Hey, anyone want to join me for a day of playing hooky and having lunch at the beach? Great, we’ll just stop at this pink roadside shack in Ballard for onion sandwiches and hit Golden Gardens.
Wait, did he just say onion sandwiches? Oh yes, he did.
The pink roadside shack is the Ballard outpost of Paseo, the venerable Fremont sandwich stand. Many of the Caribbean-inspired sandwiches feature thick-cut grilled onions, but about three years ago, the onions cut a solo record: the Onion Obsession sandwich ($5.50) is stuffed with a couple of onions’ worth of smoky, slippery goodness, plus jalapeños, cilantro, garlic sauce and lettuce on a crusty torpedo roll. This may be the best vegetarian sandwich. Ever.
Paseo’s Midnight Cuban Press ($7.75)—roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, banana peppers, grilled onions and cilantro—is a juicy pork classic with a local following that rivals any famous sandwich you could name. And the menu also features plates (chicken thighs, grilled pork, fish and so on, $11–$12), which come with corn on the cob, beans, rice and salad. But as a card-carrying onion person, I know where my loyalties lie.
The Shilshole Paseo is even less of a sit-down affair than the Fremont original, and less crowded. There are a couple of picnic tables and a bar that goes largely unused, since the takeout business dominates. The only downside to this place: If you bite into one of these messy sandwiches in your car before you get to the beach, you may need to buy a new car.
Bottom Line: Paseo’s onion sandwich, $5.50. Perfect for beach picnics—or takeout work lunches, as long as you’re not wearing expensive pants.
Ballard, 6226 Seaview Ave. NW; 206.789.3100
Fremont, 4225 Fremont Avenue N; 206.545.7440