This Week in Seattle Food News: A Lebanese Restaurant Opens In South Lake Union, Canlis's Executive Chef Is Leaving, and Hitchcock Launches a Pop-Up Series

January 15, 2021 Edition
January 15, 2021
The family-owned Sammamish restaurant Tanoor has opened an outpost in South Lake Union. (Tanoor)

This week, a new Lebanese restaurant comes to South Lake Union, and the popular FOB Poke Bar expands to Bellevue. Plus, Canlis executive chef Brady Williams will depart to start his own restaurant, the beloved taqueria Carmelo's Tacos is opening a new location, and Renton's Boon Boona Coffee is headed for Capitol Hill. Read on for that and more food-world updates. For more ideas, check out our list of places to get food and drink specials for the inauguration and our food and drink guide.


Crab Pot
Along with the reopening of Pier 57, this tourist-favorite waterfront spot known for its all-out seafood boils (complete with bibs and tiny mallets for smashing) has returned. 
Pickup or outdoor covered seating

FOB Poke Bar
On January 13, this made-to-order, build-your-own poke spot with super-fresh ingredients, which also has locations in Belltown and Capitol Hill, opened a location in downtown Bellevue. Like other locations, the shop offers a selection of bases like rice, greens or tortilla chips; mix-ins like jalapeno or seaweed; a choice of twelve proteins like albacore tuna, beef tataki, and Spam; various sauces; and toppings like pickled watermelon radishes, mango, or tamagoyaki. Through January 19, the new location is also offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal on poke bowls purchased for takeout.
Pickup or delivery

Jules Maes Saloon
Looks like Jules Maes Saloon can keep its title as the "bar that won't go away" intact: The historical bar, which is the oldest tavern and speakeasy in Seattle and which closed in 2020 after 132 years of business, has been saved by Seattleite Raché Hemmelgarn, who had her first date with her husband there and purchased it in order to preserve it. Hemmelgarn has hired a chef and updated the restaurant, and has re-opened the restaurant for delivery, takeout, and curbside pickup.
Pickup or delivery

Named for the New York neighborhood (whose name is short for "North of Little Italy"), this family-owned Italian restaurant opened in Ballard around the holidays. Yelp reviewers have already had positive things to say about its complimentary bread with olive oil, pillowy gnocchi, tiramisu, and almond torte. Gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options are available.

Ta Joia
The family who ran the beloved Teriyaki Plus in Bothell, which was forced to close after the owners of the gas station across the street remodeled, officially opened this new spot serving a fusion of Latin and Asian cuisine on Monday, January 11. The menu features the "Ta Joia" special (juicy brisket, sausage, and slow-cooked pork with Spanish rice and pico de gallo), spicy pork with rice cakes, grilled shrimp, salmon and tuna poke, spicy and regular "house chicken" (the original teriyaki recipe from Teriyaki Plus), kalbi, crispy chicken, and bulgogi beef. 

This family-owned Lebanese restaurant based in Sammamish has opened its first Seattle restaurant in the former space of Dexter Brewhouse. Due to celiac disease running in the family, the menu is both halal and gluten-free-friendly. Dishes include tabbouleh, hummus, labneh, halloumi fries, falafel, chicken and beef or lamb shawarma, gyro plates, kabobs, lamb chops, and a "mixed grill" combo with beef, lamb, chicken, kafta, and vegetable kabobs, three vegetarian mezze items, toum, tzatziki, and rice.
South Lake Union


Amazon Fresh
Jeff Bezos' multi-billion dollar conglomerate has its sights set on conquering the grocery industry and is planning to open two brick-and-mortar locations of its Amazon Fresh grocery store, which currently has locations in California and Illinois, in the Central District and Bellevue. Like the brand's contactless, cashless grocery store Amazon Go, the shop will offer Alexa kiosks, a pickup window for online orders, and the ability to purchase items automatically without checkout using an "Amazon Dash Cart"; however, the new stores will also have human cashiers and more inventory. Opening dates have not yet been set, but the company is hiring for the two locations.
Bellevue, Central District

Boon Boona Coffee
The Black-owned Renton cafe and roastery Boon Boona Coffee, which exclusively sources its beans from African coffee growers, is opening a location in the former space of Cherry Street Coffee in Capitol Hill. The new outpost is expected to open sometime this spring.
Capitol Hill


Carmelo's Tacos plans a second location
Rejoice: The fan-favorite Capitol Hill counter-serve taqueria Carmelo's Tacos, which Christopher Frizzelle called "Capitol Hill's best new taco stand," is planning to open a second location in the former space of Oma Bap on 12th, currently expected to open by the end of January or early February. (The Oma Bap location inside Hugo House will remain open.) 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, including birria and seafood. 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 (for when indoor sit-down dining becomes a thing again).

