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Aug 5, 2013 06:34 PM

vinny and eileen eat seattle, and avoid getting eaten

Thanks for all the great recs and advice - a brief recap of our experiences
Friday night - dinner at BlueAcre - we loved this place, food and service excellent, thanks to whoever recommended it, wish it were in NY.

Saturday - bfast at Lowell In Market nice by the water, went really early, line out the door by the time we were done. Pike market amazing, if I lived in Seattle you could never get me out of there. Has ruined me for all other farm markets forever. Did tourist stuff, space needle, Chihuly Garden - amazing art. Had hand pies at seattle center, they were good and different. Had dinner at Chinook, nice on the water, nice family place, nothing great, but very pleasant.

Sunday - breakfast at 13 coins, very greasy for 8:30 in the morning, not great, but could see people loving this place at 3 a.m. Went to Snoqualmie Falls, won some money in the casino (Bonus!) Craft fair in Bellevue, early dinner at Toulouse Petite. Was not crazy about TP, nasty service, every dish was missing components, expensive. They made us sit at bar and then would not let us order happy hour even though it was the right time, wish I skipped it for something else.

Monday, up early, gross breakfast in hotel, stop at MAcrina bakery was fabulous. Off to Mount Rainer, unbelievable experience, was great. Went to look at wildflowers near parking lot, saw huge brown bear. Like stupid tourists we stood there and took pictures, lucky we did not get eaten. Drive forever, dinner at Seatown in Seattle, was good, home to sleep.

Tuesday got early ferry, breakfast at streamliner diner on Bainbridge Island, was amazingly good. Would go back there in a second. Drove to Forks, had gross lunch, went to rainforest, blue sky sunny in Hoh, was beautiful. Drove to Quileute, stayed in cabin, was really clean and nice, great bed. Ate spaghetti and jar sauce by Pacific. Awesome.

Wednesday - eggs by ocean, drive to Rialto - beautiful, drive to Cape Flattery, very far, eat snacks in car, go to Bella Italia in Port Angeles - pretty good, would recommend, no one cared that we looked like we were driving for 3 days, nice service.

Thursday - breakfast at Lola - love this place, where can I get that bacon? Delish potatoes. Went to Asian art, greenhouse, cap hill, went to Il Corvo for lunch. Whoever rec. this place, you have ruined me for any pasta anywhere ever for life, that place is amazing. If I win lotto, I will start an Il Corvo in NY. Then went to farm market in queen Anne, wanted to eat at food trucks but was too full from lunch. Dinner thurs night, Cutters, nice view, mediocre expensive food, but husband likes the water view.

Friday - breakfast at 5 spot in queen Anne, see people an this site don't like it much, but we liked it a lot. Got there right at 8:30, sat under picture of Jerry Garcia. Went to SAM, then walked back to Il Corvo for lunch again, could probable go there every day if it was possible. I wonder if they ship? Friday night dinner at Monsoon was good, but whats up with that waiter? Got chocolate cake at some place on Cap hill that serves martini's, excellent cake.

Saturday - gross early breakfast at hotel, drive around Alki area, lunch at 11:00 on dot at Paeso - totally lives up to hype, if I win Lotto, am stealing them too. Cupcakes at Trophy cupcakes, yeah, I wish they were in NY also. Pack, run to airport, gross dinner at Africa place. Home on red eye.

Thanks to everybody who gave their suggestions(Crazy New Yorkers, Water View, Unique fast food). We had a great time and wish we lived closer. Already talking about possibility of coming back. And yes, I did bring home some dry pasta from Il Corvo, but it won't be the same....

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  1. You had a very representative food tour, congrats!

    I am happy to hear you loved Blueacre (that was me that made the rec), and I also mentioned Cutter's for the view, but noted it was appropriate for the "less discerning" diners.

    It is always really nice when a traveler gives us a trip report, so thanks again, and visit us again soon!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gizmo56

      I agree that Cutter's view is much better than the fare, which is average ...

    2. I enjoyed your write up too, daisy. Hope you win that NY Lottery!

      1. Glad to hear that the Streamliner Diner is still good. I haven't been for years.

        1. Daisy,

          Thanks for the great trip report! Glad you had a good time and some great food. A couple of notes:

          1) You really summarized Cutters... we take business folks there for dinner, for the view and the reliable, unchallenging food. They're part of a national chain.

          2) Lola uses Bavarian Meats smoked bacon. They ship, and can be found at:

          4 Replies
          1. re: Booklegger451

            thanks for the tip - will look into that. also maybe cutters not that reliable, they had no fettuccine or pasta of any type that night - which killed 6 things on their already smallish menu. But the view was lovely.

            Do you know of anyone who has successfully re-created the pork marinade and aioli dressing from paseo? Would love to try to re-enact that at home.

