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Lunch Recommendations in Phinney Ridge or Greenlake?

The tri-tip sandwich is awesome.

Dec 05, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle
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Casino Suggestion

Muckleshoot is also nice with good slots and food. Tulalip is also a good choice. I don't care for Snoqualmie casino - very claustrophobic.

Dec 05, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Birthday Dinner 2014

I might catch the ferry over to Hitchcock for chef's tasting menu & follow up with Mora ice cream. Nothing new, but out of the ordinary & so tasty. :)

Also recently had a very nice dinner (in a windstrom) at Cassis on Alki. I am told they rotate their menu monthly, so that might be fun.

Nov 30, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Ballard Traffic--Can the Restos Survive?

I've had to go to north Magnolia and then back to Ballard twice during rush hour since the closure and luckily it was no big deal. Went south to the next off-ramp (Dravus), and got back onto 15th toward Ballard. I had to wait through two lights to take the left turn onto W. Dravus but that took less than 2 minutes.

How are others finding it?

Nov 18, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Buffalo Chicken Wings

I really liked the wings at Tanaka San (don't be put off by the weird description like fish sauce caramel).

For buffalo wings, I like my wings very crispy. My favs are wingmasters in Ballard and BWW (there's now one at Westlake center).

Nov 08, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Your most delicious and uncanny ways to eat Spam?

Noooo! I just picked up two cans of the teri spam...and one chorizo spam and one bacon spam. I love teri sauce on spam musubi and was hoping the teri spam would just be pre-infused with teri goodness. :)

Nov 03, 2014
akq in General Topics

Your most delicious and uncanny ways to eat Spam?

I usually just buy the bottled stuff, but it's a combo of sake, mirin, soy sauce, kombu, and katsuobushi. Cold noodle dipping sauce.

Nov 03, 2014
akq in General Topics

When is the last time you went on a picnic?

Same here. I love taking some food with us to the beach - it tastes so much better when you're hungry after playing in the water.

And we love taking picnics to outdoor concerts all summer long. They are usually during the week and so we often just pick up some assorted salads, cheese and crackers or chips and dip, fried chicken and drinks and head to the concert. It's fabulous.

Oct 29, 2014
akq in General Topics

Your most delicious and uncanny ways to eat Spam?

Spam and egg sandwich on white bread with mayo, lettuce, tomato and white onion. Spam must be fried crispy on the outside, the yolk should be runny and there should be more onion than you'd think. IMO, the best "professional" version can be found at the lunch counter of the Liliha Bakery in Hawaii.

Spam (or cheap Carl Buddig luncheon meat) is my favorite for my family's version of cold peanut sauce noodles. I use cold spaghetti noodles, with thin matchsticks of assorted veggies adn green onion on a bed of nappa cabbage, tossed with a peanut sauce (peanut butter, shoyu, hot sauce, sugar and hot water to thin) and chilled.

I also love spam in cold somen salad similar to above, but with somen dressing. Also excellent when charsiu is added to the mix.

Oct 29, 2014
akq in General Topics

Guest Calling the Shots

It's not clear what your specific objection is (this behavior could be inappropriate for a variety of reasons), but that should drive the solution.

If the problem is waste or added expense (i.e. if this employee didn't order these items, no one would), either take it up with the employee, limit the choices or do a set menu, even one with several but not unlimited options.

If the problem is shots (this would be my objection), institute a no shots rule, exclude hard alcohol altogether and only provide beer & wine or exclude alcohol entirely.

If the problem is that he makes other uncomfortable by "forcing" them to share food when they don't want to or pressuring people into doing shots, take it up with the employee or limit choices on the menu.

If the problem is that he's stealing your thunder by acting as if he's paying when he's not - let it go. Everyone knows who's paying.

chili

+1 on avoiding Mike's.

Oct 12, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

chili

Slim's Last Chance has great chili.

Oct 11, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Restaurants with Seattle or pacific northwestern feel?

It depends where the visitors are from and what they like. The last time my East Coast family was in town, we went to Joule because it's delicious and different.

Ray's Café is a favorite of mine for the tremendous view and good seafood. I like the food, but it's not nearly as spectacular as the view.

For oysters, I really like the Walrus & Carpenter, but I rarely go because of the line/wait. In downtown, I like Blueacre for oyster happy hour.

Oct 06, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Really bad food from a restaurant.... What would you do?

+1 on the "post your honest reviews and then forget about it" responses. If it was just one dish that was bad, they might have made a mistake or be responsive to suggestions, but this sounds systemic. They are just not into making Indian food up to your standards, which is their prerogative. As you point out, they probably already know their food is crap. Chalk it up to experience and never order from them again.

Oct 06, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Ballard Traffic--Can the Restos Survive?

