Yup, I know you crave the fried chicken sandwich at Skillet Diner, the fish tacos at Marination Ma Kai, the tots topped with gravy and a fried egg at Radiator Whiskey—but is it ever a bad idea to develop a few new painfully insistent cravings? Yeah, didn’t think so.
In that spirit, I am officially adding six newish dishes to the pantheon of Seattle’s classic craveables, in no order whatsoever. Try them for the first time at your peril.
Chili Cumin Pork Ribs at Stateside: This Hunan-inspired starter at the new Capitol Hill Vietnamese sensation Stateside can be served “a bit spicy” or “extra spicy” (read tongue-shredding), but these tender and moist and meaty and flavorful pork ribs are stunning no matter how you best enjoy them. Which is most memorable: the cumin-seed crust or the shrug-off-the-bone meat? Uh, yes.
Zucchini Fritters at Omega Ouzeri: For $6 at Capitol Hill’s new happy hour haunt, you get three of the marvels the Greeks call kolokithokeftedes: fried zucchini balls, crispy outside and creamy within, enriched with feta and packing little bursts of fresh mint. Dipped in garlic aioli, they’re even better.
Spicy Meatball Tomato Sauce Gnocchi at Gnocchi Bar: It’s textbook potato gnocchi—pillowy, lightly flavorful, sauce grabbing—served in a sure-handed oregano-spiked tomato sauce with pork/beef meatballs whose quality betrays owner Lisa Nakamura’s lofty culinary pedigree. She could be running a foofy Continental sit-down restaurant; instead she’s doing counter-service gnocchi in the heart of Pike/Pine. Lucky us.
Porchetta Sandwich at Meat and Bread: Plenty of joints do the porchetta-plus-salsa verde combo, so what is it about the Vancouver sandwich shop’s first Seattle outpost that serves up this combo with such satisfying success, it sells out daily? In a word, cracklings. The helpful servers slice off pieces of impossibly moist porchetta, pile it high on sturdy rectangular buns with the green sauce, then add in all that crackly fat that brings the lushness and the music. Just wow.
Cheesy Potatoes at Big Chickie: I have friends—oh, you know who you are—who come up with all kinds of bogus reasons to drive past the 5500 block of Rainier Avenue South, just to stop at Big Chickie. Sure the Peruvian chicken is moist and well seasoned. But the cheesy potatoes? Dangerous bliss.
Sloppy Joe at Good Bar: As I write in my review of Good Bar in the June 2015 Seattle Met, this one’s “a lush extravagance of Painted Hills beef sweetened with tomato and a drizzle of caramelized onion aioli, deepened with stout and a lengthy reduction. It all gushes out from between two halves of a Macrina ciabatta bun—which, hats off, masterfully stands up to the goo.” Later in the review I even lose my mind and call it “perfect”…clear evidence that this is a sandwich to take a girl’s critical faculties clean away.
What new craveables have I missed?