I recently took a trip up to visit a long time college friend who is a Seattle native. I have been up to visit him a few times before but since my last visit I was pleased to discover that he had moved to a new area which meant new adventures. Given some free time while he had to work I got to indulge in a little me time discovering his wonderful little neighborhood. This area north of downtown Seattle, home to Dave Matthews as well as the famous Fremont troll statue under the bridge (10 Things I Hate About You anyone?? before we realized Joseph Gordon Leavitt is actually smoking hot), in my opinion typifies the ideals of Seattle life. The main Fremont Ave drag is full of unique individual restaurants, yoga studios, homeopathic remedy shops, as well as a grocer and free trade coffee shop with vegan pastries. In the morning I took in Caffe Vita where I had an excellent soy latte and a slice of some kind of breakfast bread packed with all sorts of seeds and other things that I don't doubt were exceptionally healthy for me and my digestive system.
I took the next hour after that to walk the avenue looking for dinner prospects. This was how I first came across Hunger. Marketing it's self as an American tapas style restaurant the menu looked inventive and unique, but the price point was just above what I was hoping to spend on dinner that evening. Turns out I was in luck! Later that night while browsing my UrbanSpoon iPhone app I discovered that Hunger in fact had an amazing Happy Hour deal and I was just in time to enjoy a full hour of it! I quickly walked down to check it out.
Although there were plenty of available tables the tine bar was packed full of locals enjoying the happy hour specials. I was lucky enough to get a single seat at the end of the bar and settled in to check out my dining options. The Happy Hour Menu featured 6 unique sounding specialty cocktail options, a white and red wine by the glass, and about 7 tapas plates- all for just $5 a piece. I started with the featured glass of red which was a nice Chianti and perused my dining options. I have recently had a growing affinity for beets and chose to start with the Beet salad. What an exciting flavor combination. The salad was plated with paper thin disks of roasted beet on the bottom and topped with micro greens tossed in an aged balsamic vinaigrette with smoky toasted nuts and goat cheese. I think the most delicious surprise in this dish for me was the smokiness from the mixed nuts which seemed to permeate the cheese as well, overall a sweet, smoky, tangy, and fresh dish that was gobbled down (guilt free) by yours truly.
Since I was so impressed with the salad and the service I decided to keep going and ordered the Boar Sliders with Fennel slaw and the Truffled french fries. I had already struck up a rapport with the bartender who as it happened was an amazing Mixologist and had come up with some exceptionally unique and tantalizing cocktail concoctions. I asked for his suggestion of one of the features to pair with my sliders and fries and he went with the whisky rose. Normally I'm not a whisky drinker but after it was described to me I thought I would give it a try. For this cocktail the bartender combine whisky, apple juice, cranberry juice, and a house made rose water simple syrup. Wow! Shaken and poured over ice this drink is delightfully light the essence from the rose water making it exceptionally unique. Sweet but not sugary this beverage would be the perfect thing on a patio on a a warm summer day. I hope to be able to recreate it for myself because it was far to good to only have once. My sliders and truffle fries did not disappoint either. The boar was cooked in the style of pulled pork and the fennel slaw made the perfect crunchy cooling condiment. The truffle fries really hit the spot as well. And all this for $25 ++ What a steal!!!
I'm not sure when I'll be able to visit the area again, chances are it will be awhile, but I sincerely hope hope that Hunger is still going strong!
To Check out their full sample Menu click here! Hunger