Sometimes simply seeing where the road leads you offers more rewards than the intended destination, and Norma's Burger is one of those treasures. I ran across this gem heading north just looking for a place to eat that wasn't fast food (not an easy thing to find on I-5 between Portland and Seattle).
This is a classic American burger hop with the decor of a suburban family room complete with oak furnishings, pastel colors, floral prints and a smell of potpourri. None of this is particularly interesting on its own, but this family has a proud Veteran in it and there's tons of patriotism to be found in every direction. The art was truly amazing – more Bald Eagles and U.S. flags than most federal buildings. Beyond a mere shrine in support of the troops, this place acts more like a spastic Labrador pup all slobbering excited ready to hump the leg of the troops.
To top it all off, the burger menu offers specialties such as "The Duke" and "The W" burgers. And I'm not making it up when I say Survivor "Eye of the Tiger" was playing on the radio as I deliberated on which one to have.
I have friends who are bound by restaurant code to order whatever the most ridiculous "specialty" item on any menu is regardless of how disgusting or what they may actually want to eat (including homemade Tombstone/Hormel "chili pizza"). So borrowing their instincts, I had to go with the choice offering jalapenos, pineapple, and mustard…I ate The W.
Overall it's not such a bad home-style burger and the pineapple/mustard combo is tamed by the overpowering Kraft American cheese. Norma's is well worth a stop on a the dull Seattle drive and I'd suggest getting there soon to try The W. It won't be long before Norma's faced with changing this up to be a "Hillary Deluxe" or an "Obama with Cheese."
Norma's Burger @ I-5
Interstate 5, Exit 114
10322 Martin Way E.
Olympia, WA 98516