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Family owned Burgermaster has been serving up burgers, shakes, and fries and more for more than 60 years. Founder Phil Jensen opened the first location near the University of Washington in 1952. These days his kids and grandkids run the business. Today there are six Burgermaster locations. (Photo Credit: Burgermaster)<p></p><p></p>
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Burgermaster: The family biz serving up burgers, fries & more for 60+ years

People love pulling into the Burgermaster Drive-In, near the 520 Bridge in Bellevue. They fill up on good eats and and get a taste of a time gone by.

"Burgermaster started in 1952 at the University location across the bridge from here," explains Alex Jensen. "We expanded to Aurora after that which eventually became a franchise, Bellevue came along in 1976, Mill Creek was open in 2002. Our most recent addition was Mount Vernon that opened in 2015 - we have one another franchise Everett that opened in 2005."

By the way, Jensen was practically born with a burger in his mouth. His grandfather, Phil, started the biz and Phil's kids - including Alex's dad, Bob, are still running it.

"And through it all we all love each other," said Bob. "We work hard and thank God we make money out of it, so it works out."

Founder Phil Jensen set the standard for service. Alex recalls some of Phil Jensen's favorite sayings.

"Two mottos that Grandpa used to say all the time were 'Quality first, speed second.' The other one that comes to mind is 'When in doubt do what is best for the customer.'"

From the start, cooking up perfect patties was a top priority.

"Most of the hamburgers in the fifties were your 19 cent burgers," he said. "We've always kind of considered ourselves that middle market - in between the bottom line and the gourmet burgers we sell an honest burger: grass fed, no antibiotics, no hormones."

But when it comes to the offerings here, the father and son duo do have their personal faves.

"For me it would have to be a tomato burger," says Alex. "It's something that is not actually on the menu - but a Burgermaster without cheese."

His dad, Bob is a traditionalist.

"I love the Burgermaster Hamburger - you know I'll put pickles and ketchup on it," he said. "That's my go-to."

Burgermaster makes a lot of the food at the restaurants.

"This is where it all comes from," said Alex. "We prep it right in the back, and we cook it right here in the back. That's where we make tarter sauce, and we are cutting and hand-breading fish. This is where the magic happens."

So how many burgers do you make out of this location every day? About a thousand at their busiest.

And nothing goes better with a burger than a scrumptious shake!

"We have quite a number of shake flavors," he said. "We always say we don't want to add anymore and then some how we keep adding them."

The most popular by far is Chocolate, and recently they started making them with Ghirardelli Black Label chocolate syrup. They also make Strawberry, Vanilla, Banana and Blackberry Shakes...and many more.

Once the orders are ready, carhops pick them up and deliver them.

Folks of all ages are fans.


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