This summer has been a fairly low-key one after all the goings-on – a lot more time at home, and a lot less spending after the festivities of spring.  But I still can’t help but want to explore new food spots, and that is where the taco comes in.  Inexpensive but filling, there are so many varieties in the city these days – from traditional to experimental.  Here are a few of the new-to-me spots we’ve tried:

Marination Station is a brick and mortar version of the popular Marination Mobile trucks that serve all sorts of beautiful Hawaiian-Korean flavors meeting Mexican dishes – their marinated meats (specifically the pork) being their specialty.  Kim chee fried rice and quesadillas are close on the pork’s heels – and all were exceptionally good.  While you can find their mobile trucks all over town, the Station stays put on Capitol Hill, above the QFC on Broadway.  With the permanent location you can add a beer or wine to meal too.

Off the Rez is another new mobile favorite.  The owner, a Blackfoot Native American, teamed up with his classically-trained chef childhood friend to bring authentic fry bread to Seattle.  I have a soft spot for fry bread – taking me back to the summers building strawbale buildings on the N. Cheyenne Reservation – but, dare I say it, these smaller, crisper versions are even better!  A great vehicle for sweet toppings but I would say go for their tacos.  All that we’ve tasted are good, but the 10-hour pulled pork is the standout winner with the cabbage slaw.  The quinoa succotash is a great hearty side as well.

Pecado Beuno is not mobile, but with it’s large porch and decent cheap eats it seemed worth a mention.  We’ve tried a variety of items – the tortas, potato taquitos and the butternut squash tacos have been the standouts thus far – nothing fancy, but definitely solid. Friendly staff and $3 margaritas help for sure – and a spot for the dog to sit with us after a stroll has made it a good neighborhood haunt this summer.

holy cannoli

I have a thing about desserts where crispy and creamy collide, so I decided to check out (for research purposes, of course) Holy Cannoli – a ‘Detroit-style’ cannoli-focused bakery in Belltown.  Detroit-style refers to the filling primarily – i.e. custard-filled instead of NY-style ricotta-filled (which the owner says – and these might be fighting words, “ricotta is lazy. Your not cooking a custard, you are just putting an ingredient in a bowl”).  A small storefront bakery (in the base of Mosler Lofts for you current and former Mithunees), Holy Cannoli has many freshly prepared cream flavors to choose from – all delivered in a perfectly crispy pastry shell. They are small so you don’t feel too guilty trying one for an afternoon sweet craving – or sampling a couple together as a dessert.  I tried a couple (again, research) – Traditional and Lemoncello.  They both were lovely little creamy crispy bites, but the Traditional made me happiest with that little bit of chocolate as the perfect additional element.  Whether you are tried and true NY-style cannoli person or not – there aren’t many folks in Seattle who make a decent cannoli any style – these are lovely, and it is definitely worth giving them a try.  You never know – you may never go back once you’ve had “Detroit-style”.