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New Places for Stuffing Faces

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A star means we would like to try it ASAP.

recommended CAFE CON LECHE • Sodo: What used to be the reportedly pretty great Paladar Cubano sandwich truck on 90th and Aurora has reopened without wheels as Cafe Con Leche, serving home-style Cuban food in Sodo. Owner Pedrito Vargas—a man from Havana—is also in the Cuban band Grupo Ashé, and he's planning to have live music, so it's bound to be a party. (2901 First Ave S, 682-7557, $)

recommended BALLARD PIZZA COMPANY • Ballard: It's "whole pies and fat slices" in Ballard from Ethan Stowell, with specials like guanciale and Yukon Gold potato, and prices that aren't too fancy—$15 for a large cheese pizza, $2.50 per slice. Also, cold beer, fresh pasta, and a daily stromboli, all in a rough-wood-lined space that's there for you until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. (5107 Ballard Ave NW, 659-6033, ballardpizzacompany.com, $)

recommended JEMIL’S BIG EASY • on the road: New Orleans native Jemil Aziz Johnson—chef/owner way back when of La Louisiana in the Central District—captains this mobile Cajun/Creole emporium. It's "The Real Thing, Y'all!"—bringing po'boys, muffulettas, gumbo, boozy bread pudding, and more to your mouth, all in a yellow truck with a portrait of Chef Jemil on the side that looks a little like the one on a box of Cream of Wheat. (Various locations, 428-8305, jemilsbigeasy.com, $)

recommended CHA:N • Downtown: Korean-born chef Heong Soon Park split his brunch spot Bacco Cafe into two parts to make Cha:n (pronounced "chahn," it means "all the food except for the rice," he says). He's making locally sourced Korean small plates both traditional (braised short ribs, poached black cod) and modern (kimchi pork belly, bulgogi sliders), all prettily presented; the Sojito, a soju mojito, sounds dangerously easy to drink. (86 Pine St, 443-5443, chanseattle.com, $$)

recommended AFRIKANDO BANADIR • Rainier Valley: Fans of departed so-nice-they-named-it-twice Afrikando Afrikando, rejoice: Chef Jacques Saar is back, in the former Banadir space on Rainier, close to downtown Columbia City. Saar is making West and East African food—including, for example, yassa au poulet, a stuffed and baked half-chicken with spicy onion mustard sauce with green olives and carrots, "Offered after a long journey." Also! Breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m., seven days a week. Sounds like a journey of whatever length is in order. (5212 Rainier Ave S, 448-5183, $$)

recommended SCRATCH DELI • on the road: According to Nosh Pit, former Whole Foods butcher Ian Thackaberry haunted farmers markets all last summer to put together the sourcing for his new food truck. Right now, he's at Wine World in Wallingford every day but Sunday, working toward "his mission... to create some of the best sandwiches in Seattle." Godspeed, Ian Thackaberry! (Various locations, 425-269-2427, scratchdeli.com, $)

recommended SHABU CHIC • International District: If you are unfamiliar with shabu-shabu, the Shabu Chic website offers helpful instructions: "1) Get ready, 2) Dip beef/veggies, 3) Swish, swish, 4) Dip in sauce, 5) Enjoy." The counters are fitted with individual conduction burners at every seat, so you can swish, swish to your heart's desire, lunch and dinner. (1032 S Jackson St, Suite 202, shabuchic.com, $$)

recommended ROLLIN Q • on the road: A retired firefighter/professional chef from Texas makes his slow-cooked barbeque in a custom-built smoker attached to the back of the Rollin Q truck (and if his girth in his website photo is any indication, Darrell's a man who knows his meat). There's also the "Rollin Rotation of the Day," like chicken and waffles, shrimp Creole, or smoked Cornish game hen. (Various locations, 261-5405, rollinq.com, $)

MED MIX • Central District: Med Mix has an inexpensive mixed menu of the Mediterranean and way, way beyond—including gyros, fish 'n' chips, fried chicken, and, in an apparent nod to previous occupant Philly Cheese Steak, Philly cheesesteaks. (There are no kosher baked goods honoring the short-lived Beehive Bakery.) (1400 23rd Ave, 341-9265, $)

• JUS BAR • Columbia City: It's official: Columbia City has a juice bar. It's called Jus Bar, and it's in the Weed Building where the Chelsea Deli used to be. It's got organic juices, smoothies like Salted Caramel (and smoothies unlike Salted Caramel, more like regular smoothies), and healthy-sounding sandwiches and salads, too. (4908 Rainier Ave S, 420-2535, jusbarseattle.com, $)

• SODO KITCHEN • Sodo: On the third floor of the Starbucks building, this "coolest corporate cafe" (per a PR person) is open to the public. (2401 Utah Ave S, 318-0356, sodokitchen.com, $)

• RED PAPAYA ALE & SPIRITS • Lower Queen Anne: This alehouse purports to be "Good pho what ales you," with Vietnamese-influenced food and lots of microbrews in the former location of the Signature. (530 First Ave N, 283-6614, redpapayaales.com, $–$$)

REOPENED/RENAMED/ETC.: 35TH STREET KITCHEN AND BAR • Fremont: Now with a bigger bar, lounge, and new menu, according to Nosh Pit • CAFE ROZELLA • White Center: A reopening for this (relatively) longtime neighborhood spot, now with a "fresh and inviting French country chic look" and a French-Nordic menu (lox, canapés, crepes, soup) • CUTTERS CRABHOUSE • downtown: A two-month remodel and a one-syllable change for the nicest thing in Victor Steinbrueck Park, now apparently with more crab • FUSION WORLD • U-District: Previously known as Thanh Vi, now offering Mexican, Italian, and Filipino food in addition to Vietnamese (the beloved-by-Huskies Thanh Vi on the Ave remains the same, according to Eater Seattle) • LA ROMANZA BISTRO ITALIANO • West Seattle: Formerly the Tuscan Tea Room, a name change "at the urging of our patrons and our good judgment," according to their blog • SERENDIPITY CAFE • Magnolia: Now with a bar/lounge

NEW LOCATIONS OF EXISTING PLACES: MIO SUSHI • Green Lake: Where Trattoria Cioppino (briefly) used to be • POTBELLY SANDWICH SHOP • Redmond: Stranger sandwich expert Paul Constant hates this chain • A TERRIBLE BEAUTY • South Lake Union: Joining its Irish-pub brethren in West Seattle and Renton recommended

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leek 1
I would buy that "coolest corporate cafe" only because it's owned by Bon Appetit, which runs several other awesome school/company cafes around town. I used to haunt the Cornish one, and now I lunch at one of the two big ones at Fred Hutch nearly every day. The food is really pretty amazing, and the company is committed to sustainability in a big way.
Posted by leek on May 2, 2012 at 5:48 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 2
This town could seriously use some good Cajun food. I'll have to track this truck down.
Posted by Free Lunch on May 2, 2012 at 6:27 PM · Report this
tgray 3
Scratch Deli is really tasty and fresh! Kinda pricey but worth it.
Posted by tgray on May 4, 2012 at 3:37 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 4
maneki in the international district makes fresh soju mojitos but only on friday and saturday nights.
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on May 4, 2012 at 8:20 PM · Report this
5
Jamil is the best! We used to live next door to each other and the smells would waft over and then he would bring me a plate of the best gumbo, fried chicken, crab cakes - all of it so good.
Posted by picapica on May 6, 2012 at 6:53 PM · Report this

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