Seattle is booming with restaurants catered toward a perfect fast and casual workday lunch. If you’re ever on the hunt for a meal with a picky co-worker, chances are you’ll find something you both like at Acadia in Wallingford.
Married couple Annie Karell-Rogers and David Rogers opened the restaurant in 2017, after finding inspiration from a trip to visit David’s family on the Gulf Coast.
Acadia is only open on weekdays during breakfast and lunch hours, so it’s maybe a better spot to grab something before work or during lunch hour. Breakfast items — including bowls, sandwiches, breakfast burritos and more — are served until 11 a.m.
I took a group of friends to Acadia around 1 p.m. on a Monday, skipping the lunch rush typically brought by employees from the Tableau office that shares the building. The lunch menu is a pretty random mishmash of items — from tacos to po’boys — but that doesn’t mean that everything doesn’t taste good, and there are also options for vegan and gluten-free eaters.
The pièce de résistance of Acadia is their selection of bowls, which you can either build yourself or choose from a set list and add one of eight different sauces to top it off. I opted for the Fiesta Bowl ($11.13) with cilantro lime sauce and the Triple Veg Bowl ($10.13) topped with hot honey. While the bases of each bowl were solid, I was surprised by how much the chosen sauce impacted the experience.
Adding cilantro lime sauce to the Fiesta Bowl, which already included a tangy cabbage slaw — on top of a bed of roasted chicken, black beans and brown rice — made the dish a tad too sour. If I could order it again, opting for chipotle mayo or zesty tomatillo would have likely resulted in a more rounded out burrito bowl.
On the opposite end, the sweet-spicy flavor of the hot honey mixed with the wonderfully sautéed kale and melt-in-your-mouth sweet potatoes of the Triple Veg Bowl, in addition to white beans and brown rice, was utterly delightful. I’m typically indifferent about the existence of kale, but oh man I could have eaten this kale forever.
I found tacos to be a pretty random addition to the menu, but opted to try some anyway. Choosing from a list of fillings, my table tried sweet potatoes ($2.31) and shrimp ($3.56). Initially I was fairly skeptical, as they came with large chunks of lettuce sitting atop them, but my concerns were nixed by the impeccable flavors of the wonderfully grilled shrimp and sautéed sweet potatoes — all tied nicely together with a drizzle of chipotle mayo on top.
We tried the Carolina pulled-pork sandwich ($9.63), which came on a delicately soft and lightly toasted ciabatta roll, and overall was pretty standard. But once again, the sauce was the shining glory of the dish: tangy and sweet, with a delicate punch of spiciness — although for those who are more sensitive to heat, maybe not so delicate.
Acadia serves a variety of smoothies, juices, tea and coffee. On the day I visited, the espresso machine was being replaced, so I opted for a smoothie. I was not particularly impressed with the strawberry-banana oatmeal smoothie ($4.99). Its flavor was bland and diluted, likely due to the inclusion of almond milk and oatmeal. Although my table had a thorough debate as to whether it was the fault of the strawberry-banana combo — which, while a long beloved flavor pairing, should really be questioned for its lack of pizazz.
Smoothie debates aside, Acadia fits the bill for a refreshing weekday lunch spot.