Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Seattle, The good

After the wedding Ryan and I flew to Seattle, WA for our honeymoon.  We've always wanted to go there and instead of laying on a beach for a week, thought this would be a great opportunity to explore the city.  This post is about the 'good' places to eat in Seattle.

For breakfasts Voula's Offshore Cafe & Meca Cafe serve up your basic diner fare; hash-browns, eggs, and giant pancakes.  Meca is deffinitely what you call a dive bar, my french toast was nothing special but the atmosphere was very unique.  There were paintings on the walls by a local artists and you could tell when the regulars came in and the waitress greeted them by name and with their usual order.  Voula's was featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri.  Lets just say I have never seen so many hash-browns in my life.  We sat at the counter and watched the cooks crank out mounds and mounds of them, as well as make omelets like crazy. The best time to eat here is when you are really really really hungry.  Ex: After walking for 2 hours because you crossed the wrong bridge and got a little lost on your way to breakfast...

A trip to Seattle would not be complete without coffee, and lots of it.  You might be wondering how many Starbucks we visited?  The answer is NONE!  Except for the cup we shared at the top of space needle where they only brew Starbucks coffee.  For a decent cup of coffee (better than Starbucks) try Uptown Espresso.  They have several locations around Seattle and are apparently famous for their 'velvet foam.'  I can't say anything for their foam since I just had coffee, but if you need a caffeine fix it will get the job done.

 If you are in a hurry or with a group of very indecisive people go to Zeek's Pizza.   They sell pizza by the slice at a great price.  2 slices will set you back about $4.50 and it's not just a choice between cheese and pepperoni.  Each day they also sell one of their original meat creations and an original veggie creation by the slice.  For pizza that was made earlier in the morning and re-warmed, it was quite tasty.

If you are at the market and want a more upscale lunch head to Etta's.  It's owned my Tom Douglas who also owns several other restaurants in Seattle.  After seeing Dahlia, featured on food networks "The best thing I ever ate."  where Giada De Laurentiis gushed over his crab cakes I decided I wanted to try them too.  Let me say the crab cake was quite exquisite.  You could definitely tell it was fried in real butter.  The green chili sauce that came with it was wonderful, I wanted to drink it...  However, the french fries that came with it were really greasy and over salted.  But the asparagus was perfectly cooked, fork tender with a good bit of crunch and still bright green.  Compared to the other seafood Ryan and I ate later during the week, this was not the best.  Ryan's salmon was a little on the dry side, the sautéed mushrooms that were on top almost made up for this though.  All in all it was still a good meal with excellent people watching.

Depending upon what you had for lunch, and how much walking you do I'd recommend The Signature for either supper or happy hour.  Our cashier at REI recommended it to us, and after walking back to our hotel we realized it was only a block from where we were staying.(Mediterranean Inn)  If you go for happy hour, which they are famous for, make sure to try the spring rolls and shrimp kebob.  The guy next to us ordered a bowl of noodle soup, it looked incredible.  I wanted to ask for a bite but figured that would be a little awkward.

For those of you interested in trying different spirits made locally check out the Pike Brewing Company. It's located at the market and besides the usual bar food and of course sea food, they brew their own beer.  I'd recommend going for happy hour and sampling a few beers or drinks; then find a late dinner elsewhere.  Ryan says the stout is excellent.  I tried 2 different types of gin produced in WA distilleries: Cascade Mountain and Voyager.  I had no idea there could be such a difference in taste.

If you are tired of walking around and need a night in, pick up some dinner to go at Metro Market.  It may be just a grocery store but it's as if someone crossed a Whole-Foods with a Publix or Hy-Vee.  They have great options of prepackaged foods made in-store.  As well as a wide variety of hot items on their 'buffet' line.  It will not be the best thing you have ever eaten, but it certainly won't come close to the worst.  I had the chicken mole and Ryan had the chicken enchiladas, but the menu changes daily so you never know what you might get.

Finally, after a day of flying or walking you might get hungry for a late night snack.  If you enjoy old fashioned hamburgers and hand made french fries then Dick's Drive In is the place for you.  Ryan also saw Dicks featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and decided we had to go.  We had no idea it was kitty-corner to our hotel.  The nice thing about Dick's is that there are very few decisions to make.  The Menu is short and they do not take any special orders.  The hamburgers a WAY! better than other fast food chains.  The french fries are hand cut and would have been exceptionally tasty, but we got the tail end of a batch and they were a little limp.
On my next posting I'll be narrowing down to the 'better' places to eat in Seattle.

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