Cheap Eats: Lunchbox Laboratory

It’s not often a burger impresses me. Sure, there are some decent ones in this town: Red Mill, The Ram, even Dick’s if what I want is a greasy, cheesy, soak-up-the-alcohol food. But for a burger to impress me, it has to be special. Well, the burgers at Lunchbox Laboratory are definitely special.

The first impression of Lunchbox Laboratory isn’t anything special. I don’t think of that particular block of 15th Ave NW to be a dining destination, and parking isn’t plentiful. The few benches outside were inviting, but not when the high temperature was somewhere in the low 40’s. The one downside of our lunch was that the temperature inside wasn’t much warmer. I spent the entire meal shivering. Though with such a small space, I’m sure the cooks were quite warm back there working their magic. Next time I’ll definitely bring a coat or an extra sweater.

The tables are communal, and probably seat about 15-20 people, maximum. There are two large menu boards, the specials board that you see right when you walk in and the main menu hanging over the counter. I found this a little difficult to navigate since I had to keep moving back and forth in front of the communal tables to see both menus properly.

Prices were decent – around $8 for many of the burgers. The specials, however, were a very good deal. For $10, you got the special sandwich and a side.

What you really want to know, though, is whether the food was good. Let me ask you… does this look good?


On the left is my burger.  That’s an Essential Baking Company roll, onion straws, BBQ sauce, fresh tomato, provolone cheese, at least 4 strips of bacon, and a 100% grass fed burger.

On the right is buttered and toasted sourdough, another 100% grass fed burger, this one stuffed with cheese and topped with a blue cheese sauce and caramelized onions.

I call out the grass fed part because it is very rare that you find a grass fed burger. Grass fed beef cooks faster and has a different feel and taste.  Many restaurants just don’t serve it. I was thrilled to find one that does.

My burger was excellent. The bottom bun was just a bit soggy, but anytime you have a burger with some sauce on it, that is a possibility. I was amazed at the sheer amount of bacon on the burger. My husband’s burger wasn’t quite as good. There was a little too much bread for the amount of burger and the whole sandwich was way too soggy. The flavor was still excellent though.

For sides, we ordered tater tots and fried jalepenos. Again, both were fresh, hot, and tasty. They offer several different types of salt. We chose a smoked bacon salt. The tots weren’t as good as those at Tin Hat, but then again, I’m not sure it’s possible to find better tots than Tin Hat.

They have a variety of specialty sodas, none of which contain high fructose corn syrup. Yay! We didn’t order any, but next time we’ll try at least one.

The total bill was $20. I debated whether I should categorize our lunch as cheap or reasonable, but for the sheer amount of food, $20 is a great deal. We took almost all of the side dishes home and both of us left a portion of our burgers behind (I did eat all of the bacon through). Next time I’ll go for a long run before we go so I can eat more.

Lunchbox Laboratory

7302 15th Ave NW

1 Comment so far

  1. tonyb on April 7th, 2008 @ 8:31 am

    Hamburgers are the perfect food and the pinnacle of sandwich evolution.

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