STANWOOD — We couldn’t go to Mammoth Burger Co. and not try its namesake offering.
That would be the burger made with 1½ pounds of hand-pressed beef, a quarter-pound of cheese, four strips of bacon, crispy fried and caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and a secret sauce, all on a 10-inch artisan bun and with a pound of hand-cut fries on the side. I’d never seen a burger that big.
“We’ve probably served close to a hundred of them so far,” owner Chantel Keller said. “We’ve had one guy who finished it himself.” That customer also enjoyed a 34-ounce stein of beer with his Mammoth Burger and pound of fries.
The burger joint, which opened in January in East Stanwood, offers eight other, smaller burgers and four kinds of salads, as well as chicken strips, milkshakes, fries, tater tots and deep-fried Oreos. To wash it all down, choose from soda, milkshakes, wine and 20 local beers on tap.
The namesake burger is not necessarily an eating challenge. It’s meant to be shared.
“We thought it would be really fun,” Keller said. “We’re hoping that when people hear about it, they’ll want to try it.”
At my insistence, my boyfriend ordered the $48 namesake burger — but only if I helped him eat it. The cooks ring a cowbell when a Mammoth Burger is ready to serve. It emerges from the kitchen on a cutting board with a large knife protruding from the bun.
We were surprised that a burger so big was grilled so well. (That seems like a challenge in and of itself.) I thought the bacon, onion, lettuce and tomato toppings were on point. We stuffed ourselves and still only managed to eat half of it. And it’s not as messy to eat as you might think.
A $48 burger that weighs more than 2 pounds may seem gluttonous and wasteful, but the restaurant and bar strives to be a green business.
“Everything that goes out to a customer’s table can be composted,” Keller said. All food wrappers, tray liners and serving baskets are compostable, and the kitchen prides itself on not wasting food, she said.
The restaurant uses local ingredients whenever possible. It serves locally raised beef that contains no growth hormones or antibiotics.
To get a better sense of the place’s menu, I ordered the avocado burger for $15.50, which is a third of a pound of ground beef topped with “avoyo” (avocado and Greek yogurt), fresh avocado, lettuce, tomato and caramelized onion. It was a tasty burger, thanks in large part to the avoyo sauce, but the fresh avocado was underripe.
Because we already had a pound of fries on the way, I chose the tater tots. The tots were well seasoned and perfectly crispy. I dipped them in sriracha ketchup and the restaurant’s secret sauce, which reminded me of honey dijon mustard.
Mammoth also offers weekly specials — burgers and milkshakes not found on the menu. On special when we visited was a peanut butter and jelly milkshake and a fried mozzarella chicken burger.
Keller said the most popular burgers on the menu are the bacon burger and, if you want to count it, a burger chopped salad with all the burger fixings except for a bun.
Also popular are Mammoth’s milkshakes. Choose from vanilla, chocolate or strawberry for $5.75, or Oreo, malted vanilla or malted chocolate for $6.75. (The next time I go, I’m ordering a milkshake. I mistakenly filled up on burgers this time.)
Keller also owns Jasmin Thai Cuisine and Sushi in Stanwood, which opened in 2001, and the Rockaway Bar & Grill in Camano, which opened in 2014.
Two of her restaurants — Mammoth Burger and Jasmin — are next door to each other on the first floor of the historic Granary Building. The aptly named 126-year-old building was once home to the town grain storehouse. Keller worked at Jasmin as a server and then general manager before taking over the restaurant 18 years ago.
The next day, my boyfriend and I warmed up the leftovers in the oven, finishing every last bite of that huge burger.
We had taken down the Mammoth.
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
Mammoth Burger Co., 8715 271st St. NW, Stanwood, is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Call 360-572-4500 or go to www.mammothburgerco.com.