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any recs for two 'hounds visiting Seattle from L.A.??

We're first timers in the Pacific Northwest and we'll be in Seattle only 5 days. Anything is game from holes in the wall to fine dining. We have Battali's place and Quinn's on the list so far, but we'd love other recommendations especially local specialties. And we eat *anything* - any part of any animal, any concoction, and cocktail - we're game. I'm a pastry chef so I'm interested in any local chocolatiers or bakeries, and I'd love to go to a nice wine bar too to sample some local Washington or Oregon wines. Thanks!

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  1. Cafe Besalu in ballard for amazing french pastries.
    While you are up in the northern part of the city hit up Paseo for very good Caribbean inspired sandwiches.
    Look for threads on Pike Place market for the best places to go there. Within the market my favorites are matt's in the market, daily dozen donuts among others.
    Vessel for cocktails.
    Harvest vine for Spanish small plates (not tapas).
    Seven Star Szechuan pepper for the Szechuan Dungenous crab.

    1. As long as we're talking 'The Market' - Cafe' Campagne for very good French food / environment - great happy hour too! I just had an amazing, all time meal there a couple weeks back. Very memorable.

      If your up on Phinney Ridge, let us know what you think of Red Mill Burgers - its always got a line - 10am...234pm...419pm...whatever. And you know thats a good sign. My favorite spot for a burger bar none

      I hear very good things about Cafe Besalu - Ballard is a cool part of town, too. Is Paseo back up and running?

      2nd Harvest Vine
      People love Crush if your in that area...

      Cocktails? For a true blue "Capitol HIll" experience - Linda's. Dive Barish. A perenial favorite
      For a true blue "Belltown" experience: Black Bottle

      1 Reply
      1. re: jamesbra

        I agree Linda's is always a good choice! But if you are on Capitol Hill for Quinns and Linda's you should check out Chapel (esp at Happy Hour) for some amazing martinis. Chapel is hard to find (in a not well marked old mortuary) and can come across as pretentious, but well worth the tasty drinks that are produced.

      2. Also in the Market: Maximilien, classic French food with a drop-dead view and flawless service, and Two Girls Luncheonette, a classic soup and sandwich joint that makes its own meatloaf, corned beef, pastrami, etc. Check out the cookies, esp, the Mounds (coconut macaroon dunked in dark chocolate) and the Black Russian (Russian tea cake dunked in dark chocolate). Those are made especially for them, you won't find them anywhere else.

        Two Bells Tavern for great burgers--hand-formed patties on grilled baguettes, served with classic potato salad. I second the Red Mill suggestion for drive-in type burgers. Try the burger with red onion jam, fizzy lemonade, and onion rings (they put cornmeal and cumin in the batter).

        Also check out Uwajimaya--it's a pan-Asian grocery store like none you'll find anywhere else. There's a food court in one corner.

        1. IF you are near Pike Place/Belltown -- I'd second Matt's in the Market. Also consider Place Pigalle in the market. Both have wonderful, fresh seafood and local ingredients. Sample some Beecher's Cheese or cheap, yummy tamales at Il Puerco Lloron on the HillClimb behind the market.And have a scone (or anything else) from Macrina Bakery in Belltown.
          Or consider Ray's Boathouse for salmon or halibut dinner AND a great selection of WA and Oregon wines. Or you could just have wine and appetizers in the cafe upstairs and Ray's. You should definitely go to Fran's Chocolates in University Village to check out the chocolates.

          10 Replies
          1. re: bourbongal

            not to shoot down anyones recommendations but recommending getting a burger to someone from LA is like someone from Seattle going to LA for good coffee. LA is probably the burger capital of the world.

            1. re: dagrassroots

              grassroots, I was thinking the same thing. SoCal's also got 99 Ranch and Mitsuwa.

              Matt's in the Market is a must, though.

              http://taste-buzz.com/match-made-for-...

              1. re: dagrassroots

                having moved from LA to here, I have to disagree. LA may have been the start of burgers and it may have been the capital but nowadays, it is sadly lacking in small local burger places---they keep getting eatten up by developments. so while you can go to 25 degrees in Hollywood and get a great and unusual burger, the places like Redmill or Dicks [small independant and not fancy] are really fading fast. Whenever the 'hounds in LA would get in a debate over burgers, it always involved the same 2, maybe three places. to me, thats kind of sad, given the size of LA.

