The Most Disgusting Food on Earth
This week, we celebrate STEAK TARTARE (recipe #1973, the McCall Publishing Co.), sure to slowly empty your dinner table of all but the most E. coli-resistant guests.

2 lb ground beef round
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 raw egg yolks
8 anchovy fillets, drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup catsup
1/4 cup chili sauce
2 tbsp brandy
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 lemons, quartered
Dark rye bread or toast

1. In medium bowl, combine beef, lemon juice, and garlic; toss lightly with fork to combine. Lightly shape into 4 large patties. Arrange on serving platter.
2. Make an indentation in center of each patty; place an egg yolk in each. Arrange 2 anchovy fillets around each egg yolk.
3. Press sour cream through pastry bag with number 5 fluted tip to form circle around edge of each patty. Refrigerate, covered, until serving time.
4. In small bowl, combine catsup, chili sauce, and brandy; mix well.
5. Sprinkle with capers and onion. Garnish with lemon quarters. Serve with bread or toast. Makes 4 to 8 servings.

* * *

Cafe Septieme
214 Broadway E, 860-8858; Open daily 9 am-12 mid. $$
Septieme has a new baker, Rachel Lawson, and if the fresh pineapple pie is any sign of what's to come, then the bold new attitude is gonna pay off in spades. The only Capitol Hill restaurant to serve a dependable steak (besides Bistro Lautrec), Septieme continues to be the place people either love or love to hate. The morning biscuits are as good as they've ever been, when they're not maddeningly cold. Its lunchtime Puttenesca tastes richly whorish, reminiscent of its namesake. The evening menu's fall pasta is a standout, as is the blackened catfish with its glorious garlic mashed sweet potatoes. RIZ ROLLINS (4/8)

El Greco
219 Broadway E, 328-4604; Tues-Fri 11 am-9:30 pm (Fri until 10), Sat 9 am-10 pm, Sun brunch 9 am-2:30 pm.
$$
Living here often provokes me to fantasize that I live elsewhere. El Greco serves this fantasy well. The menu, conjured by owner Thomas Soukakos and head chef Carol Soukakos, is largely Mediterranean: pastas, panini, hummus, tzatziki, and babaghanouz share space with lamb, pork, chicken, and fresh fish. Basil, oregano, garlic, and tarragon are favored. Pork and lamb are invariably tender and moist, threaded with spicy marinades. El Greco also has some terrific vegetarian fare, especially their crispy penne ($10), tossed with eggplant, tomato, kalamata olives, and capers, then grilled--it's every bit as complex as the richly marinated pork loin ($13). MATTHEW STADLER (10/1)

Monsoon
615 19th Ave E, 325-2111; lunch Tues-Fri 11:30 am-2 pm, brunch Sat & Sun 10 am-2 pm; dinner Tues-Sun 5-10 pm. Closed Mondays. $$
Everything about Monsoon is gorgeously restrained. Mom's tomato tofu is a perfectly humble dish, with the delicate flavor of fried tofu befriended by a warm tomato sauce (perfect for the young or spice-shy). The seafood chow mein is pleasingly basic, with the simple but robust flamesavors of fresh broccoli, snow peas, straw mushrooms, shrimp, and ginger. More complex is the wok-fried lemongrass chicken, which came swimming in a sea of pungent spice, infused with a smoky tang and a hint of sweet vinegar. But for a great meal, the meal which will slap your face and tell you to shape up, pick any one of Monsoon's "Signature" dishes: green tea-baked salmon in banana leaf, or seared Chilean sea bass with fresh herbs and chili pepper. JAMIE HOOK (4/1)

Philadelphia Fevre
2332 E Madison St, 323-1000; Mon-Fri 11 am-6 pm. Closed weekends. $
Owner Renee Lefevre runs this joint with a gruff yet loving hand, and it all adds up to an old-school comfort-food romp in a theatrical environment. The flamesagship sammich here is the cheese steak ($5.20): chopped, thinly sliced beef topped with American cheese. PF offers our beef-o-phobic brothers and sisters a chicken cheese steak ($5.20). I went all the way and ordered cheese fries ($2.40), smothered in "cheese" sauce akin to the Nacho sauce available at the Kingdome. The krinkle-kut fries were krispy and krunchy, but save yourself 90¢ and forget the "cheese." JIM ANDERSON (3/25)

Rover's Restaurant
2808 E Madison St, 325-7442; dinner Tues-Sat from 5:30 pm. $$$
Light classical music flamesoated through the room: the staff spoke in hushed tones ("Have you been here before? We are known for our tasting menus") and gave us menus which required that we choose one of three options: the Five-Course Menu Degustation ($69.50), the Five-Course Vegetarian Menu Degustation ($59.50), or the Eight-Course Grand Menu Degustation($89.50). My assistant chose the five-course hootenanny, and I chose the five-course vegetarian. We proceeded through smoked salmon blini with caviar in a vermouth sauce, black sea bass in a lobster sauce with Moroccan olives, spice-infused pinot noir sorbet, etc. For $200, we expected to be blown away, and we were not. We've had much better food at a fraction of the price at places like Hattie's Hat and the Cyclops. JA (3/11)

Thirteen Coins
125 Boren Ave N, 682-2513; Open 24 hours, 7 days. $$
Nestled in the mysterious Denny Way trough, this bottom-feeder has been serving its mixed clientele 24/7 for 32 years. You can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner any hour, the first two running between $8 and $15; the latter about $10-$18 à la carte. Early dining experiences with my parents at the 13 Coins brought me back to see if it still exuded the mystery, the shimmer, the drama of Adult Life. I was not disappointed. Adults swam everywhere around us, accompanied by the subtle ice-cube clink of cocktails, shared possibly on clandestine dates. We enjoyed an abundant antipasto plate, which comes automatically (and which was refreshed as we lingered). Remember this place when, famished from an arduous night of drinking, you long for substance before you retire. JAN WALLACE (3/4)


CHOW Classics:

ANDALUCA, 407 Olive Way, 382-6999. Breakfast, lunch, & dinner, 7 days a week. $$$ BALLARD DENNY'S, 5501 15th Ave NW, 782-8699. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. $
CAFE LAGO, 2305 24th Ave E, 329-8005. Dinner from 5 pm, Wed-Sun. $$
DICK'S, everywhere on the Seattle horizon. All hours. $
KABUL, 2301 N 45th St, 545-9000. Dinner 5-9 pm, Mon-Sat. $$
KINGFISH, 602 19th Ave E, 320-8757. Lunch 11 am-2 pm M/W/Th/F, dinner 6-9 pm except Tues, Sunday brunch 11 am-2 pm. $$
MAYA'S, 9447 Rainier Ave S, 725-5510. Lunch & dinner, 7 days a week. $
THAN BROTHERS, 7714 Aurora Ave N, 527-5973. 10 am-9 pm, 7 days a week. $

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