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Mar 7, 2010 07:00 PM

Please, help me find this place.

A couple of years ago a friend visited a restaurant she decribed to me as " a little troll's house". It was under a bridge or freeway or some non-descript place but she said her dinner was an epiphany. I can't remember the name of the place. Does anyone know of such a place or whether it's still here? It sounded totally fascinating.

We'll be in Seattle for a week in April. Where can I find the best:
1. gelato
2. breakfast
3. chocolate
4. oysters

And what is the ONE PLACE I cannot miss in Seattle for which product?
Of course, we'll be exploring the market, plan on Salumi and Joule.
We will have a car and go anywhere in the city. I value the Chowhound selections.

Thank you so much, Oink!

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  1. La Gourmand, between Ballard and Fremont, could be the mystery site. (If you dine there, it will be an epiphany.) For breakfast, LOLA, or for weekend brunch, the upstairs bar at Maximillien's at the Market. (This is a off-the-menu brunch, not a buffet.) New to the brunch scene is Emmer & Rye at the top of Queen Anne Hill. I must say, the best biscuits and gravy I've ever experienced. Elliott's for their Oyster Happy Hour. (Stick with just the fresh oysters.) Chocolate: Check out Chocolopolis (also at the top of Queen Anne Hill near Emmer & Rye.) There are several gelato stands new the market that all are okay, nothing super special. If your schedule permits one more meal, the Szechuan Crab at Seven Stars Restaurant in the International District is fantastic and is a favorite with local 'hounds. (Wear old clothes as this is a real carnivore experience.) Enjoy your Seattle visit!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Leper

      Since you will have a car, I suggest Geraldine's Counter in the Columbia City neighborhood for breakfast. The french toast there is unique and not to be missed. There's other good stuff too. Service at Geraldine's can be iffy and may require some patience. For weekend brunch, Spring Hill is wonderful, as is Corson Building (on Sunday mornings only). Both are outside downtown Seattle, and will benefit from having a car.

      I definitely second the recommendation of Elliott's for a huge selection of fresh Pacific Northwest oysters. If you are on a tight budget, the oyster happy hour is a bargain, especially if you get there right at 3:00 pm. The happy-hour oyster prices go up every half-hour after that. But, you will only get one or possibly two house-selected oyster(s) as the happy hour special. So, if you aren't on a tight budget, forget about the happy hour, go to Elliott's any time that suits you, and ask Anthony, the head oysterman, for his suggestions on which oysters are best. He will probably ask you whether you prefer salty, briney oysters or mild, sweet oysters, and then pick the best for you. For your first dozen, have him give you a mixed sampler, and for your second or more dozen, pick those that best suit your individual palate. That's my two cents worth on the best strategy for maximizing your oyster experience given your short stay in Seattle.

      1. re: Leper

        It's Le Gourmand and it's WONDERFUL!! Anytime I have anyone coming in from out of town here are the spots we go:
        Either Portage Bay Cafe or Geraldine's Counter for Breakfast/Brunch
        Pike Place Chowder at the Market for some amazing chowder (they have so many choices it's hard to pick just one, but the seafood bisque is my all-time fave :) and Le Gourmand for a wonderful dinner :) For inbetweeners, we head to Smash Wine Bar for amazing wine and good samplers (the wine pours are quite generous, too)! Or if your in a seafood mood, for a change from the Market, we head to Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar (there's one in Bellevue, too....great food, amazing drinks...just great. Hope this helps!!

        Portage Bay Cafe
        4130 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

        Geraldine's Counter Restaurant
        4872 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

        Pike Place Chowder
        600 Pine St Ste 404, Seattle, WA 98101

      2. The mystery place could be the Corson Building, which opened in the summer of 2008. It is under a freeway off-ramp in an unexpected place.

        1 Reply
        1. re: terrier

          I bet it's the Corson Building too. I was going to say that originally but I didn't think it was open a couple of years ago. Time flies!

        2. I bet Terrier is right about the Corson Building, which is near an off ramp and in a semi-industrial area. It's a restored Spanish Revival, but maybe if it was dark and your friend had been drinking, troll house might have seemed like a good description.

          Gelato--Bottega. If you're into chocolate, the Theo tour will be fun (tons of free samples too), Elliot's for oysters.

          1. For chocolate, try a local spot called Chocolatte, they have three branches locally, one in Greenlake, one in Wallingford, and one in Greenwood. The best hot chocolate you will ever have - and they also make their own chocolate confections.

            1. Thanks to all for the help and suggestions. I will definitely be going to Eliott's for oysters (thanks, Tom, for the tips)and the Corson Bldg is now on our list. Someone please tell me something about Rover's, if it's still there. Last time I was in Seattle I ate at a bakery that served lunch and it was scrumptious. I was told the owner also had a dinner restaurant but I didn't have time to get there. I'd like to return to the bakery but I forget the name.
              I love fish and seafood but not always the about some monkfish or
              We're hoping the April weather will be dry at least a couple of days and we'd like to compose a picnic...should I plan on getting all the ingredients at the Market or is there anywhere else in town that has something exceptional to add. What's your favorite local must have wine with sausages, cheese, bread, fruit and chocolate?
              I'm really looking forward to visiting, eating and sightseeing in your great city and I'll report back.

              3 Replies
              1. re: P Macias

                The bakery may be Columbia city bakery which makes, what I think is, the best bread in the city. The owners also own La medusa, a great Sicilian restaurant a few doors down.

                1. re: P Macias

                  Rover's is still around and going strong. Thierry is opening Luc bistro around the corner at the end of April (exact date TBA), so you might miss that, but Rover's is also running a bistro menu that is better for the budget if you're not up for the full tasting menu.

                  1. re: P Macias

                    You might want to head to Picnic for your shopping

                    They should be able to set you up nicely - and recommend some good wine.