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Top four winners and losers in 2014

2014 Highlights:

1. Stateside! Wow!
2. Brimmer and Heeltap
3. Lark's new location
4. Damn the Weather
HM. Tyler Moritz benefit dinner

Most notable 2014 lowlights
*Cody Spafford from W&TC killed in inexplicable robbery gone wrong
*Closures (Paseo, B&O, La Bête, Book Bindery)
*Jason Franey Canlis departure
*Biggest disappointments: Chico Madrid, Brunswick and Hunt

Jan 13, 2015
klsalas in Greater Seattle

where to buy, and recommendations on, good locally roasted coffee

There are probably at least 20 roasters in/around Seattle.
Here is a thread with some...

I wouldn't necessarily go to a multi-roaster if you want locally roasted coffee. Often they are showcasing companies from outside of the area. But I guess ou could look at their FB page to see what they are offering now.

Stumptown does have a roastery in Seattle but technically they are a Portland Co. and they are on an expansion. I bet your friend has had them.

A few small local indie companies that it would be very unlikely that your friend would have had:

The highly buzzed-about Elm has recently opened.

Slate also get a ton of buzz. You can get their roasts at their cafe in Ballard.

Seven from Ballard is not easy to find. The only place I have seen it is at Cafe Besalu but I understand they have a cafe in Ravenna now

I also like Herkimer a lot. The roastery is on Phinney ridge.


Jan 13, 2015
klsalas in Greater Seattle

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

Don't do it! It can be done of course. I know a number of people who have run or biked between Ballard and downtown. But you are in the city for a very short period of time and as others have mentioned you will have short days. Also as others have mentioned the routes are hardly ideally scenic.

I would recommend taking a bus (the 40, 17x, 18x or D line). Get off at the bottom of the Ballard bridge and walk back up on the West side of the bridge for a beautiful view of the mountains and fishing fleet before heading to dinner (W&TC is at the bottom of Ballard Avenue, only a few minutes walk from the bridge). Or take the bus into the heart of downtown Ballard ... Walk around the neighborhood taking in the Scandinavian and Maritime character like Bergen Place Park, the grass roofed library, the Sons of Norway Hall, Pacific Fisherman shipyard, etc. Maybe walk over to the locks.

Save some time for beer. Ballard now has 10 breweries (9 currently with tasting rooms). A couple of my favorites are Reuben's and Stoup on the east side of the Ballard bridge. However there are several right by where the buses stop at the Ballard bridge including Peddler and just to the West of the bridge NW Peaks and Hilliard's. Sometime in December NW Peaks will be opening their new Bergschrund tasting room.

The others (actually all decent) are the old and established standbys Hales & Maritime and newcomers Bad Jimmy's & Populuxe.

There are also a heck of a lot of pubs in Ballard. For beer fans I would recommend Noble Fir on Ballard Ave. At the top of Leary and Market Ballard Beer Company focuses its taps on local brews. Another interesting player is the new Cannery beer shop at 22nd and Shilshole. They have over 100 canned beers and ciders from the NW now and shortly they will be canning local beers from kegs. Might be the perfect way to bring home some local beer that will never be distributed outside of the Seattle area. Don't know if that will be up and running by this visit ...

Nov 21, 2014
klsalas in Greater Seattle

What to bring back to Texas and restaurant recommendations (Capitol Hill, South Lake Union)??

Hit the Marx Foods retail location on Western in Belltown/Lower Queen Anne. Not all of the products are from the Pacific NW but they will have some hard-to-find local products.

If you were interested in bringing back local seafood I would mention geoduck, dungeness crab, oysters, and .... if you can find them ... gooseneck barnacles.

If you are considering alcoholic drinks such as cider ....
*Local spirits (like Westland Distillery American single malt whiskey (Sodo); Old Ballard Aquavit (Ballard); Copperworks Gin (downtown)

*WA wine (Esquin (SoDo); Pike and Western (downtown))

*Cocktail bitters (look at DeLaurenti in PIke Place Market; Sugar Pill on Capitol Hill)

A few other things:
*Renee Erickson's Boat Street Pickles
*In addition to Beecher's there are tons of local cheeses
*At some of the local year round farmer's markets you will find Foraged and Found. They will be showcasing quite a range of locally forested mushrooms at this type of year.
*Cured meats from Salumi (the family salumeria and homestyle lunch spot of the family of Mario Batali).

Oct 29, 2014
klsalas in Greater Seattle

Restaurants with Seattle or pacific northwestern feel?

