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Sea - Places you want to hate

b
BallardFoodie Apr 19, 2008 10:28 AM

Let's face it, sometimes you cannot help yourself. For various reasons, you try your hardest to hate a place, but something draws you back. It may be one dish. It may be convenience. It may be that you fell in love with the place before you knew any better. Or it may remind you of days passed (that you'd rather forget, yet still come back to).

Post your darkest secrets here: Give the place, the reason you why you go, the reason why you want to hate it, and whatever else strikes your fancy.

For me:

The Matador (various places but Ballard specifically) - Habanero chicken enchiladas - It's chainy and it is a major meat market where you go to be seen and that's not me.

Safeway - General Tso's chicken - Acquired a taste for this back in a college town where this was the only "exotic" thing in town. I refer to it as good, bad chinese as it doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is: bad chinese.

  1. d
    dawsonct Nov 21, 2008 01:43 AM

    Talarico's. Okay for a happy hour beer and slice of decent N.Y.C. style pizza (that's sure to start an argument), but basically a meat market.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dawsonct
      j
      jimwillis Nov 24, 2008 09:45 PM

      Quinn's food/booze selection is great. Sam's saddle-of-bunny with any of their awesome beer selections are not to be missed. Too bad so many assholes eat there.

      1. re: jimwillis
        t
        The Shepherd Nov 3, 2009 02:57 PM

        After this I will need a fake name for my fake name. . . Fred Myer Mac and Cheese. I have tried EVERY Mac and Cheese from the Lobster at Purple, to Beecher's and Freddy's beats them all. I am so ashamed, must wash....

    2. caraely Nov 6, 2008 12:49 PM

      Boat Street. The attitude (even from the owner) has been so horrible, it has put a damper on the entire meal (more than once). But the food is sooo good, and I love the space...so I still go, though the visits are fewer and farther between. I'm really torn!! I don't even feel comfortable recommending it anymore...but then I think about that pork belly...sigh.

      5 Replies
      1. re: caraely
        l
        Lauren Nov 7, 2008 08:26 AM

        Wow. I can't even imagine that. I go there often and have never experienced attitude from anyone. I've sent many friends there - both foodie and non-foodie and never heard that comment. Can you be more specific about your experience?

        1. re: Lauren
          a
          akq Nov 7, 2008 09:51 AM

          Hmm. I thought that was pretty common knowledge. I've loved the boat street since they were actually on boat street, but used to cringe about the attitude. The food has always been good enough to put up with it, though, once in a while.

          1. re: akq
            m
            mrnelso Nov 7, 2008 04:57 PM

            My funniest (and ONLY) Boat Street experience (on Boat Street) was the spinach salad. One hot day, I stopped in for a cooliing lunch and ordered a Spinach Salad. When it arrived, I noticed, as I began to eat, that there was not a single leaf of spinach in the bowl. When I mentioned this curiosity to my waitron, she rolled her annoyed eyes at me (literally) and gave me a heaping helping of 'tude as she said "that's not how we do it.." WTF? I never went back.

          2. re: Lauren
            caraely Nov 7, 2008 06:00 PM

            The most recent experience (last year) was a romantic dinner with my SO. The owner/GM walked by and we stopped her to say how great the food was. She was completely non-plussed. She didn't make eye contact and frankly seemed irritated that we stopped her. We raved. No, "Thank you" -- her only response was forced smile and a nod (still no eye contact) -- she didn't say a word. Then she just walked off. It was as if she was annoyed by what a good time we were having. We had a similar interaction with her on another visit and I had hoped it was a fluke. Honestly, she acts as though she hates having the restaurant!

            Her attitude seems to trickle down to staff as well. (Not everyone, of course.)

            1. re: caraely
              allisonw Nov 1, 2009 07:32 PM

              I have been to the new BSC (as well as the old one) many times and never had any problems....one of my rave faves in town!!

        2. k
          karen2006 Oct 16, 2008 08:40 PM

          I have to say Cheesecake Factory's shrimp bacon avocado club sandwich and Claim Jumper's prime rib and lemon bar.

          1 Reply
          1. re: karen2006
            k
            kirkj Oct 17, 2008 09:05 AM

            I really want to hate Cheesecake Factory, but I keep finding good things there. Last time, I had their "famous" meatloaf and it knocked my socks off. It was the best. I found a recipe so I will try making it and possibly avoid going to that zoo.

            http://meemoskitchen.blogspot.com/200...

