If you don't feel like making the 217-mile drive to Keizer, Oregon to the newly opened In-N-Out location for some animal fries, good news: According to a sign posted in Westlake Center, the In-N-Out clone CaliBurger, which relocated from its spot in University District, recently celebrated its grand opening in the food court. The counter features self-ordering kiosks with facial recognition capabilities.
The fast-food chain Fat Shack, which gained a boost after its co-founders recently appeared on Shark Tank and received a six-figure deal, has opened a location called Fat Shack Underground in Pioneer Square. The business specializes in hedonistic menu items like "fat sandwiches" stuffed with various combinations of mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, French fries, onion rings, jalapeño poppers, and mac and cheese, as well as buffalo wings, burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, and deep-fried desserts made with Oreos, Rice Krispy Treats, Twinkies, chocolate chip cookies, and funnel cake bites.
The wait is finally over: Musang, the highly anticipated restaurant from Filipina-American chef chef Melissa Miranda, has arrived in the former space of Travelers Thali House in Beacon Hill. Melissa specializes in Pacific Northwest-influenced, Filipinx-inspired food and previously ran a pop-up under the same moniker, which comes from her father's nickname (he drove a Mustang that was missing a "T" in the decal, and "musang" also means "wildcat" in Tagalog). The restaurant has hosted some exclusive preview events and posted on Thursday in their Instagram stories that they are soft-opening through Sunday, December 22. In an episode of PBS's No Passport Required that aired just last Friday and revolved around Seattle's Filipino culinary scene, chef Marcus Samuelsson hung out with Melissa (and shared a home-cooked meal with her and her family in her home).
Nos Nos Coffee House
Khalid Agour, the owner of Itto's Tapas, opened this Moroccan-inspired coffee shop serving QED coffee, Flying Bird teas, baked goods from Patrick's Cafe and Bakery, soups, and sandwiches inside West Seattle's Upton Flats building on Tuesday, December 17. The name means "half half" and comes from a popular Moroccan coffee drink, made with half espresso and half milk.
This weekend, owner Gregg Holcomb and chef Jesse Elliott of Capitol Hill's Southern-inspired craft cocktail spot Witness will open this new restaurant in the space of the late, legendary LGBTQ hangout and bar/restaurant/venue Broadway Grill, which closed after 22 years in 2013. (The Stranger's Dominic Holden mourned the loss of the spot's "racy menu of grilled chicken with whipped yams," "glass chandelier that looked like Carmen Miranda's headgear on steroids," and "plastic clientele that looked like Carmen Miranda's backup dancers on Social Security.") The name is inspired by both the infamous Pacific Northwest bootlegger Roy Olmstead and the Olmsted brothers, who designed Volunteer Park.
Olympia Coffee Roasting Co.
According to a press release, the award-winning, fair-trade roasting company Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. opened a new cafe in Columbia City on Monday, December 16. The coffee shop features a full-service coffee bar as well as locally made pastries from Left Bank, okazu pan from local catering company Umami Kushi, and salads and sandwiches from sustainable sandwich company Homegrown.
The Capitol Hill neighborhood spot Tallulah's, which was formerly owned by Linda Derschang and sold to Brad Haggen last year, closed without warning this week. According to Capitol Hill Seattle, multiple employees walked out after experiencing months of payroll issues and paycheck delays after Haggen took over the restaurant and are still owed money, and the restaurant is now listed for sale. The establishment's namesake, Tallulah Anderson (the daughter of Linda Derschang), has expressed interest to Eater Seattle in taking over the restaurant, with the intention of making it "a safe space, where employees are treated fairly and guests feel welcome." A GoFundMe has been started to help raise funds and offset holiday expenses for the displaced staff.
University Seafood and Poultry
The beloved Pike Place fixture University Seafood & Poultry, known for its high-quality seafood and comprehensive selection of exotic meats ranging from iguana to python to camel, will close permanently on December 31 after 75 years of business, due to co-owners Dale and Jeanette Erickson (ages 91 and 89) retiring. The business has been in the Erickson family for four generations.
OTHER FOOD NEWS
Navy Strength and No Anchor owners plan new brewpub project
Cocktail power couple Chris and Anu Elford, who own Navy Strength, No Anchor, and Vinnie's Raw Bar (Anu also owns the bar Rob Roy), have an exciting project in the works: They're planning to open their own brewery, called Here Today, in the former space of the Old Spaghetti Factory near the waterfront, tentatively scheduled to open in late summer 2020. They've partnered with master cicerone Averie Swanson, who previously spent time at the acclaimed Austin brewery Jester King and will oversee the development of beers. The brewpub will also have a full bar with cocktails on tap and wine, plus a menu by chef Cam Hanin (who currently runs the pop-up Guerilla Pizza Kitchen).
