• Kelly O
  • HOT PLATES At Fogón.

Fogón means, roughly, "stove." Google translates an entry from a Spanish dictionary like this: "Stove: Formerly, in the kitchen room where the fire had to cook. In the boilers of steam engines, fuel destined place: have to take coal in the stove to operate the locomotive."

As the name of a restaurant, Fogón connotes warmth and hearth and family—even when the word is in the context of a train, it's an old-timey steam engine. It does not have any brainstorm-betraying, questionable edge, as with naming a restaurant Barrio; nor does it have the Americanized-sounding, diminutive quality of a name like Poquitos. Capitol Hill's Barrio was created by the Heavy Restaurant Group, which also runs the various Purple Cafe and Wine Bars, plus Lot No. 3 in Bellevue; the owners of Poquitos also run Bastille and Macleod's Scottish Pub in Ballard, are opening a beer hall called Von Trapp not far from Poquitos, and are planning another Ballard restaurant called Stoneburner. Barrio is the one with the massive wooden doors and wall of candles; a plate of three tacos there costs $12 to $16. Poquitos is the one with the filigreed metalwork and 14,000 handmade tiles; tacos there are $9.95 to $11.95 and up (the Baja fish tacos are market price).

The owners of Capitol Hill's new Fogón Cocina Mexicana own other restaurants, too: two more Mexican places...