Jake: There are times when only a burger will satisfy your hunger, and last week's heat wave was one of those days. Avoiding the chain fast food urge, I gave Mary's Burger Bistro a shot. After all, how can you be dissatisfied with a burger bistro?
Jason: When you recommended we eat here, I called my doctor to see if my heart could take it. My arteries began to shake just thinking about it. Of course, I say that as if it is a good thing.
Jake: As I entered Mary's, I couldn't help but miss the front door sign stating "$2 beers on Tuesdays" which made me wish it was Tuesday. I did not have to wait long to be acknowledged by the staff, because while I was reading the menu board, the cashier began rattling off every menu item, in detail, from memory. There are six basic 1/3-pound burgers on the menu, from an all American burger to the fiesta burger with jalapenos; the uniqueness of the simple menu is that each of the burgers can also be served with a chicken, salmon, halibut or veggie patty. However, the key word from the knowledgeable cashier that got me was "horseradish." Yep, that's all it took. The green pepper and onion burger is also topped with Swiss cheese and horseradish.
Jason: Chicken, salmon and halibut are for weenies. The BEEF burgers are where it's at. I am talking the kind of pleasure that requires a nap ... which can be challenging trying to squeeze in one of those at work.
Jake: Any burger you choose, make sure you are close to the napkin dispenser! My green pepper and onion burger ($4.99) was bursting with juicy deliciousness as I went through no less than eight napkins while I enjoyed it. The Swiss cheese and horseradish offered just the right extreme flavor to the already flavorful burger. And the bun tasted so fresh that I asked the owner if the buns were made fresh in house. Apparently, they are purchased from a bakery because of the freshness it offers. Well done Mary's, well done.
Jason: I opted for the sourdough mushroom and onion burger because I am getting psyched for the Puyallup Fair to start. The onions are grilled to a carmalized delightfulness, the sourdough fresh, the burger juicy, the mushrooms plentiful. Pure joy!
Jake: A burger craving isn't complete without fries and a shake ($3.49). The fries were fresh and tasty, especially when dipped in Mom's secret sauce (that you can also have on a burger if you choose). But the milkshake is what makes the combo. All the milkshakes are made with real ingredients, so if you order a banana shake, you can be certain that it will have actual banana in it. This is true for any of the nine fruit flavors that are offered. I, however, went with the caramel shake, which was rich, creamy and delicious.
Jason: I sometimes stop here for a shake as a snack ... and thus gain a good pound for the effort. But my wife loves my love handles ... or so I keep telling myself. I, too, appreciate a real shake with milk products, and Mary delivers the goods.
Jake: Mary's also offers sandwiches, breakfast and catering. It is more than just a burger joint. I'll be back to try the rest.
Mary's Burger Bistro is located in downtown Tacoma at 2301 Pacific Ave. See the goods online at marysburgerbistro.com.