Seattle Report - April 2012
I just got back from my poorly planned trip to Seattle. Here is a quick rundown of the chow. Thanks to the Seattle CH community for all their contributions.
I arrived early on Sunday, and had lunch at Copperleaf Restaurant. I had the Cauliflower Soup ($10) and Fish & Chips ($12). Both were good. The beer batter was a little heavy for my taste, but, good cod. The only reason I went there was because I had to kill some time before check-in, and I hadn't eaten a thing all day, so, something close to the airport was appropriate. I probably should have had the scallops, but I was starving, and I figured fish & chips would be more filling. This place was smaller and quieter than I expected, but, I thought the food was good.
The next morning I ate at Lola. I had Tom's Big Breakfast ($16). Octopus is the highlight of this dish. It was well done, even kind of caramelized, but, still had a good texture. I was pretty happy with this. Given the quality, it was worth the money, and not something I see much in Phoenix (at least not for breakfast).
Monday was a warm sunny day, and time to be a good tourist and check out the Space Needle. While in the neighborhood, I had lunch at Bamboo Garden Vegetarian Cuisine. Like others have reported, the food was a bit bland. I had Lunch Combo A ($7.25). This is a lot of food. I left some of my rice behind. I hate to waste food, but, I was full. The chow mein had a nice smoky flavor. The vegetables were cooked, yet crisp. This place would be in my rotation, if I lived or worked nearby.
Dinner was at Lecosho. I had the special, which was a duck breast on a risotto with peas and baby asparagus ($27?). I also had a side of braised greens ($6) which was enough for two. Dessert was a vanilla rice pudding with a fruit compote (IIRC) ($8?). All of the food was very good. My only complaint was that I specifically asked the waiter if the duck had a crispy skin, and he said it did. It did not. The duck breast was medium rare. The dish was rather wet, but, very good. In the end, I was glad I ordered it, despite being misled.
For Tuesday breakfast, I sought out the short beef rib sandwich at Portage Bay. Unfortunately, it was no longer on their menu. Their Spring / Summer menu is just out. I ordered a breakfast that was supposed to consist of grits, cheese, two poached eggs, a small fruit cup, and toast ($13?). I had short rib added ($4). Not bad, but not great. I think sloppy prep was most of the problem. I eggs were very wet, which added a lot of water to the grits. The cheese went almost unnoticed. The fruit cup was generous, but, hasty prep made it hard to eat. I'd give them another chance, especially if I was in the mood for pancakes or French toast.
During lunch I walked past a very crowded Pike Place Chowder and went to the Steelhead Diner, instead. I had the King Salmon ($18.95) and a side of coleslaw ($4.95). I guess I was probably expecting too much, here. To be fair it was an interesting preparation, with port soaked cherries, smoked almonds, and polenta. This fish just didn't blow me away, as I had wished. Maybe I should have asked for it medium-rare? The coleslaw was enough for two, but, seemed like very little effort was put into it. I guess I shouldn't expect much for $5, but, I like a good coleslaw, and this didn't do much for me.
Since I still had chowder on the brain, I want back to Pike Place Chowder in the early evening to find it closed. Plan B was Ivar's Acres of Clams. I had a bowl of (white) clam chowder ($6.5) and the Mixed Grill Trio (prawns, salmon, and halibut with mashed potatoes) ($29.75). I couldn't resist cheesecake for ($6). I really loved the clam chowder. The mixed grill was pretty good, with the halibut being the outstanding part. I thought the salmon was a little overcooked.
My last breakfast was at Tulio. A basic breakfast of 2 eggs, sausage, toast, and potatoes ($14). This was very nicely prepared. I wasn't really paying attention to Tulio, since it was at my hotel, and I was only there because the rate seemed pretty good for downtown.
I saw Ivar's had a place at the airport, so, I tried a smoked salmon chowder. I liked the clam better.
Copperleaf Restaurant (at Cedarbrook Lodge)
18525 36th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98188
2000 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
Bamboo Garden Vegetarian Cuisine
364 Roy Street, Seattle, WA 98109
89 University Street, The Harbor Steps, Seattle, WA 98101
391 TERRY AVE N, SEATTLE 98109
95 Pine ST, Seattle, WA 98101
Ivar's Acres of Clams
1001 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104
1100 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
Thanks so much johnsberg for the great thorough report. Appreciated your including prices as well as critique of the foods and resto's you went to.
Glad you liked Copperleaf, and at least much of what else you ate. Good perspective on Portage Bay. Sloppy prep can indeed mess mightily with a meal....
Ivar's does indeed have great, classic clam chowder. I love it too, despite knowing it is made primarily with - gulp - non-dairy creamer! No joke. I waited tables there YEARS ago in my 20's, and would have at least a spoonful every shift. The dirty secret mostly was kept to the staff. Still love the stuff despite that.
Tulio used to be considered a destination resto for Italian fare, but I think these days is mostly just a very good hotel restaurant, compared to many, that is.
Thanks for sharing!