Finally, A Savory Slushy
The Union Saloon, a new Wallingford neighborhood joint from Delancey, Lark, and Salumi alum Michelle Magidow, started doing brunch. More importantly, they are doing the first savory slushy (that I know of): a Bloody Mary. Praise be! I have nothing against the super sugary slushies that everyone seems to enjoy so much at Nacho Borracho, I just can't be taking that much insulin all the time. Shit ain't cheap.
Anyway, I am very excited to go cure my hangover with vodka, spicy tomato juice, and a bunch of tiny shards of ice. The open-faced pork cheek sandwich they tout in their press release sounds pretty restorative too. It's basically a Benedict, but with toast instead of English muffins, and it looks really good. What hangover can withstand a big old pile of tender pork and poached eggs, really?
Little Big Burger Opens Second Location
The popular Portland purveyor of truffle fries and stacked-to-toppling burgers just announced their newest Seattle location, reports Wallyhood. It'll be in the Smith and Burns apartment building on 45th.
“We are excited to bring Little Big Burger to the dynamic city of Seattle," the chain's parent, Chanticleer Holdings, wrote in a press release. "We already have stores planned for Capitol Hill and Green Lake, and we look forward to bringing our proven concept to the Wallingford community.”
Ah yes, nothing gets me out of the house and onto on the E line more than a "proven concept." I am a sucker for truffle fries, though, and anywhere that sells you a burger with chèvre on it for less than $5 is doing something right.
Hotel 1000 Gets a Rebranded Restaurant
'Tis the season, apparently, for aging hotel restaurants to get a facelift. BOKA Restaurant + Bar will become All Water Seafood and Oyster Bar, which will serve "Pacific Northwest flavor with a side of history." Apparently their location was a bait and tackle shop in 1936, and that will be informing the decor.
"The new concept celebrates Seattle’s maritime industry, from the portraits of fishermen to the articulated shelves," they write. "The rustic materials draw from the simplicity of fishing boats, incorporating worn white-washed wood, metal, and white brick."
The name is also a reference to the all water route to Alaska, which gold-hungry prospectors would take from Seattle. Speaking of Alaska, the new joint will focus on super fresh seafood, shipping most of it directly from fishermen on the day it is served. Chef Scott Mickelson, who was helming BOKA, will still be running the show. They'll be open from 6:30am-10pm, starting sometime in September. Here's hoping it's as successful of a rebranding as Outlier, which is startlingly good.
The Woman Who Brought Us Eggplant Guacamole Is Leaving
We were not worthy. Shannon Martincic, formerly the chef at Bar Noroeste, Huxley Wallace Collective's very adventurous taco bar, is taking off for Chicago, Seattle Met reports. Bar Noroeste was an aggressively local take on tacos, and one that won raves.
"A restaurant where the taco is seen through eyes in a multi-climatic corner of the world," their website still reads. "From behind temperate rainforests and intricate waterways, across peninsulas and desert-like climates…there is no need to import anything when some of the world’s most unexplored and beautiful gems reside here."
Martincic's "guacamole"—made from local eggplant instead of imported avocados—caused a legitimate controversy. When South Lake Union's diners didn't want to buy the ticket and take the ride on the outré taco trip, Huxley Wallace converted it to Kiki Ramen for a broader appeal. After that, Martincic knocked around the collective a bit in a rotating role, but didn't land anywhere specific. Now, she'll be the chef de cuisine at the Michelin-starred Elizabeth Restaurant in Chicago. I hope you're happy, SLU.
Here's a Depressing But Important Article About Detroit
Detroit is experiencing a nationally lauded food revival, but people of color aren't getting a piece of that, Eater writes. At least in the weed industry, the banks have a semi-legitimate excuse for not giving loans to minority businesses, as giving anyone money is risky. In food, it's just reprehensible - especially when, as restauranteur Lester Gouvia told Eater, "The reality is that most black men are supposed to own a barber shop or a barbecue spot, so [the banks] don’t think that we should own a fine-dining restaurant.” Uh, guys, have you heard of this place called Salare?
This section, on the way media covers minority-owned food businesses, is something I've been thinking about a lot recently, too.
"Locally, it’s not much better. 'People who can get in [the 7.2] get all the attention,' says Winona Bynum, director of the Detroit Food Policy Council, which is tracking such coverage. 'They’re already better connected and have all the financial pieces, [but] we need establishments all over the city to get attention.'
And, of course, media attention is often also a matter of finances. 'When you talk about capital, maybe that means having the money to hire someone to help with PR to get attention outside of the neighborhood, to get some national buzz,' says Bynum. But for those with fewer resources, she adds, 'those are definitely barriers.'"
Replace "the 7.2," which refers to the square miles that make up Detroit's downtown core, with any of Seattle's restaurant hot zones, and the same statements apply.
If it ain't in Downtown, Belltown, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, or maybe Ballard, it might as well not exist, unless there's a big enough name attached. Also, I can assure you that the PR industrial complex is very real. I don't fault this city's wonderful restaurant PR folks for crushing it when it comes to capturing the attention of us food writers, but I do worry about who can afford their services.
If That Didn't Bum You Out Enough
There's Hurricane Harvey to think about! Charles wrote a thing about how all that misery might lead to a more humane, socialist society in the long run, which is kind of heartening but also pretty depressing. For a happier way to ponder the hurricane, though, you can go to Hula Hula and drink the "Hurricane for Harvey Relief," a lovely cocktail made with "Flora de Cana 4-year Extra Seco rum, passion fruit syrup, lime juice, house-made grenadine, and a touch of Ancho Reyes Verde green chili liqueur for a bright, peppery, and herbaceous kick." It's $10, and all of that goes to disaster relief organizations. Alcohol is a great way to forget the world's persistent, intractable problems, and while getting drunk won't do anything about Donald Trump—trust me, I've tried—it'll at least raise a few bucks for people who are busy fishing their dogs out of Biblical floods.