Another year, another failure to shed an ounce of body fat, thanks in large part to this columnist's unyielding commitment to craft--if "craft" can be defined as smashing yolks in corned beef hash with reckless abandon, or wolfing down hoagies alongside pints of rare microbrew at Seattle's most unique convenience store. That would be Super Deli Mart, which looks like a 7-Eleven because it was one once. But there's not a 7-Eleven in the universe that serves sandwiches the way Hoagie's Corner did in its vintage, and exploits a liquor control loophole that's enabled it to become West Seattle's premier beer geek hangout.
While the sandwiches aren't quite as good at Heroes Catering, a blue-collar FareStart run by Pioneer Square's Bread of Life Mission, sometimes Bottomfeeding is about more than flavor (most of the time, actually). The fact that the $13 you fork over for a hardy boxed lunch goes to enrich the lives of homeless men can't help but make Heroes' smoked turkey sandwich among the most significant you'll consume in your entire life.
It's rare that a shuttered restaurant makes a comeback; rarer still when it does so 15 years after its closure. But Belltown's World Pizza reopened this year, albeit in a different neighborhood (Chinatown) and with an even more strident commitment to vegetarianism. It's a testament to the quality of their ingredients that carnivores aren't put off by such meat prohibition.
If I'm being honest, I'll cop to not wanting to like Lil Woody's. Cultural chameleon Marcus Lalario's Capitol Hill establishment seemed too clever by half, especially a concoction called "crack," which puts forth a milkshake as a dipping sauce for french fries. But at the end of the day, there's simply no denying the quality of the New Mexican, a 1/3-lb. patty topped with green chiles and homemade queso sauce which instantly ranks among the best burgers in the city.
But the Bottom-find of the year had to be Meander's, a hole in the wall (at the time of our visit, this description fit almost literally, although the diner's since doubled its space) in West Seattle's Morgan Junction. If this opinion were just based on food, that'd about do it, but proprietor-chef Miranda Krone is such a gregarious force of nature in her open kitchen that the entire experience is what keeps the counter perpetually packed.