Rachel Marshall knows her audience. The ginger beer goddess with an eye for hip design—and penchant for creepy-cool anthropomorphic animal murals—has officially opened Rachel’s Ginger Beer’s University Village location. Like her other shops, you’ll find a menu of creative ginger beers (look for the U Village-specific tangerine-and-turmeric flavor) available on their own, in cocktails or poured over a small mountain of vanilla soft serve. Cocktails have got to stay, but growlers are available to go. Moms desperate for a 3 p.m. Moscow mule: Rejoice!
The major news here, though, for anyone (like myself) who spends far too much time at the outdoor shopping mall is that this RGB features a small window from which magicians (or just friendly servers) produce Ma’ono fried chicken sandwiches. The original business plan called for an outpost of Sunset Fried Chicken Sandwiches just like the Capitol Hill location; when Monica Dimas pulled out of this spot and the Portland location that opened a couple of months ago, Marshall looked to fill the void—with more fried chicken sandwiches. Portland food cart Boke Dokie moved their Asian-inspired fried chicken sandwiches there, while Mark Fuller of Ma’Ono took on the U Village spot as a destination to serve the hot chicken sandwiches he’s mastered at his West Seattle restaurant. Clearly, ginger beer and fried chicken were made for each other.
The menu is limited, though you don’t need more: hot fried chicken (I recommend medium for a good flavor-heat ratio) served in a sandwich or as kid-friendly boneless strips, mac ‘n’ kimcheese (his proprietary queso/kimchi mashup) plus a couple other sides, a few delightful salads, banana pudding for dessert. Service is fast, even when the shop is busy. And though there’s plenty of seating, take-out is available as well.