Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Kingfish Cafe: A Taste of New Orleans in Seattle

On Friday night Matt suggested that we go to the Kingfish Cafe (602 19th Avenue E, Seattle 98112 or www.thekingfishcafe.com) to try and re-live a bit of our New Orleans experience. He had eaten there a couple years ago for his sister's birthday and said that the food was amazing. I happily agreed and we headed up to Capitol Hill around 7 pm. The Kingfish doesn't take reservations so I was a little nervous that we wouldn't be able to get in without a long wait. As it turns out, we got there just in time and grabbed the last available table before the dinner rush. There was a line of people and 20 minute wait times to be seated when we left around 8:30.

When I first walked into the Kingfish it really reminded me of New Orleans: rot-iron in the windows, wood floors, minimalistic wood bar stocked with tons of liquor, white table clothed tables accompanied by slightly beat up chairs and extremely smashed together and crowded (in a wonderful way-- a way that let's you know that the food is really that good). We ordered drinks to start. Matt ordered a Sazerac and I ordered a Kingfish Jazz cocktail which is sort of like a New Orleans inspired version of a French martini: vodka, lime juice float, some other citrusy juice and champagne to top it off. We also ordered the Percy's Plate for Sharin', which is a trio of dips, for an appetizer (see photo below).

Percy's Plate for Sharin'
The dips came with three bread and cracker options as well, my favorite was the olive oil brushed toast. The dips included a garlic artichoke dip (our favorite), a roasted pepper and smoked crawfish dip and a black bean hummus dip. They were all so good, and the portions were so huge, that we had to stop ourselves half way through to save room for our entrees.

For entrees Matt ordered the 'Jazz it Slow Gumbo' with cornbread and I ordered the 'My Way or the Highway Buttermilk Fried Chicken' with mashed potatoes and collard greens (see photos below). My fried chicken was delicious, perfect spicy seasoning with meat that just melted in my mouth and there were three pieces of it. Three pieces! Let's just say that I definitely was not able to clean my plate. The mashed potatoes were quite good as well, but the gravy was spicy and amazing. The collard greens . . . not so much, but I just don't care for collard greens; they remind me of some awful childhood food experience and I just can't eat them. However, Matt was more than happy to eat them off my plate for me, so they must have good as collard greens go. Matt was able to finish all of his gumbo, but not before I snuck a few bites. The gumbo was very good and spicy, but I thought the gumbo that we had in New Orleans was a little better . . . but I am pretty sure that it's as close to the Big Easy as I am going to get on the West Coast.

The service at the Kingfish was southern hospitality at its finest. Our hostess and server were both very nice, helpful and smiling the entire time (even though they were extremely busy).

Long story short: if you like southern food the Kingfish Cafe is an absolute must visit. We will definitely go back sooner than later. I wonder if they have some kind of Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday party next month . . . wouldn't that be fun? Bourbon Street in Seattle!


My Way or the Highway Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Jazz It Slow Gumbo

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