This is not a riddle – and a Single Shot is not intended to bring down The Fat Hen.
Single Shot and The Fat Hen are two new Seattle restaurants, both in out-of-the-way pocket neighborhoods you wouldn’t discover just cruising the streets. It’s a risky bet for both restaurants.You have to know that they’re there and make an effort to find them, but it’s always exciting and satisfying to discover a new restaurant, especially when it seems like a secret. In this case there are two of them hiding in semi-secret micro-neighborhoods.
This is the interior of Single Shot. It opened recently in a small four-shop retail strip on the northwest side of Capitol Hill below the Harvard Exit. You can’t beat the combo of shops – Top Pot Donuts, Sun Liquor (distillery) and Toscana Pizzeria. Wow!!! Hard to find and difficult to park but worth the effort.
Single Shot’s Chef/Bartendar owners come with quality resume’s that include turns at Crush, Zoe, Re:public, and Altura. Everything we had on Tuesday night was sensational but the star attraction without a doubt was the pork chop served in tranches on a plank with spaghetti squash, brussel sprouts, with a pomegranate glaze. My goat mac and cheese was full of flavor and worth going back for, but the pork chop shouldn’t be missed.
On the other side of town, two blocks east of 15th NW on a residential street in a pocket patch on the edge of old Ballard is the tiny 25-seat breakfast and lunch Fat Hen café. The Hen caters to the dressed-down-stay-at-home Moms whose husbands likely work in the South Lake Union matrix or Ballard’s Adobe complex. It’s trendy but not at all showy – lots of knit caps and strollers – but on the weekend you’ll likely have to sit outside on one of the two benches while you wait for a seat.
The offerings run from pantry items like avocado toast, granola, and homemade pastries to several Benedicts and three different Egg Bakes, along with sandwiches, salads, and daily chalkboard specials. My “in carrozza” egg bake with two eggs on country ham and smoked mozzarella was a match for Le Pichet’s oeufs, jambon et fromage, but everything we ordered was just as delicious.
An extra bonus for guests at the Fat Hen is Honore’ Artisan Bakery, an authentic French boulangerie directly across the street. Honore’ is so cool that there is no signage on the building other that a tasteful lettered sign on the door window. Now that’s stealth marketing.
Honore’ is not new but it has solidified its status along with other artisan bakeries like Columbia City Bakery and Besalu. In 2011 the Seattle Times enlisted the help of three well known Francophile authors to root out the best, most authentic, croissant in Seattle and Honore’ took the honor (no pun intended).
Surviving Seattle is all about uncovering interesting attractions, innovative food and drink, books, films, music and theater. This week was a good one – two hidden restaurant finds, a top notch artisan bakery, and Whiplash, one of the sleeper Oscar films that’s well worth seeing.
Bonne Chance to all of them.