          2. n
            noodlenoodle Oct 16, 2008 03:33 PM

            I don't want to hate Starbucks but it seems to be the in thing. I keep going back for their Anniversary blend. I am hooked.

            1. ladybugseattle Oct 16, 2008 03:20 PM

              Septieme. Despite changes in owners and a labor unfriendly management not to mention the unfortunate public health inspection record the burgers occasionally still call to me.

              1. d
                doramicat Jun 3, 2008 09:38 PM

                Ok, also ashamed to admit this, but the "Tuscan bean soup" with Kale at Olive Garden. It's an all-you-can-eat bowl of over-salted yum. And their gigantic squares of "tiramisu". It's pretty much a coronary on a plate.

                1 Reply
                1. re: doramicat
                  j
                  jlom907 Nov 12, 2009 02:41 PM

                  you have crossed the line with that one...even if the soup is good (i am sure it is) you have just said words many of us will NEVER say. good and olive garden in the same sentence. i just cant get past the darn commercials as well.

                2. s
                  staffstuff Jun 1, 2008 06:07 PM

                  The Wingdome. It's the only 'joint' in town (that I've found) that makes Buffalo-style wings somewhat close to the real NY deal....I ask for them well-done, extra-crispy with extra #3 sauce...the celery sticks are usually limp and almost rotten......but.....

                  1. p
                    PAO Jun 1, 2008 04:36 PM

                    The Continental on the Ave. Started going there as a poor student in the 70's Continued on through adulthood when we were too tired to cook anything but wanted something quick and easy and cheap. Had unexplained and completely unreasoned passion for the only satisfactory at best "Greek fries" and souvlaki. Kept going even after they got rid of the killer almond macaroons (try to find those in town now) and the yummy Greek spaghetti. Final straw was the night we went around 9:30, absolutely famished. Hardly anyone in the restaurant. Waitress chose to wait on couple who came in after us. Threw up our hands in disgust and have never been back.

                    1. barleywino May 30, 2008 09:35 PM

                      the ma po tofu at P.F.Changs. it's really a cross between ma po tofu and agedashi tofu: they use very soft tofu (good) and (in a departure from traditional mapo tofu which is stir-fried) apparently deep-fry it until the outside gets just a hint of crispiness and has a slight snap to it. nowhere near as spicy as it should be (but can be requested spicy). at least they don't add frozen peas and carrots like O'Asian does.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: barleywino
                        l
                        Lauren Jun 2, 2008 08:56 AM

                        I'm happy to know that. While I never choose to go to P.F. Changs, sometimes I just find myself there as part of a group. I always order the lettuce cup. Now I have something else to order!

                        1. re: Lauren
                          barleywino Jun 2, 2008 04:48 PM

                          i find their salt and pepper shrimp to be decent although almost completely devoid of seasoning (you have to request extra minced fried red/green chili peppers on top etc), and you can always order a side of double pan-fried noodles (plain; if you order the one on the menu it comes drowned in sauce) if you want something other than rice to accompany whatever else you migth order

                      2. g
                        girlwonder88 May 27, 2008 10:32 PM

                        Buca Di Beppo's....we avoid chain restaurants in general. The food isn't fabulous here, and it's always crazily busy. However, we've just had so much fun there-sitting at big round tables with six or eight friends, drinking mediocre expensive wine and passing around big plates of food, looking at the funny pictures. Some great memories....

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: girlwonder88
                          h
                          HungWeiLo May 27, 2008 10:56 PM

                          That's what the head of the pope on the table is for - to distract you from that horrible bottle of chianti that they serve! :-)

                          1. re: HungWeiLo
                            t
                            TacoBusHound May 30, 2008 03:59 PM

                            I think that the bottle is burgundy -- chilled...and I can't seem to stay away from it. Back in the day when the wine was served in pint sized glasses to wash down the whole chicken cacciatore with mashed potatoes, it didn't last long. It's much tougher to get through when in a wineglass and "smaller" portions....thank God.

                        2. h
                          hhlodesign May 26, 2008 09:19 AM

                          Tantamount to ordering a California roll, I tried a "Moonraker" at Umi Sake House last night. Yellow tail, cuke, cilantro, snow crab, and jalapeno white truffle vinaigrette. Damn, that was good!

