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Jun 22, 2007 10:43 AM

Moving to Seattle - Need food help

My boyfriend is making the move from Boston to Seattle and as a going away gift, I'd like to give him a bunch of suggestions for places to eat. I'm hoping to help him find some uniquely Seattle places and some great places I can try when I'm in town visiting. Any help would be appreciated!

Good seafood?
Korean? Japanese? Chinese?
Cheap eats?
Place to get a good bite and a great beer?
Romantic places? (for when I'm visiting)

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  1. As a former Bostonian, i would encourage him to get his fix of lobstah rolls and fried belly clams, North End Italian, O-Ya sushi, HK Eatery baby pig, Taiwan Garden (or whatever your favorite is) soup dumplings, Sunset Grill beers, 9 Park foam cocktails and Clio-type tasting menus while he is still in is one thread to get you started on some of your questions For Korean, have him try Hosoonyi on Aurora Ave (just north of Seattle). For cheap eats (such as the combination fried rice you mention in one of your posts), have him try places in the International District, such as Green Leaf or Fu Lin or the Uwajimaya food court.

    3 Replies
    1. re: barleywino

      Another former Bostonian (actually I remember you, Barleywino, on the Boston board), I will agree about the fried clams, lobster rolls and some others (I'd never heard of O-Ya sushi), as well as adding pizza from Regina or Ernesto's, burgers from O'Sullivans and lobster tail pastries from Maria's.

      But I MUST disagree about the Sunset Grill. There are plenty of places here with solid beer selections (and if you want the gimmick of the150 beers selection thing, the Taphouse Grill is pretty much the same thing as Sunset...)

      Also, while I'll admit I miss a couple of beers from the east coast breweries (Brooklyn Lager, Harpoon, Long Trail, Yuengling), I find NW beers to be superior, in general to NE beers.

      Sorry to stray from the original post.
      I'll contribute with some of my fav. cheap eats (my favorite chowhound category)

      Baguette Box
      Red Mill
      Stellar Pizza
      Taco Trucks (various)
      Happy Hours at Elliot's, Cascadia.

      1. re: GreenYoshi

        GreenYoshi, good call on those additional places (both Seattle and Boston), and on the beers! I only mention Sunset because they have Sam Adams Utopias by the glass (from bottle), which i haven't seen around here. I agree there are some excellent beers out here in Seattle (i'm a Beveridge Place pub fan myself). Although my fave is still the cask barleywines they get once a year at Redbones in Boston during the NERAX ale festival (in April or so.) PS next time you are back in Boston, you MUST try O-Ya (relatively recently opened)

        1. re: barleywino

          oops meant to post in response to mine below. Sorry

    2. Glad to have another foodie here. I think your boyfriend will find the food scene here to REALLY exceed his expectations. There are a lot of great chefs here doing their thing:

      Contemporary NW cuisine. Uber fresh NW ingredients sourced from local purveyors, fish, shellfish, cheese, organic meats, NW vegetables, foraged mushrooms etc. Try Tilth (Maria Hines a Food and Wine Best New Chef 2005), Lark (Jonathan Sundstrom, a F&W Best New Chef 2001, James Beard Best Chef NW 2007), Sitka and Spruce (Matt Dillon a F&W Best New Chef, 2007), Crush (Jason Wilson, F&W Best New Chef 2006)

      Chinese: Best dim sum in down: Jade Garden in the International District. I go EVERYweekend. 80% Chinese clientele and you'll hear mostly Cantonese (?).

      Great beer: Almost too many to name. He must go to Brouwer's in the Fremont neighborhood. About 60 taps heavy on West/NW and Belgian beers including cask conditioned ales, 200 bottles, 40 Scotches. Comfort food, moules, frites, hunter sausage, fried halibut etc. There are numerous breweries here as well, Elysian makes some killer beer. Also check out Maritime, Hales, Pike.

