This post was written in part by valiant Chow intern Katherine Long.
So many new hamburgers are rolling around Seattle! You may now get a brand-new hamburger at four brand-new places, plus, possibly, several more. (Maybe Orcas Landing has a hamburger. It's the new version of the Beacon Pub!) The streets are paved with hamburgers.
A star (*) means we would like to go there right now and try it.
*TAVERNA MAZI in Ravenna: Demetri Georgakopoulos—of the late Porta Greek Taverna and Porta by the Market, both known for pretty great Greek food and really fun partytimes—is back with Taverna MaZi. The name means “together” in Greek. Demetri promises via Facebook, “If you loved Porta... Taverna MaZi will bring you back and with a little added OPA!!!” ($$)
· THAI THANI in Ballard: Thai Thani is a Ballard Avenue Subway that transmogrified into a Thai restaurant. ($)
*LI’L WOODY’S on Capitol Hill: Li’l Woody’s serves fancied-up, reportedly fucking delicious burgers made with Painted Hills beef. The Trotter is topped with caramelized onions, apples, chopped bacon, and horseradish sauce; the Fig & Pig features bacon strips and fig jam. The man behind Li’l Woody’s: Capitol Hill mogul Marcus Lalario (part-owner of Captain Blacks and the HG Lodge, and an investor in Havana, The Saint, and Molly Moon’s; known for wearing a meat thermometer on a chain as a necklace). A painting of Li’l Woody—a fuzzy, mini-Sasquatch-like creature—hangs in the tiny space, which is paneled in dark, unfinished wood reclaimed from the construction and “my friend’s fence,” Lalario says. Also: Molly Moon’s milkshakes and “crack fries,” which come with a little milkshake as dipping sauce. ($)
After the jump: MORE BURGERS. Also, other stuff, and Now Closed.
· GRACE KITCHEN in University Village: Grace Kitchen promises “food that is familiar, but not boring” in University Village. To that end, Poppy's Jerry Traunfeld consulted with improbably named head chef Cal Fairbanks on the upscale comfort-food menu. Breakfast (with “pastry items from our favorite local bakeries”), lunch, and dinner are served every day. The place is of the nonthreatening vaguely-vintage-bistro style, with wooden booths and a little exposed brick. You could probably do a lot worse—it's where Zao Noodle Bar used to be. ($$)
*GRUBWICH on Capitol Hill: In the space where the Pita Pit (don’t fall in!) used to be on Broadway, Grubwich is a promisingly un-prettied-up, mostly-from-scratch sandwich shop. Choices like the El Gaucho steak with chimichurri sauce, the Bomb(ay) eggplant, and the GruBurger—all $7—are listed in a wall-menu format that's clearly low-budget but also pretty great. Also, hand-cut, double-fried fries and free Tetris. Down with market research and graphic design, up with sandwiches! ($)
· POP KITCHEN + BAR at Seattle Center: Pop Kitchen + Bar is “a New American Kitchen + Bar focusing on local foods brought to you by Cameron Reed Concepts,” which is also responsible for the concepts Chandy’s Natural Cafe at Microsoft Commons and Soup’s On! downtown (their conceptual exclamation mark). Cameo McRoberts, recently (and very briefly) in the kitchen at Little Water Cantina, is the executive chef. P.K.+B. replaces the long-departed (and unmissed) Revolution Bar & Grill at Experience Music Project. Conceptual comfort-food looks to be the order of the place—a bacon-wrapped Kobe dog on a brioche bun with “spiked ketchup,” Caesar deviled eggs, a complicated grilled cheese. There will also be infused liquors and seasonal cocktails. There must be infused liquors and seasonal cocktails, or the world would implode. ($–$$)
Damiana's Blue Truck Special
*DAMIANA’S BLUE TRUCK SPECIAL on the road: Damiana’s Blue Truck makes stuff like “Fried ‘Bologna’–crispy mortadella + orange marmalade + arugula + dijon + pub roll” and a ratatouille sandwich, “squash + grilled peppers + roasted eggplant + basil + red onion + provolone + balsamic + zucchini + sub roll.” They want to serve “friends—old and soon-to-be—fresh, high-quality, heart- and belly-warming food.” Awww. ($)
· THE FINE DINER in Maple Leaf: In the former La Bera Cafe location, the Fine Diner serves soups, salads, and sandwich equivalents from a different region of the world every month. ($)
*ORCAS LANDING in Rainier Valley: Brought to you by the people behind the defunct (great) dive the Beacon Pub, Orcas Landing’s website promises more excellent, Beacon Pub-esque karaoke and food “that cannot be found in ALL of South Seattle!” ($)
The comically large sign.
*TAYLOR SHELLFISH FARMS on Capitol Hill: Taylor Shellfish Farms’ retail shop is in in the Melrose Market, just down the sidewalk from notables Rain Shadow Meats and the Calf & Kid (look for the comically large sign with the neon blue heron on top). It has all the shellfish you could ever imagine, including Qualicum scallops, Manila clams, Mediterranean mussels, Dungeness crab, spot prawns, and Maine lobster. (They also have not-as-recently-alive options, including oyster stew and chowder.) An oyster bar is in the works. ($$)
· BURGER HERO in Ballard: In the former Lunchbox Laboratory location, Burger Hero serves burgers with names like “Captain USA” and “Fantastic 4,” according to My Ballard. ($)
*THE SHOP AGORA on Capitol Hill: The Shop Agora is a family-owned Mediterranean grocery and deli with a lot of international specialty items. If it’s Greek, they probably carry it; same with $50 truffle oil, but sandwiches, like the salami and provolone on Macrina potato bread, are just $5.95. The Capitol Hill location features a wine bar and a much larger deli than Agora’s pre-existing Phinney Ridge spot. ($–$$)
REOPENED/RENAMED: PO DOG in the University District: now a school-themed bar going under the name DETENTION—same owners, no more hot dogs, more schooly, more bar.