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New Yorker looking for quintessential Seattle cheap eats

You can actually do a lot with $20/pp. Some of these are arguably not quintessential, but what I'm thinking about as great cheap eats.

You can get a dozen oysters at Taylor Shellfish's happy hour at Melrose Market (the seafood store, which is less expensive than their 2 restaurants). The Market Grill salmon sandwich. Humbows from Mee Sum in the market. Piroshkies from Piroshky on 3rd. A Bahn Mi, which you can research separately, and pho; both are very popular here and cheap. Though if you want Vietnamese I'd just go to Green Leaf or Ba Bar, where you'll be fine with $20. Probably the best $20 you can spend in the city is happy hour at Tavolata in the bar, with the $8 spaghetti and $5 wine. Thai is quintessentially Seattle--we have more Thai places than pizza joints--and you will do fine for $20 there. If you are downtown go to Little Uncle (lunch only) for Thai. Homemade pasta at Il Corvo. Taking the water taxi to West Seattle and eating Korean tacos right at the ferry dock at marination Ma Kai. Korean tacos may be more quintessentially LA, but the view back over the water to downtown is one of the best in Seattle.

Crabby hour at Etta's for dungeness crab. I think there are things under $20. Crab unfortunately is expensive, but it is quintessential.

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

I think the Treasure Cove were my favorites last time I went, too. Glad you liked the other food; I love the oysters, cocktails, space and service, but I have consistently disliked the prepared dishes. Last time after ordering a bread pudding that turned out to be French toast with sauce, I think I've sworn off everything but the oysters and cocktails.

Dec 08, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle
1

Raw bar and Dungeness crab eastside: Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, Woodinville

Walrus and Carpenter should be your first pick for oysters. People complain about the lines (no res) but my last 2 visits, at 4 pm when they opened for happy hour, weren't crazy at all. Later might be busier but there are many many places to get drinks in the immediate vicinity while you wait. Also if you are solo you might luck out with a single counter seat. They have other seafood though I can't recall seeing crab. They are very fast at getting the oysters to you, unlike many other places. As an aside I don't hear people use the term raw bar here. Maybe because we really don't do raw clams/mussels/etc. Just oysters. So we have oyster bars.

For crab AND oysters, Taylor Shellfish on Capitol Hill. It's really a seafood market with a few tables, not a restaurant, but you cannot beat the freshness and prices.
http://tayloroysterbars.com/locations...

The Pioneer Square and Queen Anne locations of Taylor Shellfish are actual restaurants, with bigger menus and higher prices.

Etta's Seafood has a "crabby hour" with crab specials. I don't see crab quite as much as I'd expect in restaurants, maybe since it's so darn expensive in a restaurant that we all just eat it at home. Shucker's has some nice crab dishes but they are on the pricey side.

Westward is a cool spot among the marine businesses of Lk Union but I only see raw oysters on the HH/midday menu--they must offer them at dinner but maybe call to make sure? Rock Creek is a great neighborhood seafood spot (in general I like the food better than at Westward) though they don't put their oysters on HH.

Dec 04, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Lunch Recommendations in Phinney Ridge or Greenlake?

Yes. It's disappointing all around--entrees, drinks, even the chips (they keep the baskets in the fridge!). The recent review in the Times called out a couple of good things, so maybe those are worth trying, but my experience, and all of my neighhors (I think I've talked to 5 or 6 others that have been), was universally "meh."

There are a dearth of lunch spots up here on the ridge. Just a bit off the ridge, Taqueria Tequila is pretty good. Picnic has very good sandwiches and salads; that might be your best bet.

Dec 03, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

fresh egg pasta as a gift, drying, storing

I have had terrible luck trying to dry egg pasta. I've tried with a few different recipes and it always takes a long time to dry (if I try to nest it into nice looking bundles the middle won't dry) and it ends up looking terrible, like nothing I'd give for a gift. I'd see what yours actually looks like before worrying about anything else. Hopefully you'll have better luck than me, but I know I'm not the only person stymied by this.

Dec 02, 2014
christy319 in Home Cooking

Quick Recommendations Near 1113 6th Ave

Matt's in the Market; entrees can be up to $30 or so but they also have a great happy hour. You can sit at the bar if you're solo. Tavolata has a great happy hour with meal sized Italian portions. A little closer, Lecosho is just down the hill, so are BOKA and Bookstore Bar (both are hotel restaurants that do a good job, both have good happy hours). Very close is Sazerac; they're known for the HH but I haven't been in ages.

Dec 01, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

girlfriend is alergic to mushrooms. my favorite mamacaroni and cheese recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup. does anyone have a suggestion of a substitute i could use?

I think if you make your own sauce (very simple) it's hard to believe you'd ever go back to canned soup. Here's one that you'd add a pound of grated cheese and a pound of macaroni (cooked separately) to.

