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jivingseaanemone's Profile

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Seattle for Japanese visitor

Thanks so much for the advice, everyone! I loved hearing all the suggestions. He's been and gone now and here's how it went:
Tried Ivar's Salmon House for happy hour the first day. It was packed to the brim with visiting football types and we couldn't get in, and there's not a lot nearby, so we ended up at Agua Verde for some beer and guacamole. At that very tired point in the day, that was all we really needed. Good view.
Eva's for dinner - nice atmosphere, enjoyable, we weren't amazed by the food but it was pleasant.
Safeco Field Ivar's chowder for lunch the next day - disappointing. I did introduce him to cracker jacks, though, which he liked more than I did. (I often got laughed at in Japan for not liking meat or anything popcorny - apparently I'm not a real American!) We went to Pike Place Market after the game and got some lovely flavored pastas for dinner at home. He loved that -- America has way more pasta variety than Japan does.
Ray's Boathouse Cafe - he was in heaven over the chowder there! The rest of the lunch was just ok, but the day and the view were gorgeous.
Perche No - we came in late and got some rather sloppily done pasta (we found 3 kinds of noodles in the seafood "linguine"!) but the food was still tasty and luckily we were seated upstairs with a view straight down on the kitchen - PERFECT for us.
The recommendation for oysters at Elliott's was a good one - he wanted to go back the next day too (but we didn't).
ZigZag - he was really impressed by this. This kind of mixology hasn't caught on much in Japan.
Volunteer Park Cafe - perfect example of a nice & simple soup-salad-sandwich type cafe. These kinds of cafes are next to impossible to find in Japan, and we both loved it.
Cafe Presse - we popped in here at the last minute and had a good meal.
Spinasse - as everyone suggested it might be, the absolute culinary highlight of the trip. We sat at the bar where we could watch the kitchen and talk to the staff and endlessly enthuse over every bite we took.
Woodland Park Zoo - the soup was actually not bad.
Molly Moon's - too rich for us, but we appreciated the flavor inventiveness.
Issian - we only spoke Osaka-dialect Japanese with the staff in here. authentic!
Kisaku - he'd never had American-style sushi rolls, so we came in here and he loved them. Caterpillar rolls! Entertaining! And delicious.
Tilth - amazing flavors! He liked Spinasse better, but this was great too.
Tangletown Brewery - I took him here when he expressed a desire to try "American bar junk food." I ordered the artichoke dip. He was very pleased. They don't have that in Japan!
Cupcake Royale - this was more for me than him. It was a bit too rich for him, but just right for me.
The Farm - by Snohomish. Fresh corn, apple cider, u-pick pumpkins, and cute farm animals. Very, very, very American.
And finally:
Easy Street Records. This was the best American-style breakfast place I could possibly imagine taking an international visitor to. SO American. AND cheap. AND delicious. AND a really fun atmosphere & server. My boyfriend couldn't imagine biscuits and gravy from my description before he tried it. He can now!

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Ray's Boathouse Restaurant
6049 Seaview Ave., Seattle, WA 98107

Safeco Field
1250 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

Pike Place Market
1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

Cafe Presse
1117 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Ivar's Salmon House
401 NE Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98105

Spinasse
Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

Cupcake Royale
2052 NW Market St, Seattle, WA

Sep 30, 2010
jivingseaanemone in Greater Seattle

Seattle for Japanese visitor

He does love oysters. It turns out Art of the Table is closed the week he'll be here anyways, so maybe I'll sub in oysters for Monday happy hour. Thanks for the suggestions! Will report back....

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Art of the Table
1054 N 39th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Sep 09, 2010
jivingseaanemone in Greater Seattle

Seattle for Japanese visitor

Oo, some interesting recommendations. Kingfish Cafe looks spot-on and Eva does look a lot better than the brewery. Parfait sounds good too... most American desserts are too sweet for Japanese tastes (mine too, at least at the moment while I'm readjusting....). I went to Molly Moon's the other day and the flavor combinations were amazing, but so rich I could barely finish my single scoop sundae.

Sep 08, 2010
jivingseaanemone in Greater Seattle

Seattle for Japanese visitor

Heh, yeah, I was thinking of Dick's mainly for the humor/milkshake value. He'll have just gotten off a plane and won't be ready for a real meal anyways...
Crush, off the list. Thanks!

Sep 07, 2010
jivingseaanemone in Greater Seattle

Seattle for Japanese visitor

If you had a Japanese visitor, what are the most classically American-style places you would take them to in Seattle?

Our story: I just moved to Seattle this week (originally from Portland), so I haven't had much time to explore. My Japanese boyfriend, a professional Italian chef back in Osaka where we've been living, is hoping to follow and possibly work in Seattle before too long. So when he comes to visit next week, I'm hoping to give him a good taste mainly of American-style cafes/sandwiches/casual lunch/diners & happy hour places and of Northwest-y-esque Italian or French influenced restaurants. We probably won't want Asian food this time around, although I'd like to introduce him to a couple of foods that are hard to find in Japan, like Lebanese and Mexican.
We'll be staying at my place in the Wallingford/Greenlake area and won't have a car (yay urban biking Japanese-style!), so we won't want to go too far out. Also, he's not broke but I sure am (yay grad school!), so we can't eat at expensive places every night.
We've been to Seattle together once before for one day and went to Pike Place Chowder, which was a huge hit, and Steelhead Diner, which was less of a hit (I loved it, but I'm not the chef).

This is what I'm thinking so far, based on other Chowhound posts:
Day 1 (Sat): Dick's on 45th for lunch (it's American!) or Rancho Bravo tacos, Tangletown Brewery for happy-hour/dinner.
Day 2: U-District farmer's market for breakfast, Mariners game so whatever for lunch at the stadium, Pink Door for drinks after.
Day 3: Agua Verde for lunch and kayaking, Art of the Table for Monday happy hour.
It gets more vague after that but at some point....

3-4 dinners: Spinasse, Poppy, Tilth, Spud Fish & Chips (Alki), Palace Kitchen, Corson Building, Cafe Campagne, or Crush. Plus Uwajimaya (if you tell your roommates your boyfriend is a Japanese chef, they'll expect some home cooking...)
Most of these places seem like special event spots ... I'm not sure we'll want to maintain that level for all 9 days of his trip. Some more casual places would be good...

4-5 lunches:
Ugly Mug Cafe for sandwiches, Ray's Cafe, Le Pichet, Serious Pie, Baguette Box

breakfast (we'll see...):
Portage Bay Cafe, Cafe Besalu

and: Puyallup Fair (super American!), Fremont Oktoberfest

Does that seem like a pretty representative combination of good American/Northwest stuff? Are there any particularly good Lebanese/Greek/Middle Eastern places in the U-District, Fremont or Wallingford? Any fun, retro experiences? (And if anyone has advice for getting a work visa, we'd love to hear that too....)

Thanks so much for any advice & for reading! This ended up being kind of long.

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Palace Kitchen
2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Cafe Campagne
1600 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

Le Pichet
Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

Pink Door
1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

Uwajimaya
600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA

Steelhead Diner
95 Pine Street, Suite 17, Seattle, WA 98101

Spinasse
Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

Serious Pie
316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

Cafe Besalu
5909 24th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Portage Bay Cafe
4130 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Spud Fish & Chips
9702 NE Juanita Dr, Kirkland, WA 98034

Ugly Mug Cafe
1309 NE 43rd St, Seattle, WA 98105

Baguette Box
1203 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

Pike Place Chowder
600 Pine St Ste 404, Seattle, WA 98101

Art of the Table
1054 N 39th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Sep 07, 2010
jivingseaanemone in Greater Seattle