Food News

This Week in Seattle Food News: Lupe's Situ Tacos Finds a Permanent Home, Borracchini's Bakery Closes, and HoneyHole Expands to the Central District

March 26, 2021 Edition
March 26, 2021
The taco business Lupe's Situ Tacos, which Stranger contributor Caro Myers once described as "unlike anything I've ever tried," has set up shop permanently inside Tractor Tavern. (Lupe's Situ Tacos)

The Seattle food world is abuzz with a flurry of new developments this week, as the city returns to life after winter hibernation and the dream of herd immunity is finally within sight. Among the highlights: The hit pandemic pop-up Lupe's Situ Tacos finds a permanent location in the Tractor Tavern, and the beloved sandwich shop HoneyHole is looking to expand to the Central District. Plus, the Smith Tower reopens for dining, Capitol Hill gets an aviation-themed wine and chocolate tasting room, and Borracchini's Bakery says goodbye. Read on for all that and more culinary updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

Dat Creole Soul
On Wednesday, former basketball player and flight attendant Hampton "The Boss" Isom's Creole food truck had a ribbon cutting ceremony for a permanent brick-and-mortar location in Des Moines. The restaurant slings dishes like shrimp and grits, boudin sausage, etouffée, crawfish mac and cheese, and even alligator on a stick with waffle fries.
Des Moines
Pickup or limited indoor seating

Flight Wine + Chocolate
This aviation-themed tasting room from married couple David Wildman and Kevin Morton (a wine expert and a chocolate expert, respectively) soft-opened on Capitol Hill last weekend and is now offering wine bottle, chocolate, gift card, and merchandise sales. The business specializes in flights of wine and artisan chocolates. In-person reservations are set to follow soon, but in the meantime, customers can sample bottles of wine before they buy.
Capitol Hill
Pickup

Lupe's Situ Tacos
Wild Powwers, Tacos the Band, and LORBO drummer Lupe Flores' Lebanese-inspired taco pop-up and delivery business Situ Tacos, which she launched during the pandemic, moved into a permanent home inside the Tractor Tavern, which has a new outdoor covered area, on Thursday. The business pays tribute to Flores' Mexican and Lebanese heritage and is named in homage to her grandmother ("situ" means "grandmother" in Arabic). Stranger contributor Caro Myers previously wrote, "Lupe’s menu is simple and her tacos taste unlike anything I've ever tried. There are two flavor options, Lebanese-style ground beef and butter—called 'hushwe'—and a vegetarian option—'papas'—which are potatoes that pack a punch of flavor. The tortillas are fried and taste like crispy pillows. The meat is cooked in butter, so you can’t really argue with that." The menu includes the hushwe and papas tacos in addition to spicy cauliflower tacos, Mexican slaw, chips and guacamole, chips and pico de gallo, and soup. You can also add a "tiny side" of pico or guac to your order.
Ballard
Pickup or outdoor seating

Roanoke Park Place Tavern
Seattle's beloved ivy-covered dive, one of the oldest bars in Seattle, reopened its doors on Thursday. The bar now has a new covered and heated patio outside, and limited indoor seating is also available. The kitchen is currently closed, but the bar's popular Taco Wednesdays (with $1.50 beef or black bean tacos, $7 margaritas, and $1 off Miller and Rolling Rock cans) will make a return next Wednesday, March 31.
Capitol Hill
Outdoor seating or limited indoor seating

Smith Tower
According to a press release, the famed skyscraper's speakeasy-inspired bar is now back open for limited indoor dining and offering a menu of classic cocktails, beer, cider, wine, and spirits, as well as appetizers, sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, sides, and desserts. There's a weekday happy hour menu from 3-6 pm, Wednesday through Friday—deals include $10 specialty cocktails, a $12 bento box for two, and $2 off all beer, wine, and well drinks. To-go cocktails are also available for same-day curbside pickup at the base of the building or for in-person pickup. 
Pioneer Square
Pickup or limited indoor seating

Taco Dudes & Caribbean
This spot selling street tacos (al pastor, carne asada, chorizo, pollo asado, camaron, or pescado), burritos, quesadillas, plates, and Caribbean sandwiches has opened next to the Renton Uwajimaya.
Renton
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating

FUTURE OPENINGS

HoneyHole
Capitol Hill's endearingly weird watering hole and sandwich shop HoneyHole appears to be opening a new location into the space formerly occupied by Central Smoke, next door to L'Oursin and Capercaillie Pub. The business has applied for a liquor license for the address. New owners Kristin and Patrick Rye previously took over the beloved business at the beginning of this year and mentioned they had plans to expand the brand with more locations around the Seattle area.
Central District

CLOSURES

Borracchini's Bakery
The longtime family-owned Italian bakery, which has been closed all winter, announced last Saturday that it will not reopen. The business had been open for almost a century. Many fans mourned the loss of the Beacon Hill institution and took to social media to share fond memories of its cakes and other treats.
Beacon Hill

Oberto Sausage Co.
Just a few blocks away from Borracchini's, the Oberto store—another iconic Beacon Hill fixture—is also saying goodbye. The meat snack company's factory store and deli on Rainier Avenue closed its doors last Sunday and will be taken over by Hamlin Robinson School, a nearby school for children with dyslexia and other learning differences. The school plans to demolish the building to build a middle school and expanded learning center.
Beacon Hill

