Seattle from the Space Needle Restaurant

Robert and I recently visited my brother in Seattle. We spent four days eating and drinking our way through the city. While we left with many new places to try for next time, we were able to pack lots of great restaurants and bars into our brief stay. Here are all the restaurants and bars we visited, in order.

Urbane: The hotel restaurant of Hyatt at Olive 8, we got a late breakfast here after getting settled into our hotel room. I had a delicious salmon eggs Benedict. There was a generous portion of smoked salmon and the rosemary potatoes that came with it were great.

City Fish Co.: The first day after breakfast we walked to Pike Place Market. After exploring the shops and watching the famous fish throwing, we had a dungeness crab cocktail, a shrimp cocktail, and 3 for $5 oyster shooters. It was a great introduction to Seattle seafood, and the first, but definitely not the last, time we had oysters on the trip.

Marie & Freres: A wonderful chocolate shop. Their chocolate is made in South America by the growers. They then add things like cocoa nibs or candied orange peel and sell it in the shop. It’s dark, rich, and delicious, and their frozen passionfruit pops, made down the street at Mistral Kitchen, are amazing.

Stumbling Monk: We stopped in for a quick beer while deciding where to go for dinner. I had a sour beer, which I think was called Petrus. It was excellent, very refreshing with almost no aftertaste. It actually reminded me of a more savory flavored kombucha. Robert had a bourbon barrel aged beer which was also very good.

Pinto Thai Bistro and Sushi Bar: Wandering around Capitol Hill, we decided to try a restaurant recommendation my brother had gotten from a concierge at his former building. It was a Japanese and Thai restaurant and we ordered both types of food. We started with a beef salad that was similar to larb, and tom kha soup. We then ordered several sushi rolls. All of them were good, but the best was the Pinto roll with yellowtail, cilantro, jalapeño, and thin slices of lime. The lime added an amazing burst of flavor to the roll. We all wanted to order another, but unfortunately we were too late and they were closing the sushi bar.

Wheelhouse Coffee: For breakfast on our second day we tried this small coffee shop. I had a dirty chai and some banana bread that had white chocolate and nuts. I’m a big fan of banana bread, it’s one of my favorite things to bake, so I love trying different takes on it. This was a solid banana bread, not the best I’ve ever eaten, but definitely good. Unfortunately, Robert was disappointed by his drip coffee, although my dirty chai was pretty good.

Shilla: We had some excellent Korean food here, freshwater snails, beef tongue, bulgogi, and bibim bap. We left extremely full.

Hazlewood: We stopped into Hazlewood for a quick drink while we waited for a table at the Walrus and   the Carpenter. I enjoyed the Harvey Dent, although unfortunately the only ingredient I remember in it is Cynar. Robert had a well-made Sazerac, and my brother had a beer with chili infused tequila. I can’t remember the name of the drink, unfortunately. We also ordered a blackbird, a champagne cocktail with an interesting ingredient, squid ink tincture. My brother and I have cooked with squid ink before so we were intrigued with the idea of using it in a cocktail. While the drink’s flavor was decent, it was a little less dramatic looking than we had expected. I wondered if it would have been possible to add a bit more squid ink without negatively impacting the flavor, as it is a pretty mildly flavored ingredient. Despite our slight disappointment with the blackbird, Hazlewood was a great start to our cocktail tour of Seattle.

Walrus and the Carpenter: The oysters at this place were great. We had read and heard about them and were not disappointed. We ordered three of each for the first round then a few more of each of our favorites. The other items we tried, including a sardine dish, steak tartare, and a salad were delicious as well. When it came time for dessert I couldn’t resist ordering a cocktail as I had been staring at their well-equipped bar all night. I had the Norwegian Wood, a flavorful drink with Aquavit and Yellow Chartreuse (if I remember correctly), which paired nicely with the bread pudding, quince and pumpkin desserts we tried.

Salty’s on Alki Beach: An amazing brunch with a great view of the city. The buffet was huge with oysters, crab, shrimp, an omelette and pasta bar, carving station, several varieties of eggs benedict, and a huge dessert area.

Mistral Kitchen: An amazing meal! It came highly recommended from Marie at Marie & Freres and did not disappoint. The ceviche and mussels were great. Probably the most memorable food item of the night was a terrine that came on the house charcuterie plate. It had a rich meaty flavor, but almost the exact texture of a cold buttercream frosting. While Robert found this a bit off-putting, I enjoyed it. We also tried the Courting Rachel, an amazing smoked cocktail, see my and Robert’s earlier posts on it.

Knee High Stocking Co.: On our first night, walking back from dinner at Pinto, we saw a very well dressed man standing on a desserted street corner. As we passed him we notice a the words “Knee High Stocking Co.” in tiny letters near the door in front of him. Later, as we talked with the host at Mistral Kitchen, he recommended several places for good cocktails, Knee High Stocking Co. among them. We texted early in the day for reservations and were confirmed later that night. I had the Cup of Awesome, a gin based cocktail with stout beer syrup, agave, bitters and an egg white froth, topped with nutmeg. It was on the sweeter side, but delicious. Fortunately it did live up to its name. Just as we had finished our drinks and were getting ready to leave, the bartender announced that it was the time of night when he got tired of the usual speakeasy soundtrack and he was switching to 80s Hiphop, one of my favorite genres of music, another point for Knee High Stocking Co.!

