This week, the ice cream sensation Salt and Straw plans to expand to the Eastside, a new Parisian creperie prepares to open in Capitol Hill, and the popular Middle Eastern restaurant Aviv Hummus Bar plots a shawarma joint in South Lake Union. Plus, the beloved spots Canon, Volunteer Park Cafe, and Randy's Restaurant bid farewell. Read on for all that and more culinary updates. For additional inspiration, check out our food and drink guide.
This bright, airy coffee shop serving matcha lattes, Olympia Coffee espresso, Shen Zen tea, and baked goods had its grand opening in Renton on Wednesday, November 11. The shop also has a boutique with gifts and merchandise.
Salt and Straw
The Eastside will soon be treated to 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, will open a location in Kirkland's Village at Totem Lake shopping center next Friday, November 20. 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. If the opening days at the chain's other locations are any indication, lines will stretch around the block.
Sumo Express Japanese Food
The dearly departed Capitol Hill sushi bar Hana has been replaced by Sumo, a Japanese steakhouse and sushi joint, now open for takeout and dine-in. Capitol Hill Seattle reports that once it's safe, performing hibachi chefs will put on a show for diners, à la Benihana. The menu includes dishes like beef negimaki bento, fried oysters, California rolls, volcano rolls (spicy tuna, Sriracha, cucumber, and avocado), seafood tempura, and hibachi New York steak.
Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen
This popular Thai restaurant franchise with locations in Lynnwood and Kirkland is set to open its first Seattle outpost in Ravenna in mid-January 2021. (The owners also opened a bar called Kin Len Thai Night Bites in Fremont in September 2019.)
La Rue Creperie + Espresso
A hip Parisian-style creperie and espresso bar is preparing to open in Capitol Hill soon, in a small space below the building occupied by the dispensary The Reef. The creperie, which is currently in the process of renovating the space, popped up at Union Coffee in October, with offerings like the "Fun Guy" (a mix of wild mushrooms with gruyere and Jarlsberg cheese mix, Siberian garlic, and leek confit), the "Basic Bitch" (homemade organic pumpkin butter with spiced cookie crumble), "Blacker the Berry" (Homemade organic Farmer’s Market blackberry jam with ricotta and lemon zest), Nutella with strawberries or bananas, and the "Classic" (organic ham, gruyere and Jarlsberg cheese mix, and an organic egg).
In late September, Canon owner Jamie Boudreau told Stranger contributor Jordan Michelman, "Unless we see a considerable increase in delivery sales by October 1, I'm going to have to shut down." Unfortunately, that somber prediction has now been realized: The James Beard-nominated "whiskey and bitters emporium" known for its show-stopping cocktails is temporarily closing on November 25 until at least spring. 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.
This beloved Tukwila diner, which featured distinctive retro pink-and-orange vinyl booths and an extensive collection of aviation memorabilia, will close permanently on November 15. Bethany Jean Clement wrote a touching farewell for the Seattle Times: "Out on the edge of Boeing Field, Randy’s is the kind of classic American diner that was endangered in the Seattle area even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The last time I went there, on a cold night this past February, the coffee was hot and the refills came along at exactly the right moment, with the regular sitting at the counter getting one more cup just in time to catch his bus. The grilled cheese at Randy’s looked like a picture you’d take of a grilled cheese to show someone who’d never had that most basic, beautiful pleasure...Randy’s was still open 24 hours then, and a late supper in an orange-and-pink-upholstered booth felt like a cinematic special occasion, so simple, specific and good."
Volunteer Park Cafe
Last week, owner Ericka Burke announced in an Instagram post that the quaint Capitol Hill staple was closing that weekend. In the post, she wrote, "It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye- it’s been a wild ride. Our hearts are filled with optimism about the future. It’s been 15 years of #alwaysfreshgoodness. We are excited as we move forward to find goodness in everything that crosses our paths. On this little corner we have experienced so much- joy, challenges, life, death, but most of all LOVE and FRIENDSHIP. For that we are immensely GRATEFUL. Thank you." Capitol Hill Seattle reports that the property has sold, though details about the buyer have not yet been revealed.
POP-UPS AND EVENTS
Introduction to Mushrooms
Brush up on the finer points of fungi with this two-hour virtual talk hosted by Salish Mushrooms.
Just in time for Thanksgiving (and the subsequent holidays), Urban Craft Uprising will host this specialty food show for the fourth year in a row, promising over 100 local vendors slinging everything from macarons to forest-infused spirits to nut butters. The vendor booths are virtual this year, so you don't even have to leave your house.
