My sons almost killed me. They were so excited with the “Dad, did you know that Nate Robinson opened a restaurant?” that I went for a visit…without them.
Hey, I had some time to kill. I was over in West Seattle watching Jackson’s football team get smothered by a team that I swear had Michael Oher of The Blind Side on their team. Big boys and Jackson’s team got wacked.
While in the general area, I popped down Rainier Ave South and hit up a couple of usual suspects. Pho Bac off of Jackson, then Borracchini’s Italian Grocer (shocker I didn’t buy anything this time) and then worked by way down past Franklin HS, Rainier Beach HS, and right around the corner to Nate’s Wing’s and Waffles. Nondescript building (my favorite) with what looked like a fresh coat of paint and a line out the door. Again, my favorite kind of place!
Nate Robinson is an NBA basketball player who currently plays for the Denver Nuggets and is one of our hometown great NBA players. He went to Rainier Beach HS, and then on the UW where he played football first then moved over to basketball where he and fellow Seattle star, Brandon Roy led the Huskies deep into the NCAA tournament. At the Udub, their teams were fast, relentless on D, and incredibly athletic these two longtime friends took their show to the NBA and both have been All Stars. Although Roy is now retired (bad knees), Nate the Great is still playing and on that sunny Saturday, was busy bussing tables and chatting up the patrons of his new restaurant.
Nate and his mom partnered up with some additional business folks and friends to open up this quaint restaurant off of 57th Ave and Rainier Ave South near Seward Park in Seattle. The menu is straightforward and delicious. As I waited in line, many people were working their way out telling the rest of us that “its worth the wait.” I kept getting more and more excited. Once to the front, I went for the pound of chicken wings in traditional buffalo sauce as well as ordered one of their bacon waffles. They also had chicken strips, beef sliders, grilled cheese and two other waffles on the “main menu” and mac and cheese, cornbread, fries, rings and rolls as sides.
The atmosphere was fun, lively, clean, and fast paced. The kitchen was doing their best to keep up with the rush of orders. Given that this was only a week or two into the opening, I get it. They were finding their groove on the service and speed end, but trust me, they found it on the food end.
For me, the waffle with big pieces of bacon inside was the highlight. Light, fluffy and filled with delicous thick-cut bacon. It was excellent. The wings were great too, about what you think they should taste like. Look, wings can be hit and miss, these were a hit. When done right, wings aren’t overwhelmingly awesome, they just taste good. Nothing more, nothing less.
It was great to see one of our own grow up, become successful, and come back and build a fun restaurant with his family. I hope this restaurant lasts and becomes a significant part of the Rainier Beach community, just like their homegrown son has.
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