December 2016 Bar Bulletin
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December 2016 Bar Bulletin

10 Reasons To Be Grateful To Be a Carnivore in Seattle


There are lovely restaurants in Seattle for herbivores. We list them in this column from time to time. This month is not such a time. This month we dedicate this column to our guilty pleasure — eating copious amounts of meat. Here are 10 reasons why it is good to be a carnivore in Seattle.

10. Our New Meaty Spots Are Making National News

Seattle occupied two spots in Bill Addison’s 21 Best New Restaurants in America in 2016. One of the two restaurants is from James Beard Award-winner Renee Erickson — Bateau (1040 E. Union St.; 900-8699;

Bateau takes the term “contemporary steakhouse” to new levels, as it “in-house” ages and butchers local cows with a bright and airy flare. On a large black chalkboard towers an illustrated chalk cow with the large letters “BEEF.” Below that are lists of those butchered cuts available for the evening. Adjacent is a window into a room where the butcher does his magic and sides of beef hang from meat hooks, making it a festive visit unsuitable for the vegans in your life. There is a reason this place makes national news — it is a truly delightful experience.

9. Seattle’s International District “Kills It” with All the Meats

If you see us standing on King Street in the International District worshiping barbecue duck hanging from a hook in the window, you know we are outside of Kau Kau (656 S. King St.; 682-4006). This fixture has been barbecuing up chicken, pork, duck, spareribs and roasted pig for almost 30 years.

The portions are healthy, and all the barbecue comes in at less than $8.30. There is very little that a carton of barbecue from Kau Kau cannot fix. Some of us used it after the election to comfort ourselves and our loved ones. If you haven’t given it a try, you are missing out. There are tons of great spots in this neighborhood, but we are, perhaps unreasonably, loyal to Kau Kau.

8. Good Beef Can Be Found at Holes in the Wall

If you search on Bing — you know, if you still use Bing — for “Best Beef in Seattle,” one of the top results will be Hole in the Wall Barbecue (215 James St.; 622-8717; Hole in the Wall is well known to those whose offices are on the south side of downtown. It really is a hole in the wall, located on James between First and Second avenues.

There are 10 stools if one chooses to eat onsite, and no tables, just bars. The line can be out the door, but moves quickly. We recommend sampling with the “hole plate” option. This allows two meats and a side. Between us we tried the beef brisket, the pulled pork, the smoked turkey, the smoked chicken and the hot link, spicy smoked sausage with coleslaw, potato salad and cornbread. It was “ribs day” (Thursday or Friday), but we will have to go back for those.

The meat comes with only a touch of the barbecue sauce, so you can actually taste the meat. But there are ample extra barbecue sauce and hot sauce available. Among us, the three favorites were the pork — tender, lots of flavor, and well complemented by their standard sauces — and the beef brisket. The latter was cut in thicker chunks compared to the traditional thin-sliced brisket, but still managed to simply fall apart at the touch of your fork and provide the smokiness expected from a true brisket.

For those inclined toward poultry rather than beef, both the chicken and turkey were juicy and flavorful through and through. The plate — two meats and a side for $10.50 — is quite sufficient to probably feed two people at lunch. As a side note, the cornbread was worth the extra $2 expense, as it was flavorful (but not overly sweet) and moist.

7. In Seattle, You Can Visit the Woodland Park Zoo and Then Feast on Beasts

Those of us who are former vegans are absolutely going to find ourselves in a cozy little cabana in vegan hell, but it is totally worth it to visit Ed’s Kort Haus (6732 Greenwood Ave. N.; 782-3575) after a day at the zoo. Ed’s has all the options you could possibly want for your burger.

While there are five veggie burgers, we come for more exotic fare. For instance, you can get a burger made of alligator, antelope, buffalo, camel, caribou, elk, beefalo, llama, kangaroo, ostrich, reindeer, boar, elk, bear, venison or yak. The owner will walk you through the options; you can grab a beer, play some pool, and have as much fun as a day at the zoo.

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