A Trip to the Pacific Northwest

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buffetbuster
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A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/7/11 2:56 PM
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My girlfriend and I just returned from a vacation to Washington state and Oregon.  I wasn't planning on doing a trip report, so I didn't take any notes until the very end of the trip, so some details are sketchy.  And in quite a few places, we are walking in the footsteps of Ralph and Lori Melton, who recently took a similar trip and posted a wonderful report of their own.
 
Thursday November 24 
 
We had an early a.m. flight and landed in Seattle around 1:00PM.  A big shout out to the weather for perpetuating a stereotype, since it was pouring rain when we landed in Seattle.  Since it was Thanksgiving Day, we needed to find a place for a good turkey dinner.  The Sterns have reviewed the downtown location of 13 Coins and their second location is literally across the street from Sea-Tac International Airport.  I had called ahead of time to make reservations, but they were only accepting them for parties of eight or more.  So, we weren't really sure how busy they were going to be, but we were hoping for the best.  
 
After collecting our luggage and car, we drove the very short distance to 13 Coins, where the hostess informed us that all the tables were full, but we could sit at the counter if we wished.  Now, having Thanksgiving dinner at the counter of a restaurant doesn't sound too appealing, but 13 Coins is not your typical restaurant.  Not only do the seats swivel neatly,

they are the plushest, most comfortable counter seats ever.  I felt like I was sitting in an easy chair in my living room.  And the tall booths behind us,

with the high backs, looked even nicer.  Here is a view down the long counter,

which also shows all the dark wood.  The interior here really is attractive.
 
The menu at 13 Coins is huge, with all the comfort food classics you would typically see at a diner, plus plenty of other options like steaks and lots of Pac NW seafood.  But, with this being Thanksgiving, we both went for the fixed price 

turkey dinner.  Mariton's meal started with a terrific salad,

highlighted by the made here orange vinaigrette dressing.  I went for the creamy corn chowder,

that actually had more potato in it than corn.  We were also given a nice little relish tray

and some solid, crusty bread.  Because almost every customer was ordering the turkey and they had it made up ahead of time, we got our dinners

very fast.  Considering this was our first meal of the day, we were quite happy about this.  My vote for best on the plate was the green bean casserole, which tasted of cream of mushroom soup.  The turkey was plenty moist and we both agreed that the dark meat was better.  The only item that I wasn't particularly happy with was the yams, which tasted too candied and sweet for me.  You get a choice of either pumpkin pie or pecan pie for dessert, so we each ordered different ones.  Although both were fine,


neither tasted homemade too me.
 
The best thing about sitting at the counter was that we were able to watch the food being prepared right in front of us.  The main grill was further down than where we were sitting, but we got to see the salads being prepped.  Immediately after I placed my dinner order, we watched the young man putting a salad together and when he dumped a whole bunch of crab meat on it, I really sat up and took notice.  I asked him and he confirmed that this was Crab Louis, a favorite dish of mine.  Here are a couple of Crab Louis,

waiting to be taken to the smart diners who ordered them.  I did give some serious consideration to cancelling my turkey and going with this delicious salad, but never did.
 
There is nothing new, hip or trendy about 13 Coins, but that is partly why we liked the place so much.  The service was good and the waitress ended up being from Ellwood City, PA, which is less than a half hour from where I live.  We enjoyed our meal so much, we were hoping to make it back here before our trip was over.
 
13 Coins
18000 International Boulevard
Seatac, WA
206-243-9500 
 
When we arrived at our hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, we were given a list of local restaurants which were open for the holiday.  But, we were content to stay in and relax for the remainder of the day.  Actually, Mariton slept and I watched football.  Later on, the hotel sent up some warm chocolate chip cookies to our room, which disappeared in minutes! 
 
This was actually the first Thanksgiving Day we have traveled before and we were struck by just how many people have to work on this day.  And they do it with such grace, which I'm not so sure that I possess.  I made sure to thank everyone I encountered, so that they knew this was appreciated.  The woman at the car rental counter was typical, as she told me she was working that day so that she could get Christmas off.  I asked if she would still be able to have dinner with her family and she told me they were eating late that day so that she could join them.  So here is a big thank you to all of you who work on these holidays, so that the rest of us can enjoy our day.
 
Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 12/28/12 4:12 AM>

ScreamingChicken
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/7/11 3:17 PM
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I like 13 Coins' relish tray - the sausage and pepperoncinis are a nice addition for those of us who want nothing to do with celery and radishes.
 
