Today, Ethan and Angela Stowell open their latest restaurant, Super Bueno, a two-story house of tacos and tequila and breakfast burritos.
The couple's restaurants generally occupy a spectrum of Northwest and Italian. When I bring up some people's skepticism about this pivot to Mexican food, both Stowells laugh. They've fielded this question before.
When they secured this space at 3627 Stone Way North, says Angela, they knew they wanted to do another family friendly place, in the vein of Frelard Pizza Company, where the only thing more hopping than the patio is the enclosed play area. When the couple gets together with their own friend group, she says, "we get together and make tacos. Our kids want tacos and quesadillas, and we want margaritas."
Kid friendliness permeates Super Bueno, a cafe by day that serves morning espresso and breakfast burritos and egg sandwiches, and lunch portions of pozole rojo alongside grilled cheese and PB&J. Come dinnertime, there are nachos, chicharrones, and a watermelon salad topped with pop rocks. The taco lineup ranges from cochinita pibil to the so-called "mom tacos," made with fervently inauthentic hard shells, ground beef, and Ortega salsa. Chef Rudolfo Martinez came to Seattle by way of Texas, where he worked at Qui in Austin and launched a popular food truck in San Antonio.
"We're paying good respect and doing a lot of good research," says Ethan of the food. But, he points out, if he and Angela were planning a menu of true-to-origin Oaxacan cuisine, "we probably wouldn't call it Super Bueno."
The restaurant's bi-level layout is meant to focus kid energy upstairs, where the play area is outfitted with magna-tiles, blocks, and a felt wall—"they're not just messing around in there, they're using their minds," says Angela. Diners who prefer their flank steak entrees, buckets of beer and mezcal pours without the company of minors can hang in the downstairs dining room; diners on either level will probably appreciate the churros and horchata ice cream on the dessert menu.
"We're not trying to be crazy serious about it," says Ethan. "We expect to serve a lot of cheese quesadillas."
Not that the Stowells are leaning all the way into kid-friendly establishments; last week they opened up sleek, urbane Cortina in the former Sullivan's location downtown. Follow all things guac-related on Super Bueno's Instagram and the restaurant's official website.