A New Sichuan Restaurant and More Seattle Food News You Can Use This Week: October 9, 2020 Edition

October 9, 2020
The Chinese chain Chengdu Taste, which J. Kenji López-Alt once called "the best Sichuan restaurant in America," opens its first Seattle location in the International District this weekend. (Chengdu Taste)

This week, the Sichuan chain Chengdu Taste will open its highly anticipated Seattle location. Plus, Lost Lake and Comet employees plan to launch a new bar of their own, Dough Zone opens a Redmond location, and Capitol Hill gets a barbecue stand with house-made hot dogs. Read on for all that and more food-world updates. For more ideas, check out our full in-person dining directory, our takeout & delivery directory, our guide to where to drink fall cocktails, our guide to where to try fresh hop beers in Seattle, our guide to the 2020 football season in Seattle, and our guide to where to celebrate Oktoberfest.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

Charlotte Restaurant and Lounge
A hotel called Lotte Hotel has opened downtown, along with this Pacific Northwest-focused restaurant serving dishes like Anderson Valley lamb and Hama Hama oyster ceviche. The restaurant provides views of the water from its lofty 16th-floor perch and is open for limited dine-in service.
Downtown

Chengdu Taste
This Sichuan chain will open the doors of its highly anticipated Seattle outpost at last this weekend in the International District's Publix building, which also houses Momosan, Dough Zone and Hood Famous Cafe and Bar. The restaurant, which chef and food writer J. Kenji López-Alt once called "the best Sichuan restaurant in America," will first open for takeout only on Saturday or Sunday, then open its dining room for dine-in service soon after. Like other locations, the spot will feature dishes like Sichuan-style mung bean jelly with chili sauce (which López-Alt likened to a "lighter, fresher, and more flavorful version" of dan-dan noodles), mapo tofu, and sliced beef with green pepper. Later, Seattle-specific dishes with local ingredients will get incorporated into the menu, too.
Chinatown-International District

Dough Zone
The wildly popular local chain known for its succulent soup dumplings opened a new location at the Landing in Redmond in late September. The menu at the new 4,031 square-foot space features the same menu as other locations, with favorites like the restaurant's Q-bao (pan-fried pork buns), potstickers, and xiao long bao (soup dumplings) filled with pork, chicken, and pork with crab meat.
Renton

Great State Burger
This local burger chain, which Renee Erickson took over from chef Josh Henderson in 2018, recently opened its seventh Seattle-area location in Ballard. In addition to the usual burgers, crinkle-cut fries, milkshakes, cookies, and breakfast sandwiches, this location also offers to-go daiquiris and palomas. If you feel like eating onsite, there's also a heated, covered outdoor dining area and limited dine-in service.
Ballard

Soul Shack
The Capitol Hill stand that used to house the "hot guys" espresso stand Dreamboyz Coffee is now home to Soul Shake, a walk-up spot for hot dogs and barbecue, which opened on October 1. Menu items include barbecue smoked ribs, lollipop chicken wings, and a line of house-made smoked beef, pork and chicken hot dogs.
Capitol Hill

Taco Rico Bremerton
This taco counter, which opened inside a Bremerton gas station in early September, serves birria, a type of spicy stewed meat taco that's been making waves on Instagram as of late. You can get crispy birria tacos or quesabirria tacos (which feature melty cheese), as well as the requisite cup of consommé (broth from the birria) for dipping on the side. Besides birria, there are also taco fillings, such as al pastor, chorizo, carnitas, fish, and tripe. The menu also includes tortas, burritos, mulitas, enchiladas, quesadillas, and more. Yelp reviews are sparse so far, so it's a limited sample size, but reviewers seem enthused about the spot's made-to-order offerings.
Bremerton

The Urban Homestead
This new marketplace and cafe in Redmond is inspired by the urban homesteading movement, which the website describes as "a lifestyle that focuses on the development of self-sufficiency, cost cutting and living closer to nature" practiced in an urban area. There's a menu of seasonally inspired comfort food with dishes like biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, shrimp and grits, chicken and dumplings, and customizable sandwiches, as well as a market with candy, snacks, pantry items, tea, bar supplies, bath and body products, and kitchen tools and accessories. The spot also boasts a large outdoor patio with copious space for social distancing.
Redmond

POP-UPS AND EVENTS

Leif Erickson Day at Skål Beer Hall
Visit Ballard's Scandinavian beer hall to celebrate the day dedicated to the first Icelander to travel to North America (which also happens to be Spongebob's favorite holiday). Dine on pork and beef meatballs with caramelized leeks in gjetost gravy, served with horseradish mashed potatoes and shaved cucumber salad, or a meatball sub with pickled cucumbers on a Kaffeeklatsch sub roll, and sip some rare aquavit varieties.
Ballard, Friday

Freshies to Your Face
Guzzle as many fresh hop beers as you can handle from breweries like Fremont, Wandering Hop, Skookum, Matchless, Fort George, 5 Rights, Single Hill, Georgetown, and Volition. Food trucks will also be onsite on Friday and Saturday.
Bothell, through October 11