Now if you're already making your plans for 2012, if you come to my house I'll only charge you $25 and will even accept your out-of-town personal check.  However, you might still have to dry dishes.
 
Brad

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/7/11 3:18 PM
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Thanks ... My old stomping grounds ... 13 Coins IS a GEM !!!
 

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/7/11 3:21 PM
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Brad-
Agreed completely about the relish tray.  I ate most of the meat (and the carrots), while Mariton went for the healthy stuff.  And yeah, no doubt that this dinner was pricey.  But for eating out on Thanksgiving, I certainly wasn't about to complain.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/7/11 3:50 PM
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I've raved about 13 Coins for years -- the SeaTac location. And I've always chosen the counter because of those "stools" and because of the open kitchen.
 
I'm really jealous now.

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/7/11 4:58 PM
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Glad to see some other 13 Coins fans out there!
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 12/7/11 9:52 PM>

ChiTownDiner
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/7/11 6:29 PM
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Never having traveled or dined out on Thanksgiving, did 13 Coins have a full menu other than the turkey dinner and Crab Louis?    how about desserts, any other choices or is it different for ala carte? 

sk bob
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/7/11 9:13 PM
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nice job BB. keep it coming

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/7/11 9:51 PM
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Thanks for bringing this up CTD.  At 13 Coins, they told us we could order anything off of the menu.  Our original plan was for me to get the turkey and her to order something else, but she changed her mind at the last minute.  The dessert case was right in front of us and they had a fairly large selection of that, too, but considering what day it was, pumpkin pie was the obvious choice.
 
On the list of open restaurants the hotel gave us was Chandler's Crabhouse, a place listed in the 500 Things To Eat book, but I believe they were only serving turkey.
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 12/8/11 8:11 AM>

wanderingjew
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/8/11 8:00 AM
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Great start, Buffetbuster
 
I never made it out to 13 Coins when I lived in Seattle, I guess because I had my "go to" places, however I my co-workers told me about 13 coins, but filled my head with statements such as"only oddballs and wierdo's went there" I'm not sure if that means they were trying to encourage me to go there?

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/8/11 9:05 AM
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Funny ... When I lived there, Chandler's was as close to a formula/chain restaurant as you could get ... they were part of the Schwartz Brothers group.  I'm not surprised that the hotel suggested it, but astonished it made it into any book.
I always say, most of the time,  if you want to see the water and enjoy superb seafood ... go look at the water and then find someplace to eat.  Places like Chandler's were the inspiration for that pearl of wisdom.
That said, I've been gone for eons and maybe things have changed.

SeamusD
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/8/11 2:02 PM
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My old stomping grounds also! I've gone to both the Sea-Tac and downtown locations numerous times, and was never disappointed or still hungry when I left.

Michael Stern
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/8/11 2:14 PM
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The question is: did you return to 13 Coins for the hash browns???? They are some of my favorites.
 

CajunKing
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/8/11 4:25 PM
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wanderingjew


however I my co-workers told me about 13 coins, but filled my head with statements such as"only oddballs and wierdo's went there"

Well.....
 
Cliff did go there so maybe they were on to something  (love ya brudda)

ChiTownDiner
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/8/11 5:27 PM
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wanderingjew


Great start, Buffetbuster
 
I never made it out to 13 Coins when I lived in Seattle, I guess because I had my "go to" places, however I my co-workers told me about 13 coins, but filled my head with statements such as"only oddballs and wierdo's went there" I'm not sure if that means they were trying to encourage me to go there?

 
bb - It's so much easier to just go left or right side...you know what I mean! 


buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/8/11 6:32 PM
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Michael Stern-
I did see your photo of those great looking hasbrowns in the review, but we never did make it back to 13 Coins.  One of my biggest regrets of the trip.
 
WJ-
In the review, it does say that Seattleites are greatly split on 13 Coins and I could definitely see where the hipsters would think the place was old and stodgy.  But, being old and stodgy myself, I felt right at home!
 
CTD & CK- 
 
wheregreggeats-
Chandler's Crabhouse was listed in the book for one specific item, Crab Louis.

wanderingjew
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Fri, 12/9/11 8:29 AM
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buffetbuster


WJ-
In the review, it does say that Seattleites are greatly split on 13 Coins and I could definitely see where the hipsters would think the place was old and stodgy.  But, being old and stodgy myself, I felt right at home!


