There aren’t a lot of black folks in Seattle. We live in the region but it is possible for me to go an entire day without seeing another black face if I spend time in certain neighborhoods of Seattle. Most black people live in the suburbs. It’s is what it is. But that doesn’t mean the black population doesn’t crave the comfort food of home. And so it was a breath of fresh air to stumble across this wonderful gem of a place in Capitol Hill called Kingfish Cafe.
We were born and raised in Seattle, and attended Garfield High School and The University of Washington. Prior to opening the restaurant, we spent five years researching and developing recipes. We traveled to different cities across the country and met with restaurant owners, chefs, and our family members. We returned home enthusiastic, enriched, and determined to fulfill our dream.
Because the inspiration began with family and food, it was only fitting that we honored the memory of our beginnings. Each photograph that adorns our walls is a family member; from our great, great aunt Mary Laura Josephine, born a slave in 1850, to our third cousin, poet, Langston Hughes.
The restaurant name comes from George “Kingfish” Stevens, a character on the 1950′s Television show Amos ‘n Andy; his business ventures were many, and often chaotic, but always comical. Like “Kingfish”, we encountered a myriad of challenges on our journey, but the largest was our lack of restaurant experience and formal culinary training.
I find the story awesome and this little cafe has charm in spades. I tried the chicken and waffles off the brunch menu. But as each plate was delivered to our table, I realized that I should have branched out and gone for something more exotic like the bread pudding or the crab cake. Oh, and those grits!!!!!! I don’t like grits. I must say that because what I am about to say goes against everything I’ve ever known about grits. Grtis are A-MAZE-ING! At least they are at Kingfish Cafe. So creamy and yummy and wonderful. I’m thinking about them now even as i write this post and hoping I find time in my schedule soon to return for brunch. Also looking forward to trying out the lunch and dinner menus.
Don’t wait for a trip to Capitol Hill to experience this joy. Make your way over their purposefully and with intent to experience a taste of black comfort food heaven. You can thank me later! 602 19th Avenue East Seattle, WA 98112-4009 (206) 320-8757