                          Also, they have copper river sockeye sashimi for $15 for around 6 ounces worth. A Steal!

                          1. LFP May 23, 2008 12:07 PM

                            Great thread!

                            My darkest secrets are:

                            Dick's Drive-in for a Deluxe and shake. If you go when they are busy (1:30 am is peak time), the burgers are pretty fresh. It seems like you have to be a native to truly appreciate this place. It is like a taste from my childhood. My dad even took me here on my wedding day. The bread is super squishy and the meat can hide some grisly bits, but I still love it.

                            Old Spaghetti Factory for spaghetti with brown butter & mizithra. I have ended up here a few times lately for kid birthday parties and even though the pasta is cooked well past al dente, the pile of mizithra cheese and loads of brown butter still make me happy.

                            Red Robin burgers are still pretty dang good in my mind. They use good ingredients but the noise there (the bar is slightly better), the color scheme and riducolous decor and uniforms make me kind of send me into a shame spiral.

                            I have been having cravings for Dominos pepperoni pizza lately, but I think I can manage on memories from 1992 for now.

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: LFP
                              m
                              mrnelso May 23, 2008 01:04 PM

                              Thanks for the blast from the (distant) past: Appreciating brown butter and mizithra there was one of my gateway chow experiences. It is with me to this day, though I haven't been there since I was 14.

                              1. re: mrnelso
                                malarkey May 23, 2008 03:12 PM

                                "gateway chow experience" ... :-) I like that!

                              2. re: LFP
                                dagoose May 23, 2008 03:18 PM

                                I dunno about the OSF, but I'll give you the dicks.

                                And Red Robin, for sure--I didn't realize they suddenly became a national chain, I still just think of them as the one down on eastlake! Crazy. But there is a place in my heart for going in middle school and downing those bottomless strawberry lemonades.

                                Okay, dominoes--here's my secret: The breadsticks (without cheese) with the garlic butter dipping sauce are UNBELIEVABLE. Probably a heart attack in a box too, but they are delicious. It is very hard to get your hands on the sauce though. They try to leave it out. I have given up, because they always leave it out, and it isn't worth it without it!

                                1. re: LFP
                                  p
                                  pablissima May 27, 2008 11:52 PM

                                  Dick's is anything but a food crime. It's like that late night pardon from the governor before the ill-advised gin-champagne-sugar specialty cocktail of execution robs one of relatively painless morning.

                                  1. re: pablissima
                                    l
                                    landrover2085 May 31, 2008 07:19 PM

                                    I agree. Dick's is a Seattle staple and nothing to be ashamed of.

                                    1. re: landrover2085
                                      h
                                      HungWeiLo Jun 1, 2008 12:12 AM

                                      Of course, out-of-town coworkers take a while to get used to not doing a double-take when they hear me say stuff like "I grew up on Dick's!" or "Let's get some Dick's!" :-)

                                      1. re: HungWeiLo
                                        j
                                        jaydeflix Jun 1, 2008 02:08 PM

                                        Or 'Hold on, I need to pick up a stranger'.

                                        1. re: jaydeflix
                                          m
                                          mrnelso Sep 11, 2008 08:59 PM

                                          lol

                                        2. re: HungWeiLo
                                          j
                                          jenn Nov 4, 2008 11:16 AM

                                          well, if you think its funny coming from a grown-up, you should have seen the no-longer-living-with-us-oldest-pup's face on her 1st visit to seattle when her siblings were yelling "i love dicks...." "lets get dicks....."

                                    2. re: LFP
                                      s
                                      Seashanty Nov 3, 2008 08:51 PM

                                      Dick's is an institution! They stick to their old recipes and have great business ethics - what's wrong with that? Not to mention it's an honest to goodness Drive-In, of which there are precious few, these days. I say get that secret out in the open!

                                    3. w
                                      wineinseattle May 1, 2008 02:23 PM

                                      is it just me or is the furniture at Purple Cafe SO heavy? I feel like a weakling when I try to move it. The front door is super heavy too. And I feel like I'm going to fall off the bar stools. Was that place made for giants? Nice food though:)

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: wineinseattle
                                        c
                                        clearskies0810 May 28, 2008 12:00 AM

                                        oh my gosh, i have the same problem with purple. can you imagine the pain it must be to have to move those chairs around to clean after-hours?

