Mukilteo >Grouchy Chef
tasty, and service with a growl.
I've been to The Grouchy Chef a few times with a good friend of mine. I must say that upon entering the small restaurant you are bombarded with signs such as "Who did this??? Identify yourself!" with arrows pointing to some chair marks on the wall. Also, there is a long diatribe of why he is in this business, explaining that he is a professional and takes things very seriously and is a certified chef of Japan ... etc etc etc. To be honest, if I had gone alone, I probably wouldn't have stayed, the atmosphere was so tense! However, my friend helped me know the system. Walk in, quietly note the limited menu, order, pay, then sit exactly where he tells you. Woe be the person who doesn't listen! It is just the owner cooking, so being patient, especially at lunch, is a virtue. The wait is never long, and what you get in return is exquisite! I've tried everything on his menu and not a single complaint. And, if you are a regular, he will welcome you and you learn that his harsh exterior is a character flaw of his, but one he readily admits and doesn't try to hide.
So, if you're looking for a restaurant with character, coddling to everyone, look elsewhere. If you're simply looking for darn good food at a very reasonable price, do go here. Oh, and, do be polite and not talk loudly or on your cellphone. He will yell at you.
Best Food in Puget Sound at a great price.
The food is terrific the meals are a bargain. Every thing is Great. At $8-$12 you're getting a meal that you'd be lucky to get somewhere else for $25 (and no tipping is allowed). I would classify the food as regional, and the specials vary with the season. There is salmon, beef, pork, and chicken on the menu. The specials are usually one seafood item (like crab cakes, snapper, mahi mahi, etc) and one that's non-seafood (duck, lamb, beef, etc). The desserts are to die for.
Service is minimal (you order and pay at the counter in cash and then are told where to sit. when your food is ready it is placed on the counter, and you are pointed at).
Hours are M-F, 11am-2pm and 5pm-7:30pm.
The specials frequently run out well before quitting time, so it's best to come near opening. If you show up at 11am, expect a wait (either join the line before 11am or wait until closer to 11:45). Dinner is usually slightly more expensive than lunch, but includes soup (if aspargus soup is offered, you have to get it -- even if you don't like aspargus, trust me).
Even if you have to wait, it's worth the wait.
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