 
Buffetbuster,
 
I certainly didn't work with hipsters back in Seattle , well some of the younger report takers thought they were because they had friends who knew friends, whose cousin's neighbors brothers in law hung out with the grunge rockers (remember I lived there at the time of the grunge rock scene) but my coworkers who told me about 13 coins were far from hipsters,  when they told me the place was full of "characters" I think a good analogy would be to compare it to going to Olneyville NY System at 2 AM

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Fri, 12/9/11 11:06 AM
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Friday November 25, 2011
 
On my previous trip to Seattle in 2006, cousin Johnny and I visited Maltby Cafe and it was one of our favorite restaurants.  I also remember it being a long drive out into the boonies to get there.  But since we were staying in Bellevue on this trip,  I was surprised we were there in less than a half hour.
 
The building

itself dates back to 1937.  The upstairs used to be a school gymnasium, but the restaurant is in the basement, where the cafeteria once was.  The outside of the place is covered in great looking old gasoline station signs, but my favorite sign is this neon bowling pin

on the front of the building.  And in the parking lot is this wonderful stand alone sign.

 
The menu here has an impressive amount of choices for breakfast and we both had a difficult time deciding what to order.  But, there was never any doubt that the meal would start with one of their famously huge cinnamon rolls. 

To give some perspective, that is a full sized dinner plate it sits on.  The inside was perfectly soft and doughy, but the outside was a little harder than I would have liked.  Plus, the amount of super sweet icing they pile on top and on the side is staggering.  Mariton is not a big sweets person and just had a couple bites, leaving the rest to me.  I did my best, but came well short of finishing the entire thing.  Where's cousin Johnny when I really need him?
 
After the waitress came back a third time, we finally made our decisions.  Mariton went with the Maltby prime rib omelet. 

This very large omelet also includes, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, black olives, Tillamook cheddar and Jarlsberg swiss cheese.  She did like it and ate most of it, which is an accomplishment for her.  But, she did get a stomach ache shortly afterwards, which she attributed to eating it too fast.  My dish was not quite as large and was called the Bella Scramble. 

This is scrambled eggs, with sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.  Sounds more like a pasta dish, doesn't it?  All the ingredients worked well together and I really enjoyed it.  On both of our plates were an excessive amount of excellent, long, thin, skin on, red potatoes.  I chose the sourdough toast, which was really good, while she had a biscuit, which was so crumbly, it disinigrated right in her hands.  You also get some wonderful homemade preserves.  Mariton received strawberry, while mine was blackberry.  We asked and were told that they also have marionberry available, but it is luck of the draw which one ends up on your plate.
 
As if that wasn't enough food, I had noticed that another item on the menu brags of using a local made sausage called Cascioppo Brothers.  Wanting some meat with my meal, I asked for a side of it.  Instead of getting sausage links or patties, I got a bowl of already cut up slices of sausage,

which was okay with me.  Fine porky flavor to this sausage.
 
On the dessert page of the menu, they list marionberry pie, which is certainly something I can't get back home.  I did ask if the pies were ready yet that morning, but alas, it was too early.  Anyone ever have pie from this place?  I bet they do a great job here.  Before we left, we took a photo of the small drive-thru coffee building next door,

in the shape of a coffee cup.
 
My very first visit to the Seattle area was sometime in the early 90s, with my sister, mother, grandmother and two aunts.  I have long suspected that the only reason I was invited was to carry the luggage.  Anyway, we had a fantastic vacation and one of the highlights was the few days we spent in a cabin on Whidbey Island.  I was very curious to see the island again.  We drove to Mukilteo to catch the ferry on over.  This is a rather short ride, but we still got out of the car to get some photos. 

I liked how all the water in front of us was blue and all the water behind us gray and you could actually see where the two seemed to come together. 

It was so cold out while we were on the water, that this discouraged us from taking any more boat rides the rest of the time on our trip.
 
So, we drove the entire length of Whidbey Island, which was unsurprisingly much more built up than I remember.  We did get off the main road a few times to check out the water and the scenery. 




Can you imagine how cold it must have been for these divers?

 
The northern tip of Whidbey Island ends at a place called Desperation Pass, which is a strait that seperates it from the much smaller Fidalgo Island.  The bridge

across the strait offers some lovely views,

although my acrophobia prevented me from getting better shots.  I did have a lead on a good place to get pie in Anacortes called Calico Cupboard Cafe, but we had to get back to Seattle, so we skipped it.
 
Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 12/9/11 11:59 PM>

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Fri, 12/9/11 1:43 PM
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Friday November 25, 2011 cont.
 
The reason that we had to get back to Seattle was that we had basketball tickets for the University of Washington at 3:00PM.  Needing a quick lunch, somewhere near the university, we chose local favorite Dick's Drive-In


Serving up fine burgers and fries since 1954, I really like that they are open until 2:00AM every morning.
 
Mariton stayed in the car, while I joined one of the long lines at the walk up window.  After returning to the car to eat (there is no seating here, so most people take it home or eat in the car), I snapped this photo. 

My order was the bigger burger, known as a Dick's Deluxe,

while she got the Dick's regular.  Both burgers come with cheese, lettuce, mayonnaise, chopped pickle and a made here delicious mustard sauce.  I believe, the only difference between the two is that the deluxe comes with two patties and the regular has one.  The best part of the burgers is you can taste how fresh all the ingredients are and at two patties, was the perfect size.  Also, do not miss the excellent french fries,

which Dick's says they fresh cut everyday.  They are very thin and remind me of what McDonald's fries try to be.  
 
As good as the burgers and fries are, the milkshakes are the best reason to come here.  I bought a vanilla and a chocolate, let Mariton taste them and decide which one she wanted.  She took the vanilla and I felt like I just got away with something, since who doesn't prefer chocolate to vanilla?  I drank my shake, got a taste of her's and, wow, the vanilla really was even better.  If the line wasn't so long, I would have gone back up for a couple more shakes to take with us. 
 
On to the basketball game!
 
Much more to come..... 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 12/9/11 1:46 PM>

Sundancer7
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Fri, 12/9/11 2:23 PM
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BB:  I have been to Whidby Island a couple of times and crossed the bridge to Fildago.  I believe I recall a Chevy commercial being shot there many years ago.  A great drive.
 
The northwest is a find place to fine very good food.  I have driven the entire west coast extensively.  Great oysters in Washington and Oregon.  Huge.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Fri, 12/9/11 2:29 PM
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Thanks Paul.  Always a pleasure to hear from you.  And thanks to Mariton, there will be LOTS of oysters coming up!

ChiTownDiner
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Fri, 12/9/11 3:07 PM
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buffetbuster -
 
The Maltby Cafe choices look awesome!  I would have loved to sample both yours and Maritons!  I love Italian ingredients in an omelette, and prime rib, a no brainer!
 
Keep it coming...great start!

CheeseWit
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Fri, 12/9/11 3:08 PM
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LOVE Dick's! Will probably be back there end of January or early February. Cliff, as usual, a great trip report. I followed you while you traveled via facebook and now, I'm doing it again. Thanks!
 

pnwchef
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Fri, 12/9/11 3:12 PM
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The Scuba classes do their Check out dives on Whidbey Island, I said no thanks, so I did mine in the warm waters of Mexico. Your doing a Great job showing off the State where I live, happy you had a great trip, looks like you got some sunshine....................pnwc

Sundancer7
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Fri, 12/9/11 5:42 PM
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buffetbuster


Thanks Paul.  Always a pleasure to hear from you.  And thanks to Mariton, there will be LOTS of oysters coming up!

 
Look out Mariton
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN


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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Fri, 12/9/11 7:10 PM
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Dick's is superb.   A Dick's Deluxe would suffice fine right now.

rebeltruce
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Sat, 12/10/11 7:52 AM
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Michael Stern


The question is: did you return to 13 Coins for the hash browns???? They are some of my favorites.



The hash browns are some of the best I've had! Add the ham steak and a couple sunny side up......Love me some 13 coins! Sitting at the counter is a must.......

leethebard
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Sat, 12/10/11 8:00 AM
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What beautiful country...great looking food, too! Thanks.

MiamiDon
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Sat, 12/10/11 8:48 AM
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Nice report, Cliff!  I really love that coffee-cup place!

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Mon, 12/12/11 10:27 AM
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Friday November 25, 2011 cont.

The University of Washington plays their home games at Alaska Airlines Arena. 

This smaller, intimate building

was built in 1927, but there was a $40 million dollar renovation in 2000.  On this afternoon, they were playing out of conference against Houston Baptist University.  The opening tip off:

Due to the NBA lock out, a few ex-Huskies now playing in the NBA were in attendance and were introduced during the game.  One of them was Isaiah Thomas, who is currently with the Sacramento Kings.  While we walked around the arena at halftime, he was signing autographs in the hallway, so Mariton posed for a photo with him. 

