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Burgers & Books: Chuck’s Burger Press and Third Place Books

Burgers and books merge into one Seward Park location.

Having recently replaced Muriel’s All Day Eats inside Third Place Books is Chuck’s, a traditional burger spot with a short and simple menu: Four types of smash burgers; fries and tots; and if you want to live dangerously, deep-fried bacon. Quite the change up from Muriel’s bagels, in other words.

I tried the “classic burger,” a single patty topped with a no-frills combination of cheese, ketchup, mustard, and pickles. I could wax poetically about it, but then, how much is there really to say about a good smash burger? The patty was charred and not dry; the toppings flavorful without drowning out the meat. It was almost pragmatically simple, exactly what I want in this type of burger.

Burger and fries
The burger may not be a thing of beauty, but then, why should it be?

And the hand-cut fries? Very good. Great, even, and the $3 option is plenty. Toss in $2 more, as I did, and you get a bucket full of fries. No complaints, mind you—it’s a good bang for the buck if you want to celebrate delicious excess.

It’s an unassuming spot, Chuck’s, and you can do much worse if you’re in the mood for a quick, old-school burger.

Third Place Books

Sharing its location with Chuck’s, Third Place Books is very much a neighborhood-centric bookstore. The Seward location—you can also find them in Ravenna and Lake Forest Park—is not large but has an extensive selection. Most new titles are there, and there is also a sizable back catalog of many familiar titles. They can order pretty much anything not in stock, too.

Third Place is not in the ballpark of Elliott Bay’s size, but I tend to prefer a more intimate bookstore anyway. A place like Third Place has personality—a certain warm vibe if you so like. One that goes perfectly with old-fashioned burgers.

Find both places under the same roof at 5041 Wilson Ave S in Seward Park.

Meanwhile, Across The Way

Caffe Vita—our perennial coffee-shop favorite—recently started carrying wraps courtesy of the Middle Eastern restaurant Mamnoon. This is good news: Mamnoon always delivers the goods, and their wraps taste fresh after a trip through Vita’s toaster oven.