BURIEN — Pigfish Café was not named after any particular pig or fish. Or in honor of any menu item — though I am slightly ashamed to admit that we didn’t try any of their pork options. No, the restaurant was named after the owners’ (human) kids.
Mario Reyes was cooking all over Seattle for 12 years before he and his wife, Victoria Loce, decided to open Pigfish Cafe five months ago. Reyes and Loce, a former stay-at-home mom, have a 5-year-old daughter nicknamed “Fish” and a 2-year-old son nicknamed “Porquito,” or little pig in Spanish.
When the opportunity came for the couple to own their first restaurant in downtown Burien, well, Pigfish just rolled off the tongue. Along with the name of their restaurant, their menu, logo, atmosphere and fresh ingredients were all created to be family-friendly. And, maybe because their kids are picky eaters or maybe because they use mainly fresh, local ingredients, everything we had tasted really, really fresh and delicious. Even the coleslaw. And I hate coleslaw.
We ordered at the counter, though the next group ordered at their table — I think it’s a matter of preference. Loce greeted us with a big smile and answered all of our pestering questions: their house wine (with a cute Pigfish label) is from St. Hilaire Cellars in Yakima, the license plates decorating one of their walls were left up by the previous owners — though if anyone wants to donate an old license plate to their wall, they are gladly accepting donations.
There are some tables inside, but I would recommend sitting on their small patio outside. They added the potted flowers that surround the small deck.
My “Classic” burger ($10.50) was absolutely delicious, juicy, perfectly cooked — I get my burger medium-rare and it was definitely pink. It was soft and fell apart easily in the way handpacked burgers often do, and their housemade garlic aioli melted into the meat. They use grass-fed beef from Zoe’s Meats in SeaTac and hamburger buns made in Kent. Trust me, you can taste the freshness. Their 6-ounce burger is topped with fresh greens and a tomato, and came with a pickle and a side of fries.
The French fries were a nice mix of Five Guys and McDonald’s — they were thin and crispy but had a slight flop. I enjoyed them with my burger. If Loce offers to bring out a spicy aioli to dip the fries in — please say yes. The housemade aioli definitely has a kick to it, with the dried Chile de Árbol peppers, but it’s contrasted nicely with some lemon juice and white vinegar.
Bethany (that’s right. I went to a restaurant with THE Bethany Jean Clement.) ordered the fish tacos ($12). Her tacos came with beer-battered rockfish, the salsa of the day, green cabbage, house pickled onions, cilantro and a standard side salad. The tacos were fresh and delicious, the rockfish sourced from a local company in SeaTac. Loce recommended the fish and chips, and while we didn’t order that dish, the fish is the same fish they serve with the tacos Bethany had, and I certainly enjoyed the chips that came with my burger, so we can safely recommend the fish and the chips.
Like so many of the ingredients, the restaurant seemed like an homage to the community, to Burien and to family. When you enter the restaurant, a portion of the right side of the wall is covered in colored Pigfish logos. They’ve called it the kids corner — looking at it made me smile. Not as much as the food. But still.
Pigfish Café, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; 921 S.W. 152nd St., Burien; 206-246-5204, pigfish-cafe.business.site