As of November 25, there’s yet another dining option at Pike Place Market: Cycene, serving Southern-inspired breakfast, brunch, and lunch centered around sandwiches and grits bowls.
Cycene, which means "kitchen" in Old English, is the first restaurant for itinerant chef Hassan Chebaro and his wife Patsy Williams. The couple are the only two employees in the restaurant, and they make every ingredient from scratch.
The menu comprises sandwiches like hot ham and cheese (thick cut ham, pimento cheese, Swiss cheese, and pickles) and spicy fried chicken (hot aioli, lettuce, and pickles) as well as grits dishes with ingredients like chorizo, shrimp, collard greens, and red-eye gravy. You can even get succotash as a side. "The food is an homage to my time spent in the south, and a direct reflection of the food that I like to eat," Chebaro says. "I love southern food, I love comfort food, and it's great having a menu that you yourself would want to eat every item of."
Chebaro was born in Texas and spent time in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, and Kentucky as a child. "My family had restaurants when I was a kid so I grew up working in kitchens as free labor," he says. "I've been a cook for most of my life with some breaks here and there doing other random jobs, but I always ended up back in kitchens."
Chebaro’s cooking career also took him abroad to London and Munich. He and Williams lived most recently in Chicago, and decided to move to Seattle after visiting and loving it. Their goal has long been to open their own restaurant.
"We've both been working in restaurants for a long time," Chebaro says. "As much as we liked some of the places we worked in, we wanted a place that was uniquely ours. Every place you work, you have thoughts about how you would do things differently or your own way, and we wanted to be able to take our ideas and make them our reality."
1523 1st Avenue, (206) 617-6838, website. Open Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.