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August 19, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Need a bite On the Fly? Chris Keff’s got you covered

The e-mail from a colleague came Tuesday afternoon, when I was hunkered down in front of my computer at the Seattle Times office: “On the Fly opened its door today. Just strolled down there to check it out. You should, too.” A half hour later I was on the fly myself, strolling down street to check out the new Flying Fish’s take-out adjunct, as directed.

Flying Fish’s South Lake Union take-out joint, now open adjacent Flying Fish, just off the corner of Westlake Avenue North and Thomas Street.

So, there I was, perusing the goods, including a wall of wine-list-worthy wines to-go (all $18 and under), trying to decide between the shrimp tabbouleh or the tarragon-chicken salad ($4.50/$8.50) and the Frenchified ham, Gruyere and butter sandwich ($7.50) or its Italian counterpart with coppacola, salami and provolone ($6.50).

It’s time to eat. Again. And yes, there’s fried chicken.

As I was considering the merits of Chris’s Thai crab cakes ($8 a pop) vs. her creamy mac and cheese ($5), guess who popped out of the door of Flying Fish’s shared kitchen? Yep: Chris Keff herself.

“You want the big box or the small box?” Small, thanks.

Just about then, a couple of fellas walked in, tooled around and asked, “How long you been open?” “Oh, a few hours,” said Chris. FYI: On the Fly is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and scheduled to add Saturday hours after Labor Day. “We’ll be back,” they said, grabbing a menu to-go.

I left with the Italian sandwich (devoured by Nate an hour later when he got home from camp), some chicken salad (for sandwiches the next day), a bag of pastry chef Jessica Campbell’s rosemary-shortbread cookies (which I’ve been doling out to myself, slowly, in the days since), and a box of France’s famous Le Saunier de Carmargue fleur de sel to add to my salt collection (a perfect hostess-gift, in the event you need one says me).

A good cook can never have too many kinds of salt.

Anyway, as my friend Ken said, “Check it out!” And, in case you were wondering, Chris isn’t the only iconic Seattle chef to have opened a take-out joint this week. Stay tuned for my take on Tom Douglas’s new Seatown Snack Bar To Go, adjacent his latest, Seatown Snack Bar, which made its debut next door to Etta’s on Monday.

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