Written by on January 28, 2011 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(kallalooseattle.com) – Columbia City 

How I heard of this place: A friend of mine mentioned it about a month ago, when we were comparing notes about great dining establishments in Seattle, specifically in the south end. The parents of one of his students opened the restaurant five years ago. We arrived in the nick of time, as the delicious, only authentic Caribbean taste in town was set to close its doors the following day.

Type of cuisine: “Kal Gellein does the cooking, but it’s his wife Gail Williams’ Caribbean roots that inspire the menu: homey stews and fragrant curries; pan-fried chicken and spice-rubbed fish; tropical salads and a slew of hearty, vegetarian-friendly side dishes. Giddy with tropical colors, the room is as pretty as a hibiscus blossom and as comfortable as a veranda.” – Providence Cicero, The Seattle Times

 Ambiance: Brightly colored, full of verve, locally painted wooden chairs, tables and tableware in a large, open setting. The kitchen is open to the rest of the establishment, through large window-like openings, where the glorious dishes of the Caribbean await delivery to patrons. Framed work by local artists is also displayed throughout the space, as decoration and for sale, complementing the colors and feel of the space.

What I ordered: Feeling the need to sample a little of everything, being our first and last time at Kallaloo, our party of eight selected the following. For lunch, one dining companion and I split the Cuban pork sandwich ($7.95), roast pork and sliced ham on French bread, with Swiss cheese and chow-chow relish, and the carne asada steak sandwich ($8.95) with a jalapeno mayo and mixed greens. Each sandwich was served with thick-sliced and lightly salted potato chips. On the side, we had to sample the macaroni pie ($3.95) and the callaloo – a creamed spinach consistency of taro leaves in coconut milk, topped with a spattering of freshly diced tomatoes. Two of our dining companions ordered the Creole fish ($11.95), pan fried red snapper filet with Creole sauce of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and spices, cou-cou and callaloo. The dishes came with two sides including beans and rice and cassava in garlic butter. As an additional side, one of the two dining companions selected more cassava ($3.95) and a Jamaican patty ($5.95), flaky crust turnovers filled with spiced chicken, to start. Among our other dining companions, we had one order for the vegetarian plate ($9.95), a combination of three side dishes, and a Grand Anse fish sandwich ($7.95),  pan-fried seasoned catfish on sesame bun with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and cilantro sauce. For dessert, we had one Cassava Pone with Crème Anglaise ($4.95) and a cheesecake of the day ($5.95), a candied ginger cheesecake with thick, homemade graham cracker crust.

What I loved: It’s hard to pick just one thing, and it’s even more difficult to think that Kallaloo is no longer going to be serving Columbia City and thousands of others throughout the Seattle area. I thoroughly loved the cassava in garlic butter, the steak sandwich, specifically the jalapeno mayonnaise. And, surprisingly, the cheesecake was a fabulous, lightly sweetened treat to end the meal.

Why I loved it: The owners, one to seat us, one to serve us, were friendly, loving and welcoming. We were warmly greeted, seated and served with Caribbean embrace and friendliness. The food was out of this world delicious! It’s a shame this fine establishment has closed its doors…

Cost: Average ($5-$12 per lunch option)

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