Bargain Bites

Cheap Date: Nettletown

At Christina Choi’s cozy Eastlake cafe, single digit price tags don’t come at the cost of quality.

By Christopher Werner May 11, 2010

Nettletown is indeed a lunching spot, but not of the grab-and-go sort. The homey Eastlake nest is better suited for those catching-up occasions, for the noon-hour idler with a good book to read.

Likewise, the cafe—formerly home to Sitka and Spruce —is a stomping ground for the epicurious with more time to spare than money. Here, only two items exceed $10, which means leisurely sampling is a guilt-free privilege.

And sample you should. There are ginormous noodle bowls brimming with Swiss dumplings, spicy pork ribs, or poached eggs, and sandwiches, such as the lemongrass elk meatball or organic chicken salad, served on Le Fournil bread. Throw in leafy greens or a spicy rice soup for a few dollars more, or try smaller munchies such as sardines and one-dollar rosemary ginger shortbread.

The single digit price tags don’t come at the cost of quality—lauded chef Christina Choi, a madonna of the foraging world, prides herself on fresh and unique Northwest ingredients, and her efforts are evident in every bite.

For those who must rush, take-out is available, as is weekend brunch 10am-3pm. Same story here—breakfast bites are all under 10 bucks, with bacon and elk meatball add-ons costing $3 and $4, respectively. Options cover both savory (organic eggs and potato cakes, fried rice) and sweet, including a huckleberry cardamom bread pudding. Yum.

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