Bar Sajor
Whale Wins
Terra Plata

All have top chefs, NW decor and great food.

Westward was on the Bon Appetit best new restaurants list this year. Zoi Antonitsas was on Top Chef and is a real up and coming talent. Lake Front, oyster bar, outside dock and oyster shell fire pit, mediterranean/ Pacific NW cuisine.

Bar Sajor and Whale Wins have also been widely recognized.

Terra Plata on Capitol Hill from Tamara Murphy is also a great option for Pacific NW food and great NW atmosphere. It is in the Melrose Market complex with Sitka and Spruce and Taylor Shellfish. Among the recognition they have received is a place on the Eater Seattle Essential 38

Oct 07, 2014
klsalas in Greater Seattle

Is Anyone Doing Pizza Any Better Than Bambino's?

I typically have the Tonno at Cornuto. I have been a rut. Probably ordered that pie 20 times in a row.

At the Masonry they have a limited pizza menu. I had the sausage last time. Next time will probably do the braised lamb shank pie.

Interesting observation about the oven. I don't know the answer. I am buddies with Dino Santonicola who was the founding pizzaola at Via T. and my recollection was that he was an inspector for the VPN and did some consulting for people doing start ups of Neapolitan pizzerias. He is now in Dallas at Cane Rosso. I will ask him.

Sep 29, 2014
klsalas in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

You had ordered and had food. Woman with nothing to eat or drink as a non-customer had no right to be in there saving space -- particularly for 15 minutes, almost the entire duration of your visit. The staff should have intervened to bounce her for her behavior (and for loitering without buying).

Sep 29, 2014
klsalas in Greater Seattle

Is Anyone Doing Pizza Any Better Than Bambino's?

I have not been to Bambino's. Yikes that beer list looks awesome!! And are they serving WA wine from the barrel?

I usually get pizza at Cornuto up on Phinney Ridge (by Herkimer). They are VPN certified Neapolitan -- thin crust ... wood fired dome oven. They are owned by some of the same people who are partners in the Via T and Vita family of businesses.

I don't know if you have been to The Masonry (Lower Queen Anne) but the pizza is great. Thin, wood fired. Craft beer list is excellent.

Sep 27, 2014
klsalas in Greater Seattle

Brunswick and Hunt

I thought the space was surprisingly appealing.

The cocktails and wine list were pretty good.

I had the burger. The meat tasted great (it was a combination of buffalo and beef tenderloin), appropriately seasoned and medium rare as I requested but it was cool. I suspect they were holding everything for our order to come together. The burger also had really intense blue cheese on it. I appreciated the portion but it overwhelmed the taste of the meat (which as I mentioned was really good).

Unfortunately I also had the potato gratin which was a very thick wedge of thin sliced potato that did not seem cooked through, and had no apparent cheese or roux. It appears to be off the menu so maybe that dish didn't work out well generally.

My wife had the beef tenderloin (Double R) with confit fingerling potatoes and veal demi-glace. That was a hit.

Our friends had the burger (same observations about temperature) and fried chicken. The latter surprisingly was not a hit given how many I saw going out and the buzz I had heard about it. I am not sure about why our friend was not enthusiastic about it.

We had a reservation but the were obviously running behind when we got there so we sat at the bar for a short period of time. I think they were just slammed after the Seattle Times review came out. I generally enjoyed the meal, the location and the drinks and would give them another shot.

Sep 27, 2014
klsalas in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

My view is that at places with open seating and counter service where tables are at a premium (like Besalu) the fairest way of proceeding (and the least likely to provoke a conflict) is to think of tables as being for paid customers. You are not a paid customer until you have gotten to the front of the line, ordered and paid so don't take a table that a paying customer may need to eat there. At that point you have paid, you have right to enjoy a table (on a space available basis).

I can tell you that on many occasions at Besalu I have seen a person get to the counter (with a table still available) order food and coffee to eat-in and by the time they turned around someone at the back of the line had sent a companion to sit at the table or put something on the table to claim it. That is grossly inconsiderate. On several occasions I have gotten to the front of the line and there were no tables so I got my food and coffee to go. You will find that if you ask people will also often be willing to share a table with you at Besalu. I have asked to share with others and have been asked to share a table in the past.

There is no sign at Besalu. However when requested employees will ask people to get up from a claimed table they have claimed if they have not ordered and a person with food and hand is looking for a table.

I have been to Besalu at least once a week (except when they are closed for a holiday or vacation or when I am traveling) for 12 years. It has always been the norm there to not claim a table until you have received your food or drink.

