White Center’s True Burger Giant

You’ll find it in a triangle.

There are three Triangle bars in Seattle, which is fitting, given that there are three sides to a triangle. What's more, each of the three is shaped like a triangle, so all have a legitimate claim to the name. At one point in time, all three Triangles were total dives—until the '90s, when the Fremont Triangle was transformed from a poorly-lit tavern to a spiffy, spacious restaurant-lounge. There's also the Triangle on the outskirts of Pioneer Square on First Avenue, which functions mainly as a macro-brew pregame spot for Mariner fans. And then there's Mac's Triangle Pub in White Center, which looks like a gay dive bar from the exterior, and sits at an intersection, Delridge and Roxbury, that has long been associated with urban mayhem. White Center's Triangle is owned by a barrel-chested, mustachioed gentleman named Mac. He doubles as bartender, triples as cook, and wears a black T-shirt with his pub's logo on the front and "Livin' the Dream in White Center" on the back. Given that Mac is a one-man show, he could be forgiven if he half-assed the sandwiches and cheese steaks on his menu. Instead he does the opposite, touting his food as "the best in White Center." On at least one count—a sensational Philly cheese steak—he delivers on this promise. The crowd that populates Mac's Triangle seems a familial lot of shaggy-haired regulars. Based on the preponderance of conversation, and on the promotions hung on the wall, their main interests include motorcycles, darts, and the Seahawks, not necessarily in that order. Mac's also boasts live music from time to time, a surprisingly extensive selection of microbrews and imports, and a level of cleanliness that belies its drab exterior and geographic notoriety. About a mile north of Mac's, in Highland Park, is an establishment called Zippy's Giant Burgers, which opened a couple weeks ago to rave reviews and lines out the door. Zippy's burgers are reportedly very big (estimated at 1/3 lb.) and very good (unfortunately, my one attempt to eat there was stymied by the fact that they'd run out of food and closed early for the night). The opening of Zippy's was met by the sort of enthusiasm normally reserved for the end of a famine, as though Zippy's was serving the first big, juicy burger ever proffered south of the Junction. Meanwhile, Mac's serves succulent half-pound patties that are more deserving of the "Giant" moniker than Zippy's. I ordered a double bacon cheeseburger (that's a full pound of beef, for you non-mathematicians out there) the other night that turned out to be the second biggest burger I'd ever attempted to eat in my life, the biggest being at a place called Grandpa Mischeaux's in St. Louis, which served burgers as big as a Rottweiler's skull. How they cooked that sucker through, I'll never know. mseely@seattleweekly.com

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