Find barbecues, Austin-style breakfast tacos and baked goods at pop-ups around Seattle


I know I say this every time I write a pop-up summary, but Seattle’s pop-up scene still shows no signs of slowing down. There’s always a mix of professional chefs who strike out on their own with concepts they’ve lovingly crafted at any free time, as well as passionate home cooks who dip their toes into their dream business. This time, there’s a chef’s barbecue that moves from painstakingly preparing 27-course meals to preparing sausages, brisket and ribs; a baker who started her first cookie-selling business in high school; and a chef who cooks Austin-style breakfast tacos.

And a bonus for anyone who hates playing the Chase-the-pop-up game: all of these have either a pre-order option or regular setups, meaning you don’t have to guess where to get your hands on. the goods.

Lightning barbecue with fireplace

For the past decade, Darrell Sawyer has smoked meat, beginning by casually tossing a pork butt into a smoker in the early hours of a weekend morning, doing his gardening work while checking the meat. . He patiently honed his barbecue skills while working nights at fine dining restaurants, including a four-year stint as a sous chef at Capitol Hill’s Altura. Three years ago, he left restaurants and devoted himself full-time to Smokestack Lightning, offering what he calls “Seattle-style barbecue.”

“I try to take the best things from all the different styles, a melting pot of regional American barbecue,” says Sawyer.

Sawyer believes that all barbecues go well together and that people who “try too hard on one style miss out.” He writes a weekly menu and changes things up with the seasons, focusing on sausages, ribs and pulled pork in the warmer months, for example, and chili, pork belly nachos and roast chicken. and oatmeal during the colder months. He makes bread, sauces, sides and desserts from scratch and says he never makes the same menu twice.

I’ve never had anything from Sawyer that I didn’t like, but keep an eye out for his burnt briskets – whether over nachos or with cheddar grits – the pulled pork (or whatever it really is ) with Carolina Gold Sauce and Chocolate Cake with Peanut Buttercream and Toasted Marshmallow Wreath. If you can’t make up your mind, he always has a meat platter on the menu with a mix of daily specials big enough to feed two. You can find it from Thursday to Saturday in one of the three breweries on the north side: Hellbent, Urban Family and Lantern. Check his Instagram for the weekly schedule.

Sophie Bay Cookies

Sophie Handler has a purpose in life; “doing everything I love right now.” Handler, who has been cooking with her father since she was a toddler, has battled cancer on and off for the past 10 years and throughout the yo-yo of treatment, clear scans, treatment, she has learned that she not only wants “people to make sense out of their lives in the way that they most want”, but she also wants it for herself.

That means baking cookies she calls cookies – lemon sugar shortbread, almond orange pillows and ginger molasses cookies – as well as slices of chocolate cake and a moist ricotta cake topped with her own compote. strawberries. At the height of the pandemic, she would wrap her baked goods with a poem or two she’d written and ship them across the country, combining her two loves of storytelling and baking.

“That’s my whole goal – for people to take a moment. I want them to read and create their own stories about where they were when they enjoyed the cookie,” she says.

The story created for me eating my Sophie Bay cookies started in my car on my way home after picking up some cookies (espresso sands are amazing) and slices of cake. Perched on my front seat in an open cardboard boat was the piece of ricotta cake topped with the most perfect macerated strawberry. I slammed on the brakes when someone cut me and this cake flew through the air, landing strawberry side down. However, I have no shame and scraped off the dirt and inhaled this wonderfully moist cake. All the more reason to go back and get a room like she expected.

Although Handler no longer ships its wares, you can catch it in person at a pop-up or swing by Drink Books in Phinney Ridge where you can regularly find whole packages of Handler’s cakes and pastries. . Check Instagram or its website for more details.

Hello tacos

I didn’t realize there was a little taco-shaped hole in my life until I tasted Kinga Borkowski’s Good Morning Tacos. These are Austin-style tacos, which Borkowski says means the taco should have fluffy scrambled eggs on a soft, toasted flour tortilla.

Borkowski — who, since moving to Seattle from Chicago in 2019, previously worked as a chef for Junebaby and with Microsoft corporate catering — went through 15 different types of tortillas before landing on the parfait from a small local tortillera. She sources her eggs locally and has also partnered with Woodinville Sauce Co. on a hot sauce for her salsa roja.

“The tacos are Austin-style with a West Coast inspiration: microgreens, pickled red onions. There’s not a lot of color in an authentic Austin-style taco,” she says.

Slightly larger than a street taco, these flavor-packed tacos mix smoky poblano peppers with cotija and egg, crumbly chorizo ​​with creamy refried black beans and pickled red onions, or crispy bacon, with sharp cheddar cheese and salsa roja. Then everything is placed on a puffy and fluffy tortilla. You’ll want at least two — three if you’re really hungry.

You can find Borkowski and her incredibly likeable husband Konrad popping up at the Lake Forest and Woodinville Farmers Markets as well as Fair Isle Brewing in Ballard. Check Instagram and their website for the full schedule.


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