To eat at Señor Moose Cafe is to experience the despair of never being able to try everything on the menu. Even the selection of salsas was eclectic. The peanut sauce (top) had the most heat, whereas the tamarind in the lower right was mild. Senor Moose salsas, Ballard restaurantsThe second time I ate there, for dinner, I wanted to try Filete enchocolatado (steak sauteed with bitter chocolate, wine, and onion) and about 10 other things. I settled on Enchiladas de la plaza because I’d never been to a Mexican restaurant that advertised a sauce with cream and egg.Seattle restaurants, Mexican restaurants, fondasSeñor Moose originally opened as a breakfast place, but then the owner, Kathleen Andersen, realized nobody in Seattle was serving the comida tipica from Mexico’s central plateau (Michoacan, Nayarit, Jalisco, and Mexico City) that she had been craving. So the staff started adding breakfast specials that Andersen had learned to make while eating at fondas (mom-and-pop restaurants) and making food with friends in Mexico. Then the cafe added a full dinner menu.

That kind of variety doesn’t come cheap. It costs a lot more than the $10 you might drop on a meal and a drink at El Taco de Mexico in Denver.

The name of Todd’s entree alone was worth it: Puerco en nuestro mas reciente mole. Seattle Mexican restaurants, Jalisco, Nayarit, Beth Partin's food photosAmong other things, the sauce was made with 4 chiles, almonds, sesame seeds, chocolate, and sweet spices. The pork cooks in the sauce for a long time, resulting in a darker, hotter flavor than the relatively mild sauce on my enchiladas filled with potatoes, corn, and carrots. Todd’s entree was flashy; mine was squishy but still good. When you walk into the restaurant, there’s a counter on the left and a dining room on the right that ends in a bar with the sign: “No Minors. No Firearms.” The room with the counter seemed blazingly hot both times we were there, so we sat in the other room and got served by the same no-nonsense waitress who reminded me of my friend Catherine. During our stay in Seattle from August 17 to September 17, there was an art exhibit in that room featuring a painting on a ironing board. It’s a funky little place.

The morning of our first visit, I ordered huevos ahogados, expecting tomato soup with a few poblanos and some cheese and 2 poached eggs. It wasn’t my usual breakfast fare, but that was, of course, the attraction.huevos ahogadas, Seattle Mexican cuisine, regional Mexican cuisineWhat I got was a smoky tomato broth absolutely loaded with chilies. poblano chiles, Beth Partin's food photos, Blackberry food photosI ate the eggs and drank as much of the broth with chilies as I could; the broth itself was lovely—salty and spicy—but the chilies defeated me. Todd ordered machacas con papas. I remember the beef being crispy; he doesn’t. In any case, it was a hearty meal.Todd Bradley's foodWriting this review from Portland has made me want to drive back to Seattle to have just one more dish. If you’re in Seattle, go up to Ballard and try Señor Moose. It’s open for breakfast and lunch until 3 and then from 5 to 9 or 10 for dinner. Seattle restaurants, Beth Partin's photos
Señor Moose Café on Urbanspoon

Leave A Comment

  1. Claire Walter September 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    That sauce selection looks awesome — something to go with everything else that also looks really good.

  2. saint facetious September 19, 2011 at 3:05 am - Reply

    I was kind of pissed when I read this restaurant was not in Denver! What an addition that would be to eat at… if I ever make it back.

  3. EmmaculateReflections September 19, 2011 at 6:44 am - Reply

    That food looks AMAZING!! Where in Seattle is this place located?“>Emmaculate Reflections

  4. Beth Partin September 19, 2011 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Saint, good to hear from you. Last time I looked at your blog, you were in Egypt.

    Claire, I finally realized I didn’t have the right feed for your blog. I’ve fixed it now.

  5. Megan September 29, 2011 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    One thing about Mexican food is that it never seems to look very appetizing in pictures. That being said, the salsa look delicious.

  6. Beth Partin September 29, 2011 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Megan, are you saying my pictures are ugly? 🙂

    I took a food class a year ago, and one of the things the instructor emphasized was how hard it can be to photograph meat so that it looks good.

  7. maribel November 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    hola porque o ponen mas tipo de comidas porque esa comida no se mira mucho en jalisco

  8. Beth Partin November 8, 2011 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Maribel, my Spanish is a little rusty. Are you saying that the type of food pictured here isn’t seen much in Jalisco? If so, I should explain that not all the dishes served at this restaurant originate in Jalisco.

  9. […] Ate twice at Senor/Cafe Moose, a restaurant with all sorts of regional Mexican specialties. Beth reviewed it on Beth at Home and Abroad. […]