Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Matt's in the Market

Perched on the third floor of a building that shares the same view of the Sound as the Public Market Center sign, Matt’s in the Market offers a meal that will not disappoint. I always expect really great restaurants to have secret laboratories in the back, never revealing their methods and ingredients to the public. But like most unarguably delicious restaurants, Matt’s kitchen is not only open, but also indicative of the homey atmosphere. Every time I go, it feels like Matt is having me over for lunch with a couple of friends.

More likely than not, you'll either feel like a heavy meal or a light meal. If you’re going for heavy, indulge in the Don & Joe Lamb Burger and order up an Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding for dessert. If you’re going for light, delight in the Grilled Albacore Tuna Sandwich and treat yourself to a Lemon Semifreddo for dessert.

The Don & Joe Lamb Burger will change your life. If I were a lamb, this is how I would want to die, sitting on a brioche bun next to my four best friends: bacon, herb mayo, goat cheese, and sweet onion jam. Normally, I find goat cheese to be a bit of an attention hog, but not here. The goat cheese melts beautifully with the herb mayo, bringing out the best of the bacon and lamb.

The sweet onion jam is to die for. The jam helps balance out the umami girth of the bacon and lamb. As if to trick you into raising a toast to your health, a refreshing side of chickpea-sultana salad accompanies this champion burger.

The Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding will also change your life. I was never really a huge fan of bread pudding. I don’t know why, but it just never did it for me. This, on the other hand, backhanded me with some sense. With its perfect blend of sweetness and spice, the bread pudding rises above and puts other bread puddings to shame.

The pudding literally melted in my mouth and left me begging for more.

Though less life-changing than its heavier counterpart, the Grilled Albacore Tuna Sandwich brings together a perfectly grilled piece of tuna, fresh bibb lettuce, appropriate red onion, zesty lemon aioli, and a kick of hot mustard pickle relish between two pieces of potato bread.

Each bite goes down faster than the last, and before you know it, the sandwich will be locked behind two satisfied, smacking lips.

The sandwich comes with a fantastic Scallop Chowder. Not too thick, and not too thin. This is one of the better, simpler chowders I’ve had in Seattle.

Two other items you should also consider on your second, or maybe fifth, visit are the Pork Belly Confit Banh Mi and the Stumptown BBQ Pulled Pork. Both are delightfully heavy, the former being spicier, and the latter being sweeter.

The banh mi includes generous slices of pork belly, enough to make your heart scream with masochistic joy.

The pulled pork melts in your mouth with rich hints of Portland's famous bean. Both are great, but don't let these sway you from getting the lamb burger if it's your first through fourth visit here.

The Lemon Semifreddo is the perfect way to end a lunch. Light, creamy, and refreshing all at the same time, the semifreddo fights off the urge to succumb to a 2 p.m. food coma. The lemon zest is a great way to play off the sweet huckleberry sauce and creamy semifreddo. I could eat this forever and never feel like I’m getting fat.

Overall, this place has yet to disappoint. The staff is always incredibly helpful, friendly, and unpretentious. Reservations are highly recommended, especially on weekends.

Matt. Will you still let me eat here if I ask you to lamb my burger, grill my albacore, bread my pudding, and semi my freddo?

Matt’s in the Market
94 Pike Street, Suite 32
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 467-7909

GET: Don & Joe’s Lamb Burger; Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

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