So I visited a lot of cool places while I was in Seattle, but let’s be real. I’m going to talk about the food first. No joke, I did my best to eat my way through the city and I had to adjust my belt by a notch the last day of the trip. (Mission Accomplished!) Here’s the top ten most delicious things I ate while I was there, in no particular order:
- Olympic Mountain Banana Coconut Cheesecake Ice Cream at The Taphouse Grill
- Ploughman’s Lunch at Oddfellows Cafe
- 2011 Wildrige Winery Viognier at The Tasting Room
- Latte at Victrola Roastery & Cafe
- Provençal Feuilleté at Le Panier
- Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel at Fran’s Chocolates
- The Triple Door Backstage Ale at Elysian Brewing Co.‘s Capitol Hill Brewpub
- The e & r salad at Emmer & Rye
- Amaretto Bread Pudding with Butter Rum Sauce at Boat Street Cafe
- Seafood Chowder at Matt’s in the Market
Victrola turned out to be the place I went each morning (well, once I moved into the apartment) for coffee. It was so, so good. I’m developing more of an appreciation for good coffee, and this was delicious. Their Capitol Hill Cafe is also their roastery, which is glassed in so you can peer into it while they do mysterious things with shop vacs. (OK, so he was cleaning. Whatever.) I got regular coffee most days, but one morning I got a latte and I think it was the best latte I have ever had. Amazing.
Boat Street Cafe was something I found when I was in need of lunch in a part of town where I didn’t have any pre-identified places to eat. I did some searching online and it sounded very promising, and certainly was. Very friendly and cute French cafe, and absolutely delicious food. I had a salmon dish that included a lovely basil sauce, salad and roasted potatoes. The kind of fairly simple dish that can be amazing when done right, and that’s exactly what it was. I found out only after the fact that the chef (Renee Erickson) was a semi-finalist this year for a James Beard award for best chef in the Northwest. This place is a little gem.
Matt’s in the Market was another great find, which I came across twice in prepping for the trip. I ate lunch there with my boss and we both enjoyed it very much. We’re hoping to go back in January (we’ll be there for another conference) for a dinner we’ll host on that Friday night. The kitchen is open into the restaurant, which I enjoy, and they had open storage that celebrated all the textures and colors of the ingredients by showing them off (in a food-safe manner of course).
The Tasting Room is a wine tasting spot in Pike Place Market that’s cooperatively run by several Washington State wineries, as a way of making it easier for folks to taste their wines. I was there in the late afternoon on a weekday, and it wasn’t quite what I expected . . . but then the regulars arrived. The woman who sat down next to me is from a town near where I grew up, and where my cousins lived when we were all little kids. Instant bonding! Another regular who was friends with her also jumped in on the conversation, and the next thing I knew the bartender was closing up (at 8pm, not that bad) and telling us to stay put, we didn’t need to leave yet. We got a couple more free pours of bottles that were almost empty, and I discovered myself to be accidentally drunk on random weeknight.
I of course went to plenty of other places, and had many more I wanted to go to, and I won’t go on and on about all of them here. I do want to highlight a couple of the other beer bars I checked out in my quest to try a variety of west coast, specifically pacific northwest, beers. The Stumbling Monk, a tiny place that focuses on Belgians, uses white boards and very precise handwriting for the beer list and has no website or food. I quite liked the super casual, absolutely nothing fancy atmosphere. The Pine Box, on the other hand, has a very cool computerized beer list and serves quite tasty pizzas. On two monitors above the bar they display just what you see on the website, which means that when they change out a keg they can immediately change the menu. I also really enjoyed all the beers I had at Elysian, though the burger I got was nothing special. In addition to the Backstage, I tried their Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout and the Perseus Porter, and had a sample of the Peste Chocolate Chili Ale. At the moment at least, you can easily take a quick look at everything else I tried while I was out there on my untappd profile. A couple of beers from earlier in the week didn’t make it on there for various reasons, but that’s most of it.