                                        1. re: wineinseattle
                                          l
                                          Lisa329 Nov 20, 2008 11:26 AM

                                          I completely agree!! The chairs are so heavy, so big, and SO uncomfortable.

                                        2. bbqer Apr 24, 2008 01:08 PM

                                          Bless me, Father, for I have sinned...I confess a strong hankering for McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwich from time to time. I know, I know, it's blasphemy. But there's something about that steamy bun, oozing with tartar sauce (better than what Jack's Fish Spot serves!), and crispy fried fish square with just the slightest hint of rare cheddar (okay, it's just American but it adds to the gestalt of the finished piece). Adding insult to injury, the damn thing is overpriced at $2.99 (I remember back when Mickey D's first introduced it for 25 cents...yes, I'm *that* old). I have other secret sins but that's all you get for now.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: bbqer
                                            h
                                            HungWeiLo Apr 24, 2008 02:29 PM

                                            I should have taken a picture in McDonald's while I was in Asia. Half the restaurant was eating Filet-O-Fish (it's very popular over there). It was like a sea of blue wrappers.

                                            1. re: HungWeiLo
                                              fooey Apr 24, 2008 09:33 PM

                                              YAY FILET O' FISH. Nuff said...

                                            2. re: bbqer
                                              dave_c Apr 30, 2008 12:30 PM

                                              Does it seem like the Filet-O-Fish has less tartar sauce and only a 1/2 slice of cheese?

                                              I remember a lot more tartar sauce. In fact, tartar sauce would ooze out during the first bite. Also, I seem to remember a whole slice of cheese.

                                              The modern version just seems so dry in comparison. However, the Filet-O-Fish is the best darn fast food sandwich available.

                                              1. re: dave_c
                                                vanillagorilla May 22, 2008 01:39 PM

                                                It's had 1/2 a slice of cheese since at least 1993 when I first got a job there. The tartar sauce got shot out of a gun, so it was supposed to be a consistent amount. However, I tended to put less on as I preferred them that way.

                                            3. e
                                              equinoise Apr 24, 2008 12:32 PM

                                              Taco Time. Their hopelessly (and deliberately) inauthentic "mexican" fare and polished aluminum counters have none of the humble charm or depth of flavor of the area's better taquerias or trucks. Something about those tarted up tots aka "mexi-fries" dipped in the watery salsa splashed out of the metal pump just brings me back to my little league days. Ditto for the oil-sodden cinnamon chip dessert and the sour cream dressing. Love the 80's futuristic architecture of the branch on 45th in Wallyworld.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: equinoise
                                                g
                                                GreenYoshi Apr 24, 2008 12:39 PM

                                                Gotta say I love though giant taquitos they call Crisp Burritos...

                                                1. re: equinoise
                                                  m
                                                  mrnelso Apr 24, 2008 03:12 PM

                                                  I'm going to join you in this one. A bean burrito and an order of Mexi Fries were vegetarian comfort food for me there...

                                                  1. re: mrnelso
                                                    allisonw Apr 24, 2008 07:31 PM

                                                    I too have this Taco Time problem. Why does something so bad taste so darned good?

                                                  2. re: equinoise
                                                    t
                                                    travel_a_holic Oct 12, 2009 04:38 PM

                                                    the thousand-island-hamburger burrito with it's soul-less tortilla is muy bueno and irresistible when enduring a throbbing hang-over.

                                                  3. k
                                                    Kevin B Apr 22, 2008 10:19 AM

                                                    Collins Pub.

                                                    The service is consistently horrendous. I've booked a private party there and then arrived to find they double booked and had the Manager tell me that we would have to share, no concession offered.

                                                    But the food is really good, the beer list is one of the best in the city and where else are you going to go for great beer before a game?

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Kevin B
                                                      p
                                                      phinious Apr 26, 2008 04:06 PM

                                                      I live a few blocks away from Collin's Pub, and I find myself there quite often. I am sorry to hear of your service issues, but my experience with the staff has been quite positive. The beer selection is rich and rotates weekly (the owner is a true beer geek) and the food is above par (for pub grub).

                                                      It can get overrun with white-collars between 5-6 on weekdays, but it is my favorite spot in P.Square.

                                                      1. re: phinious
                                                        k
                                                        Kevin B Apr 30, 2008 08:07 AM

                                                        Maybe it's because I'm not a regular (but couple times a month) and a white collar that I receive poor service?

