Photo courtesy of Dot’s Deli.

‘Twas a fine, fine year to be hungry in Seattle. For ten days I’m reminiscing about just how fine, in my annual recap of the top ten plates of the year.

#2 The hands-down coolest surprise of 2011 was Dot’s Deli, the butcher shop-slash-charcuterie-slash-brat house in Fremont where owner and chef Miles James can whip a grass-fed hunk of bloody New York strip out of the case, toss it on the grill, crust it up just the way you like it—we know you like it cool pink inside—and plop it down before you with a mess of peanut-oiled fries that spent a full two days lolling about in water to leach their starches out. The result is a plate of steak frites that knocked my carnivorous little socks off—meat thick but tender and improbably moist, fries crispy and clean—in a space so affable and unpretentious you’ll want to come back tomorrow night too. Grand idea.

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