OTHER FOOD NEWS

New Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Market dates have been announced
It's time to grab your favorite canvas tote bag and head outside to browse booths and caress vegetables: Farmers markets are returning for their 2021 spring/summer season. The Columbia City Farmers Market opens on May 12, the Magnolia Farmers Market opens on June 1, and the Lake City Farmers Market opens on July 1. On April 18, the year-round Capitol Hill Farmers Market will also be moving (only about "422 steps" away from its current home) to a new site across from the Capitol Hill Station and will be hosting a homecoming celebration. The larger space will allow the market to host more vendors in addition to many established favorites. While you wait for the seasonal markets to open, check out our guide to spring and summer 2021 CSAs to sign up for. Plus, you’ll be glad to know that hot food is back on the menu

Cafe Presse expands into space next door

The French bistro Cafe Presse appears to have taken over the vacated space next door, which used to house Stumptown Coffee. The cafe recently reopened for indoor and outdoor dining and takeout, along with its downtown sibling Le Pichet.

Oddfellows opens its back patio
Just in time for the warmer weather, Capitol Hill's Oddfellows Cafe + Bar has reopened its back patio "secret garden" for reservations.

Canlis wine and spirits director leaves for Los Angeles
Canlis's celebrated wine and spirits director Nelson Daquip, who earned the fine-dining destination a James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Program in 2017, is departing the restaurant and moving to Los Angeles. The restaurant's former executive chef Brady Williams also recently left the restaurant in February to start his own restaurant—chef de cuisine Celeste Peralez has been in charge since then.

POP-UPS AND EVENTS

Brewfest 2021 at McMenamins Anderson School
Sample a veritable smorgasbord of brews, with 16 different beers and 8 different ciders from McMenamins and some guest brewers, alongside outdoor barbecue food specials, and take in some live music.
Bothell, Saturday, 11:30 am-5 pm


Battle of the Philly Cheesesteaks
At this Saturday sidewalk pop-up, Gravy's beef Philly cheesesteak (with Cheez Whiz, onions, and peppers) will face off against their pork version (with broccolini and provolone).
Vashon Island, Saturday, 12 pm until sold out

17th Annual Poverty Bay Winefest
The virtual version of the annual Poverty Bay Wine Festival, which supports the local beneficiaries and events of Destination Des Moines and the Rotary Club of Des Moines and Normandy Park, will center around a Facebook Live event with virtual tastings and tours from about 15 wineries, plus information from wine experts. You'll also be able to purchase wines before and during the event if you'd like to savor some sips from the program.
Online, Saturday, 4 pm

Field to Table
Lumen Field will be transformed into an open-air dining room catered by local chefs and restaurateurs, seating two to six people (from the same household) per table. The dining spaces are covered and heated, but you're invited to bring blankets.
Lumen Field, Wednesday-Sunday through March 18

Puffy Jacket Pop-Up Dining Series
This new pop-up series from Columbia Hospitality is making the best of winter al fresco dining by encouraging local diners to bundle up in their most voluminous outerwear for outdoor meals with cozy cocktails at 12 different venues in Washington and Oregon. The menus are inspired by the Pacific Northwest—for example, Copperleaf will serve a seafood beach boil alongside a 2bar Spirits whiskey flight, while Hearth will feature foraged ingredients like mushrooms, oysters, and lamb and a pine whiskey sour playfully named the "Socks and Sandals."
Various locations, Friday-Saturday through March 27

Taste Washington
Billing itself as "the nation's largest single-region wine and food event," Taste Washington will get even larger this year by filling out the entire month of March (instead of its usual five days). Rather than in-person tastings, though, they'll offer weekly kits that you can enjoy at home, as well as recipes you can make on your own.
Various locations, March 5-31

Everett Restaurant Month
Restaurants across Everett, like Anthony's and Jetty Bar & Grille, will be offering bargain three-course prix-fixe meals for $30, exclusive "unicorn" specials, and affordable value menus with $1, $5, and $10 options.
Everett, March 5-31

Virtual Author Talk: The Noble Rot Book: Wine From Another Galaxy by Dan Keeling & Mark Andrew
Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew, the duo behind the hip London wine bar Noble Rot and the rock 'n roll wine and food magazine of the same name, will discuss their new book, a complete guide to understanding and drinking wine, with local James Beard Award-winning chef Renee Erickson.
Online, April 2, 11 am-12 pm

SPECIALS

Cafe Besalu
The French-style bakery is getting in the spring spirit and baking up rhubarb and almond frangipane Danishes and apple Danishes with lavender and coriander pastry cream, as well as cream cheese Danishes with Cara Cara oranges, navel oranges, and ruby red grapefruit.
Ballard
Pickup or outdoor seating

Haymaker West
Brian Clevenger's West Seattle restaurant has introduced the frothy pink "A Rose is a Rose is a Rose" cocktail, featuring black tea-infused rum, lime, rose petal syrup, and rosè foam.
West Seattle
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating

Itsumono
The inventive izakaya has taken crab rangoon and reimagined it as a savory version of the flaky layered French pastry mille-feuille. Instead of a crab cream cheese filling, their take features poached black cod and cream cheese sandwiched in between the layers and is topped with arugula.
Chinatown-International District
Pickup or limited indoor seating