Founder Jeff Ericson insists his staff only pours fairly traded Specialty Grade Arabica coffee beans. By roasting only USDA Certified organic beans, all grown in the shade to farmers' personal standards, the coffee guru and his company can promise a consistently less acidic cup of coffee. Roasts range between light to dark and espresso, and include varietals from Sumatra, Honduras, Peru, and Brazil. For anyone uninterested in lattes, mochas, or any drink crafted at the full espresso bar, the shop serves retro sodas, Frozen X-Plosion smoothies, soft-serve ice cream, and deli sandwiches prepared with Del Fox Custom Meats. Fresh bread and produce from Breadfarm and Klesick Family Farm, as well as gourmet chocolate truffles from Pirate's Chocolate, are also available. Guests can sip their drink of choice as their eyes peer out from the coffee shop windows, which showcase the landscape between Puget Sound and Livingston Bay's mountain views, beaches, and small dogs, probably.
Decked out in retro kitsch ranging from vintage lunchboxes to video-game memorabilia, Lunchbox Laboratory celebrates the art of burgers and the culture of nerds in equal measure. Its meat-based creations have inspired both devotion and hyperbole: Seattle Times' Providence Cicero described one dish, the Burger of the Gods, as a "double-fistful of deliciousness"—a fitting descriptor for the gargantuan blend of sirloin, rib eye, and prime rib slathered in gorgonzola sauce.
True to its name, the restaurant also loves to experiment with ingredients. Another burger, the Dork, takes its name from its blend of duck and pork—Seattle Magazine calls its "one of the most satisfying burgers in the city." The burgers are backed up by signature dishes, including Hong Kong–style buffalo wings and Goldfish mac and cheese. A range of milkshakes, such as the liquor-infused Drunken Elvis, are served in laboratory beakers stolen from sleeping chemists.
Across its three locations, Lunchbox keeps diners entertained with bowling lanes, billiards, and classic '80s video games. At the 5,000-square-foot South-Lake Union location, an experimental cocktail bar serves as a centerpiece.
China City's far-reaching menu spans the delectable gamut of Mandarin, Szechuan, and Hunan cuisines, from piping-hot soups to sizzling platters. Sate seafood cravings with freshly cubed ahi tuna, which mingles with shrimp chips in wasabi mayo ($8.99), or flood belly canyons with cups of hot-and-sour soup ($2.99). Carnivores can sink incisors into the mongolian beef, a sliced flank steak with green and white onions, sautéed in a sweet-spicy sauce ($10.99), or lighty dusted and deep-fried shrimp coated with a creamy sweet mayo and bedecked with honey-sesame walnuts ($14.99). Herbivores can mash molars on mushu vegetables with sliced cabbage, bamboo shoots, and wood mushrooms, sautéed and slathered in a sweet-plum sauce, then hugged by a overly friendly pancake ($9.99).
Dan and Janell Fullen founded DJ's Barbecue to spread their smoked ribs, sauce-slathered meat sandwiches, and housemade specialty sauces to the local community. As Washington natives, the Fullens have their own way of imbuing their ribs, meats, and sandwiches with Northwestern panache, such as marinating them in the rarefied air atop the Space Needle. They use their 25 years of experience in the restaurant-management industry to smoke 3/4-pound baby back ribs or fulfill carryout orders of pulled pork and beef brisket by the pound.
Bob’s Burgers & Brew charms taste buds with made-to-order gourmet burgers, prepared with 100% ground beef and fresh ingredients. Bob’s patty-packed menu of bovine delights combines various flavors for a bite that’s off the beaten and unflavored path. Clients can satisfy their island cravings with a Hawaiian Ham & Pineapple burger, festooned with swiss cheese and Bob’s savory sauce ($10.99), or bite into a Ranch burger, stacked with a 6-ounce charbroiled patty, Hormel smokehouse bacon, and a large egg ($10.99). Those yearning for fowl foodstuffs can treat tongues to a cordon bleu chicken burger, which crowns a broiled chicken breast with ham, swiss cheese, tomato, and a corona of lettuce ($11.99).