Kelly Cline is making it pretty near impossible to stick to that New Year’s juice fast resolution. She’s the clever creator of Blue Moon Burger’s monthly specials and for January, she’s cooked up a sandwich that evokes crunchy, corny childhood memories. Especially if you spent some formative years shoveling Frito Pie into your gaping maw!
What? You’ve never heard of Frito Pie? Well, it’s kind of like poor man’s nachos, with chili and cheese plopped on top of a bag of those chips.
Cline said the featured Frito Pie Burger is definitely a blast from the past. “It’s familiar, homey, comforting flavors and textures that I want to transform in to a burger,” she said. It's also the ultimate munchie, celebrating the passage of Initiative 502. Ha!
She’s been dreaming up whimsical specials since 2010—with a hiatus because of health problems in the first half of 2012—coming up with burgers that stretch the definition of that iconic handheld meal. Stuff like the wildly popular Chicken and Waffles or the Bomb Mi, a take-off on the banh mi sandwich. “Sometimes my inspiration comes from making a new sauce or condiment and I think ‘Oh boy that would taste great on a burger!’ Other times, my inspiration comes from some of my favorite types of cuisine, and the challenge to ‘burgerfy’ it,” said Cline, a photographer whose work is often featured in Edible Seattle, who added that she's always thinking about food.
Her burger master role all started when she gifted Blue Moon Burger owner Charlie Olson with a jar of her homemade barbecue sauce. “He sat down and ate nearly half the jar with a spoon and then said he wanted to build a burger around that sauce,” Cline said.
She added crunchy onion straws, Munester cheese, green tomato pickle and her "Super Secret Squirrel Sauce" and the burger was a huge hit.
I think the real genius in all of Cline’s creations is adding a crunchy note. The call of those corn chips is why I’m so going to abandon any first-of-the-year pretense of “healthy eating” – oh, who am I kidding? That went out the window the morning of January 1 when I made biscuits and sausage gravy – to chow down on the Frito Pie Burger. Can’t wait!
Blue Moon Burgers has locations in South Lake Union, Fremont and Capitol Hill