I had read several times that the recently opened Huarachitos was the place to go for authentic Mexican fare in Seattle. Having received high praise on Yelp and Urban Spoon, and given Steve and my recent whining about lackluster "Mexican" food, we decided to give it a try.
The restaurant is quite small, but has a lovely open kitchen where all the food is prepared in plain sight. The owner, Anna, greeted us warmly and later confided that they had opened five months ago and she and her husband, the chef, had plans of adding alcoholic beverage service later this summer along with a nice deck outside. (She also has a thing for well-made margaritas and loves tequila, so expect to see them offered soon.)
While looking over the menu, we noticed a few typos. Neither of us would have said anything, but Anna actually pointed it out (along with a mildly embarrassed laugh). She then proceeded to blame her husband and his menu layout program for the errors. It's always the chef's fault, isn't it? She then offered to bring us chips and salsa.
For Guacamole and Chips, Huarachitos really delivers. The verde salsa is quite spicy and has a really tasty green chilies flavor. Steve found it too spicy but did love the sweet and smoky rojo salsa with tomatoes and chipotle peppers. Freshly fried and topped with salt and black pepper, the chips were good enough to eat by themselves! Combined with the chunky, fresh, cotija-topped guacamole, you could easily get carried away and stuff yourself well before any entree arrived.
In response to "What's the best item on your menu?", Anna had mentioned several meat dishes. When asked specifically about a vegetarian dish, she pointed to Huaraches Estilo DF: a handmade, thick, flaky corn tortilla topped with beans, lettuce, cheese, onions, and "mixed vegetables". Steve thought maybe the vegetables were prepared from a frozen mixed veggies bag because it had broccoli and "Who's ever heard of broccoli in Mexican food?" That said, the tortilla was incredibly delicious, the toppings were plentiful and well-cooked, and Steve was quite happy with his choice.
I decided to go for the Gorditas. Both these and the Estillo DF use the same dough base for the tortilla, but the Gorditas are small rounds that are fried then split and stuffed with cotija cheese, shredded chicken, onions, cilantro, and tons of shredded lettuce. Steve commented "That actually looks really healthy" once he saw all the greenery pouring out of the tortillas. These are probably the most delicious "Mexican" item I've ever had. I was dead set on taking one of them home, but after the first few bites it was a lost cause.
Two things of note. First, with both of our entrees (and from what I can see, the rest of the entrees on the menu), there are no ubiquitous "beans and rice" sides on every plate. If you have a voracious appetite, you can always order bean and rice sides for $2 each. Second, they are not yet serving desserts. Anna did mention they intend to start serving flan in a few weeks and possibly a tres leches cake starting this summer. Though, in all honesty, you probably wouldn't have room for dessert anyway.
Overall, I was impressed and will definitely be returning (especially once flan is on the menu).