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[Seattle] Farewell & Welcome: Closings, Transformations, Openings (Part 3)

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Tried Mi Chalateca Pupuseria and Salvadorian Restaurant last night. Good, plentiful, and cheap. We had a chicharrón and cheese pupusa, a pork tamale, and I had the Bistec Encebollada. The pupusa was really good with the tortilla made in house and fresh, the tamale was kind of like the one at La Carta, but firmer and really good as well. My bistec was tasty and I woul definitely like to go back and try the Coctel de Camarones and the Pollo Guisado.

Rocky

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I noticed a new place on 65th NE (south side of street) between Roosevelt and the freeway, in that restaurant row area,  right across from the Superbowl Noodle House. I couldn't get the name but saw a sign that said something about Mexican-Cuban food. Anybody know anything?

Thanks!

SusieQ

That's probably Alebrije. I believe they've been around for at least six months or maybe since early Fall. We went there in the first month or two of opening and while the service was good, the food wasn't--I found it bland and was surprisingly underwhelmed. Lately, I'm usually too easily satisfied with Mexican or Cuban food. I'm tempted to give them another try, to see if they've worked some things out, but haven't yet. It's a place that I want to really like and not just because they're in my neighborhood. I like the staff.

They do have karaoke, though, and that's when I see a number of folks streaming into the place. Later in the evenings, the bar side of the restaurant is dedicated to that.

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I noticed a new place on 65th NE (south side of street) between Roosevelt and the freeway, in that restaurant row area,  right across from the Superbowl Noodle House. I couldn't get the name but saw a sign that said something about Mexican-Cuban food. Anybody know anything?

Thanks!

SusieQ

That's probably Alebrije. I believe they've been around for at least six months or maybe since early Fall. We went there in the first month or two of opening and while the service was good, the food wasn't--I found it bland and was surprisingly underwhelmed. Lately, I'm usually too easily satisfied with Mexican or Cuban food. I'm tempted to give them another try, to see if they've worked some things out, but haven't yet. It's a place that I want to really like and not just because they're in my neighborhood. I like the staff.

They do have karaoke, though, and that's when I see a number of folks streaming into the place. Later in the evenings, the bar side of the restaurant is dedicated to that.

Oh well, I guess I'm behind the times. :biggrin:

Yes, that was the name: Alebrije. I'm disappointed to learn the food wasn't that great, but I think I'll give it a try anyway. I've had Cuban food exactly once, and that was an uninspired grilled sandwich at that Cuban place just off the freeway on Lake City. (But to be fair, that was also when they had first opened, and it was chaos in there, and I'm sure that wasn't a fair representation of what they're doing today.)

Anyway, thank you for the post. I'll post back after I've been to Alebrije. It's not exactly my neighborhood, but it's not too far, either.

SusieQ

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So I decided to check out Alebrije today. Walk in at 7:45 on a Friday night and there's a grand total of 8 people in the entire restaurant, not a promising sign. Wasn't in the mood for choosing so I just had the waiter order his favorite dish for me, some kind of pork chop with grilled onions.

I have to say, the execution was slightly off but the concept was stunning. The flavours were bold and bright and well balanced and very tasty. However, the salsa was under salted, the vegetables were under salted, the onions were undercooked and the pork was over cooked. There was just that lack of finesse and technique to bring the dish together but it was still undeniably a solid dish. For $12, I thought it was a fantastically good meal.

It seems like this is a restaurant that could be great if given enough time to mature. Sadly, I doubt that's going to happen. The space they're in now guarentee's that they'll be virtually unknown and it looks like they're going to die a quiet death fairly soon which is a pity because it's the kind of place I could envision growing to love. It made me extra sad to walk by jalisco on the way home and find it packed even though it serves a pale imitation of real mexican food.

Sally, give it another chance, hopefully you'll find that it's now much better than before because I really would like that place to survive.


PS: I am a guy.

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Café Presse at 12th and Madison from the good folks at Le Pichet coming in June.

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I see something is finally opening in the Wallingford Center in the NW corner (across from Wonderbar (future Babalu). Unfortunately it is some sort of "natural" pharmacy. I was really hoping it would be someplace to eat. Something we don't already have on 45th like a Red Mill.


"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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There's a new India-type buffet place on 2nd. Is this replacing L'petit?

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There's a new roaster/coffeehouse in the Greenwood neighborhood called Seven (153 N. 78th St. --around the corner from Pete's Eggnest and one doorway west of the corner of 78th and Greenwood). Sean, the owner, roasts several coffee blends in small batches (all have Sumatra as a base). I bought a half pound of his "Hawaiian Huli" espresso blend (he probably named it in honor of his home state) which was less than $7 last weekend. Sean says he's still tweaking the recipe for this blend, but the version I got tastes smooth and mellow, even when drunk as a straight coffee (which is how I had it this morning).

The ambience of Seven is pleasant: there's a small bar seating area and benches and some comfortable stuffed furniture towards the back of the smallish space. Seven also serves vegan baked goods. They're only open until 6 p.m. right now.

If you're looking for a coffeehouse that's different from the big guys, this is the place to go.

Miulang


Edited by miulang (log)

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New place opened on First in Pioneer Square - Crimson (or was just that the decor?) Anyway, it has a nice look (except for the multiple tvs) and a slightly adventurous Italian menu. The owner, first time owner, is married to a police officer (think the security might be good.) They opened last week. After 9 - bar scene with DJ.

New wine bar on Mercer Island, around the corner from Bennett's - called Cellar 46. "www.cellar46.com"

Also wine retail, wine storage, wine shipping too. "www.awinestore.com"

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Café Presse at 12th and Madison from the good folks at Le Pichet coming in June.

cafe presse posted their liquor license application (yay!) and green papaya on pine is papered up, "remodeling and re-opening in june with a new menu". did anyone ever try that place?

