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Jun 24, 2008 06:07 AM

In Seattle ONE DAY!

Squeezing in just 1 day in Seattle. Looking for breakfast, lunch and dinner at places we can't find anywhere else. Unique to Seattle. As a side, looking for unique small local artisan shops.

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  1. I was recently hosting some friends in town, had a similar goal and did Tamarind Tree for lunch, Ivar's Salmon House for afternoon drinks and Ray's Boathouse for dinner (Ponti would be nice substitution if you don't want to go all the way to Ballard)

    While one might question the culinary value of Ivar's Salmon house, it's definitely interesting and unique to the Northwest (with it's native american decor) and has one of the best views of the city. (and it's a great happy hour)

    Overall, I'd say these tend toward the unique in atmosphere and location than food.
    (not bad meals at any, but I wouldn't say these are the top places. More like a couple of the most unique OUT OF the Top 30 Seattle Restaurants)

    1. Abacal -- I'm from Seattle and in San Diego for a week. I'm also fine-tuning my meals list. Hope to hit Blue Water Grill for the next batch of fish tacos tomorrow.

      In Seattle ... I think Ballard might be the right neighborhood to hang out in for local shops. That or Capitol Hill, which has an edgier scene, or the ubiquitous Pike Place Market. So here are three restaurants in each.

      B: Dish (small place, great food) or High Life (former fire station; more comfortable seating) or Moose Cafe (authentic Mexican), or if you just want coffee and fabulous pastries, Besalu
      L: La Carta (Oaxacan; try the posole or lamb or entomatada) or Lunchbox Laboratory (amazing burgers; split one, as they're bigger than life!)
      D: Ray's Boathouse (if you want the water experience) or the bar at Volterra (after the bigger lunch, go with a few appetizers!) or Ocho (small tapas place, good cocktails, and crowded)

      B: Press (French Euro tech cafe) or Coastal Kitchen (regional specials and good traditional breakfasts) or
      L: Dick's (for drive in burgers) or Volunteer Park Cafe (sweet neighborhood joint near park; great salads and sandwiches) or Tamarind Tree (Vietnamese in nearby International District) or St. Cloud's (another great neighborhood joint in nearby Madrona)
      D: Quinn's (coined a gastro pub; great food, hip scene) or Via Tribunali (Napoli style pizza, hip scene) or Jamjuree (great Thai)

      B: Le Pichet (French, owned by Press folks; limited menu but yummy), Steelhead Diner (weekends from 10 am) or Lowell's (institution cafeteria with water views)
      L: Matt's at the Market (a favorite of Chowhounders) or Etta's (Tom Douglas gets it right 95% of the time) or Cafe Campagne (another French option; fabulous soups and lamb burger)
      D: Pink Door (wonderful, funky deck if weather is nice) or Matt's at the Market or Le Pichet or Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar (sit with the locals in the bar for salmon soup, fish and chips and a beer)

      Pick your favorite scene and do a few list searches. Just like GreenYoshi's list, all of these will come up! Have a great time!

      6 Replies
      1. re: zoogrrrl

        My very favorite fish taco. Get either the Seabass if they have it (they did not have it last wek) or salmon. They will be smokey, rich and wonderfully fresh. Make sure to say yes to the avocado.
        About Seattle, how is Tango? And I thought Salumi cured meats for lunch. I had considered on of the Douglas restaurants, but there seemd to be a lot of not so geat talk about them all on CH. Is there a reason lamb is big in Seattle?

        1. re: abacal

          I think many places in many cities have their fans and their hatahs. And even good restaurants have off days.

          Tango does not get lots of buzz, but I have enjoyed it when I went there before a show a few times. Salumi is always a worthy choice. And I am almost always happy to go to a Tom Douglas place.

          1. re: cocktailhour

            All of the Tom Douglas places are always great experiences and good food, Salumi is wonderful as long as you can get there when they are open, however I have to give a big no to Tango. The food is just ok, service has been awful everytime we've went, and just a huge letdown since people rave about it, IMO.

            1. re: nseattlefoodie

              I don't agree, nseattle. I work downtown and lately coworkers and I have noticed Serious Pie taking a nosedive. LoLa is not very good now nor has it ever been. Dahlia, Etta's and Palace Kitchen continue to get thumbs up, though.