Traditional Tapas in downtown Seattle

I would say that there is not a truly classic tapas or pintxos (toothpicks -- which name arose from common presentation of small bites skewered on a toothpick) place in Seattle.

There are Spanish restaurants that serve some classics but there are no places that have truly replicated the set up, feel of taste of Spanish tapas or pintxo bars. There is no place I know of that gives out small bites or snacks with each drink orders or where you sit at a counter and select from pre-made small plates or skewers stacked inside or on top of a bar case.

That being said Pintxo is a reasonable facsimile downtown. It feels a bit similar in atmosphere to the places you would find in Spain. As noted by some reviews the name suggests a Basque space (its predecessor was the chef of Basque Harvest Vine) but the dishes are from all over Spain from Asturias to Andalucia.

Still, they have some small plates "para picar" (to nibble or peck at) like patatas bravas, croquetas de jamon, tortilla, choricitos, etc. plus specials like gildas and diablos a caballo. There are also montaditos and raciones if you want a full dinner.

One caution: they get good but not great diner reviews. I am personally not a huge fan of diner ratings but collectively they probably provide some validity. Some of the reviews from people who seemed to have solid Spanish food background were critical.

For my part the restaurant is what it is but I have been to Spain seven times now in as many years and traveled pretty extensively around the northern half of the country. Pintxo is a small decent neighborhood restaurant but I wouldn't make it a destination with so many great places to eat in Seattle.

Tango looks pretty good. I have not been there. I thought it was neuvo Latino but the menu does look largely Spanish. Chico Madrid (on the Western part of Capitol Hill uphill from Eastlake) is getting decent reviews. However it is very small (there is outside seating for summer but obviously that is not going to be an option now) and there is nothing else walkable to it if you go there and it is full. Also when I was there for lunch my experience was mediocre.

Again unless you are really wanting to prioritize Spanish food I would take a pass on these places.

To ampllfy what Gizmo said if you are a fan of Spanish food and wine you should stop at Spanish Table below (West of) Pike Place Market on Western Ave. It's classic.


Feb 24, 2014
klsalas in Greater Seattle

What's the most unique food experience in Seattle?

Sorry if you are already gone. I was unsure if your post meant that you were already here when you posted on Feb 6th. If not, when will you be here?

There are crazy food fests throughout the year in Western WA. Some are more than 20 minutes from downtown but are really unique like Helsing Junction Farms and K Records Annual Sleepover, the Walrus and the Carpenter and Taylor Shellfish Late Night Picnic on Taylor’s Totten Inlet oyster beds in support of the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, or Burning Beast.

There are also some pretty great beer dinners associated with Seattle Beer Week. It looks like Scott Carsberg (formerly of Lampreia) may be doing something with Pine Box (Scott designed their menu and Ian Roberts is an owner of Pine Box and Founder of Seattle Beer Week). Then of course there are some great wine dinners with small productions WA wineries and local chefs. Sometimes Garagiste and Jon Rimmerman will have a really incredible and exclusive wine dinners.

Celeb cook events like a recent tented event in Pioneer Square with Rene Redzepi (NOMA), Matt Dillon (Sitka and Spruce) and Blaine Wetzel (Willows Inn) are very special and unique and fundraiser dinners are also common and unique like the aforementioned Walrus and Carpenter Picnic, Pike Place Market Foundation Summer Supper, or Set the Table for SAM (Seattle Art Museum) at Olympic Sculpture Park.

In terms of just having products or dinners unique to Seattle or the Pacific NW, I like the idea of oyster tasting. There is a wide variety of Pacific NW "meroir" appreciable in oysters even of the same species driven by differences in water temperature, salinity, tide fluctuations, shore composition and oyster farming practices. Elliott's and Walrus and the Carpenter are good places to try a variety of Pacific NW oysters.

I also ike the idea of geoduck crudo. This is something hard to find outside of the Pacific NW and most places that have it will source it from the Pacific NW. Anchovies and Olives and Taylor Shellfish are good places to find it.

Maybe Salumi, the salumeria founded by Mario Batali's dad and run by his family, would meet your criteria. It is hard to find outside of this area and the meats are excellent.

One unique restaurant/brewery experience would be hitting Gastropod and Epic Ales.

This is what Eater Seattle says about listing them as one of Seattle's 38 Essential Restaurants.

