This Week in Seattle Food News: A New Shawarma Bar Opens, Populuxe Says Goodbye, and Mariah Carey's Cookies Come to Town

December 11, 2020
The pop chanteuse Mariah Carey is bringing some Christmas cheer to Seattle with her new line of cookies available for delivery. (Mariah's Cookies)

Now that the dining room ban has been extended until January, we could all use some more takeout and delivery options in our repertoire. Luckily, several more have arrived this week, including Aviv's new shawarma bar, a Mariah Carey cookie ghost kitchen, and a new Capitol Hill bar and cafe. Plus, Populuxe Brewing bids farewell after eight years, and Dick's Drive-In introduces its new roving food truck. Read on for all that and more essential updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide

NEW OPENINGS

Aviv Shawarma Bar
Capitol Hill's popular Aviv Hummus Bar, which former Stranger staffer Sydney Brownstone praised for its "delicious food and warm family vibe," opened this Israeli-style shawarma bar spinoff in South Lake Union on Tuesday, December 8, complete with its own massive, rotating spit of spiced turkey meat and lamb fat. The menu features pitas stuffed with freshly carved shawarma or falafel, sabich (eggplant stuffed with hummus, fried eggplant, and a hard-boiled egg), and hummus topped with chickpeas, falafel, or shawarma, as well as various side dishes, such as cheeps (shawarma-spiced fries). There's also dessert, including malabi (rosewater pudding topped with shaved coconut) and shachar (an imported chocolate spread), served with pita for dipping. Drinks include imported beer, iced coffee, limonana (frozen mint lemonade), soda, and Rachel's Ginger Beer.
South Lake Union
Pickup

Fart Cat Candy Store
There's a delightful reason behind the curious name of this online candy store: It's run by a seven-year-old. Enterprising Ansel Moffitt decided to start a sweets business at the beginning of the pandemic and has done so with the help of their mom Sarah Myhre and stepdad Zac Reynolds (who is a chef at Cook Weaver). The kitchen sells handmade caramels and holiday treat boxes with tahini cookies, chocolate brownie cookies, chocolate-covered crispies, holiday granola, apple leather, and nut brittle. Alas, everything is sold out at the moment, but Fart Cart t-shirts (complete with a hand-drawn logo by Ansel) are still available. Special orders of flavored marshmallows in flavors like chocolate or cardamom and bulk sticker orders are also available.
Online
Delivery

Mariah's Cookies
Mariah Carey's position as the reigning queen of Christmas remains undisputed. The elusive chanteuse herself has launched an online cookie delivery service in collaboration with Planet Hollywood founder Robert Earl and Virtual Dining Concepts, with offerings like chocolate chunk, triple chocolate chunk, Heath bar, lemon cooler, spiced oatmeal raisin, white chocolate cranberry, pumpkin, and gingerbread, available in Seattle and 30 other cities across the country. Order some and enjoy with milk or hot chocolate while watching her new Christmas special on Apple TV or listening to the audiobook of her new memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey.
South Lake Union
Delivery

Post Pike Cafe and Bar 
Former Lost Lake manager Onjoli Dela Torre and former Comet bartender Max Lovelace have opened this neighborhood bar and cafe in the former space of the short-lived tamale and cider spot A&A Cafe. The business, which serves Westman's Bagel sandwiches and Pollard Coffee espresso and is selling takeout cocktails and booze, eventually hopes to be a cafe by day and a bar by night and plans to expand its menu with more offerings in 2021.
Capitol Hill
Pickup

FUTURE OPENINGS

Phorale Way
Here's something to look forward to: Phorale Way, the upcoming brick-and-mortar restaurant counterpart of the Asian Tex-Mex fusion food truck and catering business Phorale, is slated to open on New Year's Day. Owner Young Cho will source ingredients from an urban garden and from Preservation Meat Collective, and the menu will feature dishes like chicken guisado and pho.
White Center

CLOSURES

No Anchor
This quirky Belltown beer bar from Anu and Chris Elford, owners of Navy Strength, Rob Roy, and Vinnie's Raw Bar, is hibernating for the winter. In the meantime, the couple will retool their menu and will give some sneak peeks to the public with preview pop-ups before reopening.
Belltown

Populuxe Brewing
In an email newsletter with the subject line "A Difficult Announcement," the popular independent Ballard brewery announced that it is closing permanently on December 23 after eight years of business. The message read, "We have spent each day since the original shut down in March trying to figure out how [to] make the business work during Covid. We’ve pivoted from takeout to outdoor service to indoor service back to outdoor service all while trying to balance concerns for the health and safety of our staff and customers. We’ve advocated at a local and federal level for financial help for small business grabbing the ear of every lawmaker we could get reach. We asked our landlord to listen to reason and work with us to modify our rent so we could survive to no avail. We filled out every grant and loan application available to us. But it was not enough and unfortunately, we have run out of options and time." For those looking to say goodbye, the brewery will be offering discounts on beer and merchandise starting today. The email also noted that another brewery will soon fill the Populuxe space and that an announcement will be coming in January.
Ballard