                                                    2. m
                                                      mrnelso Apr 21, 2008 09:16 PM

                                                      Tutta Bella (Wallingford, especially) has, without question, the most clueless wait-staff ever, so I really want to hate it, but alas, the food is reliable and cheap and good enough, so I can't. I am totally hooked on the "Solerno Pizza Ensalata" (Caprese on a seasoned baked pizza crust). It's light and refreshing, but all that mozz and crust makes it meal-like enough that 2 of us can be fed on a pizza (or two, ok) and one of these.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: mrnelso
                                                        s
                                                        staffstuff Apr 22, 2008 10:05 AM

                                                        i agree with you on this one....'smokey' bread and caprese salad-all-in-one.YUM

                                                      2. frygirl Apr 21, 2008 01:56 AM

                                                        The lunch special of pot stickers with rice and salad (complete with mayonnaise dressing) at Tower Deli on 7th ave downtown. They squirt teriyaki sauce and hot sauce on the pot stickers and it soaks down into the rice. Disgusting, yummy goodness!

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: frygirl
                                                          l
                                                          Lauren Apr 21, 2008 10:19 AM

                                                          Okay, this sounds right up my alley. What building is it in? Or what is the cross street on 7th?

                                                          1. re: Lauren
                                                            frygirl Apr 21, 2008 12:05 PM

                                                            Lauren - Tower Deli faces 7th avenue and is between Olive and Stewart. The line out the door reveals that I'm not the only one who likes their pot stickers. I also like the turkey cranberry sandwich.

                                                        2. s
                                                          skyla Apr 20, 2008 05:07 PM

                                                          Short answer: Safeway hot deli fried chicken. Can't explain it. Embarrassed to admit it.

                                                          Longer answer: 5 Spot. I go there a lot because of their late hours and because I live nearby and don't want to drive anywhere to get food that late. Their late night 5.00 menu is pretty attractive, their bar drinks are very tasty and I really like the staff. However, I always think it's unnecessarily loud and echoey even at 11:30pm with the restaurant empty and the music still blaring, the food usually over-peppered and generally pretty mediocre (5-Spot is about quantity over quality) and the rotating regional menu is either really good or really terrible (the ice cold creme brulee-esque "indian pudding" from New England still haunts me years later). I also can't eat the best thing on the late night menu, the mac & cheese. So, I go a lot because of hours and location, but I wish there were other options. I wish Betty served later or one of the thai places served late a la Jai Thai though Fremont isn't too far away. Things are looking up though with the How to Cook a Wolf open until midnight.

                                                          14 Replies
                                                          1. re: skyla
                                                            s
                                                            staffstuff Apr 20, 2008 06:14 PM

                                                            shhhhh....i agree w. you on the Safeway fried chicken....best I've had anywhere in this city (whew...got that off my chest)

                                                            1. re: staffstuff
                                                              fooey Apr 21, 2008 07:53 AM

                                                              You are both going to food purgatory. You know this, right?

                                                              1. re: fooey
                                                                s
                                                                staffstuff Apr 21, 2008 10:17 AM

                                                                I would guess more than a phew enjoy a good pc. of Safeway fried chicken......at those grand 'ol food purgatory picnics in the deep South

                                                              2. re: staffstuff
                                                                m
                                                                mrnelso Apr 21, 2008 09:21 PM

                                                                But wait - there are so many Safeways to choose among. Are they all the same? or do some do better than others? (This thread has my curiosity going.)

                                                              3. re: skyla
                                                                g
                                                                GreenYoshi Apr 21, 2008 09:53 AM

                                                                I think QFC's is better...

                                                                1. re: GreenYoshi
                                                                  s
                                                                  skyla Apr 21, 2008 09:59 AM

                                                                  I used to think so too, and it's still close, but Safeway changed their fried chicken supplier or the supplier changed their recipe a year or so ago and the chicken is very good now.

                                                                  As far as going to food purgatory:
                                                                  Given Ezell's (which I like) and the Kingfish Cafe's chicken (which I don't like), I always thought by preferring supermarket chicken, I'd be going to Seattle Fried Chicken Purgatory, a smaller, more elite and tortuous suburb of Food Purgatory.

