Washingtons official best rye beer of 2017, Lowercases Rye IPA.
Washington's official best rye beer of 2017: Lowercase's Rye IPA. Lowercase Brewing

The 2017 Beer Award Winners Are Here

The winners of our state's premier beer competition were recently announced at the massive Washington Brewer's Fest in Marymoor Park, and the full list is available here for the curious. Notable local gold medalists include Stoup in both the Robust Porters category and American-Style Imperial Stouts and Porters category; their neighbor, Reuben's Brews, in the American Brown and Black Ales category; and my neighbor, Lowercase, in the Rye Beers category. That's not bad, considering over 1,200 beers were in the running. Indeed, browsing the list is a potent reminder of just how good we have it here, a place where there is literally enough amazing craft beer that we have three medal-worthy beers in 165 categories.

Food Truck Falafel Salam Settles in to West Seattle Storefront

Popular Middle Eastern food truck Falafel Salam has, in the grand tradition of aspirational food trucks, found a brick and mortar space to call home, West Seattle Blog reports. The space is something of an indoor garden, with plants everywhere, including a living wall, and gorgeous wood paneling.

Foodwise, there's a lot going on. Falafel, obviously, but also weekend brunch with lamb poutine, pita French toast, and a "falafel twist" on chicken and waffles. They're also doing fresh coconuts, "cold and with a straw!" As part of their commitment to sustainability, they plan to partner with the West Seattle Farmer's Market to put ugly, neglected, but still totally good produce to use.

Having just lunched on an extremely mediocre falafel salad from some random place in a Redmond strip mall, I am looking forward to dropping by Falafel Salam for the fried chickpea balls that inspired one WSB commenter to call it "the best falafel I’ve ever had!"

Hours are weekdays from 11am to 8:30 or 9pm, unless late night business demands otherwise. Brunch is 8am-2pm Saturdays and Sundays. It's closed on Mondays.

Arson in Sunset Hill affects Caffe Fiore, Cocina Esperanza

If hell is real, people who purposefully set fire to quaint neighborhood coffee shops will surely roast in it. An arsonist torched Caffè Fiorè in Sunset Hill over the weekend, the cafe announced on Facebook. MyBallard has more info on the police investigation, and has reported that the Seattle Fire Department estimates damages from the blaze to the tune of $130,000. The adjacent Mexican restaurant, Cocina Esperanza, was damaged slightly as well, and is also currently closed.

Interestingly enough, it was the late hours of Esperanza's owner that prevented further tragedy. The fire was lit around 11:30pm on Friday, but the owner was still on site and hastily called the fire department. Here's hoping for a swift rebuild for both businesses, and even swifter justice for the arsonist. No word on motive, but I think "Is a garbage person" probably sums it up pretty well.

Iron Bull Will Return, They Vow

Apparently the abrupt closure of the Guild 45th theater fomented further suspicion that adjacent bar The Iron Bull, which has been closed for renovations for awhile now, is gone for good. They took to Facebook to announce that they will indeed reopen. No word on when, exactly, as they're waiting until they have a more final answer.

"We apologize for not giving more frequent updates on the status of the bar," they wrote, "but we want to make sure when we give updates that we can give something more concrete, so if you hear radio silence for a bit, don't lose heart!"

Higher Minimum Wages Aren't Killing the Restaurant Industry

A recent study out of Berkeley, focusing specifically on food service jobs, confirms that the favorite bogeyman of the anti-$15 crowd has failed to appear.

“Seattle’s minimum wage law is working as intended, raising pay for low-wage workers, without negatively affecting jobs,” concludes the report's lead author, Professor Michael Reich. Their presser notes that, while wages in the food service industry generally increased, " The wage increase was less pronounced in full-service restaurants, suggesting that restaurants took advantage of the new tip credit included in the city’s minimum ordinance."

UberEATS Raises Funds for Country Doctor During Pride

Dickhead CEO Travis Kalanick departs, and suddenly Uber is all warm and fuzzy. Besides allowing tipping, they've partnered with Pride Parade producers Seattle Out & Proud as a presenting sponsor. Thanks to that, every time you use UberEATS to order from a restaurant participating in their #EATWITHPRIDE promo, Country Doctor gets $1. If you're not hungry, you can also raise $1 by posting anything on social with the hashtag #INDIVISIBLE.

Beyond that, they're also offering free on-demand drag shows. Yes, you read that right, the most evil, sexist company to emerge from the swamp of Silicon Valley is sending drag queens door to door on Pride for free. It's a strange world. From their press release:

"Excited for Pride yet? Not only is Uber donating to Country Doctor Community Health Centers, with the help of Seattle Pride, Uber is Introducing Drag Queens On-Demand! Seattle Pride and Uber have partnered to bring Seattle free drag performances directlyto your doorstep. Two magnificent RuPaul queens, Robbie Turner and Latrice RoyaleWill join Seattle’s three most beloved queens, AmoraDior Black, Lasaveona Hunt, and Stacey Starstruckin bringing a drag show to your front door."