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I tried Green Papaya when they opened and liked it pretty well. The decor was kind of overly serious.

If you're looking for me in June, you will find me at Cafe Presse eating the baked eggs. At all times.


Edited by mamster (log)

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Café Presse at 12th and Madison from the good folks at Le Pichet coming in June.

Oh wow..... :smile:

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It looks like a new Cafe Fiore is about to open in Ballard on Leary just north of Olympic Athletic Club. I know a bunch of Ballard-ites that are excited about this-the place (they have a location on 85th above Golden Gardens) has really developed a following. It looks like a nice space and it's good to see an old brick building rehabed (it's been vacant for at least 10 years) rather than razed. A pizza place is going in the other half of the building.

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It looks like a new Cafe Fiore is about to open in Ballard on Leary just north of Olympic Athletic Club. I know a bunch of Ballard-ites that are excited about this-the place (they have a location on 85th above Golden Gardens) has really developed a following. It looks like a nice space and it's good to see an old brick building rehabed (it's been vacant for at least 10 years) rather than razed. A pizza place is going in the other half of the building.

There is also one on the top of Queen Anne. I haven't been but my girlfriend has and she says it's awesome.

224 W Galer St

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I went to the pre-opening party at Opal on the top of Queen Anne last night. This is the new 'world cuisine' place owned by Orrapin (of the Thai restaurant of the same name next door). I believe the menu is going to be mostly organic and local and the preps are taken from various places in her travels. I have guardedly high hopes; the space is beautiful and the menu looks intriguing. On the top of the hill we have lots of good restaurants but I'm excited to have a good 'nice' restaurant with a bar and space to be social (Portage is nice but too small).

Unfortunately I didn't get much food :angry: (my fault) - too much conversation. I did have some excellent (and warm) bread and three kinds of tapenade; each was unique in color, texture and taste - it was a lovely combo and I hope it is presented that way on the menu. The most surprising to me was a tray that was being passed with what looked like (at first glance) your basic skewered meat appetizer - the meat turned out to be pork, but some of the most tender and juicy I can ever remember being offered in this format (on a stick that is) - and it had a beautifully roasted garlic bulb on the tip. The flavors were Chinese which further surprised me.

What I did have plenty of was the signature cocktail - the Opal Martini. Yum. It was tart and sweet but not too much of either - I'm not big into sweet drinks). Someone told me it had gin, vodka and casis...I'm going to have to go back and investigate. Luckily I live close enough to walk :smile: .

Opening this weekend.

Also on Queen Anne:

Betty looks ready to open; that is the second location for the owners of Crow, located in the old Gorditos space.

Julia's has got to be close to opening as well - although I had heard they were scheduled for January :wink: . It looks like everything is in place and the most recent rumor I've heard has them opening the first week in May -I'm sure they line for breakfast will be amazing every weekend in May!

best,

CBurnsi

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I don't know if anyone's noted it: des amis next to caffe vita on the hill has a big sign up for Bimbo's Burritos and Booze.

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Speaking of Queen Anne, has anyone tried Calva Cafe, the tiny sushi/Chinese/espresso/bubble tea place where Pat's espresso used to be? The menu has a fairly extensive sushi list plus a couple fozen Chinese standards. I've yet to try it, but the people are friendly and a friend said the food looked good.


Edited by Bruce Burger (log)

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Up on 15th Ave E on Capitol Hill...

Rainbow Natural Grocery closed on Sunday. No real surprise there, their shelves have been 50% empty for maybe a year. I'll miss it though.

Up the block on the other side, Cypress closed suddenly. The space it occupied really does seem to be cursed, I can think of four restaurants that have been in there in as many years. As for the new tenant, I heard an unconfirmed rumor about cupcakes....

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Up on 15th Ave E on Capitol Hill...

Rainbow Natural Grocery closed on Sunday.  No real surprise there, their shelves have been 50% empty for maybe a year.  I'll miss it though. 

Up the block on the other side, Cypress closed suddenly.  The space it occupied really does seem to be cursed, I can think of four restaurants that have been in there in as many years.  As for the new tenant, I heard an unconfirmed rumor about cupcakes....

i thought linda took over the lease for that space.

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Much as Kathy Casey rubs me the wrong way, I have to admit I am enjoying the new Dish D'Lish (ugh, even the name rubs me the wrong way) on Ballard Ave. It's right by my gym and it really is nice to have a place to get quality ready-made items afterwords.

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Speaking of Queen Anne, has anyone tried Calva Cafe, the tiny sushi/Chinese/espresso/bubble tea place where Pat's espresso used to be? The menu has a fairly extensive sushi list plus a couple fozen Chinese standards. I've yet to try it, but the people are friendly and a friend said the food looked good.

What happened to Pat's? did he sell? I used to be a regular there, (started when he was still running the espresso stand at the Thriftway), till I decided it was one of my daily cash outlays that had to stop. I've been curious.


Born Free, Now Expensive

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I went to the pre-opening party at Opal on the top of Queen Anne last night. 

Nice write-up cburnsi. Tell me about the chefs there, where were they before?


Born Free, Now Expensive

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on the corner of 4th and University I see that the Capitol Grill. I really hate to see our downtown get this chain steak house that I see in every big US city that I travel to. I also wonder how Seattle can support another steak house- Met, El Gaucho, Ruth Chris', Mortons..... Anyway that corner seemes very sad to me with it's big Purple Cafe on one corner and now Capitol Grill going in across the street.........

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