Friday Food Porn: Pirates Love Tater Tots

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Photo courtesy Peter Mumford

"In the beginning, there was the Admiral Benbow Inn..."

That's how the history of this week's review subject--the Heartland Cafe and the newly recovered Benbow Room--kicks off. There's a great story in there about stained glass, about a dedicated drinker's love for his favorite old watering hole and the weird twists of fate that brought the place back to life. There are tales of sausages and pirates and West Seattle and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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Photo courtesy Peter Mumford
And then there's the food--mountains of food, all fashioned after the style of the Midwest farmhouse table from the days before canned cream of mushroom soup and casseroles from a box, all served in a homey, plain and simply-styled restaurant that just happens to have a bar in the back designed to look like a pirate ship.

I know, it's a bit strange. But neither the Heartland Cafe or the Benbow Room would've been quite so interesting on their own as they are juxtaposed against each other. And for this week's slideshow, photographer Peter Mumford went and captured what was best about both places: the food at Heartland (including one snap of a chicken fried steak that makes me faint from hunger just looking at it) and the scene in the Benbow Room.

So check it out, won't you? Both the review and the slideshow are up right now, just waiting for you. And once you're done reading about the pirates and drooling over the mac and cheese, the latkes with applesauce and the ice-cold Leinies's pictured above, I suggest you stop in and hang with the neighbors at one of the coolest, strangest, most lovingly restored barrooms this side of Treasure Island.

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Photo courtesy Peter Mumford
 
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