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Seattle/Portland - Itinerary Critique

Hi - My boyfriend and I are going to be in Seattle (4 days) and Portland (2 days), starting this weekend. I've been doing some research on food options, with the goal of trying as many of the great places as possible while still having a fairly relaxed trip. We live in NYC and love the dining options here, but are both born southerners and are happiest with a mix of chill and adventurous dining experiences. Definitely trying to focus a bit on seafood/PNW-style food. Any thoughts/recommendations on the itinerary below will be much appreciated! It's our first time in the PNW, so we're psyched!

Seattle:
Saturday -- we get in really late Friday night and are staying out near the airport that night, with the plan of heading out to Snoqualmie to check out the falls during the day on Saturday. (the rest of the time we're staying in Belltown)
Breakfast - Geraldine's on the way out of town.
Lunch - any recommendations for picnic food that we could grab, either on the way out of town or on the way out to Snoqualmie?
Dinner - we're heading back into the city and have a reservation at Cafe Juanita, but I am thinking of canceling it in favor of something else. (We have lots of great Italian in NYC). Suggestions?

Sunday - Brunch - Spring Hill, then check out West Seattle
Lunch - At the Mariners/Rangers game
Afternoon snack - check out Capitol Hill, Vivace for an afternoon coffee
Dinner - Sitka & Spruce

Monday -
Breakfast - grab a croissant in Pike Place
Lunch - Either Matt's in the Market or fish n chips (Jack's or Anthony's?)
Happy Hour - Elliot's
Late Light Dinner - Spur or Elemental Next Door

Tuesday -
Breakfast - Dahlia Bakery maybe. Anything else good for bfast in Belltown area?
Lunch - grab Salumi and take it to the ferry across to Bainbridge
Snack - the Bainbridge ice cream place
Dinner - with family, and they are picking the place

Wednesday - head to Portland in the morning (we are staying at the Ace Hotel)
Breakfast on the road - thoughts?
Lunch - Pok Pok (no one on the board seems to eat this for lunch, but it seems to work unless someone tells me otherwise)
Dinner - Navarre

Thursday -
Breakfast - Ken's Artisan Bakery or Gravy (which to choose?)
Lunch - Clarklewis
Dinner - Clyde Common (close to the hotel and we're leaving early Friday morning to drive down to Mendocino that night)...

I keep hearing that Toro Bravo is a must-do for Portland, but the boyfriend doesn't love tapas, and I feel like maybe that's something we could get just as good in other cities. Thoughts?

Anything we're totally missing out on in either city? Any feedback is much appreciated!

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  1. Looks pretty good. I can offer a few pieces of info:
    1. SeaTac airport is not really in Seattle so heading to Geraldines is not the most convenient on your way to Snoqualmie. I would probably research some breakfast places in Issaquah or Snoqualmie. I've had some good breakfast in Issaquah in the Gilman Village but don't recall the name of the restaurant. There isn't really an ideal picnic area by the falls if I recall and I can't think of a place to grab picnic food along the way. Sorry. I love Cafe Juanita and I think it is thoroughly different enough from the Italian I have had in NYC to recommend that you keep the reservation.

    You can bring in food to the mariners games you just can't bring in drinks. So you don't have to eat the stadium food (although it is good by stadium food standards). So you could grab some food from somewhere else and bring it in. You could grab whatever looks good at Uwajimaya and take it in, along with some fresh Beard Papa cream puffs.

    There aren't any super amazing croissants at Pike Place so I may steer you toward a crumpet or crepe or pierosky.

    Dahlia Bakery is good or breakfast at Lola's is very good. Keep in mind the wait time at Salumi if you have a specific ferry time you need to make. Even if you show up right at 11 when the doors open you might have to wait 30 minutes.

    And at some point you gotta squeeze in a Paseo sandwich right? Other from that, I wish I could join you!

    1 Reply
    1. re: eat.rest.repeat

      Kind of moot now, but how is Geraldine's out of the way to Snoqualmie if you staying near Seatac?
      Just jump off I-5 at Swift Albro, and head over to Rainier for Geraldine's.
      Then you can continue on Rainier to get to 90.

      I don't think of Geraldine's as amazing stuff (and I'm not sure it'd be what I pick), but it's definitely not that far out of the way if you're heading to Snoqualmie from the south.

      (Bit of a pet peeve of mine when people think of stuff in the south end of Seattle as so far away and are unwilling to go to places down there...)

    2. Hi from PDX. Too bad you're here for such a short time. Your list looks good though.
      I'd go with Ken's Artisan Bakery.
      If your bf doesn't love tapas, don't see why I should try to talk him into it. Sounds like a losing proposition. Too bad, as it's one of our best places.
      Pok Pok will be great for lunch. I've been there many times for it.
      If you like adventurous, squeeze in Tanuki.
      Navarre is really outstanding. I go there all the time. Ditto for Clyde.
      I'm not so crazy about ClarkLewis. Really slow inattentive service and noisy.

      Have fun. Please report!

      1. If he doesn't like tapas, don't worry, Toro Bravo doesn't have tapas. I'm one of the lone dissenters, but I just don't see what all the fuss is about, I had a perfectly mediocre meal there, and none of the food was like anything I've had in Spain, or at home. They use/misuse some Spanish ingredients, but the flavors are just not there, not balanced. Boil-in-a-bag pork is boil-in-a-bag pork, no matter how trendy the sous vide thing has become. But the nightly crowds clearly evidence better food than I experienced...oh, wait, using that logic, Outback and McDonald's serve better food than I've experienced at either! I'm gonna go back one day to check it out again, so we'll see...maybe I hit an off night. Next time, the boil-in-bag food might just be fantastic! (Whenever I hear about sous vide, I can't help but think of that funny cookbook from 20+ years ago which proposed cooking food in ziplock bags in the dishwasher to save energy!!!!) Ok, ready for stoning.

        1. For your Saturday dinner, I only hear good things about Cafe Juanita, but it is not in Seattle proper. In Seattle itself, you could Tilth--I think of it as very Seattle. Restaurant Zoe is also a good substitute I think.

          For your Pike Place day, you could be different and try a humbow. I also love the doughnut holes at the doughnut place. You can geta croissant at Le Panier. For lunch, Matt's is good for sit down and a glass of wine. I like to go to Steamers on the waterfront for fish and chips. Jacks is very good in the market, I just like sitting by the water. THe waterfront is totally touristy, but I still like it for people watching.

          Belltown breakfast: Lola, Le Pichet, Cafe Campagne for sit down. Dahlia if you want pastry. Depending on where you are staying, Uptown is a good choice for coffee.

          1. Instead of the Dahlia bakery for breakfast, perhaps Macrina Bakery?