The Best Burger in Town; Squid's Monte Cristo; Hangar Cafe Is Back

Selections from Voracious, our food blog.

Hangar Cafe Reopens

Georgetown's Hangar Cafe just reopened under new ownership on Nov. 5. Quoting from a recent e-mail from the owner, Justin Taft (who comes from Essential Bakery Cafe), here are a few sample menu items:

    -Pumpkin waffles (fresh roasted pumpkins folded into classic Belgian waffle batter cooked till golden, topped with spiced whip cream)

    -The Hangover Crepe (eggs, ham, Swiss, cheddar, thinly sliced red onions, Roma tomatoes, and baby spinach topped with roasted poblano and basil vinaigrette)

    -Roasted Veggie sandwich (roasted eggplant and red bell peppers, ricotta cheese, spinach, kalamata olive spread, almond mayo & roasted poblano balsamic vinaigrette)

    -Turkey Sandwich (turkey, avocado, greens, cranberry cream cheese, red onions, pepper mayo on scala or mille grane)

    This is just a few of the items that we will be offering. We have much, much more yumminess!!!

    We also have handmade soups and salads!!

An early customer sampled their wares yesterday, reporting on a "pretty good, though messy, sandwich." It's too early to know, of course, if this place will make you happy, but the menu sounds promising.

— Adriana Grant

I Ate This: Monte Cristo at Squid & Ink

What: The Monte Cristo

Where: Squid & Ink, 1128 S. Albro Pl., 763-2696

When: Tuesday–Sunday, 9 a.m.-midnight

Cost: $7.50 plus tax and tip

Official Tasting Notes: We have a pretty decent assortment of meatless options in Seattle—the Wayward Cafe, Jhanjay Thai, Chaco Canyon, the nonmeat-meat burrito at El Chupacabra. But between the all-vegetarian Georgetown Liquor Company and the all-vegan Squid & Ink, Georgetown should be every herbivore's preferred spot.

The Squid & Ink opened in August and has all the elements down to make it a success: (1) It's got that whole indie/punk/DIY vibe, (2) it's open late, and (3) the food is hearty. Oh, and (4) it serves breakfast till 4 p.m.

My first trip to the Squid & Ink was on a drizzly Sunday. As with any great vegetarian restaurant, making a menu decision was tough (unlike carnivores, our decisions at restaurants often go like this: "Hmm…do I get the veggie burger and risk that it was grilled alongside cow meat, or just get the Alfredo without the chicken?").

At a joint like Squid & Ink, the non–meat eater feels empowered: "Do I go for the Grilled Ham & Cheese, the Biscuits & Gravy, the Chicken-Fried Steak, or one of several tofu-based omelets?" I went with the Monte Cristo: hunks of vegan ham smothered in creamy vegan cheese and sandwiched between two slabs of inch-thick French toast.

The deal with the Monte Cristo is it's halfway between breakfast and lunch; it strikes a balance between syrupy and salty. The ham is of the pink, fleshy variety found in Araya's pumpkin curry. But when slid in between French toast, it takes on a smokiness, and eating it makes you feel like a lumberjack in some far-off logging camp.

It was a thick meal, for sure. In the end, it rests in the bottom of your gut in the manner of a Mission burrito. But I'd be lying if I told you I didn't keep eating. My wife couldn't finish her faux-fish fillet sandwich, so I took care of that, too.

— Brian J. Barr

$13: Bacon Cheeseburger at Buckley's on Queen Anne

What: Cheddar bacon burger

Where: Buckley's on Queen Anne, 232 First Ave. W., 691-0232

When: A couple of times this year

What Does $13 Fetch Ya? The burger ($9.95), a glass of water, plus tax and tip.

Recommended? Highly

If a restaurant boasts "The Best" anything, I've never been anything other than disappointed. Come on, could that pizza place in Colorado really serve the best pizza in the world?

So, I guess it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that I found my favorite burger (a bacon cheddar burger) in an extremely nondescript place: Buckley's on Queen Anne. This place is a gem in the city's slick, white-collar lunch and happy-hour scene that may be known for its consistency (we'll let you decide if that's a good thing), but rarely for anything outstanding.

Somebody in this kitchen is taking extra care. I feel like I've had this burger a million times, just not done nearly as well. The bun is more than a canvas for the beef—it's light and delicious and is actually toasted, with the edges tastefully charred. The cheddar's perfectly melted, and the veggie toppings are fresh (crispy lettuce!). The patty? One of the few that I've had lately that wasn't either still moving or usable by the NHL.

Buckley's is a cross between corporate sports bar and neighborhood watering hole. Team flags hang from the ceiling, the TVs are new, and the clientele can easily afford a $10 burger. But the room's got personality, starting with most sincere double thumbs-up I've ever received, courtesy of my server/bartender.

I wish I could say something about some of the other items on the menu, but the few times I'm in the neighborhood, it's hard for me to pass on my favorite burger in town.

— Chris Kornelis

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