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Dot's Deli, Fremont

I just stopped in today for some lovely steak frites ($12) and a couple fresh Merguez sausages.
The steak was delicious, the frites were crispy, and I've not eaten the pricey ($11.50/lb) sausage, but look forward to it. I hope to meet the entire menu (just a handful of items) soon.

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  1. I brought home 3 types of (less expensive) sausage and sliced mortadella today! What a sweet spot. Sausages on the grill as I write.

    3 Replies
    1. re: tsquare

      I'm glad to hear this. It will be nice to have a place like this close to home. Or do I mean dangerous?!

      1. re: Lauren

        Dangerous indeed. The three sausages were excellent. Hot link - plenty of heat. Garlic was more juicy than strong, maybe my least favorite. Beer caraway was clearly the winner for us. Wishing I had picked up the spicy italian and merguez just because. The mortadella is less expensive than Picnic's (from Fra whatstheirnames) but significantly more than Borracchini's (I think an Italian import). Darn tasty slices. I'm already thinking that 3-7 pm happy hour is in my near future. Closed on Sundays.

        1. re: tsquare

          Mmmm, beer caraway sounds great.

    2. I saw this place on my hangover hike down to Paseo for a much needed sandwich on Saturday. Have you tried the 'Hunger' place that opened up a while back next to it?

      1. Today was HH ribeye - great flavor
        and a reuben, sliced the wrong direction, but very flavorful

        1. Grabbed a BLT and a heirloom tomato and fennel salad to share with my sweetheart for a picnic in the rose garden earlier. I prefer my bacon a bit crispier, something that could surely be remedied with a simple request while ordering, but it was the perfect combination and a delicious accompianiament to this gorgeous Seattle summer day. I'll definitely be back to try their sausages and house cured meats.

          1. I picked up a bunch of charcuterie there last week- all excellent and quite reasonable.

            Mortadella- perfect consistency, great, subtle spicing, very well done
            Duck pate with bing cherries- fabulous- chunks of duck meat bound by aspic with a cherry compote in the center- rustic and lovely. My wife and sister-in-law devoured it
            Charcuter's meatloaf- bits of cured meats bound into meatloaf form with what tastes like a bread-heavy emulsion. Spectacular and addictive cold- possibly a bit salty warm, but it's never survived a trip to a heating implement so I haven't tested that theory.

            Great place- clearly raising the bar for Seattle charcuterie.


            1. Oh my, that Merguez is tops. Dollars to doughnuts it'll turn up on local tasting menus.

              1. Since the weather has decided to stay nice, we decided to meet at Gasworks after work and picnic. I ran in a bit flustered, asked if they could do charcuterie plate to go, alas no. The lady was genuinely nice and helpful and sent me off with some duck rilletes and the meatloaf mentioned upthread, a baguette, and a refreshing green salad. I think I'm in love.

                1. I split the reuben and the brat with a buddy of mine.

                  Pastrami may be the best I've had in the city. Moist, flavorful, delicious.
                  The brat was good in a homemade tasting way.

                  The fries were interesting. They were almost TOO crisp in that all the potato flavor had been fried out. I know some people like that sort of thing though.

                  Definitely a place I want to hit up and again and again until I check out everything on the menu.

                  1. Reviving this thread as I have been very excited to go to Dot's, and finally made it last Saturday. Had heard about them on lot's of raves on Chow, and on other Seattle-based food blogs.