              1. re: firecracker

                i guess i should have clarified, i don't call Serious Pie true Tom Douglas, but i thought it was just my taste in pizza. ;)

                1. re: firecracker

                  Sorry, have to disagree with the Lola comment - was there for dinner a couple of weeks ago and it was a great meal. The octopus was incredible, the service was friendly and attentive, and the whole atmosphere was relaxed and fund.

        2. Abacal -- when do you travel? My husband works at Salumi on Fridays. You could call in an order at 10:50 and come up to the checkstand, or as nseattlefoodie recommends, get there at 11:00 am when they open, or go after 2:30 pm. You could also get a cured meat plate to go (with or without cheese/olives) and get part of the Salumi experience!

          I haven't been to Tango. I have had the tapas at Capitol Club and enjoyed them, and they often have live music and dancing. In short, there are many great places, but there are an equal number of mediocre places and I don't like to waste my food dollar or time!

          6 Replies
          1. re: zoogrrrl

            We will be there Wednesday July 2nd. We are thinking now we will get some meats to take with us to our cousins' house the next day (we will be traveling south below Olympia). That way we can get the Salumi experience, share it with our foodie family, and get in yet another restaurant. We are hoping that after all this we can still make the weight limit coming home on the airplane! I have printed out your recs and will sort through them soon. Thanks so much!

            1. re: abacal

              Salumi: In that case I would recommend 1/3# sliced of three different kinds, like salumi salami, hot soppresata (not that hot) and finocchiona (fennel and peppercorns). You will need to call your order in the day before. And take a chunk of pancetta or guanciale for your own cooking. It is "shelf stable," as they say, and won't need refrigeration. Then again, it needs cooler more than hotter!

              You might also call tomorrow to see if they are open next week! Just in case! Sea bass tacos tomorrow!

              1. re: abacal

                Abacal -- Salumi IS open next week and my husband will be working on Wed. He'll be the only guy there working the front, so say hi. Best to call your order in 8:30-10:45 or you will likely get a recording.

                1. re: zoogrrrl

                  zoogrrl - my sister will be downtonw touring tomorrow (thursday 6/26). Is your husband working - should they follow the same routine as above. I was not sure if I should send them, as they don't want to spend their whole touring day waiting in line, but sounds like you have a solution? i will be at work with a tuna sandwich :(

                  1. re: bluedog67

                    Bluedog -- tell your sister to call a sandwich order or meat order in before opening if she doesn't want to wait in line and eat inside. A great sandwich choice is the porchetta/no cheese, or meatball w/cheese. We travel tomorrow and he works Friday!

                    1. re: zoogrrrl

                      I like the culatello with mozzarella and onions. The hot sandwiches can get a little messy...

            2. For breakfast, I second Cafe Senor Moose and add Macrina (Belltown location), Hi Spot in Madrona and Luna Park Cafe in West Seattle.

              For lunch, consider Shuckers in the Olympic Hotel for great oysters and nicely executed seafood. It's not a quick lunch.

              For dinner, I think Union operates on a higher level than just about anywhere else in town, and really on its game right now.

              For shops, Black Creek Botanicals at 1516 Western below the Market has artisanal soaps that are a cut above. Cardamom, myrtle and geranium iris are particular favorites of mine. Across the street, World Spice has all sorts of hard-to-find spices and an ever-expanding range of house-made regional spice mixes. Vetri on First Ave. has works of local glass artisans (interesting ones!) in all price ranges. For home furnishings, Egbert's on First Ave. in Belltown. For interesting artisan-made stuff, jewelry, etc., Square Room and FoxMaid (under common ownership) in the Pike/Pine corridor of Capitol Hill. For jewelery, Facere in City Centre (1420 Fifth Ave.). For men's clothing, Blackbird in Ballard.

              2 Replies
              1. re: donttrustsnakes

                This is so perfect I can't wait to go! Food and otherwise.
                Thanks all!
                Zoogrrrl, I will call your husband for sure!

                1. re: abacal

                  Abacal -- you win the prize for best fish taco recommendation! Here is our report:

                  #1 grilled sea bass tacos, Blue Water Grill (w/avocado)
                  #2 deep fried tacos, a tie between Mariscos German (me) and Bahia in LaJolla (husband)
                  #3 MG's gobenator, pulpo and marlyn tacos

                  Thanks for the fun!

              2. I agree with Hi spot for breakfast but Steel head diner in Pike place market for lunch and Wild ginger for dinner.