I am hoping the impact on Ballad traffic will be less than you predict, but I really have no idea what the real impact will be. Hopefully it will be a relative non-event like the I-90 closure when people seemed to all make alternate arrangements. The closure was a surprise to me - I got a notice in the mail last week. Hopefully others in the area have gotten the word as well and will make it work. Although it might be nice to be able to get a parking spot in downtown Ballard for once! :)

Oct 06, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

Non seq. Even if cops don't ticket jaywalking it's still against the law.

Sheesh. I've never said the law is the only standard of civility. What I have said is that in a private business, as long as they are within the law, the house gets to make the rules, not the patrons. If you as a patron don't feel that it's right to take a seat before paying, even if allowed by the house rules, don't do it. But you don't get to impose your "rule" on others.

Oct 06, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

Ahh, yes. The old, "they started it," golden rule twist! Love it! Perfect example of doing your part to bring more civility to the world!

Oct 03, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

Let me help *your* reading comprehension...my name is *akq*. My standard is that within the bounds of the law, the proprietor, and not some random patron (or even a gang of random patrons) gets to decide what is and is not allowed in the establishment. The proprietor may make good choices, or bad choices, or in between. Regardless, it's her house and she gets to make the rules, and if you don't like them, you can vote with your feet (and pocketbook) but you don't get to impose different rules on the establishment just because you feel like it.

Oct 03, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

HO, salty, eh? :) Thanks for the lesson.

Oct 03, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Roe vs. Beast?

With lots of heavy rain and traffic from Seattle, we barely made it for our 9pm rezzies at Roe, but were glad we did. Opted for the full beverage service and enjoyed it quite a bit. Some lovely wine (and a lambic) pairings, plus a cardamaro apertif and a nice boubon after dinner. We loved the first (hamachi, truffle anf foie gras crudo, and tuna sashimi with smoked grapes) and third couses (seabass and fatty cold smoked salmon), but were split on the second course. My king crab was overpowered by a mushroom broth, but SO loved his shrimp and scallop dish (i felt the shrimp was undercooked). I liked both the cheese dessert and SO's peach melba, but he was so-so on his dessert. Service was good, but a little confusing as different people seemed to help randomly (no one every introduced the team) and it was stuffy/warm. Otherwise, we really enjoyed it. At $300, we'd go back, but not for a while.

Sep 27, 2014
akq in Metro Portland

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

I am now v. Confused. I thought a special place in hell is reserved for ppl who send one body ahead to "reserve" a whole pew at church or when the other diner is looking for parking?

I just don't see how it is different if one person claims a table while the other orders vs. one person claiming the table with a backpack and getting in line. Also, there are clearly lots of folks who think the latter is acceptable and if we're talking about a normal coffee shop, the person is never too far away to field questions if necssary.

Sep 27, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

I think there's a HUGE difference if the establishment has set a rule (as I guess Besalu has). Then people should follow it. However, I'd hope that if someone were unaware of the rule, other patrons would issue a gentle (not hostile) reminder.

The problem with the "rules" that some posters are talking about is exactly what your post points out - they apparently depend on a bunch of factors (time/availability/type of establishment) and those can be pretty subjective. Insisting there is some unwritten rule that everyone should adhere to is setting oneself up for disappointment and irritation, and attempting to "enforce" any such unwritten rules at the business's expense is beyond rude.

Sep 25, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

Wow. I am kind of shocked that you are suggesting that it is wrong for a person to take up whatever space the establishment allows to him/her, and somewhat offended that you think all those moral theories actually back you up on that. My reading of all of those rules is that they do NOT prohibit a business owner from making a decision about what house rules to impose (or not impose) on patrons, but in fact DO prohibit one patron from imposing secret "rules" on other patrons without the owner's consent or request.

The only thing that keeps me in a good mood after reading your post is the knowledge that I am to be blamed for the fall of civilized society when I put my stuff down at an empty table in a free seating casual establishment with no rules against it, and then get in line to spend money at said establishment. Sheesh...it's amazing they let me go anywhere at all! ;)

Sep 25, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

My post started out saying that you could always take something to the extreme...and I think that would be extreme. But yes, if management thought it was cool or whatever, they can obviously let me use all their available tables whenever they feel like it for whatever legal purpose. Would you seriously suggest otherwise? Some cafes allow groups (book groups, etc.) to take over part of the establishment, even when they may be "reserving" more space than the group technically needs. If others would like to use those tables, is that rude? Who's being rude? Management? The group?

I don't think it's good manners to impose "rules" on another person's business that they don't choose to impose. If think it's annoying when people have long coffee orders but the establishment takes them, it's not "rude" of the customer to order what he/she wants. I don't get to decide for the establishment what its customers can/cannot do in the establishment...management does. If I decide your t-shirt isn't dressy enough for the resto I am patronizing (which does not have a dress code and which is happy to serve you), do I get to give you stinkeye and make you feel uncomfortable? I become the rude one and management could very well ask me to leave for making it uncomfortable for their other patrons.