That has got to be the smallest NBA player I have ever seen in person.  They also have a Husky Hall of Fame in the arena and we spent some time checking out the exhibits, including one of Tim Lincecum's Cy Young awards.

 
As to be expected, the game wasn't close, with UW winning easily, 88-65.  I spent a good portion of the first half yelling, "Go Huskies"!  Then I found out that Houston Baptist's teams are also called the Huskies.  Whoops! 
 
For dinner, we stopped at a Roadfood place, Mike's Chili Parlor.  Great neon sign!
 
I also liked the name in the sidewalk

right in front of the door.
 
Mike's is a bar, so no one under 21 allowed.  You get your choice of seats: at the bar, at one of the high tables, but we slipped into one of the comfy booths. 

We were greeted warmly and even though neither Mariton or I are drinkers, we felt right at home here.  There are menus on each table, plus a big menu board

behind the bar.  For a chili parlor, this place has a lot to choose from.  But, with this being our first time here, we went simple.
 
Though tempted by the $11.00 Big Ass Bowl of Chili, I went for the $4.75 regular bowl of chili. 

And because she is a fan of the Cincy 5-Way chili, Mariton really wanted to try the Chili Pasta. 

We were asked if we wanted cheese and onion and of course, the answer to that it is a big yes!  And the onions are just how I like them, chopped very fine.  Sure, the chili is on the greasy side, but it is supposed to be.  I am certainly no chili expert, but I really, really enjoyed what we ate here.  Mariton ate what she could, but I ended up finishing her chili pasta.  She did really like the crunchy garlic bread that came with her meal.
 
Sitting in Mike's, eating this fine food in a dark chili parlor, while watching the Backyard Brawl (Pitt-WVU) on tv, was one of my favorite moments of the vacation.  I just regret not trying a chili dog.
 
It had been a long day and we were still adjusting to the 3 hour time difference, so we headed back to the hotel.  We had made late dinner reservations at Chandler's Crabhouse so I could get some Crab Louis, but decided to just stay in and relax instead.
 
Much more to come.....    
<message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 12/12/11 10:32 AM>

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Mon, 12/12/11 10:33 AM
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Thank you to everyone for the nice comments.  And it seems that both 13 Coins and Dick's are popular with Roadfooders.  Dick's certainly seems like a place that should be reviewed here on the site.

ScreamingChicken
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Mon, 12/12/11 11:00 AM
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buffetbuster


But, she did get a stomach ache shortly afterwards, which she attributed to eating it too fast.

 
buffetbuster


And thanks to Mariton, there will be LOTS of oysters coming up!


I hope there's no connection here!

Ralph Melton
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Mon, 12/12/11 12:56 PM
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I always enjoy reading your reports. Thanks for posting this one. It's great to see all the places that we didn't manage to make it to.
 
However, I had an impression that your Thanksgiving plans involved Hob Nob Hill in San Diego. Did your plans change?
 

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Mon, 12/12/11 1:05 PM
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Thanks for the kind words RalphHob Nob Hill in San Diego was where we ate Thanksgiving dinner last year.

hatteras04
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Mon, 12/12/11 1:32 PM
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That must be one helluva grilled cheese to be worth 54.50.
 
The price is right for the abuse though.

ann peeples
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Mon, 12/12/11 3:48 PM
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Well, all I know is I am jonesing for the next leg of the report.

SeamusD
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Mon, 12/12/11 4:11 PM
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Dick's is great, I also used to frequent Burgermaster on Northup Way in Bellevue, another drive in place.
 
I miss living out there, and regret not being able to get back for a visit since I left in 2002. I'm glad to see some things haven't changed.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Mon, 12/12/11 4:55 PM
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Oh, to be in Western Washington again. Thanks for the great report.
 
Now if I could just get whatshername to move there instead of cold-butt Alaska ... .

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Tue, 12/13/11 2:24 PM
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Saturday November 26, 2011
 
I am an early riser and then put me on the West Coast and I am now waking up at 3:00 in the morning.  It would take us several days to adjust to the different time zone.  Meanwhile, we were the first customers at Julia's of Wallingford


when they opened at 7:00AM.  Julia's has been in some older Roadfood books but has appeared in the last few.  I really like the joie de vivre of the woman in the sign.  The inside is comfortable and casual

and the tables aren't too close to each other.
 