                    I hate to say, me and the BF were underwhelmed:(. First, I must say - it was a sunny and BUSY day in that part of Fremont! We were heading to an early afternoon apt. at Eyes on Fremont for new glasses, and had intended to go to Uneeda Burger. Walked in the door there and who! What a zoo - must have been 200 people in their, at least 30 of them babies, and 40 toddlers and 50 kids. Everyone burgering up on the way to or from strolling or soccer. We backed out the door and down to Dot's a couple doors down.
                    Well, they were equally busy. We staked out one seat at the wall counter, and decided on a couple quick snacks instead of a meal due to the crowd and not being sure of seats to eat at. He chose a slice of the roquefort Pate, and I got the bean and sausage 'soup', and we each got a glass of wine. Took turns with the wine in the seat, with the other partner hovering standing with their glass while we waited for our food. About 6 others were doing the same.
                    Clear that some people were able to take food out to eat since weather was still nice, but quite chilly. They need more seating for peak periods allready. Take that giant butcher block out of the window and turn it into a window seat for 3 please!
                    The pate and 'soup' plate came up when they called our name, and we traded bites. The 'soup was really a plate of beans in a kind of tomato sauce with several slices of I think thier keilbasa as well. No broth. Appeared it had maybe cooked down and 'soup' had evaporated on standing reheating. flavor was good, but nothing special. The roquefort pate was beautifully made, with a nice pork fat around the edge, and a creamy-with-some-texture forcemeat. However, there was no discernable blue cheese taste, just a simple pork based pate.
                    I will go back sometime soon and get some sausage and perhaps some charcuterie to take home and try again, but my eat-in experience was only meh.
                    Cute spot, and they sure do have the right heavy-duty equipment to crank out some goodies there, I will give them that.
                    I WANT to love Dot's but don't yet.

                    18 Replies
                    1. re: gingershelley

                      I haven't been when it's ridiculously busy but I agree that the butcher block in the window is a silly use of the space.

                      Sorry to hear that your experience was disappointing, but I do hope you'll give them another try and have better luck. I've had their hot dog and sausage & frites (on 2 occasions, different sausages each time) and tried the steak tartare and french onion soup and enjoyed them all very much (hot dog least, but then again I got it to go and it maybe wasn't at it's prime when I ate it). Service has always been friendly and capable. I'm a fan.

                      1. re: Bax

                        We will stop in tomorrow again, as back to Eyes to pick up the new lenses.

                        I would never write off such a fun seeming and well intentioned shop with only one try. Just might have to find the items on their menu that suit us.

                        Plan on getting something to take home with me to cook for dinner this time. Will post how that goes:)

                        1. re: gingershelley

                          Think I'll be able to get in to pick up my $100 turkey? ;)

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            I think they might hold the door open for you at that price!

                            Wish I could get one from them this year and we could compare notes, but alas I am at the mercy of another hostess this year, and can only hope for the best:)

                      2. re: gingershelley

                        I talked with the owner and I think he wants the place to be more of a deli/take-out place than a sit down kind of place. He also wants the butcher shop to take off. Like it or not, that accounts for the lack of seating and the space up front dedicated to the meats.

                        I was looking forward to hearing your review. I think you have to get a sausage (and the fries, which admittedly can be inconsistent) to fully judge the place. I have to admit that I haven't even thought of trying their soups (and now maybe I won't).

                        Also, if they have their charcuter's meatloaf, that's divine.

                        1. re: GreenYoshi

                          Green Yoshi,

                          I can totally see that Dot's is meant to be take out - you want to sell as much product to leave the building as you can - tha'ts what pays in a space like that, not table service.
                          My comments were just meant that now that the weather has turned, and it is their first experience with serving this time of year - I think at lunch, and HH they will wish for a few more seats, hence my comment on the butcher block in the window:)

                          I worked at a small artisenal (we didn't know that word back then... we called it -home made) deli in Lake Forest Park called The Good Wife when I was in my mid-teens. A friends mom owned it, so I got to work their helping make specials and daily soups as they knew that I could cook. Still remember the smell of that place from the house- roasted beef and house made sausages and salads
                          I am sure Dot's will grow into a neighborhood institution with a similar following.
                          It's just if you don't want them to sit down, don't sell steak/frites and soup as your menu features - people aren't going to order a steak frites to go very often:)

                          1. re: gingershelley

                            I've gotten a lot of food to go - to cook or eat later (sausages, pates, head cheese, mortadella) and we have enjoyed them all tho M wasn't excited by the roquefort pate either. There have always been seats available around noon on a Wednesday, so I am happy to hear they are busy other times! One of these days, we will sit down and eat.

