There are burger purists who want nothing to come between the beef and bun, and those who don't mind piling on the toppings to push the hamburger envelope. Lunchbox Laboratory falls in the latter category, experimenting with flavor combinations and encouraging diners to do the same.
'Ballard' on Serious Eats
In the time since wrapping up her appearance on Top Chef, contestant Robin Leventhal hasn't, to the chagrin of many Seattleite's, re-opened her dearly departed restaurant, Crave. What she has done is enjoy the extraordinary culinary offerings of her little corner of the city. Ballard is a former Scandinavian fishing town turned urban hipster hangout, and Robin rounded up all the places that make this part of town a great place to grab a bite.
In many cities, perhaps even most cities outside New York or Naples, you will come across a pizzeria that is clearly head-and-shoulders above the rest of the town's competition. This is very much true in Seattle, Washington, where owner/pizzaiolo Brandon Pettit's Delancey serves not only the best pizza in the city, but the best I've eaten in the entire state. By a mile.
What started in 2004 as a small mobile oven nicknamed "Terracottababy" and rapidly expanded to include a brick-and-mortar restaurant and an empire of farmer's market carts, Veraci is a success story Seattleites love to call their own. Sadly, there is a definite discrepancy between the feverish hype surrounding Veraci and the actual product they're serving.
It's a good time to be a pizza-lover in Ballard. This small Scandinavian-founded neighborhood tucked into the northwest corner of Seattle can boast, among its numerous lavishly-praised restaurants, three of the most highly regarded pizzerias in the city: Delancey on NW 70th, Veraci on NW Market, and Ristorante Picolinos on 32nd Ave NW. For those seeking Neapolitan-style pies, Picolinos (loosely translated as "little darlings") is an excellent choice.
[Photographs: Molly Wizenberg] Yet another rave review for Seattle relative newcomer Delancey, this time in the Ballard News Tribune, which calls them "delicate works of art": Pizzas have the slightly smoky taste of the wood-fired oven they just came out of. Pork fennel sausage is made in-house, and it's just the thing for the Sausage Pizza ($15) with tomato sauce, smoked and fresh mozzarella and basil. Subtlety rules these pizzas, and everything on the crust is chosen with care. The Porcini Pizza ($18) with fresh mozzarella, thyme and olive oil lives up to all expectations. A pizza can be...