Must-tries at The Innkeeper in Belltown: Jamaican jerk pork spareribs, Cuban sandwich
The Innkeeper in Belltown is open to the over-21 set, offering an unpretentious setting, some excellent unfussy food and a modest cocktail program.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The InnkeeperSouth America and Caribbean
2510 First Ave. (between Wall and Vine streets)
Hours: Open daily 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.; no minors
Etc: Visa and MasterCard accepted; no obstacles to access. Street parking and paid parking lot next door
For all the changes in Belltown, this barhopping hood is still more about happy hour than dinner, the bar food meant more to fortify a couple rounds of cocktails.
So what a pleasant surprise it was to stumble onto The Innkeeper, an unpretentious place, with unfussy food. And of course this being Belltown, The Innkeeper also runs a decent cocktail program.
The menu: It's Caribbean and South American inspired fare, the comfort food ranging from ceviche to Jamaican jerk pork spareribs (from $5-$15), along with the usual bar food done with a South American accent.
What to write home about: The fall-of-the-bone Jamaican jerk pork spareribs are a beauty. Charred and smoky, they come in a huge portion, cut nicely with a refreshing side of jicama mango salad. It's a good deal at $11.
Your best after-Belltown-bar-crawl grub is here: the Cuban sandwich ($9), salty and meaty, with a tinge of sourness from pickled peppers. The bread is about perfect — crispy exterior with a light, spongy interior to absorb the pork flavor and mayo. Two good side options: the meaty green chili with a subtle but lingering heat, and some crunchy, deep-fried plantain chips.
What to skip: The Spicy Caribbean Goat Curry with peas and rice ($15) doesn't live up to its name, lacking both heat and curry. The smoked chicken drumettes didn't go down easy — too dry.
The setting: The minimal décor gives little hint of what cuisine is featured here. There's a comfy back patio that's underutilized. It's just about perfect on a sunny day with a Guatemalan lager. Service is friendly, though it can get slow when busy.
Summing up: Two entrees, the goat curry and the spareribs, with appetizers including two beef skewers ($1.50 each), plantain chips, smoked chicken drumettes and three empanadas ($8) were $49.27, enough to feed at least two. The Innkeeper is a 21-and-over establishment.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle