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Dec 6, 2009 06:53 AM

Seattle Help - I've done my homework first, just needs refining

I'm going to be in Seattle for 3 days/3 nights for work. A good portion of dining will be done on my own. So I'm trying to figure out where I can go both alone and with someone. I have gotten some good recs from past posts and topics, but please help me refine my choices or add to the list. I've included some links for other Seattle first-timers as they ready their own eat-lists.

Palace Kitchen - dinner at bar

Matt's in the Market - lunch at pike place/catfish sandwich -- other good items on menu?

Stealhead Diner - anything special? or not for this trip?

Piroshky Piroshky - Russian Bakery - i'm polish and make my grandmother's pierogi recipes -- are these worth it? which are the best?

Top Pot Donut - worth it?

Salumi - italian cured meats -- the website says something about call-in orders only. but there's no mune. what's the deal? or should i go with deluarenti's instead?

Brasa - Spanish, good HH/bar menu

Gelatiamo -- do they have nutella gelato, my favorite

Poppy - thali and desserts - eat at the bar? can a solo eater enjoy it here? or is there too much for one diner.

Dahlia Lounge - lunch/HH

Café Besalu in Ballard - breakfast/pastries/cardamom pretzel/ginger biscuit/pain du chocolat -- what are other good recs in ballard?

Pike Place Market -- what are the other 'can't-be-missed' 's

Other Tom Douglas spots OK to dine solo? at the bar?
Cream Cheese hot dogs - where's the best one? is it worth it? and what do i get on it? (besides cream cheese, of course).
Zig Zag - cocktails/lounge
Mee Sum Pastry - humbow/at pike place -- what is the best kind?
Starbuck's number one - i'm a daily starbucks guy and have to make the pilgrimage and pay my respects

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  1. Some excellent choices. Here is some feedback and additional ideas.
    Palace Kitchen - solid choice and you will be fine there eating alone. Other Tom Douglas places are good too. If you like pizza then Serious Pie might be worth considering and you can comfortably eat there alone, but you probably have better dinner choices.

    Matt's for lunch will work. Not outstanding in my opinion, but certainly better than most.

    Steelhead Diner is a good choice. The staff there is very nice and the food is quite good. You will certainly be fine there eating alone.

    Piroshky Piroshky - Not a huge fan. There is a new place on Capitol Hill that is getting good reviews - Zhivago's Café and could be a nice alternative.

    If you are looking for a fun Polish place (really just a store and deli - no seating - all take out) then George's Deli on First Hill (just North of Downtown) is great. It is jammed with all sorts of Polish foods.

    Top Pot - how big of a donut fan are you? Nothing really worth the trip for unless you love donuts. Honestly if you go to Dahlia the donuts are better there.

    Salumi - worth it, but might be rough if it is a working lunch. Hours are limited and the lines can be long. Might be better for takeout if you really wanted something. DeLaurenti's is good, but again - just a deli. More choices than Salumi and less of a wait, but just take out and not quite as good.

    Poppy will certainly work for you and if you do not feel like you want the entire thali you can certainly do well ordering off the bar menu. Another good choice in Capitol Hill is Huyiona

    Café Presse is a nice place to hang out and you can certainly eat on your own there. Also open late if you are a night owl.

    Po Dogs would certainly be a good option if you wanted to try a Seattle dog

    Senor Moose is a nice Ballard option

    Mee Sum is ok, but I think their humbow is a little sweet. Lots of people like it though.

    If you like cheese and you are at Pike Place Market then you should stop into Beechers. Well worth it. Also the Crumpet Shop in the market is a nice place for a quick bite.

    Have a great time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PaqpIn

      Great reply, Paqpln! I especially like the Po Dogs, Cafe Presse and George's Deli recs. And yeah, nopt a die-hard donut guy, so can probably skip Top Pot and save room for other deliciousness.

      Still curious about Poppy's. Can someone explain the Thali, Smali, etc., concept?

      1. re: FoodieLTD

        When my husband and I went to Poppy, he got a thali and I got a smali. The only difference was mine was missing maybe two dishes. It's not too different from a standard restaurant entree in terms of total quantity, you just get lots of little dishes instead of a single large one.

    2. You've done you homework well, grasshopper. At the bar at both Palace Kitchen and Steelhead Diner you can banter with the staff. I've also met some very interesting people dining alone at Palace Kitchen. (i.e., off duty Secret Service agent with great stories to tell.) Enjoy your Seattle Chowhound trip!

      1. How about the Red Mill burger? Worth it?

        3 Replies
        1. re: FoodieLTD

          Definitely not. You can do better!

            1. re: FoodieLTD

              No! Get the burger at Palace instead.

            2. Palace Kitchen - dinner at bar - will be fine, you will say, "I ate at a very nice restaurant that featured regionally produced foods in a comfortable atmosphere. It was good." You will probably not say a "I ate an amazing meal in a really interesting restaurant," though even this is possible.

              Check expectations in the lobby and just go have a nifty little lunch in a nifty little spot with a roomful of locals. I love Matt's catfish sandwich for lunch and the salads and soups. Sometimes, specials can push the catfish lower on the list, so be sure to ask what's tops that day.

              Stealhead Diner - another very nice restaurant with a strong Seattle feel.

              Piroshky Piroshky - I Have no grandma connection, and have not eaten there, though I often stop to apreciate the pastry cases.

              Top Pot Donut - worth it?
              I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when Top Pot opened. I thought the old-fashioned was a killer. ymmv

              Salumi - (206) 621 8772 is the number where you can pre-order sliced meats to go (see "our products" for the meat list) When you call, you can ask about the kitchen specials for the week.

              Brasa - One of our favorite HHs and great food, altogother

              Gelatiamo is definite. Procoppio was one of Seattle's first gelaterias, though Procoppio and Bottega Italiana also do a good business for good reason, too.

              After Poppy Poppy, you will say "I ate an amazing meal in a really interesting restaurant." Thali is groupings of small plates and fine solo for most eaters.

              Dahlia is refined dining. If there is caution it will be that it may be a little on the sedate side.

              Café Besalu is a must. We'd trade two Top-Pots (a favorite of ours) for one Besalu. Maybe 3. Get a plain croissant, as well as pain chocolat.

              Going for memorability here: Cafe Moose is in Ballard, Lunchbox Laboratory, Delancey, Happy Hour at HighLife.

              Mee Sum Pastry - It's just a quick snack, but the BBQ pork humbow is my usual.

              On your Hajj to Sbux #1, note that they were allowed to maintain a presence in the Market when they became a chain (not generally allowed in the Market - you will find no Quizno there), with the stipulation that they would present as they were when they started there, and not introduce any fancy new marketing directions, so if it feels a little spare, that's why.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mrnelso

                Thanks, mrnelso! You are definitely helping refine my list, as I'm sure I won;t be able to tackle all on first visit. So I will definitely go to Poppy, with or without another diner. I'll follow my nose and stomach at Pike Place and check out the ones listed above when I'm there. And Brasa looks really prmising -- I guess I'm a small plate/pinchos/tapas kinda guy. And I'm hoping one of the gelaterias is serving nutella gelato that week. mmmmmm.

                1. re: FoodieLTD

                  I like the piroskis (esp. potato/muchroom) at PP but have not had the pierogies. You want the bbq pork at Mee Sum. I'm not much of a meat eater but I like those a lot. Other Ballard recs--I believe there are threads on Ballard but there are lots of good places--Ocho for tapas, La Isla for Puerto Rican, Moshi Moshi and Shiku for Japanese, Sambar for snacks and cocktails, La Oaxaca for Mexican...

                  1. re: FoodieLTD

                    Ulis and Pike place chowder in the market.,

                2. You'll be able to get a Top Pot donut at Starbucks. Enjoy!