Taichi Kitamura of Sushi Kappo Tamura On “Beat Bobby Flay”

Photo via Sushi Kappo Tamura Facebook

A throwing down of culinary skills on Food Network this week with local chef.

Chef and owner of Eastlake’s Sushi Kappo Tamura, Taichi Kitamura, will be appearing on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay this Thursday, March 5.
Kitamura, a guy accustomed to cooking in a very open kitchen, is taking on chef David deCastro in an episode titled “Foreign Relations.” Which likely means they won’t be cooking burgers and hot dogs. For a show called Beat Bobby Flay, only the victor will actually earn the chance to compete against Bobby Flay.

Lower Queen Anne’s Tini Bigs will be hosting a viewing party for the debut on March 5 beginning at 9pm for the 10pm show time (RSVP is recommended).


6 Speedy Yet Satisfying To-Go Spots in Seattle

Photo via Mamnoon

Hooray for Seattle, where takeout means mana’eesh, solid fried chicken, or a Thai pork buns.

Accessible and instantly gratifying, a diverse compendium of walk-up windows and takeout counters are posted throughout the city; sandwiches, chicken wings, or a spicy noodle dish always at the ready. Convenience meals no longer have to mean it came from the freezer, but instead from the aromatic and spirited kitchens of to-go spots in Seattle. Here, six options for a quick fix:

1) Little Uncle: Yes, the recently shuttered Pioneer Square location was short-lived, but chefs Wiley Frank and Poncharee Kounpungchart are focusing on their original takeaway window on Madison. The menu evolves frequently, but it’s a dependable stop for things like spicy curries, unique noodle dishes, and smoky-sweet pork buns.

2) Kedai Makan: Neighboring Montana Bar, along Olive Way in Capitol Hill, encourages hungry moscow-mule-drinking customers to head to this Malaysian eatery next door. With dishes like hearty lamb roti, egg-topped Malaysian-style fried rice, as well as spicy pork ribs on weekends, you won’t be able to walk away from this walkup window. Plus, order spicy roasted peanuts to eat while you wait.

3) Slab Sandwiches and Pie: John Sundstrom’s new digs in the Central Agency building hosts his relocated Lark, lofted bar, Bitter/Raw, and now this small takeaway counter and coffee shop. Slab Sandwiches and Pie stocks a small pantry and is a perfect pit stop for Caffé Vita coffee, thoughtful sandwiches, and a slab of pie, of course. And the option to slap some crispy chicken skin to any sandwich for $2 is a brilliant touch.

4) Ezell’s: Family-owned and operated for 20 years, this famous fried chicken go-to on the corner of 23rd and E Jefferson has a good thing going on. Customers walk inside—typically out of some form of mild wet weather—and can order a multitude of fried chicken combos including a mix of original or spicy chicken pieces, perhaps with a side of baked beans or cole slaw, Ezell staples. And for the tad bit adventurous, an order of hot, fresh gizzards and livers.

5) Mamnoon: The lauded Middle Eastern restaurant adjacent to Capitol Hill’s Melrose Market is a venerable food-and-drink paradise on its own; just look to recently James Beard long-listed chef, Garrett Melkonian, for proof. But full-flavored dishes aren’t reserved just for the dining room, try a selection of mana’eesh, or dough baked with savory toppings such as labneh, olives, and tomato.

6) Marination Station: Perched above QFC on Broadway and Pike, this quick counter churns out Hawaiian-Korean bites either sandwiched between sweet rolls, wrapped in corn tortillas, or served with rice. Enjoy fusion dishes like the kimchi fried-rice topped with the requisite runny egg or the spicy bulgogi pork tacos.

Pot Shop Uncle Ike’s Welcomes Seattle Food Trucks

Photo via Uncle Ike’s Facebook

The natural convergence of stoners and stoner food arrives.