                                                                  1. re: skyla
                                                                    k
                                                                    kirkj Apr 22, 2008 10:48 AM

                                                                    I always hesitated buying fried chicken from a grocer deli because I suspected that they used old, dated chicken from the meat department. Does anyone know if this is the case?

                                                                    1. re: kirkj
                                                                      fooey Apr 22, 2008 04:18 PM

                                                                      I know this to be true for one specific grocer not in Seattle, but I can't speak for them all.

                                                                      1. re: kirkj
                                                                        s
                                                                        skyla Apr 22, 2008 05:59 PM

                                                                        I only know what I know, but that's not the case for the Safeway on QA. Their chicken is from a frozen food distributor because they often run out and they say there's no more until their next frozen delivery. So, the chicken could be dated before its frozen, but they're not pulling it directly from the meat aisles if that's any consolation.

                                                                        As far as using fresh chicken and dredging it on site... I've seen the Albertson's up in Haller Lake do it and I think the Fred Meyer in Ballard does as well. QFC tastes like flour-dredged chicken but I've never seen them do it. So, as far as where this chicken comes from and how fresh it is, I don't know -- but I'm curious.

                                                                        Another option if you want supermarket fried chicken from a more reputable source is to go to the Ballard Market deli.

                                                                        Oh boy do I know a lot about fried chicken. yikes. I hate this thread. ;)

                                                                        1. re: skyla
                                                                          k
                                                                          kirkj May 22, 2008 01:29 PM

                                                                          skyla,
                                                                          You are so dead-on right about the Safeway fried chicken. It is so good!

                                                                  2. re: skyla
                                                                    n
                                                                    not the bad Steve Apr 21, 2008 10:09 AM

                                                                    > the rotating regional menu is either really good or really terrible (the ice cold creme brulee-esque "indian pudding" from New England still haunts me years later).

                                                                    You've created a nice puzzle for us here--indian pudding was really good or really terrible? Ice cold softly suggests the latter, but far from definitive.

                                                                    1. re: not the bad Steve
                                                                      s
                                                                      skyla Apr 22, 2008 06:28 PM

                                                                      I vaguely remember that it tasted ok as far as sugar-after-dinner goes. As an indian pudding from a regional New England menu, it was about as convincing as Clark Kent's glasses. I'm not sure there was any corn meal or molasses in it and I thought they made it with a egg custard base, but honestly, I think I was so thrown by the caramelized top and coldness that I might not have been looking at the rest. So full confession, I'm from New England originally so I know what an indian pudding is, but it makes me wonder whether they are butchering regionals from other parts of the country I'm not familiar with. You'd think though with the interwebs, they couldn't possibly be _that_ off.

                                                                    2. re: skyla
                                                                      rumgum Apr 26, 2008 09:56 AM

                                                                      I prefer Albertson's fried chicken. But I love Safeway's jojos and deli sandwiches.

                                                                      1. re: rumgum
                                                                        dave_c Apr 30, 2008 12:17 PM

                                                                        I've tried Albertson's, Safeway, Tops/Haggen, QFC and Fred Meyers.

                                                                        I agree... For supermarket fried chicken, I like Albertson's. Safeway is okay and my second choice.

                                                                        My preference is Popeye's for my national chain restaurant fried chicken. I can't explain why I hate KFC.

                                                                        Ezell's to out of the way for me. However, I do make the effort every few months when the kids are soccering in the Lynnhood

                                                                    3. s
                                                                      staffstuff Apr 20, 2008 12:42 PM

                                                                      I'm a huge aficionado of Buffalo-style chicken wings. The only place that I've found that comes close to the authentic upstate NY crispy, spicy & sour gnawables is The WINGDOME.....it's noisy, overflowing w. college kids & 'porky' types guzzling pitchers and too cold for me in the winter. The staff is always friendly and the service is always good.I've tried 'em for take-out but they lose something in transit.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: staffstuff
                                                                        e
                                                                        equinoise Apr 24, 2008 12:42 PM

                                                                        " 'porky' types"? Like, gluttonous slobs mowing down wings? Or like, from the movie Porky's--leering hornball types?

                                                                        Either way, LOL right now.

                                                                      2. terrier Apr 19, 2008 11:30 PM

                                                                        Recently, Quinn's. It's noisy and pretentious and draws an obnoxious crowd, but I must say the service once seated has always been fine and the food has brought me back several times in the past few months. Tuning out my surroundings, the only real problem I have with the place is the food can be a bit oversalted and not enough veg.

