Jemil’s Big Easy

Image: Young Lee

El Coqui

Alex Alicea plans to prepare Puerto Rican fare (protein-stuffed plantains, tostones ) using family recipes passed down through the generations. A welcome addition for a city that isn’t exactly overflowing with said cuisine, brick-and-mortar or otherwise.

Jemil’s Big Easy, @jemilsbigeasy

At press time this one had just opened. Captaining the kitchen is New Orleanian Jemil Aziz, co-owner of now-closed Central District favorite La Louisiana; managing things is fellow Blue Ribbon culinary school instructor Julie Little. Aziz makes a mean gumbo, loaded with handmade sausage smoked for 24 hours, but also promises po’boys, jambalaya, etouffee, and a boozy bread pudding.

Monte Cristo; @mobilemelts

Twitter lit up when ­Danielle Custer announced she was leaving her director’s post at Taste restaurant to launch this grilled cheese wagon. The James Beard Rising Star says to expect lots of “ooey, gooey, melty” foods, including six gourmet sandwiches, poutine, and fried curds.

My Chef Lynn, @mycheflynn

“I want to get a taste of Issaquah in people’s mouths,” avows Lynn Rehn, a chef based there. She’s sourcing all proteins from Fischer Meats, for example, including the lamb for the sliders, laced with sambal, an Asian chili sauce, and garnished with crunchy peanut butter. Rehn dispenses her spareribs, brisket chili, and, ahem, ­Double D Clam Chowder (yes, that’s what she calls it) mainly on the Eastside but plans to set up in the Fremont Sunday Market.


Allison Barnes, whose Heavenly Pastry stand launched her to farmers market stardom, does real-deal Bavarian knots. Especially of note is the Oma Stein, named for the ­grandmother-in-law whose formula she uses. Barnes has made cameos at events before but plans to get in the game more regularly starting in June.

Rollin Q, @rollinq

Michelle Lowe is not messing around when she proclaims, “I’m from Texas. We do everything big.” She and husband Darrell outfitted their wheels with a custom wood smoker and commercial kitchen for his Texas-style barbecue, cooked low and slow. There’s also a long list of Southern comfort staples: fried chicken, beef brisket, ribs, chili, and “big ass” baked potatoes, all from scratch. “If we could grow our own lemons we would,” say the born-and-bred Lone Stars. Also brand new at press time.

Savage Street Cuisine

Rover’s toques by day, Kalen Schramke and David Howe moonlight as pop-up extraordinaires at Volunteer Park Cafe, where they’ve been selling out guest stints since October. Menus play global hopscotch—one month it’s Africa, the next it’s Eastern Europe—as they test run concepts for their forthcoming truck.


The name, say owners Cathy and Romano Basilio, describes the flavors found on their Vietnamese and Filipino bill. There’s the sweet sausage longanisa, sardines, and lemongrass pork, available in foot-long banh mi, corn ­tortillas, or vermicelli bowls. We’re especially stoked about the banh xeo, or Vietnamese crepe, and adobo chicken fried rice with an over-easy egg on top.

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