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Capitol Hill Community Post | Tasty ways to help Capitol Hill restaurants survive the winter

(Image: Morfire)

By a Capitol Hill neighbor

If you can afford takeout, there’s never been a better time to take a chance and try a new restaurant, try a new menu item, or introduce the family to a new cuisine.

I’ve watched how painful this year has been for everyone in food service. Although I’m not in the restaurant industry, it’s clear that many Capitol Hill restaurants are hanging on by a thread.

Since I’m fortunate enough to have an income, I can do small things to make a difference: donate, tip well, and order takeout more often than usual. As a longtime Seattle resident, I’ve tried many restaurants and items, so here’s some favorites that every Capitol Hill resident should try at least once.

Food is one of the few experiences that are easy and safe right now, and you’ll help restaurants survive the winter.

  • Morfire (1806 12th Ave): You’ve tried Morfire’s Thai hot pot. For takeout, try the fantastic “Zap noodles” , which uses spinach wheat noodles. If you eat meat, consider ordering it with pork.
  • Aviv Hummus Bar (107 15th Ave E): Hummus is in the name, so everyone’s first visit includes hummus and falafel. Aviv’s menu also has one of Seattle’s few sabich (“sah-beek”) pita wraps, though. What’s a sabich? Well, read a love letter to the sabich https://roadsandkingdoms.com/2019/sabich-in-tel-aviv/
  • Soju Anju (1621 12th Ave): What comes after bibimbap? How about soondubu jjigae, Korean soft tofu stew. One doesn’t need to like tofu to love soondubu. Soju Anju even provides a few side dishes (banchan) with takeout orders. Suggestion: if you like mixed seafood, order seafood soondubu.
  • Hopvine Pub (507 15th Ave E.): Enjoying a pint from the tap list is tougher than usual, but consider a sandwich. Best known for its epic Reuben, Hopvine also makes one of the city’s best tuna melts
  • Adey Abeba (2123 E. Union): Every first-time visitor to Adey Abeba orders a meat or vegetarian combo, and understandably so. From there, consider two items that aren’t in the combos: fūl medames (“fool”), a common African and Middle Eastern breakfast of stewed fava beans, or miser wat, lentils cooked in berbere.
  • Rom Mai Thai (613 Broadway E.): While everyone loves pad kee mao, one could argue that tom yum – Thai soup with lemongrass and galangal – is the quintessential combination of Thai flavors. For a first order, consider tom yum with shrimp. After tom yum, branch out into Rom Mai Thai’s own Supreme Hor Mok
  • Honeyhole’s The Gooch (Image: Honeyhole)

    Honeyhole (703 E. Pike): The entire city may have tried Honeyhole’s Waverider, and for good reason. Some sandwiches were built for cold, wet winter days, though, and that’s The Gooch (served au jus for dipping).

  • U:Don (1640 12th Ave): Niku udon is a solid place to start, but U:Don also makes a spicy pork “tantan” broth that’s typically served with ramen (as “tantanmen”). U:Don serves it with udon noodles, as spicy tantan soup udon
  • Peloton Cafe (1220 E. Jefferson): A combination bike shop and (takeout) cafe, Peloton is a bit off the beaten path. The fact that they’ve prepared over 70,000 breakfast burritos speaks for itself . Although one might typically opt for chorizo or vegan sausage, start with the simple pleasure of avocado.
  • Manao (1222 E. Pine): Three words: Khao soi gai. It’s as good as it looks.
  • Al Bacha (819 E. Denny): Between the lamb & beef gyro and the chicken gyro, one could stay full for months. What then? The Arabic shawarma wrap.
  • Bai Tong (1121 E. Pike). Continuing our cold-weather-friendly theme, Bai Tong’s yen ta fo – pink noodle soup – is almost exactly what you’d be served at any Bangkok noodle stand. Bai Tong’s version includes more protein, but the pink flavor and color is the same.
  • Teriyaki Madness (111 15th Ave E.): If Seattle has an official meal, it’s probably spicy chicken teriyaki – and this being Seattle, it’ll be served with brown rice. For longtime Seattleites, spicy chicken teriyaki is comfort food. CHS’ readership includes plenty of Seattle transplants, though, so for those of you new to Seattle, the standard order is “Spicy chicken teriyaki with brown rice”:
  • Last, any other restaurant or item you’ve been meaning to try. For the price of a meal, you’ll get full, help a local business and its staff, and make an otherwise-boring winter a bit more interesting.

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genevieve
genevieve
2 months ago

Double ups for Adey Abeba!

Also: Taurus Ox…they had a limited menu for the first few months of the pandemic, broadened it a bit when seating was possible, and so far they haven’t rediced the offerings again. Excellent Lao food, and my go-to walk up spot.

djp
djp
2 months ago
Reply to  genevieve

I ordered takeout from them on Saturday. The food is always good, and the chefs are always great at suggesting fantastic dishes whenever someone is looking to try something new. And the Lao jerky is amazing.

MarciaX
MarciaX
2 months ago

Teriyaki Madness is my favorite teriyaki place on Capitol Hill, but for spicy chicken I prefer Yoshino on First Hill (1010 Madison), where you can get it on a base of stir-fried chopped veggies instead of rice (ask for #22 on the menu). The sauce is milder but you can spice it up yourself with Sriracha if you like. A bit less pricey too.

Erica T
Erica T
2 months ago

Star fusion on broadway opened right before the pandemic, and they are a hidden gem. Everything on the menu is excellent and they are a family owned business.

Jilfe
Jilfe
2 months ago

Aviv Hummus made me realize I hadn’t really had hummus before.

Eli
Eli
2 months ago
Reply to  Jilfe

I confess I’d argue you still may have not. ;-)

It’s not bad for a city like ours with no hummus competition. But if they opened a similar restaurant in Tel-Aviv (or even NYC, LA, or Miami), I doubt it would have lasted very long.

Jilfe
Jilfe
2 months ago
Reply to  Eli

Yeah, Seattle is a small town. Any place in LA you’d recommend since it’s near by?

Eli
Eli
2 months ago
Reply to  Jilfe

You’re so original.

Closer to home, Shalom Y’All in Portland is wonderful. Ditto for Mediterranean Exploration Company.

I just save my hummus appetite for when I’m down there, rather than be disappointed again by Aviv. Portland has a much more robust Israeli restaurant scene.

secretslits
secretslits
2 months ago

the first sentence is everything, and that IF should be in all caps.