Restaurants: Creative, Resilient, Customer-Focused

Woman serves food to customer.

It’s no secret that Burien is a dining and libation destination. Known as a “foodie paradise,” you can find an array of ethnic cuisines, beloved bakeries and breweries, and even several meal preparation and delivery service businesses. Many of our local establishments have had to make adjustments to how they operate as a matter of survival for both their business and their families. The following are just a few of the many stories we could tell about our eateries and the innovative and resilient owners behind them.

El Cabrito

After operating two food trucks in the Seattle area for many years, Artemio and Lety Coria opened El Cabrito in 2019, a restaurant specializing in Oaxacan cuisine.

During the pandemic, the Corias quickly expanded their outdoor dining area in the front of the restaurant as well as placed additional tables behind the restaurant.

The Corias were already using nearly all compostable materials for their food packaging, making it easier for them comply with Burien’s new compostable food packaging ordinance which goes into effect January 1, 2021. Asked why her business chose to use nearly all compostable materials, Lety said the goal was to reduce waste. Holding her four-year old daughter, she added, “What kind of place are we going to leave our children?”

Location: 14631 Ambaum Boulevard, Burien

Hours: Sunday–Thursday 11:00 a.m.–8:30 p.m., Friday–Saturday 11 a.m.–9 p.m

Woman packages food.
Lety Coria, co-owner of El Cabrito, packages food for a customer. Photo credit: City of Burien/Amanda Snyder.

Frankie’s Bistro

While celebrating their fifth anniversary, Frankie’s B-Town Bistro–an Italian restaurant in downtown Burien–was busy making significant investments remodeling inside and outside their restaurant to create a safe dining experience for their customers. These changes were made as a result of surveying their customers to learn what would make them feel safe in returning to the restaurant.  

Frank comes from a family legacy with fresh food. His family sold produce at Pike Place Market as early as 1928. Frank and his wife Sue opened Frank’s Quality Produce in 1979, and the Burien restaurant followed. Recognized for their warm hospitality, earlier this year Frankie’s was awarded Discover Burien’s 2020 Best of Burien for Best Customer Service and Best Restaurant. Frankie’s also delivered meals to feed health care workers at St. Anne’s Hospital.

Location: 653 152nd SW Street, Burien

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, noon–9:30 p.m.

Maven Meals

Maven Meals is a prepared meal delivery service and retail storefront that has been based in downtown Burien for the last seven years. Even before the first public health restrictions were issued, many companies had already sent their employees to work from home. Maven Meals experienced a huge rise in orders for their prepared foods and services.

Maven Meals not only scaled up to meet the increased demand, but also took the opportunity to put their existing infrastructure to work for the community. They employed several locally displaced food service workers, and partnered with a delivery company whose previous operations had become idle during the pandemic. They also partnered with small food vendors whose distribution chains had halted to give them a sales and distribution channel for continuing their business through the Maven Meals website. Maven Meals was recognized for their innovative business practices and growth in an article in the July issue of Forbes. 

Recognizing the important role that health care workers play in caring for our community, Maven Meals provided a way for community members to sponsor meals for local health care workers through their website.

Heidi Finley, Maven Meals founder and CEO, said, “Maven Meals is honored to be in a position to help make staying home and staying healthy easier while bolstering the local economy through continued community partnerships.”

Location and hours: While the storefront is currently closed to the public, orders can be placed via their website at mavenmeals.com. Maven Meals has since expanded food delivery service to Kent and Bainbridge Island.

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