report on washington (state)
- Sandy Paik
just a quick note...thanks for the tips on eating in
washington! the best was the Flying Fish on 1st
Avenue in Belltown. I had a succulent foie gras and
sea scallop followed by a wonderful grilled mahi mahi
with sauteed mushrooms and whipped sweet potato.
re: Gary Cheong
A couple friends took me to Etta's Seafood, which you
also mentioned. I had seared tuna which was pretty
good, but not fabulous. the ahi tuna sashimi
appetizer someone else had was excellent, so fresh!
they also had fresh locally caught prawn, but it was a
special that day, so I can't vouch for the regular
I also hit Obachine, where I love the oyster appetizer
there. It is very lightly fried and coated in sesame
seeds and comes with a delicious sauce made from
cilantro, sake, soy sauce (?), sesame oil and several
other things i cannot think of off the top of my
head. and we also had a whole rockfish (I think) that
was broiled or braised in a sweet sauce that
definitely had soy sauce and probably some sake in
it. very tender and perfectly seasoned.
And a most noteworthy quick fix came out of Pike Place
Market shop called Piroshky Piroshky. So delicious!
Is there anywhere around here that makes it?
I only had a couple of days, so that was all I managed
to squeeze out of them. There was also this Bakery
next to Piroshky Piroshky whose name escapes me, but
they had really good brioche and tarts, and the breads
looked pretty good, though I did not have a chance to
I stayed upstairs from this restaurant that supposedly
has some of the best steak in the area called El
Gaucho, but I did not have the chance to try it, how
could I? There was so much wonderful fresh
Oh, and last but not least, I went by Chukar Cherries,
which had yummy snacks. Different types of dried
berries and also chocolate covered cherries that
really make my day.
Rural washington doesn't have too much to offer in
terms of food other than good standard diner fare.
But it is the real thing, which I do, I admit, love
re: Sandy Paik
Thanks for filling us in on more of your trip.
Yeah, Chukar Cherries are pretty awesome. I can never
get enough of them. When I first visited Seattle in
1991, I went by the stand at Pike Market every single
day. Now I get them mail order a couple of times a
year. My favorite is the dried Rainier cherries, and
I think very soon you can order the fresh Rainiers.
Next time you go back there, make sure you go eat at
re: Gary Cheong
I tried ALL the samples they had out and loved them!
I also loved the truffle chocolate cherries (which I'm
savoring right now)....and yes, you guessed it, i put
my name down on the mail order catalog list in a
I will definitely try Rovers next time i am out
there. Where is it and what kind of food and what did
you eat out there in seattle?
re: Sandy Paik
The address for Rovers is :
2808 East Madison St.
Ph : (206) 325-7442
It is not in the downtown area, but a few minutes
drive out on Madison St. I consider the chef Thierry
Rautureau the best in Seattle. He's a crazy French
guy with a wicked sense of humor. I would say his
food is modern French, using North Western ingredients.
I recommend you leave yourself in his hands and order
the tasting menu. Pay whatever it costs, it is worth
Also read my post about Victoria, BC . That's a side
trip you can take also when you are in Seattle.
re: Gary Cheong
I noticed the post on victoria right after i responded
to yours on this one, and thought to myself that you
must've spent some time in that area! I would've gone
to victoria if i had been out in the pac NW longer,
but since i spent so much time hiking, my
culinary/urban pac nw experiences were cut short.
p.s. i finally stumbled across the penang you
mentioned in chinatown two days ago. it's just
starting to go too far. to my sorrow, i'd say it's
officially a chain now...unfortunately
re: Sandy Paik
Just in case your next trip to Seattle is more
culinary and urban instead of hiking, here's a trick I
use to get to Victoria and Sooke, BC quickly.
First, ditch your rental car in Seattle. The ferry
that takes both you and your car to Victoria takes too
long (4 1/2 hours, I think) and I found the schedule
inconvenient. You burn most of your day this way.
Call the Victoria Clipper. It has high speed
catamarans that take you to Victoria's Inner Harbour
in either 3 or 2 hours, depending on the boat. It
leaves Seattle harbor at Pier 69 early in the morning.
Ask for the special advanced purchase rate (about $80
roundtrip) -- only catch is that it is non-refundable
and you can't change anything, so STAY ON SCHEDULE.
Also reserve a rental car in Victoria. Only one
company has shuttle vans to meet you when you clear
customs -- I believe it's Dollar Rentacar. Use them,
or you have to find your own way to the others.
Rentals should be about US$30 - $35 a day. Return car
in Victoria before taking catamaran back to Seattle.
Thanks for the tips (again and again!). Victoria was
actually on my list of things to do out there, but I
just ran out of time (go figure). Actually, the
Victoria Clipper pier was straight down the hill from
where I stayed. I will definitely take your advice
next time around, including the rental car!
re: Sandy Paik
I realize that it's been a long time since anyone added anything new about Washington restaurants, but I'm new to this web site, and thought I would add this brief suggestion. Check out Western Avenue below the Pike Place Market (north of Madison). Wild Ginger is an excellent Asian-fusion restarurant. Also check out the Spanish Table for a good assortment of Spanish cheeses, olives, and meats, and a big collection of Spanish wines downstairs. For high end eating in Seattle, I had a terrific meal at Fuller's in the Sheraton Hotel last time I was there. There are tons of other good places. I lived in Seattle for 21 years (1972-1993), and still get up there five or six times a year. So if anyone wants more info, I'd be happy to oblige.
re: Tom Armitage
Hey, I just found this site thanks to my bro who lives in Walla Walla. I live in Pasco, the center of a culinary wasteland, which also happens to be located in the wettest, dreariest desert on earth (in my somewhat informed opinion). One of my fond memories is a trip to the Harrisburg, PA area when a colleague asked me, "Ken, do you eat to live, or do you live to eat?" This was after I had dragged him and the rest of the party to a number of different venues looking for (and finding) tasty food in the Harrisburg area. So I do qualify as a chowhound. In my work I've traveled frequently to the D.C. area, Beijing, Seoul, North Korea, and Russia. I've even had business trips that included Europe and one memorable 4-day stretch in France with the aforementioned bro.
There is good food east of the mountains in WA, but It's not nearly as easy to find as on the west side. In the Tri-City area, aside from the homes of some gifted friends, there isn't much. The Mandarin House in Richland has pretty good Chinese food (Mongolian beef if you're there for lunch) and Apollo has decent Greek food with generous portions. Taking a large group there is a disaster as the service can't keep up. King and I has reasonable Thai cuisine, but you can do just about as well at Thai Spices which is located in a Conoco gas station! Kinnori, an Indian restaurant also co-located with a Conoco gas station, is pretty good as long as you stick with ingredients readily available in Tri-Cities (don't order the goat). A major shame is that we don't have any Mexican restaurants that are worth going to unless you count the little taqueria wagons in East Pasco where the food can be heavenly or hazardous and you won't know until later.
Further afield in E. WA go to Greystone or Birchfield Manor in Yakima. For more of a snack, Grant's brewpub is excellent. Gasperetti's used to be on the top list, but my last meal there wasn't quite up to snuff.
In the Spokane area, go to Luna. I don't know Spokane very well (my son always wants to go to Azteca), but you won't be sorry if you go to Luna. My bro was impressed with the wine list and we all raved over the food. Not cheap, but go to Luna.
re: Ken Ames
A few things...first, since you know Korea so well, check out the awesome Korea threads on the General Topics board. Lots of great info, people chiming in from Seoul, etc.
Also, would love to discuss Harrisburg area with you...check out our Pennsylvania message board.
Sorry it's such a wasteland up there (though you can use these boards as a resource for your travels); hopefully we'll be able to recruit more chowhounds from near you so you guys can commiserate on the paucity of fine chow...or maybe hip each other to hidden treasure. Hey, if there's a Filipino nabe, you could at least have halo-halo in Walla Walla. Which reminds me...do insiders just call it "Walla"?
re: Ken Ames
In response to the understandable but a bit misinformed vision of Eastern Washington -- there IS great food there! In Spokane alone -- go to Mizuna for fresh, fabulous gourmet vegetarian; Niko's for traditional Greek with a great wine list; The Winged Lion for continental, and the little hotel itself is a recently restored turn-of-the-century gem; Fugazzi, and its sidekick the Cavallino Lounge for cocktails, both are in the Hotel Lusso, a small, hip hotel in the heart of downtown. Someone mentioned Luna , YES, but there is also PAPRIKA -- you HAVE to check it out, on South Grand. And Patsy Clark's Mansion in the old Brown's Addition neighborhood. There's more: Check out an article in Northwest Palate Magazine this month (3/00) on Spokane...gives all the skinny on Spokane. (My hometown!)
Then, of course, there's Beverly's in Couer d'Alene, Idaho, right on the lake. Curtis Smith (an old friend) does a great job, and they got a Wine Spectator award of Excellence last year (not that that means a WHOLE lot, but hey) .
Eat well in Eastern WA, where it is always sunny, and the wine country calls! (Call me prejudiced...)