Taku opening next month
James Beard-nominated chef Shota Nakajima of Adana in Capitol Hill is preparing to open Taku, his new Japanese street food spot specializing in kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers), in the last week of January. Offerings will include beef shortrib, shishito peppers, shrimp, and a "Fuckit Bucket" with 10-15 food items, plus highballs from a Suntory Whisky machine, Rachel's Ginger Beer, and seasonal tempura ice cream made with flavors from next-door neighbor Salt and Straw. Shota will also preview dishes from the menu at the buzzy New Year's Eve event One Night in Osaka.
Flour Box pop-up announces brick-and-mortar location
Baker Pamela Vuong of the Instagram-famous doughnut pop-up the Flour Box, which is known to sell out rapidly at its events, announced on Instagram this week that she's secured a spot for a permanent brick-and-mortar location. She will open the bakery, which will serve pastries alongside espresso from Anchorhead Coffee, in the former space of Big Chickie (which closed recently and teased that a "small business" with a big following was set to replace it) in Hillman City in spring 2020. Vuong had previously announced last year that she had locked down a permanent home, but the space fell through, forcing her to continue her search.
Ezell’s expanding to Portland
The ever-popular Seattle fried chicken chain Ezell's Famous Chicken (and Oprah favorite) plans to venture into Portland with an outpost in the city's Washington Square Mall in late January.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20
Let your cup runneth over with natural wine from the South Park wine shop Left Bank as you inhale cheesy slices from Dino's and groove to tunes by DJs Liv Wu Tang, Sangwoo, and Ash Williams beneath a glittering disco ball in the basement. All donations will go to the International Rescue Committee.
Obec Festivus Celebration
Celebrate with all the traditional trappings of the Seinfeldian "holiday for the rest of us," including an unadorned metal pole, the "airing of grievances," snacks (in this case, bites from Tummy Yummy Thai), and of course, "feats of strength" (Obec will provide hot-out-of-the-dishwasher pilsner glasses for guests to show off their heat tolerance, and bartenders will be on hand for arm-wrestling or thumb-wrestling competitions). Complete all the elements for a token redeemable for $2 off any full pour of beer or flight rack.
Release the Nog Holiday Party
According to the BottleNeck Lounge, even the most vocal self-avowed nog haters will be seduced by their "sacred concoction" created by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, the bar manager at Clyde Common in Portland. His sophisticated, boozy version includes anejo tequila and amontillado sherry.
Zylberschtein's Hanukkah Dinner
The North Seattle Jewish deli will get a jump on the Festival of Lights with a traditional spread prepared by Chef Strega, complete with an optional wine pairing.
Winter Solstice Night Market
This edition of the now-monthly Seattle Night Market (spearheaded by South Lake Union Saturday Market’s Ryan Reiter) is held over a weekend in which the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year, winter solstice, falls. Hence the name. It’s also indoors, which makes for a comfortable shopping (and eating) experience, with more than 150 booths, food trucks, and restaurant pop-ups that offer “locally made wares and tasty fare” spread all throughout Magnuson Park’s giant (20,000-square-foot) Hangar 30. Separate tickets into the Winter Solstice Beer Festival include samples of wintry brews from upwards of 25 local and regional breweries. Oh, there’s live music, too. In sum, it’s a groovy, beery, shoppy good time. LEILANI POLK
6th Annual Dark Beer Fest
Dark winter days call for similarly dark beers. At this three-day event, Flying Lion will offer over 30 such brews, including "cellared favorites, special releases, and plenty of limited availability brews."
B-Side Hazy Pale Release
Belltown Pizza has created their very own beer in collaboration with Hellbent Brewing Company: a "cloudy, hoppy hazy pale ale" called B-Side. A portion of every purchase will benefit Mary's Place.
Miracle on 2nd
In 2014, New York bar owner Greg Boehm temporarily transformed his space into a kitschy Christmas wonderland replete with gewgaws and tchotchkes galore. Now the pop-up has expanded to more than 100 locations all over the world and will be returning to Belltown’s Rob Roy this year. The specialty cocktails are no ordinary cups of cheer: Beverages are housed in tacky-tastic vessels (a drinking mug resembling Santa’s mug, for example), bedecked with fanciful garnishes like peppers and dried pineapple, and christened with irreverent, pop-culture-referencing names like the “Bad Santa,” the “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F**r,” and the “You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out.”
This holiday-tiki-themed cocktail bar pop-up (a spinoff of Miracle on 2nd at nearby Rob Roy) invites you to "imagine Santa on a surfboard instead of a sleigh and palm trees instead of pine." Drinks include the "Kris Kringle Colada" (dark Jamaican rum, Cynar, allspice, lime and pineapple juice, and cream of coconut) and the "Christmas Eve of Destruction" (dark overproof rum, herbal liqueur, nutmeg syrup, lime juice and Angostura bitters).
Sadly, Sun Liquor's cult-favorite aged eggnog won't be available for retail this year. However, all is not lost: They'll be selling their 2019 Holiday Spirit Blend, the same mixture of bourbon, American single-malt whiskey, aged rum, and apple brandy used to make their classic eggnog, at Metropolitan Market locations so you can mix it into nog yourself, and Sol Liquor Lounge will have limited quantities of aged eggnog available by the glass through Christmas Day.
