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Mar 16, 2011 11:06 AM

How Far Will You Drive For Chow?

Seattle proper is great for restaurant selection, "Greater Seattle" too, but how far will you drive for chow if you have The Jones for a particular favorite thing?

And then: How far do you *typically* travel--what's your usual "restaurant radius"?

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  1. No car here, but I'll bus for 1-1.5 hours to try I restaurant that I really want to try. So basically from North Seattle to the east side or West Seattle.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Brunhilde

      I was thinking about this today, and I've actually rented cars and driven places far away for beer. The farthest was probably when I lived in San Diego and I rented a car to go to a beer festival in Booneville, CA (worth it!). I've gone everywhere between Anacortes and Portland for beer in the NW.

      1. re: Brunhilde

        Oh, and also, you didn't even answer your own question? Now I'm wondering what your range is.

        1. re: Brunhilde

          Hi, Brunhilde:

          I've been known to drive from Ballard to Roslyn for The Brick Tavern's Bloody Marys. Or to Winthrop via Hwy 20 so I can eat at the Lyman Tavern coming and going and get the beer in Winthrop.


          1. re: kaleokahu

            I just looked up the Brick Tavern and my boyfriend went all nuts about some Northern Exposure something something (kidding, I know it was a TV show but my hippie parents didn't let us watch TV so I'm screwed on most pop culture references). Guess we'll be stopping there the next time we have to go to Tri-Cities. Him for the TeeeVeeeee nostalgia and me because it's hard to find a good bloody mary!

            1. re: Brunhilde

              Aloha, Brunhilde:

              The food at the Brick is OK, too. But I'd go there just to eat dirt and wash it down with Bloodies in front of their gigantic woodstove.

              When you go, consider driving further up the road to tiny Ronald to try the Old #3. The original burned down years ago, but the redux is fine.


              1. re: kaleokahu

                I don't remember the stove at the Brick but I do remember that they have a small stream running under your feet at the bar so you can spit without leaving the building. Never seen anything like it. Love it even though I don't really feel the need to use it.

                1. re: jimmyjohnny

                  This topic made me check out their website and I found something even better than the spit trough. It's this guy -- If you get loaded he'll drive you home in his van for tips. I can't decide between calling him up to drive over the mountains and give me a lift home or sobering up permanently and replicating this brilliant idea here in Seattle.

                  1. re: jimmyjohnny

                    Hi, jimmyjohn:

                    Yeah, the running spittoon is really something.

                    Don't remember the stove??? It's HUGE, (takes about 4-foot logs) freestanding, and has the coolest heat-exchanger top. I think they still heat the whole cavernous place with it. Hard to miss.

                    What IS easy to miss is the regular spittoon positioned about 12 over the bar... Free drink for anyone who lofts a quarter into it (WSLCB must love that). I must spend too much time there, because I once witnessed a very sloppy drunk sink two consecutive quarters.

                    The food is pretty good there, too.


        2. I consider Lynnwood to Renton to Monroe to Issaquah as my range for food.
          I might be on the high side though...

          2 Replies
          1. re: GreenYoshi

            I have a similar range, but may go to Federal Way for Korean.

            What's in Monroe? Teddy Bear BBQ?

            1. re: equinoise

              Yeah... that's what I was thinking about.

          2. Totally depends on traffic and time of day. I would drive to Issaquah, West Seattle, Redmond, Woodinville, Kirkland etc, UNLESS it was going to cause me to get caught in 520 bridge traffic or any kind of rush hour traffic.

            1. I drive up to Lynnwood/Edmonds or down to Federal Way for Korean food every few months. That's about as far as I go for food alone. (If I'm skiing or staying the night somewhere, I'll go further.)

              Unless we've rented a car, we mostly stick to our neighborhood (downtown) or Capitol Hill.

              1. I've made the trek from Seattle to Lafeen's Donuts in Bellingham, bought a dozen, and come right back with no other stops on numerous occasions over the years. That's roughly 165 miles round trip. I was introduced to their deliciousness in college and I don't think I've had anything better than their blueberry fritter, unless it was their buttermilk cruller. They're both fried so that the outside is really crispy but the insides are still really tender. They've been there for years and are open early, as expected, and very late. I've lucked into hot donuts a few times. That was really something. Can't find a web link, but maybe they don't have a website.

                In general, I'll go out of my way for even the promise of a good meal. Why not drive to the ID for Chinese food if it's almost guaranteed to be delicious instead of eating food that I probably won't be happy with in my neighborhood? Why not drive to Edmonds for Korean barbecue? Or to Monroe for a taco truck? Worst case scenario is that it's the equivalent of the food I can get near home, but the best case is that I've discovered something that I can really get into and then brag about later.