The Fat Hen is a Gem

A few brilliant items manage to find room in this tiny, bustling brunch spot.

By Seattle Mag June 15, 2012


This article originally appeared in the July 2012 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Light, bright and cheerful, Ballard’s The Fat Hen (across the street from Delancey) is a gem of a find with a honeycomb-tile backsplash, whitewashed wainscoting and a glass case of irresistible, original treats. Open for lunch and brunch only (with a recently added Friday dinner), the short menu lists several versions of baked eggs, some arriving on stewed tomato sauce, with soft pockets of mozzarella and strewn with basil ($8), others wearing a rich dressing of four bold, creamy cheeses ($9.50). There are sandwiches, too, like one with sautéed mushrooms and homemade ricotta ($8), though it would’ve been better served open-faced; too much bread overwhelmed the goodies.

Brunch is busy; there are just a handful of tables and some bar seats, so space is at a premium. But the homemade English muffins ($2.50), warm with butter and honey, are worth the wait. (I also adore the fresh cod with fried potatoes and a tomato-caper salsa, $16.) Look for the buttery lemon tart topped with bronzed pine nuts; it’s brilliant!

Much of the menu falls into the category of good but not quite great; here’s hoping the food improves a bit to live up to the enchanting room.

Breakfast and lunch Wed.–Fri., dinner Fri., brunch Sat.–Sun. Ballard, 1418 NW 70th St.; 206.782.5422; $


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