Instead of gazing at a virtual Yule log video, take your tea beside an actual roaring, crackling hearth at Hotel Sorrento’s Fireside Room, a Mad Men–worthy old-school vision in opulent ochre mahogany paneling. You can nosh on posh teatime fare—like freshly baked butter croissants, lemon scones, and chocolate beignets; cured salmon with alfalfa sprouts and herb cream cheese; and smoked ham with pimento cheese and pickles—as you sink into a squishy high-backed leather chair and enjoy sounds played on a baby grand piano. If you’re lucky, you might even spy the ghost of Alice B. Toklas, who is said to roam the halls of the hotel.
December Truffle Tasting Menu
For the entire month of December, RN74 will feature a five-course tasting menu with truffles in every course, including a truffle croque madame with raclette cheese and tajarin pasta with Alaskan king crab and shaved alba truffles, paired with Burgundy wine.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21
4th Annual Marley Was Dead/Festival Of Darkness/Holiday Jam
Bid adieu to the darkness and prepare for brighter days ahead with this solstice party at Snoqualmie's acclaimed No Boat Brewing, and be the first to try their new 2019 Bourbon Barrel Aged Marley Was Dead Imperial Stout with Cuban Drinking Chocolate and Pine Drop Ecuadorian Cold Brew. You can also admire a blazing yule log, watch Christmas movies and live music, and nosh on Latin fusion fare from the Mexicuban food truck. Ugly sweaters are "strongly encouraged."
Dark Beer Day
As solace for the shortest day of the year, Populuxe will tap an array of dark beers. Scoop up some upscale sandwiches from the recently launched food truck Layers Sandwich Co. to go with them.
Drunken Christmas Carols
You're invited to tipsily croon some holiday standards, enjoy a "stout-nog" (eggnog blended with stout), and craft your own "sexually inappropriate" holiday ornament at this irreverent holiday party. There will also be live music by Ryan Bisson and food and drink specials, and Middleton Brewing will release their new Li'l Sixer beer.
Cold weather calls for a warm bowl of saimin, a Chinese noodle dish whose origins date back to the late 1800s in Hawaii. For one night only, Super Six will serve up their rendition with Dashi and shoyu broth, kalua pork, smeared spam, egg, fish cakes, bok choy, nori, and scallions.
Sibling chefs Trinh and Thai Nguyen will welcome Tom Vu, owner of the Vancouver, B.C.-based dessert spot CrackleCreme (and also their cousin), to their Bainbridge Island Vietnamese restaurant. Stop by for gourmet crème brûlée in mason jars and a selection of macaroons fashioned after animated characters like Hello Kitty, Pokémon, and the Despicable Me minions.
Wine & Scone Pairing
Try a trio of Mercer wines, each paired with a different teatime treat.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22
A Champagne Eve: Women in Food & Film
At this event hosted by writer and director Elizabeth Schiffer, dine on some wholesome fare from Eve Fremont, take in music from local artist Kate Dinsmore, and preview a selection of scenes from the film Champagne, a new indie short filmed in Seattle at chef Rachel Yang's restaurant Joule.
Hanukkah at Dingfelder's
Fill up on latkes, sufganiyot, and other Hanukkah favorites from the Capitol Hill deli on the first night of the holiday.
Quirky beer bar No Anchor will throw a party with plenty of holiday beers, such as Holy Mountain's "Donnyllama Doppelsticke" Altbier and Hardywood's Gingerbread Stout. Prizes will be given out to the most festively dressed.
Light Up the Night - Burger Fest
What do Jews and burgers have in common? You’ll find both at this annual Hanukkah celebration hosted by CYP Seattle and Chabad of Downtown in Westlake Park. There will be a giant menorah lighting, to-go boxes featuring hot gourmet burgers and latkes (because who needs fries when you have those crispy potato pancakes?), all made with love by Rabbi Shmuly Levitin’s wife, Chaya, and some volunteers, plus hot drinks and doughnuts, a mitzvah tank, live music by a Hasidic rock band, and a holiday market. In sum, delicious, festive, and fun. And admission is free! LEILANI POLK
MONDAY, DECEMBER 23
Parol & Pulutan
Snack on festive Filipino bites and craft your own parol (a traditional Filipino lantern displayed during Christmastime).
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24
Christmas Réveillon 2019
Revel in a "réveillon" (French for "long dinner"), with a feast of frisée salad, creamy lobster bisque, and beef Wellington, with a chocolate Bûche de Noël for dessert. Bonnie Birch will serenade diners on accordion.
Il Nido Christmas Eve
West Seattle's buzz-worthy new pasta restaurant Il Nido will host their own interpretation of Feast of the Seven Fishes, with live gypsy jazz and dishes like geoduck crudo, marinated anchovies, and scallop ravili with sturgeon caviar.
This open-door party promises latkes, sufganiyot, and an open bar with wine, beer, and a signature cocktail, as well as a menorah lighting and games.