      Romantic: I love Cafe Juanita. It has an understated elegance about it. It is a converted home backing to woods. A little more dark and quiet than some places which have a high hip factor. The menu is contemporary NW/Italian. Holly Smith has been nominated for the last two years for James Beard nominations. Amazing wine list. Perfect service -- some of the most professional in town. I thought Matt's in the Market is very romantic. It used to be a place with just a counter, a few two tops and a couple counter top burners but it overlooks the heart of Pike Place Market and they did great things with the food they picked up fresh downstairs. It is recently renovated and is not open yet but the expansion in the same building is highly anticipated.

      Deli: Salumi! This gets national press. Mario Batali's dad started it, now run by Gina Batali and hubby. House-cured meats cheaper here than any grocery store in town. Most high end restaurants in town serving cured meats cary several choices from Salumi. They also have gnocci on Tuesday, and other hot sandwiches: oxtail, fennel sausage, pork cheek etc.

      Pastry. He must go to Cafe Besalu in the Ballard neighborhood. The owner James make some of the finest pastry I have ever had anywhere. I have never had a better pain au chocolate and I don't think it is possible to make a better one. I have a review on Trip Advisor of Cafe Besalu. I go just about every week as I live only blocks away from it and I am never disappointed. They also have some of the most talented baristas in a town fanatical about coffee.

      1. We just went to Malay Satay Hut (Seattle branch) last week after not having been in a while. It reminded me how lucky we are to have this place! Having traveled a lot in Singapore and Malaysia, I can confidently say it is by far the best place for this type of food I've ever been to the in the States or Canada. And reasonably priced! Try the roti canai for sure--a griddle bread served with delicious curry sauce. The char kway teow, either with seafood or vegetarian, is a superb and different fried noodle dish. Mango with either tofu or shrimp is excellent as are many of the specials. The chicken with ginger was superb.

        7 Replies
        1. re: PAO

          iluvbacon, if your bf likes the style of roti canai and char kway teow (and satay) that they have at Penang in Boston, he should get his fix before he comes out here, they do it differently out here. Mussels (at Maximiliens in Pike Place mkt, or even Wild Ginger), sablefish/black cod (at Crush and many other places), and o-toro (at Nishino, for example) are very good out here btw. I also suggest he get his fill of any favorite dishes he may have at Dok Bua (their pad ki mow or Indonesian fried rice, for example) in Boston, or the casual Japanese fare at Cafe Mami in Boston, before leaving.

          1. re: barleywino

            You sound like you are missing all the places in Boston! I am coming to interview for a position in Seattle (also from Boston), and you make me think I should reconsider! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me there's good places to eat in Seattle ... or i may have to commit seppuku

            1. re: cornFusion

              I don't think Barley Wino is complaining about the Seattle food, rather that in every major city their are some things you cannot get in other cities. Seattle has plenty of good eats, from the amazing Vietnamese to the truly unique NW style restaurants. Most people are very pleasantly surprised with the Seattle food scene.

              1. re: cornFusion

                as they say...absence makes the heart grow fonder ;)

                1. re: barleywino

                  I thank you both for saving me from a nasty fate. Are there any more "native" places where the food is good? I am very adventurous and have heard that things like planked salmon are very good .... what else ..... (I have once been to Pike Street Market and it was a FABULOUS experience ...especially one restaurant on the upstairs floor... wondering if it is still as good as it used to be).

                  1. re: cornFusion

                    For Vietnamese, Tamarind Tree and Greenleaf are phenomenal and as good as any place I have had outside of Vietnam and on par with some of the better places I went to in Vietnam. For northwest food, Union is a board favorite that uses simple northwest ingredients and preparations. Lark is a favorite of mine, a small plates menu with lots of local ingredients. Matt’s in the market could be what were thinking about in pike place, but more likely maxamilliens, both of which are good but I prefer Matt’s. (Although I have not tried the new menu.) For more info on some of the boards favorites there was an Ultimate Seattle restaurant poll and here are the results.


