Must Eat: Sardines on Toast at The Whale Wins

Renee Erickson's Fremont spot does this open-faced sandwich right

By Seattle Mag October 27, 2014


This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Seattle magazine.

When I’m hungry, my mind wanders to the sardines on toast ($12, $9 at happy hour) at Renee Erickson’s The Whale Wins. On the menu since the restaurant opened in 2012, this hearty open-faced sandwich of sorts makes a fine meal, especially when paired with crisp, dry white wine. Depending on the day, the wood-oven-toasted bread is either going to be Pain de Campagne from Columbia City Bakery or from sous-chef Kit Schumann’s side-project bakery, Sea Wolf. Both are sourdough, which makes for a bright contrast against the richness of the Matiz sardines and the tang of the aioli-style tomato curry paste. The fish are topped with an often comically large mound of shaved fennel and parsley and then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, resulting in a combination that is absolutely divine—and challenging to eat. That’s why it comes with a steak knife and a knowing look. But it’s beyond acceptable to just pick it up and bite into it. Cutting takes too long, anyway. Lunch, dinner daily. Fremont, 3506 Stone Way N; 206.632.9425;


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