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:
Pike Place Market
Ivar's Salmon House
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....
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.
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...
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.
This is what I'm thinking so far, based on other Chowhound posts:
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...)
breakfast (we'll see...):
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.
Portage Bay Cafe
Spud Fish & Chips
Ugly Mug Cafe
Pike Place Chowder
Art of the Table