            2. re: PAO

              I visited Malay Satay in for the first time since fall...I've been missing out! Previously we had one lunch, and I think the planets were misaligned, because we were satisfied but unimpressed. Its a huge menu, with so much to try, maybe we just ordered the wrong things that day. Tonight, i ordered the malay rojak off the white board. The waitress said it was totally different than the indian rojak on the regular menu, and it was indeed unique and vibrant. Chunks of cucumber, pineapple, perhaps durian, and most impressively perfectly ripe mango that seemed splashed with lime juice, all in a thin sweet soy sauce with rock sugar and chopped peanuts. A fantastic sweet, tart, salty concoction. I also got the char kway teow, which is great as PAO says above, the seafood so ample and fresh, which is not the feeling I had upon ordering similar dishes even at the great Skyway Malaysian in NYC Chinatown.

              The question I keep asking is: what to get next? Nonya prawns are pricey but intriguing; I love a good assam laksa. This place is a true asset.

            3. Good seafood
              Several local houses take good care with local fish.
              Each have their own vibe, some swankier than others.
              Ray's is the water-view knockout and I love the sablefish.
              Anthony's at Shilshole does a crab-feed that everybody should experience once, at least.
              Elliott's oyster house - the oyster happy hour is a bargain and a hoot.
              Jacks Fish Spot (believe it) has a great Cioppino, fresh-shucked oysters, crab cocktail.
              Lebanon is not well-represented in my own local faves, but when I'm feeling like tabouleh and falafel, I go to Zaina, on Cherry, and Turkish Delight, in the Market .
              For Korean, it's Hosoonyi, on 99 in Shoreline
              There's a lot of great Sushi here, but the abundance of great Vietnamese and other SE Asian foods here has left the old stand-by Japanese and Chinese cuisines on the sidelines for me.
              Definitely hit Green Leaf. Tamarind tree represents similar dishes well also, and in a more spacious and refined house, with a bar (skip the tamarindtini, but if the kumquats are orange (not green) get the Kumquat Crush. Malay Satay Hut is best with a big crowd to taste all the new dishes - get the Roti Canai appetizer - I'd advise to get several, in fact, except there are so many other tasty nibbles there...
     is a link to more
              A good bite and a great beer can be had many places here.
              I like the happy hour at Hale's, in Fremont, Fish and Chips at the Pacific Inn Pub, Elysian many more.
              For romance, start at the Market - Mussells at the bar upstairs in Maximilien,
              Matt's in the Market, Chez Shea (ooh la la), Cafe Campagne (esp for weekend brunch, very sweet).
              Also sweet and romantic is Cafe Besalu, for real French pastry and good coffee.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mr.nelso

                I always heard such good things about Chez Shea, but I went there once with a friend who was visiting from L.A. (only because Matt's was closed) - we were treated like we didn't belong and they were doing us a great big favor to let us stay and eat and on top of it I had the worst piece of Salmon I've ever encountered. That was it for me - I'll never go back and I'll never recommend it.

                1. re: trix2957

                  This sounds anomalous. What exactly did they say/do? Why was the salmon the worst piece you ever encountered?


              2. I know the request is for Seattle, but in Everett (about 25 miles North of Seattle) there's Papi's Pizza on 1816 Hewitt Ave. Just a half block up from the Events Center.

                The owner is an avid Boston Redsox fan. I'm also assuming he's from Boston. Boston Redsox decorations (and anti-NY Yankee slogans) throughout the place and a couple of the workers wore "Yankees Sucks" tee-shirts. Kind of funny.

                Pizza is good. Nice thin crust (NY style?) where you have to fold the pizza to eat it.
                However, when it gets really busy the pizza can be a little inconsistent (burned where they had to remake my order).

                2 Replies
                1. re: dave_c

                  The whole Yankees sucks thing is silly, and friends of mine started those t-shirts. It's esp. silly when they start chanting it at a Bruins game, or a rock show. Now it's in Seattle, not a good thing.

                  I'm going to Crush on the 27th, need to figure out the rest of the itinerary. A question about the Sunday markets (if I may usurp this thread), is Ballard more a food thing compared to Fremont? I'd be looking for clothes more than food in this case.

                  1. re: Joanie

                    I think they got their heads together and split it up.
                    Fremont kept the white-elephants, crystals, and cosmetics, and Ballard got the farmers.