photo credit: Nate Watters

Homer review image



3013 Beacon Ave S, Seattle
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Updated December 15th, 2021

Once, we saw someone at Seatac airport eating raw brussels sprouts from a Ziploc as if it were a bag of popcorn. It was pretty traumatizing. Airports are bad enough—we don’t need to see anyone gnawing on mini cabbages while someone else is already clipping their nails into their toiletry satchel.

Vegetables usually taste better when lots of other ingredients are involved (and when they’re not eaten out of a plastic bag). Homer, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant on Beacon Hill, understands this. The vegetables here are as good as a free upgrade to first class.

It’s like a Hidden Valley commercial here, only indoors and with more alcohol. There’s a lively buzz of happy people with glasses of pét-nat in their hands and kohlrabi on their plates who are likely debating whether the pattern on the wallpaper depicts ostriches or emus (we’re pretty sure they’re ostriches). You can smell whiffs of pita baking at all times, and watch the staff strolling around refilling water and giving out samples of homemade soft serve. We’ve never seen so many people with such high vitamin A levels outside of the imagined paradise created by a ranch dressing company.

Though Homer isn’t a vegetarian restaurant, the vegetables outnumber the meat dishes (3:2 to be exact), and are the clear winners of the menu. There’s a grilled beet dish with poppy seeds and a green tahini sauce that made someone we were dining with go from irrationally fearing beets to loving them in a matter of bites. The winter squash with fermented poblanos and fried bread nuggets soaking in a pool of herby almond broth is fantastic, too. And as for the small plates that do involve meat or fish, fresh produce is still the star of the show. Sliced country ham graciously supports a turmeric-y apple salad with walnuts and creamy smoked ricotta. A seemingly-boring wedge of burned cabbage is made exciting by a thin smear of spicy-sweet salmon ’nduja and nutty sesame seeds. That’s right—cabbage can be thrilling.

Homer review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

That said, it doesn’t mean that your most carnivorous friend who merely dabbles in plant-eating won’t love this place too. The meat dishes are satisfying, but we recommend you use them to complement the vegetables, rather than the other way around. There’s a pile of tender lamb ragu on buttery tahini that requires space on your table and real estate on some hot bread. And the roasted chicken that comes with a bright fruit sauce and pita absolutely sopped in jus is phenomenal. We would definitely keep watch of its luggage while it runs into Hudson News for a $40 neck pillow, and then let it have the aisle seat on the flight to Punta Cana.

If you already eat lots of vegetables willingly, you’re going to love Homer. If you only eat them to fulfill your daily quota, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you literally hate the sight of a rutabaga, you’ll still have an excellent meal of meat dishes and things that came out of the ground. Who knows, it might even inspire you to try some raw brussels sprouts afterward.

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Food Rundown

Homer review image

The Spreads And Pita

You should always start your meal at Homer with the spreads. You’ll get a cumin-forward hummus, tangy labneh with roasted tomatoes, and a zesty walnut-squash dip. They’re all great, as is the steaming pita that just came out of the oven.

Homer review image

Lamb Ragu On Tahini

Grab some pita and make a sandwich with this one—it’s our favorite dish under Homer’s roof. The tahini is a little sweet, which plays nicely with the rich and earthy braised lamb.

Raw Apple Salad With Shaved Ham, Smoked Ricotta, Walnuts, Lime, And Pickled Onions

How do you make a raw apple infinitely more interesting? Toss it in turmeric and pair it with smoked ricotta, country ham, lime juice, pickled onion, and walnuts for crunch. Or, you could teach it to juggle flaming batons. But the first option is way easier.

Grilled Cabbage With Salmon ’Nduja, Sesame, Chicharrones, And Blueberries

It’s been a while since we were this excited over a piece of burnt cabbage. However, you need to experience this charred wedge slathered in spicy salmon ’nduja, sesame seeds, chicharron bits, and tart blueberries. It’s almost spooky how fish can take on the flavor of a Calabrian pork-based salami spread, but in this case, it’s fun to be spooked.

Grilled Beets With Pomegranate, Poppy Seed, Cilantro, And Green Tahini

Someone we were with who doesn’t even like beets ate this and promptly exclaimed, “Yum, beets!” We’ll leave it at that.

Winter Squash With Fermented Poblanos, Fried Bread, Herbs, Black Garlic, And Almond Broth

This dish features kuri squash prepped two ways: gently roasted and shaved raw. We could do without the crunchy uncooked strips, but the oven-fired pieces are outrageously good—especially paired with a highly-acidic fermented poblano paste and crunchy croutons swimming in almond broth.

Roasted Chicken With A Chili-Fruit Paste

The chicken is Homer’s best entree. The skin crackles like bacon, the inside is moist and salted perfectly, and the fruit paste is spicy and jammy without overpowering the meat. To top it all off, there’s a pita at the very bottom, soaking up all of the juices to become a Franken-side that’s just as comforting as a mound of mashed potatoes or cheesy grits. This is your order, carnivores.

Homer review image

Lamb Ribs With Pear, Pistachios, & Cumin

You’re better off with the other entrees here, and it’s not because the ribs aren’t great. It’s because they aren’t great every time. Usually, they contain tender bites of excellence that we like to smother in the creamy dill dip that comes with it. But one time, several small bone fragments ended up in our teeth, and another time, there was only about a centimeter’s worth of lamb meat on the bone that was actually edible. Take your chances, or get the chicken and live a beautiful, low-risk life.

Homer review image

Soft Serve Ice Cream

Did you really come here to decline a big, delicious bowl of chocolate and tahini swirl? Do the right thing.

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