Shifts & Shakeups

This Week in Restaurant News: A Brick-and-Mortar Spice Waala and New Rooftop Bar

Six dining developments on our radar this week.

By Aly Brady March 1, 2019

Spice Waala's chicken kathi rolls are getting a permanent home on the Hill.

Spice Waala Puts Down Roots

Akanksha Sinha and husband Uttam Mukherjee's roaming street food stand, Spice Waala, quickly became a staple at the Fremont and South Lake Union markets thanks to kathi rolls stuffed with chicken tikka, paneer masala, lamb kebab, and aloo tikki. Now the duo's laying down physical roots in the former Kanak Cuisine of India space, according to Capitol Hill Seattle. With all that extra elbow room, expect to see new menu additions, like sandesh pastries and fried samosas, when the brick-and-mortar spot opens later this year.

The Great Outdoors, on a Roof

Attention Birkenstock wearers and bitter urban dwellers: Opening Friday atop the University District’s Graduate Seattle Hotel, Mountaineering Club is essentially the wilderness, but on a rooftop. That is, the restaurant and bar will feature a “campsite spread of prosciutto, pimento cheese, pickles and toast.” Expect the food to skew local, with plenty of clam chowder and salmon and avocado toast. And Dino's alum Jabriel Donohue will be manning the drink menu. If all that isn’t Seattle enough, you can grab an espresso below at Poindexter Coffee.

Cocktail Queen Earns Crown

If you didn’t think bartending was a sport, you’d be wrong. This week longtime Seattle bartender Lauren Darnell took home gold at the regional finals for Speed Rack Season 8 Northwest. (It’s basically the Olympics but boozier, and strictly female.) Darnell currently mixes up craft cocktails at First Hill's dimly lit hang, The Hideout. She'll head to Chicago in May for the national competition. Miss Speed Rack U.S. 2019? Fingers crossed.

Chocolate Buns, Egg Tarts, Milk Tea!

Taiwanese favorite 85°C Bakery Cafe is expanding north on its continuing quest for worldwide puff pastry domination. While no opening date has been announced, Eater Seattle reports that signage has already gone up. Edmonds folk, get ready for a long but worthwhile line: home baking can't live up to milk pudding buns, egg tarts, and hot dog–stuffed brioche.

Hot Cakes, Hot Damn

New things are afoot at Seattle's requisite molten chocolate cakery: Seattle Central pastry program alum and former intern Colin Buchanan is rejoining the gang as Hot Cakes' newest pastry chef. And, as if we needed another reason to long for spring, there's a whole slew of menu additions coming March 14, from rhubarb bread pudding to a toasted caramel popcorn shake. As for the cake of the month? It's equally spring-themed: dark chocolate stuffed with a lemon-lavender curd and topped with vanilla ice cream, honey caramel sauce, and a square of lavender shortbread.

A Homey Pizza Joint

Carolyn and Tony Scott have done plenty of dabbling in solid brunch fare and fried chicken sandwiches at Redmond's Woodblock, and now they're tackling another comfort food at Spark Pizza. The couple is commandeering a former residential Redmond home, complete with a fire pit and forthcoming deck. Look for wood-fired pizzas alongside salads and a rotating pasta menu this spring.

This Week in Food & Drink

Big news dropped in the James Beard universe this week. And Seattle fared mighty well in the semifinalist announcements.

A new bar's coming to Capitol Hill: Expect plant-based food and cocktails, plus a whole lot of records when Life on Mars opens in late spring.

When Schooner Brewing's kitchen reopens—hopefully in July or August—it will do so as the newest extension of Ethan Stowell Restaurants.

Bacon, eggs, and cheese have never looked so good: Behold the Seattle breakfast sandwich hall of fame.

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