Kellen Burden

Converting non-believers at May May Hong Kong BBQ

Slabs of pork, full ducks turning lazily on their hooks, glistening in the glow of a heat lamp.


The magic of Federal Way’s diverse food scene

As a writer, I’ve always been drawn to things that tell a story. An old typewriter in a thrift store. A man with a heavy… Continue reading


Up all night at 8ight Izakaya for Japanese comfort food in Federal Way

Picture neon lights and the pressing closeness of night. Picture different words in different mouths. Out late on the streets of Japan, in a big… Continue reading


Milton sandwich shop turns the wild tide

I’m sitting alone at a two-top in a place called Oliver’s Sandwiches in Milton. There’s a phone ringing off the hook with pickup orders and… Continue reading

Korean bakery offers warm goods for the Cold War

Welcome to the new Cold War. The finger-hovering-over-a-button, lower-your-kids-into-the-sewer, hashtag-total-annihilation, days in which no one is safe and everyone is terrified. I used to sit… Continue reading

Ramen burger: Worth the hype and the wait

One-Hit Wonder: a performer, group, etc., that is popular or successful only once for a brief time. – Merriam Webster’s collegiate dictionary, The ramen… Continue reading

Over the coals

I don’t really write bad reviews. It’s not that I don’t eat bad meals, because, I most certainly do. And it’s not that I write… Continue reading

Pork-soup noir — or a food mystery solved

Seoul Restaurant is a hidden gem in Federal Way.

We, the People of 99 Cafe

“I’ve been in here three days in a row.” The man speaking is wearing roofer’s boots. A hammer hangs in a loop on his jeans.… Continue reading

Whenever Mom went bananas | The Hand that Feeds

The smell of my mother’s baked goods would draw kids in off the street like the living dead, single basketball rolling off into the gutter,… Continue reading

Pimienta, always a good decision | The Hand That Feeds

People who like food and people who love food are divided not by means or geography, but by decisions. I’ve served shepherd’s pie at a… Continue reading

A dumpling freedom fighter | The Hand That Feeds

Push your way through doors of Dae Bak Wang Mandoo on any given day, and you’ll find Jimmy Chin in the kitchen, working. Not “working”… Continue reading

Dr. Jekyll and Señor Taco | The Hand That Feeds

Growing up in Southern California, winter was just a word you put in front of “sports” and it meant you were going to have to… Continue reading

Open to the public | The Hand That Feeds

It’s taken me awhile to get to East India Grill. Not because I wasn’t aware of it or because I didn’t think the food was… Continue reading

Flavors like anger and patience | The Hand that Feeds You

There is a knife in my hand, fingers poised on the tang of it, blade winking in the lights over my sink. Sleet sniggers against… Continue reading

Chef Suyma cutting salmon | The Hand That Feeds

I leaned up against the sushi bar at Koharu, watching Chef Suyma’s hands move with professional deftness across cuts of fish like a veteran poker… Continue reading

Hiding out at Agit | The Hand That Feeds

“What would you like to drink?” the waiter said, standing at the end of the table with a notepad, pen poised to scribble and all… Continue reading

Hot, Salty Yes at Mi Chalateca | The Hand That Feeds

There is a man screaming “goooooal” on the television, which is accurate. Ever since that kid came in for a slide tackle and knocked the… Continue reading

Mi Bella Honduras and cursing your napkin | The Hand That Feeds

There are no true cooking wunderkinds. No one wanders into a kitchen in their footie pajamas and just knows, in their bones, the secret to… Continue reading

Gyros House: Where special lives | The Hand That Feeds

There are some doors that just draw us through them — counters that pull us to them