It’s probably a good sign for a new restaurant when people cry tears of joy upon entering the place. That is what is happening over at Hummingbird – A Juice Joint. Let me back up a bit and give you some context.
Back around the 90’s, there was a place on Capitol Hill (and another in Belltown) called Gravity Bar. Here’s what was going on there: Ultra modern atmosphere. Super-happening clientele, meeting for lunch, first dates, or just checking out the scene. Sexy, badass women & men hustling to whip up healthy plates of food. Vegetables, fruits and wheatgrass running at a constant whir through industrial juicers, yielding mysterious day-glow elixers that looked jewels and tasted like the sun. I had my first shot of wheatgrass juice there. And they had this other juice shot called “The Dragonslayer”: Lemon, ginger, garlic and cayenne. It was the perfect defense against an oncoming cold or a waning hangover. Gravity Bar made healthy food seem so much cooler than any other place I had been before. The food was delicious and made you feel good.
It was a sad day in Seattle when Gravity Bar closed its doors. People lamented online, looking for other places that could fill that spot in their hearts. Where could we get a fresh juice and simple, steamed vegetables with brown rice and tahini sauce, all while enveloped in a beautiful, kind-of-edgy atmosphere? There have certainly been some amazing places like that around town since Gravity Bar, and I love them, but nothing in Ballard.
How can that be, anyway? Lots of healthy people live over here, and lots of cool people too. There’s been all kinds of Red Rover between Capitol Hill and Ballard in recent years, with successful places from one neighborhood popping up in the other. Sometimes people call Ballard a place where Capitol Hill people go to buy a house and have a kid (ahem). Anyway I think that our neighborhood has the potential to support an uber-healthy place that is also hip.
So finally, here we are! I was walking by on Market Street with my daughter and her friend and there it was: Hummingbird – A Juice Joint. They piped KEXP outside, so folks in outdoor seating could enjoy the music. Inside was spacious, airy, bright. Beautiful and friendly people greeted us, made us some perfect juice, joked around with us.
Wheatgrass grew near the juicer, ready for healing action.
Turns out the owner used to work at Gravity Bar. Of course! That is why the vibe has that familiar–yet its own unique–vibe. When I perused the menu and saw that the “Dragonslayer” shot was available (now called “Tiny Thunder”), that’s when the emotions became too much for me. I was, quite embarrassingly, getting choked up. One of the women who works there mentioned that someone else came in and started crying. I totally get it.
Since yesterday I’ve gone back for lunch and enjoyed a lightly dressed Kale Niçoise.
I’m looking forward to trying many items on the menu, such as the Rainbow Wrap (you can choose between whole wheat tortilla or collard green to do the wrapping)
or the Strawberry Fields salad. As I sat there enjoying the music, the food, and the pleasant, breezy atmosphere, I saw a steady stream of people come in—a musician, a biker, lots of healthy people, lots of hipness and lots of realness. It was delightful! I can’t believe my luck. After I ate my lunch and enjoyed my vegetable juice I felt refreshed, satisfied, and--most definitely--sexier.
A few things that Hummingbird has that even Gravity Bar did not: potentially family friendly atmosphere, almost all organic ingredients, and wi-fi(!). Something tells me I’m going to be a regular there.