Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Old School Kool

Today I went to Lunchbox Laboratory in downtown Bellevue and my experience left me with mixed emotions. You can see the sign for Lunchbox Laboratory from the freeway but it is really hard to find on the streets nearby. It is inside an office building so my first impression was that it wasn't very cool.

On decor of restaurant, I give it a 4. It definitely had a retro theme and they did a good job decorating the entire space. When you first walk in there are 5 lava lamps. Only three were working and they were really small so it seemed like a waste of an effort.

 There was orange lighting everywhere and that gave the place a really cool effect. They had old school lunchboxes all over the walls. I didn't recognize any of them except John Travolta on a Welcome Back Kotter (whatever that is) lunchbox. I only know John Travolta because my dad has a collectible doll sorry, action figure.

There were charcoal brown walls and I thought they were very lucky because the space had a really great view. This is the part that really confused me... my friend and I were the only kids in the whole place! There were only adults! "Lunchbox Laboratory" made me think that this was supposed to be for kids, but I guess it is more for adults to remember what it was like when they were kids.

On friendliness of staff towards kids, I give it a 5! All of the staff were really cool and stylin with swag! They were wearing backwards lids, saggy jeans and flannel tops. They were super chill and seemed happy to be there. Our server offered my sister to hang her picture she colored on the wall because she said it "looked pretty." Ummm, I can't say I agree with that statement! Since my sister kept "messing up" on her work, they happily brought her the same coloring sheet 3 times. Overall the staff was just really nice, gold star for you! 

On service speed, I give it a 3. When we walked in there they told us there was a 20 minute wait! Thankfully it only took 11 minutes. There were lots of people waiting outside the doors. When we finally sat down, the food took about 10 minutes after we ordered which seemed average.

"Homage to Dick's Deluxe" burger...

On taste of food, I give it a 4. They have Kool-Aid! I ordered the original flavor Kool-Aid which was sort of like fruit punch. It was sugary and delicious. It reminded of me of when I go over to my friend's house, the only other place in the world where Kool-Aid is provided. I love Dick's so I ordered the Homage to Dick's Deluxe burger. It came with a beef patty, american cheese, bacon (not on the real Dick's deluxe!), onions and "top secret" sauce. There was way too much special sauce, bacon and onions, It tasted GREAT but they went overboard on the condiments. The meat was moist and juicy with the cheese melted into it. The bun was delicious and perfectly baked, but the bottom bun was soggy because of all of the juice from everything else. Next to it was one pathetic shred of lettuce, an end piece of tomato (who likes an end piece?) and one slice of a pickle. Are you supposed to put that on your burger? It was enough to fit on one measly bite.  


The french fries were super thin and came out hot. They got cold very quickly, but they were delicious. They were crispy and salty and I couldn't stop eating them.

On appearance of food, I give it a 2. The food was served on fancy white plates but I think it would be WAY better if they actually served them in lunchboxes. The "top secret" sauce was pouring out of the burger all over the plate. The burger was actually falling apart and I had to eat it with a fork.   

On price, I give it a 2. The Kool-Aid was $2.50, and everyone knows Kool-Aid is actually really cheap. My burger was $13.99. For a burger? This place is definitely for grownups because kids wouldn't spend this much money on Kool-Aid and a burger.

Lunchbox Laboratory earned a final score of 20/30. The only things on the main menu are burgers and shakes. The kid's menu is a bit different but actually sort of lame. Look...

The most famous burger they have is called the "Dork Burger" but it is definitely NOT for kids since it is made out of duck and pork. Kids should definitely try this place mostly for the Kool-Aid and shakes. You can see what it was like when your parents were kids. From what I can tell, people mostly carried metal lunchboxes. My mom said she had a Strawberry Shortcake one when she was my age. Strawberry Shortcake was around when she was a kid? Who knew?

Lunchbox Laboratory on Urbanspoon


  1. "It is inside an office building so my first impression was that it wasn't very cool." Ouch. I am in an office building and I am.... Okay, point taken. Sigh.

    - Uncle D

  2. They should add an "Homage to a Happy Meal" and I bet kids would love it!

  3. We tried to eat here over the weekend and couldn't find it. We drove around in circles. I agree that they need better signs on the street.

  4. What is the deal with Bellevue and office buildings? I agree it is strange. It seems like you are in a work cafeteria.

  5. Did you taste the pork rinds?

  6. I ate at the one in Seattle and the burger was so greasy it made me sick.