In Search of Seattle’s Best Salmon Burger

July 11, 2011

Every now and again I get a craving for a particular food. Sometimes it’s Oysters on the Half Shell (which I attribute to low iron and magnesium counts). Other times it’s a good Salmon Caesar Salad. Sometimes (hate to admit it), it’s Southern Fried Chicken.

A few weeks ago, craving the city’s best Salmon Burger, I started my quest.

We began our search at the venerable Virginia Inn in the Pike Place Market, which has always been known for their crab cakes. The Inn’s burger,  pictured above, is made of ground salmon, basil-pesto aïoli, and a blanket of Swiss cheese atop. A bit gummy, okay flavor, but nothing to write home about.

We found the next contender at Chinook’s in Fishermen’s Terminal, a restaurant that has been featured previously in our Dish of the Day. This was an actual sockeye salmon fillet, simply grilled, on a plain bun with the fixings shown above. Pretty lackluster and ho-hum, sadly.

Finally, I found my favorite Salmon Burger at Ray’s Boathouse, a place we’ve written about in this blog and in “Pacific Northwest Wining and Dining.”

We enjoyed our salmon upstairs in the casual Ray’s Cafe upstairs. This was a well-seasoned, flavorful, perfectly grilled specimen on a good bun.

The description from the menu reads, “Fresh salmon ground and seasoned at Ray’s, spinach leaves, and tarragon-shallot mayonnaise.” The lovely side salad that I asked for instead of fries enhanced the flavor of the sandwich.

With picture-postcard views of Shilshole Bay outside our window-side seats and a couple of glasses of freshly brewed iced tea, we savored the joys of living in the Pacific Northwest as I enjoyed Seattle’s best Salmon Burger.

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