A Square Meal: Meat & 2 Sides, $7.99"/>
If this place were downtown Seattle, it would be gangbusters, but $7.99 would be $12. OK, so maybe the concept would fail to prove worth it. Walk in to the Pinehurst "not a restaurant" Square Meal (12339 15 Ave. NE, across from Safeway) and face a steam table with over a dozen entrees and sides, always including beef stew and BBQ pork. The coconut curry chicken was an ample portion and at least as good as what I used to get from Curry King in Georgetown, and it came with (my choices) a homey lentil soup and a cumin-spiced garbanzo bean salad.
Its no-frills, point-at-the-hotel-pan ways explain the $7.99 deal, and the food is better than half the financial district lunch joints. Square Meal may not be serving hedgehog mushrooms and truffle oil, but at least someone's reading the goddamn paper.