                Besides, some people just like trying burgers. so bring them on!

                1. re: jenn

                  Having also moved here from LA, I (somewhat) disagree with you. To keep the comparison Apples to Apples:

                  In-N-Out > Dicks
                  Apple Pan > Red Mill
                  Father's Office = Quinn's (that Ultra Burger is Awesome!)

                  I have to agree with the posters who say that Seattle has so much more to offer that it would be a waste of a meal to have a burger in my opinion.

                  1. re: hhlodesign

                    While not appropriate for this board, based on nearly 20 years of eatting in LA, I must respectfully disagree with the comparasion between Apple Pan and Red Mill. Not Even Close. But given that this sort of debate tends to implode the LA board, lets just leave it at that.

                    The point was, Even if people like me would prefer a list of places serving chowder, there are people who really like burgers. So why not list Seattle's really good burger restaurants?

                    And by the way, What is this overwhelming impulse among Seattilites to immediately contend that someone else does it better so don't bother? ye-gaads, it really gets annoying...............

                    1. re: jenn

                      My initial point was in response to the fact that many of the initial recommendations given were burger places. I do not contend that Seattle does not have good burger places but In my opinion their are other places and types of cuisine in Seattle that would allow visitors to enjoy unique Seattle cuisine.

                      On another note, I believe LA is the burger capital of the world not because of place like Apple Pan and Fathers Office rather it is the independent charbroiled burger places that seem to exist on every block. While many of these are mediocre, a lot of these independent places put out an amazing burgers that are rarely talked about on Chowhound.

                      I agree with you about the deference of recommendations to other cities when posters maintain their is not great quality of a given item in Seattle. Not everyone has the means to travel to other cities in search of food. Sometimes mediocrity is the only achievable way to fulfill a craving.

                      1. re: jenn

                        I must have missed this post the first time around...

                        It would be easy to "leave it at that" if your statement were not so wrong. Red Mill burgers are consistently overcooked and patties too overworked to have the consistency of a quality burger. The Apple Pan, on the other hand gets their patty consistency perfect and the fat content high enough that the final product is consistently juicy. The only thing consistent about a Red Mill burger is that it is DRY. The one good thing that Red Mill has going for it is their onion jam; however, while good, it pales in comparison to the onion compote available at Father's Office (quite possibly the best burger in the world that does not have foie gras.)

                        And by the way, what is the overwhelming impulse among some people to get annoyed when advice such as, "Seattle is not really known for its burger scene and you can get much better burgers in LA." is taken as some sort of stab at Seattle. When, in fact, it merely states an opinion which is intended to help one plan an eating trip. Ye gaads.......

                        1. re: hhlodesign

                          if every burger you ate at Apple Pan was juicy and lovely, then you must have awesome luck at hitting them on good days. Alas, despite living in LA for nearly 18 years and eatting there often, I can't say the same. I can, however, say that the burgers I've eatten at RedMill were juicy and more fun, they even listened when I asked for them to be cooked other than to shoe leather consistency.
                          The real question is what would happen if we went to these places together and each ordered: would all the burgers be juicy? would all the burgers be dry?

                  2. re: dagrassroots

                    I know, LA people know burgers, but this is all the more reason for them to visit Lunchbox Laboratory.Prime Rib Burger and chocolate-cherry shake! is just the start.

                    1. re: mrnelso

                      Currently being in LA, I must say I am not sure I can find a burger like that down here. A few more weeks and I will have to compare.

                2. Some of these suggestions are right on, but some are silly for someone coming from LA. You don't need to go to Uwajimaya to see an "Asian market" if you're from LA. You definitely don't need a burger.

                  Zeitgeist or Victrola for coffee.
                  Zig Zag for cocktails, a treasure.
                  The Stumbling Monk for obscure Belgian beer on tap (and regional micros in Belgian styles).
                  Maritime Pacific's Jolly Roger Taproom for some choice local beers and cut-above pub grub. (Runner up: the Elysian brewpubs.)
                  Jack's Fish Spot for raw oysters on the half.
                  Matt's in the Market, for their oyster sandwich at lunch time.
                  The Palace Kitchen for great NW food and wine at dinner.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: terrier

                    I visit SEA a couple times a year, either going to old favourites (Salumi) or trying something new.