***

Melt 5 tablespoons butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in 6 tbs flour, 1.5 tsp dry mustard, 1/4 tsp. cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in 5 cups milk until smooth. Bring mixture to boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheeses until fully melted.

Nov 26, 2014
christy319 in Home Cooking

Do any Sichuan restaurants use whole, good-quality peppercorns here?

@basteagow, try a Sunday lunch at Bamboo Garden in Bellevue. Someone new is cooking that shift and they are using a good number of peppercorns. The swimming fire fish these last couple visits had been great. I can tell it's a new cook because there have been some new variations in other dishes, and whoever it is likes the peppercorns.

Nov 23, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Paseo Closed

Anyone tried Bongo's? I live close by but hadn't been--their initial menu didn't look that great to me, but it looks like it's expanded.
http://bongosseattle.com/menu/#sandwi...

Nov 20, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Planet Java Diner

As many years as I've worked nearby, I've never been. I'll have to check it out for lunch. Thanks.

Nov 20, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

No more breakfast at Willows Inn

They are back to doing breakfast in the dining room at the inn! From the email:

The Willows Inn on Lummi Island no longer serves at the Beach Store Café (now under new local management). We create an authentic island breakfast in the main dining room every morning after dinner.

They don't mention if it's complimentary.

Nov 20, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

Ehh...I've biked that a number of times. I'd tell someone to use their time walking somewhere more scenic or interesting, rather than doing that route. Between the sculpture garden and the locks is pretty blah.

Nov 19, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

Well, it wouldn't be the most amazing walk in town. Definitely don't do the most direct route, via Elliott Ave and 15th, which is pretty unpleasant. I volunteer at the animal shelter on 15th and walk dogs along that street, and it's busy, loud (you have to shout to talk to someone), and semi-industrial. The route mentioned above--Westlake then over the Fremont Bridge and hooking up with the Burke Gilman Trail, would be okay. There is a sort of Lake Union loop of which Westlake Ave is a part--maybe this will help you: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/lakeunio...

You could make it nicer by going up and over Queen Anne Hill and then crossing the Ballard Bridge but that would make it a longer and steeper. If you do decide to venture up Queen Anne google to find the historical society's walking tour info.

Nov 18, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Paseo Closed

So this is the secret sauce? If anyone makes it will they report back on how close it comes?

garlic mayo
1 bulb garlic
olive oil for drizzling
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsps olive oil
1 lime, juice of
1/2 tbsp dill pickle relish

Nov 17, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Non Cantonese in Vancouver

Good articles, thanks! The grilled whole fish at Li's sounds great--has anyone had it?

Has anyone had the water boiled fish at Alvin Garden?

Non Cantonese in Vancouver

Are the Szechuan places listed here still the best in the area? I'm looking for a great Shui Zhu Yu (water boiled fish) in particular. Thanks.

Drinking and Eating in Ballard-Fremont area

Bastille's bar for HH. You could try to get in at Walrus and Carpenter or her new little bar next door. I also like Ocho. Stoneburner...what about a boozy shake at Hot Cakes. All of these are within walking distance.

Oct 30, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

In Praise of Dives, or... Another One Bites the Dust

"Am I the only one who laments the demise of the iconic Seattle dive and despairs loss of neighborhood institutions?"

Well, no, not by a long shot. Pretty much everyone's up in arms about all the new condos with nail salons going up in their neighborhood, replacing historic or at least interesting buildings and businesses, esp. since we didn't get the transit or parks to support it. Almost no one likes this characterless stuff. It's just the developers and interestingly the progressives who want more housing at all costs who don't care. We got a lotta different groups out there fighting the good fight ie Livable Ballard, Capitol Hill Coalition, Reasonable Density Seattle...geez, there's many more. Lots of opportunity to get involved. My own hope is that Amazon goes out of business and that does the trick.

Pretty much every good bar and restaurant on my main street (Greenwood Ave in the 60s-80s) is vulnerable to this kind of development.

Oct 28, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

When is the last time you went on a picnic?

The activity is not dead. Head to a large NYC park, like Prospect Park, on a nice weekend day sometime. You will see picnicking on a scale you never imagined. Wall to wall grills, coolers and blankets. Except for the grills it looks like a Dead show, though with a different demographic.

I like the idea and always tell my husband we should picnic, but in the end its a lot easier to eat at home or out, then just go for a walk in the park with our dog.

