Shifts & Shakeups

This Week in Restaurant News: Puppet Shows and OMFG It's a Chicken Sandwich

Five dining developments on our radar this week.

By Allecia Vermillion and Rosin Saez August 30, 2019

Soon: Puppets. Inquire within.

A Salad Alliance

Evergreens, Seattle’s go-to for fast-casual salads with punny names, has acquired Garden Bar, a chain with a similar setup and nine locations around Portland. The upshot: The Oregon locations have been renamed Garden Bar by Evergreens, and our hometown salad giant’s world domination continues apace. Evergreens will have nearly 30 locations in the Northwest by the end of 2020.

Tex-Mex and What's Next

Owners of Rooster's Tex Mex on Capitol Hill have sold their restaurant, reports Capitol Hill Seattle, though the details of such a transaction are still under wraps. Indeed a lot of restaurant changeups are burbling on Broadway: Last month, Jerry Traunfeld announced his retirement and his passing the restaurant torch to the owners of Altura who are turning the space into Carrello, which is slated to open in October; also, Traunfeld's Lionhead will be run by longtime chef Garrett Doherty, who's been helming that very kitchen for over a year. 

No, Really—Puppets

The former brick firehouse in Ballard, which spent the past 15 years as the family- and fried chicken–friendly Hi-Life Restaurant, will close September 1 to embrace a new concept. Well, two new concepts, actually. The new iteration, Valentinetti’s will serve Italian food with a side of…puppetry. Doors will reopen in October with pasta, brick oven pizza, and puppet shows. Per a press release, some will be G rated, while others might “delve into risqué territory.”

OMFG It's a Chicken Sandwich

Unless you live in a Twitter-banned yurt in the middle of nowhere (and, if so, can we come over?), then you likely know about the chicken sandwich that broke the internet recently. Popeyes introduced a new chicken sandwich to its menu and about everyone in food media almost lost their dang minds. Ditto fast food fiends who craved a sandwich that toted fewer political hangups (ahem, Chick Fil-A). The Seattle Times, doing the good, hard journalistic work that the dining beat requires, reported that Seattle area Popeyes had sold out of its sandwiches until September 1. Meanwhile, catch us at Ma'Ono Fried Chicken, the Wandering Goose, or Sisters and Brothers for chicken sandwich bliss.

A New Chef for Outlier

When the restaurant inside downtown's Monaco Hotel transformed from a jazzy, New Orleans-esque lounge to a perhaps more broadly appealing New American restaurant with microbrews and duck bolognese, it was a nice changeup. But since installing new chef Anthony Sinsay earlier this spring, the menu's seen some fun updates. Sinsay calls upon his Filipino heritage in dishes like pork adobo pizza and pancit PNW—there's even a two-seat noodle bar during lunch. 

This Week in Food & Drink

Local chefs write farewell love letters to Ludi's. The downtown diner closes tomorrow.

The James Beard Foundation's coming to Seattle in October with a heavy-hitter lineup of big-name chefs. Tickets are on sale now.

Still feeling the heat? We've got a few sweet, icy, frozen treat suggestions for you.

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