                    I'd 2nd Matt's on the Market, while Mr OCAnn thought it was "just okay."

                    I'd also 2nd The Palace Kitchen (I still can taste the melt-in-your-mouth Plin). If anything, go to any of Tom Douglas' restaurants for a SEA experience.

                    -----
                    Palace Kitchen
                    2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                    Armandino's Salumi
                    309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                    Matt's In the Market
                    94 Pike St Ste 32, Seattle, WA 98101

                  2. re: local chocolatiers
                    Go to The Chocolate Box it's has just about every Seattle chocolaiters chocolate you could want. Visit Theo Chocolate in Fremont, they do tours daily and pretty much all you can eat samples. Oh Chocolate' is and Fran's Chocolates are also both worth checking out.

                    re: wines
                    The Tasting Room in Pike Place Market is great for tasting local wines. If you have a car, Woodinville is not that far and is home to many WA wine tasting rooms.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: alki_chick

                      Since you are a pastry chef, you may want to check out Veil. The pastry chef has some amazing training...Fat Duck in UK, WD-50 in nyc. Her blog is http://www.tastingmenu.com/default.htm

                      Sitka and Spruce is worth waiting for a table.

                    2. Ballard IS a lot of fun these days.

                      Start in Fremont, tho...
                      Definitely check out Theo's Chocolate - tho if you start the day with their tour, you may end up with a chocolate stupor. Even just a quick stop in their shop will give you PLENTY of free chocolate sample satisfaction.

                      Virtually across the street is the awesome Belgian tavern/cafe Brouwers. . Great brews and pretty great food, too. If you head up Fremont Ave, check out Flying Apron Bakery. Gluten free baked goods that don't suck. And get a pork sandwich at Paseo.

                      SamBar & Le Gourmand are also well worth the stop... Sexiest cocktail bar & fabulous bartender. They may also have their charming garden open by now. Le Gourmand, the parent ship, is some of the best French food around.

                      Into Ballard.
                      Tip your hat to the soon to be demolished Sunset Bowl. Unlike LA, we seem to be tearing everything kitchy down a mile a minute. Ditto to the wacky former Denny's that will probably get hit soon. More condos, just what we need....

                      Check out Ballard Avenue, the old part of town. Sunday Farmers Market is fantastic, especially with noon wine tastings (free!) at Volterra, and the world's BEST bloody mary for $3.00 at King's Hardware. Get some of the pizza from the market.

                      Good Italian, but a bit pricey at Volterra. Great sandwiches at Other Coast Cafe. - grab a bite & take it to the Ballard Locks for a picnic. Ocho for tapas (new and totally hot! They open at 4:00. Go early,) Fantastic margarita. Copper Gate for hip version of Scandinavian fare & killer aquavit cocktails. Oh, and lots of cool polaroids of perky gals and their boobs (not nearly as weird as it sounds). If you still haven't exploded, have a beer at the Viking Tavern across the street. Oops! Just missed Besalu & Tall Grass Bakeries. If you luck out, and they're open, by all means STOP!. Last but not least, sidetrack to the east a few blocks to 15th & 73th to check out the Lunchbox Laboratory, for 10,000 variations on hamburgers. And God Knows what else. Newest kid on the block. And definitely the most fun.

                      My other favorite part of town is West Seattle. Get over there to the junction for no end of fun. BUT DO NOT MISS Bakery Nouveau. Or Shofly Pie, for that matter. And great walks at Lincoln Park.

                      Whew!
                      Have a GREAT visit!

                      Into Ballard....

                      1. Belltown good stuff... All on 2nd Avenue

                        Restaurant Zoe for plain old fantastic food in a gorgeous restaurant.

                        Macrina Cafe for Fabulous Baked Goods

                        Wann Izakaya for Japanese

                        Txori for AUTHENTIC tapas

                        McLeod Residence for groovy scene,,,

                        1. Steelhead Diner in the Pike Place Market features local producers and the food is great. Prices aren't killer either.