fried chips. The bacon cheeseburger was well composed with a sturdy bun and hefty burger patty, but the seafood pasta ($14.95) tasted like it had been microwaved, rubbery overdone shrimp and scallops made me want to send it back to the kitchen. The service also seemed to be way off that night.

Bacon cheeseburger at the Spar Tavern in Tacoma.

Spar Tavern
Where: 2121 N. 30th St., Tacoma
Info: 253-627-8215 or

They had me at Angus burger. When the server said the chips were house made, I went in for the kill. Glad I did. The bacon cheeseburger ($8.95) at the Spar was perfect, except for the American cheese. Personally, I like my cheese to resemble a color found in nature and to taste a little less like plastic (sorry, personal grievance). Next time, I’d ask for cheddar or Swiss instead. House chips were thin and crispy, with just the right touch of salt. I’m a fan. Do give the mushroom Swiss burger a try, too. Service at the Spar? Always spot-on.

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