Help me find best "rustic" seafood joint
The family is coming from Maryland to visit me in Bellingham. They want the best, freshest, least fancy seafood between SeaTac and Vancouver. Sounds like a job for Super Chows!
We have Taylor United on our radar for oysters on the half shell out on the picnic table. Is there a place at Pike Market? It has been ages since I cruised it. No Tom Douglas. Probably not even Chinooks. Think Chesapeake Bay crab shacks,
thanks for helping me show WA at its best, and tastiest!
That's quite the target zone, SeaTac to Vancouver (where I am). But I s'ppose you're more or less in-between.
I can only think of Sweet D's Shrimp Shack on Route 20 between Anacortes & Deception Pass, not sure if that's the rustic you're thinking:
And there's Ivar's Salmon House under the I-5 bridge between Fremont and UW. Sorry, I'm just taking stabs in the dark here.
Chinook's is doing quite well. I live in the neighborhood, so am there regularly for HH. Good seasonal specials, HH menu and cannery bread (focaccia). Still kinda has the fisherman vibe, even though the fleet continues to wither away. Neither rustic nor fancy, but more like a boisterous trade place (now without much trade). More places should have counter seating like Chinook's.
The best equivalent of those Maryland crab shacks would be out toward the Long Beach peninsula in places like Oysterville. Head to the source....
"Shacks" aren't something you'd find in the city but it you come into Seattle and just want good inexpensive seafood in a very casual atmosphere I'd go to Market Grill in the Pike Place Market for grilled salmon sandwiches. The downside of this plan is that if you are talking about summer, the Market is ridiculously packed with cruise ship tourists, and you'll have a hard time getting near the place.
I think Xihn's in Shelton would be good (it's not a shack, though)--very different than east coast seafood preparations, I'd think--but it's further than you want.
Actually you might want to get rid of the idea of an East Coast shack--ithey aren't really found out here, not in great numbers at least.
I don't love them as much as some other do, but Jack's Fish Spot in the market seems like the call here.
(or maybe even Ivar's for some Seattle nostalgia thrown in. Frank Bruni ragged on them while he was here, but I still think of them as iconically Seattle and not a bad call if you like that old school breaded style of seafood. Spud's would also be a call if you were alright with just F&Cs)