POP-UPS AND EVENTS

Open Vault: Rare & Holiday Aquavit Night
The Viking-themed bar Skål Beer Hall will pluck some rare aquavit finds from their cellar, including holiday-flavored options and varieties from Norway, Denmark, and the Midwest, plus some of the last remaining bottles of Old Ballard Liquor Co. holiday aquavits and skogen (spruce tip). A special "snaps" menu with one-ounce pours will be available in Skål's beer garden.
Ballard, Friday

Sip and Savor: Champagne and Port
As Cafe Nordo claims, this wine tasting may be the first of its kind to be attempted: A flight of 5 oz grower's champagne and port wine samples will be delivered to your door earlier in the day (poured with care to preserve the effervescence in the sparkling wines), and you can then taste along with Nordo's wine curator "Tom Hajduk" later that night in his "virtual salon."
Online, Saturday

Champagne Showdown Virtual Tasting Event
Though it's not possible for Downtown Spirits to host their yearly bubbly wine extravaganza in person this year, they're bringing all the sparkle to you. Order a discounted champagne basket with eight highly rated fizzy wines and taste along with their four tasting showdown battles, and learn about Brut, Rosé, and Demi-sec champagne from a panel of experts.
Online, Saturday

Virtual Hanukkah Cupcake Decorating with Trophy Cupcakes
Stroum Jewish Community Center is teaming up with Trophy Cupcakes to bring you sufganiyot-inspired six-packs kits so you can make your own unique Hanukkah treats.
Online, Sunday

Poindexter's Good Cheer Shop
Stop in to Poindexter's Coffee for a market with natural wine, holiday spirits, local gifts, vinyl, and even a "Santa phone." Local pop-ups like Sweet Nothings and More and Macadons will be onsite to provide some sweet holiday treats.
University District, December 12-24

Flying Lion Brewing's 7th Annual Socially Distanced Dark Beer Fest
Dark times call for dark beers: Flying Lion will be holding a socially distanced version of their annual dark beer extravaganza, with tables available by reservation and an extra day to space out attendance. Over 30 dark beers, including cellared favorites, special releases, and limited brews, will be available. Plus, Flying Lion will release a collaboration brew made with Counterbalance Brewing, and Brownrigg Hard Cider will create a dark cider just for the occasion.
Rainier Valley, December 17-20

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, December 11-24
Tues-Wed, 3-9 pm, Thurs-Sun, 12-9 pm

SPECIALS

Homer
Beacon Hill's Mediterranean hot spot is currently swirling seasonal eggnog and vegan pear ice cream flavors out of its soft-serve machine, available to-go from their window or for eating outside under their new tent. 
Beacon Hill
Pickup or outdoor dining

Molly Moon's Ice Cream
The local ice cream shop is celebrating the holidays with chocolate peppermint ice cream sammie kits, made in collaboration with Hello Robin. The sets feed two or four people and come with fudgy gluten-free flourless chocolate cookies, sweet cream ice cream, and crushed peppermint candy. Pre-order by December 13 for pickup on December 23.
Various locations
Pickup

Zylberschtein's
The Jewish deli is serving a peppermint bark-inspired treat, made with flourless chocolate cake, white chocolate peppermint mousse, and candy cane crumbles.
North Seattle
Pickup

OTHER NEWS

Dick's Drive-In launches its first food truck
The beloved local fast food franchise Dick's Drive-In has launched its first-ever food truck. The mobile operation has already hit up Bellevue, Everett, and Renton and stopped at Easy Street Records in West Seattle from 11 am-2 pm today. Its next planned stop is in Bellingham, with more details to be announced soon. The truck will also make an appearance at the Holiday Care-a-Van event in Newcastle on December 23 and in Bellevue on December 31, along with Anthony's and Trophy Cupcakes.

The Tin Table starts a crowdfunding campaign
The Century Ballroom and its sibling restaurant the Tin Table have launched a GoFundMe in order to survive. The businesses' landlords have agreed to a generous rent reduction, but the spaces still need more costs to cover rent and operating costs until August. The campaign's description reads, "We know if we give up now these beautiful spaces, which were created to foster community and festivity since their inception, would sit vacant, destined to eventually end up as office space. That would be devastating." So far, the campaign has raised $135,614 of its $240,000 goal. In addition to donating, you can also support the businesses by ordering takeout—the Tin Table has holiday takeout meals planned for Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year's.

Reuben's Brews wins big at the 2020 US Open Beer Championship
Local craft beer favorite Reuben's Brews received a whopping nine medals of the 18 awarded to Seattle breweries at this year's 2020 US Open Beer Championship, making it the most-awarded brewing company to compete this year. Other Washington winners included Icicle Brewing, No-Li Brewhouse, Brick West, Boundary Bay Brewing Company, and 54-40 Brewing Company.