112 Lake Street South
Kirkland WA 98033
Vintage Style Meets Modern Tastes
By: Steve G
I don't mean to sound prejudiced, but based on the name of this place we initially thought that Hector's was a Mexican restaurant. We had images of loud music, sombreros and tortilla chips with fresh salsa. Much to our surprise, nothing about Hector's was especially Mexican other than the misleading name. Opting for an art deco, film noir look, Hector's sports a combination of brick walls and dark wood finishes. The antique chandeliers and vintage posters and paintings give it a look that is more akin to some of the steakhouses or jazz clubs around downtown Seattle than any Mexican restaurant we've been to.
Hector's specializes in an American-inspired fusion of many kinds of cuisine. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Hector's caters to people around the clock. At night, the place seems to have the cool air of a hipster hangout making me feel like a beatnik is poised to jump out and do some poetry. Every Wednesday night, Hector's livens up the place with live music from a variety of different styles including jazz, acoustic guitar, and rock, catering to a very diverse crowd.
We ordered the Tilapia Po-boy Sandwich, the Crab Mac and Cheese, and the Beef Stroganoff. Lightly breaded and fried, the Po-Boy portion was just the right size. The fish seemed to be a little scare with the remoulade and bread dominating the sandwich. The cheddar cheese was okay, but if they had been a little more adventurous with the selection of cheese, the sandwich could have truly been excellent.
We've had some success with the Crab Mac and Cheese at some other places and wanted to see how Hector's compared. Grant had some mixed feelings about it since it was served with the crabmeat simply thrown on top, not worked into the dish at all. It had some good textures and flavors, but all in all was not too impressive. The crab chowder Grant ordered as an appetizer was hearty and had a strong smoky taste. While there was crabmeat present, the flavor didn't come out very much.
For those in the mood for something more beefy, try the Beef Stroganoff. Here, it is made with braised tenderloin beef and forest mushrooms in a creamy veal sauce with fresh herbs over a medium helping of penne pasta. The creamy sauce had a strong kick of black pepper that might seem a little strong for some people's tastes. The actual pieces of tenderloin were a cut a little too thin for my tastes, but it was very filling nonetheless.
We had no less than four people serve us here, which I found a little odd. However, they were pleasant and responsive for the most part. Overall, the food and check came with reasonable speed with no major problems.
The value is a different issue. With the chowder priced at $6.25 for a cup and most entres running from $15.00-$20.00, we didn't feel that the price was justified by the quality. However, if economizing is not a priority for you, Hector's does offer a rich dining experience and some quite good food.