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Bumbershoot Festival weekend (Sept 3-5) - recs for eats?

I've almost attended every year of the Bumbershoot Festival in the past 10 years and strangely still have no clue where to eat when I'm there. When my partner's brother lived there, he took us to places I vaguely remember (tapas, diner-style sandwiches) or cooked for us (nice, eh?). We also ate at the festival (tasty but pricey and not so healthy after several days) or stumbled upon a place and hoped for the best. This year I'd really like to have a list of places to check out.

We're looking for tasty but low-cost eats and also somewhere to grocery shop. My partner and I are omnivores, do not have any food allergies and like a wide variety of cuisines (though he recently OD on Mexican so I don't think I can persuade him towards that during our visit). I'm a little health conscious but I certainly wouldn't be adverse to one gluttonous treat during our visit - NPR's Sandwich Monday reviewed Salumi (http://www.npr.org/blogs/waitwait/201...) and I really want a sandwich from there but sadly they're only open Tues-Fri.

We're within walking distance to the Bumbershoot Fest and will be walking everywhere, so that's a consideration for us too.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. If you see Southern Kitchen, go there.

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    Southern Kitchen Restaurant
    1716 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405

    4 Replies
    1. re: mrnelso

      Southern Kitchen looks awesome but alas, is out of walking distance. Hopefully another time but thanks for suggesting it. I wouldn't have thought Seattle would have authentic Southern eats.

      1. re: jubilant cerise

        Southern Kitchen has a food booth at the Bite and usually has one at Bumbershoot, too.

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        Southern Kitchen Restaurant
        1716 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405

        1. re: knowspicker

          Well then, I've most likely eaten at their Bumbershoot booth! Probably stuffing my face too quickly to notice the name of the booth, lol! Strawberry lemonade there too, yes?

        2. re: jubilant cerise

          They often show up among the festival food booths, and are quite good. I doubt they have the catfish breakfast at fairs, but their sensibilities are good and I expect a simple rice-and-beans would be a nice bite.

      2. For groceries and snacks, Metropolitan Market on QA North & Mercer is going to be the highest quality. There is a Trader Joes at the top of the hill on Galer and about 3rd West, but I'm sure you know QA hill is a steep climb.

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        Metropolitan Market
        1908 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA

        5 Replies
        1. re: babette feasts

          We're staying on the other side of the Bumbershoot site, near the Cinerama which was closed last year - I believe they're open now? So MM and TJ aren't on our route there. But thanks for the suggestions!

          1. re: jubilant cerise

            In that case, Whole Foods on westlake & denny (but if you are downtown go east on blanchard and it converges) is probably your best bet for groceries, or the Pike Place Market. And you can do a happy hour crawl through Belltown just about every night. When it's not happy hour, Local 360 is good and fairly affordable, on 1st and Bell. For something more gluttonous, try Mistral Kitchen, Spur, or Bisato. I have not actually tried Bisato but the chef is highly regarded.

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            Pike Place Market
            1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

            Mistral Kitchen
            2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

            1. re: babette feasts

              You must experience the Pike Place Market. Unlike the Rouse outfits you find in other cities, packed with chain-stores, none are allowed here.

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              Pike Place Market
              1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

              1. re: babette feasts

                Thanks for the Whole Foods tip. And yes, we do usually go to Pike Place Market. We got some lovely baked goods at Le Panier once but they didn't survive long.

                Mistral Kitchen looks great, as do the other recs. Now I'm not sure we'll have time for Bumbershoot! ;)

                1. re: jubilant cerise

                  If you make it up the hill Le Reve on QA Ave N has some really great stuff. Probably the best pain au chocolat I've ever had due to the fact that they use good chocolate and manage to keep pain flaky/crispy.

          2. A few ideas in the area:
            Toulouse Petit ("New Orleans French Quarter") - Queen Anne & Mercer
            Tilikum Place Cafe (American with continental influences) - Cedar between 4th and 5th
            Bambino's (pizza and beer) - 4th & Cedar
            Boat Street Cafe/Kitchen (French) - Denny & Western

            For casual/cheap, you could try Tup Tim Thai, Than Brothers for pho, or Genki for sushi. I second the Metropolitan Market suggestion for groceries and sandwiches.

            If you just need a break from the festival, try McMenamins for beer and Cajun tater tots

            Toulouse Petit and Peso's have late-night happy hours, though I suspect they will be mobbed.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lavaca

              Thanks, lavaca - these all look within range of Bumbershoot which is perfect. :)

            2. Though not a sandwich from Salumi... Metropolitan Market sells sandwiches made with Salumi salami and they also sell the salami in the deli. The other thing to get in the deli there is the Hempler's chicken breast. They have peppered or sundried tomato and it's a great for sandwiches or plain as a little treat.

              I'll second Bambinos pizza. One of my favorites in Seattle especially at happy hour when you can get beer for $2. The beer they have on tap is great stuff. They often have Pliny the Elder and generally all is interesting and not what you find on tap at every other place in town.

              Genki Sushi or Sushiland for the cheap kaiten sushi. The tonkotsu ramen at Genki is very good. I like it more than other more celebrated ramen like Samurai and Fu Lin and at $3 it's a bargain.

              Citizen is a good place to stop for breakfast.

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              Metropolitan Market
              1908 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA

              5 Replies
              1. re: knowspicker

                So I might get a semi-Salumi sandwich at MM? ;) I'm thinking they look a little far, even from the Bumbershoot site. Maybe next year if we find a place to stay on that side of the site, I'll be able to check it out.

