Has it Really Been 10 Years?
This upcoming Tuesday, June 20 marks the 10-year anniversary of Smith, Linda Derschang's 15th Ave "goth hunt-club study/pub," as Bethany Jean Clement described it in her 2009 review. It blows my mind to think that, when she wrote that, I was a 22-year-old dirtbag living on then-head chef Eliot Guthrie's sectional, and I'm now writing this.
Anyway, the place opened in 2007, and while everyone liked the drinking vibes, no one was really digging the food. Guthrie, an alumnus of Cafe Campagne and Lark among others, had been hired to change that. Apparently he was worth his signing bonus, as Bethany concluded, "Finally, Smith's portions are shareably large, the prices are right, and the eating's as good as the drinking. Everything's all sorted out at 332 15th Avenue East. Knock on wood." Bethany's sense of restaurants is not to be underestimated, apparently, as it is now nearly impossible to imagine 15th Ave without Smith. May their happy hour Negronis—still unreasonably reasonable at $6—and reliably juicy burgers see them through another 10!
Has it Really Been Three Years?
Alaskan Herring Week—which runs June 19-25 and involves herring specials at a boatload of rad local restaurants—is now in its third year. Its launch in 2015 coincided with a feature I wrote about the unfortunate disappearance of Pacific herring from the local food milieu. To encourage local providers to use more of the bounty of our nearest ocean, rather than shipping herring in from halfway across the world, Old Ballard Liquor Company's owner Lexi hit the pavement and enlisted a small cadre of local restaurants to launch Herring Week. At first, the only participant you might have recognized was the Walrus and the Carpenter, but now the list is pretty expansive, and it appears that the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has thrown its full weight behind the week-long event. I know it's not exactly an end to world hunger, but I am thrilled to have contributed in some small way to an effort to unfuck the fucked up and unsustainable food systems that global capitalism has created. Also thrilled to eat my weight in Pacific herring next week, because it's extremely tasty!
Pizza in Paradise
The somewhat dubiously named Daddy G's is a new wood-fired pizza joint attached to a new nightclub in SoDo called Eden. As Eater's Adam Callaghan put it, "A callback to the heyday of Papa John’s and its ilk, complete with a cartoon Italian stereotype for a logo, Daddy G’s seems at odds with the color-changing shaggy light fixtures, space-themed bathrooms, and overall industrial-rave vibe of Eden, but who’s to say what the kids are into these days?"
The new joint venture is in what was once Washington's first, only, and likely last cannabis club, Club Zero. Alas, had certain lawmakers kept their conservative, fun-hating views on the east side of the mountains—instead of coming to Olympia to ensconce them in state law—we could have been enjoying communal Saturday morning cartoons, classic arcade games, and countertop Volcano vaporizers. We could have led the charge on a reasonable solution to the public cannabis consumption problem! Instead, we got a pizza nightclub. Blech.
The Beer Tradition of Big Al's Continues
Before it hosted Big Al Brewing, the squat, metal commercial building in White Center was home to Pacific Rim Brewing. Big Al closed recently, which was a tragedy, but the building will see a new brewery tenant, reports Seattle Met. Unified Brewing Company is a new project from, appropriately, a whole hodgepodge of local beer heroes. The Met's Rosin Saez has the whole list, but it includes the former lead innovation brewer of Elysian and the owners of Pine Box, so it's safe to say they know their way around a mash tun. The brewery won't open until 2018, but seeing that space continue its sudsy tradition warrants some immediate celebration.
B's Po Boys Finally Open on Alki
The much anticipated expansion of recent transplants Deborah and Ryan Borchelt's Indiana po boy spot, slated for the former Fatburger space, finally made it past delays to an official opening, reports West Seattle Blog. As someone who would pretty much always rather be at the Parkway Tavern in New Orleans, scarfing a hot link po boy and drinking a Dixie, I can't wait to go in and see how their sandwiches stack up. I haven't done a thorough search, but I've yet to find an authentic roast beef po boy in Seattle, so I'm also hoping that'll change with this news.
Pelligrini Italian Market Closed
While the west side of the Duwamish will be gaining a po' boy place, they're also losing Pellegrini Italian Market, reports West Seattle Blog. The beloved Italian deli/cafe simultaneously announced, via a sign on the window, the sad news that they've sold to a new operator and the happy news that they have a cute lil' newborn baby! Congrats to them, and here's hoping the new operator isn't another poke place. Speaking of poke...
Poke Square Officially Open
Ballard's latest entrant into the raw fish fray is currently serving, reports MyBallard.com. It's a tiny, 12-seat affair, the formula is your standard choose-your-own-base/seafood/sauce/sides adventure, and they're open Wed-Mon 11am-8pm.