Battle of the burgers By Jacob Kriewald and Elijah Bullie

In the sterile, masked up era of the COVID 19 pandemic food is on the minds of restaurateurs and customers alike. According to a new report by Yelp, 60% of restaurants that closed during the pandemic are set to remain shut down permanently. The prevention of sit down dining caused a radical shift in the business proceedings of restaurants. With in person experiences put on pause, the empty seats in dining collect dust while consumers long for their comfort foods. This strain on establishments can only be alleviated by us. A year after the start of the pandemic restaurants have now engineered ways for one to patronize them while remaining safe, whether that’s through takeout services, more restraints on capacity, and spaced out seating. In this time of rapid innovation it can be hard to know up from down in terms of safe dining; that’s where we come in. Allow us to alleviate some confusion with our takes on safety, value, and quality to find the best local Bellevue burger. 

Our first stop was at Dairy Twist. This homestyle diner located at 2211 Lincoln Rd had a cozy feel. The restaurant was humbly decorated with modest fixings; a husker poster here, a snowy landscape there. The simple charm and peaceful atmosphere luls the customer into a sense of comfort as only a hometown haunt can. Despite the lengthy wait times, you’re provided with warm service and a smile like that of an old friend. The value could have been better, totalling in at $9.15 for a burger and fries combo. 

“Overall I enjoyed the burger meal from Dairy Twist, but there were some flaws in the rest of the experience. Due to covid, the diner was closed for indoor eating, so we had to go through the drive through which was a tight fit and you could tell by the scratches on the wall by the window. It took about 15-20 minutes to get out food which was due to the fact that there was what appeared to be only one person working the store. The burger was a nice combination of juicy and crunching, but compared to the competition, Dairy Twist ranks third on my list.” – Jacob

“It was fine. Just fine. If you’re looking for an extraordinary culinary experience then obviously this isn’t the place for you. However, I think that the meal did exactly what it was supposed to do. The ingredients were fresh, and the meat had a smokey flavor. The fries had been overdone and undersalted, and the presentation offended, thrown haphazardly into an unmarked paper sack. With Dairy Twist, you get what you bargain for: a dependable, mediocre burger with an equal par side.” – Elijah

Next we stopped at the well known and admired Stella’s. Widely known for their challenge burger the “Stellanator,” they are often forgotten about when it comes to their alternate offerings. This restaurant was converted from Estelle Francois Sullivan Toblers home to one of the most popular burger restaurants in Bellevue. The atmosphere was more upbeat than homy compared to other locations, with music, televisions, gills, and conversation all a blast. We were greeted kindly and asked to wait in our car until our reservation was ready. Social distancing wasn’t their number one priority as tables and chairs remained unwiped down since the other customers had sat there. However, it was still an excellent experience and for a decent price which totaled in at $11.93 for a burger and fries.

“Stellas was second on our list of local burger restaurants and personally, it did not disappoint. The burger was perfectly cooked and plated and for being as busy as they were, the service time was great. When we arrived we were met at the door kindly and were asked to give our name and number to be notified when seats were available. In less than 10 minutes we were seated in a slightly cramped spot at the bar. It was a very homey feel so overall they rank second on my list.”Jacob

“While Dairy Twist raised the bar when it came to comfort, Stella named herself queen of a bustling environment and vivacious flavor. Despite a packed house the service was punctual and friendly. The food stood a head and shoulders above the rest. The burger was especially seasoned and the condiments were fresh. I couldn’t ask or anything more, excepting a discount.” – Elijah

Sinful Burger was the final stop on our burger expedition. The dining room was enveloped by a sports bar and grill atmosphere, with TVs and posters plastering the walls. The speedy service made up for the price of the meal. Relentlessly masculine in its decor, the flags and pennants were a constant companion throughout our meal. The value was on the cusp of fairness, with $12.25 for a burger and fries.

“Sinful Burger was the final restaurant on our list and it by far was my personal favorite. To me this was the happy medium between Dairy Twist and Stella’s crowd wise. There were a few people dining but not an overwhelming amount. The service was fast and for a burger of that flavor and size it was impressive. It was definitely different from the other two burgers we reviewed. The burger was unique being that the cheese was cooked into the burger itself. Everything combined to make this experience a 10/10 and and the number one placement on my list.” -Jacob 

“In terms of punch, this one packed a whopper (pun intended). The service was fast and gracious, and our waitress deposited our brick of meat promptly. The burger was overpowered with heavy beef and cheese oozing out of the sides. While its might was too much for my somewhat delicate taste, I can imagine many people who would be thrilled with the mass of the meal. Considering the artistic intent, I have to admit that it did accomplish what it set out to be.