Today's AHT reader recommendation comes from Nick Woodson (aka HamburglarNW on AHT/Serious Eats). You can read more of this burger reviews at Yelp. Thanks, Nick! If anyone else wants to share some burger intel, here's how to do it. —The Mgmt.
21 Chimacum Rd. Port Hadlock, WA (map); 360-385-0388
Cooking Method: Broiled
Short Order: The "World Famous" Valley Burger isn't really world famous, but it's juicy and rounded enough that it absolutely should be
Want Fries with That? You will have chips or you will have nothing
Price: $8, sales tax included
Notes: $2 PBR makes a wonderful side
Seeing the "World Famous Valley Burger" on Valley Tavern's menu, my first question is the obvious one: "What makes the Valley Burger world famous?"
The answer: Many Navy personnel from nearby Indian Island order the burger and tell others about it around the world, giving the burger "world famous" status by way of mouth. While the answer is hilarious in its stupidity, there's nothing funny or stupid about this burger. It's easily one of the best burgers I've had in a long time.
This burger is far from standard, and I attribute it to the cooking method. No griddling, grilling, or charbroiling here—this baby is plain old broiled. They slap a big fresh 1/2-pound patty in the broiler and let it cook. They flip it to cook some more and then add jalapeños and onions on top. Give them a moment and they load on grated Tillamook cheddar. Once it's melted they add a second layer or cheese and toast the bun. Take it all out, add a couple pickles and homemade secret sauce, and dish it up next to a bag of Ruffles.
Cutting into the burger I see that the burger is cooked well done, but it's still juicy considering the doneness level. Some of the onions and jalapeños drop out from under the big ol' pile of scrumptious gooey melted cheese. All the ingredients stack up perfectly and are tied together with Valley Tavern's secret sauce. The sauce has some kick to it and reminds me of the spicy ketchup served at Hudson's Hamburgers over in Coeur D'Alene, ID—juicy enough to add to the burger, but spicy enough to not taste like plain ketchup.
While their reason for calling it world famous might not pass muster with me, they have been making this beautiful sandwich for 20 years. It's not actually world famous, but it deserves to be. —HamburglarNW
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