Sam's Pitt II has opened at the corner of NE 4th St and Olympia Ave NE in Renton. It's a takeout only, hole in the wall BBQ joint a few blocks east of Renton Technical College, and directly across from Vince's Coffee.
They'd just had a health department inspection shortly before I arrived, so that had delayed some things from being ready, so the Mac and Cheese wasn't out yet, and the ribs could've used just a little longer in the smoker. But the brisket was absolutely awesome, the chicken was superb, and the collard greens were perfect. Lemon cake is made in house. Up until about a year ago, another BBQ joint existed a couple of blocks east and across the street, Bill's Bodacious. Bill's is gone, along with their odd, almost Asian, sweet BBQ sauce, but Sam's Pitt II fills the bill admirably. They're open 10-9 daily except Monday.
Santa Fe Mexican Grill is open at 1170 Sunset Boulevard NE in Renton, in the former Herfy's location. It's Guadalajara style Mexican food, and it's solid, competent food. Service is friendly, and the guacamole is one of a kind ( and fabulous). The menu is more similar to La Hacienda and Torero's than it is to Habanero's on Rainier. Good, solid, but not exotic. Everything on the menu will seem familiar. Which is fine for most people, but not if you're looking for a brain taco.
And the Lakeside Bistro, 11425 Rainier Ave S, Seattle 98178 ( just past the Renton city limits, across from the north end of Renton airport) has a vegetarian menu in addition to the regular menu. Not just a few tofu dishes, but fauxs. Faux beef, faux chicken, faux halibut, and faux prawns. I had the wok seared faux prawns, and damn if they didn't resemble and taste like the real thing. Not enough so that I thought they made a mistake in the order, but a very reasonable and tasty facsimile. Where else can you get faux halibut and Kansas City style BBQ ribs? The ribs aren't faux. I'd like to see them try. They'd probably come up with something more riblike than McDonald's McRib sandwich, which evidently does contain actual rib meat, though it tastes more like plastic. Maybe I should have taken the wrapper off.