"Epic Ales' tiny brewpub in SoDo is constantly rotating their tap handles and menu. Chef Travis Kukull, formerly of Solo Bar, Elemental and Tilikum Place Cafe, cooks "out there" food, like profiteroles stuffed with nettle and ricotta; duck breast prosciutto, fennel french toast, and maple syrup; and Italian parsley tagliatelle with rabbit and cardoon ragu."


Feb 20, 2014
klsalas in Greater Seattle

What's New In BBQ?

I pretty much only go to Bitterroot in Ballard. I have a few favorites there like their pulled pork and buffalo chicken livers and house half-smoke sausage.

Feb 20, 2014
klsalas in Greater Seattle

The Spanish Table

I go there quite often. It is one of my favorite grocery stores in Seattle. It is just west of Pike Place Market down on Western Avenue and next to their sister shop Paris Grocery.

One thing that I think is a standout of Spanish Table is their canned and jarred seafood options --- some of which I think would be hard to find even in the biggest cities. I don't know of another place where you will find as good of a selection.

We have a special affinity for the north-central and NW portions of Spain (Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia). If you wanted to do pulpo a la gallega (octopus, potatoes, olive oil and salt) tinned octopus makes it easy. They have a number of brands of tinned pulpo. I have Matiz and Albo in my cupboard now.

For good bonita in oil I like the Arroyabe and Ortiz. I typically use it for bocadillos and stuffed red pimientos. Incidentally they have a number of jarred and tinned red peppers. I am having a hard time thinking of the brand name right now but there is one brand in a pop top can that packs only the beautiful soft triangular bottom trips of the peppers which are ideal for stuffing.

I have some excellent jarred sardines in olive oil from Ortiz on hand right now. Those are great on a toast as a simple tapa.

Others have pointed out jamon iberico. There are different grades of which the finest is bellota -- designating jamon from free range forest pigs that in the last stage of raising are fed exclusively acorns. They have jamon iberico bellota as I recall. It is very pricey.

One thing that I really enjoy is Fermin chorizo and salchichon iberico. It is made in Spain not in the US. The venture is a collaboration between Fermin USA and the Jose Andres Think Food group.

I have been making a tapa for a few years now that I picked up at Taberna de Tempranillo on C.Cava Baja in Madrid which is a slice of baguette with foie pate or other smooth liver pate topped with carmelized onions and a dollop of jam. I have been using the La Tejea jarred (extremely sweet) carmelized onion preserves as a twist.

For olives they have a large variety. I typically get the manzanilla verde from Ybara. They remind me of a number of bars we have visited in Spain.

The cheeses are mentioned are great. All the best known options, Manchego (Castile - La Mancha), Garrotxa (Catalonia), Cabrales (Asturias), Idiazabal (Navarre), Mahon (Menorca) etc. will be there. You may have seen the Murcia al vino (Murcia) around -- a beautiful goat cheese with a characteristic purple rind from being bathed in wine. Another that is fairly common is Roncal (Navarre). However ask them to recommend some unusual options.

Again we have a special love of Asturias, Cantabria, the Picos de Europa and Galicia so I am always on the lookout for products from those regions. In terms of cheeses, you have to be a particular lover of intense blue cheese to fully enjoy Cabrales (it is very good with cider and hearty mountain food like fabada Asturiana) but if you can get ahold of Gamonedo (Asturias) it is a particularly beautiful blue cheese. Or if they have it try Quesucos de Liebana ahumando (smoked on juniper branches). I have seen Galician Tetilla there before. They previously also had the interesting soft Asturian cheese Afuega l'Pitu. The cheese has several variants but I prefer the rojo or roxu for its orange-red color which comes from rolling the cheese in smoked pimenton.

In a very interesting development Spanish Table has managed to pick up Asturian and Basque hard ciders. A bottle that would cost about Eur 2-2.5 in Spain is about $10 here but it is 700 or 750 ml so I think it is a fair value. I find them particularly appealing if you want to do chorizo cooked in cider or just to drink with some of the cheeses above.

They also have the ingredients you need (uncured chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage) and fabes) to make fabada Asturiana the quintessential Asturian mountain white bean and pork stew.

That is just a small sampling. I mostly use Spanish Table for their spectacular selection of Spanish (and Portuguese) wine. You would be hard pressed to find a better selection. They are also particularly strong in port and sherry.

Chico Madrid?

