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Liquor at the grocery store

Total Wine and More to Open Thursday June 28
Bellevue will get a liquor superstore starting Thursday June 28, after Total Wine and More opens next to Uwajimaya.

I have been waiting for one of these superstores to open up because I think they will not only provide the selection but also will compete price-wise with the grocery stores who are taking advantage of us all while the rest of the liquor stores get up and running.

My experience from living in other cities is that these places are the perfect mix of selection and price. No I don't work for any sort of liquor store.

Jun 21, 2012
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Where are the decent new liquor stores?

I know it is bellevue but here is what you may be looking for:
Total Wine and More to Open Thursday June 28
Bellevue will get a liquor superstore starting Thursday June 28, after Total Wine and More opens next to Uwajimaya.

I have been waiting for one of these superstores to open up because I think they will not only provide the selection but also will compete price-wise with the grocery stores who are taking advantage of us all while the rest of the liquor stores get up and running.

My experience from living in other cities is that these places are the perfect mix of selection and price. No I don't work for any sort of liquor store.

Jun 21, 2012
White Castle in Greater Seattle

The Original House of Pancake

I hate to complicate things here but I think we need to clarify some things. I have lived in both Chicago and Seattle want to point out that not all "Original Pancake Houses" (OPH) are the same - especially those in the Chicago area. For example, "Walker Bros. Original Pancake Houses" like the one in Wilmette is absolutley top knotch. However, it is different from other ORPs in the Chicago area that are not quite is good - like the one in Park Ridge which is just a regular OPH. Other states also have variations in the types of OPHs. I am not sure what the relation between the various types of OPHs is but all OPHs are not the same. It may be that they all can fly the OPH banner but are individually owned and can therfore have some variations in their menus.

So, to answer your question, I think it is safe to say that if you ate at a Walker Bros OPH in the Chicago area you will find the OPHs in the Seattle seriously lacking - I did.

Jun 13, 2012
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Razor Clams wanted PNW cleaned / frozen OK Please help

Gemini Seafood in Issaquah had them last weekend. They looked pretty good.

Nov 17, 2011
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Need a rec: Bar Harbor in July

Not Bar Harbor but on Acadia and it has been a few years since I ate there but Red Sky and XYZ were the most memorable meals from my visit.

Red Sky
14 Clark Point Rd, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679

One more shot: Liquor privatization may be on fall ballot - Initiative 1157

I post this not as an invitation to start a political discussion but rather simply to notify those other foodies out there who enjoy craft spirits and beverages currently not obtainable under the current state-run system that there may be hope for us yet.

I look forward to the day I can get exactly what I want at the liquor store and do so in an environment that offers a positive consumer experience.

Under this plan the current liquor taxes and “markup” on liquor sales, would remain in place, with tax revenues going back to the state. So, that argument against privatization should me moot.

For your reference:

Mar 18, 2011
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Looking for a good Eastern NC style BBQ place in King County

Mustard-Vinegar BBQ sauce:
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup yellow or brown mustard (I like regular old yellow mustrad Plochman's if possible)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves run through a garlic press
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne (you can leave this out depending on how spicy you want it. I sometimes put in a half a seeded habanero (diced) instead)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Combine it all and heat to a simmer (about 10 min.) and you are done.

Jan 26, 2011
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Looking for a good Eastern NC style BBQ place in King County

I love BBQ - especially the Carolina style you request. The fact that you differentiate between even the Carolina styles tells me you are serious about BBQ as well. I hate to tell you that there is generally no good BBQ here in the Seattle area. Nothing, not Memphis, KC, Texas or Carolina. What do I do? Make it at home as I did just this weekend. Smoked pulled pork, mustard vinegar sauce, and a spicy coleslaw on plain old white buns to sop up all the goodness. Oh, and a cold beer.
Stan's in Issaquah makes a good brisket though.

Jan 25, 2011
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Red Beans and Rice in Seattle or Eastside

Any good suggestions on where to get good ol' cajun/creole red beans and rice?

Dec 16, 2010
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Chicago Style Thin Crust Pizza in Seattle?

Lived in Minneapolis and Chicago and can also vouch for Zayda Buddy (Makes me think back to the good old days of Leona's right around the corner from my apartment). I am a thin crust/square cut pizza guy and love their pizza.

Dec 14, 2010
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Best liquor stores in SEA

I just thought I would rekindle this discussion regarding state run liquor stores now that 1100 was defeated. We are doomed to have poor selection, poor service, and give those working at the state run liquor stores full state benefits for running a cash register. No I don't worok for Costco.

Nov 12, 2010
White Castle in Greater Seattle

DC Chowhound needs help with visit with kids - seafood, salmon, and Japanese!

I second the Pike Place Chowder. They sometimes even have a salmon chowder so that may satisfy the salmon lovers in your crowd.
May I offer up Kanpai ( as a sushi place for you and the kids. I have one kid that loves sushi and another that is not wild about it. This place is VERY accomodating for the kids, has really good sushi and offers other menu items for the litte non-sushi lovers out there.

