A Delicious Layer Of Melted Cheese Tops These Foods — And Your Food Bucket List

January 3, 2018 8:24pm


Photo via Fire and Scrape Facebook page

Imagine a wheel of semi-soft cheese, flamed until it’s deliciously bubbly, then expertly scraped off onto meat, potatoes, vegetables, sandwiches, and other foods. This is raclette (pronounced “rack-klet”) and there’s only one company in Seattle offering it regularly. Bonus: they’re nearby.

Every Wednesday evening, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., this gooey treat makes an appearance at the Fire and Scrape pop-up shop inside The Whit’s End neighborhood bar on Phinney Ridge.

The raclette tradition goes back more than 300 years, and Fire and Scrape takes efforts to make it an authentic experience.

They import special equipment that holds and melts the cheese, unlike other restaurants that might offer seasonal raclette dishes, but with cheese melted under a standard food service broiler. The cheese, also called raclette (the word can refer to both a dish made with the melted cheese or the cheese itself), is specially sourced semi-soft cheese, aged 60-90 days, and tastes like a cross between Swiss Gruyere and mozzarella. When fired, it develops a salty, crispy rind similar to bacon.

Fire and Scrape has a food truck at the Fremont Sunday Market, and only recently started offering other events. Twice last year, they did formal ticketed events, and in October, started the regular pop-up shop at The Whit’s End.

Dave Pyle, who works with owner Beth Ringland on the cheesy creations, says they’re enjoying the relaxed, family-friendly (kids-allowed) atmosphere and the freedom that comes from having a full kitchen with the pop up.

“We can reduce our prices and get creative with the menu,” he says in a phone interview.

The pop up offers everything on the food truck menu and more, since there’s more space for cooking equipment like fryers. This means ingredients like tater tots are now possible vehicles for the melted cheese, in foods like “Totchos” (tot + nachos).

Other menu options include Steak and Cheese, Apple Pie, and the new Chicken Parmesan Sandwich, and all topped with a generous scrape of cheese (each scrape is about a quarter pound). The menu changes often as they experiment with new combinations. “Anything that needs a lot of melted cheese” is a candidate for future recipes.

Here’s a quick how-to if it’s your first time: order the food directly from the cheese scraping station and your drinks from The Whit’s End bar (the Facebook event for this month’s dates suggests choosing “a lovely Sancerre or IPA”). Think of it almost like a food truck inside a pub, says Dave.

For the uninitiated, a warning: be quick with your food photos, so you don’t miss out on this deliciously cheesy experience. Once scraped, raclette “waits for no one,” says Dave. “It hardens fast, so we encourage people to enjoy it as soon as we serve it to you.”

You can enjoy the Fire and Scrape raclette pop up every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Whit’s End, 6510 Phinney Ave N on Phinney Ridge. First come, first served, no reservations. Kids and dogs welcome.