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Jun 13, 2012 02:10 PM

Feedback on my researched 4 day itinerary for July please!!!

Hi all,
NY CH here; I've been ravenously reading all the threads here on this board. My husband and I have been meaning to make it to your fair city for quite some time and we are finally making the trip. We have four nights in Seattle before departing for Cannon Beach and Portland. Very excited!
A little about us: we are both in our late 20s. I love farm-to-table New American food, but we are open to any cuisine, and we'd like to mix it up a bit from dinner to dinner (no pizza please). We are looking for any eating experiences that are unique to Seattle, from cheap to splurge. Oh, also, we both love beer, my husband loves coffee, and I especially love cheese and ice cream (in case you couldn't tell). I have mapped out a tentative itinerary with the wealth of knowledge on this board, but there are still some holes. Am I on the right track? Any glaring omissions? Thank you in advance!!!

Day 1 (Friday)
Dinner- we arrive in time for late dinner (9 or later)-- we are staying at Fairmont Olympic-- so somewhere nearby-ish would be nice. Spur? Quinn's also sounds good.

Day 2 (Saturday)
Breakfast- open
Lunch- we'll be spending the day doing touristy things such as Space Needle, Pike Place market, Pioneer square, downtown, etc. so we will probably make a lunch of all the goodies at the market.
Dinner- Spinasse (we went to the Piedmont region of Italy last summer so we are psyched to try this place)
Drinks- Any good place for after dinner drinks near Spinasse? This'll be our fancier night out so no dives.

Day 3 (Sunday)
Breakfast- spend the morning in Ballard hitting up the farmers' market and checking out Besalu and Honore bakeries and shopping. Where can we get coffee in Ballard? Also, I am clueless when it comes to coffee. What is the best thing to order? Does each place have a specialty?
Lunch- we'll be headed to the Mariners game in the afternoon so I have Salumi bookmarked as near there to get lunch to eat in the stadium. Will it be swamped? Willing to wait if it's worth it, or will definitely consider other options.
Drinks- I have Pyramid, Triangle Pub, Hooverville bookmarked as near the stadium for drinks after the game.
Dinner- Etta's

Day 4 (Monday)
Breakfast- open
Lunch- not quite sure yet what area we'll be exploring yet
Dinner- would love to get Vietnamese food or another ethnic food that Seattle does better than NYC. I have Green Leaf bookmarked.
Drinks- we have to leave early the next morning but I can sleep off my hangover on the Amtrak, so can we do a little beer crawl near our hotel?

Not listed/filed yet...
Molly Moon's, Full Tilt, cute bakeries near the Fairmont for breakfast (Dahlia?), Theo Chocolate, Vivace, Victrola, Top Pot.
Happy Hours:
Toulouse Petit
Best cheese plate:

I have agonized over not including Walrus and Carpenter or Sitka and Spruce on my itinerary. W&C can't fit in on our jaunt to Ballard, and with limited time in the city I don't know if we'll make it back to Ballard on Monday for dinner. And the menu at S&S doesn't seem to jump out at me. But I can be convinced. They both seem very unique to Seattle.

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  1. Saturday drinks: tavern law and cannon would work. You can make a reservation for upstairs at tavern law.
    Sunday lunch: salumi is only open tue-fri. I think you should grab lunch at greenleaf which is close to the stadium and fulfill you Vietnamese requirement.
    Monday lunch: I would hit up Revel in fremont. It is a fun neighborhood to explore. And than you would be close to walrus and carpenter for dinner.

    19 Replies
    1. re: dagrassroots

      Is the upstairs called Needle and Thread? This looks perfect for our Saturday night.
      Thank you for the info about Salumi. I just assumed they'd be open Sundays. Too bad... but I think I will do what you suggested and get lunch at Green Leaf on the way to Safeco.
      Fremont seems like a fun neighborhood for Monday. Revel had been on my radar so I'll keep that in mind.
      Thanks again!!!!

      1. re: dagrassroots

        And close to the Theo factory. The tour is interesting, but even without it you should visit the shop, which has lots of free samples. I normally am not a big truffle fan but like Theo's truffles and caramels even more than the bars. I always take my friends to Fremont when they visit. From there you can walk along the canal to Old Ballard.

        Top Pot isn't anything to get excited about. I love the chocolate at Molly Moon's; whenever I get another flavor I regret not getting chocolate.

        1. re: sweetpotater

          Great info about Theo! Sounds like Monday is shaping up.
          I will always choose ice cream over doughnuts. We will probably do both Molly Moon's and Full Tilt to compare.

          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

            Please report on the Tilt vs Moon comparisons

            1. re: mrnelso

              Here's my comparison, Mr. N.: Full Tilt is a lot better than Molly Moon. Parfait, Empire, Peaks, Old School, and Cupcake Royale are all better than Full Tilt.

