Good Non-Chain Eating in Bellevue Area?
My wife and I will be accompanying our daughter and her soccer team to a big national youth soccer tourney being held in Redmond this weekend and we will be staying in Bellevue. Normally we end up being roped into dinners for 25 at Applebee's but we are hoping to sneak away by ourselves for better food than that--doesn't need to be expensive but needs to be good. Any ideas? Secondarily, we will probably be able to get downtown for one evening--this coming Friday--and would like to try someplace good and Seattlean (probably not the word), different from what we might eat in Maryland, where we are from.
There is quite a bit of good ethnic food in Bellevue these days, especially Szechuan, Taiwanese and Indian. This should get you started:
If you are craving Thai, there is excellent Thai in Issaquah.
Downtown Seattle has much to offer. For something very "Seattlean" (your word - we just say local) I don't think you can go wrong with Matt's at the Market (American), Chez Shez (Pacific NW French), Pink Door (Eclectic), Place Pigalle (Market French), Steelhead Diner (Americana) or Maximilliens at the Market (French with a Pike Place Market twist). None of the suggestions will disappoint.
Pike Place Market
1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101
1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101
95 Pine Street, Suite 17, Seattle, WA 98101
Place Pigalle Restaurant
, Seattle, WA 98101
So for our first night we ate at Monsoon East in Bellevue and it was really good. Very interesting takes on Vietnamese food, at least the version of it we usually get in DC where we are from. A few dishes were absolute standouts--the crispy pork shank, the apple pops dessert. Service was very friendly and helpful and prices were appropriate.
10245 Main Street, Bellevue, WA 98004
I'll rant here instead of starting a new thread.
I tried a new place tonight called "India King". It's in the old building that used to be Black Angus by Crossroads Mall, which is now remodeled and being split into two restaurants - an Asian noodle place is opening next door but is not finished remodeling yet. Anyway, the menu should have tipped me off with their overly pedestrian buffet offerings, but I went in against my better judgment because I thought the high concentration of Indians living in the nearby apartments would attract good restaurants.
We ordered a cup of chai, and they literally served us a cup of hot water with a Lipton tea bag (I knew what it was because that's what we have in our work kitchenette, so I recognize the taste), with zero hint of spices or herbs. So we weren't expecting much from the entrees we ordered...it was all terrible as expected. Any hint of flavor or spice was toned down. We saw one or two Indian families come in for dinner, but I'm guessing they won't be back (or because it's so convenient to just walk over there from home).
They keep serving food like this with Mayuri and Spice Route nearby and they'll be gone within a year.
2241 148th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007
Spiced (across from Crossroads Mall) is a true gem. Sichuan cuisine that will numb your tongue and make your forehead sweat. (They do have some good non-spicy options)
Best Dan Dan Noodles in town, IMHO. Big portion, very reasonable price. Boiled fish in chili hot pot is simply incredible. Pretty much everything that comes out of the kitchen is well executed.
John Howie Steak is amazing. Not cheap by any means, but truly an experience. Lobster mashed potatoes are to die for!
Their happy hour is a no-brainer - later afternoon & late evening. Where else can you get a Wagyu burger with Kurubota bacon plus fries for $8? (Puts Lunchbox Laboratory to shame.) Go on a weekend around 4pm, sit in the bar, and luxuriate in swank food and relaxed surroundings. You'll swear you've been pampered from head to toe in a day spa. I'm just saying.
1253 Thomas Street, Seattle, WA 98109
John Howie Steak
11111 Northeast 8th Street, Suite 125, Bellevue, WA 98004