2234 1st Avenue, Seattle
For AJ’s birthday a bunch of us had brunch at Local 360 in Belltown. According to their website their name comes from their philosophy of locally sourcing their food – the majority of it comes from within a 360 mile radius of Seattle.
I checked out their menu the night before and already had my eye on the fried chicken and waffles with maple syrup ($11). It just seemed so … American that I had to try it. Of course those experiments didn’t go so well with deep fried candy bars and Red Vines, but I had faith.
Which was rewarded! Score one for Team USA. I think they must have used breast because the chicken was a tad tough, but it was not bad for breast. Still, I will always prefer thigh because you really have to work to overcook it. But liberal dollops of butter and maple syrup took care of that minor problem. The chicken was herby and crunchy (and not greasy at all – until I buttered it I guess), the waffles were nice and crispy, and the maple syrup on the chicken totally worked.
Unfortunately James didn’t fare so well with his choice of the farmer’s breakfast with biscuits and sausage gravy and eggs ($10). I know it’s a little blurry, but does that not look like vomit?
Even James, who normally doesn’t notice this kind of stuff, was a bit taken aback at the presentation. Which could have been forgiven if it had tasted great but he said that his eggs arrived cold. Cold eggs at a brunch place? Come on, that’s pretty unimpressive.
He also wasn’t a fan of the biscuit (the closest Aussie equivalent seems to be scones) – which you can see hiding under a heap of sausage gravy on the right. That could be James’ issue because he has yet to meet a biscuit he likes. He said the sausage gravy was pretty good though. But their warm sausage gravy could not mask their cold, cold eggs! And you know what? You can order the sausage gravy on its own ($5).
I do think James made a rookie mistake in choosing his eggs to be scrambled. When I have a choice I always choose poached because it’s such a pain to do. Plus it’s an easy way to tell whether a brunch place is any good – most places overcook them (maybe because of the heat lamp?) so if you go somewhere and get perfect poached eggs you know they’ve got their shit down.
There was a variety of stuff ordered, including a rabbit pot pie (supposedly quite good) and pancakes (pretty bad – Amelia said they were “sad looking” – which they really were! – and that they weren’t nearly as good as just making your own batch at home). Everyone I checked in with said that the chicken and waffles were the best. I’m always very pleased when I choose the best food option.
The service was fine and they split the cheque which, given the size of our group was pretty handy. Incidentally that’s something I love about eating out in the US – cheque-splitting! Everyone just hands over their credit cards and the restaurant works everything out based on where people were sitting. It’s not a thing in Australia and it should be!
Also I think that if a brunch place in Melbourne offered fried chicken and waffles people would go nuts over it. It could just be a truck making waffles and frying up chicken and people would probably like … track it online and follow it around the city.
So overall the food at Local 360 was half-good, half-disappointing. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so maybe it’s a jack of all trades and master of none. And thinking about it some more, that’s actually one of my shortcut ways of pre-determining whether a food place is any good – only 5 things to choose from? It’s probably fabulous. Menu selections all over the place? Probably not as great.
The chicken and waffles were good, but not good enough that I’d return for them. Although given the averageness of the other meals I reckon I could probably find somewhere that does them better. Maybe somewhere that uses thigh.