The menu seems to specialize in sweet breakfast items, such as pumpkin pie pancakes and a hot fudge sundae that includes buttermilk pancakes.  I went with the much more benign French toast l'orange, which also comes with orange butter and syrup. 

The bread was plenty thick and sure tasted homemade, but this may have been too much orange for me.  On the side, three strips of crisp bacon. 

Mariton, who makes much more of an effort to eat healthy than I do, went with oatmeal. 

Only on this menu, it is called Hot Scotch Oats.
 
Julia's
4401 Wallingford Avenue N
Seattle, WA
206-633-1175
 
One of the reasons we chose Julia's for breakfast was because another place we wanted to visit, Trophy Cupcakes is directly across the street.  But they don't open until 8:30AM on Saturdays, so we had time to kill.  Luckily, Mighty-O Donuts

is an easy 10 block walk away, so hoofed it in that direction.  Written up in the 500 Things to Eat book, the french toast cake donuts mentioned really caught my attention.  Unfortunately, they didn't have them this morning.  With lots of food plans for the day, we only four donuts and put in the car for snacking on later.
 
Mighty-O Donuts
2110 N. 55th Street
Seattle, WA
206-547-0335
 
By now, Trophy Cupcakes had opened their doors.  Located in a shopping center in what used to be an old school building,

this is the nicest cupcake store we have ever seen.  The cupcakes looked spectacular! 



We debated how many to buy, but since we were seen another Roadfooder the next day, we decided to buy a half dozen, enough to share.  Here is the roster of available cupcakes,

although there were others not on the list.  Our box

included a triple chocolate, triple coconut, lemon, red velvet, salty caramel and a chocolate peanut butter. 
 
Trophy Cupcakes
1815 N. 45th Street
Suite 209
Seattle, WA
 
It took great willpower on our part, but we also socked away the cupcakes in the car for later. 
 
Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 12/13/11 2:33 PM>

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Tue, 12/13/11 2:32 PM
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SeamusD

Dick's is great, I also used to frequent Burgermaster on Northup Way in Bellevue, another drive in place.

Thanks for bringing this up.  We spotted the BurgerMaster, which seemed to be right near where we exited off 520 onto Bellevue Way, to head to the hotel.  We assumed it was part of a chain, but apparently that is incorrect.

SeamusD
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Tue, 12/13/11 3:13 PM
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buffetbuster


SeamusD

Dick's is great, I also used to frequent Burgermaster on Northup Way in Bellevue, another drive in place.

Thanks for bringing this up.  We spotted the BurgerMaster, which seemed to be right near where we exited off 520 onto Bellevue Way, to head to the hotel.  We assumed it was part of a chain, but apparently that is incorrect.

 
There are 5 of them, so I guess you could actually call it a chain. I lived nearby and took some classes at Bellevue CC next door to it, so I went there more often than Dick's. Really good burgers.
If you'd gotten off in the Northup direction and traveled a mile east past Burgermaster, you'd have found yourself at Dixie's BBQ, a staple in that area. Anyone who has "met the man" won't soon forget it!

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Tue, 12/13/11 3:25 PM
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Saturday November 26, 2011 cont.
 
We purposely decided we were just going to drive around on this day and explore the city.  With plenty of Roadfood stops, too, of course. 
 
Also mentioned in the 500 Things to Eat book is a place called Countryside Donut House in the north suburb of Mountlake Terrace.  It only took us about 20 minutes to get there, but we were disappointed to find this sign

hanging on the door.  This was at 9:30 in the morning and they were already sold out.  Impressive!  Somewhere, the Travelin Man is smiling.  Noticing that they open every morning at 4:30AM, I vowed to do better the next day.
 
By now, we were ready for an early lunch.  We went over the list of places in Seattle we could go to and when I mentioned a place well known for their fried chicken, Mariton's ears perked up.  She is an even bigger fried chicken lover than I am.  After a quick call to confirm that they were open, we were on our way to Ezzell's Famous Chicken


Some nice chicken art on the window.  In case you can't read it, the chicken is declaring, "I'm fresh, good and fast!" 
 
The inside looks like a typical fast food joint, other than the testimony from Oprah Winfrey. 

We asked and were told that she has mentioned how much she loves the chicken here on her show.  You get your choice of either traditional or spicy and we decided on a three piece mixture of the two. 


Like Michael Stern mentions in the review, the chicken here is not particularly juicy, but is still incredibly flavorful.  We just couldn't get enough of the crispy crust, especially the darker spicy version.
 