Canlis chef Brady Williams leaves to start his own restaurant
Seattle's premier fine-dining establishment Canlis announced on Instagram this week that their executive chef Brady Williams will leave the restaurant in two months to start his own restaurant in Seattle. Williams' last day is on February 27. Part of the announcement read, "Looking forward, our hearts are full of hope. This is a year to heal and rebuild, to put back, to make right again. We believe it’s a year to open restaurants, new and old. When Canlis opens its doors again in 2021, it won’t just be the old Canlis you know and love. We have changed, grown, and dreamed of rebuilding a restaurant the future will be proud of. The need for hospitality has not diminished, but is greater today than ever before. That’s going to take as many restaurants as our industry can put back together. How encouraging then, that Brady--one who is like a brother to us--heads off to open his own." At the end, owners Mark and Brian Canlis also noted they will be searching for someone to fill Brady's position and encouraged chefs to apply at

Hitchcock launches new pop-up series
According to a press release, chef Brendan McGill’s Bainbridge Island restaurant Hitchcock Deli will launch a pop-up series called Hitchcock Guest Chefs: Street Food. In the release, McGill said, "Our pop-ups have saved us, creatively, financially, and spiritually, over the last year. While brainstorming we got to talking about the top-notch chef talent across the world who aren't able to cook right now, given the current COVID conditions, and the idea was born.” Each pop-up will feature a high-profile visiting chef making a type of international street food they’re passionate about and will offer outdoor covered and heating seating, as well as limited indoor dining if laws permit by then. The pop-up will run Fridays-Sundays from 11:30 am-7 pm, beginning on January 22. The first pop-up will be run by guest chef Alejandro Tress, who will cook a menu of Puerto Rican-inspired street food with an elegant twist. The next pop-up, February 5-7, will showcase Filipino street food from chef Carlo Lamagna of Magna Kusina in Portland, followed by a pop-up highlighting traditional Cuban street food from chef Osmel Gonzales of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Single Thread in California. The lineup in March and April will include chefs Berk Guldal, Stefano Schiaffino, Nicholas Leiss, Varin Keokitvon, and Justin McMillan—dates and menus for the future events have not yet been announced.

J. Kenji López-Alt shares his bagel picks
In honor of National Bagel Day, chef and food writer J. Kenji López-Alt, who recently relocated to Seattle, shared some of his Seattle-area bagel picks on Instagram, including Old Salt, Rubinstein Bagels, Bagel Oasis, and Porkchop & Co.

Shoreline cafe Black Coffee Northwest faces racist graffiti and threats
The community-focused Shoreline coffee shop Black Coffee Northwest Cafe, which offers a barista training program, a weekly youth outreach program, after-school study hours, Zoom "coffee chat" conversations on important topics, a coat drive, and other programming, has been the target of racist harassment and threats since it opened in October and temporarily closed for two days this week after finding swastikas graffitied outside their shop on Tuesday. If you can, consider supporting them by making donations and by making purchases when they reopen on Saturday, or by fulfilling items from this post with a list of their current needs.


2021 Winterhop Brewfest
The Winterhop Brewfest, an annual gathering of hundreds of beer lovers in Ellensburg, is going virtual this year. Attendees will get access to digital craft brewery tours, behind-the-scenes video content, exclusive interviews with craft beer industry veterans, and more.
Online, Saturday

SnoTown Dark Beer Fest
Match the dark skies of winter with some equally dark brews from SnoTown, from Bearclaw and coconut porters to coffee and nitro stouts to a cherry scotch ale. It's spread over two days to help with social distancing.
SnoTown Brewery, Saturday-Sunday

Winter Vegetable Feast: Just Keep Diggin'
To "warm your heart and your belly during these cold winter months," the Tavolàta team is cooking up a hearty and comforting meal featuring seasonal winter vegetables, with dishes like persimmons with beet tartare, bone marrow aioli and endive, celery root soup with scallops and nduja, and cabbage accompanied by smoked black cod and potatoes. Vegetarian options are also available.
Tavolàta Capitol Hill, Saturday-Sunday


Future Primitive Brewing
The White Center brewery has released new cans of its German-style pilsner with an especially timely label reading "Nazi Punks Fuck Off."
White Center

Capitol Hill's recently opened pizzeria is making their own sweet-and-sour lime gummies, which they've dubbed "Sour Patch Gabes." 
Capitol Hill
Pickup or delivery

Ellenos Greek Yogurt
Pike Place's family-owned yogurt purveyor has revealed its newest limited-edition winter flavor, brownie batter, featuring a gooey brownie-batter bottom and chocolate cookie crumbles on top.
Various locations
Pickup or delivery

Lowrider Cookie Company
This Central District cookie shop's current January specials include chocolate peanut butter, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and stuffed churro cheesecake.
Central District
Pickup or delivery