When I was just a youngster, growing up on the east coast, a trip to the outskirts of town for a treat from Snyder's Acres was a BIG DEAL. Deep-fried frozen battered shrimp & fry baskets were all the rage, but it was the poly-saturated fat dipped soft serve cones in a multitude of flavors that soothed the soul after junior softball tournaments--win or lose.
As a recovering vegetarian, I allow myself the pleasure of homemade burger & oven fries every so often--I'm a big fan of ground buffalo meat which is available at times from the Renton Thriftway, served up lean, mean, & bloody as all get out--but the Basket Case in all its beautifully blue history seemed like a Skyway icon that couldn't go without at least one visit this summer to see what the neighborhood is talkin' about.
A true blast from the past, I've seen happy patrons slurping their pineapple milkshakes in the parking lot, along with a gaggle of old-timers who've patronized the place knee-high to a french fry playing out their weekly card game over mustard & onion-piled brats. Nothing's changed much at the Basket Case, except the next generation of the family operation keeps slightly later hours while sticking with the untrendy tradition of fast food at a slower pace.
Now while I have to say that Ken's glowing Saturday post-lawn mowing phone calls while I'm at work ("Hey honey, I just had the most amazing burger... Sorry you can't be here!") left me with a lusting appetite, an expanding waistline left me thinking this was better left as unexplored territory.
Enter Lemar, my Skyway/Renton sleuth, a delivery driver for our store whose stops inevitably become conversations about good soul food... This good working man put twenty dollars in my hand without taking no for an answer--now how often does that happen--just to check out the B-C once & for all. My guess is that he was tired of asking if I'd been there regaling me for five months with their virtues.
The verdict? If individually thin-formed pattied grilled to order on fluffy old-time buns are your thang, this leaves Dick's in the dust... Frites were better than some I've had in Paris--their claim to fame I must say--with French's mustard there for the asking.
True to its name, the Skyhigh Burger (note, you need to order *without* bacon if you want to skip a mile of pork) is a mouthful of beef, bun, & old-school special sauce. Risking serious indigestion, my Skyway sandwich stop fueled me all about the Sound on our kayak trip off the lakeside ridge of Renton.
Basket Case Drive-In
11901 Renton Ave S
Seattle, WA 98178