They were out of a couple sides we tried to order, but we settled on the peppery corn and the sweet baked beans. 

A very soft roll also comes with the meal.  The one misstep was the peach cobbler,

which tasted too prefabricated to me.  We just took a few bites before throwing it away.  Speaking of throwing it away, there are birds hanging around the parking lot, waiting for any leftovers. 

That seagull was so big, it scared away all the other birds.
 
Ezzell's Famous Chicken
501 23rd Avenue
Seattle, WA
206-324-4141
 
Finally ready to eat some dessert, we headed for another cupcake joint, Cupcake Royale.  The signage here is confusing, as the big sign outside says Verite Coffee. 

But, there is a smaller sign on the door that says Home of Cupcake Royale,

so we knew we were in the right place.  The inside has more of a coffee shop feel than that of a bakery.  The selection wasn't large, but we had already decided we were only going to get one each.  Mariton went for the Stumpton Tiramisu

and appreciated the fact that it wasn't overly sweet.  My peppermint bark

was much sweeter, with the chocolate cake part being deeply rich.  To wash it down, Mariton got a cup of coffee

and as you can imagine, she has been thoroughly enjoying the strong and delicious Seattle coffee.
 
Okay, now the embarrassing part.  Near the order counter is a tall stack of pretty pink boxes

with different sayings on it.  I noticed a few of them carried the message, Legalize Prostitution.  This struck me as quite odd and we both laughed about it.  I even made a Facebook post about it.  Later on, when I went back to look at my photos, I reread it and realized it actually said Legalize Frostitution. 

Yeah, those two things aren't exactly the same.   
 
Cupcake Royale
1101 34th Avenue
Seattle, WA
206-709-4497
 
Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 12/13/11 3:35 PM>

The Travelin Man
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Tue, 12/13/11 3:30 PM
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I guess that depends on how much you're willing to pay???

ChiTownDiner
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Tue, 12/13/11 9:16 PM
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Or if it's outdoors in Chicago in January...
 

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/14/11 3:16 PM
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Saturday November 26, 2011 cont.
 
During an previous visit to Seattle, one of the dining highlights was Ray's Boathouse

Since I knew this was the type of place that would really appeal to Mariton, we made eating here a priority.  We showed up around 2:00PM for a late lunch, but that is too early for the nicer Boathouse part of the restaurant to be open.  But, just up the stairs is the more casual Ray's Cafe, which still affords you a nice view of the water.

 
So many items on the menu look enticing, it took some discussion and compromise to decide what to order.  Wish ChiTownDiner was with us, so we would have been assured of sampling everything!  Here is the list of appetizers,

which hopefully won't be too small to read.  Mariton started with the Seafood Combo Salad,

which contained Alaskan Bay shrimp, smoked salmon, smoked scallops, mussels, clams, cherry tomatoes and artichoke hearts.  This dish made her very happy, as did the fantastic bread. 

The waitress told us that these were sour dough potato rolls from Columbia City Bakery.
 
My meal started with a cup of thick clam chowder. 

Although this soup was fine, we agreed it was the least of the dishes on our table.  Next up was smoked salmon skewers,

which came with cucumber sesame relish and fresh pineapple.  The salmon was smoked in house and was delicious.  I came very close to stopping there, but told the waitress that we were thinking about either the mussels or the clams.  When she told us that we could combine the two and put them in the sauce of our choice, we jumped at it.  Here

is the Penn Cove mussels and Little Skookum Inlet Manila clams in a red curry and coconut milk broth.  The mussels and clams were unmistakably fresh, with the curry and coconut adding so much flavor.  This may have been the best dish we ate on the entire vacation.  Of course, Mariton gave me lots of help on finishing these off.
 
The interior of the cafe is tastefully decorated, with plenty of wood and glass 


and we liked the realistic looking wooden fish that seperates the kitchen from the dining area.  Even though you don't get the entire Ray's Boathouse full dinner menu to order from, this experience here at the Cafe might have been even better.
 
Ray's Cafe
6049 Seaview Avenue NW
Seattle, WA
206-789-3770
 
Immediately after leaving Ray's we saw this

interesting vehicle on the road.  Is that a 6 person bicycle?  By now, we noticed the traffic had started to pick up.  That evening, Seattle was hosting the annual Apple Cup football game between the University of Washington and Washington State.  We decided to make just one more stop before going back to the hotel and that was at a candy shop called Oh Chocolate


 
I asked about the hot chocolate mentioned in 500 Things To Eat, but the young lady who waited on us said they didn't have that, they just had sipping chocolate. 

