In its first week of existence, Washington's legalized pot industry has largely consisted of gaggles of reporters, high prices, and restaurateurs trying to capitalize on users' theoretical munchies. But fast food marketers saw it coming as far back as 2010.
The move toward legalization of marijuana, and the attendant potential surge in their four essential food groups—salt, crunch, fat, and goo. Carl’s Jr., Taco Bell, and Jack in the Box all began coding their ads—subtly and not-so—with thinly veiled references like “late-night munchies” and “wake and bake.”
Slightly higher up the food chain are the joints offering munchies that actually taste like something. Now that you need them, a few Seattle suggestions, roughly categorized:
Meximunching: Tacos Chukis on Broadway offers the triple whammy of vivid flavor (two words: adobada tacos), central location (though parking can be rough), and unassailable cheapness (we’re talking what you fished out of your pockets in the laundry room). Tacos el Asadero, the truck off Rainier Avenue in Mount Baker, peddles outright stunning tacos, burritos, and tamales. For chips, may we suggest the freshly-fried-and-served-hot specimens at La Carta de Oaxaca and its two sisters, the Queen Anne and Capitol Hill outposts of Mezcalaria Oaxaca. Salsa bar too. And don’t ignore El Borracho’s enormous nachos, in regular or vegan form.
Pots and Tots: The poutine at Skillet. The floppy greasy fries at Dick’s (you need two orders under normal circumstances so apportion accordingly). The hash browns at Beth’s Café. The garlic fries at Safeco Field. And the granddaddy: The soufflé potato crisps at Thierry Rautureau’s Luc, which are to ordinary fries what 60-day dry-aged ribeye is to skirt steak.
Pastry goodness. We wonder what could satisfy a case of munchies better than a hand-held pie, savory or sweet, like the ones they make at the three locations (Fremont, Seattle Center Armory, and a truck) of Pie. Ditto the pupusas at White Center’s inimitable Salvadorean Bakery, the pancakes served all day at the Mecca Cafe, the extraordinary pate chaud at Ba Bar, the killer hushpuppies at Roux, and the sliders at Curb Jumper Street Eats (the truck that’s very often at Second and Pike). They're not really pastries…but what do you care, you’re high.
The whole damn menu. Seattle Munchie Hall of Famers include Radiator Whiskey (tots, fried pork shank), the I.D.’s adorably oddball Fort St. George (spicy fried chicken, Japanese spaghetti), Big Mario’s Pizza (way better slices than it could get away with serving, given its Pike/Pine location and blotto fan base), Japonessa (with its bizarre sushi rolls that taste good anyway, and its near-constant happy hour), Zayda Buddy’s (every Midwesterner’s nostalgic potluck dream of taco tots, corn dogs, and fried cheese curds), and downtown’s Icon Grill (where you choose between one macaroni and cheese that's fried, and another where the waiter pierces through the gilded crust to pour in, yes, melted cheese).
Novelties! Admit it: You’ve never thought of including fried chicken skins (Damn the Weather, new in Pioneer Square), fried pickles (everywhere lately, notably Pike/Pine’s Po Dog and Woodinville’s Hollywood Tavern), or fried chickpeas (Westward) in your munchie repertoire. Perhaps you should.
Ain't Seattle great?