                                                                        But I still kinda want to hate it just for the atmosphere.

                                                                        Runner up: Tutta Bella.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: terrier
                                                                          barleywino Apr 20, 2008 08:52 AM

                                                                          ditto on Quinn's; one of those few places where the food transcends the noisy atmosphere and bare-bones furniture. I hope they keep expanding their Euro-centric bistro offerings (more offal, beef cheek etc or maybe some nice fatty Norwegian-salmon gravlax drowned in olive oil or over a bed of angel hair w/ mashed roasted elephant garlic etc)

                                                                          1. re: terrier
                                                                            m
                                                                            mrnelso Sep 11, 2008 08:31 PM

                                                                            I am all over the Tutta Bella post. Columbia City has been OK, but the Wallingford waitstaff is embarrasingly undertrained. Every single one of our ten or so visits has produced yet another bushel of evidence that the training program simply does not exist. Apparently, these well-meaning teenagers are being left to learn service from their equally well-meaning but unseasoned peers. It is not pretty. On our first visit, our server, kneeling and resting his sweating head on our table, explained to us at length that he was tired from a long shift but regaled us with glee that he had achieved some sales-goal or other. Other visits, we got: 1>Entered, stood in front of the Maitre de station, ineffectually attaining eye contact, for 20 minutes without acknowledgement until the apparent "host" realized we were there with a purpose (Yeah, dinner. Get it?) and then said, in a way most unhelpful, unpleasant, and unnecessary "Oh, you're supposed to stand OVER THERE," when there was nothing to communicate this, apparently secret, house-rule. 2>When there was live entertainment, we asked the host for a quieter table when we entered, but were seated right in front of the speakers and when I went back to the host to point out the disjunct, was told "no, that really is a quite table." - WTF? 3>We got plenty of eye-contact from squadrons of staff, but none responded to our obvious motions indicating a desire for attention. Apparently, our server had gone on break, or off shift, and there was no coverage. We waited for the bill for 20 minutes or so (or maybe my memory is stretching this), put on our coats, and went to the checkout to pay, where we were greeted with theatrical puzzlement, but, at least, were allowed to pay, and, miraculously, were not berated for breaking yet another house rule, though it was made abundantly clear that we were a pain in somebody's kiester. 4>We were seated OK, our order was taken OK, but we ordered pizza A, but were delivered pizza B. When we mentioned that "we did not order this," the waitron set about convincing this that "this is just as good." 5>We were seated fine, ordered fine, got the order OK, but when the server swooped past to deliver the "is everything OK" script, he did not afford us enough attention to acknowledge our gesture that "well, actually we'd like..." He just blew past us, with obvious confidence that he had checked-off the next box and thereby fulfilled his function.
                                                                            There is not human sensibility here, nor graciousness, nor skillful service.
                                                                            Even then, the food is fine and some (few, but great) servers have been truly excellent. One grabbed-up my wife's forgotten bag and came running (ah, youth) down the street to return it to her.

                                                                            1. re: terrier
                                                                              m
                                                                              mrnelso Sep 11, 2008 08:41 PM

