The Best Bites for Every Price: $50 and Under – The Stranger
Whole Roasted Duck
Beacon BBQ, $26
I have yet to experience a roasted duck that’s better than Beacon BBQ’s, a blue and easily missed to-go grocery and deli on Beacon Hill. (The joint, which is all function plus little beauty, also sells superb dim sum dishes. ) What makes the sweet here so good is, unlike so many places, that it’s not that salty nor sweet. Instead, it is prepared with a focus on what’s best about a duck, the almost gamy mix of juicy fat and soft dark- and light-brown meat. I also love eating the tangy bones of this bird, but I will not really bring up that pleasure here. CHARLES MUDEDE
Sausage Greens Pizza
Blotto has some of the best pizza (and vibes! ) in Seattle. Made with a light, crisp, naturally-leavened crust, it’s extremely easy to pound one of these bad boys in the span of 20 minutes. I’d obviously advise against doing that for your stomach plus tastebuds’ sake as this pie is meant to be savored. While there are three constants upon Blotto’s menu—vegan, cheese, and pepperoni plus peppers pizzas—they’re not afraid to switch it up with their speciality pies, using local and seasonal ingredients. Currently, their Sausage Greens pizza ($29) has been rocking my world. It’s made with a base of tomato sauce and aged mozzarella plus topped with Olsen fennel sausage, red onion, parm, and kale from Sound Sustainable Farms—delicious. It’s the perfect mix of meaty and vegetal, and tastes great dipped in their house-made ranch. I would highly suggest pairing this pie with their Caesar salad ($13) and Mah Zeh burnt potato side ($8), which is a seared Russet spud that comes with the labneh plus chili dip. Pair it with one of their natty wines why dontcha? JAS KEIMIG
Off Alley, $50
It brings me significant amounts of pleasure to report on the ongoing greatness and increased recognition associated with Off Street , the small but mighty Columbia City restaurant featured in The particular Stranger back in February 2022 (they’ve since landed on the NYT ’s Best New Restaurants list and enjoyed coverage in Eater, Resy, and Tasting Table). Evan Leichtling and Meghna Prakash’s deeply personal, no-fucks-given twelve-seat restaurant has gone from strength to power, crafting a nightly funhouse menu of food you will not find anywhere else in the city, or honestly, the country, inspired by local produce plus protein and international travel: quail plus sweetbreads along with blue cheese popover, foie gras buckwheat waffles, crab fat deviled eggs, braised sea snails with winter radish, and so forth.
Dinner at Off Alley has become a reservations-only affair, with long wait times during peak hours (the restaurant is truly tiny). But my favorite time to go is on Sunday, when from 1 pm until around 6 they offer “Adult Lunch”—a sort of riff around the weekend-long lunch tradition beloved from London to Lisbon, which bears little by way of resemblance or intention to the horror show known as “brunch” here in America. A proper Sunday lunch in Off Street might be loved solo or even as a duo; you should order two or three things from the menu, and maybe a little dessert; and a drink is nice, whether it’s wine or a cocktail or a beer or something zero proof, all of which they’re well-stocked for. You should lose track of time a little bit, but not in a “stuck in my phone” sort of way; more like losing yourself in a good book, a conversation with a stranger, or a particularly compelling date. Each plate is good on its own but taken together, across the Sunday afternoon, adult lunch time achieves a sort of thermal mass, an exit velocity from reality, arriving at last from cosmic grandeur, or at least just a little scoop associated with kumquat ice cream. Fifty dollars is a guidepost—you might spend a little more, or a little less, and it’s fine either way. It’s Sunday lunchtime. This is your time. JORDAN MICHELMAN
Tajarin con Burro e Salvia
Spinasse ‘s Tajarin con Burro e Salvia will be widely considered to be one of the best pasta dishes in the city. But here’s a lesser-known fact: You can make it in your own home. No parking, no pants. Just you and a beautiful nest of handmade pasta drenched in a delicate buttery spices and the latest episode of The Last of Us . Spinasse’s $30 nudeln kit comes with everything you need to make the iconic dish—a hefty handful of their housemade pasta shredded as good as Easter grass, a small mountain associated with cultured butter topped with the expert amount of salt, pepper, and fresh sage leaves, and a little container of grated Parmigiano. From there, it comes together within literally seconds. Just melt the butter, allowing the particular sage in order to permeate through every last molecule associated with fat, boil the teigwaren for 30 seconds, and then quickly yet gently stir the two components together with a decent splash of pasta water. The butter and starchy water transform into a smooth, perfumed sauce right before your very eyes. The pasta is melt-in-your-mouth tender plus thoroughly coated, but not weighed down by the glistening spices, just as you aren’t weighed down by society’s expectation to wear pants. MEGAN SELING
You have fifty dollars in your pocket and steak on your mind. You want some thing amazing plus special, a little different from the usual filet, ribeye, or NY strip, but don’t want to break the bank. The El Zabuton from Asadero is exactly what you’re looking for.
The particular zabuton, or Denver steak, is a lesser-known cut from the chuck area of the cow and does not require the typical long cook time due to thorough marbling. Every bite is perfectly melt-in-your-mouth tender but without the sometimes too-rich fattiness associated with other wagyu steaks. At Asadero this particular piece of meaty heaven comes out of the kitchen seared and sizzling on a slab of rock, which remains at a high temperature for the entire meal. I found peak tenderness is at medium rare plus would recommend ordering this rare (or one temperature below how you prefer your own steak) and letting the rock do the rest of the work. (Tip: Ask your server for an extra plate to put your meat on once you’ve reached your preferred heat to avoid overcooking. ) The El Zabuton is served à la carte, topped having a sprig associated with rosemary, a small pile of rock salt for additional seasoning, and two house-made salsas, all of which are great, but not necessarily needed, as the meat itself has a full and buttery flavor using a hint associated with natural sweetness. EVANNE CORRIDOR