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Places a foodie MUST visit?

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chaseshadows Jul 22, 2010 11:13 PM

I'm a grad student planning a trip up to Seattle from San Francisco in August (with parents and sibling.)

Any major foodie places that I just MUST see/eat at/visit?

Would prefer places that don't require dressing up and reservations. Prefer affordable stuff. Will have a car. Love hole-in-the-wall places, quintessentially local places, markets, farmers markets and the like.

And yes, will be spending some time at Pike Place Market and definitely visiting Uwajimaya.

Thanks!

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Pike Place Market
1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

Uwajimaya
600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA

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  1. siirisampson RE: chaseshadows Jul 23, 2010 02:04 PM

    Off the top of my head, I'd say our Uwaj is pretty mainstream, but still has great stuff. But wouldn't make it a focal point of the trip. Even though you're looking for mostly affordable stuff, you should splurge a BIT for either Matt's in the Market or Chez Shea (I'd do Chez Shea or their bar, the Shea Lounge, better prices). That's hands down one of the best dining and food experiences you can have in Seattle.

    Also, pink door is classic seattle, but the food over the years has gotten so-so. If you want great Ethiopian, do Queen Sheba on Broadway and Denny (I think denny....) Best cheap Mexican: Mama's in Belltown on 2nd Ave, Best Gourmet Mex: Mexico Grill in Pacific Place downtown. Great Greek: Gorgeous George's in the Phinney/Wallingford area. You WON'T regret that dinner. And George is a total character. Italian: Mama Melina's (new location now, not sure where) Crow on lower Queen Anne, awesome fresh PacNW cuisine, all local. How to Cook a wolf, on top of Queen Anne, good for just a couple people, really small, and small bites. Sushi: Ottoto's, top of Queen Anne. And of course, the 5 spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner, just at the top of Queen Anne Ave.
    Hope your trip is fun!

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    Pink Door
    1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

    Crow Restaurant & Bar
    823 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

    Chez Shea
    94 Pike St. Suite 34, Seattle, WA 98101

    How to Cook a Wolf
    2208 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

    Queen Sheba
    916 E John St, Seattle, WA 98102

    Mama's Mexican Kitchen
    2234 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

    4 Replies
    1. re: siirisampson
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      SeaFood2009 RE: siirisampson Jul 23, 2010 03:53 PM

      Mama's? Really? While I wouldn't call it the worst mexican in the Pacific Northwest, it is pretty unremarkable for a field littered with mediocrity. El Puerco Lloron on Western (http://www.elpuercolloron.com/directi...) is much better, additional choices may be found with a quick search on this board, but all of them are away from downtown.

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      El Puerco Lloron
      1501 Western Ave Ste 200, Seattle, WA 98101

      1. re: siirisampson
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        mrnelso RE: siirisampson Jul 24, 2010 09:36 PM

        Stand in the South doorway of Uwajimaya and look Due South. About two blocks away, you'll see a big, old, government building (used to be INS, before they moved to the burbs).
        Walk down there along 6th Avenue. You'll be taking a bit of a jog East to get around the old INS building, and a door or two South, at 1001 6th Avenue South, you'll find a steep, nondescript driveway. Go down it and find Big John's PFI (Pacific Food Importers) at the bottom, where a handful of cars will probably be parked.
        Big John (Croce) imported a shipment of olive oil a coupla' decades back, and sold it out of the trunk of his car. It worked so well, he became the region's premier importer/wholesaler of Mediterranean specialty groceries, which he continues to retail out of this rag-tag shop. Pastas, cheeses, salumi (oh, yes, don't miss Armandino's Salumi, a few blocks away), cans and bins and slabs of Guava paste and and and...
        Fabulous foods, great prices, good advice.

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        Armandino's Salumi
        309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

        Uwajimaya
        600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA

        1. re: mrnelso
          z
          Zereh RE: mrnelso Jul 27, 2010 04:28 PM

          Oh wow! Love this tip. I will most definitely be heading that way later this week. Nothing like finding something new and exciting hidden right under my nose. =)

          1. re: Zereh
            m
            mrnelso RE: Zereh Jul 29, 2010 07:27 PM

            take empty quart yogurt containers for wet/brined things (Feta, olives).

      2. e
        ethereal RE: chaseshadows Jul 23, 2010 04:31 PM

        If you are coming from San Francisco, don't do Mexican here. You'll find much better amongst the most average in the Mission.

        Vietnamese gets a lot of coverage here and is worth checking out. Places not as high brow (or difficult to get into) as the Slanted Door.

        I've never found anything but Papa Beards in Uwajimaya to eat. Unless it's materials to cook a great meal at home (live clams, sushi-grade fish etc.)

        If you are planning on doing the Market anyway, maybe try one of the food tours? They stop and nibble at a lot of the places in the market that you might not think to stop by otherwise. Search this board, there are previous posts.

        Grab some chocolate to go home with you. Fran's has a store on 1st. Theos has tours. it's not Ghiradelli...it's much better.

        You'll have read about Salumi.

        For an excursion (and honestly the most delicious salmon I've tried) do the Argosy Blake Island tour. You get a little show (think luau but PNW Indian), a boat tour, steamed clams and their smoked salmon. Presentation is a little cafeteria-like on the food, but that salmon is memorable.

        It's a great time of year to enjoy Seattle. Have a great trip.