                Thanks for mentioning the microbrew at Bambinos. We like checking out the craft beers too, so that sounds great. And I am all over the sushi and ramen recs, yum!

                1. re: jubilant cerise

                  Well, I still haven't been to Salumi so I don't know how the MM sandwiches compare but I thought they were good in any case.

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                  Salumi
                  309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                  1. re: knowspicker

                    From reading up on Salumi, I don't think you could make a bad sandwich with their goods unless you didn't put any care into the bread and other fillings.

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                    Salumi
                    309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                  2. re: jubilant cerise

                    Actually Met Market is practically across the street from the Bumbershoot site, 1st Ave N at Mercer. It would definetly be worth the walk across the street.

                2. Two Bells tavern cooks a mean burger. They cook to order, and medium rare really is pink.
                  We love this place.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mrnelso

                    Hmm, I don't think I've ever been someplace where they cook your burger to order (aside from house parties and even then...). Sounds great, thank you!

                    1. re: jubilant cerise

                      They are consistent about this, too.
                      Is it possible they can do this because they grind their own meat.?

                  2. I've also been Bumbershooting since about 97 and we usually have a few brews at Floyds which is really close. Not the best food, greesy pub and mediocre bbq but good beer selection. If you can get over your Mexican fear, Pesos is kind of yuppy Mexican and really good. The breakfast has the most unusual amazing eggs benedict choices you will find. Happy hour is fun for the beautiful people watching.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nwhophead

                      Awesome! Thanks for mentioning Floyds, I'm sure we'll need a drink after a day at Bumbershoot. We'll see about Pesos, I do love bennys!

                    2. Panos Kleftiko is a nice little Greek place. Your best bet there is to order pita and several small dishes off of their extensive appetizer list. It's on 5th Avenue North, I believe, just northeast of Seattle Center.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: PAO

                        Thanks for the suggestion, I love Greek food. Well, I love all food. But Greek food in particular is just says "summertime" for me. How's their lamb dishes?

                        1. re: jubilant cerise

                          I actually don't know. I've always eaten off the appetizer menu, which doesn't include lamb, AI don't think. Someone on Chowhound must know. It's a popular place.

                          1. re: jubilant cerise

                            The arni kleftiko sto psomi is amazing--check out the description here:

                            http://www.panoskleftiko.com/menu.html

                            Their lamb chops are tasty, too.

                        2. Any recommendations for food booths within Bumbershoot?

                          I did see the Southern Kitchen booth recommended above. However, given that I've lived in the south and currently in Texas, I'd be interested in anything *but* : Southern, Tex-Mex, and Texas or Carolina BBQ, mutton.

                          -----
                          Southern Kitchen Restaurant
                          1716 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sweet100s

                            Most of the food is the usual suspects of fair food, expensive and tiny portions dumbed down for the masses. We usually end up at Espi's for Filipino food, good noodles and larger portions than the Thai noodle places. The piroshky place is usually pretty good too, at least it is different.

                          2. Thanks again everyone for your posts! I was well-fed during this year's Bumbershoot and have plenty more places to check out next year because of all of your recs. Here's my notes on the places I went to:

                            Groceries: QFC was in the same building as Genki, so we went there. Had fun with the self-checkout system which I've never used before (these might be in larger Canadian cities but not in my smallish city as far as I know). Saw the Met Market while looking for Toulouse Petit and Pesos but since we had already shopped and were running short on time, we didn't get to check it out but it's on the list for next year.

                            Genki: had some really good items and others were ho-hum. For cheap eats it was a good choice and was very filling - I think we ate less than $20 of sushi between us. We also got two kinds of sake which I think was the other half of the bill. I really liked dessert: apple sake (served cold and sweet tasting) and moshi ice cream (green tea and taro).

                            Citizen: I had the Citizen crepe (spinach, caramelized onion, asparagus, avocado, bacon, goat cheese) for brekkie and it was super delish. My partner got the roast beef sandwich special. The next day we went with friends who also came across the border for Bumbershoot. I got Citizen sandwich for lunch (which was really brunch - spent too much time trying to check out Toulouse Petit and Pesos as lunch options) with a side salad and it kept me full all day! My partner got the huevos rancheros - both days he missed out on cowboy egg casserole which he was dying to try. But he enjoyed the huevos. Definitely on the list for next year.

                            Palace Kitchen: Saw this place last year but somehow missed it even though they're open until 1am. Got the goat cheese and lavender fondue appy and the tagliatelle with lamb as the main; my partner got the burger. Sooooo good. No room for the beautiful desserts. There's always next year though.

                            Bambino's: I wanted to get the Tre Gusti potato pizza (because I've never had potato on pizza) but my partner wanted to share, so I ended up getting the Capricciosa (italian sausage, mushroom and onion, tomato sauce, mozzarella) and he got the Bendetto calzoni (spicy peppers, calabrese, tomato sauce and mozza cheese) - then he didn't want to share! But I loved my pizza choice anyways. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish it - this was the same day as my Citizen sandwich but it turned out the heat of the day was suppressing my hunger and I polished off my pizza no problem. Drinks: I got the Cidre Bouche Brut de Normandi which is an unpasteurized apple cider - very nice. My partner got the Dogfish Head Sah'tea which reminded me of wheat beer.

                            Chutney's Grill (Bumbershoot food vendor): we shared a plate of butter chicken on rice, along with a beef kabob and mango lemonade. Delicious but a tad expensive at $14 though most all the Bumbershoot vendors were priced around the same for their eats.

                            In retrospect I'm not sure how healthy some any of my meals were but I enjoyed all of them. Thanks, Seattle Chowhounds!

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                            Palace Kitchen
                            2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121