For your stomach's and/or liver's consideration... click through for more info or to write your own damn review. So. Much. Mexican. Food.
· SKILLET DINER on Capitol Hill: Skillet Diner is the not-on-wheels edition of the roving Skillet, where you may park your behind and enjoy upscale-diner food and ambience from 7 in the morning until midnight—and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays—with breakfast ($6 to $13) served all the damn time (yay!). Skillet’s burger with famous bacon jam ($13) is available, along with sandwiches and a dinner menu that currently includes macaroni and cheese fancied-up with guanciale, pecorino, and English peas ($14), fried chicken with an optional cornmeal waffle ($18 with, $15 without), and Mad Hatcher rabbit two ways with fava and corona beans, herbs, citrus, and picholine olives ($18). Also: an open kitchen, cushy counter seating, low-backed booths, and big windows to open wide in good weather. Skillet Diner looks pretty great. It's been bananas in there, and reservations are only taken for parties of eight or more, so expect to wait. ($$)
· 418 PUBLIC HOUSE in Ballard: 418 Public House is a second pub from the guy behind Capitol Hill’s superlative Summit, with a similar, simple mission: nothing fancy, just a good place to drink. There’s 12 beers on tap (lots local), trivia on Mondays, bingo coming soon, and under-$10 Mexican food (the place is not Mexican-themed, just normal-bar-themed). Also: free pool during happy hour. It’s where the Reading Gaol used to be, near the Tin Hat. If you live nearby, you’re lucky to have another fine local. ($)
· THE YARD CAFE in Greenwood: A palindrome Brought to you by the people of Ballard’s excellent pub/bottle shop/cafe the Dray, the Yard has 12 rotating beers on tap, inexpensive Mexican food, and a giant yard. It sounds fun! Weirdly, the similar-sounding also-brand-new 418 Public House is right by the Dray. ($)
· STOPSKY’S DELICATESSEN on Mercer Island: Stopsky’s aims to “revive and modernize the deli concept by taking the best of Jewish cuisine and updating it with the fresh ingredients of the Pacific Northwest.” The kitchen stars Robin Leventhal, of Top Chef and Capitol Hill’s departed Crave fame, and one of the cofounders of the excellent Columbia City Bakery is holding down the bakery end of things. A Mercer Island tipper says Stopsky’s had to shut down at 1:30 p.m. on their first day because they sold out of food, and now they're closed for a few days because of an electrical fire (set to reopen Friday). Still, she’s “excited to get Stumptown espresso out here, as it’s lousy with Starbucks.” ($$)
So much more, including (for the morbid) Now Closed (hint: Hooters!)...
· CURE on Capitol Hill: Small, cute Cure has a beautiful meat slicer and lots of cured meats to go with it, as well as other under-$10 snacks like cheeses, a mortadella and pecorino sandwich, and maybe tuna-and-caper-stuffed Calabria cherry peppers. Then there's cocktails, a nice little wine list (a Chateau Bas rose, a grüner veltliner, a Barbera, more, $7 to $8 a glass), a nine-seat bar, and a few tables. The windows (lots of them) look out onto the tennis courts at Cal Anderson Park, and it looks like it will be very satisfying to sit and drink wine on a summer evening while watching other people play tennis. Cure’s motto: Vintum remedium es. ($—$$)
It means "the crow."
· IL CORVO downtown: Il Corvo is a lunch place on the Pike Street Hillclimb (near the Zig Zag) brought to you by the former chef of Lecosho (who's also the former owner of Bizarro in Wallingford). Sharing a (tiny) space with Procopio Gelateria, he serves (very) fresh pasta topped with made-to-order sauces, under $10 per plate. It means “the crow.” ($)
· SOLOM in Columbia City: Solom serves both American and Ethiopian breakfast (e.g., shredded pita with clarified butter, served with sour cream [!]), plus Ethiopian lunch and dinner and also, it seems, spaghetti and meatballs. ($)
· WILD RYE BAKERY CAFE downtown: The head baker here came from the Herbfarm, which bodes well. They serve light breakfast and lunch items—quiche, muffins, sandwiches, salads, soups, etc.—as well as lots of baked goods and breads on the street level of the Washington State Convention Center. It has been called “adorable.” ($)
· LITTLE WATER CANTINA on Eastlake: It’s “modern Mexican” in Eastlake, with lots of reclaimed wood, gramophone-horn light fixtures, and a wall made of empty tequila bottles (and, presumably, lots of partially full ones around somewhere as well). The sous chef used to work with Mexican food guru (those words are weird together, sorry) Rick Bayless. Also: outdoor seating with a Lake Union view. ($$)
· PARATII CRAFT BAR in Ballard: In the former fishing village of Ballard, it’s “a Brazilian sea-town-themed craft bar” (per the Ballard News Tribune) with lots of cocktails made with cachaça. ($)
· COA MEXICAN EATERY & TEQUILERIA in Maple Leaf: A coa is an old-school tool that jimadors still use to harvest agave. COA is “a sophisticated, low-stress neighborhood eatery,” with more than 50 kinds of tequila to further reduce the stress. COA’s food deploys local ingredients, with salsas and sauces made fresh daily; owner (and third-generation restaurateur) Edgar Carreon grew up in Ciudad de Durango and Sinaloa. COA’s happy hour looks good—Mexican beers for $3, house margaritas $5, tacos $1.50, and other snacks for $3 to $5. ($$)
· CAFE MOX in Ballard: Card Kingdom is more than 7,000 square feet of gaming paradise (their description, not mine), and Cafe Mox is the attached bar and cafe, with sandwiches (mini grilled cheese!), salads, beer, wine, cider, and mead. They say you can bring pretty much any game in from the shop and try it out. Paradise, indeed. ($)
· JUDKINS STREET CAFE in the Central District: In the former Charlie’s Flame Broiled Burgers location, a neighborhood spot for pastries, soup, burgers, and daily specials. ($)
· SAN FERNANDO PERUVIAN CHICKEN on Beacon Hill: This husband-and-wife-owned Peruvian place—the original’s in a Lynnwood strip mall—has roasted chicken, as well as ceviche, cilantro fried rice, and french fries. People like the Lynnwood one. ($$)
· GYRO CAFE on Capitol Hill: It’s a cafe that serves gyros. ($)
· LA LUNA on upper Queen Anne: Located in the spot that used to be Opal, then Opal Bistro, and then Flow Lounge (I think), La Luna is a “Mexican-inspired” restaurant. ($$)
NOW CLOSED: HOOTERS in South Lake Union · THE HIGHLINER PUB in Interbay · LITTLE RED BISTRO in South Lake Union (“temporarily closed for various improvements”) · PATTY PAN CAFE in Madison Park · RIMROCK STEAKHOUSE in Lake City · SELENA'S GUADALAJARA in Wallingford
That's all! Hi!
This post was assembled with the valiant assistance of Chow intern Chris Collison.