Stepping inside Can Can Culinary Cabaret feels like walking into the dressing room of an old Hollywood movie set, complete with purple boas, fishnet stockings, and makeup kits packed with rouge made from flowers plucked oceans away. The charming theater, located in the historic Pike Place Market, is home to some of the city’s best burlesque performances, including their latest show, Bonbon! But if your sultry show is named after something as delectable as a bonbon, then the menu had better sing. Thankfully, at Can Can, it does.
With svelte and sexy dancers spinning onstage or doing pushups atop one another on the catwalk, the Can Can’s bulgogi pork with kimchi might have been the star of the night, and it was certainly the best thing I ate this month. The eight-hour roasted pork shoulder, tender and seasoned to perfection, offers a dark umami flavor accentuated by confident heat. Based on a traditional Korean dish, the plate is complemented by the crunch of kimchi and the cucumber and carrot slaw, and the rice serving as the bed for the dish tasted as if it was boiled in aromatic pho.
If you’re so inclined, I recommend capping the evening with an expertly made Bulleit Bourbon Old Fashioned (which comes with a giant square ice cube, as they all would in a perfect world) during the show’s third and final act. Sip it as first dates and bachelorettes hoot and holler at the nearly naked bodies. And while the cabaret theater’s delicious bulgogi pork and kimchi took home my top meal trophy this month, here are three more contenders for the prize.
The Spice Room: Crispy Garlic Chicken
The first thing I think of when I dine at a Thai restaurant is a plate of noodles, but the first thing I think about at The Spice Room is their crispy garlic chicken. Stir-fried with delicate basil leaves, the dish has a subtle crunch to go with the comforting flavors. Thai cuisine, for me at least, is often about cozy satisfaction on a Sunday, and The Spice Room’s crispy garlic chicken delivers that in tasty spades.
Dick’s Drive-In: The Deluxe Burger
While nearly every Seattleite has eaten a burger from Dick’s, it’s important to remember how damn good they are. Biting into a Deluxe, with all its gooey cheese and double-patty goodness, is a rewarding and essential part of living in the Emerald City. It’s important to savor the culinary treasures around us, and it’s important to treat yourself right with filling food. Getting a Deluxe quintessentially does both.
Xi’an Noodles: Mount Qi Pork Hand-Ripped Noodles
A gem of the eclectic University District, this noodle oasis slings plate after plate for hungry students day in and day out. And while I love their Hot Oil noodle offering, the Mount Qi Pork is another excellent option. It’s hearty, packed with savory flavor, and satisfying in a way that only broad, hand-ripped noodles created by someone who mastered the technique in western China can be.