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

Jul 20, 2010
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Best places in Seattle for dining al fresco

What are some of the best places to eat outdoors in Seattle? I am not necessarily talking about places with the best views of the sound or the mountains but rather places with a nice outdoor environment where you can eat good food and enjoy our great summer weather - now that is has finally arrived.

I will throw Serafina on Easlake, with its small garden patio, out there for starters.

Jul 19, 2010
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Fresh, Live Lobsters in Seattle or Eastside?

There is a new fishmonger in Issaquah called Gemini Fish that I believe now carries fresh lobsters - or can at least order them.

Gemini: (425) 961-0741

Nov 17, 2009
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Best liquor stores in SEA

I have lived in Seattle two years now and I really miss the days when I could peruse the shelves of the local liquor store. I have lived in 5 states and in each one of these there was always a nice liquor store (independent of course) that offered a widely varied selection of wines and liquor. In some they would even have specialty markets attached so you could by your aperitif, cheese, paté and bread all in one place. I would often make an effort to try and get to know the staff at these places because they would steer me to the best local microbrews, provide their opinion on the wines in stock and even let me know when certain shipments were due and sales about to happen. It was a great consumer experience to shop at these places - even my kids liked going.
Then I moved to WA and my great consumer experience was gone - as was my ability to find those liquid treasures I had grown to love over the years. After reading this original post I started to think about what it really was that depresses me so much about the fact that liquor sales are run by the state. Is it that I can’t get the products I want or is it that it is that the consumer experience is so poor here.
So, yesterday I went to go stock up for the upcoming holidays and I really paid attention to the whole process and here is what I discovered about myself and the whole state run liquor store issue.
1) All the stores look basically the same – sparse, with no character;
2) The people working there were simply working there. They had no interest in my taste or satisfaction as a consumer. In fact, I found it odd that there were 5 people working the front of this store and all they were doing was complaining about how the middle-class is getting the shaft. Not once did they engage with me or any of the other customers (7 during the course of my visit). I hate to say it but what popped into my mind was another example of wasted state dollars – maybe two people could have run that store.
3) This is petty but I would not want the opinion of any of the employees there and certainly would not follow it.
4) The store generally had what I wanted. Sure, I wanted bigger sizes of certain things but they generally had what I was looking for. Now, all I was doing was buying the basics so I would expect them to have the basics.

What did this visit teach me? In the final analysis it is still disappointing that I can’t get the exact product I want (brand and size) but what really bugs me is that the wonderful and personal activity of discussing a 12 vs 18 year old single malt or a recommended small batch tequila with the proprietor doesn’t exist here in WA.
As I drove home with my purchase it hit me – buying liquor in WA is like going to the Department of Motor Vehicles/Licensing. They are all the same, the staff has no incentive to help you and in the end you just want to get in and get out – on the positive side it has decreased my alcohol spending.
Anyone have a recommendation for a good liquor store just over the border in OR?

Nov 11, 2009
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Most Overrated Restaurant in Seattle

In response to RetiredChef's question about the nay-sayers of Harvest VIne. I ate there once. Yes, any place can have a bad night but let's just say that it was so glaringly bad that my wife and I both agreed that it was not worth even a second chance. I don't argue with my wife on spanish/basque fodd matters given she lived in Spain for 6 years.

Harvest Vine
2701 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112

Oct 28, 2009
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Most Overrated Restaurant in Seattle

My vote for totally overrated goes hands down to Harvest Vine – I was appalled at not only at how poor the food was but also what they charged for it and the incredibly poor service.
I have only eaten at Crush once but my experience there was top-notch from service to food to overall value.

Oct 20, 2009
White Castle in Greater Seattle

Food for a party - but not a caterer

I am having a surprise party for a friend and want to provide a variety of hors d'oeuvres including some that are fairly substantial (think small beef tenderloin sandwiches or spring rolls) but don't want to have it formally catered. Can anyone recommend a deli or specialty food sore (or something related) that will provide trays of hors d'oeuvres (some refer to these as "party trays") that I can just pickup?

Old School Frozen Custard

Check out Sheridan's Custard in Vancouver, WA. Their Mount Rush S'more concrete is awsome (vanilla custard, hot fudge, marshmallow creme and graham crackers). YUM!

Comprehensive list of best Pike Place stall food.

Seared Scallop chowder at Pike Place Chowder - I would bathe in it if I could!

Thanksgiving Dinner in Seattle

Can anyone recommend a restaurant that serves Thanksgiving dinner? I would prefer more of a traditional menu but if there is a special place that does something unique I would welcome that as well.
I know this may sound strange but after years of doing the home cooking thing my family and I went out last year (we lived in a different city then) and found it all wonderfully enjoyable and less stressful.

