The Fourth of July might be greeted by some Seattleites with a sense of unease. Waving a bunch of U.S. flags around is viewed as somewhat gauche bordering on problematic, full-throated nationalism sets our liberal guilt-o-meters a-flutter, and the meat-centric nature of the holiday is a bummer for all the vegetarians and vegans out there.
We can get through this together, everyone: Read an op-ed that talks about how bad the United States actually is, avoid the suddenly controversial domestic macrobrews, and remember that you can support local businesses without supporting the U.S. military-industrial complex. Here are some ways to eat delicious food while celebrating the Fourth while not thinking too much about what it all means:
Class up your barbecue
A lot of people prefer grilling and chilling to a restaurant experience on the Fourth, but there are ways to level up your backyard get-together. The sourdough scholars at Sea Wolf are selling burger and hot dog buns available for pre-order now — but fair warning, you have to make those pre-orders at least three days in advance.
Westward is offering a picnic kit that includes ancho lime peanuts, a shrimp po’ boy, a halibut sandwich, and assorted crackers and cheeses and dips. (It’s $100 and feeds three to four.) You can also get a dozen shuck-your-own oysters with mignonette and lemon for $24, knife sold separately. If you’re looking to just get some high-end dead animals for grilling, check out Lady Jaye in West Seattle, Beast and Cleaver in Ballard, and the Butcher’s Table in Westlake.
Go big on firework-watching
Not everyone likes being outdoors on the Fourth. Have you heard of bugs?? For our indoor cats, there are a few high-end locations where you can view the fireworks with a drink in your hand.
First, do you want to drop $200 at Bellevue’s most wildin’ out high-rise restaurant? Ascend Prime, which looks like where supervillains have dinner (in a good way), is throwing itself a fifth birthday party for the Fourth running from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. That $200 ticket gets you access to a bunch of “culinary stations” where chefs will be serving a total of 20 menu items, plus cocktail drink tickets and a Champagne toast. And its location on the 31st floor means you’ll get a “prime” view of Bellevue’s firework display.
On the cheaper end, the Mountaineering Club in the University District is selling $25 tickets to its rooftop shindig, where you can view both Seattle and Bellevue’s fireworks. Tickets get you access to “snacks,” and you can buy hot dogs and ice cream from Bigfoot Long’s. There will also be cocktail specials, Jell-O shots, etc. Tickets are available via Resy.
MBar in South Lake Union — home to one of the city’s most scenic rooftop patios — is hosting a prix fixe menu on July 4 featuring the Levantine flavors the restaurant is known for (jawns include saffron popcorn, halloumi drizzled with pomegranate molasses, and beer-braised lamb ribs). Unfortunately the regular $125 tickets are sold out, but you can still score “premium” seating, which means you’re paying like, $1,500 for a table for five or $5,000 for a fire pit area that seats 10. You can book through MBar’s website.
Grab some treats
On the more casual end of the spectrum, a lot of bakeries are rolling on the red, white, and blue baked goods. Cupcake Royale is doing a patriotic cupcake, Mighty-O Donuts is featuring a vanilla glazed doughnut with red and blue stripes, and Trophy Cupcakes has a whole section of its website devoted to July Fourth–themed sweets.