Bellingham: What sort of restaurant do you wish would open here?
What do you wish was in Bellingham?
When I lived in Alaska there was a guy that had a kick-ass drive-through fish joint. Oh, how I miss that place. His family fished, so he had the freshest catch. Halibut, salmon ... Just a little trailer with a nice big grill. Limited menu, all healthy grilled options with a choice of fish and marinades. It was fabulous and affordable (something rarely found with top-notch seafood). He was within 1/2 block of McDonald's and always said it was his mission to turn people on to the idea that you could have healthy, delicious, affordable fast food. I've fantasized about opening something similar in Bellingham, but I don't have any professional food service experience.
Of course, I also wish there was a great vegetarian restaurant. Not a hippie nut burger and granola place, or a raw food place, etc. But, a great restaurant that just happens to also be vegetarian serving straight-up delicious food.
More the better, eh ? Good to know, esp. when it's gonna be on Railroad ...... AFAIC creperies and ice cream parlours (ie: Mallard's) go hand-in-hand :-).
We ate at Magdalena's once. Good stuff, but IMHO pricey. Laura, if you've never been to Cafe Crepe up here, it's a good little chain (5 in city proper) ...... diverse menu, and cheap IMHO:
Menu's hard to find on their webpage:
It seems there is something about the culture of Bellingham that does not support many restaurants. Some of the great ones have fallen by the wayside.
Like LotusRapper, I'd love to see more diversity. Ethiopian would be wonderful. I know Mulu is at the market when it's in season, but it would be great to have a restaurant available year around.
I sometimes think a town that can't sustain multiple restaurants should have one place with different chefs each night of the week. Come for Ethiopian one night, Greek another, Malaysian another, Salvadoran, Moroccan, etc, etc. Not just one chef trying to master everything, but a different chef each night; one who is accomplished in a regional cuisine.
Funny you say that, I thought of the exact same idea a few years ago while taking classes at a local culinary school. And each night's chef brings his/her specialty ingredients/supplies, while the (co-operative ?) restaurant provides the basics, equipment and facility, and takes a % of that night's chef's revenue. So a bit of win-win for all, boosting the credibility of the restaurant while increasing the profiles of the chefs (many may be new grads or up & coming).
We might have somethin' here ...................
Interesting idea for a co-op restaurant. I'd eat there! Suppose it wouldn't provide enough money for any chef to be more than supplemental income, though, so if chefs come and go it might not be consistent enough to be successful.
PS: Mulu is considering opening a resto. She'll do it, when she is ready! I work with her pretty regularly in cooking classes. Her journey is amazing to me, from a village in Ethiopia to a successful entrepreneur, despite language and cultural barriers. She rocks, but does so in a sweet, funny, understated manner.
I'm happy to hear she's considering a restaurant! She is lovely, if she opens one, I hope Bham comes out to support it! I know we will.
Re the co-op restaurant, I'd always imagined the chefs would be people that had other projects going, people like Mulu, maybe some people that teach, maybe some guest chefs from Seattle or Van. When I first imagined this idea, I was living on Whidbey. I just imagined a place that would start by being open only a couple nights a week, when a chef could be scheduled, and expand from there.
Great topic, Laura.
Not being a local yokel, I can only opin based on my local eating experience thus far (since early '90s). And remember that Fairhaven is our habitual stomping grounds.
Basically, I'd like to see:
- more ethnic variety (and run by proprietors of those ethnicities), such as regional Chinese, Vietnamese, African, E. & W. Caribbean, Japanese izakayas, SE Asian (Indian, Indonesian, Malay, Singaporean, etc), Greek;
- more honest, non-mainstreamed approach and execution;
- usage of local produce etc. (I have no knowledge whatsoever of what the current practice is amongst restos);
- simple, quality local seafoods at fast-food prices;
- food trucks/carts :-)