                                                                              I am all over the Tutta Bella criticism. Columbia City has been OK, but the Wallingford waitstaff is embarrasingly undertrained. Every single one of our ten or so visits has produced yet another bushel of evidence that the training program simply does not know what it is there for. Apparently, these well-meaning teenagers are being left to learn service from their equally well-meaning but unseasoned peers. It is not pretty. On our first visit, our server, kneeling and resting his sweating head on our table, explained to us at length that he was tired from a long shift but regaled us with glee that he had achieved some sales-goal or other. Other visits, we got: 1>Entered, stood in front of the Maitre de station, ineffectually attaining eye contact, for 20 minutes without acknowledgement until the apparent "host" realized we were there with a purpose (Yeah, dinner. Get it?) and then said, in a way most unhelpful, unpleasant, and unnecessary "Oh, you're supposed to stand OVER THERE," when there was nothing to communicate this, apparently secret, house-rule. 2>When there was live entertainment, we asked the host for a quieter table when we entered, but were seated right in front of the speakers and when I went back to the host to point out the disjunct, was told "no, that really is a quiet table." - WTF? 3>We got plenty of eye-contact from squadrons of staff, but none responded to our obvious motions, pleading for attention. Apparently, our server had gone on break, or off shift, and there was no coverage. We waited for the bill for 30 minutes or so (though maybe my memory is stretching this), with lots of eyeball-avoidance, put on our coats, and went to checkout to pay, where we were greeted with theatrical puzzlement, but, at least, were allowed to pay, and, miraculously, were not berated for breaking yet another house rule, though it was made abundantly clear that we were a pain in somebody's kiester. 4>We were seated OK and our order was taken OK, but we ordered pizza A and were delivered pizza B. When we mentioned that "we did not order this," the waitron set about convincing this that "this is just as good." 5>We were seated fine, ordered fine, got the order OK, but when the server swooped past to deliver the "is everything OK" script, he did not slow down long enough to afford us the attention to acknowledge our gesture that "well, actually we'd like..." He just blew past us, with obvious confidence that he had checked-off the next box and thereby fulfilled his function.
                                                                              There is not human sensibility here, nor graciousness, nor skillful service, and certainly not good service management.
                                                                              Even then, the food is fine and some (few, but great) servers have been truly excellent. One grabbed-up my wife's forgotten bag and came running (ah, youth) down the street to return it to her.
                                                                              Actually, we look forward to each visit, as it has become a game to enjoy the comprehensiveness of the lack of a clue here.

                                                                            2. fooey Apr 19, 2008 01:59 PM

                                                                              Cedars Restaurant On Brooklyn (4759 Brooklyn Avenue N.E. ). I dislike the owner, his petulant son, and the holier than thou staff; yet, I love the food.

                                                                              Check out Yelp for some interesting stories: http://www.yelp.com/biz/cedars-restau...

                                                                              Luckily, their other restaurant (Taste of India) has a completely different aura and the food is just as good, if not better. (But it doesn't have the baklava, and let's face it, Cedar's on Brooklyn has the cities best baklava).

                                                                              Cedar's in U dist (1319 NE 43rd St) is not in the same league as the other two, but it has the flavours of the others and damned good gyros.

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: fooey
                                                                                f
                                                                                Finspot Apr 19, 2008 05:10 PM

                                                                                For a long time I hated Flying Fish. This was around a decade ago, during its "super model phase," when it was overflowing with a heroin-waif waitstaff that only deigned to smile at Belltown's most fabulous. Then, probably coinciding with the Dot-Com puncture, it fell back to earth and has been wonderful ever since. I've always thought of it as a pretty good deal, too, comparatively.

                                                                                1. re: fooey
                                                                                  natalie.warner Apr 21, 2008 08:23 AM

                                                                                  Did you hear that the owner of Cedar's is retiring and that his staff is transfering to Taste of India? Plus he stated that he would be helping out at his son's restaurant now. I love Taste of India and have never tried Cedar's. Just a FYI :)

                                                                                  1. re: natalie.warner
                                                                                    fooey Apr 21, 2008 08:32 AM

                                                                                    Praise the Gods! May his son roast in a tandoor all the days of his life, that castrato-voiced, man-child version of a petulant pissant.

                                                                                    [devil smiley]

                                                                                    n. A pissant. The word can also refer to an inconsequential, irrelevant, or worthless person, especially one who is irritating or contemptible out of proportion to his or her significance. Its origin is with pismire, a 14th-century word for ant.

                                                                                    1. re: natalie.warner
                                                                                      fooey Apr 21, 2008 08:34 AM

                                                                                      Order out baklava (from Cedar's) for a dinner party (or self-snackie) and serve it warm with good black coffee. OMG. Tis' ambrosia.

                                                                                      1. re: fooey
                                                                                        fooey Apr 21, 2008 08:36 AM

                                                                                        And if the baklava doesn't survive this retirement, I will declare war on some Middle Eastern country. Oh wait...

                                                                                  2. barleywino Apr 19, 2008 01:01 PM

                                                                                    bistro shrimp pasta (not to be confused with their other shrimp pasta offerings) at CHeesecake Factory. substitute fettucine for spaghettini if you prefer. those crispy slightly battered pan-fried shrimp nuggets are what makes this dish unusual. also their Texas beef ribs--sure they're fatty and you feel slightly ill afterwards, but at least they're not dried out and tough. get a side of housemade guac if you're still hungry.

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