Online, through November 15
Doughbaby Bakes Pop-Up
Double your pie, double your fun: This pop-up will feature pizza pies from the local pop-up Doughbaby Bakes as well as sweet apple and pumpkin pies from Grayseas Pies.
Distant Worlds Coffeehouse, Wednesday, November 18
Seattle Restaurant Week
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over this twice-yearly event, which lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices. This year, things will look a little different: To give the restaurant industry a much-needed boost during COVID-19, Seattle Restaurant Week is featuring more restaurants and more dining options and is extending the event to last an entire month. Restaurants will feature a variety of special meal offerings as $20 lunches and/or $35 dinners, including make-at-home meal kits, food and cocktail packages, in-house three-course meals, and more. It's a great opportunity to both support local restaurants and break out of your Postmates rut. In addition, Seattle Restaurant Week will also be partnering with Plate of Nations, an event run by the MLK Business Association to highlight southeast Seattle businesses.
Various locations, through November 21
Alma Mater Tacoma
According to a press release, this community-focused artist space in Tacoma has introduced a new menu of fall cocktails inspired by classic songs by musicians like Bob Dylan and Mazzy Star. The new sips include the "5 String Serenade" (house rum blend, muscovado, cherry bark and vanilla bitters, angostura bitters, and orange), "Shelter from the Storm" (Spanish brandy, Becherovka, and spiced apple cider served hot), "Flowers in December" (whiskey, blackberry sage cordial, and angostura bitters), and "Visions of Johanna" (gin, cocchi rosa, pamplemousse and absinthe mist). The fall food menu also features seasonal specials like a fall salad with kale, freekeh, and delicata squash, hot pastrami, and creamy squash dip with chili oil. Guests are encouraged to bring their own blanket and snuggle up on the patio space.
Pickup or in-person
The Vietnamese chain is showing off their romantic side with their new sipping cocktail "Oh, Romeo," which contains Lustau brandy, Rittenhouse Rye, Tuaca Giffard Banane du Brezil, Angostura bitters, Black walnut bitters, and banana chip garnish.
Capitol Hill, University District
The Jewish deli may be known more for their pastrami offerings and latke sandwiches, but they've also got some fresher menu items, like their latest special: a roasted squash and spinach salad topped with crispy farro, goat cheese, and charred blood orange, served with Cointreau dressing on the side.
Boba isn't just for milk tea: The downtown American restaurant with a hefty spirits collection has introduced the Little Yuzu Flower, a cocktail made with their junipered gin, yuzu marmalade, fresh citrus, and jewel-like red tapioca pearls.
Pickup, delivery, or in-person
Eater's Guide to the World features Pacific Northwest restaurants
On Wednesday, Eater premiered its new Maya Rudolph-narrated food travel show, Eater's Guide to the World, on Hulu. The first episode, "Dining Alone in the Pacific Northwest," highlights some of Seattle and Portland's finest restaurants, including Addo, Kamonegi, and more. Read more in our list of all the local restaurants featured on the show.
Hot Cakes has new owners
Autumn Martin of the ever-popular molten dessert emporium Hot Cakes announced on Instagram in late October that she has sold her chocolate empire to new owners. She wrote, "While the timing is funny, this isn’t happening because of COVID. This has been a long time in the works, with many potential buyers over the last few years, and me just not quite being ready for one reason or another. Covid has not made it easy to sell my company right now, but it hasn’t deterred me either." The new owners, Kevin and CaraMia Murry, took over the company on November 2.
Aviv Hummus is opening a shawarma bar in South Lake Union
According to a job listing seeking a "shawarma Jedi" on the restaurant and hospitality website Poached, Capitol Hill's popular Aviv Hummus Bar, which former Stranger staffer Sydney Brownstone praised for its "delicious food and warm family vibe," is planning to open a shawarma bar in South Lake Union. The ad states, "We'll be offering Aviv's signature dishes to accompany the most succulent, towering stack of shawarma in the city."
Georgetown Brewing Company raises over $400,000 for bar and restaurant employees
The local brewery Georgetown Brewing Company, which began offering cans of its much-sought-after Manny's draft beer in May as a way to raise money for workers impacted by COVID-19's effects on the bar and restaurant industry, has raised more than $400,000. The funds will be distributed to nonprofits like Big Table, which provides support for hospitality workers.