Shifts & Shakeups

This Week in Restaurant News: Get Ready for All of the Hot Pot

Five dining developments on our radar this week.

By Philip Kiefer April 26, 2019

HaiDiLao is headed to Pacific Place and Bellevue.

Hot Pot Makes Big Moves

A mega-popular Chinese hot pot star is opening a second location in the Seattle area. HaiDiLao already has plans in the works to bring its bubbling broths to the revamped Pacific Place. Now, according to Eater Seattle, the chain is opening a location at Bellevue Pacific Center for those of you wandering on the other side of the water. HaiDiLao makes waves wherever it arrives: Maybe it's the broth, maybe it's, as we wrote previously, "the dudes dancing while they stretch your noodles." The chain has only just filed its permit for the Bellevue location, but is slated to open in downtown Seattle come fall.

Food for Thought for...Fido?

Let's get right to it: There's a dog food kitchen opening in South Lake Union today. It's called JustFoodForDogs, and promises to disrupt the dog food industry with human-grade pet food. At first, we were hoping that it would be a full-blown restaurant: carefully arranged small plates being thrown about by a room full of French bulldogs while their owners tune out behind AirPods. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) it's just a kitchen that serves very fancy dog food. We used the company's dog nutrition calculator to estimate that Gary, our (theoretical) basset hound, would burn through $9 a day in lamb. We'll let the rest just speak for itself: The store opens today with a "yappy hour" featuring a pet photographer, and Amazon employees get 20 percent off their first purchase.

More Accolades for Homer

GQ has named Homer, a rising star on Beacon Hill, one of its best new restaurants in America and we are here for it. This isn't the restaurant's first brush with fame: Its chef and co-owner, Logan Cox, was also long-listed for a James Beard Award this year. But hey, we've been stanning them since the beginning. Late last year, we drooled over the restaurant's tangerine soft serve and kefte-inspired meatballs in a pool of "tomato and dried fruits, cinnamon and yoghurt whey, reduced for hours into something so rich it’s more syrup than sauce."

And More Sidewalk Cafes

People love to sneer at sidewalk seating here. It rains all the time, they say, ignoring the fact that we bask in the sun like Virginia copperheads when summer finally rolls around. But we digress: The city is considering loosening up its restrictions on sidewalk cafes. Currently, they're not allowed within 50 feet of certain residential property, making large chunks of the city off-limits. The proposed changes would loosen that restriction, and allow "no fence" seating, as in Paris. Public comment closed this week, and we've got our fingers crossed we'll see new open-air seating over the summer.

Mexican Brunch in Ballard

Sazon Kitchen, an offshoot of the Sazon Tacos food truck, is opening up shop in north Ballard, per My Ballard. It'll serve some brunchy classics—chilaquiles and mimosas—and partner with Macrina and Caffe Vita for pastries and coffee. The taco truck will be parked on site, serving lunch and dinner after the brick-and-mortar spot closes at 3pm. Eater Seattle says the grand opening is set for May 10, which is, nudge-nudge, the same weekend as Mother's Day.

This Week in Food & Drink

Heads up, Belltown: Zig Zag alum Erik Hakkinen will open a moody little French-inspired bar, Roquette, this summer.

The Jet City Rosé Experience is back for its third summer with live music, food trucks, and (duh) tons of rosé.

From Middle Eastern wraps to sea salt bagels, mosey on over to these 10 walk-up windows for a quick bite to go.

No tacos here, but plenty of beer and tamales: Copal's new sibling tavern Chicha opens soon.

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