            1. re: daisylover

              Just to clarify, Cutter's is not part of a national "chain," as one comment has indicated. There is no other Cutter's location. The parent corporation, Restaurants Unlimited, operates restaurants along the west coast, stretching from the Bay Area to Anchorage.

              The restaurants are all different from each other, and most, if not all, began as fully independent operations before being acquired by RUI, and have retained their original branding and menus under the new ownership. Some, like Stanford's, are chains in themselves. A few of the restaurants are pretty decent, many (like Cutter's) are mediocre.

              That's truly amazing that they had no pasta whatsoever.

              1. re: Gizmo56

                yup, esp. with the pasta guy open till six in the market, or the grocery store somewhere?

                1. re: daisylover

                  Exactly right, I was thinking the same thing. All they needed to do was walk over to DeLaurenti's (1st and Pike) and bring back all the fettucine they'd ever need.

          2. Hi, Daisy:

            If you liked the Market and the view from Cutters, next time try Maximilien.

            And, just so you know, *everyone* in Port Angeles looks like they've been driving for 3 hours.

            Y'all come back now, y'hear?


            37 Replies
            1. re: kaleokahu

              LOL, Kaleo! Daisy said Eileen and Vinny looked like they'd been driving for 3 days so that must have been a sight to behold!

              Jeri and Daisy, it's been years since I hit the Streamliner Diner. The breakfasts there were tough to beat. Nice to know they're still delish. May have to get back there on a weekday to avoid the weekend lines.

              1. re: kaleokahu

                Cutters is Denny's with a view. Maximilien is a hoot go upstairs for mussels. Pigalle, too, and Athenian and Lowell's maybe Pink Door, Matt's. Pike Place Bar and Grill is totally sketchy, but on my one(.) venture I took a favorite safer route with deep fried and had a remarkable puffy, crisp, toothsome, sweet-meated, fresh, flaky, meltingly caramelized, beer-battered, chestnut-brown Halibut and Chips. At any moment, in any restaurant, anywhere, little surprises of chow can happen. This was one. Vicious rumor has it my experience cannot be duplicated, and even I am afraid to try it, so we rely on our comrades to update our information.

                1. re: mrnelso

                  Mr Nelso - you nailed it. 'Cutter's is Denny's with a view"; priceless.

                  And your further comments are spot on too!

                  1. re: gingershelley

                    For me, the Denny's analogy is upside down.

                    Cutter's menu looks appealing enough. Dishes like fresh halibut, Alaska king salmon, Dungeness crab, oysters on the half shell, Uli sausage pasta, etc. But the place falls down badly on the execution and the service, and insult is resoundingly added to injury by the high prices.

                    Denny's, on the other hand, offers completely different unambitious standard coffee shop cuisine, and the service, execution and pricing are exactly as expected.

                    In other words, Cutter's disappoints and Denny's fulfills expectations.

                    The original rec was that Cutter's can work for non-foodie non-discerning diners looking for a great view. I would only go there with (for example) some of my mid-western relatives who don't mind paying $20 for a plate of fish & chips, and who I know would be less comfortable with the menus and the rooms at Maximillien's or Place Pigalle. Cutter's has that big, temperature-controlled room with lots of window tables, and is often a hit with the proverbial elderly aunt and uncle from Iowa after an afternoon of battling crowds in the Market.

                    I do absolutely agree with everything mrnelso had to say about the superior alternatives, but I don't think "Denny's with a view" might give the uninitiated the wrong view of what Cutter's is really like.

                    1. re: Gizmo56

                      And the Halibut was OK, just pricey, small portion, (I could make it better at home) kind of food, but I don't have that view. And there is always some ups and downs on vacation , and again, I was warned, but gotta do what sig other wants sometimes....

                      1. re: daisylover

                        Yes, if the worst thing that ever befalls us in life is a dinner at Cutter's, we don't really have much to complain about, in the grand scheme of things. Love your trip report and your good spirits.

                          1. re: daisylover

                            I think you enjoyed Toulouse less than Cutters, right. TP has no killer view!

                            1. re: firecracker

                              that would be absolutely true, but it was the whole vibe, attitude of waitstaff, the errors made during the meal, etc. at TP, I am sure other people have had a different experience at TP given how often it is recommended

                      2. re: Gizmo56

                        I think it was meant as a Seattle insider's joke Gizmo - not too heavy, really - just that they are both mediocre. :)

                        1. re: gingershelley

                          "nailed it...pricless" - not

                          "not too heavy, really" - cheers to that

                          1. re: Gizmo56

                            uh - gizmo - in my opinion, it was -

                        2. re: Gizmo56

                          I'm from Iowa and was unimpressed with Cutters. The current foodie scene in Des Moines might surprise you and I recommend you give it a try if you ever go back to visit your elderly aunt in Iowa.

