The week's news bites: Big Georgetown grill ahead, UberEATS' "hangry" first day, Stumptown's sad fans and more.
1. CIUDAD COMING TO GEORGETOWN: Matthew Dillon and Marcus Lalario are partnering to open Ciudad, a casual place in Georgetown centered around a “gigantic” charcoal grill, Dillon says. “Everything will be grilled,” he explains, “grilled seafood, grilled lamb, grilled vegetables,” with cheaper cuts of meat taking the form of “very inexpensive kebabs.” While he’s on the project as menu-maker and consultant, “It’s not a Matt Dillon restaurant,” he says, and he won’t be involved day-to-day.
The menu he’s making for Ciudad sounds extremely tasty: “It’s gonna be very just hot and spicy and limes and cilantro, bold flavors,” Dillon says. He also talks about chili paste, vinegar, honey — hot and sour and sweet. To go with all the grilling, Cuidad will serve rice, potatoes, flatbread, pickles, herb salad and such. They’re calling the food American, by which Dillon means “Spanish-slash-Korean-slash-Portuguese-slash-Lebanese… grilled, delicious food with very simple accompaniments.”
He and Lalario are thinking about London’s Mangal Ocakbasi as a model. There, Dillon says, you’ll find “a guy on a little office chair, rolling back and forth, grilling all this food,” with a big exhaust hood to suck the smoke away. Mangal Ocakbasi’s website says, “In Turkey, ocakbasi restaurants are where people eat when they’re out, as opposed to places to go out to eat at.” That seems to be what Dillon and Lalario are going for with Ciudad, though it’s hard not to imagine it becoming a destination.
The building — a big, old brick one with room for both a bar and “a huge outdoor area” — is at 6118 12th Avenue South, near Hitchcock and All City Coffee. Dillon’s serious about it not being fancy: There might even be TVs, he says. Opening date is TBD.
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2. UberEATS GETS A ROCKY START: Uber launched its 10-minutes-or-less Seattle restaurant-delivery service yesterday, but the rollout was less than smooth, with some people ending up lunchless and “hangry.” We’re the 10th city to get UberEats, but apparently hungrier than everywhere else: Uber told GeekWire that “demand for UberEATS on our first day is off the charts and higher than we could have anticipated. To make sure everyone can get fresh, delicious dishes tomorrow” — that’s today — “we are increasing our supply going forward to find the right equilibrium.”
3. STUMPTOWN COFFEE SOLD: Boutique cafe/roastery chain Stumptown is being sold to Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Unhappy fans of the Portland-based coffee took to social media about it going to the much bigger California chain, but as the Oregonian’s Michael Russell pointed out on Twitter, “The time to be mad was 2011” — when a majority stake in Stumptown was sold to a San Francisco private equity firm known for exactly these kinds of deals. (To be fair, Stumptown fans were mad then, too.)
4. CAPPUCCINO CRISIS: Is this dustup just coffee nerds making a fuss, or should proper espresso-making be defended from the Caramel Macchiato powers-that-be? I’m in the latter camp. But then I still miss Torrefazione Italia.
5. BUDAPEST FOOD FEST: Part of the way to Hungary’s heart might be through its stomach.
NOW OPEN: Sweetgrass Food Co. downtown (fast/fresh “100% Good Food”), Eve in Fremont (“elevated, new Northwest hippie food” from a partner in Lecosho) and El Sirenito in Georgetown (earlier reported to be named Botaneria).
FOOD EVENTS: Amuse your bouche with events like an Icelandic dinner at the Dahlia Lounge and the return of Incredible Feast… And/or fests like the St. Demetrios Greek Festival and Oktoberfest Northwest… And/or the Builders Dinner with Josh Hart of Monsoon at Smoke Farm… And/or a party at the Swedish Club with meatballs, smörgås, Old Ballard aquavit and live music from Lushy.