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Apr 21, 2009 02:05 PM

Comparison: Quinn's vs. Spur - Seattle

OK, I have been to Spur twice now and have been impressed. Although it is expensive, to me it was worth the price. The next place on my list to try for GastroPubs is Quinn's. Has anyone been to both and how would you compare the two?

Are there any other establishments that fit the GastroPub description in the greater Seattle area?

Billy Bob

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  1. It's like comparing my children! If I had them! I love both restaurants, but consider them to have different strengths. I think the cocktails are much better at spur, the beer and wine selection--esp beer better at quinn's.

    In terms of food, the stuff at spur is much smaller and I think more innovative, creative. I think you are paying a little more per amount of filling up, but you are getting something with a lot more playfulness. On that note, sometimes things get a little too playful and don't quite match flavors perfectly. At Quinn's, you'll get full faster for the same price and everything will be perfectly executed (at dinner, I've heard nightmares about lunch). Ingredients might be exciting--veal testicles, etc. but the preparations, while delicious, aren't unbelievably creative.

    Service wise, I've never had less than letter perfect service at quinn's, while the service at spur has always been quite good, it is a bit more casual, almost bar style, as oppose to casual to fine dining style at quinn's.

    hope that helps!

    1 Reply
    1. re: dagoose


      That certainly helps. You did a good job of sharing your thoughts on the differences. I like your analogy on picking your favorite child, which is why I bristle a bit when someone asks my my favorite of just about anything. I have a lot of favorites and enjoy variety and any place that express creativity in a new way. Sounds like Spur and Quinn's have done just that in expressing what a good Gastropub should be. I can't wait to try Quinn's.

      Billy Bob

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. For me, there is no comparison.
        In my 10 plus visits to Quinns, I've had service ranging from apathetic to horrible, sausage that was actually raw, food too salty, food not seasoned enough. Warm salad thatwas supposed to be cold, cold salad that was supposed to be warm. Red wine that was actually ICE cold that had to be warmed in a bain marie in the kitchen (the bottle was $45), well done burgers that were supposed to be medium-rare. Shall I continue? Don't even get me started on lunch... I was denied service at 11:25 pm one night because they close at midnight! Overall, I think they have a beautiful room and a lot of potential. The kitchen is wildly inconsistent and although they have a lot of interesting ideas and items, they fail to deliver.

        Spur, on the other hand, has been the complete opposite. Professional service every time. Outstanding food that is executed to perfection. Worth every penny.

        Go to Quinns - if for nothing else than to appreciate Spur that much more.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Green Eggs and Ham


          Thanks for sharing. I will say you are persistent to have gone back 10 times with those kinds of experiences ;-).

          Billy Bob

          1. re: Green Eggs and Ham

            Wow I have the total opposite experience at Quinn’s they did have some shaky months around a year ago but recently (the last 6 to 8 months) I think everything is spot on. The staff has always been fantastic and the food so good. The frog legs, the burger, the chopped salad Yum, YUm, and YUM. They do tend to cook things a bit under (medium rare burger comes out closer to rare IMO) But for me that is really fine. I don’t think I have ever ordered wine there because the cocktails and beer selection is so outstanding.

            Sorry you had so many rotten experiences.

            1. re: Charles

              I have gone back so many times because I really WANT that place to be great. The food reads really well on the menu but just comes up short every time. I haven't been back in a few months - at this point I kind of refuse to spend money there - but have been tempted to give it one more try because there's only so many times I can eat at Presse late night. I really respect Scott Staples as a Chef and have had wonderful experiences at Zoe.
              I hope your experience there is fantastic.

              1. re: Charles

                I believe there was a change of chefs around a year ago, that may explain the shakiness.

              2. re: Green Eggs and Ham

                I had a similar experience last week with a nearly raw in the middle burger and super salty fries. Not what I would expect for the price. The people beside us had their order lost. The place was full, but no one was queued up waiting for a table. The staff apologised and gave them a gift certificate. I'm not sure I would walk up the hill to go there again given our rather lack luster experience.

                1. re: nanette

                  I've had two meals at Quinn's, both with friendly, relaxed service... highly informed servers who gave enough attention without being intrusive. (i HATE intrusive servers).. The food on both occasions was excellent, surprisingly so actually. I had not experienced the "gastropub" scene before, so our first time there was a real surprise. Foie gras dishes uniformly well executed. sorry to hear not everyone has had good experiences but I just love the place.