Space Needle Restaurant (SkyCity): I had a good prime rib here. The food was pretty good, not the most amazing we had on the trip, but not disappointing either. The view was beautiful though, we got some nice pictures and it was a great way to end our trip.


Although we drove past this place twice before finding it across the street, hidden by the light rail and in the corner of the parking lot, it was definitely worth the trouble. I had the beef shawarma plate and Robert had an Arabic coffee and the kafta on our first visit. When we returned a few days ago, starving after a trip to the rock gym, he had the kibbi, a delicious mix of ground meat and bulgar, and I had the lamb tongue sandwich. I would easily order both again. Although I have had beef tongue in several different ways, I think this was the first time I had tried lamb tongue. The texture was tender and not too chewy, and the flavor was stronger than beef tongue. I could definitely tell it was lamb, but as a fan of lamb and other more flavorful meats, I really enjoyed it. The food was excellent, definitely one of the better Middle Eastern places we’ve been to in the Phoenix area. It was also very reasonably priced with some of the sandwiches at only around $4.00 and the larger platters around $10.00.

Another great thing about Haji-Baba is the small grocery section that takes up about half of the storefront. With a variety of interesting and harder to find Middle Eastern products, it’s a fun place to shop after your meal. On our first visit we enjoyed the coffee so much that we bought a pack of the superfine ground coffee mixed with cardamom needed to make it at home. On our second visit we bought a little pot for making it. We will definitely be back to Haji-Baba, it’s a great place for cheap, delicious, filling food, and the type of place I am constantly looking for after moving back to Phoenix from New York City.

Seattle in fog

Renata and I recently got back from a trip to Seattle. On our vacations we tend to eat as many good things as possible, and I was excited because I love seafood and I was probably going to get to eat it every day in Seattle. The fist day we where there Renata’s brother took us to the restaurant in our hotel, Urbane, for breakfast. On the menu was an omelet with salmon in it. It was at this point that I thought, “if I can get seafood for breakfast”, which is probably they most difficult meal in America to have seafood in, “then I can have seafood for ever meal for the next four days.”

Day 1

As I said, the first thing I had on the trip was breakfast at Urbane. There I had what was called a Seattle omelet, which was salmon, capers, cream cheese, and green onion all wrapped in eggs, basically lox and bagel but with egg and no bagel, served with a side of rosemary potatoes.

It was a late breakfast, so instead of lunch we had a snack at City Fish Co. in Pikes Place market. This consisted of a shrimp cocktail, dungeness crab cocktail, and three oyster shooters.

For dinner we all wandered around the city until I, for one, was completely lost and turned around. We washed up at a sushi restaurant called Pinto Thai Bistro and Sushi Bar. There we had several sushi rolls, the standout favorite of which was the house special Pinto roll, described on their menu as spicy tuna, avocado, and cucumber wrapped with yellowtail, cilantro, lime and jalapeño. The lime and cilantro make this one of the most perfect ways to have yellowtail and the jalapeño compliments the tuna so well that I will call this the best sushi roll I have eaten.

Day 2

No breakfast today, we didn’t have much time after we got out the door so just coffee at Wheelhouse Coffee. Renata apparently had a good dirty chai, I don’t care for chai, so I cannot comment on that, I however had an Americano which tasted like it was brewed with two-day old used grounds. So much for Seattle being a huge coffee city.

For lunch we met Renata’s brother and went to Shilla, a Korean/Japanese restaurant. We had a Korean BBQ sampler with spicy beef, beef, and beef tongue, some freshwater snails, and the meal came with a Korean fish cake like thing which I didn’t catch the name of, but nevertheless fulfilled my seafood requirement for the meal.

Diner was a veritable and literal feast, as we went to Walrus and the Carpenter. As the name suggests there we had oysters, we each tried one of all nine varieties on the menu, and then got six more each of our favorites, and also had several samplings from their non-oyster menu, and a quite good bread pudding for dessert.

Day 3

No breakfast again, but this time we went to brunch. Salty’s at Alki Beach had an incredible brunch buffet, an entire line of seafood options, including more oysters, an equal amount of standard breakfast options, an omelet and crepe station, a meat cutting station, and what the hostess told us was 13 feet of dessert, including chocolate and caramel fountains. I had a little of everything, mostly the seafood, and then a huge plate of dessert, and I dipped a twinkie in the chocolate fountain, because I just wanted to dip something in the chocolate fountain.

Dinner was at Mistral Kitchen, we had a huge amount of incredible food, the ones I most remember were a mixed seafood ceviche, clams cooked in some amazing  sauce, more oysters, duck, and several other things I can’t recall right now but were also amazing. this meal also included a smoked cocktail, wich has inspired both myself and Renata to have an entire post each on the subject.

Day 4

Probably the least interesting food day, as we had to fly back to Phoenix that afternoon, only one meal in Seattle, brunch at the space needle. I had a quite good clam chowder, eggs Benedict on a crab cake, and tiramisu, they didn’t have anything with seafood for dessert. the food was decent but we got a great view of the city from the wold’s oldest revolving restaurant and then got to almost freeze on the observation deck, it was really cold and windy up there.

Later we went to the airport, where we finished out the trip with beef stew at Bigfoot food and spirits right before the flight. A disappointing end, but they had no seafood on the menu.