Food News

This Week in Seattle Food News: Cheeto-Stuffed Burritos Arrive, Cortona Cafe Says Goodbye, and Miracle On 2nd Returns

November 20, 2020
The new takeout and delivery pop-up Man Vs. Fries brings fry-and-Cheeto-stuffed burritos and Krusteaz-battered Oreos to Seattle this Tuesday. (Man Vs. Fries)

As Washington enters a state-mandated shutdown on indoor dining, the Seattle food scene is still dynamic and constantly changing. This week, a takeout and delivery pop-up brings fry-and-Cheeto-stuffed burritos to Seattle, Canlis reveals plans for a new "yurt village," and Cortona Cafe announces that it will close for good. Plus, a meaty favorite plots a comeback, and the holiday-themed Miracle on 2nd pop-up returns. Read on for that and more culinary updates. For additional inspiration, check out our food and drink guide.


Man Vs. Fries
This delivery and takeout pop-up with locations in various cities will bring its menu of hefty French fry-based creations to Seattle on November 24, serving loaded asada fries and fry-stuffed SoCal and NorCal-style burritos and quesadillas with Flamin' Hot Cheetos. You can choose between straight or curly fries, pollo or carne asada, and SoCal or NorCal. There's also fried New York cheesecake and fried double-stuffed Oreos, both breaded with Krusteaz mix.
Pickup and delivery

The Brick Kitchen & Lounge
The Brick Pub & Grill in Renton recently reopened under new ownership with a new name and a surprising menu of fusion fare, including cross-cultural dishes like panang poutine, pork belly nachos, and Thai basil quesadillas. The restaurant is currently open for takeout only and is awaiting its liquor license.

Salt and Straw
The Eastside is getting esoteric flavors like salted caramel Thanksgiving turkey and pear and blue cheese: The popular Portland-based artisan ice cream shop Salt and Straw, which also has locations in Ballard and Capitol Hill, opens its new location in Kirkland's Village at Totem Lake shopping center today. The company is known for their out-there flavors (pig's blood pudding ice cream, anyone?) and region-specific collaborations with local producers, like Ellenos Yogurt and Beecher's Cheese.
Pickup and delivery

Spice King Seattle
The Renton-based Indian restaurant Spice King opened an outpost in downtown Seattle earlier this month. The new location features the same menu of Indian staples, including samosas, pakoras, curries, tandoori, kebabs, biryani, and naan. There are also naan wraps with a choice of chicken, paneer, fish, lamb, or a mixture of chicken and paneer.
Pickup and delivery


Carnivores, rejoice: This spot for hearty sandwiches, which closed in 2016 to the dismay of meat lovers everywhere, is getting ready to re-open in a new location soon, with an opening tentatively slated for January. In 2014, Paul Constant proclaimed it "transcendent" and home to "one of the best sandwiches in town," writing, "This is a sandwich whose complexity rivals the best of Paseo’s, a meaty thrill-ride that balances out all that delicious flesh with the subtlety of fresh vegetables." The new Phinney space features a bar and a patio and may offer dishes like rib dinners and smoked meatloaf later once the restaurant is more established. 
Phinney Ridge


Blueacre Seafood, Orfeo, Steelhead Diner, Tempesta Coffee and Donuts, and Zane + Wylie’s Seattle Steakhouse
Owners Kevin and Terresa Davis announced on Facebook on Wednesday that all of their restaurants, which they closed in early March, are officially closed permanently. The post read, "We met pretty much everyone we know at our restaurants, so this is a sad day for us. Thank you all for fifteen incredible years." Eater Seattle reports that Kevin Davis appears to have already moved on to a new project, a restaurant called Canyon River Grill located in a private residential and recreational community in Ellensburg.

The James Beard-nominated "whiskey and bitters emporium" known for its show-stopping cocktails is temporarily closing on Saturday until at least spring. The closure was originally scheduled for November 25, but the restaurant announced via social media today that the closure will come sooner than expected due to a death in the family. Owner Jamie Boudreau told Eater Seattle that the business continued to lose more money by remaining open—takeout sales were not making ends meet, and the small space was unable to facilitate socially distanced in-person dining. Until it reopens, Canon will have occasional one-day pop-ups for cocktails and other items, with the first planned for December 5.
Central District

Cortona Cafe
The Central District's beloved cafe and community hub is closing on November 29. Though COVID-19 had a negative impact on the business, owner Isolynn “Ice” Dean told South Seattle Emerald that the coffee shop was making ends meet with a takeout window after closing in March and probably would have made it through the winter. However, she felt the time was right and will be moving to Georgia this spring to realize a longtime dream of farming mushrooms. She was also mindful of choosing a successor that wouldn't contribute to the neighborhood's gentrification. Melo Juice founders Hanan Hassan Diriye and Ambrosia Austin will open Melo Cafe in the space in early 2021, serving bottled juices, Herkimer coffee, pastries, and the same homemade waffle recipe served at Cortona. 
Central District

New Luck Toy
Restaurateur Mark Fuller's Chinese-inspired bar New Luck Toy in West Seattle announced on social media last weekend that it will shut down for the next six months "out of an abundance of caution."
West Seattle

The Roanoke
The ivy-covered tavern known affectionately as the "Chia Pet" announced on Instagram that it is closing temporarily. The post read, "Our business is not sustainable with just to go revenue & we lose less money by closing until we can operate with some amount of safe, indoor capacity. We want to give our amazing staff the biggest thank you for all of the hard work that they have done over the past 5 months and putting their health at risk to keep this old bar operating. We love you guys and could not do any of it without you. Also a big thank you to our regulars and customers who have been so generous & supported us. We cannot wait to hang out with you all again."
Capitol Hill

