When all you have time for is food: Seattle, Washington

Everything was lining up for my work trip to Seattle:

1. I had a good course booked and getting to have some real time with some of my new colleagues

2. The rain was set to stop. It was going to be cold, but after 12 years in London I have learnt than cold & no rain is a winter win.

3. Me Where Chefs Eat book told me there were heaps of great, not overly priced restaurants in walking distance from my hotel

4. Plus I was getting in on Sunday so would have a little time for sightseeing

But things just did not work out that way. After waking up with a slight sniffle in LA, by the time I stepped into the cold of Seattle I was into a full on cold. 6 months in LA & I’ve become to reacclimatized back into warm weather world and can’t pull myself together & handle a cold!

To put it into perspective; this cold nightmare lasted a week, involved fever, not much appetite (!) and 33 hours sleep over a 36 hour time period when I finally got home.

So my awesome trip to Seattle turned into pretty much all work and forcing myself to try some food.

The funniest part to me was thinking I’d do a whole series of testing coffee places because they boast best coffee in the US. Being an Aussie who knows how coffee is supposed to taste, my experience is that Americans can’t make coffee. I will say this though: Seattle did a good job. I managed to try 2 places and my espressos (which I’ve all but stopped drinking in LA) were pretty good. They didn’t create that automatic disgust reaction to bitterness that turns my face in voluntarily into a sneer. πŸ‘πŸ‘

If you’re wondering where these are:

Cherry Street Coffee House: this seems to be a bit of chain but it’s not Starbucks crap

Cafe Umbria: a little Italian place near Pioneer Square.

So I guess next time I’ll have to get this sorted.

Food options

I was pretty much looking for things that didn’t break the bank and potentially could taken back to my hotel coma, but I did make it to a real restaurant to eat in once.

Belltown Pizza This pizza bar is great. The book describes it as having a great atmosphere any day and I think you’ll find it’s true. They naturally play sport, have cute decor and serve up an awesome slice. I tried to make a “smart” decision by ordering 1 slice and then a salad & chicken tenders. It wasn’t smart. The pizza was really, really good. I should have just ordered a whole one. I even contemplated going back for a pizza to take Home to LA but by that point I was not a functional human being.

FYI: there’s a Monday – Friday happy hour worth taking advantage of.

I ended up with a bill here that came to about $25 including tax & tip. So super reasonable.

Shiro Sushi: the restaurant is a typical sushi restaurant, you can watch the sushi being made and see all of the fresh fish. For me though, it was a take away option because I was in desperate need for being horizontal.

By this point I was rapidly losing appetite but determined to try a couple of items. I also managed to drop my sushi on the way out so presentation is not on this photos sids.

The nigiri was the best. The rice cooked beautifully and the fish was wonderful. I went with 2 specials and in my haze can only remember one being a snapper. The tomago, which is usually my favourite, was a bit thick and I thought it ended up feeling like a bit much. I opted for a spicy tuna sushi roll and have now learnt that everywhere in the US makes spicy tuna like it’s mushy. I’m giving up and trying a different roll next time.

I’d like to sit in at the sushi bar next time and get a good selection. I think it’ll add up easily in price though so it’s something to be mindful of.

My order for takeaway ended up $20 with tax & tip

Queen Anne Beerhall: ok, this one I chose because it was right next to my hotel and I couldn’t handle going anywhere else. It’s a big open space and has a little band playing inside. I’d say it would probably be fun with a group, but not when you are a cesspool of disease.

I ordered a chicken burger to go. Word of warning: this is nothing like any chicken you’d get in Germany. It’s a big chunk of fried chicken that you can’t get your mouth around! I think I managed about half of it. I think Al would have liked it but it wasn’t for me. It was all a bit too much. It came with a potato salad which was also not like I was expecting (I have eaten in many German beer halls). So all in all it ended up a bit disappointing. But I don’t know if I’m being fair as I really did feel like a big pile of poo.

I walked away paying about $18 including tax & tip.

Palace Kitchen: this place is lovely, it has a great atmosphere and has lovely booties for you to dine in. The menu is fabulous.

There were so many things I could have had and walked away happy. I ended up opting for 2 starters to try a few things as I knew I was going to be able to eat a full meal, and yup, still struggled.

Brussels with orange sauce, puffed rice & toasted sesame. wow. Talk about rich and flavoursome. These would have been great for sharing but overwhelmed sick me a little. I loved the puffed rice with it- the added crunch worked wonders.

Braised Spanish octopus with roasted turnip, cured egg and some unfamiliar ingredients. Nicely cooked tentacles and all of the flavors combined beautifully

Top tip: pay the $3.50 for the bread basket. It’s a locally baked bread and it was phenomenal. This may have been the reason for me not being able to eat everything.

Oh, they also have a nice cheese selection 😁

Cost- about $70 with a glass of wine, tax & tip


ally, I got to try was Le Pichet in the Pike Market. This is a super cute little French place, with a very French menu. In the depths of my cold I went for the most comforting thing I could : French onion soup.

The broth was a lighter, sweeter broth than usual, I think chicken, and it was lovely. They also serve it in a shallower wider bowl than traditionally which meant lots and lots of cheese. You can’t get cross at extra cheese

So, I didn’t get to see much, but at least I tried some good food. Next time, I’m getting some sights in. In good news I did manage to see the famous gum wall

Apparently they have to clean it off every 10 years so the building doesn’t fall over. Much to everyone’s annoyance, it’s just had it’s decade clean.

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