The Suadero: Sitka & Spruce goes South on Mondays"/>
While many restaurants go dark at the beginning of the workweek, The GastroGnome, Naomi Bishop, is here to inform you of good eating options where the lights stay on Monday nights.
The Suadero's menu declares that it serves "the food of the 'malafacha,'" but malafacha, meaning 'poorly dressed,' is hardly a word one would use to describe the food there. The Suadero is a Monday-only, Mexican pop-up restaurant run by Sitka & Spruce staff member Alvaro Candela-Najera and housed in Matt Dillon's shrine to slow food.
The skill and seasonality that make Sitka & Spruce so renowned are entirely present in the food of The Suadero, simply informed by a different cuisine, that of Candela's homeland in Mexico. Ironically, the casual elegance of Sitka & Spruce offers a 'bienfacha' space, a well-dressed venue where you'll find the namesake milk-braised beef belly tacos and 'true margaritas' that will make a liar of anyone who claims to dislike the cocktail.
Those who expect taco-truck style food or prices will be in for a shock. You're sitting in a top local restaurant, not dripping salsa on a street corner, after all. But anyone looking for authentic, well-executed cuisine will be pleased. The selection of tacos runs from fish to fowl and includes rare sights such as squid tacos (sautéed in salsa verde and tequila) and a special called 'alambre de hongos.' Alambre, normally a heavy dish made with flank steak, is traditional to Mexico City, where Canedela hails from, but this version is set in Seattle in the fall, with chanterelle mushrooms (hongos) amongst the traditional poblano peppers, onions, and bacon. There are a few alternative styles of tacos, too--a crowd favorite was the Taquitos Chilpancingo, fried till crispy and stuffed with chicken, set afloat in a sea of tomatillo broth.
Candela has been on the Seattle dining scene for years, first setting up his Monday night taco frenzy at Vios, the Greek café on Capitol Hill. It's great to see his passion intact as inhabits a more prominent venue. His talent and skill make you wonder if by going to 'malafacha' night, you won't someday act like a malafacha hipster and say 'I ate Candela's tacos before they were cool.'