Enter Harried and Hungry, leave relaxed and full
Special to The Seattle Times
1415 Third Ave., Seattle; 206-264-7900; www.harriedandhungry.com
Hours: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
No alcohol / credit cards: AE, MC, V / no smoking / no obstacles to access.
This new lunch stop just north of Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle is outstanding, literally — the owner is out standing on the Third Avenue sidewalk, welcoming patrons in the door. It's only 7 weeks old, but one gets the feeling from the ebullient friendliness of co-owners Alan Mirsky and his son Steve — and their fleet of servers, crisp as a mime troupe in their black uniforms — that the sunny goodwill emanating from this place will last awhile.
And what's not to be happy about? Harried and Hungry is a modern, sterile sliver of a lunch stop with plenty of push-together tables, free wireless access, dedicated laptop outlets, Caffe Vita coffee and very careful preparations of soups, salads, sandwiches and breakfast items. Even if the food wasn't any good, the place could probably make a viable go as an ideally situated meeting venue.
But the food is good; delicious in fact.
Mornings, diners can choose from among five bagel sandwiches (including a smoked-sausage-omelet bagel with salsa, avocado, roma tomatoes and cheddar for $3.75; and a bagel with peanut butter, banana and honey for $3.25), pastries, smoothies and coffee.
After 10:30 a.m., they break out the sandwich and salad menu, starring fresh ingredients, Boar's Head meats and cheeses, tasty preparations (more than a few vegetarian), large servings and prices firmly fixed in the $6.50 range. If business continues to be brisk, reliable whispers have it that H & H may soon start staying open through the dinner hour. Currently, it closes at 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
You order at the counter, pay up front and are then given a high-tech handheld gizmo that goes all flashy when your order's up. Not only is the thing a riot — great for a little midday round of "Captain Kirk and the Vulcan Transponder" — it's possibly, when flashing, more frenzied than you are. On a harried and hungry day, such things can be strangely comforting.Check please: Jamaican carrot soup: A generous ladleful of steaming bright orange against a simple stark white bowl looked gorgeous and tasted better; warming and welcoming on a bitter day. The soup was gently seasoned, thickened with peanuts, and served with a soft herb-dusted breadstick. Just the thing.
Harried house salad: Wow! Scrupulously fresh ingredients — beautiful baby spinach, quartered beets, pear, candied walnuts and hunks of goat cheese — join forces to create the kind of salad that raises the bar for the rest. The portion will definitely hold you until dinnertime. Comes with a breadstick.
Turkey club sandwich: Hot and toasty, on thick slices of wheat bread, comes this terrific rendition of the classic club (sans the third piece of bread). Thin-sliced turkey is piled high along with bacon, mayo, roma tomatoes, avocado and melting provolone.
Chicken pesto sandwich: Chunks of tender chicken spread with pesto appear alongside roma tomatoes, Parmesan and luxuriant greens inside a crusty baguette, for a full-bodied mouth-challenger. (The whole thing is stabbed with a cornichon-on-a-toothpick to hold it together.) Great flavors — only perhaps not enough of them — and sensational textures throughout.
Itemized bill, meal for two
Jamaican carrot soup (cup) $3.75
Harried house salad $6.75
Turkey club sandwich $6.75
Chicken pesto sandwich $6.75
Total $26.11Kathryn Robinson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company