3416 Fremont Ave N
Man, this place has been getting some irrational hate! And that’s coming from me, America’s Premier Purveyor of Irrational Hate ™. After reading the bizarrely aggro comments about Homegrown in the Voracious comments section, I felt compelled to make a trip out to Fremont. Everyone loves to stare at a train wreck, especially if there are lots of severed heads rolling about on the ground like billiard balls, and tons of blood and guts everywhere, and piles of gross crap all over, detached fingers, maybe a couple slimy coils of intestines, and also lots of heavily damaged rail cars. And I wanted to taste the train wreck for myself (note: an actual train wreck tastes like metallic, bloody diesel fuel mixed with Arby’s).
Well I’ve got news for you, especially for the guy in the Voracious comments section who kept talking about how crude the palates of Seattleites are: this place is actually pretty fucking tasty. The flank steak sandwich ($9.95) had slices of grilled steak AND Portobello mushrooms, which basically counts as 1.5 kinds of meat. The condiments included bleu cheese, caramelized onions, mixed greens, and chimichurri sauce (officially the second funniest South American word after “Titicaca”). The chimichurri sauce seemed more like pesto, but what the fuck: I don’t actually know what chimichurri sauce is anyway. The flavors worked well together. The steak had a great grilled flavor, and the Portobello, with its subtle undercurrent of umami, was an interesting component. The greens remained crisp, and the sweet onions balanced out the bleu cheese tang. This was a hearty fucking sandwich, and if there’s anything that restores my faith in humanity, it’s a well constructed sandwich. Fuck the Pyramids. Fuck the Apollo Program. The sandwich is man’s greatest achievement.
The crab cake and bacon sandwich wasn’t as great. For $11.95 you get a crab cake, topped with bacon, avocado, and greens, on a brioche roll. The crab cake itself was quite tasty, with very little filler. The avocado was smooth and creamy, and the roll was fresh, soft, and as eggy as good brioche should be. But there was one problem. When I saw the sandwich’s description on the menu board I did a quick mathematical proof and sure enough, I verified the following differential sandwich equation:
as crab cake approaches bacon, flavor approaches shitty
For those of you with no background in calculus, that equation is available in an already differentiated form, where I’ve solved for “flavor:”
Bacon + Crab Cake= Shitty
I was hoping my equation would turn out to be false, because if true it would be the most terrifying mathematical proof ever encountered by man, even more horrific than the non- Euclidean geometry of Cthulu’s undersea palace. The following sentence is the hardest I have ever had to type, and I’m crying right now writing this. And it isn’t a dignified restrained Yankee WASP-y kind of cry where the tears silently roll down my cheeks and I dab at them with a silk handkerchief, but a full- on bawl, with snot bubbles popping out of my nose and lots of punching pillows and kicking at the air. As much as this seems like heresy (sob), the bacon seemed like the problem to me. It was good bacon but the smoky sweet flavor seemed out of place. I never thought I’d say it but they didn’t need to put bacon on this sandwich. There, it’s out in the open now. I can start to heal.
Each sandwich comes with your choice of South Carolina slaw (which is like regular slaw but more racist), apple- fennel slaw, something suspiciously called “Moroccan Carrot Slaw,” or a pickle. Since pickles are for fags we got the apple- fennel slaw and the Moroccan carrot slaw. The apple fennel was really good: crisp, sharp, floral, and sweet. The Moroccan slaw wasn’t very good. It wasn’t sweet enough, and in fact was bitter, just as bitter as all those Moroccans who can’t find a job in France. So I guess the name was pretty descriptive after all.
Finally, the rutabaga and parsnip fries ($4.95) had an interesting batter which I think had a touch of cinnamon in it. The fries themselves were okay, maybe a bit soggy. I probably would’ve liked it better if they were thinner and crispier. But I like the idea of seasonal fries made of different vegetables. When can we get some Brussels sprouts fries?
Homegrown is a great addition to the Fremont Sandwich Renaissance. I used to work in that neighborhood and until recently your lunch options were basically all Thai, all the time. It isn’t fine dining, but it’s not trying to be. Sure, their goal of only using local, seasonal ingredients is pretty ambitious, but at least they’re fucking trying something. Homegrown is a sandwich shop with a master’s thesis.
If the troll- filled comments on Voracious’s message board are to be believed, it sounds like Homegrown might be having a problem with one of their suppliers. BIG FUCKING DEAL. Every new business encounters a few snags when it first opens. Get over it. Or don’t, but don’t complain about it to me. Take your complaints to Lou Ferigno instead, because he’s deaf and can’t hear you anyway. And if he DOES somehow hear your complaints about Homegrown, he’ll just kick your ass because he’s super tough and he can’t stand to hear a perfectly good sandwich get disparaged by a douchebag.
Having been on both sides of the irrational hate fence, as both a supplier and receiver of hate, I can sympathize with these guys. So I’m awarding their rating ONE BONUS POINT for enduring senseless complaining. That’s right, bitches.
Rating 6.5 trolls out of 10