Critic's Picks

What We're Eating Now June 2019

This month's favorites: Korean fried chicken, halal Mexican food, and butter mochi waffles worth braving the brunch crowds.

By Seattle Met Staff May 29, 2019 Published in the June/July 2019 issue of Seattle Met

There's a new Korean fried chicken joint in town.

Image: Amber Fouts

Bonchon’s Crispy Bird

The Korea-born fast-casual chain imported its much-hyped fried chicken to First Hill in February and has been satiating fanatics ever since. Bonchon is still in a somewhat nascent stage—learning the full menu, considerably long wait times—but manages to usher out wings and drums that have taken two dips in the fryer for extra crunch. Chicken arrives coated in signature sauces like a spicy gochujang and soy garlic: Umami-packed things come to those who wait. Rosin Saez

Hood Famous’s Brilliant Brunch

Chera Amlag’s daytime dishes at Hood Famous Cafe and Bar take Filipino flavors in craveably inventive directions, just like the purple ube cheesecake that built her original bakeshop in Ballard. Here in Chinatown–International District, soft pandesal is stuffed with corned beef hash, and longanisa sausage fills fluffy quiches. But the biggest revelation involves chewy, complex waffles of pressed butter mochi. Coming soon: A nighttime menu and cocktails. Allecia Vermillion

Mexican American Halal at Corte Fino

Tucked in an indistinct doorway on Beacon Hill, Corte Fino Mexican Cuisine is, according to its owners, the first halal Mexican restaurant in the Northwest. Far afield as its origins might be, the small restaurant serves familiar Mexican American dishes: pollo en mole, enchiladas, tacos, a wet burrito. But when the food is often from scratch (Oaxaca cheese and housemade beef chorizo elevate a queso fundido) and spice levels are pitched pleasingly high, this familiarity feels like welcome. Stefan Milne

Crowd-Pleasing Italian at Fiasco

A rapid makeover recast Thackeray on Stone Way as an Italian restaurant, but it still feels like you’re eating in Fremont’s unofficial dining hall. Fiasco caters to families and nearby tech workers (whose lunch ecosystem rivals that of South Lake Union) with chopped salad, chicken parm, garlic bread, and a bevy of pastas. The name refers to those rounded chianti bottles, thankfully not Fiasco’s 11-inch pizzas, which layer ebullient flavor combos atop a pleasant and pillowy crust. AV

A Blend That Stands Out

Nine Hats Red Wine Columbia Valley 2016 $20

What’s this? A bottle that tastes like a $40 wine at half that price? This blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and syrah delivers aromas and flavors of plum, black currant, and blueberry that pack a hefty punch. It’s one of the best values of the year. Pair it with grilled steak salad and a cherry, plum, and tomato salsa. —Sean P. Sullivan

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