Did you hear?!
Could it be true?! Is this the real deal this time?
The old Paseo is back and has undertaken a new identity as Un Bien. As most Seattlites know, the beloved Caribbean sandwich shop was shut down during the latter part of last year.
Paseo sandwiches were hailed as one of America’s top 10 best sandwiches and Seattlites were proud of that title and the shop that held it. Then, suddenly without warning, we were grasping for hope that the tales of Paseo closing was a lie. Once we finally came to terms that Paseo had closed it was announced that Paseo would reopen under new management with the same staff and same recipes.
Few of us jumped at the opportunity to get our paws on any bit of Paseo that was left. Many of us were hesitant to get our hearts ripped out of our chests once more. Some, such as myself, never even tried the “new” Paseo, but Hung did when he took an out of town friend to try it out. My immediate ask was “So, is it the same?” His response was “It’s good, but it’s not the same.” I was disappointed and decided it wasn’t in my best interest to try the new Paseo.
A couple of weeks ago I started noticing on Facebook that friends were checking in and taking pictures of a place called Un Bien. My boss even mentioned it. I was hesitant, but decided I’d check this shop out. Apparently it was opened under the original Paseo management. Now I had to try it!
Last weekend we made the quick trek North to Ballard. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the original locations. The location is easy to find if you look through the pictures on Yelp. It’s their traditional pink walls with turquoise trim and a giant monkey holding a banana sculpture. The confusing part is that the signage screams out “Burger Hero” above the stand and their logo is no where to be seen until you walk up and see their taped up menu on the board. Nervously I approached the window. There was no line. This is new. I tried to brush it off, maybe people were just cautious at approaching this Un Bien impostor.
Hung and I placed our order for the traditional and infamous Caribbean roast sandwich and tried the roasted corn to sample something new on the menu. Then we waited. The seating area is much more accommodating than the old Paseo shop (as long as you don’t mind sitting outside). About 15 people can fit semi-comfortably on the patio.
Our number was called and now came time for the true test. Before fiercely grabbing at the sandwich, I decided to first try the roasted corn. It was good. I liked it, but not amazing. A little too much cilantro overpowered, but it’s different and still good. Maybe, I’m biased since I’m used to eating Iowa’s sweet corn in the summers. Next, the sandwich.
Did I just call Un Bien an impostor a bit ago? I now renounce that statement. This is what Seattle has been waiting for and it is finally back! The sandwich is perfectly messy and garlic-y in every way. The strands of caramelized onions and bits of delectable meat spilled out over the sides with each bite.
Un Bien is the perfect balance of old and new. The same old recipes that we know and love mixed with updated technology (they now accept credit cards!) Flood the gates Seattle, Un Bien is here and it’s better than ever!
Happy Eating Millennials!
Side Note: After further research I discovered that it was the son’s of the original owner that opened up Un Bien.