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Hungry Bostonians in SEA for 1 week

We've got 6 dinners and probably 6 lunches too. A couple of our dinner choices might be limited by non-Chowish companions.

I've been reading the Seattle board for a while and am still having trouble settling on the list, but here's a start:

Matt's
Union
Crush
Chez Shea (or Lounge?)
Campagne (or cafe?)

We also don't want to miss local specialties like sushi (omakase at Nishino?) and oysters (where to go?) What would you add or leave off of my list?

For lunch, we will definitely go to Salumi (maybe even more than once). What about other Asian can't miss places? Tamarind Tree sounds good but out of the way - is that right? We're planning on hitting most of the ususal tourist spots (including a game at Safeco and a Boeing tour), so any good recs around those places will be appreciated. And I can't forget about breakfast - we're staying at the Monaco, so anywhere relatively nearby or near/in the market would be great.

Two related questions: van we get around by cab or pubic transport? We'll rent a car to go out to Boeing but I don't really feel like driving around. Also, anywhere on my list that one could not wear dressed-up jeans?

TIA - we're looking forward to our trip!

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  1. I'd hit Elliott's for oysters. They've got the best selection in the city and a nice view to boot!
    I also recommend heading for Jack's for a bowl of cioppino, when you down at the market. A true Seattle experience.
    All of downtown is easily negotiated via bus or peds. However, you'll want to grab a cab to head to Boeing and the like. Most places are fine with guests dressed in jeans and a nice dress shirt.

    1. another option for lunch besides Matt's is Steelhead Diner (1 block north of Matts). you might also visit the Uwajimaya (Asian) supermarket and the Samurai ramen shop (Armour bowl special w/ tonkatsu ramen) next door to it (on Sixth) for lunch or Fu Lin a block north for Chinese lunch combos. If you're in the mood for dimsum, Tea Garden (Rainier and Dearborn st) or O'Asian (5th and Columbia). Forget Malay Satay hut, you have Penang in Boston. Get the wings at Sluggers sports bar near the stadium, next to the Elysium brewpub

      7 Replies
      1. re: barleywino

        barley-
        re: Penang. I note on the website locations in NYC, Boston, and Philly. There was a place in DC that I tried circa '02-03 that had the same name and symbol, IIRC. The food was westernized and the digs stylized, quite different from Malay Satay Hut (and also DC's Malaysia Kopitam, a more authentic experience). I looked at the Penang site and it seems now the menu, at least at the Boston outpost, is almost identical to Satay Hut. The menu in DC and also NYC seems more farang friendly, like I recall, e.g. no fish head curry. Do you know anything about these differential menus? Also, do you write off the Hut for these Bostonians because it is similar to Penang or inferior?

        1. re: equinoise

          I'm just comparing for example the char kway teow and roti canai at Penang Boston vs Malay Satay hut. MSH seems to me to be a more Cantonese version of Penang (i even hear Cantonese spoken by the staff), Penang uses a less wide and more chewy noodle for their char kway teow instead of the chow fun noodle which MSH uses, and their roti canai is also a thinner more delicate sheet (in some places crispy, in other places almost elastic) rather than a scallion-pancake type of object. Both are good, but Penang is a different style, not at all westernized , at least not the last time i was there. Have not been to the NYC Penang for several years now so can't comment. Personally i feel i'm getting a more authentic food prep at Penang Boston than MSH, but i don't claim to be an expert.

          1. re: barleywino

            I looked around, and I guess the Penang franchises in NYC have been the subject of some family infighting, stealing concepts, etc. This might explain the different menus offered at different locales. The Boston menu looked really good, and very different from the one at the DC location. Is Cantonese that in which spoken sentences often end with a drawn out syllable? You have a keen ear.

            1. re: equinoise

              That is a very perceptive characterization of Cantonese-- i never thought of it that way, but yes i think that is accurate. I look forward to trying the other Malay restaurants you mention (someday). Can you recommend any in Vancouver or Portland, perhaps?

              1. re: barleywino

                I love malay. In addition to Kopitam in DC, I reccomend Skyway in NYC.

                  1. re: barleywino

                    I didn't see the end of your reply. I got nothing in P-town. In Vancouver I have heard good things about local chains Tropika and Banana Leaf, but have tried neither. Looking at the menus, they appear less authentic/deep/hawker-style than MSH or the "good" Penangs or my E. Coast favorites.

      2. Matt's and Chez Shea are right next to each other, so the view is pretty much identical. Between the two I'd go for Chez Shea - we just had dinner in their lounge and the food was wonderful and the service was great. We've only been to Matt's for lunch, but the service has been a bit quirky. Good sandwiches, though.

        Between Campagne and Cafe Campagne, I vote for the cafe level - it has a great casual French vibe without being stifling. You could certainly wear jeans to Campagne (I think I did, actually) but it's much more a "fine dining" setup, and I found the service a little oppressive. I like bistros, though.

        1. you should really do boeing's museum of flight. don't know if that's different than a tour or not, but the museum is excellent if you're interested in planes and spacecraft. i used to go to the smithsonian air and space museum as a kid and i think that the museum of flight is not that far off that mark (although admittedly i haven't been to the smithsonian one for 20 plus years)
          for sushi i really love maneki. chowhounds have complained about the wait but i've always thought it was worth it, and it's in the international district close to safeco so might be a good add on to that. and also in the i.d. for chinese the sea garden has super fresh straight from the tank fish, in particular the whole dungeness crab with black bean sauce is amazing. as far as oysters go i don't have a great suggestion of where but i think the local kumomotos are unbeatable. but probably you can get those in boston too. seems like most of your choices are downtown so you could do lots of walking with maybe a couple of cheap cab rides if you're too stuffed or the hills get to you.i never dress up to go out to eat in seattle. i mean i wear clothes just not fancy ones. have a great time.

          1. For the freshest oysters, go to Shucker's at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. The chili-spiced popcorn shrimp is also a must at Shucker's. For casual NW seafood, my favorite place is Etta's (just north of Pike's Place Market). For Pho and other Vietnamese specialties, Green Leaf in the International District is a good choice.

            1. Tamarind Tree isn't really out of the way-it's a longish walk or short bus/cab ride from downtown. Green Leaf is even closer and I like the food there better, though it's small and doesn't take reservations so if you go during prime times there will be a wait. It's hard to find really good Vietnamese in most of the US so I'd definitely go to one of these.