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May 17, 2012 09:55 PM

Help with 4 days 3 nights in Aug

So here is the set up:

I am a hound from Vancouver and Aug is our annual "kids are in camp so parents are on the road week." We are lucky enough to be staying at the Fairmont Olympic through a business contact. So we are looking for rec's for breakfast lunch and dinners. We are there mid week.

We will have wheels but would like to do most on foot if possible.

My wife is big on Asian fusion and Ittalian, and I am jonesing for good Mexican. I have looked over postings from others and what I have seen is interesting is:

Sitka and Spruce
Book Bindery
Senor Moose
Staple & Fancy
Ba Bar
Lola (only for breakfast)

Our only no go is raw fish (I know but the misses just can't)

I place myself in my fellow chowhounders hands.

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  1. Revel. Yes. They have the grill going on the patio.

    Will you be here on a Monday evening? Go to "Taco Night" at Sitka and Spruce. The regular Sitka staff has the night off and chef Alvaro serves simple traditional food. So so good.

    Senor Moose gets lots of raves on this board. I don't like it so much. Lunched there recently to give it another try. The freshly fried chips were very nice. Good guacamole. On the waiter's recommendation, I ordered chilequilles with chicken. Not good. Shredded chicken breast-meat was oily and the oil tasted stale and some of the chicken was dried out - like it had been sauteed and stored. The other ingredients may have been ok, but that oily chicken ruined It. That was my second disappointing meal at Moose and I don't plan to return.

    1 Reply
    1. re: val ann c

      I've only been to Senor Moose once but was also mostly disappointed. I admit that I may have ordered wrong, tho' -- tried a squash-based vegetarian dish and it was one of the blandest things I've ever eaten. Lacked any seasoning at all, even basic salt & pepper. Hugely disappointing (as is most of the Mexican food I've had in Seattle -- the above-mentioned "Taco Night" looks promising, tho'!).

      On the other hand, Senor Moose's "limonada" (limeade) is FANTASTIC. Just like some of the best I've had in Mexico. I'd go there again just for that.

    2. Revel is a great option for Korean food. They have a few tables on the back deck that are great on a nice evening.

      Joule is Revel's sister restaurant, and it's Korean-French fusion. It is closed for relocation to Fremont, and I'm unsure if it will be open in time for your visit. If it is, I highly recommend it.

      Spinasse isn't a typical red-sauce Italian joint if that's what you're looking for. They do Northern Italian cuisine, but the fresh hand-cut noodles with sage (tajarin) is second to none. It's worth a visit just for that. When I dine there, I make a meal out of a couple starters and an order of tajarin and always leave very happy.

      I'm a lover of Mexican food and the only place I consistently get good Mexican but doesn't get mentioned on the boards is Cactus. It's more Tex-Mex (perhaps hounds prefer pure Mex) and I think it's very respectable. I like the green chicken enchiladas - the shredded chicken is incredibly moist.

      And I'll plug your Sitka & Spruce option - it's a great combination of rustic & charming atmosphere and locavore food. Does anybody know if they have their liquor licence yet? Last time I went they just offered beer & wine.

      3 Replies
      1. re: frygirl

        +1 for Cactus... It is more 'southwestern' than pure Mex, but really fresh salsas, nice house-roasted peppers and fresh sauces, good crumbled mexican cheese - not gloppy pale beans with cheddar on them, like Tex Mex. I think more Rick Bayless.

        The Alki one is especially nice. Good view out to the water, great spot for a stroll before or after dinner. Killer Mojitos also!

        Plus one for Sitka and Spruce, as well as Spinass.

        I also reccomend Altura. Have now had 2 great meals there - sit at the bar, and watch them plate the food and talk to the chef. Really interesting and I think you get better food and service here as well.

        1. re: gingershelley

          thanks for the recs Altura looks good as well. Please keep the comment coming.

        2. re: frygirl


          Thank you for the commentary. For the Italian, we are looking for authentic vs red sauce, and your comments land Spinasse right where we are looking so thank you.

          also looks like Sitka & Spruce is a have to

        3. Just got back from an eating trip in Seattle and can weigh in on a few of these:

          I didn't eat at Sitka & Spruce but the space looked lovely with an interesting open kitchen concept and was in a great little market. A few friends ate there and their reviews were positive but not gushing.

          Skillet was great breakfast, good portions and a nice bright space. I'd recommend the cornmeal waffle with fried chicken (the pork belly was a bit small!).

          Ba Bar was the biggest disappointment, we went for lunch and everything from the service to the food was bland and just fell flat. There were about 5 Vietnamese coffees ordered at our table and every one came with a different amount of liquid in it. I had dumplings and a vermicelli bowl and it was all flavourless. It was just weird.

          We also ate at Poppy and it was a wonderful take on Indian food (really recommend it!) whereas Ba Bar felt like they were trying to do straight up Vietnamese at twice the price and failing. To be fair, I eat a lot of fantastic cheap Vietnamese in Vancouver so maybe I am spoiled.

          To add to your list, we had breakfast at Oddfellows and I fell in love with the bright, beautiful space and great service. The food was delicious too.

          If you're in the Ballard area, we ate at La Carta de Oaxaca and it was cheap and delicious:

          2 Replies
          1. re: rachelanastasia


            Thanks for the insight, as a fellow Vancouver hound we are spoiled for Vietnamese, so if the Pho is weak, that looks like a place to avoid.

            Thank you for the other breakfast rec as we are feeling a little short on them.

            1. re: rachelanastasia

              squeegee, would also +1 on racheletc. above recco of Oddfellow's. love that room; it's right next to Elliott Bay books, which is Seattle's holy grail of a local bookstore, so worth a double-whammy visit and have breakfast at oddfellow's, and books next door while digesting.

              I am meh on Poppy -except for dessert. Dessert thali's are awesome. Eat dinner at Quinn's or Spinasse, and go to poppy for late dessert.

              Also, say Bah Bar is so up and down it's hard to reccomend, but when it's good, it's GREAT. They have staff issues, so I think thats why.

              I would instead in the area go to Cannon for early cocktails (so you can actually sit at the bar - the place is TINY - and interact with the BT's. Reccomend a stroll through the excellent chapel at Seattle U across the street. Won several architecture awards. You don't need to be religious at all to appreciate the space, and it's very cool elements. Like how you would visit Notre Dame in Paris even if your an athiest...

              Then stroll down the street for dinner at Cafe Presse. My favorite 'ordinary' french bistro in Seattle. Get the rillettes to start. The Salad Verte. The fish of the day or steak frites are always great.