Not your usual burger joint

Quirky. Lefty’s Burger Shack is quirky. While the surfboards attached to the outside of the little eight-sided building and the sun-faded surfer sign on the street make you think of summer, Lefty’s is  open year-round and is not your usual Northwest-style burger joint.

This location in University Place has been various eateries, including an ice cream stand, a fish and chips place, and since 2011 Lefty’s, which has been serving big helpings of comfort with fresh-off-the-grill flavor and low prices which make a filling meal affordable.

When we arrived, there were a only few people eating on tables outside, enjoying the unseasonal sunshine, but in a few minutes cars started pulling up and a long line formed at the order window.  We ordered a chicken sandwich made with a fried chicken patty, American cheese, lettuce and tomato at $3.75, with a bun that had been left on the grill too long (reminding me of my grandmother’s burned-toast breakfasts, which made me smile); a flavorful Mushroom Onion Burger with two beef patties, sliced mushrooms, Swiss cheese, tomato and pickle at $4.35; a Bleu Cheese Burger with chunks of bleu cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo and pickles at$4.35; a chili dog made with a Polish-style sausage on a toasted bun at $3.45; Chili Cheese Fries at $3.25; super-crispy handcut onion rings at $2.95; and a blackberry shake and a butterscotch shake (which come in only one size at $3.57 each), both thick and delicious. We decided to order deep-fried pickles, but they had just run out. We’ll have to go back to try them.

Everything came smoking-hot in biodegradable paper containers, which made for a drippy mess eventually but was fine as we dug in. The sandwiches were really good, and the blend of the flavors on the chili dog and the chili cheese fries was great.

The food was good, the view was nice westward toward the Sound, and it was quite relaxing. Eating at Lefty’s was fun and worth a trip back.


Carolyn Augustine is a freelance restaurant writer.


IF YOU GO                        

  • Lefty’s Burger Shack
  • 8317 27th St. SW. in University Place
  • 253-565-0887
  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Carry-out orders taken until 6:45.
  • No inside seating, no public bathrooms.

    Surfboards on the outside walls and roofline of Lefty’s Burger Shack bring summer to mind.