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        Uwajimaya
        600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA

        Salumi
        309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

        1. s
          seattleviking RE: chaseshadows Jul 23, 2010 06:40 PM

          Since you are going to be at the Market then Le Pichet would be a great stop. You don't have to spend a lot there but the food my wife and I had was really delicious. You can eat a delicous breakfast for what you might spend on an Omelet, orange juice and coffee at Denny's. Portions are moderate and prices match.

          Etta's Seafood at the north end of the Market has a happy hour with crab cakes and other items at a decent price. This would be a good stop for a foodie on a budget.

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          Le Pichet
          Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

          Etta's Seafood
          2020 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

          1. livetocook RE: chaseshadows Jul 23, 2010 06:48 PM

            We did Savour Seattle food tour when we were there 2 years ago. It was the highlight of our trip!

            http://www.savorseattletours.com/page...

            Etta's is great. Coconut cream pie. Oh so good. :)

            1. p
              pairswellwithwine RE: chaseshadows Jul 26, 2010 10:36 AM

              Since you are coming from a pretty fantastic food land I would recommend places that are pretty unique. I second the Salumi recommendation, check the website though because the hours are short and the line gets long fast. If you can't fit it in to your itinerary you can buy some at Metropolitan Market, which is a fun grocery store to visit anyway. Pick us some finnocchio and mama lil's peppers and make a panini with provolone.

              I also second How to Cook a Wolf, I have only been once but I keep talking about going back, small plates so you can try a lot of different things. If you are here on a weekend I recommend Tilth for Brunch. Or Tilth for dinner on any day.

              Unless you have an undying affection for Tom Douglas I would skip those and take some of the recommendations for smaller places. They are all kind of pricey. I have heard the truffle pizza at Serious pie is spectacular though.

              The new Seattle thing are mobile food trucks. Skillet and Marination Mobile are the most famous, you can find where they are on a given day online. At Skillet the burger is their signature with cambozola and bacon jam.

              Happy Eating!

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              Metropolitan Market
              1908 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA

              Salumi
              309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

              1. dave_c RE: chaseshadows Jul 28, 2010 11:56 AM

                Salumi, for me, is the definite foodie place to go.

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                Salumi
                309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                7 Replies
                1. re: dave_c
                  c
                  chaseshadows RE: dave_c Jul 28, 2010 02:12 PM

                  I definitely want to make a stop there. Suggestions on what to order?

                  1. re: chaseshadows
                    dave_c RE: chaseshadows Jul 29, 2010 08:45 AM

                    To be honest, if I lived closer I'd want to try everything on their menu. They have a daily specials menu too.

                    What I've had so far is the hot sopressata sandwich, the meatballs sandwich and the porchetta sandwich. All were very good.

                    Edit... I do recommend going early (15-20 minutes) before they open. Lines form early. If you arrive when they open, you can easily have a 30 to 45 minute wait... maybe more if the weather is nice. They have a small (very small) dining area.

                    Also, check their hours. I've made the mistake going on an closed day and when they've gone on vacation.

                    1. re: chaseshadows
                      b
                      Bax RE: chaseshadows Jul 29, 2010 10:01 AM

                      Speaking from only one visit (but looking forward to more):

                      The meatball sandwich is tasty but MESSY. Don't try to eat it on the run! The meatballs are HUGE, coarsely-ground and there's lots of sauce (and, if you're like me, there are also onions and peppers slipping around on there too).

                      As other people have said, be prepared for a wait (and have several choices in mind, because chances are good they'll sell out of something you want).

                      1. re: chaseshadows
                        d
                        dagrassroots RE: chaseshadows Jul 29, 2010 10:14 AM

                        For your first time, if your with another person, I would order hot meeat platter and the cold meat platter to get a sampling of almost everything. If its just you still do that and you will have snack for later.

                        1. re: dagrassroots
                          c
                          chaseshadows RE: dagrassroots Jul 29, 2010 12:37 PM

                          How much do the platters cost?

                          1. re: chaseshadows
                            dave_c RE: chaseshadows Jul 29, 2010 12:51 PM

                            Around $15 per platter from what I remember.

                            1. re: dave_c
                              c
                              chaseshadows RE: dave_c Jul 29, 2010 06:05 PM

                              OOO...it does sound like a good way to try everything! Thanks!

                    2. c
                      cocktailhour RE: chaseshadows Jul 29, 2010 06:11 PM

                      Paseo's for great sandwiches. Get the Cuban Roast and the sandwich that's number 2. I also really like the black beans and rice. Walk up/take away.

                      Also Baguette Box for great sandwiches and truffle fries--try drunken chicken or the hoisin steak, but they are all great.

                      I second How to Cook a Wolf, and it's fine for a group. I hate Mama's and there's nothing special at 5 spot. I don't have much good to say about Mexico Grill in the mall.

                      In August, there is a local neighborhood farmer's market every week, and there are some good trucks, crepes, etc. There is a website. Ballard Farmer's Market on Sundays is great.

                      other locak places that are more affordable--Serious Pie for fancy pizza, Tutta Bella or Via Tribunali for Neopolitan pizza. ZigZag for great cocktails, just ok food. fish and chips at the Lockspot, and you can eat at the Locks. Plus, if you watch Deadliest Catch, it's the bar they go to. Top Pot for doughnuts. Pho Bac for pho. Green Leaf or Tamarind Tree for Vietnamese.

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                      Tamarind Tree
                      1036 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

                      Lockspot Cafe
                      3005 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107

                      Tutta Bella
                      4918 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

                      Baguette Box
                      1203 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

                      Via Tribunali
                      317 W Galer St, Seattle, WA 98119

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