Seattle’s closest legal pot shop, Uncle Ike’s in Central District, has brilliantly paired two things: munchies and food trucks. But more than that, this business is making good use of the lot space between the pot shop and glass goods store by offering bong-toting shoppers and employees bites from Seattle’s wealth of mobile food trucks. The likes of Motofish Coffee, Crisp Creperie, Plum Burgers, and My Sweet Lil Cakes have all made appearances at the 23rd and Union location so far in the past two weeks. Coming up in March and April look for more trucks such as The Grilled Cheese Experience (quintessential stoner food if there ever was one) and No Bones About It.

Ella Miltner of Uncle Ike’s says they’re also talking with Biscuit Box and Bread and Circuses for the ultra carbo-load snack post pipe shopping.

There are also plans to construct a deck behind the glass shop as additional seating for customers dining at the food truck du jour. They hope to open this parklet in a few months, just in time for Seattle’s sunny weather season.

Check Uncle Ike’s website for an upcoming food truck schedule.

Streateries: City Launches Pilot Program For Sidewalk Cafes

Seattle mayor, Ed Murray, announces “streateries” program.

[Photo Credit]

Possible outdoor seating coming to a sidewalk near you.

The City of Seattle has a new pilot program that’s kind of like a parklet, but with drinking. Mayor Ed Murray’s new program is called Streateries (see what they did there?) and it culminates from the success of the city’s yearlong parklets program. This portmanteau–that reminds you of eating food on a city street–combines the convenience of a parklet with the dining experience of a sidewalk cafe. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement last week that “many restaurants want to open a sidewalk cafe, but just don’t have enough sidewalk to do it.” Well, the city is currently accepting applications until March 20 from restaurants and bars that can utilize the space as additional outdoor seating for Seattleites eagerly awaiting 60-degree weather. Murray says Streateries “will support neighborhood businesses and add another interesting element to our street scene.”

Meeru Dhalwala On Shanik’s Closing

Photo via Shanik Facebook

Yes, there were some downfalls, but this chef has some ideas for the future.

As the closure of Shanik is approaching later this month on March 21, Meeru Dhalwala says farewell to the high-end concept that Seattle diners just didn’t gravitate towards. “Amazon employees during the day had [the] propensity of much more casual and fast dining and people from outside South Lake Union didn’t visit enough,” says Dhalwala. Despite shifting gears to serve those in search of a quick bite and a drink before heading home, Shanik didn’t bring in enough weekday customers. Dhalwala shares with Eater that she “came up with a killer Indian bar menu at very reasonable prices”, but the bar being located in the back was a deterrent.

Hope is not lost in the least for Dhalwala who still helms the kitchen at Vij’s in Vancouver. In fact, she just celebrated 20 years running the restaurant in February and another Vij’s location is set to open in July.

“I truly loved being in Seattle and would love to open another restaurant, but not too soon in the future.” Dhalwala is decided on taking a breather, focusing on Vancouver work, and traveling for business and education in Rwanda and Ethiopia this summer. If a next Seattle restaurant is in the works, she imagines an ambiance akin to her home dining table surrounded by friends and will take inspiration from her second cookbook, Relax, Honey.

Shanik [Official Site]

Yet Another Cat Cafe Comes to Seattle

Photo via The Whole Cat and Kaboodle Facebook

Technically this feline-focused cafe will be in Kirkland.

Seattle has a budding relationship with cat cafes and its enthusiasm is spreading towards cat lovers on the Eastside. Amongst the emergence of local cat cafes planning to open this year, Nancy Howard, who owns and operates The Whole Cat and Kaboodle, a boarding, grooming, and retail shop in Kirkland, is expanding her space to include a cafe, too.

As someone who has nearly 20 years of experience with cat nutrition and behavior, Howard wants her cafe, tentatively named Wholly Cat, to be a resource center. Howard says it’s all about educating people, seeing the world through from the cat’s perspective, adopting kitties, and all with expertly brewed coffee in hand. Though the cafe is separated by a glass wall (as per city health guidelines), Howard assures that guests can sip on their covered cup of Joe while petting the feline friends.

A major difference at this cafe is the option to bring your own cat. Yep, Howard wants you to BYOC (just don’t BYO dog). The coffee of choice is yet to be determined, but Howard hopes to partner with a local roaster for her cafe set to open this May.

The Whole Cat [Official Site]