places we eat: Chavez

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Eight years ago yesterday, I married my favorite person in the world. I like him more now than I did that hot July day, when I thought my heart would burst with how much I love him. Today, that love is deeper, lighter, more pragmatic, and the best part of my life. Marrying Danny was the best decision I ever made. It always will be, for as long as I live.

We celebrate with good food.

Yesterday morning, we didn’t know where we would go for dinner. We have our solid favorites in Seattle but we so rarely have the chance to eat in the city, just the two of us, that we wanted to try somewhere new. I was on a press trip (I’ll share that story with you next weekend) and asked my friends Aran and Ashley where they thought we should go. We talked about all the possibilities in the van as we drove out to a dairy farm in Monroe. In the midst of impassioned discussion of our favorite places, I mentioned I had heard of a new place called Chavez. Fresh Mexican food, chef-owned by a man from Durango, Mexico. The entire menu is gluten-free. Neither of my friends had tried it yet, but a young woman on the trip, Corinna said quietly, “Oh, that place is amazing. We just went and we’re still talking about it.” Corinna has celiac too and a solid common sense. I texted Danny. He remembered that someone who took our bread-baking class had been raving about it. He made reservations.

I cannot tell you how happy we are that we celebrated our anniversary at Chavez.

The food at Chavez is nothing like the melted-cheese-laden tastes of typical Mexican American food. Everything here was bright, clean, made by hand, and astonishing. The chorizo toppled onto the generous soft white beans had been hand cut. The tamales filled with langoustino and crab melted on the tongue, instantly ruining every standard tamale I’ll ever eat again. The shredded beef ribs taco was wonderful. However, the camarones tacos with chipotle crema was truly the best taco I have ever eaten. Danny took a bite then wanted to pound the table it was so good. I asked him to be quiet so I could hear every bite. I held the last bite between my thumb and finger for a long time, just staring at it. My god.

chavez: light and ceviche

chavez: tacos and tamales

Chavez- dessert

I can’t eat gluten. Danny can’t tolerate cream. So each had our own dessert and didn’t share. He said his churros were incredible. I didn’t care. These plantains simmered in sweet milk, smothered in chocolate, and topped with Mexican hot chocolate ice cream? All mine.

The service, the light, the incredible sour-savory non-alcoholic cocktails the bartender concocted for us — they were all remarkable. But underlying all of it was the knowledge that, with the exception of two of the desserts, everything on the menu was entirely gluten-free. I’ve rarely looked at a menu and been dizzied by so many good choices.

I have a feeling we’ll be going to Chavez any chance we get for awhile.

Chavez- menu

1734 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122

10 comments on “places we eat: Chavez

  1. Peggy

    Happy Anniversary to you
    Happy Anniversary to You
    Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary

  2. June

    Thanks for the review! I too, can not have gluten. Plus our dau lives in Seattle so next time we visit her, we will try this restaurant.

  3. Tracy & Kim

    We are suckers for amazing Mexican food — you know, the good stuff like you found. We have our favorite places that serve similarly awesome good in Raleigh, San Jose, and Tulum!!! So glad you guys found a good one. And Happy Anniversary! PS – heading to Contigo tonight!!

  4. Leah Hoffman

    Thank you for the recommendation. We have reservations Sunday at 6:00. So excited to try!

  5. Mary

    Happy anniversary. That is great news in Seattle. We spent a few weeks in June in PNW and that would have been a great choice. Oh well, next time. Again happy anniversary!

  6. Deneen Bowen

    This sounds DELICIOUS! We just moved back to Seattle after living in Luxembourg for 2+ years and the one type of food I have been CRAVING is really good Mexican. It is non-existent in Europe. Old El Paso is as good as it gets. Prior to Seattle and Luxembourg, I also lived in Austin, TX for 8 years, I know good Mexican and I am THRILLED to learn there is a place to go here in my new home!!! Thanks for review.

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