This past September, after seven years of living in Greenwood, we moved to Maple Leaf. While there have been a lot of wonderful things about the move — walks to the reservoir, Saturday morning treats from Backyard Bakery (seattlebackyardbakery.com) in the Math ‘n’ Stuff parking lot, off-street parking — I didn’t expect to be so sad about leaving Greenwood. Especially because we moved a minuscule 2 miles away.
But it’s a sadness in giving up on old routines. We lived in three apartments in the neighborhood (two of them on Linden Avenue!), each within walking distance to Coyle’s Bakeshop (8300 Greenwood Ave. N.; coylesbakeshop.com), where I would go weekly for chocolate croissants, slices of cake and those delicious ham sandwiches with Gruyère, butter and pickled red onions. We got to know other families during our daily trips to Greenwood Park, watching our oldest go from being in a baby carrier to full-on running around and riding one of the many half-working tricycles. We could stop and chat with our mail carrier, Dick, wherever we ran into him on his route.
Months later, my Greenwood habits are proving difficult to break. I’m still going to the same Fred Meyer. Haven’t changed my pharmacy. Will always default to the Aurora Avenue PCC and the post office down the street from Coyle’s. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to give up the tofu salad rolls from nearby Thaiku (6705 Greenwood Ave.; thaiku.com) on Phinney Ridge — the combo of crunchy fried onions and cilantro aioli served with the rolls, plus the spicy khao soi curry with pickled mustard greens, are just too good, despite Thaiku being 20 minutes away from my new house.
And there’s much to miss — like being within walking distance of the newly opened Halcyon Brewing (8564 Greenwood Ave.; halcyonbrewingco.com), meaning I’ll have to fight for parking like everyone else to check out the extensive hot dog menu (looking at your Ode to Banh Mi Dog with Kewpie mayo, pickled carrot and daikon), or being able to pick up Burgermaster and making it home while the fries are still hot — but in addition to venturing back to my old ‘hood for the occasional ham sandwich, here are two spots I’ll forever return to, even though crossing I-5 is more annoying than I could’ve ever imagined.
Taqueria la Fondita
10 a.m.-11 p.m. daily; 8953 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle; 206-468-6594
This little white taco truck opened last February — there’s also a White Center location that has been open since 2001. There’s a massive menu: tacos, burritos, plates, mulitas, sopitos and tortas. While I do love the sopitos in their thick, slightly crunchy masa glory, I cannot move past the carnitas tacos. I’m certain that in the two weeks before we moved I ate the carnitas tacos for lunch at least four times. Partially because they were so close and my kitchen was packed up, but also because these carnitas tacos are just so good. Juicy, crispy, incredibly flavorful, they are everything you want out of a taco. They come sprinkled with cilantro, a smattering of white onion and a spoonful of salsa, sharing a paper plate with half a roasted onion and two fire-kissed chilies. There’s a baggie with spicy pickled carrots and crunchy radishes and a little cup of hot salsa on the side. Five tacos are $11, perfect for a substantial lunch. Add chips, or a side of beans and rice, and that’s dinner. In fact, it was dinner at my house earlier this week.
The Chicken Supply
4-9 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday; 7410 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle; thechickensupply.com; 206-257-4460
Opus Co. was our favorite special-occasion restaurant, the place for anniversaries and birthdays, and even though we didn’t get there as often as we would’ve liked, we were very sad when it closed. However, The Chicken Supply — opened by Opus Co. sous chef Paolo Campbell and his longtime friend Donald Adams — is the most wonderful thing that could’ve come on the heels of that closure. The Filipino-inspired fried chicken is the main attraction — dredged in a gluten-free starchy slurry and fried until crackle crisp. It’s sold by the piece; wing ($3), thigh ($7), drumstick ($4), or a stick of bite-size chunks ($7). It’s brined and seasoned with lemon, ginger, garlic and soy; the resulting chicken is perfectly salted, fragrant and incredibly crunchy. It’s heavenly. And gluten-free! There are also sides that include crispy potatoes, garlic rice and coconut-broth-stewed collard greens.