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Jan 17, 2007 08:28 PM

Seattle eats and football watching this weekend

One Boston CHer and her partner in crime visiting Seattle this past MLK weekend just for the heck of it.

Fri: late sushi dinner ('round midnight) at Umi Sake House because it was open late and we were staying close to Belltown. Cool interior (usually not impressed by decor, but come on, we live in staid Boston!), friendly service. Got 4 rolls - spicy tuna, salmon, yellow fever (can't remember and not listed in on-line menu), and spicy cassidy (yellowtail, jalapeƱos, cucumber, topped with salmon & avocado). Rather trendy, I know, and definitely not purist type of sushi/rolls, but delicious nonetheless. Anyway, it hit the spot after a long flight, along with a couple of cold draft Sapporo.


Light breakfast at the Crumpet Shop in Pike Place (we both got salmon on warm, fluffy, lightly toasty crumpets). Perfect way to start the day.

Forgettable lunch at FX McCrory's Oyster House in Pioneer Sq. We were looking around Pioneer Sq and wanted a quiet place to grab lunch and catch the Colts-Ravens game, so we went in. Both had okay salmon sandwiches with pesto on a baguette type roll (he really liked his...guess I'm pickier). Was fine football food and the beer was nice and cold (Manny's IPA). Fries left something to be desired.

Happy Hour at Fun Kun Wu in the back of Thaiku in Ballard - Seattlites must be weary of it by now, but we found it quite neat! Menu was tempting and food looked good.

Dinner at Flying Fish. We sat at the bar - attentive bartender who steered us towards the salt and pepper Dungeness crab. Also split the sister-in-law mussels. The crab was delicious and so much fun to get our hands into! He is an experienced blue crab eater and he finds blue crab to be sweeter, but also had fun cracking that crab open and getting huge chunks of meat out. The accompanying sesame noodles were rather pasty and forgettable. One drawback to this dish - we both woke up with VERY dry mouths...we guessed it was due to the seasoning on the crab.


Brunch on Queen Anne Hill at the 5 Spot. They are featuring a "Chicago" theme right now. What a fun spot and definitely less touristy than I expected. We sat at the lunch counter to catch the start of the Seahawks-Bears game. Great waiter/bartender - got a delicious, pulpy Bloody Mary, decent coffee. He had the huevos rancheros (eggs with fresh salsa, tomatillo sauce, black beans, tortillas). I'm not an egg eater and even I was nearly tempted. I had the hash browns and multi-grain toast (I'm not a breakfast person) which were both fine. Sat next to a nice guy who is from the Boston-area and recommended Floyd's for a NE Patriots-friendly crowd.

Not much to report from Floyd's other than we ordered nachos to help soak up beer.

Dinner at Wasabi Bistro in Belltown. Pretty awful. Not a single roll seemed fresh (maybe our faults for eating sushi on a Sunday night). We ate all 4 of our rolls and weren't ill or anything...just a very disappointing meal. The free jazz trio was nice, though.


Took ferry over to Bainbridge Island and ate at a Mexican place, Isla Bonita. What were we thinking? We both expected fresh, So-Cal style Mexican for some reason and instead had one of the largest meals we've had in a long time. I had the fish tacos - 3 tacos to an order and they were big. He had the seafood burrito which came out swimming in melted processed cheese. Both came with the usual sides - rice, refried beans, guac, sour cream. Too much food, but we dislike throwing out food. Uncomfortably full for the rest of the afternoon.

Stopped by Joe Bar in Cap Hill to get out of the cold...lo and behold, they have free wireless! Had a couple of glasses of wine and just sat and chilled for over an hour, unharrassed, enjoying the Stereolab being played. Friendly folks at the counter, too.

Wanted to check out West Seattle, so we went to Elliott Bay Brewery. Another disappointing meal. Forgettable Dungeness crab cake sandwich for him (and he'll eat anything) and an overcooked, seared tuna sandwich for me. We weren't expecting much and in return something even worse than that. Beer was okay - house brewed IPA. The server was really a pain in the butt, too. We sat right near the kitchen and bathrooms, which normally wouldn't bother us so much, but she kept rushing us through the whole meal (we were there around 730pm - what was the hurry?) making the whole experience even worse.

So some good meals, some not-so-good, but I think we could've been more discriminating. Our overall experience was a great one - what a fun, cool city! We will be back, Seattle!

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  1. glad you had a pretty good time. just wondering though, why were you expecting the 5-spot to be touristy? it's definitely a lot of locals.

    take care.

    1. alice, next time you and your honey are in town try the Icon Grill or Crave. Two very different places, but neither is a chain and both serve great food. BTW, I love your town. Have had wonderful food there!

      1 Reply
      1. re: firecracker

        Icon Grill is owned by Applebee's. It used to be pretty good. The last few times I was there (most recently in late December) it was downright horrible. Even my non-foodie family hated it.

      2. I guess I was expecting it to be touristy because that is what happens in Boston - take a beautiful 'hood with great views/homes and it becomes tourist central (a la Beacon Hill). Glad to be proven wrong.

        Crave was on my short list but we just never made it over there but went by a couple of times during the weekend.

        We can't wait to return to the NW!

        1. The Elysian Fields is less than a block south of FX McCrappy's and is a hell of a lot better in every respect. It's next door to Sluggers. Worth a visit to try some fine local beers next time. Good place to catch a game, too, as long as it's not gameday at Qwest.

          2 Replies
          1. re: terrier

            Oy - Elysian Fields was also on my short list, but we didn't make it over there, either. For future reference, do they have TVs in the bar area? We both love eating at the bar and particularly if there's a game on.

            1. re: a l i c e

              Yes, 3 big plasmas over 3 sides of the bar. Cleverly, there's a 4th side of the bar with no TV for those like myself who are horribly distracted by video screens.

          2. I believe that Isla Bonita is part of the local Azteca chain of Mexican restaurants? There is an Azteca on the Island, but the City made them drop the chain name so as not to sully the place's upscale reputation; the McDonald's wasn't allowed to have arches along that same line.
            I live on the Hill and know the 5 Spot fairly well - not too keen on their Chicago theme; the food quality varies from very good to mediocre depending on the day and item. Most servers are very good. Speaking of mediocre ... Floyd's fare fits, but I can see where beer and football would've worked there for you. Icon Grill is way, way, way overpriced - geared towards the expense account crowd downtown.
            If you come back during baseball season, you'll see more Red Rox-wear than Mariners! As a MA native, I'm not exactly complaining.