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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.

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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 :-)

        1. Thanks for your comments. I feel that if the underlying espresso is bad then the latte for those that prefer it will be poor also.

          We should be in Seattle in October and will check out your coffee suggestions then.

          3 Replies
          1. re: DriverPhil

            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.

            1. re: lgphil

              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).

              1. re: christy319

                By poor I mean a Dopio with no crema - or a Dopio so bitter that it takes your breath away.

                I take no sugar or other adulterants in my Dopio.

          2. 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.

            1. Nice report. I have a question regarding Jumbo Chinese. We will be visiting Seattle on the way home from Vancouver, BC. I'm sure you know Vancouver has excellent chinese cuisine, but we will be meeting up with family driving up from the Portland area who are chinese, but rarely get to eat good dim sum. Is Jumbo worth a Sunday dim sum lunch? We only have a lunch and a dinner together so I want to be sure we eat well. This is my first trip back to Seattle after many years, so I am out of touch with the dining scene. Thanks for you help.

              2 Replies
              1. re: curiousgeo

                if you are looking for dimsum in Seattle, try O'Asian (downtown, 5th and Marion/Columbia http://www.oasian.net/AboutUs.aspx ) instead of the grungier Seattle Chinatown places. or detour to Noble Court in Bellevue. These are the places i would take visiting CHinese relatives (perhaps NOble Court for lunch (can get crowded, try to reserve a table or go early) and O'Asian for dinner)

                1. re: curiousgeo

                  Dim Sum depends to some degree on luck - these joints have their good and bad days. I married into a Seattle-based Chinese family so I speak based on my opinion as well as my new Aunties!

                2. In my opinion Seattle does not have consistent quality dim sum. Jumbo has some tasty dishes as does House of Hong but I have not found anything particularly note worthy. if you are set on Chinese, Seven Stars Szechwan has pretty good chinese food but no dim sum.

                  1. Thank you so much for your excellent and detailed report!!

                    1. I adore Matt's in the Market.
                      I think calling Etta's a chain is going a little bit far. All of Tom's restaurants are different.
                      As for espresso, it's good to hear that you had a positive experience at Tully's. I avoid it and pretty much all corporate coffee for the same reasons as Christy. On your next trip check out Joe Bar (Harvard and Roy on Capitol Hill) and Uptown Espresso (multiple locations - Waterfront, Downtown, Belltown, Queen Anne). Uptown is a local chain, but it serves a mean espresso. They are known for their foam so if you wanted to branch out, try a latte. Joe Bar serves crepes, soup, paninis, espresso, wine, and beer. Always fabulous and a neighborhood hot spot.
                      The Blue Water is also a chain. Check out Agua Verde on Lake Union.

                      1. For Dim Sum, I think a drive to Kent (suburb 10 miles? or so south of Seattle) is worth a drive. There's a thriving Chinese immigrant community there. The place I've been to is Imperial Garden, and it's part of a large Chinese mall (The Great Wall Mall) at 18230 E Valley Hwy Ste 116, Kent, WA 98032-1236. I see some other people (posting elsewhere) had a negative experience, but I enjoyed it very much, felt it compared favorably with my experiences eating Dim Sum in Vancouver. (Never been to China, can't vouch for authenticity,

                        1. A friend who is from Hong Kong likes Hong's Garden in Renton (64 Rainier Avenue S., Renton, WA). So the wife and I went several months ago... We both enjoyed it very much.