We have eaten there once. It is an appealing space but quite small. There was outdoor seating but I imagine this isn't set up for winter. We had bocadillos. My wife had the chorizo and I had the tortilla. They tasted good but the baguettes were substantially heated to a very crusty finish which I didn't expect and my wife especially didn't want for a cured meat sandwich. I thought the tortilla was decent. They say that they use a toasted Columbia City ficelle baguette and arguably a ficelle, being thin, should be a good style for bocadillos but I don't recall the bread when we were there being particularly ficelle-like. When you look at pictures on the website and elsewhere you can see the diameter of the bread and how toasted it is. I eat Spanish food regularly and have traveled fairly extensively around the northern half of Spain in a number of trips over several years. It was an unusual preparation from my experience.

When we went (at lunch) the service was also very slow. The heating was part of it I think but they also only had one guy working in the kitchen when we were there. That also slowed them down considerably. We probably waited 15-20 minutes for our sandwiches, which was unbelievable as they only had one order as I recall before ours. Their kitchen guy also had trouble getting the orders right. Inexplicably he added cheese to the order before ours (which was in part the reason for the delay of our order) and also to my wife's sandwich.

As noted by Lavaca below it is also not necessarily a great value. Bocadillos are $7.5 to $9 ($6.5-$8 at lunch). That is not outrageous but the sandwiches were a bit meager when we visited. I did like the woman who was running the counter and again it is a very appealing spot in a reasonably quiet corner of Capitol Hill but we probably won't try again in the near future unless we start hearing reports of substantial improvements.

Nov 25, 2013
klsalas in Greater Seattle

The Perfect G&T

It sounds a bit like the Three Chimneys pre-dinner gin and tonic menu!

Pick up Sipsmith at your next opportunity. I neglected to pick it up in London on my last trip and then happened upon it in the duty free store in Heathrow (which is crazy because they are a pretty low production operation).

Their Summer Cup is also excellent. It is similar to Pimms but in my view better. I picked it up from Gerry's when I was in London last (I was there to pick up Amer Picon which is impossible to find in the US).

I care for The Botanist a great deal. You may be already familiar with it. It is from Islay ... the same makers as Bruichladdich.

I could provide you with a number of US recommendations also if you are interested. I don't know how many are available in the UK ... I live in Seattle and very much enjoy Captive Distilling (Big Gin) and Sound Spirits Gin. Down in Oregon I like Ransom's Old Tom Gin. You might be able to get St. George spirits from California in the UK. I started off mostly interested in their absinthe but their Botanivore and Terroir gins are really solid. I find the Terroir appealing because it is made with botanicals found on Mt. Tam near the distillery. It may be too fir forward for traditionalists ...

If you can find it there try Jack Rudy small batch tonic from South Carolina. It was revolutionary to me by comparison to the big commercially available tonics.

Oct 30, 2013
klsalas in Spirits

Spanish vermouth / aperitif / digestif

Yzaguirre (Reus) seems fairly widespread at bars. I have had Perucchi (Barcelona) and Lacuesta (Haro). I use them interchangeably with Dolin or Punt e Mes or Cocchi or Vya.

I have Licor 43 in my bar at home and have not found a great use of it (apart from having straight or with soda or tonic). I periodically use it as a substitute for any recipe that requires an amaro (or sometimes just a dash or two in lieu of a conventional bitters). Slate had an article ... let me see if I can find it. It was ostensibly about rum and coke but it discussed making a coca cola like drink from liquors. I have tried to do the same. In fact they talk about a mix based on Ramazotti which is my go-to for a digestif that tastes like coke. I just use Ramazotti and tonic water but they recommended using Licor43,Galiano, Benedictine and Chartreuse (green).

I brought back Gin Mare on my last trip to Spain and have really enjoyed it. I have had Gin Xoriguer as well and liked it but less than Gin Mare.

Oct 30, 2013
klsalas in Spain/Portugal

The Walrus and the Carpenter or The Whale Wins?

It's lively for sure. It is small space with a lot of people packing in and has an old open joist wood ceiling. They like to play music which is not over the top but they play it at a level that you can hear it with the crowd noise.

Oct 29, 2013
klsalas in Greater Seattle

The Walrus and the Carpenter or The Whale Wins?


Oct 29, 2013
klsalas in Greater Seattle

How Much Is A Bowl Of Noodles Worth?

I have been really liking Aloha Ramen in Greenwood. Ramen between $7.50 and $9.50. I usually do the Katsu pork ramen. It's a very substantial bowl of ramen. Side of kimchi ($1), 7 potstickers ($5), chili pork ($3.50). Just water as they don't have beer.

Oct 29, 2013
klsalas in Greater Seattle

The Walrus and the Carpenter or The Whale Wins?