Juntos Con Latinx
To encourage Seattleites to support local Latinx-owned businesses during Latinx Heritage Month, the local small business directory Intentionalist is partnering with five women-owned businesses, including Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Stoup Brewing, The London Plane, and Trophy Cupcakes, to offer discounts and other perks to customers who present a receipt from a local Latinx-owned establishment. 
Various locations, through October 15

Li'l Woody's Fast Food Month
For the month of October, local burger joint Li'l Woody's is cleverly recreating fast food favorites for its weekly specials. First up is the Woody's Baconator (October 6), a take on the Wendy's Baconator with mayo, double Hills bacon, double Painted Hills grass-fed beef, and double American cheese. Next is the Jack in the Box-inspired Sourdough Woody (October 13), with mayo, ketchup, sliced tomatoes, Hill's bacon, Swiss cheese, and grass-fed beef on sourdough. (Curly fries are also available for that week for the full experience.) The McDonald's dupe Li'l Big Mac (October 20) comes after that, with fry sauce, dill pickles, diced onion, shredded lettuce, American cheese, grass-fed beef, and a center-cut sesame bun. Finally, the Li'l Crunch Wrap (October 27), Li'l Woody's interpretation of the Taco Bell Crunch Wrap Supreme with chipotle mayo, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, tostada, house-made queso, and grass-fed beef, wraps things up (pun not intended).
Various locations, through October

Nightmare on Wall Street
As a spooky-season tradition, Belltown’s award-winning tiki bar Navy Strength temporarily transforms into a “fully immersive haunting experience" each October, with libations inspired by classic and modern horror flicks. This year, they're bringing the spine-chilling immersive experience home to you with weekly cocktail kits for you to take home, make, and enjoy while watching the film they're based on, complete with popcorn, snacks, and your very own keepsake zombie glass. This year's lineup includes drinks inspired by Mandy, It Follows, and more.
Belltown, through November 1

NEW SPECIALS

Off the Rez
The Native-inspired food truck is getting autumnal with a pumpkin version of their classic fry bread, plus maple lattes. Both are available in limited quantities.
University District
Pickup


Rachel's Ginger Beer
The spicy-sweet soda purveyor's latest seasonal flavor is black pepper chai. They suggest trying it with bourbon, especially in one of their hot toddies, which are available to-go.
Various locations
Pickup or delivery


Watson's Counter
The Ballard comfort food spot has introduced cookies bearing a likeness of Trump's visage. Each $7 sale goes towards Vote Save America's "Get Mitch or Die Trying" fund, which aims to finance Senate races in other cities in an attempt to flip the Senate.
Ballard
Pickup or delivery


Frelard Tamales
To help celebrate Día de los Muertos, the local tamale shop has put together a package with a dozen tamales, two sugar skulls to decorate at home, a pan de muerto, an adult calavera mask, and two Día de los Muertos-themed soy wax candles.
Frelard
Pickup or delivery

OTHER NEWS

Here Today launches crowdfunding campaign
The upcoming brewpub Here Today, a project from the team behind the Belltown bars Navy Strength, No Anchor, and Vinnie's Raw Bar, is launching a crowdfunding campaign on WeFunder. The spot was originally slated to open in the former space of the Old Spaghetti Factory building downtown this summer, but COVID-19 threw a wrench in the brewery's plans, so the opening has been pushed back to 2021. Brewery veteran Averie Swanson was originally going to oversee Here Today's brewing but is now undergoing another project in Chicago, so brewer Mario Cortes has taken the reins, and Cam Hanin of the pop-up Guerrilla Pizza Kitchen will develop a food menu.

Salish Lodge & Spa has a COVID outbreak
At least 23 employees and two guests at the Snoqualmie resort Salish Lodge and Spa have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the King County’s public health department. Although the health department found out about the first positive test on September 18 as well as additional cases in subsequent days, Salish Lodge waited until the official health department announcement on September 30 to announce it would be closing temporarily for cleaning and disinfection until October 8, causing many of its guests to be angry and disgruntled about not being informed about the outbreak sooner. General manager Alan Stephens told Eater Seattle, "We regret that we did not contact guests earlier in the process — we contacted thousands of our guests over the past week and are addressing each concern individually. Our outreach to our customers has far exceeded health agency guidelines.”

China Live food hall is delayed
You'll have to wait until spring 2022 for the Seattle arrival of China Live, San Francisco's behemoth $20 million food hall and retail market. The massive project has been delayed due to coronavirus. Once open, the 13,000 square-foot space inside the Amazon campus will feature restaurants, bars, and shops, and visitors will be able to purchase gifts, cookware, snacks, condiments, teas, produce, and more.

Lost Lake and Comet staff launch Post Pike
Lost Lake manager Onjoli Dela Torre and Comet bartender Max Lovelace have joined forces to launch Post Pike, an upcoming neighborhood bar and cafe, in the former space of the short-lived tamale and cider spot A&A Cafe. The new watering hole is expected to open in mid-November with reduced capacity. 

Vito's celebrates tenth anniversary
Capitol Hill's moody old-school Italian cocktail bar celebrated a decade of business this week. In lieu of their annual Costume Crawl, the bar has also planned a creative "costumes only" Halloween celebration, where guests can drop off costumes that are "free-standing" or able to sit in a chair, and the patrons dining at reduced capacity can vote on their favorites.