Home > Restaurants > Zak’s – 7/30/11

Zak’s – 7/30/11


Location: 2040 NW Market St


Mon-Thurs: 11am-9pm

Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm

Sun: 11am-8pm

Saturday night J and I wanted something quick and cheap for dinner. We decided to cross another of Ballard’s burger joints off our list by visiting Zak’s.

Zak’s sits in a storefront next to the Majestic Bay Theatres. It’s décor could be described as “USA Roadtrip” with a myriad of old signs with funny sayings, movie posters and license plates from all over decorating the walls. They seem to be trying for a roadside burger shack feel with picnic tables for seating rather than traditional tables and chairs. The night was surprisingly warm so J and I elected to sit outside at one of the café tables rather than in the stuffy, warm interior.

Zak’s offers a specialized menu of burgers, some sandwiches and milkshakes. They also have local beer and wine.

The Service:

After snagging menus from the old fashioned bathtub just inside the door, J and I were worried that it might take a while for someone to notice us seated outside. No worry needed. A server came out very quickly and took our order. She was very nice. Our food also arrived surprisingly quickly.

The Drinks:

J had a Mr. Pibb and I, a Strongbow Cider.

I was tempted to order one of Zak’s milkshakes but felt I wouldn’t be able to finish it. Too bad they don’t offer a mini-shake like Scooter’s.

The Food:

I ordered a single Bacon Cheeseburger served with mayo, mustard, onion, ketchup, pickle, tomato, and iceberg lettuce. Zak’s burgers come on a nice, Kaiser bun that’s neither too soft nor too hard. The burger itself was okay. I found that the flavor of the condiments, especially the ketchup, mayo, and iceberg lettuce, overwhelmed the beef patty, rendering it pretty flavorless. My other problem was that halfway through eating my burger, the condiments and wet iceberg lettuce turned it into a soggy, unappetizing mess.

J chose the Blue Cheese Bacon Burger with a side of crispy seasoned fries. He said the bacon and blue cheese were great but agreed that the beef patty lacked flavor. Zak’s offers a higher quality Oregon natural beef patty for a buck more and J wished he’d made the upgrade.

The crispy, seasoned fries, which we shared, were kind of meh. The fries were neither “crispy” nor “seasoned”. Just pretty tasteless.

The Price:

Mr. Pibb: 1.90

Strongbow Cider: 4.25

Bacon Cheeseburger: 7.95

Blue Cheese Bacon Burger: 8.25

Crispy, Seasoned French Fries: 1.95

The Verdict:

A few days after eating at Zak’s, I had what I consider to be the best burger in Seattle at Norm’s in Fremont. I judge all other burgers by the Norm’s standard. After eating their Bacon Cheddar Avocado burger, I finally pinpointed the primary thing that makes a truly great burger. If the flavor of the meat can be tasted no matter what toppings come on the burger … blue cheese, peppers, onions, guacamole, etc … that is a great burger.

By this standard, Zak’s burgers failed. No matter how good the service or the price, if it’s a burger joint and the burgers are flavorless, it just isn’t that good. In my burger, the patty might as well have not even been there.

I doubt J and I will return to Zak’s unless we need something quick to eat before a movie at the Majestic Bay. So far, if I want a quick, cheap burger, I would rather go to Scooter’s where, at least, I can also get a mini-milkshake.

Categories: Restaurants Tags: , , ,
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  1. November 30, 2011 at 5:12 pm

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