Eatside: Wibbley's Is Saved by the Smell

Straight outta 1992, some fine Bellevue burgers.

Pulled straight from 1992, Wibbley's is situated in a labyrinthine Bellevue strip mall, a mix of Saved by the Bell 's Max's and the Cheers bar with disarmingly friendly service. As with any secret treasure of a hole-in-the-wall, Wibbley's is packed during midday rush hour. The regulars see the crowds and lines come and go, completely unfazed by how quickly the kitchen turns out orders and buses tables without skipping a beat. The staff is always willing to give a recommendation, and you'd be wise to take their advice. We couldn't decide between the Century Burger ($5.59)—a charbroiled patty, bleu-cheese crumbles, crispy, thick-cut bacon, bean sprouts, and juicy tomato slices—or their daily special, the Picante Burger with jalapeños and chipotle mayo. When "You really can't compare them; they're completely different" left us torn, a staffer suggested "Why don't you just add chipotle mayo to the Century Burger?" Yes, why don't we?! All the burgers come a la carte, but a half-order of fries was only $1.19, so of course we added them, along with a side of deep-fried button mushrooms ($3.29). The batter on the mushrooms is reminiscent of corn-dog batter, albeit crispier, not as dense, and more addictive. The half-order of fries looked like a full order, which was a nice surprise. The side orders marked another sad case of the eyes being bigger than the stomach, so we gladly took most of that home for later. Unfortunately, there was no room left for a handmade shake ($3.29), which just means another trip is in the works. Plus Wibbley's is located between Dunn Lumber, a sushi restaurant, and Skate King. Could you really ask for anything more?

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