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Hit the Road, Get This Burger

Fall City Roadhouse: 4200 Preston Fall City Rd SE, Fall City; ph: 425.222.4800; 

Hours: 4pm–7pm Wed–Sun; Closed Mon & Tues

Should you find yourself heading eastward along Route 202, you’ll stumble upon a haven nestled at a crossroads: The Roadhouse Restaurant & Inn, also known as the Fall City Roadhouse. Just a half-hour’s drive from Seattle, this charming outpost beckons weary travelers, adventure seekers, and locals alike to indulge in a hearty dinnertime escape. Founded in 1916 as the Riverside Tavern, it’s been known by other names as well. A memorable one is the Bang Bang Bar. If that rings a bell, it’s because this Roadhouse happens to be the Roadhouse featured in David Lynch’s early ’90s serial television murder mystery Twin Peaks.

If that doesn’t sound appetizing, don’t worry: The real Roadhouse is nothing like its fictional counterpart. The atmosphere is cozy and warm, a respite from the monotony of the long road. A fireplace burns just off the main entrance, though diners were not seated next to it. While the interior could stand some quality of life updates, the overall dining experience is excellent. Orders arrive quickly and the caliber of the food is top notch. On the menu, the main event is the Roadhouse Burger. Eight ounces of juicy, well-seasoned American Wagyu beef cooked to perfection on a glossy, toasted, artisan bun. Comes with most of the usual trimmings: shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onion, mayo, house special relish. The cheese will cost a little extra, and so too will the caramelized onions if you opt for those — highly recommended. Bacon too if that’s your thing, but this burger stands well on its own without it. Once you sink your teeth in, you’ll realize this is heaven. Served with tasty French fries and ketchup, or a house salad. For a premium, you can sub out for a Caesar or onion rings instead.

The pandemic was not kind to the Roadhouse: In a 2021 interview with the owners, KCPQ-13 reported that it was “on the brink” of closing. However, it’s managed to survive, and with food this good, hopefully it’s thriving. In last year’s June edition, I listed some of the great gourmet burgers in Seattle, such as those at Heyday, Yard House, and Nordstrom Grill. There’s still others I still lament like Gordon Biersch that we don’t have locally anymore due to pandemic closures. I mention this to say that I would put the Roadhouse Burger that we almost lost up against any of those other delightful burgers any day of the week. It’s that good, and we’re lucky to have it.

~Brian Ward, Leschi resident


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