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Dinner in U District/Wallingford

I'm taking a visiting friend out to a low-key dinner this week and am hoping to stay in the U District or Wallingford areas (but am willing to go a bit further if needed). I am looking for a place that is casual and inexpensive ($10-15 or less for entrees). I know there must be plenty in the area but I'm blanking on a good place to take someone who's new to Seattle. Food that's unique to Seattle or the U Dist would be nice but by no means a requirement. The food is the most important factor, not the ambience or niceness of the place itself. Thanks in advance for any recs!

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    1. re: not the bad Steve

      That was my first thought too.
      I'm a fan of Guanaco's Pupuseria further south on Brooklyn
      Agua Verde is also down that a way. If it's a nice day, that's a great spot.
      Soft spot in my heart for Shultzy's as well.

      Wasn't someone talking about a new Szechuan place by Pam's up near 50th?

    2. I like Issian in Wallingford. It's especially reasonble if you hit them during happy hour. I haven't tried their sushi just the cooked foods which I really liked. It's small plates. I liked the agedashi tofu, wings, yaktori and yakiton. http://www.issian-seattle.com/

      I also do love the sausages at Schultzy's.

      1 Reply
      1. re: seattleviking

        I'd stay away from the Sushi at Issian. We had the sushi there and their cooked items and the sushi was definitely lackluster. They specialized in cooked items and it feels like they added sushi to their menu to cater to clientele.

      2. Yum, Pam's and Guanaco's Pupuseria both look amazing. I definitely need to try them both at some point and continue expanding my knowledge of food on/near the Ave. I have been to Agua Verde and had some pretty good food with nice views. Also a fan of Shultzy's but I think either Pam's or the pupuseria are what I'm looking for this time around.

        Thanks for the suggestions! I'll offer my friend the choice between both places and let y'alls know how it ended up.

        1. Most restaurants in the U District are lousy (college students are not known for having discerning palates), but there are a few gems Bratz is great, but you will probably be standing up while eating your meal (indoor seating coming soon!). For even less ambiance, Chili's has South Indian food. Pam's and Shawarma King are better choices if you care about your surroundings. The Sichuan place on the Ave is already gone. Sad.

          For the brewpub experience, Big Time and Elysian are both convenient., but if you really want to introduce someone to a Seattle standby, you could always go to one of the Ave's many teriyaki joints (bonus points for one that serves Korean food).

          2 Replies
          1. re: lavaca

            Really? I've been hugely underwhelmed by Bratz.
            Seemed like a easy enough concept. Sausages, sauces, fries. But both times I've gone, I've gotten dried out meat and icky sauce. (the knockwurst was better than the other one, but still not very good)

            Their baked to order pretzels however are GREAT. And I pop by for one of those every once in a while.

            Maybe I'll give it one more shot, based on the strength of your Mexican in Seattle post, Lavaca.

            1. re: GreenYoshi

              What have you ordered at Bratz? I've never had a bad experience and always get a sausage or schnitzel over fries.

          2. I like Julia's Indonesian Kitchen for the ristafl. The prices are pretty good and the service is always very warm and friendly.

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            Julia's Indonesian Kitchen
            910 NE 65th St, Seattle, WA 98115

            2 Replies
            1. re: eat.rest.repeat

              Is Flowers still around (Univ Way, around 43rd ?). I used to go there lots for their lunch buffets, food was always fresh and tasty.

              1. re: LotusRapper

                Yep, it sure is, and they still do the vegetarian lunch buffet. The owner is a really nice guy - he even waves at me through the giant windows as I pass by on my way to somewhere else. I'm ashamed that I don't know his name!