Seattle’s Southwest Restaurants Get Fired Up
Southwest heat in the Northwest chill.
By Chelsea Lin, Naomi Tomky and Megan Lamb
February 5, 2018
Bang Bang Cafe
New Mexico Red and Green Chile Sauce
If you’ve spent any time at all in New Mexico, you’ve had something smothered in chile sauce—after all, the state question is “Red or green?” in reference to your preferred sauce. At Belltown’s casual, homey Bang Bang Cafe, you can opt for both in the signature Bang Bang burrito ($9.25), filled with eggs, potatoes, whole pinto beans and cheddar, with half drenched in red chile sauce and the other half in green, the latter made with Hatch chiles flown in from New Mexico.
Know Before You Go: Every August, local markets from Whole Foods to Fred Meyer roast Hatch chiles and sell them cheap. That’s the time to fill your freezer for eating year-round.
Bang Bang Cafe, Belltown, 2460 Western Ave.; 206.448.2233
Off the Rez
Native American Fry Bread Tacos
This food truck offers something Seattle disappointingly lacks: an addictively delightful take on fry bread, the anchoring dish of Native American cuisine, regardless of tribe or region. Mark McConnell (who owns the truck with his partner, Cecilia Rikard) spent his childhood eating fry bread; his mother grew up on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. Go sweet and get yours topped with cinnamon sugar, lemon curd or strawberry preserves, or savory; we particularly love the classic chili Indian tacos ($4.50) served on fry bread.
What To Order: Need a gluten-free option? Get yours on corn tortillas instead.
Off the Rez, Mobile food truck
Jules Maes Saloon
Texas Chicken-fried Steak
Every diner in town does its best to give life to a fried-from-frozen, paper-thin version of chicken-fried steak drenched in greasy gravy, but at Jules Maes Saloon in Georgetown, they make this Texas dish in Texas fashion: bigger, thus better. The steak ($15), so thick and flavorful it would please even without the crunchy coating, gets an aromatic bath in fennel gravy, a side of bright (in both color and flavor) green beans and a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes. It’s an almost disconcertingly refined version of the dish. Almost.
Where Else To Find It: Find a near facsimile of the dish, minus the 100-year-old historic bar, at sibling spot Noble Barton in White Center.
Jules Maes Saloon, Georgetown, 5919 Airport Way S; 206.957.7766