Weenies Not for Wimps

Matt's Famous: hunky eats at depression prices.


6615 E. Marginal Way S., 768-0418

10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.;

699 110th N.E., Bellevue, 425-637-2828

10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat. IN THE WORLD of fast food, Matt's is . . . Matt's. To begin with, it's not that fast, particularly around lunch hour, when the truck drivers and warehousemen and remaining white-collar Boeing workers in the neighborhood cruise by for a snack. And apart from the wall-ful of prepared mustard, most of Matt's menu is composed from components made with care: first-rate wieners and Polish sausage; fresh-chopped onion, peppers, and tomato for the relish on the Italian sausage sandwich ($4.99); homemade all-meat chili to enrobe the sausage in the eponymous chili dog and "old-fashioned" (i.e., wiener with natural casing, both $2.29). The Italian beef sandwich ($4.99) is kind of like a cheese steak without the cheese (but you can have some added to any Matt's dish for 29 cents) or a gyro with soft, juicy saut饤 peppers. Sides? But of course: Choose from Ruffles, Lay's, and Doritos (all 50 cents) and big gulps of the usual soft drinks in 16-, 24-, or 32-ounce sizes (89 cents, $1.09, and $1.39). That's about it for frills; the fancied-up Bellevue location is fairly spacious, but the South Seattle original is about as big as a toolshed and about as comfy to eat in. But there are half a dozen substantial picnic tables outside where you can ingest your mid-American soul food in comfort. Just two criticisms: Matt's tamale ($3.69) may be "authentic," but it sure isn't something anybody's abuela used to make. And the gooey, gluey buns just aren't up to the standards of the rest of the ingredients. Otherwise: The price is more than right, the service rushed but friendly, and the clientele—tattooed and necktied alike—agreeable in mutual search of comforting mouth-muffle. rdowney@seattleweekly.com

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