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· GOLDEN BEETLE in Ballard: The great Maria Hines (Tilth) offers “elevated street food” inspired by the flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean, along with craft cocktails and a late-night menu until one in the morning on weekends (midnight other days). Fun fact: When the ancient Egyptians saw the beetle rolling a ball of dung across the ground, they believed it mirrored the way the sun travels across the sky—as the sun always rises again, the beetle came to represent rebirth and immortality. Oh, and Golden Beetle is certified organic by nonprofit Oregon Tilth. Yay!
· AMERICAN PIE in Georgetown: More pie? More pie! American Pie not only serves up both sweet (blueberry, pecan) and savory (chicken pot) pies, they also offer empanadas and cookies.
· SUN LIQUOR DISTILLERY on Capitol Hill: A bar and distillery from the same folks who own excellent cocktail denSun Liquor (though the house-made liquor isn’t ready yet).
· BELOVED MEXICO in West Seattle: Behind the Shell Station on Fauntleroy and Alaska in West Seattle sits Beloved Mexico, a Mexican food truck run by the Guerrero brothers, Christian and Erik (they live two minutes away). The food is a tasty, healthier version of standard taco truck fare—burritos, tacos, etc., all with no lard. But get the mole—it’s made from their mother Julietta’s recipe, not chocolatey but tasting of the sweet smokiness of red chili. So! Good! Go! Now!
· THE WHITE RABBIT in Fremont: Alice in Wonderland—themed paraphernalia and drinks may be found at this small Fremont lounge, where presumably one pill makes you smaller, etc.
· POQUITOS on Capitol Hill: Across from Quinn’s, it’s an upscale Mexican concept with craft/artisanal/etc. cocktails, featuring 14,000 hand-painted tiles, handmade tortillas, queso fundido, and a patio in the Havana parking lot, all brought to you by the business masterminds behind Ballard’s Bastille.
· BALLARD BISTRO in Ballard: Admitted-felon-with-at-least-one-alias Frank Rizzo made good French dip sandwiches, mentored formerly homeless kids who helped make the sandwiches, rescued a toddler from a fiery car wreck, and left town for L.A., allegedly leaving his landlord and employees (presumably including the formerly homeless kids) in the lurch. This bistro in the former Rizzo’s French Dip location still makes French dips (along with pancake sandwiches, pork buns, and chicken curry), but it will never make as good of a movie as Rizzo’s.
· ONLINE CAFE on Capitol Hill: Online Cafe is an internet cafe in the space that used to be one of the Online Coffee Company’s internet cafes.
· DENNY’S in Sodo: What once was a Denny’s and then was the 4th Avenue Diner is now a Denny’s again.
· TACOS CHUKIS on Capitol Hill: A Mexico City-style taco joint, including an adobada grill—a vertical meat rotisserie deployed thusly: “A pineapple on top drips juice and caramelizes as the meat cooks, and a slice of the grilled pineapple is served in the taco.” Um, YES, PLEASE.
· KIKI TAP & EATERY on Capitol Hill: Kiki serves Asian-fusion small plates and pints "at awesome prices." It’s where Kurrent used to be. The ice bar—a strip of frozen water along the bar meant for drinks-resting—is gone; the fireplace remains. Matt Hickey reports that the yakisoba is good.
· PEL’MENI in Fremont: Pel’meni makes Russian dumplings near the statue of Lenin, with two options: beef or potato. Each order comes topped with sour cream and spices, with a slice of rye bread on the side. They open at 5 pm and “do not close until everyone has had their fix”—2:30 in the morning, seven days a week, for your Fremont post-drinking needs.
· SPRING GARDEN in the I.D.: “The best of Asian cuisine,” particularly Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai dishes. Inside, it’s all bamboo and palm trees, with walls painted to look like blue skies.
· PHO LE’S on Capitol Hill: Even more hot sodium on the Hill, where Maharaja used to be.
· FAR EAST MEXICAN GRILL in the U-District: A tiny spot on the Ave serving typical taco offerings—pork, chicken, fish, and tongue—with a “Far East” influence: tempura-breaded tilapia, carnitas with a decidedly sweet sauce. Far East is reportedly good and certainly cheap.
· 820 PIKE STREET ASIAN CUISINE downtown: Bambuza served underwhelming “modern Vietnamese” for an inexplicably long time—now 820 Pike Street Asian Cuisine offers “mouth-watering, authentic” Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese food (including sushi) in the same spot in the shadow of the convention center.
·MEANDER’S KITCHEN in West Seattle: This breakfast joint in the former Jade West location fills the belly with calorie-loaded classics: country fried steak and eggs, bourbon-battered challah French toast, and the Meander’s Scramble (onions, mushrooms, sausage, spinach, and goat cheese).
· CAFE KOPI in Lake City: Formerly the Sugar Shack, Cafe Kopi still specializes in baked goods and simple lunch items (soups, sandwiches, rice bowls). Also: smoothies and True North coffee.
· JUDKINS STREET CAFE in the Central District: In the former Charlie’s Flame Broiled Burgers location, a neighborhood spot for pastries, soup, burgers, and daily specials.
· JODEE’S DESSERTS in Green Lake: “Preservatives are for mummies!” at this organic bakery and cafe featuring gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-glycemic desserts, as well as smoothies and Stumptown coffee.
· ELLIOTT BAY PIZZA CO. on Queen Anne: The owner closed Flame down the street and combined it with this place, which now serves a little bit of everything: pizza, subs, burgers, fries, salads, and BBQ sandwiches.
This post was assembled with the valiant assistance of Chow intern Chris Collison.