The Wick Motorcycles & Coffee
This motorcycle gathering space and cafe, which was originally located in Queen Anne and moved to a new space on Aurora just before the shutdown, shut down operations this week. The coffee shop's future is uncertain: The business is seeking an investor or buyer to carry on the business and is selling coffee beans, shirts, hats, and merch on its website in the meantime.
Green Lake


Sweet Nothings and More Pop-Up
This bakery pop-up will offer craveable pastries like Nutella coffee cake, twice-baked chocolate bourbon pecan croissants, and caramelized apple cheesecake brioche.
Central District, Saturday-Sunday, 8-11 am
Magnolia, 9 am-12 pm

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 year, the pop-up will be available for to-go orders only, with "a lot of amusing decor and twerking Santas to elbow bump as you walk through to pick up your take-home kits. Photo ops, a chance for a quick shot, and 15 minutes of holiday delight will all be yours!" Nearby sibling Navy Strength will host the spin-off holiday-tiki-themed pop-up called "Sippin' Santa," which asks you to "imagine Santa on a surfboard instead of a sleigh and palm trees instead of pine," with patio tables available by reservation and cocktails, glassware, and other kits available for takeout.
Belltown, November 24-December 24
Tues-Wed, 3-9 pm, Thurs-Sun, 12-9 pm


Drip Tea
This hypebeast boba shop has dropped several seasonal flavors, including a pumpkin pie smoothie, the "CAP" (caramel apple pop), and the PSMT (pumpkin spice milk tea).
Capitol Hill
Pickup or delivery

Want to imagine you're cozying up in a chalet after a ski-trip? The French bistro is offering a new "après ski" menu at their isolated patio table for two people by reservation for 90 minutes, with a personal space heater for warmth. The menu will include fondue with a baguette, house-made paté, jambon de Bayonne, cornichons, two glasses of vin chaud (hot mulled wine), and a bottle of sparkling or still mineral water. Guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets.
Capitol Hill

Li'l Woody's
The local burger chain's current weekly special is the "Top Pot Burger," a collaboration with Top Pot Doughnuts, available through November 23. The eyebrow-raising savory-sweet creation features a marshmallow creme puff, Tillamook cheddar, Hills bacon, Painted Hills grass-fed beef, peanut butter, and a Top Pot Bismarck doughnut in lieu of a bun.
Ballard, Capitol Hill, White Center
Pickup or delivery


Canlis introduces a new "yurt village"
Yurts, a type of round tent, were once the province of camping enthusiasts, but now, thanks to a new promotion with the restaurant booking platform Resy and American Express, they've taken on an unexpected new role as a fine-dining destination. The companies are teaming up to provide individual reservations for private outdoor dining at pop-ups in cozy heated tents in "yurt villages" at 13 restaurants across the country. (This announcement came after Washington state officials released more specific guidance around winterized outdoor dining, stating that smaller structures like domes and pods are permissible if they adhere to proper COVID-19 guidelines, are limited to a single dining party at a time, keep doors and windows open while diners are inside, and are aired out for at least 10 minutes, cleaned, and sanitized between uses.) Seattle's premier fine-dining restaurant Canlis, which has been constantly adapting and evolving to stay ahead of the curve with COVID-friendly programming like Canlis Community College, will host a "yurt village" in its parking lot and will feature a four-course prix-fixe menu of yurt-inspired "pandemic comfort food," including a classic family-style melted raclette course, a choice of appetizer and entrees, and "desserts deserving of a winter yurt extravaganza." There will also be craft cocktails and full wine service. The tasting menu costs $145 per person and will be available from December 3 through January. Reservations are available exclusively for AmEx cardholders and went live on Wednesday.

Edouardo Jordan provides Thanksgiving meals for families in need on "Edouardo Jordan Day"
In 2018, Mayor Jenny Durkan proclaimed November 28 "Edouardo Jordan Day" for the James Beard Award-winning JuneBaby and Salare chef. This year, he's celebrating his namesake holiday by partnering with Northwest Harvest to donate over 100 of his exclusive Blue Apron Thanksgiving meal kits to the YMCA of Greater Seattle and Solid Ground Washington to feed families facing food insecurity, according to a press release.

Sea-Tac Airport's Africa Lounge now features African food
Sea-Tac Airport's restaurant Africa Lounge, which bizarrely featured only American food like burgers and Caesar salad before (as noted by social critic and activist Ijeoma Oluo in her book So You Want to Talk About Race), has revamped its menu to feature sambusas (savory Central African pastries filled with spiced vegetables and meat), Congolese Jolloff rice, and fried plantains, as well as African coffee, wines, and cocktails. 

Inslee announces a cap on third-party delivery fees
According to a press release, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a new cap on fees charged by third-party platforms, such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates, and others, on Thursday, November 19. The proclamation, which goes into effect on November 25, will limit delivery fees to 15 percent and total fees at 18 percent for each order in order to help struggling restaurants impacted by COVID-19. Inslee said in the statement, "We recognize the challenges posed by COVID-19 to our restaurant community, and we’re grateful to third-party delivery platforms that have made it possible for Washingtonians to continue supporting local restaurants, and allowed many businesses to stay open. However, these are difficult times. We all must sacrifice during these uniquely challenging times to both support our businesses and slow the spread of COVID-19. We encourage Washingtonians to support their local restaurants safely through delivery and takeout options that are available."