                1. re: not the bad Steve

                  Thanks for the ice cream recommendations. A couple of them look like frozen custard places-- do they have regular ice cream too? I like frozen custard, but prefer scooped ice cream. Parfait looks amazing. Do they have a brick and mortar location or are they food truck only? Is there a usual location or do they move around?

                  Unfortunately we probably won't get to a) as many as I want to and b) shops that are not near other things we want to do, so some of those are probably out.

                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                    Peaks and Old School both serve exclusively frozen custard, by scooping it.

                    Parfait is truck only. Location calendar is here:

                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      Peaks and Old School both serve exclusively frozen custard, by scooping it.

                      Parfait is truck only. Location calendar is here: .

                    2. re: not the bad Steve

                      I've had Parfait once -- some kind of spicy Mexican chocolate which was tasty but the texture wasn't ideal (a little bit of ice chunkage, tho' minor). I'd try them again, tho'. Also have had Peaks and Old School once each; both good but flavor choices at Old School are limited to choc/vanilla/flavor of the day (if I remember correctly) and I prefer Full Tilt over both. I wouldn't turn down any of them, tho'!

                      1. re: Bax

                        Old School has one rotating flavor in addition to chocolate and vanilla; Peaks has two.

                        Both tend to have packed pints of recent rotating flavors in the freezer.

                        While I like Full Tilt a lot better than Molly Moons, these both suffer from an indistinct, mushy consistency in my view. I wish I could explain how this differs from frozen custard, which is soft by design, but I have a hard time. It may actually have to do with how thick FT and MM are when then melt--pretty far from a liquid.

                    3. re: mrnelso

                      It's Full Tilt by a head and we are lucky to have both these thoroughbreds in the neighborhood. I git a kick out of the Beecher's flagship at MM, too.

                    4. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      Theo is right next to Brouwer's. Chocolate then beer? Beer then Chocolate? Chocolate then beer then delicious grilled meats at Revel?

                      1. re: Brunhilde

                        This is great news! I had heard of Brouwer's but wasn't sure we'd fit it in. Beer and chocolate sounds perfect. Hopefully both are open on Monday?

                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                          As fine as Brouwer's might be, don't miss Revel, for sure.

                      2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                        At Full Tilt, head DIRECTLY for the salted caramel, and super-dark Chocolate Orange.... trust me. The original Full Tilt is a mile from my house, and we buy all our ice cream there:).

                        Second Sweetpotater on Theo's tour/ at least the shop. Fremont is fun!

                        also +1 on dagrasroots recco's for Sat. drinks, and greenleaf for your Safeco day. Hooverville is WAY more local than the (corporate feeling) Pyramid IMHO.

                        For Friday, have dinner at Matt's in the Market or Quinn's.

                        If you guys spend perhaps an afternoon (post Ballard or Fremont) at Seattle Center, do happy hour at Toulous petit. Best time to go there.

                        1. re: gingershelley

                          Thanks for the suggestions! I made a reservation for Spur for Friday but I'm still torn between that and Quinn's. Turns out we wouldn't be ready for dinner till about 10 pm so at that point I'm not sure how big of a dinner we'll want. I bookmarked Toulouse Petit.

                        2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                          You need to schedule your Theo tour ahead of time, if you actually want a tour, on their website.

                          1. re: sweetpotater

                            I just did. Looks like some of the times were already booked up so thanks for the tip!

                    5. I love Spur! It's mostly small plates so I usually plan on ordering 3-4 and sharing with my dining partner. Their twist on a Pimm's cup is a great cocktail as well.

                      Breakfasts: If you're going to the Pike Place Market, I like the Crumpet Shop for a quick simple breakfast. If you want a more substantial meal, there's the 5 point (kind of divey), or Dahlia Bakery, Dahlia Workshop, or Lola (all Tom Douglas joints).

                      "Where can we get coffee in Ballard?" LOL every 5 feet. I don't have specific recommendations as a non coffee drinker, but this made me laugh. I don't think you'll have a problem.

                      Salumi is closed on Sunday.

                      If you're going to Ballard, and like craft beer, consider stopping in at the Maritime Pacific Taproom, or the new-ish Hilliards. Also, there's Elysian Fields near the stadium (brewery) that's huge, and I like the beer. I dislike Pyramid, but the beer garden before baseball games can be fun.

                      ETA: Bambinos downtown seems to have one of the best beer selection in the area. I know you said no Pizza, but consider hitting it up for a unique selection of beer. Or if you want the biggest selection, hit up Brouwer's (64 taps! A good amount of them are local! Millions of bottles!) And then you could eat at Revel because it is the best and they'll tell you the name of the pig you're eating bits of just like you're in an episode of Portlandia.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Brunhilde

                        It's really going to be a toss up between Spur and Quinn's! Both menus look really good.
                        Crumpet Shop is on my list for sure. A friend has been raving about it for a year! Is Dahlia Workshop the same thing as Serious Biscuit? I'm having trouble locating it - is 401 Westlake Ave N. the right address?
                        Haha, I should have said where can we get great coffee in Ballard, but like you, I am not a coffee drinker, so it all tastes the same to me. :)
                        I found a couple addresses for Elysian Fields and wasn't sure which was right. That is on my list for Safeco now. Thanks!