Walrus is not open for lunch. When it first opened they had Sunday brunch but that was discontinued It opens at 4pm. Incidentally they also cut happy hour on Sundays. Happy hour is M-Th 4-6pm. Last winter they were tweeting on wait times -- particularly when there was little to no wait. The problem is that can change by the time you get there. In any case there have been no tweets on wait times recently.

Oct 24, 2013
klsalas in Greater Seattle

San Anton Market, Madrid

Have there been some changes there in the last year? It looked like La Alacena de Victor Montes is no longer there. That was a favorite of mine.

Oct 23, 2013
klsalas in Spain/Portugal

The Walrus and the Carpenter or The Whale Wins?

If you go to Walrus now there is the adjoining Barnacle (also owned by Erickson) to handle some of the overflow. I usually get there at 15-20 minutes to 4pm but I have stopped going regularly because of the crowds. The wait won't be as bad off season but it is always busy.

Whale is beautiful food -- a bit like Bar Sajor from Matt Dillon. It is Pacific NW/ French/ Med influenced small plates with house pickled vegetables, cured meats, pates and other room temp dishes. What is cooked is cooked in a single woodburning oven. it is true though that a lot of food is room temp. It is like beautiful picnic food (I wish I could take credit for that observation but read it in a review). Despite the name it does not have the oyster bar focus of Walrus.

I do love the adjoining Joule as well and also in Fremont I love Revel (by the owners of Joule) and very much enjoyed Agrodolce by Maria Hines (of Tilth). A new up and comer near by with great views and decor and seafood focus (including oysters) is Westward on North Lake Union. Went there last week and had a great meal. It feels a lot like an Erickson concept but it is run by Josh Henderson (Skillet).

I like Poppy which is a kind of thali meats Pacific NW concept but I find myself never craving a return trip. Staple and Fancy is restaurateur and award winning chef Ethan Stowell's flagship restaurant. I love its space and creative Italian/Pacific NW food (it shares the first floor of the great Kolstrand building on historic Ballard Ave with Walrus and Barnacle). It is one of the best critically reviewed places in town.

Oct 20, 2013
klsalas in Greater Seattle

Six weeks in Seattle with two little kids...

In Ballard definitely hit Cafe Besalu (just up 24th Avenue from downtown Ballard) which I would put against any other patisserie in town any day. I have had pastries at least weekly since we moved to Seattle in 2001. Their coffee is from local roasters Seven and they do a house chocolate hot chocolate which the kids love.

I know you are not a fan of lining up so maybe The Walrus and the Carpenter is not something you will find ideal. It is unclear whether the recent opening of adjoining Barnacle is taking pressure off of Walrus or creating even bigger crowds. I do think the oysters, small plates and atmosphere at Walrus are great and it has won a lot of national acclaim in the last few years.

My two go-to restaurants for dinner in Ballard are Bastille (French) and Stoneburner (Italian). Both are really casual modern and focused on local and seasonal availability including produce from the rooftop garden at Bastille. They make essentially everything in house except for some of the cured meats. However they make all pates, terrines, sausages and other forcemeat, pickled veg and handmade pastas are from a Cafe Juanita alum. Both places have happy hour. Stoneburner is open for lunch and has happy hour 7 days per week from 3-5. Bastille is open at 4p with happy hour till 6p.

If you are interested in Asian food I can recommend Monkey Bridge (Vietnamese), and Pestle Rock (Isan Thai). For Spanish tapas, Ocho. Mexican: La Carta de Oaxaca, Senor Moose. Caribbean, La Isla and Paseo (Ballard waterfront location).

For Southern and BBQ I very much enjoy the food and design of Bitteroot which has been one of the more acclaimed BBQ restaurants in town for the last few years. For burgers I would recommend LIl Woody's or Scooters.

I am not sure if this it will be open before you leave but Brimmer and Heeltap -- a gastropub from Jen Doak of the Washington Wines Tasting Room in Pike Place Market and Mike Wisenhunt from Revel (see below) -- is expected in November.

For coffee and baked goods (in addition to Besalu) Ballard has a pretty rich assortment including Cafe Fiore, B&O (previously of Capitol Hill), Ballard Coffee Co., Fresh Flours and very shortly a branch of Capitol Hill's Bauhaus (which is expected to open probably in the next week).

