The people of Federal Way have decided. The Best of Federal Way winners list is full of exemplary businesses in the community who all provide excellent services and products for the community.
We at the Federal Way Mirror decided to try out some of the community’s favorite restaurants that we were previously unfamiliar with. Here are some hidden gems in Federal Way.
Pho Fusion & Grill
This restaurant, located at 2310 SW 336th St. in Twin Lakes Village, specializes in Vietnamese dishes that include pho, a delicious savory broth with meat, veggies and noodles, vermicelli noodle dishes, broken rice dishes, congee, and Banh Mi sandwiches.
We decided to try the Mi Egg Noodle soup served with a roasted chicken quarter on the side. Upon being served the bowl of steamy noodles, broth and veggies, the first thing to be noticed was the sweet aroma of the soup. Notes of cinnamon and other aromatic herbs and spices tantalized my appetite.
The second thing I noticed was the unbelievable crispiness of the roasted chicken. The chicken was crispy yet tender and ready to pluck off the bone.
The soup itself had tender carrot chips, cabbage, onion and bok choy, each with their own texture and bite, which came together to provide excellent textural contrast from one bite to the next.
Similar to the accompaniments of pho, this soup came with bean sprouts, jalapeno and fresh citrus to add to my broth. My personal favorite condiment was the crunchy chili oil, which included notes of garlic. All of these textures and flavors please the palate separately, but come together to elevate the broth and every ingredient in the soup.
Honey Bear Vietnamese Sandwich — Bánh Mì
This Vietnamese sandwich deli, located at 1640 S 318th Place, Suite A, makes quick, easy, yet deliciously complex Bánh Mì sandwiches. Some have said the Bánh Mì is the unofficial sandwich of Washington, and I tend to agree.
A Bánh Mì is a French bread sandwich that typically contains pickled carrots and daikon, jalapenos and cilantro, along with a meat and traditionally a pâté. The uniquely Vietnamese sandwich embraces the French colonial influence from the once-French territory with ingredients like French bread and pâté, while also utilizing fresh and local Vietnamese ingredients.
Honey Bear’s menu has over 20 different Bánh Mì sandwiches which include ingredients like BBQ pork, grilled chicken, pork meatball, marinated tofu and others. I tried the “sate lemongrass chicken” Bánh Mì and was not disappointed.
The bread of the sandwich, which should be regarded as the most important element of a sandwich, was some of the best French bread I have had in quite some time. The bread’s crust was flaky and light, yet crunchy. The bread would have made a fantastic New Orleans Po-Boy, which speaks to its quality and fitness to host sandwich ingredients.
Korean hot dogs are trendy Korean street food that have become trendy thanks to social media and these photogenic one-handed treats. Calling them hot dogs may seem like a misnomer to Western eyes and ears as they much closer resemble a corn dog, but I assure you they are a tasty snack all the same.
Seoul Hotdog offers a simple menu featuring several sticked-and-battered treats that may remind some of the state fair. This establishment takes corn dogs an extra step further by rolling their batter in pieces of potato, so when the whole stick hits the deep fryer, it comes with an extra crispy and tender layer. They also replace meat with a hunk of mozzarella, making a stretchy, stringy, cheesy delight that would make anyone feel like they are a kid at the fair again.