                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                          Fyi: Spur's is owned by the same folks who own tavern law.

                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                            Serious Biscuit is right. I didn't realize they had started going by that name. Another great place for breakfast would be Skillet Diner (chicken & waffles!)

                            There's 3 Elysian locations, the one you want is directly across the street from the CLink (Century Link Field), about a block up from Safeco field.

                            1. re: Brunhilde

                              The "Is it local" skit from Portlandia is the funniest thing ever and I would love to know the name of the pig I'm eating. :)

                              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                Ours was Henrietta, and we got a piece of her belly, a piece of her flap, and a sausage made from her and it was all delicious.

                            2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                              I'd recommend Spur for its innovative menu. Quinn's is ok but closer to bar food.

                          2. I haven't been yet this year, but in the past Ballard farmer's market doesn't have much if any prepared food. It's a nice component to a walk, but don't expect food trucks and nibbles.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: sweetpotater

                              Thanks! I figured, but I'm a farmers' market fanatic-- I guess is this is not so weird for Chowhound, but I really love going to farmers' markets in other cities to browse, even if I can't buy produce to cook with. My fondest memory of San Francisco is eating a perfectly ripe peach at the Ferry Market... and on our last day there we stuffed our carry on with precious fruits and veggies to cart back to NY.

                              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                Oh, yum; Frog Hollow Farms peaches. I remember one time at Chez Pannise the dessert of the night was "One Perfectly Ripe Frog Hollow Farms Peach". They served it whole on a plate with a knife. But, they are just that good.

                              2. re: sweetpotater

                                Veraci's Pizza oven is still there, I think, and all of Ballard Avenue's fancy joints, too.

                              3. You’ve got a fantastic bakery in the Fairmont called Belle Epicurean. I work across the street and am there as often as I can. Shuckers Oyster Bar is also in the hotel and, if you like oysters, they have a fabulous Happy Hour.

                                Spinasse opened a bar next door called Artusi, which I’ve heard great things about. You could go there before dinner and then Needle and Thread and/or Canon after. If you were going to only one of those places, I would recommend Canon.

                                If you’re feeling hungry when you’re at the Farmer’s Market, you could always have breakfast outside at Bastille. It’s great for people watching.

                                I’m not a fan of Etta’s. Are you looking for seafood or is there another reason it’s on the list? I’m sure we can come up with someplace better for you.

                                There’s not much near the Fairmont for a beer crawl. It’s in the financial district and the area is pretty quiet at night.

                                Have you checked out The Corson Building? It’s owned by the guy from S&S and might appeal to you more.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Lauren

                                  Great to hear that there are a couple things near our hotel. We chose it based on the low rate my husband was able to get, not so much on location, but I'm not too worried about that since we like to move around and explore.

                                  Thank you for the drink recommendations. The Needle and Thread concept sounds really fun so I'm drawn to that.

                                  Yes, definitely looking for seafood,which is why Etta's is on there. I looked at the Matt's menu too and I was more interested in Etta's, plus the price for Matt's seemed high for a menu I wasn't excited by. So... any alternatives for menus featuring seafood?

                                  I will look at the Corson Building. Also. I noticed that S&S has a Mexican Monday menu, which looks amazing. Can anyone comment on that?

                                2. +1 on replacing Etta's on your list. Tom is a good guy, and I will still occasional eat at Palace Kitchen especially late night, when it is full of industry people.

                                  Matt's in the Market should replace that dinner!

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                    Would you say Matt's is known for their fish, etc.? I noticed Palace Kitchen in my searches and the goat cheese and lavender fondue caught my eye.

                                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                      Matt's menu is heavily fish; they are really known for the fish and view combo. Although I still occasionally pop in for lunch I'm not their biggest fan. I don't always find the menu appealing and the service is so/so. I haven't done Mexican Monday at S&S but I'd chose that or the Corson Bldg over Matt's any day. I also love Lecosho (although not a fish heavy menu) which is the restaurant where Matt now resides.

                                      1. re: cburnsi

                                        I would say opposite of cburnsi, IMO; Matt's is fish/shellfish heavy and I would pick it ANY day over regular menu at Lecosho, which I find just Meh. Tho Lecocosho late happy hour is quite good; you might check that out. All the good stuff seems to be on the bar menu there.

                                        As for Matt's - they have lot's of daily specials, which you won't see on website. I think it is great for shared plates meal, as much or as little food as you want, and good local seafood and veggies. We each have our favorites around here, of course...

                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                          Thank you. I've decided against both Matt's and Etta's, actually. After much deliberation I decided to eliminate our dinner out the first night so we can just crash at the hotel and get up at a reasonable hour on Saturday. I will post an updated itinerary soon.