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Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, May 20, 2017

#2520 #S1248 - Babirusa, Seattle - 5/18/2014

Babirusa, Seattle, WA
The photo may not do them justice, but these
chorizo stuffeddates with remesco were delicious
Built into a dreary little strip mall portion of a 20-year-old mixed use structure, astride a Subway and below concrete steps to an apartment complex parking lot, Babirusa's location is one where you would not be surprised by a nice, cheap little ethnic joint, but not upscale, creative small plates and craft cocktails. And when it beckons you from this location with "the best burger in town," one would not expect that to come wiht charred eggplant aioli, confit onions, and sales verde, nor for the other options to consist of items like "Orcchiette with walnut pesto, flowering rapini and Parmesan," "Ling Cod with baby turnips and nettle puree," or "Belgium Endive salad with creamy jalapeƱo dressing, black radish and miners lettuce."

And yet here once sat Matt Dillon's tony Sitka & Spruce, then Nettletown, and later Blind Pig Bistro, and those are just the sort of dishes that appear on the rotating, chalkboard menu at Barbirusa. Indeed it is from the Blind Pig next door that Charles Wadpole (Anchovies & Olives, Mistral), Rene Gutierrez, and Ben Sherwood expanded into a teriyaki shop and remaded it into the bar. The Blind Pig closed in November 2016, but the newer place, named for the deer-pigs of some Indonesian islands, remains.

Babirusa, Seattle, WA
Painted Hills burger with confit onions
The attitude is wry and casual. and I quite liked the touted burger, although the aoli was not my favorite. I loved the chorizo stuffed dates. and my cocktails, a "Rye a Reason" and classic Boluvardier, were also quite fine. And while it would be far from my first choice to live in the sprawling corridor of mixed use condo buildings that now coats Eastlake Avenue, this joint, squeezed into the corner of a vestigial strip mall, is just the sort of hidden gem any neighborhood would love to have.








2236 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, Washington 98102 - (206) 323-7531
Est. May 13, 2014 - Building constructed: 1988
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: blindpigbistro.com/babirusafacebook -
Articles ranked: thestrangerseattletimes - eater - seattlemag - yelp

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