Thursday, September 9, 2010
The republic of South Lake Union.
South Lake Union in Seattle still has a quiet dreariness to it. Perhaps it's the train-less train tracks that run through the middle of the neighborhood or the uninviting rows of fuel stained loading docks that give the new bustling area it's melancholy air. But the times, they are a changin' down in Paul Allen's playground. Things are happening in what I used to call the REI district. The remnants of industrial warehouses are giving way to new "see or be seen" restaurants and cafes. Condos are sprouting up like wet gremlins and the mighty Amazon has built it's fortress of quality goods surrounded by a moat of (local) star chef outposts and coffee bunkers. All you have to do is hop on the SLUT (South Lake Union Transit), and like the useless Westlake monorail, you'll be transported the 6 blocks to Lake Union which you really could have walked if you weren't such a lazy bastard.
For lunch yesterday K and I went down to SLU and had burgers at re: public. That's the name of the restaurant- re colon public. As Miss Clement of The Stranger already announced, re:public is perhaps not the best name ever thought up, but you can't let a bad name fool you. re:public serves tasty simple food with good ingredients and care. The space is cavernous and perhaps a bit bare. A little art on the walls could go a long way. The service was sweet and helpful. We were sat at a table right next to the wait staff computer which perhaps needed to be thought out a little better. They need to make the wall separating the two a little higher or something because I didn't necessarily want to know what the entire restaurant was ordering or that table two needed extra napkins because they were slobs (my words, not theirs). I needed my obligatory lunchtime booze beverage and my Bloody Mary was stiff and spicy and perfect. We were both craving simple burgers so we each had the Grass Fed Beef Burgers with Crispy Onions and Horseradish-Black Pepper Crème Fraiche. I had mine with frites, and K got the soup. The frites were perfectly crispy, skin on, with classic ketchup to dip. The burgers, although we ordered them medium rare came a bit more medium than I prefer but were still juicy and tasty. The beef had a yummy char grilled taste to them and the crème fraiche added a nice bit of tang. The crispy onions added a nice textural element to the burger and kinda reminded me of Durkees French fried onions which I love. I really liked the dark fluffy brioche buns. They held up to the burger nicely and didn't get soggy. K's soup was (probably) cream of broccoli with a little truffle oil (we were never told what the soup was). It was nice and flavorful. Our waitress was nice and when we asked to move from the wait-station table to a different one she happily accommodated us. All in all it was a pleasant lunch. I had heard that the portions a bit small but that was not the case with the sandwiches. I'd like to go back and try some of the dinner entrees sometime. Amidst the chaos of construction re:public is definitely a place I would re:visit.
photo courtesy of republicseattle.com
429 westlake ave n.
seattle, wa 98109