#9 Where Ya At Matt (Seattle)
Matt? Who Dat? Seattleites know. Why? Ever had a muffuletta in New Orleans? Then you know how hard it is to get a really good one anywhere outside the city. The bread, the flavor, and the ratio of it to cheese, meat, and chopped olive salad — it just seldom comes together. Lucky for Seattle, they have native New Orleanian chef Matthew Lewis, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who counts among his experience tours with Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Alabama, and Seattle’s own Restaurant Zoe and Canlis (ranked number 88 among The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants in America). Besides the New Orleans-style French bread made for him by a local baker, Lewis claims to make "everything handmade right down to the mayonnaise."
Besides that mean muffuletta on his Creole food truck Where Ya At Matt?, which came in at number 17 in last year’s 101 Best Food Trucks list, you’ll find his riffs on all the N'awlins classics: jambalaya (rice, chicken, and house-cured Andouille sausage), chicken and Andouille gumbo thickened with okra, red beans and rice, shrimp and grits, and of course, beignets. Of course, no New Orleans menu would be complete without a po’boy and Lewis serves nine different options, which Eater has referred to as one of Seattle’s 18 iconic sandwiches. And while the oyster, shrimp, roast beef, "big bold Creole pork," smoked portabella, smothered chicken, Andouille, and catfish are all reputable, it’s hard to go with anything other than the Peacemaker — fried oysters, house-cured bacon, and Cheddar piled high with lettuce, tomato, pickles, Mama Lil’s Pickled Peppers, and aioli- a dish so delicious that it, along with Matt’s beignets and po'boys, are in the lineup for Eater’s 21 Must-Have Food and Drink Dishes. Really, Seattle? With Lewis’ new Fremont brick-and-mortar spot Restaurant Roux coming soon, you’re just being greedy.