Shake What Mama Made You

Comfort food and safe eclecticism at Pike Place Market.

DISH D'LISH

1501 Pike Place, PIKE PLACE MARKET 206-223-1848 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily "SHAKE IT UP! Shake it! C'mon, shake it now! That's right! You know how to shake it!" Don't get the wrong idea. The woman urging me and other first-time visitors to "shake it" was handing out free samples of sugary blue mango lemonade (regularly $2.75 for a tall cup) at the opening of Dish D'lish, a snazzy-looking Pike Place Market take-out joint specializing in eclectic comfort food. She simply wanted us to give each one a good shake before we started drinking. The brainchild of self-proclaimed "culinary diva" Kathy Casey, this trendy venture arrives on the heels of Casey's new cookbook, Dishing with Kathy Casey and draws upon at least a dozen recipes from those pages for its varied menu. The design concept is sleek and stylish—immaculate, aggressively shiny, and colorful. From a culinary standpoint, however, Dish D'lish occupies the homier side of the New American spectrum. When I brought food back to the office, I was initially tempted to tell my colleagues I'd slaved over a hot stove just for them. I think I might have got away with it. In fact, if you're trying to convince the in-laws of your kitchen skills, you could do a lot worse. Stick-to-your-ribs standbys like mac 'n' cheese ($6.99/lb.), meatloaf ($7.99/lb.), and chicken enchilada bake ($6.99/lb.) as well as starchy sides like confetti-garlic mashed potatoes ($3.99/lb.) neither disappointed nor surprised; voices in the hungry office crowd proclaimed them "good in a church-picnic way" or "vaguely school cafeteria-ish." The sweet barbecue sauce topping the meatloaf was definitely a plus for the overprocessed loaf itself. Even more adventurous fare like roasted king salmon with orange-ginger salsa ($12.99/half-pound) was generally declared "on the shy side." The salmon did score points for being pleasingly fatty thanks, in part, to the generous pat of orange-ginger butter that accompanied it, though at least one tester found the palm-sized fish filet too well-done. Northwest ramen slaw ($5.99/lb.) effectively combined a strong sesame flavor with the sweetness of grapes; nevertheless, it brought back bad dorm food memories for at least one disillusioned college grad. Casey and her enthusiastic staff are waiting to see what the hot sellers are before printing up paper menus and moving Dish D'lish into cruise control. If you're jonesing for some serious domestic chow and feeling decidedly anti-kitchen, give this place a try. And whatever you do, before imbibing that slightly-too-sweet mango lemonade, make sure you shake it. nschindler@seattleweekly.com

 
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