Food News

This Week in Seattle Food News: Carmelo's Tacos Opens A Second Location, A New Taco Truck and Fruit Stand Arrives on Capitol Hill, and Shota Nakajima Competes On 'Top Chef'

April 2, 2021 Edition
April 2, 2021
Capitol Hill's favorite taco counter Carmelo's Tacos opens its second location on Monday. (Jessica Stein)

Capitol Hill is blessed with the arrival of two new Mexican food options this week, as Antojitos Jalisco brings elotes and mangonadas to Broadway and the wildly popular Carmelo's Tacos celebrates the opening of its second location with churros and birria. Plus, a new lobster roll pop-up arrives in the Vermillion kitchen, and local chef Shota Nakajima impresses the judges on the season premiere Top Chef. Read on for all that and more culinary updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

Aliberto's Jr. Fresh Mexican Food
This Mexican fast food spot has popped up in the former home of an Arby's in Renton, serving quesadillas, burritos, tortas, tostadas, aguas frescas, nachos, carne asada fries, and more.
Renton
Pickup, delivery, or drive-thru

Antojitos Jalisco
Broadway is getting a place for fruit cocktails and elote. A new Mexican taco truck has opened on Capitol Hill, along with an accompanying fruit stand in the former space of the short-lived Soul Shack (and Dreamboyz Espresso before that). The truck serves burritos, nachos, carne asada fries, tortas, and more, while the stand will sling treats and snacks like mangonadas, esquites (Mexican street corn), tostilocos (pork rinds, pepino, peanuts, Clamato, and Chamoy). The space officially goes live on Uber Eats and Facebook on April 9, which is also when the fruit stand component will officially open with its full menu.
Capitol Hill
Pickup or delivery

Carmelo's Tacos
Rejoice: The fan-favorite counter-serve taqueria Carmelo's Tacos, which Christopher Frizzelle once dubbed "Capitol Hill's best new taco stand," has soft-opened and plans to officially open its second location in the former space of Oma Bap on Cherry Street on Monday, April 5. In addition to the menu of tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, the new location will also serve breakfast burritos and breakfast tacos on weekend mornings and will also have a monthly rotation of regionally inspired taco specials. The spot will also feature churros and birria as opening specials (!). In contrast to the pint-sized original location, the roomy new outpost will also have a patio and room indoors for 30 guests with tables (currently open for 50% capacity).
Capitol Hill
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating

Cheddarboy Popcorn
Craving the flavors of a carnival? This Kent-based popcorn stand is hosting a grand reopening and will be serving popcorn, funnel cakes, doughnut holes, shaved ice, cotton candy, homemade corn dogs, hot dogs, and drinks.
Kent
Pickup or delivery

Famous Kitchen
This new Cantonese barbecue destination has opened in Issaquah, serving barbecue duck and pork, honey spare ribs, braised beef brisket, and other specialties.
Issaquah
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating

Pub 70
This laidback bar has opened in the former space of Paddy Coyne's on Pier 70, offering a wide selection of Pacific Northwest beer on tap alongside a menu of modern pub grub, including wings, burgers, crispy pork belly, hot chicken sandwiches, chilaquiles nachos, fish tacos, and more. There's even a "doggy menu" for canine friends, including a "doggy meatloaf" with ground beef as well as plain chicken or salmon with brown rice and raw carrots.
Interbay
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating

OTHER FOOD NEWS

Seattle chef Shota Nakajima competes on Top Chef
On Thursday, the Bravo cooking competition series Top Chef returned for its 18th season, which is set in Portland. Local favorite chef Shota Nakajima, who has previously run the restaurants Adana (now permanently closed) and Taku (currently on hiatus) and has been a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Award three times, is one of this season's 15 "cheftestants" and got off to a strong start in the first episode with a soy-braised duck breast dish that was deemed one of the week's best four dishes by the judges. If you missed it, the episode is currently available to stream for free on Bravo's website.

Lobster Daddy pop-up launches

Looking to treat yourself to some crustacean luxury? A new pop-up called Lobster Daddy has landed on Capitol Hill, selling crab and lobster rolls, octopus carpaccio, seafood chowder, and more. The operation launched last year in a commercial kitchen and will take up residence in Vermillion's kitchen starting with a pop-up this Friday and Saturday. The pop-up is available for takeout and may eventually open for dine-in at Vermillion when it reopens if things work out. Owner Kodey Currier is also seeking other bar locations to partner with.

POP-UPS AND EVENTS

Wing Friday
The Vashon Island restaurant Gravy is commemorating its fifth birthday in the best way possible—chicken wings—with a "surprise theme" celebrating one of their "greatest hits."
Gravy, Friday, 11 am-6 pm

Gourmet Coffee Making Class
Brush up on the finer points of coffee and the bean-to-brew process with chef Max Aronson.
Online, Saturday, 9:30 am-10:15 am

Seattle Restaurant Week 2021
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over Seattle Restaurant Week, which happens twice a year and lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices. In the wake of COVID-19's devastating impact on the restaurant industry, this year's proceedings are going to be a bit different: Businesses will not have to pay a fee to participate, food trucks and pop-ups can join in on the fun, and restaurants can sign up whenever they'd like during April. Though three-course prix-fixe meals will still be available, the participating restaurants (over 200 this year!) will also have more flexibility over what specials and deals they'd like to highlight, and takeout and delivery will be emphasized more than before. Plus, with a new "Buy One, Give One" option, diners can now choose to donate $10 to the King County nonprofit Good Food Kitchens, which provides local funds to help restaurants and community kitchens (like Musang and That Brown Girl Cooks) prepare meals for those in need. This year's lineup of participating restaurants include acclaimed spots like Salare, Kamonegi, Mamnoon, Haymaker, and more.
Various locations, April 2-30

Watershed Pub's Seventh Anniversary
Watershed Pub & Kitchen will celebrate seven years of business with $7 blackberry mules (their most popular cocktail), $7 half grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, $7 nine-inch cheese and pepperoni pizzas, and funfetti birthday cake. They'll also serve a special collaboration double IPA called "Let's Get Shed Faced" made in conjunction with Cloudburst Brewing just for the occasion. Every day, through Apr 8.
Watershed Pub & Kitchen, Friday-Thursday

SPECIALS

Ciudad
Greet spring with roasted asparagus, spicy coppa, dried olives, and a fried egg from the Georgetown charcoal grill restaurant.
Georgetown
Pickup or delivery

Cupcake Royale
The cupcake bakery's April specials include carrot walnut, blueberry honey lavender, coconut cream pie, and pistachio ambrosia royale.
Various locations
Pickup or delivery

Goldfinch Tavern
The swanky Four Seasons Hotel restaurant has a new hibiscus-strawberry mousse dessert, made with hibiscus rose petal streusel, elderflower gel, mint cake, and strawberry cream.
Downtown
Pickup

Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen
The local Thai spot is serving a rotisserie chicken special with garlic and ginger rice exclusively at its newly opened Ravenna location.
Ravenna
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating