A trip to the museum is about to become a Seattle dining destination. Off the Rez Cafe — the permanent spinoff of the popular food truck serving acclaimed Native American cuisine since 2011 — will open at the newly revamped Burke Museum on the University of Washington campus Saturday, October 12. The outpost will feature the truck’s signature fry breads, served either solo or with a variety of savory and sweet toppings, along with other items.
On the all-day menu, customers will find fluffy fry bread tacos topped with scrambled eggs, bacon, and chipotle slaw for breakfast, and chili and 12-hour smoked pulled pork for lunch and dinner, as well as vegan and dessert options. There will also be drip coffee, espresso drinks, cold brew, and tea served, all inside a striking space with seating for around 30 and a pivoting window-wall that allows for both indoor and outdoor dining
Owners Mark McConnell and Cecilia Rikard make their flavorful breads by hand, taking the traditions from McConnell’s mother, who grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana. In expanding the breadth of its offerings and providing a fuller scope of Native American cuisine, the new cafe will also have some precolonial foods on the menu, including wild rice bowls with braised bison.
The setting seems to fit perfectly. Tracing its roots back to the 1800s as the oldest museum in Washington, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (reopening Saturday as the new Burke Museum) holds sizable collections of Northwest and Alaskan art and has a Native American advisory board. Off the Rez Cafe plans to provide some catering to events at the facility, but museum tickets are not required to enter the restaurant.
Grand opening weekend is this Saturday through Monday, from 10am to 5pm. The cafe will then be open on weekdays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.