Staple & Fancy

I ate there last month with a group of 4 but we didn't do the chef's menu or whatever they call it, since the 4 of us have pretty divergent tastes/dietary issues. We all got starters and entrees and everything ranged from fine to good, but nothing blew anyone away. Maybe I'll go back sometime just with my husband and do the chef's menu, but I'm not in a hurry. Sorry this is so wishy-washy--I wouldn't discourage someone from going, but I also wouldn't say it's a must-do. To me none of his other places live up to Tavolata, which I absolutely love.

one night, one dinner - help

I wouldn't call Matt's "super casual." A taqueria is super casual. Matt's is a date night type place, for Seattle anyway.

Oct 17, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

"We don't take reservations for less than 6." Restaurant Owners Listen Up! [moved from Seattle board]

My policy of not waiting extends to my local (Bluebird, Seattle) ice cream place. They are the slowest scoopers on earth, and then there are the people that have to sample everything; if there are a half dozen people in front of you, you will wait 30 minutes--no joke. But that's there prerogative to hand out limitless samples and be slow, just like it's a restaurants (very understandable) prerogative to not take a res. I'll just buy a pint from the store on the next block.

Oct 16, 2014
christy319 in Not About Food

Canlis Vs Altura

Canlis isn't stuffy but I also wouldn't call it relaxed. It has a dress code, after all. The menus are so different that I'd make the choice by what sounds better. You can always have a cocktail and appetizer at Canlis rather than dinner--the drinks and apps are great (you can actually get the whole menu there, but I like going for the prawns and the salad), and the piano player is legendary for his unusual selections (think early '80s Tears for Fears, or Metallica).

Oct 16, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

one night, one dinner - help

Well, blowout+view has gotta be Canlis. You might be able to get in on a weeknight. There is a dress code, it's the only place around that has one. In previous years I thought the food didn't always live up to the hype, but earlier this year a group of us did the tasting menu (with variations for all of us) and it was spectacular, as were the wine pairings.

Most view places aren't that great. If you want a very Seattle spot, very good food, cool space, a little view, Matt's in the Market.

Ray's Boathouse has a great view, and it's a Seattle classic, but I haven't been in ages, and not under the current chef.

Oct 15, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Chinese Noodles

That's gotta be the problem--that's a small, remote town and I can't imagine the groceries are very good. You might need to start making grocery trips to the Puget Sound metro area. I don't know if these items are something found in any Seattle/Tacoma grocery or if you need to go to an Asian grocery, but if its the latter, there's an H Mart in Federal Way, a Ranch 99 in Kent, a Uwajimaya in Renton...maybe there's a good grocery in Olympia that has them.

Oct 12, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

Buying WA king salmon this time of year

They do indeed have some Quillaiyute King available right now (their other is from CA). Thanks guys! That is the obvious place to check but I think I'd just gotten so used to not seeing it in my usual stores I hadn't bothered to call.

Oct 11, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

"We don't take reservations for less than 6." Restaurant Owners Listen Up! [moved from Seattle board]

I also generally won't wait to get a table--I haven't eaten breakfast out in years because of this, and there are many places I either haven't tried, or haven't been back to, because they don't take reservations.

That said, there's nothing restauranteurs don't "get." Taking reservations costs them money and it's a big scheduling hassle. This article explains it pretty well: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/din...

Buying WA king salmon this time of year

Can I buy WA Kings anywhere this time of year through next spring? Even if its not in Seattle I'd like to know where its available, and if I'm in that area I can make a stop.

I live off Wilson Fish salmon May-Sept, and they did unexpectedly have some OR King salmon last weekend (it wasn't as good as their WA stuff though). But in general Fall-Spring I see AK stuff in the fish markets rather than local and it's never as good by the time it gets here. I just read an article in the Times about how good the fall Chinook runs are. Looking through the WDFW guides its hard for me to tell what is recreational and what is commercial in terms of season. Anyone know if/when/where WA king might be available to buy?

Oct 09, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Restaurants with Seattle or pacific northwestern feel?

I was going to suggest Matt's. Great food and you can't get more "Seattle" than being in the middle of the Market. The space is great with the windows looking right onto the market; some tables also have a bay view.

Westward has such a great space/location too although I like their food a smidge less. It's good, maybe just not exactly to my own tastes. Look at the menu and see what you think. It's the rare waterfront restaurant that is good. Rockcreek is also a good pick, as the food is very good and it's in a neighborhood setting.

I haven't been to The Whale Wins but it might fit the bill.

I love Poppy too. There's nothing special about the space itself, though.

Oct 07, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

any updates about Methow Valley / Winthrop WA?

I went to Duck Brand last Wednesday and was surprised to see all of the Asian-ish items on the dinner menu. Most of the Mexican items said lunch only. I ordered a prawn dish that I didn't realize would be a stir fry but it was, and it was terrible. The two ladies next to me asked if they could order from the lunch menu, were told they could, then they raved about the Mexican items they got. *sigh* So if anyone goes, confine yourself to the Mexican items.

Oct 06, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest