Seattle >Food & Dining > Jacks Tapas Cafe
5211 University Way NE, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810547.666846 -122.313216
Neighborhoods: Northeast, University District, Northeast Seattle
FINALLY--a good Chinese restaurant in Seattle! – My boyfriend and I recently discovered Jack's and LOVE it! We tried some classics like pork lomein and broccoli beef (with Chinese broccoli, but they also have American), but we also tried some interesting dishes like Szechuan pickles and Chinese okra with soft tofu. All were excellent and very fresh--no nasty, greasy, breaded stuff. This is authentic cuisine with great flavor. However, don't be fooled by the name--it's not a tapas restaurant, not sure why they decided to call it that.
Those that find this place- find a second home. – Jack makes fresh shaved noodles everyday. I'm sure there's some ancient Chinese secret about Jack's shaved noodles. There must be something in them that has me addicted to them. Honestly, I do eat other yummy dishes there, but at least half the dished I order- are with Jack's homemade shaved noodles.
This is a family owned restaurant with the nicest family ever. Take time to get to know them and you'll be glad you did!
Tasty chinese food with sense of authentic flavors – Not far from Ravena and University is this unasuming eatery that appears non-descript on the outside and fairly ordinary and plain on the inside, with neon green chairs.
That's where the ordinary and plain stop. With a simple list of appetizers and entrees on the menu and a dry erase board full of specials, there is a depth of unique dishes that go beyond the standard fare of Chinese cookery. The staff was friendly and took my drink order. I decided on lemonade and he asked if I liked it on the sour or sweet side. Giving him a challenge, I said around the middle. He did a pretty good job. When asked for my order, I asked for a recommendation. Live veggies or meat? I said meat. Like lamb? yes. Like it more french buttery or more muttony? hmmmm. Interesting question. I like both, but given choice, probably more buttery. He then recommended the lamb stir fry. I wanted to try a sour pickle dish, but unfortunately they were out. So he recommended this bread specialty which he said I would have leftovers for sure. Well, it was not busy, but the food came slow. This is without complaint tho, as I sensed that the care and freshness of how things were made, had to do with it. The food came and it was wonderful. The lamb was wonderful, with some thin beans and onions.... Like he said.. more buttery... the bread was wonderful, with some scallions mixed in with this pancakey bread. He even gave some recommendations on what to make with it for leftovers. I'm planning on coming back for sure and try out some more things. They seem to use spices subtley with no MSG. They let the flavors speak for themselves.
Authentic and affordably priced Chinese cuisine in the U-District. – In Short
Mustard-yellow walls feature bold figurative paintings and graphic-style posters with a modern feel. The restaurant offers leather booths and table seating. Adventurous diners will enjoy traditional spicy pig ears or beef tendon. The mixed cold-cut appetizer features seaweed, hardboiled egg, and cuts of sliced beef and tofu. A range of noodle soups and hearty tofu or meat entrees fill out Jack's menu. Dessert includes green tea ice cream served with sweet beans and whipped cream.
Best Chinese food outside the International District! – I usually don't care for Chinese food because most of it has been Americanized. At Jack's, you get home-style Northern Chinese cuisine...in fact, you can usually see some of Jack's family eating there every day. A big favorite is the 3-cup chicken, which is slightly spicing and loaded with roasted garlic. They make their own noodles here, so be sure to try the lamp soup with shaved noodles and Chinese 5-spice...especially good on a cold, rainy day! They also make their own condiments. One of their specialties is chive stuffed sesame bread...but be sure to only order it if you have 4 or more in your group since it's a very large quantity of bread. Prices are really cheap, too. We recently fed six of us for dinner for under $80.
Good, inventive Chinese food... but it's not Tapas! – Jack's Tapas Cafe (note it's "Jack's" not "Jak's") is a good restaurant... but if you go there looking for Spanish tapas you will be sorely disappointed!
Don't be misled by the name... which apparently fooled even the good people at Citysearch who understandably put Jack's Tapas Cafe in the "Spanish Restaurant" category.
Jack's is actually a cozy Asian restaurant (their tagline is "mainly Chinese") featuring standard Chinese fare along with an extensive "specials" menu. There is a short, unremarkable appetizer menu, no dim sum.
Once we got over the fact that we would not be eating Spanish tapas we really enjoyed our meal. There are a lot of unique specials with unusual ingredients, the service is friendly and the price is reasonable. There are a lot of choices for Asian food in the U-District... maybe that is why they are experimenting with the name? Oh well, whatever. I'd go back.
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