                            1. re: tsquare

                              I was in a few weeks ago and also had the roquefort pate. My main issue with it was how cold it was. They were also a bit skimpy on the bread. Of course they have to keep it in the cold case per the health department, but I wished I had thought to get it to go so it could have warmed up and the fats could have softened and the flavors come out. Not sure what they could do for eat-in besides put it on a hot plate, but room temp would be a better experience.

                              1. re: babette feasts

                                Yes, perhaps that was the issue - the cold temp could have dimmed the flavors. Makes sense, since it was VERY cold.

                                True, most pate's or foods I would file in this category we have (or make!) are served nearer room temp.

                                My favorite around town so far is the Rillett's at Cafe Presse, which are nearly room temp.

                                Skimping on bread is a no-no I agree. If your going to let someone eat it there in the shop, there should be adequate bread to spread it on. It's not really knife and fork food.

                                Cafe Presse
                                1117 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

                                1. re: gingershelley

                                  Yeah I had the chix liver mousse at Le Pichet last weekend - so incredibly creamy, and nowhere near refrigerator cold (and was thinking back to the super solid cold version at RN74 and how much more enjoyable Pichet's was). I wonder if they just leave a few portions out and hide them when the health inspector comes? A French chef insisted to me that creme brulee should be served at room temp and I thought he was crazy (also thought that the torching would warm it up enough - it didn't) until I did a side by side comparison of a brulee straight from the fridge and one that had sat out for 30 minutes. So different on the palate, fatty things are creamier and less coating when not so cold.

                                  1. re: babette feasts

                                    And both sugar and saltiness fades when cold or frozen.
                                    I highly season foods that are served cold, for this very reason.
                                    It is nice to let things warm up to room temp for optimal flavour when you can, just like for good cheeses. :)

                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                      Absolutely. Which you can do at home to your heart's content. But in a restaurant you have to be prepared for the health inspector coming by and sticking his thermometer in things and making you throw it all away if it's in the 'danger zone'. So you pull as many servings out of the fridge as you think you'll sell in the next hour or two. After all, you don't want your entire batch of pate sitting out all night for days.

                                      I'm not in Fremont that often, but I'd give Dot's another try, more likely to go or some of the raw sausages. I'm not associated with the business at all, but I know Miles (the owner) from working together 10 years ago. Nice to see the guy taking the plunge with his own place, I'm still too scared :)

                                  2. re: gingershelley

                                    I had cold charcuterie at Verace, too, and they reported that the health department demanded they keep the food inside the safe zone til time of serving. I'd hope for a more generous interpretation of "time of serving," but this rigidity is not all that uncommon.

                                    1. re: mrnelso

                                      Sigh. Mr. Nelso, I do understand that the health department here demands these things at the expense of taste. It's too bad tho, as anyone who has eaten pate and charcuterie in Europe knows, flavors bloom at warmer temps.

                                      I eat more pate at my house, than out and about as a result:)

                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                        Isn't this under the diner's control? Unless you've made a special request to dine in the walk-in, the ambient temperature is high enough at your table that with a little patience, you can get thin-sliced meats to the temperature you desire them.

                            2. re: GreenYoshi

                              I'm not much of a french onion soup person but I LOVED theirs. Tho' to be honest it was almost more of an onion stew -- LOTS of onions, very little broth. Fine by me, tho'. Very deep, rich beefy/onion-y flavor. It was delicious for dipping my frites!

                              Speaking of the frites, first time I got them I saw them and thought "they look like they came out of a freezer bag! but upon tasting them realized they're the real deal. Haven't had a problem with oversalted.

