ELLENSBURG — The Red Horse Diner in this rodeo college town has some of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten.
When I lived in Ellensburg, I’d stay out late on Friday, wake up around noon on Saturday with a dry throat and pounding headache, and call up Red Horse. (They deliver.) Within a half-hour all of my problems would be smothered by a delicious combination of beef, cheese and grease. Red Horse burgers were the perfect antidote to those hard-living nights.
But to label them mere “hangover food” is to sell them short. These are burgers that are good for just about any occasion. You can walk into Red Horse, with its ’50s hot-rod theme, and have a nice meal with friends or family. Or you can stop by on your way out of town (it’s right next to Interstate 90) and grab some sustenance for your drive.
That’s what I did last weekend. Alana and I dropped by on our way back from a hike to Manastash Lake. We were starving. She got The ’37 Henway burger, which has cheddar cheese and a fried egg. I got the Trooper, which is topped with barbecue sauce and an onion ring. Both burgers also had all of the typical burger toppings. They were $10.25 apiece, with fries. (A note on those fries: They are “steak fries,” those flat-cut strips of potato that make skinny little fries seem wimpy by comparison.)
Both of them were thick and juicy, with just enough grease to be delicious but not so much that it left us feeling heavy. We had the dogs with us in the car as we ate, and they really wanted to try those burgers. But there was no way I was going to share.
Red Horse Diner
Address: 1518 University Way, Ellensburg.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays.