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Thoughts on My Seattle Dining Options

I had posted earlier on late night dining for our nighttime arrival and received some great suggestions and opinions. For the rest of the weekend I'm considering the following restaurants, again our hotel is located near the Westlake Center.

Saturday Lunch: Red Mill Burgers or Burgermaster if we end up at the University of Washington.
Saturday Dinner: Shiro's for sushi, Ristorante Machiavelli or Serious Pie depending on our mood that night.
Sunday Breakfast: Lowell's before heading down to Qwest Field.
Sunday Dinner: Most likely Elliott's Oyster House, possibly Ivar's or Etta's.

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on our choices. Suggestions would be welcome too. Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. It’s a little repetitive to respond to all the visitors’ lists of eateries, as there is already lots of information posted about most of the places you mention. I would use Chowhound’s search function on the Paciic Northwest Board for information about places like Shiro’s, Serious Pie, Elliott’s Oyster House (about which I’ve personally posted volumes of information), Etta’s, etc. That said, if you want a burger in the vicinity of the UW, Jak’s Grill (first choice) or The Ram are much better choices than either Red Mill or Burgermaster.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tom Armitage

      Red Mill/Burgermaster are fast food style burgers (along with Kidd Valley, Dick's, etc), while Jak's/The Ram serve restaurant style burgers. You can't compare the two.

      Neither is categorically better; it's dependent on time and place.

      http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2...

      1. re: GreenYoshi

        Thanks for the interesting link to the AHT Guide. It does help focus on some of the different styles of burgers, even if the line between some of the styles (e.g., pub burgers and fast-food-style burgers) can, at some places, get a little blurry. Where I respectfully disagree with you is your statement that “you can’t compare” a restaurant-style burger with a fast-food-style burger, and that “neither is categorically better.” I guess if you put enough weight on the word “categorically” your statement might hold up. But I personally have no problem comparing a burger from Jak’s with a burger from Burgermaster and concluding that, for my personal taste in burgers, Jak’s is clearly superior. I’m aware that Dick’s, Red Mill, and other similar burgers have their champions. But, obviously, I’m not one of them. I have yet to find a burger in Seattle that holds a candle to the burger at Zuni Café in San Francisco. Here’s a link to Nancy Silverton’s take on “the perfect burger”: http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

      1. Agree, let go of Ivar's...it's fun to be right on the waterfront (Elliot's) but I like the southern twist at Etta's. It's been a long time since I've been there but I remember having a very fun, tasty brunch at Etta's

        Please report on where you end up:)

        1. For Sunday I would suggest the Steelhead diner. The two options you listed--not Chowhound destinations.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Leper

            I'm confused. Of the three (not two) options listed for Sunday, Elliott's and Etta's are "not Chowhound destinations"? I have written often, probably excessively, about the oyster bar at Elliott's and recent posts have raved about the experience there. I've also had some great food at Etta's. Although I may be in the minority on this, I also think the fish and chips and clam chowder at Ivar's are just fine.

            1. re: Tom Armitage

              and to be technical, Steelhead has gotten more negative to positive reviews (on this board)

          2. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and comments, I really appreciate it.

            I do get the difference between a steakhouse burger and a fast food one, and in this case we are looking for a really good fast food burger. I love Burgermaster and have since my summer visits in the mid 1960's. I've never had a Red Mill Burger so am looking forward to trying one unless we are around UW at lunchtime, which is the Burgermaster location from my teen years.

            Elliott's looks like our first choice for Sunday night, but I do agree about the fish and chips at Ivar's which my son really enjoys. I'm hoping for some insight into Machiavelli, their menu looks pretty good and it's a short walk from our hotel.

            2 Replies
            1. re: curiousgeo

              Machiavelli is cute and quaint with a hole in the wall vibe. I enjoyed my meal there. I loved my red pasta sauce.

              For brunch at Lowell's I would substitute Lola or Steelhead Diner- based on food and atmosphere.

              I like Red Mill- in regards what you are looking for I think you will like it- Another option is Lunchbox Labratory... their website is misleading because it really is a hole in the wall restaurant across the bridge and up the road a bit from Red Mill- it has great interior kitchy decor and wonderful take out style burgers.

              So...
              Saturday Lunch: Red Mill Burgers or Burgermaster if we end up at the University of Washington.- Yes... but maybe Lunchbox instead?
              Saturday Dinner: Shiro's for sushi, Ristorante Machiavelli or Serious Pie depending on our mood that night.- All good choices
              Sunday Breakfast: Lowell's before heading down to Qwest Field.- Lola's or Steelhead
              Sunday Dinner: Most likely Elliott's Oyster House, possibly Ivar's or Etta's.- Etta's ahs good fish and chips. Ivar's is fun if eaten on the pier and looking for very casual. I have heard good things about Elliot's for thier happy hour but not dinner.

              1. re: curiousgeo

                Machiavelli's food is tasty, but FYI there can be a major wait and they don't take rezzies. We usually wait in the bar (if there's room) or go to the bar next door. There is also a cafe across the street (Bauhaus) if your son is under age. Another place right next to Machiavelli is the Baguette Box - really fun Vietnamese sandwich style sammies, with a variety of fillings (lemon grass beef and the tofu are my favs) for a cheap, tasty lunch.

              2. I cannot speak to Machiavelli, but if you are staying close to the Westlake Center and looking for Itilian, Barolo might be another option to look at.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BallardFoodie

                  I am a fan of both Barolo and Machiavelli, but they are very different. Machiavelli is a more neighborhood Italian American place, while Barolo has a larger menu and more upscale offerings. Barolo also takes reservations. Both excellent picks. YUM.