                          1. re: hawkeyeui93

                            I did not mean to cast aspersions upon the culinary scene in Des Moines. It does not surprise me that it is vibrant.

                            What I was trying to describe are people (from any state) who are not foodies and who live sufficiently far from the city that the "fine dining" to which they are accustomed might be an Outback Steakhouse or Olive Garden. We have such folks all over small town and rural America, including right here in parts of Washington State. In my own extended family, they happen to hail from rural and semi-rural sections of Iowa.

                            If it seemed that I was making a generalization about everyone in your native state, I'm sorry, that was not my intent.

                            1. re: Gizmo56

                              Thanks for taking the time to reply and otherwise be gracious about my post. I should have emphasized that I just had to give you a hard time when I saw Iowa pop up as the ideal demographic for Cutter's [let alone the fact that we met a friend that "chose" to meet/eat at Cutter's when my wife and I visited in mid-April]. I really wasn't offended, but instead wanted to point out that the food scene in 2013 Iowa was not the same as when I first spent a Summer living in Seattle in 1995 and discovered Thai, fresh seafood, and other offerings generally unavailable in my home state two decades ago.

                              P.S. My rural relatives would likely balk at a $20 plate of fried fish, regardless of the view. However, they would enjoy well-fried fresh fish :)

                              1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                Hi, hawkeye:

                                Never been to Des Moines, but from your post I wish I had tried it in lieu of Sioux City--not much going on there.


                          2. re: mrnelso

                            well, will have to settle for the Hudson river for quite a while... lol

                            1. re: mrnelso

                              Hi, mrnelso: "Cutters is Denny's with a view."

                              I admire the hyperbole, but you really think Cutter's is on a par with Chez Dennoise?


                            2. re: kaleokahu

                              Maximelien sounds wonderful. We tend to always go to Matt's but I think we should check this out. Thanks.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Place Pigalle on just the other side of Don and Joe's Meats counter from Maximillien is also very good and also has a to-die-for view.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Place Pigalle also has outdoor dining - not sure if it is new but it was wonderful to be able to sit outside this summer.

                                    1. re: FoodDee

                                      Yes, I saw the outdoor dining on their website. Looks great. And a bit more reasonably priced which is always a plus for us :)

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        Lunch is definitely a better bargain than dinner, c.olive. I don't know if they have HH specials or not. It's definitely a special occasion place. One of the best French onion soups in town, Paired with a house salad, it's a meal!

                                        1. re: firecracker

                                          We tend to eat lunches out and cook dinner (we're petsitting five minutes drive from our grandson!) You sound like our kind of diner. We share dishes just about 100% of the time.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            LOL, c.oliver. In my earlier days I used to think I had to spend big to get great food. Not so! I love lunch out and a modest dinner at home and I feel better the next day to boot!

                                            1. re: firecracker

                                              Yep. And I especially like the feeling good the next day :)

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Yessssss! The world looks immeasurably better without a too full hangover!

                                          2. re: firecracker

                                            Hi, firecracker:

                                            The best Market HH value, IMO, is Il Bistro, but the only view is of your beloved.


                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                              That's also a treasured view, Kaleo!

                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                The bar at Il Bistro is my definition of Seattle coziest nook, especially during the colder 6 months of the year. Sadly my last intended romantic dinner at Il Bistro, complete with the rose-petals-on-the-table package, was surprisingly an utter train wreck, but I am hoping that was a fluke.

                                                In any event, yes, the HH, as well as any late evening stop in the bar, is always makes a night in downtown Seattle more special.

                                      2. re: firecracker


                                        I like Maximillien, but I think Place Pigalle is a really fine option at the Market. It tends to get overlooked and therefore underestimated (the irony of one of the Market's longest-running restaurants becoming one of its best-kept secrets), but PP is so solid and consistent, year in and year out, and the space is really nicely situated.

                                        It is especially fun to take first-time people there.

                                        1. re: Gizmo56

                                          I agree, Gizmo. PP is not new, not trendy and has been around forever. The history (shown on the link c.oliver provides) is impossible to overlook and impossible not to love. Food is always good - I never have to worry about a chef having an "off night". I'm sure it happens, but I've been lucky enough to avoid it!

                                      3. re: c oliver

                                        as always, seek information about known hits and misses and return with intelligence...

                                        1. re: mrnelso

                                          This is very true, and everybody was very helpful and we had a great trip. Anywhere you go, even your hometown, is going to have places some people like and other people don't., for a variety of reasons. Thanks again for all the recommendations, and when you go to Il Corvo, remember, I am jealous.