Seatown Snack Bar sneaks into town

A new Tom Douglas outpost, at an iconic Seattle corner.

It's one of the most visible corners in Seattle, at the north end of the Market where Pike Place meets Virginia Street, and for years it was nothing more than a furniture outlet. Before the condo building, though, it had a noble history: Bavarian Meats was in that space; if memory serves, so was Starbucks.

Now it's being given a new lease on life as Seatown Snack Bar, the latest spawn of the expanding Tom Douglas empire. And it's only because it's in such a prominent location that we feel obligated to tell you about it. (It's also just across Western from Victor Steinbrueck park, where Douglas launches his Salmon-Chanted Evening barbecues this Saturday.)

With nary a flourish or drumroll, Seatown opened last week with a menu of sandwiches ($12 to $15), smoked seafood on buckwheat blini ($9 or $10), "Seatown Platters" (ribs, chicken, veggies, $18), and an assortment of crab concoctions, all designed to please locals looking for a sidewalk spot where they can plop down and watch the wandering tourists. If there's no room outside, you can make do just as well with lunch-counter seating indoors, or a cluster of high tables. There's also a takeout counter next door, if you're in a hurry to get home.

The kitchen's still in the throes of figuring things out, but I have high hopes for the "Wild Thing" plate of Dungeness crab, avocado and tobiko ($15), once they reconcile the name with the timid execution.

The best cocktail is called Prosser Pump, a libation of locally sourced ingredients (Dry Fly vodka from Spokane and Tuscan melon from Douglas's own farm in Prosser) with a rim of exotic aleppo pepper.

The menu credits Heath Ceramics of Sausalito, Calif., for the tableware. Can we see what's coming next? A salute to the Auto Chlor tech who services the dishwasher?

Seatown Snack Bar, 2010 Western Ave., Seattle, 206-436-0390. Open 8 am-11 pm daily.

Ronald Holden is a regular Crosscut contributor. His new book, published this month, is titled “HOME GROWN Seattle: 101 True Tales of Local Food & Drink." (Belltown Media. $17.95).


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