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A Spicy Teriyaki Adventure at Ballard Choice Deli & Grocery

It was an unusual 87-degree Thursday afternoon in Seattle when Denny and Gyoza, both sporting our freshly minted Spicy Teriyaki shirts, set out on a flavorful mission. If you happen to spot these shirts around town, don't hesitate to shout out a hello! Our goal? To review the spicy teriyaki combo from Ballard Choice Deli & Grocery, tucked away at 6415 8th Ave NW.


The first thing that hit us as we entered was the uncanny blend of vibes. Though the venue boasts a menu that promises a delightful lunch, the ambiance is reminiscent of a convenience store, juxtaposing aisles of typical snacky treasures and a plethora of beers with three or four metallic dining tables.


After ordering 2 spicy teriyaki combos, we decided to take advantage of the seating outdoors. Outside, the scene was straight out of a quirky indie film with old hot pot tables and a solitary gentleman deeply engrossed in a hardcover book, punctuated by the occasional sip from a tall can of Bud Light.


We chatted about everything Sounders—Waibel's thoughts, Schmetzer's hints, and that age-old question: Griezmann in rave green, maybe? We also explored the mysteries of the universe, like Denny's curious foot ailment and the ever-baffling idea of morphic resonances.


The looming question: to dine amidst the convenience store charm or to venture forth? Adventure beckoned. So, with our takeout in tow, we found our way to Golden Gardens. Seattle rewarded our decision with a picturesque spot in the shade overlooking the sandy beach with the grandeur of the Olympic Mountains as our backdrop. It’s hard to beat a view like that!

Spicy Teriyaki from Ballard Choice

Onto the food. The gyoza? 4. The teriyaki? Pre-mixed with veggies and rice. Spicy? You bet. Chicken? Lacking. Flavorful? Well...


Denny Verdict

5/10 - While showing promise in pre-season, the teriyaki didn't quite deliver on match day. The experience itself was intriguing, but the dish faltered a bit in the flavor and chicken count department. It certainly was spicy, living up to its name, but perhaps a bit more complexity in the spice profile would elevate it.


Gyoza Verdict

4/10- I just want chicken, rice, a lil bit of spice and a side of cabbage with that sweet lemony sauce to cut through the umami. What all the veggies were doing there I don't know. Who invited them to this? It was confusing to say the least. The sauce soaked through the rice and everything became one-note. Not enough chicken and I don't want to talk about the gyoza.


Final Result

This place had a lot of great online reviews and recommendations and I'm glad it lead us to Golden Gardens because the Olympic Mountains are spectacular on a sunny Seattle day. My eyes were satiated but my stomach felt left out. I had to go find a snack to fill me up after the adventure concluded. 9/20 combined score = 0-0 draw with a lot of shots but none on target.

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