MONROE — Those feeling insanely hungry can head straight to Burger Madness to get right.
Near Lake Tye in a streetside business park, the joint is famous for its five-stack of 4-ounce burgers ($14.98, with fries and drink). That’d be bottom bun, lettuce, tomato, pickles, meat, cheese, meat, cheese, meat, cheese, meat, cheese, meat, cheese, top bun. Eat it all in 30 minutes, and you get your photo on the wall of fame.
If you’re overly confident you could put that burger monstrosity down without hesitation, then maybe the 12-stack challenge ($22.98) is for you. Consume it in 30 minutes to claim fame and a $30 gift certificate to come on back and try something with a little less meat but plenty of flavor.
Hamburger sandwiches are one of the great gifts to the world. Done right, a burger has so much to offer with each bite. Savory (salty, fatty meat), sweet (sauces, pickles), creamy (cheese, mayo), crunchy (lettuce, tomato and potato chips, if you’re a pro).
Burger Madness certainly delivered on its name, and we didn’t even go for either famed challenge during a recent trip.
A single slab of never-frozen beef with smoked bacon, two onion rings and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, called the Cowboy burger ($8.99), was madness for me to eat in one sitting. But I did, because each scrumptious chomp beckoned another. By burger’s end, I had a more-than-full stomach, a delighted mouth and a story to tell, even though I didn’t get my picture on the wall.
My co-worker Andrea Brown called me a “burger barbarian” as she watched me chomp into the fat bursting, dripping beef beast.
She ordered the Fire Alarm ($8.99) with jalapeno peppers, spicy sauce and pepperjack cheese. She cut her burger in half and took petite bites. That is not the correct way to eat burgers here.
Other specialty burgers come topped with things such as fried egg, pineapple and chili.
The ground beef was cooked perfectly, leaving succulent, juicy meat with just enough fat to bring it all together. All of the fixings on top, in hindsight, were probably more than I should have allowed myself to eat. But reading the menu and seeing an option with all of my suboptimal-for-a-diet favorites — bacon, BBQ, onion rings — I couldn’t pass it up. I’m just a mortal man.
Honestly, it’s the kind of burger that has me trying to concoct reasons to wind up in or even near Monroe. Take a long bike ride past the farms and snake toward Lake Tye for a bit? Swing by the fairgrounds and speedway because of the race/swap meet/4-H goat show? Go out for a rain-soaked, fishless day of angling on the Skykomish? Sure. Know where we should go for a bite after…
The French fries were the ideal size and texture. Chopped in the crinkle cut fashion, none were too long or too short, and had that beautiful crunchy exterior and delectable interior. It was probably overkill to have a burger that has two onion rings between the buns, plus fries, but never trust someone who gets a burger and shuns fries (without a darn good reason like a fatal potato allergy).
I was delighted by the two guys, sitting at separate tables, who snickered at our reactions to the hundreds of photos on the wall of fame. They also had not tempted fate by way of the Burger Madness dares, so that alleviated some of my masculine eating ability insecurities.
Plenty of people have, as made evident by the dozens of photos proving their feats lining the wall. Maybe, some day, I’ll be up there, too. It’s more likely than me actually reeling in anything out of the Skykomish River.
14655 Fryelands Blvd. SE, Monroe; 360-794-2128; www.burgermadness.com.
Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Alcohol: Beer on tap and bottle.