In a civic moment of increasingly polished restaurants, Manu Alfau's projects gets progressively more unconventional...in a really fun way. After taking over the Little Uncle window on Capitol Hill earlier this year, the chef behind Manu's Bodega (which unequivocally earned a spot on our recent list of Seattle's 100 best restaurants) is now serving tacos filled with various braised meats inside a subterranean miniature golf course in Pioneer Square.
Which is to say, Manu's Tacos is softly open inside the new Flatstick Pub in Pioneer Square. Key word: softly. The official opening date is November 1.
On the off chance you're more into tacos than mini golf, know that Alfau's new taqueria has two parts. There's a taco counter inside the underground pub, just to the left of the beer taps, so patrons famished from putting through the nine-hole course, complete with replica Space Needle can grab a local brew and refuel with tacos stuffed with carnitas or braised brisket or chicken tinga.
Tacos are guisado style, leaning toward more homey, often braised fillings. The seven-taco lineup I glimpsed last night includes a few vegetarian versions, like mushrooms and rajas, aka a combo of sauteed onions and roasted poblano peppers. Alfau was born in the Dominican Republic, but his Austin upbringing means he has strong feelings about queso, and a housemade version on the menu alongside chips (you can also get chips and guac or salsa, or an order of chicharrones and pickles).
Up on the sidewalk, tucked between Good Bar and Il Corvo Pasta Studio, is the Manu's Tacos lunch counter, for anyone who just wants to walk up and buy a couple $3 tacos from a guy who knows what he's doing.
Service is up and running down in the pub, but that street-level window will debut on November 1, in time for a grand opening party that involves a prolonged happy hour at Flatstick and discounted $2 tacos through November 4. Once Manu's Tacos finds its groove, the window will be open weekdays from 11-3; the counter inside Flatstick will keep 3–10 daily hours. The Manu's Tacos Facebook page can help you make sense of it all.
And, not to bury the lead here, but Alfau says he'll likely add breakfast tacos to the mix in the future.