Seattle Report - long
So sorry about this but I am very late in the posting - I can only plead sloth!
Anyway, we were in Seattle for a 90th birthday party a few months ago and ate some great meals.
Matts in the Market. Stopped in for lunch without a reservation and sat at the counter. (Is the expansion of Matts done?). I had seared ahi and my wife had seafood chowder and a greens salad. Both were excellent and we liked the non-plastic atmosphere of the place. We'd go back in a heartbeat.
Tullys coffee - rainier at genesee(? can't read my writing!) - an excellent dopio at this location
Dukes, Tacoma. Not bad for waterside, chain dining. We had lunch here and it was acceptable, good service too.
Nell's - small and very empty the night we went, we were slightly hassled by a street person outside. Kobe hanger steak for me, pan roasted duck breast for my wife. Food was excellent, service was so-so.
Scotts Bar & Grill - Edmonds. Another lunch with a chain. Great sevice and the food was better than expected. Kobe beef meatloaf for me and hot crab & artichoke open-faced sandwich for my wife. We generally avoid chains at all cost but this wasn't bad considering that Edmonds doesn't have too much to chose from.
Besalu - butter croissant, pain au chocolat and almomd something-or-other. Great neighborhood place! We'll go back here.
Larsen's Danish Bakery - We always stop here when we are in Seattle. Real Danish kringle!!!!
Flying Fish - ono, crab cakes, scallops on sweet potatoes, very nice wine list = great service. My dopio was terrible - they don't understand espresso there. Other than the coffee whine it is pretty much our favorite seafood spot in Seattle = Our third visit.
Etta - okay, part of a local chain I know. Clam chowder, albacore, uncut romaine caesar salad, steamed penn cove mussels & manila clams. Good food and sevice and an okay dopio too. Convenient to the market, we will try this place again.
T&T Seafood Restaurant - Edmonds. We arrived as a party of eight here on a Saturday night. They got us in and we had a wonderful meal, although some of the waitstaff did not speak too much English, so patience was in order. Sweet and sour pork, spicy thai sea bass, pea vines w garlic, green beans w pork, clams in black bean sauce. Our third visit here - a must for great Asian cuisine.
Cascadia. Carmelized spicy rub wild king salmon w lobster mashers, crab ravioli w Dungeness crab. Pucker power lemon cake. Dopio was fair to poor. Good food and service ,we will try this another time.
? coffee (I've erased their name from my memory) - This is the espresso shop across from the main REI store in Seattle. A terrible dopio- I'm not going back there - ever!
Blue Water Bistro, Lake Union. The food was ordinary but a great location. We tried the Dungeness crab mac & cheese = not that great.
Jumbo Chinese - went here for Sunday morning dim sum. Jumbo is a bit tricky to find and very dumpy looking on the outside - only slightly better looking inside. The dim sum is very good here. Our third time at Jumbo
Lousy espresso in Seattle? Maybe the coffee scene is overrated.
forgot to mention, Blue Onion Bistro in the U district. Didn't really care for the place - a bit too down market for me I guess. Plus they were out of stuff even though it was only 7pm.
Phil, regarding your coffee experience in Seattle. I maintain that since the overwhelming majority of "espresso" drinkers are really "latte" drinkers -- that is they take their expresso with more milk than coffee -- the espresso isn't always very good, and most people wouldn't enjoy it anyway.
Also re: coffee in Seattle, I don't think most of our coffeeshops are any better than those in other cities. We just seem to have more of them. However- there is one big difference in Seattle: we have a few EXCELLENT shops and roasters. Try Victrola and Vivace on Capitol Hill, Cafe Bella in Belltown, and Zeitgeist in Pioneer Square. There are others, but that's a good start :-)
Sometimes. If the espresso is 'poor' that is definitely true, but there are different roasts which are better or worse for different drinks. Here in SF, they conducted a taste test with many of the top independent coffee houses, as well as some big chains (Starbucks, Peets), etc. Black espresso went first. Starbucks was middle of the road, and Peets almost dead last. Comments were over-roasted, burnt, etc. Then they repeated the test with latte/mocha drinks. Some of the top rated black coffees were rated as bland and washed out, while the heavily roasted varieties scored well. Both big chains actually scored surprisingly well. Different roasts for different goals. They just roast for the drinks.
Interesting. That might explain why the OP liked Tully's, whereas I and most coffee drinkers I know think it's no good (I always chalked the place up as one of those chains that caters to people who don't really like coffee, given their emphasis on sugary sweet, artificially flavored blended beverages). But I've only had their espresso in drinks-never by itself (it's pretty rare to see anyone order just espresso).
DP, The first weekend in October is the Oysterfest in Shelton, Washington. If your schedule permits, it's a wonderful Chowhound event and worth the drive.