Fair Food

Jeri L the answer to your questions is a "Yes." Yes fairs here do lack something in the food department. Refinement may not be the issue but perhaps lack of imagination is. Yes the fairs here do not celebrate the local offerings adequately.
I will say that the Minnesota State Fair is by far the greatest in the country and would be hard to match. It is a true culinary wonderland of-sorts. So, if you want to truly experience the apex of fair-dom, the MN State Fair should be your destination. (Don’t let Texas or Iowa or anybody in the South try and convince you otherwise)
However, you have to realize that eating at a fair such as the MN State Fair is truly an experience for which an open mind is required. Just as at a fancy restaurant may endeavor to push molecular gastronomy (MG) to new heights, the MN fair does so with respect to street food type items especially those items on a stick. So, just as you must be open minded about eating a pile of freeze-dried chorizo dust, a foam of yuzu or rose petal spheres at a MG place so must you be willing to experience cheese curds, alligator on a stick, fried oreos, the walking taco (taco meat, cheese salsa and sour cream served in a Dorito bag of tortilla chips), foot long pizza on-a-stick, spaghetti and meatballs on a stick, salted nut rolls, various honey products, and a whole series of buildings dedicated to nothing but dairy products (the best shakes you will ever have).
One last note on the refinement issue, any true fair-goers knows that you only eat like this once a year and you must check your health concerns at the entrance gate. It is all worth it!

Harvest Vine

I'm glad to see my post has stirred this much debate. Whether you are an Applebee's lover or a Harvest Vine lover all that really matters is that you enjoy your dining experience – the food, atmosphere and company. Personally, I have had some great dining experiences ranging from eating grossly oversized burritos sitting on the street curb with friends after a late night out to eating at the kitchen table at Charlie Trotter’s. So, don’t be a hater – just voice your honest opinion. Do so because people like me come to this board for insight regarding a restaurant. As far as Harvest Vine goes, I think a visitor will simply have to realize that there are people on both sides of the debate here and they may have to actually go there and make a decision about the place on their own. Vive la Différence!

Harvest Vine

I have only lived in Seattle a year and was looking for a nice place for dinner. After some research, including on this board, I decided to give Harvest Vine a try. There were many good recommendations and my wife and I both love Spanish food – as we have spent a great deal of time in Spain including living there. But don’t think that we are judging this place based on what we have had in Spain and is therefore an unfair comparison because we have had really good tapas/Spanish food in the US as well.

So here are my thoughts. We were very disappointed. The wine list was very good and we did enjoy the gazpacho (we both thought that was the best thing we ate all night). So I would give those both an A. After that things went considerably down hill. The rest of our items were just simply not good. Sure the presentation was pretty which was documented in one post from the “perceptor” with all kinds of pictures. But the taste? It was completely average to below average. There was also the aspect of texture – almost everything we ate was a soft mushiness except for some crispiness on the top of the scallops. Everything we ate, save the gazpacho, was completely uninspired cooking if you ask me. I will comment that the service was good but not great as well. Overall my rating is a C. When you factor in the price and therefore what I call the “Value Quotient” then their rating drops to C-. I have spent $500+ on special meals and consider them bargains given the overall food quality and dining experience but on value alone this place really disappointed. The next time you want Spanish food get a copy of “The Foods and Wines of Spain” by Penelope Cases and make something out of that. It will be great and about a third of the cost. We will not return to harvest Vine.

Stone ground grits (SEA)?

If you are serious about grits you must check out Anson Mills (link posted by WandaBWild) . You can look all you want around this area and nothing will compare to their hominy grits. So, save your gas and time and hit the internet.

Casual standard fare Italian in Seattle or Eastside

Thanks Chrome CW! After looking at the menu from Tropea it appears you have read my mind. I will definitely give this a shot.

Casual standard fare Italian in Seattle or Eastside

Any recommendations for casual Seattle or Eastside Italian places that serve standard Italian fare at reasonable prices. I don’t need squash ravioli, lobster risotto or wild boar ragu here. Rather, a place that serves decent spaghetti bolognese, fettuccini alfredo, canneloni, manicotti, gnocchi, has a decent antipasto on the menu and also includes some the other standards like veal/chicken parmesan or veal marsala that are all made with some love from Mama (or at least tastes that way). None of these items should exceed $18.00. If the place also makes pizza I would consider it a bonus. Atmosphere is not important – red checkered table cloths would be welcomed.

If the Old Spaghetti Factory is coming to mind I thank you for your consideration but kindly request that you refrain from responding altogether as you are seriously underestimating the “love from Mama” aspect I’m looking for.

SEA dinner rec for 10th anniversary

I'm looking for a place in Seattle to go for dinner for our 10th anniversary? I was initially thinking Harvest Vine as we both like Spanish food/Tapas but would welcome any other suggestions as we have only lived in the Seattle area for a year. To give you some idea of our tastes we are very adventurous and almost anything is fair game. Good food and fun are more important than a romantic anniversary-type atmosphere. We have recently been to Lark and consider it one of our finest dinning experiences so far in the area. As far as price goes I have been saving up for this for some time so price is not a consideration - it is our anniversary after-all!

Best pizza in Seattle?

One's pizza preference really depends on one's tastes. I have lived in Chicago and NYC and while I greatly enjoy both styles (I am a pizza junky and have to mix it up once and a while) what I really like are pizzas with a thin almost cracker-like crust (common in the midwest and possible to find in Chicago). I'm not talking about Neopolitan.

Do any of the places previously discussed have this type of crust?

Where do families dine out in Seattle?

I'm not looking in any specific neighborhoods because we are always out and about and you never know when it will be dinner time but would like to keep to Seattle proper and the East Side.