Bubbles: banh mi and bubble tea on Alki
Bubbles on Alki is a tiny storefront that offers Vietnamese sandwiches (try the delicious barbecue pork), pastries, espresso and bubble tea. Order up, then head across the street for a panoramic view of the city skyline.
Seattle Times staff reporter
1619 Harbor Ave. S.W., Seattle
Hours: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Etc: Visa and MasterCard accepted; street parking; no obstacles to access; no alcohol.
Most winters in Seattle, I seek out the culinary equivalent of a bear's den: quiet eateries that serve hot and heavy foods to help foster an illusion of hibernation, lest I wake up and realize that, yes, it is still raining.
But not this year. In this extraordinary season of spring-in-winter, I'm all about alfresco.
So it was with great pleasure that I decamped with a friend to Bubbles on Alki recently to enjoy one of my favorite sandwiches, bubble tea and a panoramic view of the city skyline.
Bubbles is a tiny storefront on Harbor Avenue Southwest (across the street from Alki Crab and Fish Co.) that offers pastries, bagels and Vietnamese sandwiches. Hiep and Loreen Huynh opened their shop about eight years ago, and have been slowly expanding to Northgate and Richmond Beach. They sold their Delridge Avenue store more than a year ago.
The menu: Espresso drinks and a variety of bubble teas — milk teas containing jellies or balls of chewy tapioca. Some of the top sellers: avocado, taro, mango and sweet black tea that cost $3.15. Pastries run the gamut, from muffins to scones to Danish.
The banh-mi sandwiches are $4.95 for the savory chicken, tangy meatloaf and sautéed tofu and vegetables, and $5.25 for the pork. Half sandwiches are available for $3.25. The sandwiches are prepared with the same extras: mayo, pickled daikon (white radish), julienned carrots and cilantro. Add fresh jalapeño peppers for an added kick.
During our recent visit, they had run out of bread and pork, even though it was barely 1 p.m. on a Monday. The server said they've been having problems with a supplier, but that the problems should be remedied soon.
What to write home about: The barbecue-pork sandwich is an impossibly delicious combination of sweet and savory. It's so satisfying that it's kept me coming back for three years.
What to skip: Having grown up on 1960s meatloaf — sliced thick and pitted with onions, I couldn't get excited about the pallid slices of meat that constitute the meatloaf sandwich here.
The setting: Warm and inviting, but tiny with one table and a Victorian-style couch. Takeout is your best option.
Summing up: The tab for two bubble teas and two foot-long baguettes came to $16.50 before tax and tip. Order up, then head across the street to the public pier to soak in the view.
Susan Kelleher: 206-464-2508 or firstname.lastname@example.org
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.