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SEA: Bakeman's


Bakeman's reads like a whole-in-the-wall lunch place that mainly caters to the local workers.

Also, it sounds like this guy's schtick is being rude, but what caught my eye is that the roast his own meats for the sandwiches. It should be superior to the mass produced packaged stuff that most places use. Shouldn't it?

How is this place?

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  1. Yes - it's below street level, and feels like it. It is very popular, as far as I know only open during the business week. The guy could be called rude - I'd call him perfunctory though. He has a crowd, he assumes everyone has been there before, knows what they want, knows how it works. I've been twice, and it reminds me of those visa check card commercials, where everything grinds to a halt when someone tries to pay in cash. He's trying, in a not subtle way, to keep things from grinding to a halt.

    In any case, I've had the turkey sandwich only - but it is great. Fresh roasted, good cranberry sauce too. And I am not a turkey sandwich fan. I usually prefer deli meat to roasted, because I don't like the next day flavor of turkey or chicken, that is absent on the day you cook it. If he roasts a turkey the morning that he uses it, rather than the day before, that may explain why I like his so much.

    1. I don't think he's rude--I appreciate his efficiency. He is the kind of guy that has a brusque manner but it's not really that hard to make him smile. Anyway, I know a lot of people that love the place, though I'm not super crazy about the sandwiches (they are VERY basic and old-school. Fluffy bread, hard, unripe tomato slice, etc). But they are so incredibly cheap-prices haven't been raised for years--that you should probably just spend the $3.50 (seriously) to find out if you like them. I do get an egg salad there once in a while, and like that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: christy319

        I agree on the bread - a step or two above sliced bagged supermarket bread. But I don't bother with the tomatoes. Turkey mayo cranberry is so good on its own.

      2. I do not find Jason at all Rude, per se, though some may find his helpful pointers to clients mildly aggressive. He does a good job of making sure everybody knows they are expected not to slow down the progress of the line.

        1. Dave, Bakeman's fresh baked turkey is light year's ahead of the processed deli-dreck served throughout Puget Sound. Bakeman's is an Oasis from Sysco and Food Services of America. (And should be an inspiration to struggling Puget Sound restaurants--make your own food from scratch and your business will double.)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Glassman

            Glassman- What is the basis for your comment regarding Sysco and FSA? Do you know where Jason purchases his products? That's right.....Sysco and FSA and he has for at least 10 years. A restaurant doesn't succeed or fail because of their purveyor but rather what they buy from them and how they prepare it among many, many other things. It may be "hip" to slam broadline distributors but they exist and thrive for a reason. It's up to the chef or owner to buy quality in order sell quality.

            1. re: eastcoaster

              Perhaps it was a reference to the common pre-sliced, pre-fab stuff. I'm sure you're right; Jason can surely get whole turkeys from a big distributor. The big deal here is that he roasts and slices fresh every day. That's where the oasis thing comes from...

          2. In addition to the turkey, meatloaf, and egg salad sandwiches, don't miss their soups. They always have the delicious classic turkey noodle. Navy bean, and turkey with wild rice are also often on the menu and they are great. No nasty after-taste of chemicals like every other soup place in town.

            Mixed-on-dark-double-berry forever! [aka mixed light & dark turkey meat, on dark bread (which really isn't very dark), with a double portion of cranberry sauce. Yum.]

            1 Reply
            1. re: Janer

              Love the "Mixed-on-dark-double-berry" reference. A good alert to newcomers to be ready with the order with no wasted words, in true short-order style.

            2. I used to work downtown and Bakeman's was one of my standard lunch stops. I always felt a little like i was in the 'Soup Nazi' episode of Seinfeld when I first started going. Not sure of the "rules" and felt I was slowing things down. "No sandwich for you!" Once you get used to it - it is well worth it. Great turkey that reminds you of the leftovers from your grandma's turkey.

              1. white on white,cranverry may, salt and pepper to go......

                "You want Pie ? "

                I love Bakemans, and when I worked downtown, went once a week. My best story is when I left my wallet at my desk and didn't realize it until I got up to the register. "Pay next time".... I don't think thats rude !!!

                1. Bakeman's is full of character and delivers real food at great prices...and it's also an utter dive. The roast their own turkeys, make their own meatloaf, bake their own bread. (They even still used waxed paper instead of plastic wrap for to-go sandwiches.) And yes, Jason expresses impatience with customers, much like the servers at the late and still loved Dog House, or at Durgin Park in Boston. I think that part of it is that they're only open a few hours in the middle of the day (no breakfast or dinner, only lunch), five days a week, so they depend on a certain volume in order to stay in business.

                  You'll see everyone there--judges, cops, prosecutors and defense attorneys, city and county bureaucrats. I advise my friends who are summoned to jury duty to spend those generous juror paychecks at Bakeman's!