One problem with "manners" is that people hold on to them like they are written down somewhere and everyone is equally aware of them. But they aren't. Unlike laws there's no definitive place I can go to find out when it's acceptable for me, as a solo patron, to sit at a fourtop...(Never? What if it's the only seat there? Should I wait a set amount of time to see if a single/double opens up? Am I ok if there's one other fourtop available? If I sit at a fourtop because it's the only thing available and then a fourtop walks in, do I have to give up my table? What if there's no solo available? Do I have to take a solo table without access to a power outlet if I need one?). Other than the law, the only "rules" that can really be enforced are the house rules and those are enforced by management.

Sep 24, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Roe vs. Beast?

Thanks. I chose Roe, so we'll see how it goes.

Sep 24, 2014
akq in Metro Portland

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

The Red Mill example is a bit harder because the line is so long, you may actually be taking the table for long enough that another patron could have eaten their entire meal before you actually order, pay and receive your food. That's frustrating. But it's the nature of the beast of a casual free seating establishment. There's also more clear turnover of tables - people usually eat their burgers and leave as opposed to a coffee shop where you never know how long someone will be at a table. Dunno.

Sep 24, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

Ehh. While I agree you can always take something to an extreme, if we're talking about a café that allows camping (especially), I don't see the problem. If I am going to a café to work, I will not buy anything unless I can get a table. In fact, I might not buy anything unless I can get a table by an outlet in good lighting with a comfortable chair. If I see one open, I'd drop my stuff and go buy my drink. I did it for the decade or so I was in undergrad/grad school and it was common and expected, and I've never had an establishment EVER object to the practice.

I think what bothers me is that this isn't so much a "patron's right" thing as an "establishment's rights" thing - the resto or café can institute any legal and nondiscriminatory seating policy they want. They can tell me that I am not allowed to take a seat until I have my entire order in hand (like Morsel). They can tell me I have to wait to be seated by a hostess (like many places). Or they can leave it to patrons to find their own seats and leave it at that (like most casual coffee shops). It's up to the establishment to make the rules and to the extent you don't like the rules (or lack thereof), it's your right to not patronize that establishment but it's not your right to impose your own rules on the establishment or its other paying customers without the establishment's consent.

If you get to a place with a group of four and see me sitting at a four-top (maybe that's all that was available when I got there?) and I don't feel like moving in the middle of my meal/coffee/work and the restaurant doesn't want to move a paying customer to accommodate a later arriving customer, that's the establishment's right. On the other hand, if the establishment prefers the business of the later group or thinks it can keep both parties happy by handling the situation delicately, then so be it. If the establishment tells me to move, I'll move. It's not my restaurant, it's theirs. Now, as you point out, the patron's right is to vote with their feet (and wallet) and take their business elsewhere if they don't like the establishment's rules.

There are some "no reservations" places that I find so inconvenient, I don't eat there on the basis of that policy. But I recognize it's the restaurant's right to prefer the business of people who will wait outside in the cold to my laziness of preferring to be able to make an Open Table rezzie on my phone. Such is life.

Sep 24, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

Yes, unless the resto has a specific policy.

Out of curiosity - do you feel it's acceptable to take a seat once your order has been placed and paid for or only once your food/drinks are in hand? If I order a latte and there's a several drink backup on the espresso machine and the guy behind me orders a drip coffee that the cashier hands to him - does the guy behind me get to sit down at an empty table or does he have to wait for me to sit down first? Or do I get to sit down as soon as I pay for my coffee regardless of how long it will take to get to me? Using the ordering line for anything other than the order of purchases in a free seating establishment just doesn't work unless there's some clearly stated policy in place. Expecting that everyone else knows the rules that exist solely in your mind is setting yourself up for irritation.

Sep 24, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

I disagree. None of those people have a better claim to an open table at a free seating establishment than I do. If an open table is a dealbreaker, I either take the open table and get in line, or refuse to take the chance there won't be a seat later, go somewhere else and the establishment loses my business. All the people in line decided to get in line and either take their coffee to go or leave it to chance that there is a seat when they get their coffee. The cafe already has their business. Most free seating cafes will choose all the business (everyone in line plus mine) versus imposing a rule that will make some of their business leave on the off chance there won't be a seat later on if they pass up the seat that's open now. A few (very few) impose a rule like Besalu (and Morsel).

Sep 22, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

Coffee shop etiquette: lines and limited tables

Hrm. I get the arguments both ways, but if you're looking for a place to do work and you'd only buy a coffee if there's space, I don't see a problem with putting your stuff down at an open spot before ordering. If you don't and there isn't room after you buy your coffee, you're stuck with a coffee you don't want because you'll have to buy another one at the next cafe you find to work at.

If there's a house rule, obs you should follow that, and then it's probably not the place to camp all day while you work/study.

Sep 22, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle