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Tukwila/Southcenter/Kent Good Eats

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Any suggestions for this area for decent eats of the non chain variety? We have a tournament in Sumner for this weekend and will be staying in the Tukwila/Southcenter area from Thursday thru Sunday. All cuisines considered, we are not picky.

Thanks for the help/suggestions.

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  1. Bai Tong is an excellent Thai place, and is a short drive up the hill from Southcenter. Try their gai hor bai toey (an appetizer of chicken thigh meat wrapped in leaves, comes with a molasses-y sauce).

    There used to be a decent Greek place in Kent called Spiro's, not sure if it's still there or not.

    I went to the Melrose in Renton once, and was pretty unimpressed. My steak was decent, but everything else (stale grocery-store rolls, limp vegetables, everything oversalted, etc.) was horrible. It's gotten a lot of good reviews, though, so maybe I just went on a bad night.

    Beyond those two good places, I'm hard-pressed to come up with much that's good, and I grew up down in that area. Mostly you find non-decent eats of the humongous chain variety, particularly near Southcenter. I haven't spent much time down there in years, though, so it's possible that some gems have arisen that I'm not aware of.

    You also might try the Great Wall Mall--it's an Asian mall that's a few years old. I haven't been to any of the restaurants there, but they seem like they'd have a fighting chance at providing some good food.

    Hope that helps.

    1. Urika, Bai Tong is excellent and should be on your short list. On the way to Sumner on 167 (20th street exit) is Brank's BBQ. Truly the best BBQ in the South Sound. (And the only place I recommend for ribs in Puget Sound.) In Sumner, Aversano's offers classic red Italian that merits a visit. The Burger Box in downtown Sumner makes the great American hamburger as it should be made. (Toasted bun, sliced onion, etc.) Their fries and shakes are equally good. The Chinese restaurant at the Great Wall Mall (The Imperial Garden) focuses on Dim Sum. However, their seafood offerings from the menu are exceptional--especially the shrimp dishes. Spiros is still alive and well in old Kent and doesn't lack for business.

      1. Thanks for the tips. A little bit of everything is just the ticket we are looking for

        1. Another vote here for Bai Tong. I drive down from Seattle for their food. Try the Tod Mun Bla/Tod Mun Pla/Tod Mun (however they spell it). Deep fried little fish cakes with a dipping sauce. Divine. I got someone very skeptical about them addicted.

          1. There are few good places in Renton to try: Royal Orchid Thai on Rainier Avenue South is excellent; Fin-N-Bone is a great place for seafood in a "nicer" atmosphere; The Red House next to the dinner train is a great place for tapas and they have a great selection of beer and wine.

            1. Just visited the area and returned to the Midwest last weekend. Sayed across the street from SoutCenter and didn't find much, but did venture to West Seattle (family visit) and would recommend several places. Breakfast at Endolyne Joes (Eat at Joes)near the ferry off of Fauntleroy. Good diner style for a reasonble price near one of Seattle's nice small parks.

              Bar food, Circa on California Ave. Try the soups, different every day but on a recent visit had green curry chicken with pears and apples. Spent time with family at Mission on California with a Seattle take on Soutwest. My daughter and I shared a seafood burritto with black beans, top notch.

              Go down to Alki Beach for the view. Some good, but not great food, but the view of city center is better than any in the city. Local places include Duke's Chowderhouse (various places throughout the city), but the chowder is excellent (try the nortwest style with clams) and the macadamia nut encrusted halibut. Bamboo, Salty's on Alki, etc. The idea is as much about the setting as the food and it doesn't break the wallet. The weather was great as usual, especially for someone from flyover country, and have a great tournament.

              1. When near the airport on Sunday, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Bai Tong had opened a second location on Southcenter Parkway, near ToysRus, just south of the DoubleTree. I had never had a chance to eat at Bai Tong before, and can now understand all the passions expressed for it on this board. I usually try to eat at Noodle Boat in Issaquah when passing through (I live east of the mountains). To compare the two, I would say I still prefer Noodle Boat, but Bai Tong comes in close second. I thought the portions were a bit smaller and the prices a bit higher, but that is understandable when the location is considered. Also in the same strip mall as Bai Tong is a small Japanese restaurant that I can recommend, though I can't remember it's name. I think it starts with an M.

                1. Burien is a straight shot from Southcenter at the end of Hwy 518, and a couple of my favorite restaurants are there on SW 152nd St.

                  La Costa has the best Mexican food I've found in Seattle--which might not be saying much, but this place would hold its own anywhere. Friday nights they have a great mariachi band, too.

                  The other Burien place I recommend is King Wha--really good Chinese.

                  Also, for my money, Teak House just south of Burien in Normandy Park is better than Bai Tong (we live in the neighborhood and have eaten often at both).