When Andrés Cárdenas Guitrón emigrated to the United States from Mexico, he landed his first job as a dishwasher. He worked his way up the ranks to a food preparer, a cook’s assistant, and a chef before finally opening up his own restaurant. At Mazatlan, he dishes out family recipes that include grilled chimichangas, crab enchiladas, and steak picado christened in a Spanish sauce.
A smiling image of Voula Athan, half of the husband-and-wife team that runs Voula’s Good Eats, beams from the cover of the menu, welcoming diners to try the simple comfort foods within. Voula’s husband, Bill, crafts the soups, salad dressings, and cream pies from scratch, other components, such as the spaghetti sauce and tartar sauce are also made in house. The couple’s shared Greek heritage shines through in the traditional ingredients that they infuse into classic diner dishes. Feta cheese and kalamata olives tumble into omelets, and the sandwich list showcases gyros and chicken souvlaki alongside reubens and burgers. The couple reflects the comforting nature of the food in their warm, inviting dining room with high wood rafters that allow in plenty of natural light and leave plenty of room to enjoy meals while still forming a human pyramid.
For more than 40 years, Robert C. Mathwig has owned Family Pancake House and defended his sanctuary for the fluffy breakfast staple against the ravages of time, stringently maintaining the same wholesome business practices that set the cozy eatery apart from the competition on its very first day. The kitchens still make most of the menu from scratch, sourcing as many ingredients as possible from local suppliers to ensure that each order arrives to its table at the peak of freshness. The whole menu of breakfast treats and savory later-day meals is available all day long, with fluffy pancakes, crepes, and omelets sharing space at diners’ tables with grilled cheeses and breaded pork chops.
Family Pancake House takes its friendly moniker to its logical conclusion by acting as a supportive family for the community that has kept the eatery's doors open for nearly half a century. The company routinely sponsors youth sports teams, and employees often volunteer their leftover flour supply to sweaty-palmed gymnasts.
Soybeans that make the journey to Hosoonyi Korean Restaurant have a tasty future ahead of them. The young beans, once matured and fermented, are infused with hot pepper, pulverized into paste, or strained and aged to make soy sauce. Not many restaurants make their own soy sauces in-house, but Hosoonyi’s team prefers to individually monitor the flavors to ensure that they retain their beneficial nutrients and pair perfectly with the eatery's specialty Korean cuisine. The flames of a Korean-style barbecue fire pork, rib-eye steak, and chicken, and a cushion of steamy rice supports the vegetables, beef, and egg that comprise classic bibimbap. Pancakes veer from their traditional breakfast role by incorporating stalks of green onion, slices of squid, and refusing to get out of bed until lunchtime. The restaurant's authentic selection has caught the eye of media outlets such as Sunset Magazine, the Seattle Times and Seattle Met, which lauded the popular sundubu jjigae—a soft-tofu soup brimming with seafood and kimchi—as "pungent, filling, and satisfying."