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October wine dinner


Giddy Up Burgers and Greens

Smart food options in a fun atmosphere

No one really expects to find good choices on the menu of a burger joint, and that's the first surprise at Giddy Up. Not only are the burgers made from organic grass-fed beef that is hormone-free, there are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, along with chicken and seafood.

Beyond the healthy proteins, there is a salad bar with up to 15 toppings, and all sauces and dressings are made in-house (chipotle mayo, lemongrass-jalapeño tartar, fire sauce, ranch, bbq sauce, and giddy up sauce). Burger alternatives include the vegetarian City Slicker white bean quinoa patty; The Catch, a house-made cod patty; and The Kickin' Fried Chicken with buffalo sauce and pickled jalapeños (photo). "We're kind of a jalapeño pepper palace," laughs Matt Garrity, one of three partners and the one who runs daily operations. "The chicken is so good because once we've sliced up the jalapeños, we take them out and brine the chicken in the jalapeño juice for a couple of days. I love things that have multiple purposes." A chicken breast, quinoa patty, or cod patty can be substituted on any burger. They have also brought on Hungry Planet's Range-Free Burger™, a 100% plant-based protein that has a similar taste and texture to beef, and no gluten or GMOs. It has 27 grams of protein per patty, no saturated fat, and is about 150 calories.

You can just make so many right choices before you cave, right? There are hand-cut fries from local russets, haystack onions, sweet potato fries, cauliflower and kickin' buffalo cauliflower. Yes, all deep fried. And who cares, they're good! They also make milkshakes on site-nothing pre-made, these are done with Tillamook ice cream, whole milk, and ingredients like fresh strawberries. There is a wide variety of beer, many on tap, that change seasonally. They offer a few red and white wines by the glass or bottle, a red and white house wine by glass or carafe, and a couple of ciders. On top of all that, they offer four cocktails made with rum, bourbon, tequila, or vodka.

Giddy Up was started by three partners, one of whom has moved on, and now Matt (photo) as of 2-1/2 years ago. The original two partners, David Brownell and Auzie Oxford, have started other restaurants (David is connected with Laredo's, both were involved with Ballroom and Talarico's, and Auzie was connected with May Thai) and came up with this concept. David and Matt have known each other since Matt was 5. At one time, they had a construction firm together; David came up with the look of Giddy Up-the Western theme, reclaimed wood, and barn in front used for regular dining or private events. "Even though I didn't come in as a partner/owner until later, I had a lot of sweat equity in this place," laughs Matt. He spent a lot of his 20s and 30s working in the restaurant industry, then took a decidedly different turn to become a teacher. "I needed a different challenge; I'm kind of an obsessive person and my focus changed. Once I decided to leave teaching, I thought I would go back to film and video production, but it required me to be away from my family and I didn't want that." When Dave contacted Matt about Giddy Up, he was ready.

"Location is important and it's always a risk when you go in. We don't get a lot of foot traffic here, but they felt they got more real estate for the buck. It has its own parking lot. It was a run-down market and they worked with the landlord, offering to do a lot of work on the place, including putting on a new roof." There are no reminders left of the market-the spinning Giddy Up sign is a draw at night, the barn out front is unique and has roll-up garage doors, a half-moon carved into the wood wall inside directs people to the restroom. Great for adults, it's also kid-friendly. The space to the left of the front door has a coloring corner and board games; there's an arcade game in the main room with Frogger, Ms. Pac Man, and two other games kids compete on; and there's even a bucket of chalk that kids can use to decorate the patio concrete outside. In the barn, there are communal tables, saddle seats for kids, and it's dog-friendly. Customers order at the counter and staff delivers the meals. For parents, it's great to know that when the kids have had it, they can just walk out.

Like any restaurant, they're always looking at the menu to figure out what should stay or go and what is too labor intensive to be realistic in a quick-casual spot. "The hot greens are very popular and we've been offering vegetarian and vegan options as well as the original. But when we're busy, making that as we go just takes too much time. Our chef is working on a new recipe that will be just as good but can be prepped early and served until it's gone. We've toyed with removing the poblano chili burger, but it has some die-hard fans, so it will probably stay." Whatever the final decisions, you'll still be able to make some smart and delicious decisions.


Giddy Up Burgers & Greens
4600 Leary Way
Seattle, WA 98107

Connie Adams/June 2017

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