                            3. re: gingershelley

                              We were underwhelmed as well. We really wanted to like this place, but thought it was average at best. We tried two pates and the liverwurst. All fairly boring. No real flavors coming through. Not sure where the roquefort was in the roquefort pate. The marguez was pretty good, but not something I would need to go to Fremont to get. The BLT was a BLT and the coleslaw was coleslaw. Nothing special. Fries were ok, but too salty. I like what they are doing... they just aren't doing it well enough for us to go back and spend money there. Maybe we will check back in next year...

                              1. re: tykapfh

                                I was pretty disappointed in their flavorless Reuben and their 'overpriced' and 'lengthy' homemade hot dog . All in all, IMO, another pretentious 'foodie' establishment that caters to 'gourmet wannabes' with deep pockets and limited palates.

                            4. I have enjoyed the Hot Italian, chorizo, brat, garlic , hot Italian , Merguez, hot links and the Toulouse. I intend to frequent the place.

                              1. Lunch at Dot's today = cheesesteak.
                                >>> Not long ago, I participated in a small Seattle cheesesteak challenge. We had a half-dozen sandwiches from the usual suspects. We tried to decide which ones did which aspects better, but in the end they were all more alike than different. Today, at Dot's, that changed forvever.
                                Real beef, peppers, provolone sauce. OMG, the undisputed champion.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: mrnelso

                                  Hi, mrnelso:

                                  OK, I felt led astray a bit before... Better than Blue Heron? ;)


                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                    kaleo: All I can do is plead ignorance. In my defense, all this cheesesteak rookie had to go on was a thirty-year-old experience of one sandwich in Philadelphia. I did not worry, because learning was the whole point of the cheesesteak-challenge and what I felt myself to have learned at the end of that day with those sandwiches was that there was only a nickel's worth of difference between any of them, but Blue Heron, arguably, won that day by a nose.That was just one day, though, and the learning continues. With just that background, I was not drawn to the cheesesteak on the special board at Dot's, but when I asked the cook to tell me something about it, he got vague: "well, ours is a little different, here", to which I said "Good, I'll have that," and I'm glad I did. The provolone is presented as a sauce, so the sandwich is borderline too-drippy, but manages to stay inside the boundaries of eatability. The meat bears little resemblance to the more typical dessicated flakes of basic-brown. I hope to rehabilitate my reputation and that you will get to Dot's for this cheesesteak.

                                    1. re: mrnelso

                                      Hi, mrnelso:

                                      LOL... I'm no cheesesteak authority myself, but traveled just enough to understand that almost everyplace (and every place) does it differently. I recently had that principle reinforced with trying to find the best muffaletta in New Orleans.

                                      Now that I've clawed my way out of debt on my $100 Thanksgiving turkey from Dot's, I will walk in your footsteps once again...


                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                        I see the cheesesteak was only there for a few days, and I haven't asked if they can do it by request, but I encourage cheesesteak fans to try.

                                        1. re: mrnelso

                                          They have french dips today and I am devastated to be stuck on the east side.

                                2. I've had a couple of dinners here in the remodeled space and enjoyed them. It's a very classic French bistro type menu. They make killer french style mashed potatoes but alas those are now off the menu for the spring. I had a nice bouilliaisse style fish stew the other day. I don't typically order green salads in restaurants but theirs is very good (they make a great viniagrette). The wines by the glass have been very good. My biggest complaint is the uncomfortable chairs, though I do like how casual the space feels in general--perfect for just dropping in in jeans on a weeknight. Desserts haven't been a strong point.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: christy319

                                    I have not been to Dot's either before or after it became a "bistrot," but it seems like an odd trajectory from what was discussed here as superlative, meaty deli sandwiches to what now appears as mannered French bistro. On the current site, it does not even list or display what deli meats are on offer for take-out, and there is no reuben, pastrami, French dip, cheesesteak etc. on the lunch menu. What gives?