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How Far Will You Drive For Chow?

kaleokahu Mar 16, 2011 11:06 AM

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"?

  1. l
    LemonyRoux Mar 26, 2011 11:23 AM

    I live in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle and have made destination road trips just to eat at the following places:

    1. Xinh's in Shelton (3 hours round trip) for the curried mussels and pan fried oysters
    2. Los Hernandez in Union Gap (5 hours) for the asparagus tamales
    3. Bistro San Martin in Arlington (2 hours) for ANYTHING on the menu
    4. La Tarasca in Centralia (3 hours) for their housemade corn tortillas
    5. The Bagelry in Bellingham (3 hours) for bagels, bialys and chocolate chip spread

    -----
    Bistro San Martin
    231 N Olympic Ave, Arlington, WA 98223

    1 Reply
    1. re: LemonyRoux
      l
      lrsseattle Apr 16, 2011 10:25 PM

      Have to second the Bistro San Martin. What a great place. I feel like so many Seattle restaurants are in the same price range but don't deliver NEARLY the quality and creativity and on=the=mark flavor combos this Arlington place does. A real find.

      -----
      Bistro San Martin
      231 N Olympic Ave, Arlington, WA 98223

    2. h
      HungWeiLo Mar 21, 2011 08:11 AM

      I live in the northern burbs. I expect to drive at least 30-45min for any meal that I'm not cooking myself.

      My wife and I don't really think twice before driving up 3 hours to Vancouver for acceptable Chinese, Indian, and Japanese. I've even flown to other continents basically just for a multi-day food trip, so I'm probably a statistical anomaly.

      1. d
        Dave5440 Mar 19, 2011 12:47 PM

        I've been know to drive from Hamilton Ont Can area to Rochester NY for BBQ. 4hrs depending on the border crossing time, but is it ever worth it!!!

        1. j
          jimmyjohnny Mar 19, 2011 01:55 AM

          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.

          1. terrier Mar 18, 2011 09:02 PM

            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. c
              CyberEvo Mar 18, 2011 02:44 PM

              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. g
                GreenYoshi Mar 16, 2011 11:01 PM

                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
                  e
                  equinoise Mar 24, 2011 01:37 PM

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

                  What's in Monroe? Teddy Bear BBQ?

                  1. re: equinoise
                    g
                    GreenYoshi Mar 24, 2011 06:58 PM

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

                2. b
                  Brunhilde Mar 16, 2011 02:09 PM

                  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
                    b
                    Brunhilde Mar 18, 2011 05:37 PM

                    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
                      b
                      Brunhilde Mar 18, 2011 05:39 PM

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

                      1. re: Brunhilde
                        k
                        kaleokahu Mar 19, 2011 12:34 PM

                        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.

                        Kaleo

                        1. re: kaleokahu
                          b
                          Brunhilde Mar 19, 2011 03:15 PM

                          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
                            k
                            kaleokahu Mar 21, 2011 11:27 PM

                            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.

                            Aloha,
                            Kaleo

                            1. re: kaleokahu
                              j
                              jimmyjohnny Mar 23, 2011 11:33 PM

                              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
                                j
                                jimmyjohnny Mar 23, 2011 11:44 PM

                                This topic made me check out their website and I found something even better than the spit trough. It's this guy -- http://bricksaloon.com/stan-the-man.htm. 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
                                  k
                                  kaleokahu Mar 26, 2011 01:31 PM

                                  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.

                                  Kaleo

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