Incidentally I hope you will visit Ballard. The kids will love the beach at Golden Gardens, the ship canal locks (assuming the Govt reopens shortly), and maybe the Nordic Heritage museum. Historic Ballard Ave is loaded with restaurants, bars and live music venues but there are also coffee and tea shops, boutiques and more including one of (in my opinion) the best toy stores in town, Clover. Adjoining Market Street has some great local record stores, boutigues and more including great kids bookstore Secret Garden with a number of signed books from local authors.

In Fremont I typically go to Revel (modern Korean streetfood from the owners of Joule), Joule (modern Korean/Pacific NW fusion) and Whale Wins (from Renee Erickson, owner of Walrus and the Carpenter). Up Fremont Ave. I can also recommend Paseo, Undeeda Burger and Dot's delicatessen.

Fremont has restaurants opening all the time nowadays. Highly anticipated Roux will open October 26th. By Gasworks Park (North Lake Union between Fremont Wallingford and the U District) we just tried and loved Westward and Little Gull grocery. We have not been to Rock Creek yet on upper Fremont Ave but that is another option to look into.


Football, Craft Beer & Elevated Pub Fare?

The list from Adam P contains most of the top places in the greater downtown area, Capitol Hill and Fremont. The Pine Box, Brouwer's or Bravehorse (or Quinn's in Capitol Hill) probably offer the best combos of beer and food.

RE: Noble Fir in Ballard (the original bar by the SixGill owners -- a smaller tap list but better atmosphere) the food is limited to cured meats, cheeses, marinated veg etc.

Urban Family Public House is Ballard a local brewer who also has a really decent guest tap list -- they are now also distributing the Shelton Bro. portfolio.
They are really only doing hummus, guac and burgers.

Between Ballard and Phinney I love the small beer-geek soccer bar The Dray. They do panini. That is it.

In Greenwood the Dray owners run the excellent Yard, which has pretty serviceable Mexican. Naked City has a great tap list and good pub food.

Between Greenwood and Ballard is the amazing Chuck's Hop Shop (about 40 taps and 1,000 plus bottles in the bottle shop, which you can buy retail and drink in for a small corkage). They have rotating food trucks.

Sep 15, 2013
klsalas in Greater Seattle

Football, Craft Beer & Elevated Pub Fare?

They have a TV but as I recall they just play classic films as a sort of backdrop.

Sep 15, 2013
klsalas in Greater Seattle

Football, Craft Beer & Elevated Pub Fare?

Try Harry's -- a small mini chain out of Oregon with just three (Portland, Plano, TX and Seattle) locations. They are near Safeco Field.

The FB photostream shows quite a few TVs.

I sent a FB question to them to see if they are planning on playing the game. They said that they would be happy to put the game on. Don't know about the food. Menu looks decent.

Another place you might want to call is Von Trapp's. The owners run Bastille, Stoneburner and Poquito's. It is a beer hall. Tap list is decent -- about 30. It is a combination of German, German styled, Belgian, Belgian styled and domestic beers with a NW focus. Pete Fjosne the chef used to work at Bastille. Really one of his strong suits is forcemeat and they do all of the wursts.

The Collins Pub in Seattle has a very nice smaller beer list and several TVs. Food is average/good. However I must disclaim I usually just squeeze in for a pint before a game and have only had a burger once or twice.

The Yardhouse is a larger chain but their location is very convenient (basically right at Westlake Center) and they have about 130 taps with a solid assortment of NW beers. Photos show a number of TVs. Again food list looks like standard pub food. I sent them a FB message but no reply yet about the game. Give them a call.

Don't know why I hestitate to really recommend the Taphouse Grill. It is local and has only two locations, Seattle and the Bellevue. I guess I have always found its location nondescript. But it does have a significant tap list (about 160) with a strong focus on the NW. The menu is kind of nondescript looking to me. It is all over the place. I have had a burger there once or twice and it was good. Like other places I have been that boast huge bottle lists or tap lists often things will be out. There are TVs all over the place.

Finally you might call Brave Horse Tavern. This is a pub opened by Seattle celeb chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas. It is close to downtown (South Lake Union). It does not have a huge tap list but the list is solid. They have above average pub food.


The following places are great beer bars with good food but they are not close to you and won't be showing the game.

Brouwer's - away from downtown; no TV; premier beer destination; good food.
Pine Box - reasonably close to downtown; no TV; premier beer destination; good food.

Aug 30, 2013
klsalas in Greater Seattle

Dinner recommendations for five nights in Seattle

Altura and Cafe Juanita are sure things. However Cafe Juanita is in Kirkland which is a bit of a trek from Seattle. Altura does require a credit care now for reservations.

