Matador - Seattle
Tex-Mex is the name of the game at Matador, the popular flagship of the Opper Melang restaurant group, which also branched out into Kickin’ Boot Whiskey Kitchen and Ballard Annex Oyster House in the past two years. While the Ballard locale is one of the smaller Matadors, the perfect Ballard Ave/Market Street location means it’s always hopping. The menu is reliable, walking the line between authentic preparations and crowd-pleasers (such as bacon-wrapped jalapeños stuffed with goat cheese), but the twice-daily happy hour (4–6 p.m. and 10 p.m.–1 a.m. daily) is where it’s at. Insanely big nacho plates, excellent braised pork or carne asada tacos, and tons of other choices hover at about $5 a plate and are sizable enough to restore 20-somethings who finish their nights here. Lunch and dinner daily.
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