Washington State Route 99 runs 49 miles from Everett to Fife. I live a block away from it, on a stretch riddled with self-storage buildings and car dealerships. Most of the restaurants are fast-food chains, but if you truck along for a few miles, you’ll find there’s a lot of life — and a multitude of dining options — on this historic road, first built in 1926. This week for Neighborhood Eats, I headed north to Lynnwood and found myself hardly straying from SR 99.
Sure, there were still car dealerships, storage units and fast food — but there’s also taco trucks with crispy tacos dipped in consommé, juicy Peruvian roast chicken and tender, shrimp-filled wontons. Each restaurant is still offering takeout, with one open for dining in. But whether dining in or taking out, please remember to wear your mask.
Pollos a la Brasa San Fernando
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday; 20815 67th Ave. W., Lynnwood; 425-275-9597, pollos-sanfernando.com
Located in a small strip mall just a block off the Pacific Highway, the menu of this Peruvian restaurant is filled with classic dishes: lomo saltado, ceviche and its namesake dish, pollo a la brasa. The chicken is brushed with spices and roasted until burnished, sold as a quarter, half or whole, served with a pile of fries and salad. Another patron waiting outside for his chicken gave me two tips; the first was to pick up a dozen doughnuts from the neighboring shop Donut Factory. The second was to ask for extra hot sauce with my chicken. The chicken comes with housemade ranch as well as this spicy, creamy, cilantro-green sauce that is good for drizzling over chicken, fries and the chubby yucca fries I ordered. If you like an assertive heat that lands between a jalapeño and a habanero, you’ll want extra sauce. The chicken is moist and flavorful and the fries crisp up beautifully after a few minutes in a hot oven or toaster oven.
10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sunday; 16530 Highway 99, Lynnwood; 360-722-1737
This taco truck specializes in Guadalajara-style dishes, including torta ahogada, a plump sandwich drowned in chile sauce. I can’t resist the tacos vampiro, featuring a corn tortilla griddled until crisp, stuffed with a layer of lacy, crispy melted cheese and juicy pork. These are made even better when dipped into a cup of rich beef consommé. Also good are the tacos dorado, featuring crispy fried corn tortillas stuffed with potato and topped with succulent pork carnitas with crispy ends. There’s a smattering of shredded iceberg lettuce and a little fresh red onion. It’s messy, but man is it good. There’s a large, covered patio structure with a few folding tables if you feel comfortable dining al fresco. Otherwise you can be like me and inhale these tacos in the passenger seat of your car while someone drives you home.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 19915 64th Ave. W., Lynnwood; 425-776-7213, yehyehs.com
This pocket-size sandwich shop is a little tough to find. The sign is on Highway 99, but you’ll have to turn at 200th Street and go around the Star Fruits & Vegetables store to the back to find it. Only open for takeout, Yeh Yeh’s serves massive banh mi sandwiches stuffed with crunchy pickled daikon and carrots and a variety of meat. There is also Vietnamese beef stew called bo kho, vermicelli bowls and pho. We got the Asian pulled pork, grilled pork and grilled chicken banh mi sandwiches, each finished with a smear of mayo, slices of jalapeño and a few sprigs of cilantro. If you’re seeking pâté, all you need to do is ask. The Asian pulled pork is sloppy good, getting its vibrant pink hue from a rich marinade (according to the staff at Yeh Yeh’s). The grilled pork and grilled chicken are both tender and full of umami. The bread is fresh and holds up to all those crunchy pickles and meat, even when sliced in half.
Wonton Noodle House
10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 22315 Highway 99 E., Edmonds; 425-775-8628, wontonoodle.com
Technically, this unassuming Cantonese restaurant is just outside the Lynnwood border. Still, if you’ve got a craving for plump shrimp-filled dumplings, you’re going to need to try these. The only one of the four restaurants this week open for indoor dining, Wonton Noodle House is still doing a brisk take-away business. The menu is expansive and features handmade noodles, wontons and dumplings. The homemade dumpling noodle soup has a delicate chicken broth with nearly a half-dozen large dumplings bobbing in it. The slippery, paper-thin wrappers surround shrimp, pork, black fungus and Chinese mushrooms plus thin noodles. The preserved egg and shredded pork congee has plenty of jellylike pieces of century egg and pork, while the beef chow fun with bean sprout features tender wok-seared beef with charred, wonderfully chewy handmade noodles and just enough crunchy sweet onion. If you like marinated eggs, don’t skip an order of the marinated egg in Chinese herbs.