There are so many good choices. Actually I have been blown away on three occasions now by meals at Lloyd Martin on the top of Queen Anne.

In Ballard, Stoneburner has become a new favorite. Jason Stoneburner continues to oversee the kitchen at Bastille but has a notable Italian background from How to Cook a Wolf. He has a front of the house manager and pasta chef from Cafe Juanita and just picked up a pastry chef from Canlis. One of Seattle's top bartenders, Erik Carlson, runs the bar program.

In Fremont Whale Wins by critic darling Renee Erickson (who also owns Walrus and the Carpenter and Boat Street Cafe plus the Narwhal food truck and shortly Barnacle wine bar) has been getting excellent reviews. I have been there a few times and it is great. Stylistically it is a menu that relies in large part on things that are not cooked (or cooked in advance and served room temperature) like cheese, various salads, sardines and pates on toast, cured meat and fish, roasted and pickled vegetables etc. What is cooked is done in one wood burning oven.

Next door is Joule by Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi who met working at some top kitchens in NYC. They also own Revel, which is a Korean/ Pan-Asian streetfood concept (duplings, savory pancakes, rice and noodle bowls etc) in Fremont. Joule is a bit more upscale than Revel but is creative Asian and French influenced food. There is cold smoked fish, beef tartare, some exciting salads, interesting rice and noodle dishes like spicy rice cake, chorizo and pickled mustard greens and duck pastrami fried rice, pickled currant & nam prik ... plus a variety of steaks and some seafood entrees.

Whale Wins and Joule just tied for a place in Bon Appetit's list of top 10 new restaurants.

Down in Pioneer Square Bar Sajor was short listed for the same list. The concept is similar to that at Whale Wins.

Incidentally I have stopped recommending Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard as vigorously just because of their no reservation policy which means crowds and waits a lot of the time but they have a great oyster bar and beautiful small plates with charcuterie, fried oysters, seafood crudos, smoked fish etc. all being recurring themes. Erickson has acquired an adjoining space and is getting ready to launch the aforementioned Barnacle, which arguably help take some of the pressure off of the Walrus dining room (unless the synergy worsens the crowds).

Walrus waits - where to spend time?

They were tweeting wait times a while back (last winter). Take a look. This may give you more ammo. You might try showing up at 4:45 and putting your party on the list. Was unable to find any definitive updates on Barnacle. It was supposed to be open this month.

They will call you. You don't want to go too far or get too far into eating someplace else because when they call you really need to be back there reasonably promptly. I would say 10 minutes or less would be ideal. Staple and Fancy (which is on the front side of the building that W&TC is in has maybe six seats at the bar. They open at 5pm. The next closest place is the Ballard Loft, which is kind of a sports bar/pub. They do have a nice front patio. Just a door or two up is Ballard Pizza Co. where you could get a beer and wait. It's a nice space. Either the loft or Ballard Pizza Co is .1 mile or a 2 min walk. Hillard's, NW Peaks, and Peddler Brewing Co are about .2 miles but if you end up going M or T as planned all three tasting rooms will be closed.

At about .2 miles or 4 minutes up Ballard Ave are MacLeod's and Conor Byrne, Scottish and Irish Pubs respectively. Just past those is King's Hardware, The Gerald (a mid century styled cocktail bar and comfort food place with good bar food) and Stoneburner. The bar at Stoneburner would be a good place to get a drink (Erik Carlson runs the bar) and a snack or small plate or two (Jason Stoneburner is also the Exec chef at Bastille). Just a bit further up I also enjoy the back bar at Bitterroot BBQ (big American whiskey list, small but good tap list). Even further up Urban Family Brewing and Public House will be open (about .3 miles or a 6 minute walk). They have house beers and a number of other guest taps (usually Belgian or Belgian styled). Across the street is another great beer bar, The Noble Fir or you could try Bastille's front and back bar. They are typically running happy hour 4:30-6pm.

Just keep in mind that being 5-6 minutes away is pushing your luck with closing out a tab, finishing up and getting down there when they call. If they give you an hour estimate you will be fine ... unless they call you early which can happen because estimating waits is an inexact science.

If they tell you a half hour it could be 10 minutes or 45 minutes. I am just cautioning you to stay close. I don't know that they will give your table away if you don't get back in 10-15 minutes but don't risk it. You might ask what your grace time is to get back.

Aug 16, 2013
klsalas in Greater Seattle

Queen Anne rumors?

Just announced. The old Pasta and Co will be a Cupcake Royale.

Aug 16, 2013
klsalas in Greater Seattle