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Originally published Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 7:01 PM

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Dining Deals

Ballard Brothers: Wild about the salmon and more

Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers offers a copious lineup of burgers, sandwiches (try the scrumptious salmon and Cajun chicken), seafood baskets, salads and sides that include chowder, onion rings and fried pickles.

Seattle Times arts writer

Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers

Seafood, sandwiches, burgers

5305 15th Ave. N.W., Seattle

206-784-4440

www.ballardbrothers.com

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, noon-8 p.m. Sundays.

Etc: Major credit cards accepted; parking available; no obstacles to access; no alcohol; phone ahead for takeout.

Prices: $

It seems like all summer, whenever I've been at an outdoor festival, I've wound up gravitating at lunchtime toward a Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers booth for one of their scrumptious salmon-fillet sandwiches. These are marvelous things: broiled to perfection, smothered with grilled onions, spiced with a tasty Cajun sauce and accompanied by sinfully good fries.

Two weeks ago, I decided to check out Ballard Brothers' actual restaurant north of the Ballard Bridge.

The menu: Ballard Brothers offers a copious lineup of burgers, hot sandwiches (salmon, chicken and cod), seafood baskets, salads and sides that include chowder, onion rings and fried pickles ("four crunchy spears" fried to order).

What to write home about: We already knew how good the salmon sandwich was, in both its broiled and Cajun-blackened incarnations, so we sprang for the slightly more elaborate Grilled Salmon BLT ($7.75), which comes with peppered bacon, lettuce and tomato. It's a great idea taste-wise, but a little messy to get to your mouth. (Note: There are napkin dispensers on every table.)

The Cajun Chicken Sandwich ($6) soaks a thin fillet of chicken breast in a chili-spicy sauce, topped with grilled onions to sweeten the heat factor. The Scallop N'Chips ($7.50) offers six breaded, medium-sized, melt-in-your-mouth, deep-fried scallops. Heavenly. The fries — which come with all the sandwiches, too — are deliciously crunchy on the outside and mash-potato soft within.

In a vain attempt to balance this meal, we ordered a Caesar salad ($5), which was surprisingly good: fresh greens lightly mixed with Caesar dressing and topped with crunchy croutons and fresh shavings of Parmesan cheese.

The setting: You might call it "fast-food maritime/rustic." Not lightning-speed food — but we had our four dishes, ordered and paid for at the counter, within 10 minutes.

Summing up: This really is one of the best deals in town — and one of the tastiest. I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that kids age 12 and under can eat here for free Monday through Wednesday (it says so on the website). For two adults making a feast of it, three entrees and a salad came to $32.88 with tip.

Michael Upchurch: mupchurch@seattletimes.com

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