Queen Anne is an endless abyss of adorable, distinctive and delicious restaurants. 5 Spot embodies all three of these characteristics; located in the heart of the Queen Anne food scene, the restaurant is lauded for its everchanging menu themes. This season’s theme, for example, is “Portlandia.” Taking cues from the hilarous IFC mini-series, not only does the menu feature such allusions as “Colin the Chicken,” but even the decor exudes Portlandia by taking “Put a bird on it” to a new and excessive level. No doubt, locavores will have a field day at 5 Spot right now. As a side note, if you haven’t seen Portlandia, you should watch it… It’s dead on (and ridiculously funny).
The regular menu and atmosphere of 5 Spot are cause enough to pay the restaurant a visit. However, raising the bar for 5 Spot’s fabulousness is its Late Night Nosh menu. Offering 8 “‘lil” dishes for $5.55 a piece every night from 10PM-12PM, 5 Spot is the place to go for a late dinner or midnight drunchies. And these dishes are anything but ‘lil. They may be a bit smaller than their lunch/dinner counterparts (and between $5 and $11 cheaper!!), but they are sufficient meals, at the very least. I split three items with a friend, and I felt like I needed to be wheeled out of there.
The food was exquisite. I have to start with the Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale battered Walla Walla sweet onion rings, for the simple fact that they were the best onion rings I’ve ever had in my life. Salty and sweet and fried to perfection, the onion rings are light and crispy, and taste like a thousand bucks when dipped in the Tutto Calabria pepper aioli. Walla Walla sweet onion rings are naturally superior onion rings, but they are seasonal, so I advise you to seek them out immediately.
The next dish I enjoyed was the Late Night Brisket. Another homerun, the brisket is what 5 Spot defines as “just like Edie Levin’s from Brooklyn with “just so” brisket braise of Coca Cola, onion, and a nice stock.” Served with fluffy mashed potatoes and a light but rich gravy, this brisket will delight even the most skeptical tastebuds. It’s almost shocking that you can eat this for $5.55– not only is it insanely yummy and incredibly filling, but it is usually priced at over $15. This late-night dish is pretty much guaranteed to send you into a lovely food coma-induced sleep.
Last but not least, the smoked chicken quesadillas. Honestly, I was so distracted by the onion rings and brisket, I hardly made a dent in the chicken quesadillas. They were, however, utterly fabulous. Authentically smokey flavored and chock full of chicken, red onion, cilantro, jack and cotija cheeses, the quesadillas are explosions of flavor. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they are topped with escabeche and lime sour cream. Yummyville.
Three hugely flavorful and filling dishes split between two people was enough food to send me off into a peaceful ten hours of Delta sleep, and it cost me a grand total of just $8.33. So, if you’re feeling poor but want some quality food and a fantastic (and entertaining) atmosphere, I advise you to flock to 5 Spot. After all, there’s nothing more fun than late night dinner!