With that, she gave me a small sample, and whew, this is some intense chocolate.  Not really sweet, just incredibly chocolatey.  I did ask for a whole cup, which she gave me with some whipped cream on top. 

As good as it was, it was still difficult for Mariton and I to drink the entire cup.
 
Next, it was time to pick out some chocolate candy. 

I asked for some graham crackers in dark chocolate,

raspberry truffles and the seasonal egg nog truffles. 

After I picked these out, she remembered that we were entitled to a couple free samples.  When I said we had enough, both the woman waiting on us and another customer asked why would we pass up a chance to try some of this very expensive chocolates for free.  Good question.  I asked for suggestions and they both highly recommended the peanut butter tiger butter

and the dark espresso truffle.  Needless to say, everything

we tasted was outstanding, with the creamy tiger butter being my favorite.
 
I should also mention how much we liked the young lady who waited on us.  As someone who hasn't been in Seattle very long, she had some interesting things to say about the city and the people (mostly good).  She was originally from Orange County and we couldn't believe how many ex-Southern Californians we encountered now living here.
 
Oh Chocolate
3131 E. Madison Street
Suite 100 
Seattle, WA
206-329-8777 
 
Back to the hotel for a nap!
 
Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 12/14/11 3:26 PM>

Nancypalooza
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/14/11 4:55 PM
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Gorgeous Cliff!  Love that you got to Dick's--so you didn't pay the nickel for the little cup of shredded onions or you aren't an onion eater?  Ray's Boathouse looks amazing; if you made it to an Ivar's I'll be curious to see how you compare the two.

ann peeples
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/14/11 5:42 PM
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All looks great so far, but Rays really caught my eye! Mariton wins with her choice.......

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/14/11 6:32 PM
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Oh Chocolate ... it is actually and outpost of the place on Mercer Island that has been there for at least 30 years.
I've had few to compare with their offerings.

mr chips
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/14/11 9:17 PM
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Wow! What a wonderful array of places. I took in Trophy cupcakes with the wonderful Zataar, had a memorable meal with The Traveling  Man at Ray's and numerous meals at Dick's with the beautiful TrudyN. Loved Mike's Chile as well. You are really adding to your impressive list of roadfood eateries.

mar52
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Wed, 12/14/11 10:05 PM
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This will be the third time I'm posting this:  (Warning you if it finally shows up)
 

Wonderful!  I love your choice of the coconut red curry sauce for your clams and mussels.  I think they should have left the lemon wedge in the kitchen for that one.
 
Sipping chocolate...awwwwww!
 
Great report!

 
 
 

ScreamingChicken
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/15/11 8:28 AM
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I could spend a lot of money in a hurry at Ray's...I can only imagine what's on the dinner menu!
 
Brad

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/15/11 8:48 AM
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Thanks for the nice comments!
 
Brad-
Ray's is most definitely on the expensive side, especially the dinner menu.  But, I have always thought that you do get your moneys worth, which is what is more important.
 
Nancy-
Unfortunately, we never did get to Ivar's, so no comparison coming.  There is an Ivar's at the ferry dock in Mukilteo.  I was hoping to run in for a cup of chowder (which I had before and it was outstanding), but we arrived just before the ferry left, so there was no time.

lleechef
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/15/11 10:37 AM
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bb, thanks for the lovely report and pictures.  Makes me homesick for the Pacific Northwest.  I would move there in an instant!

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/15/11 11:00 AM
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In case people wonder why I post the trip report in such small segments, it is out of necessity.  On Tuesday night, I had a big, long section almost finished when my laptop froze, which ended up costing me several hours worth of work.  This is the only way I can do it and keep my sanity!
 
Saturday November 26 cont.
 
After a long nap in the hotel, there was some discussion where we should go back out again or not.  Ultimately, the lure of good Roadfood won out and we on our way north to Kirkland for a late meal at Spud Fish & Chips

One of the things I liked at Spud is the food doesn't come out too fast.  You place your order at the counter

and then they fry your fish, rather than it sitting around, waiting for a customer.
 
I was looking forward to trying the tiger shrimp the Sterns mention in the review, but they were out of them.  They recommended the buffalo shrimp instead, which sounded like good advice. 

The shrimp are on the small side, the the buffalo sauce was hot and flavorful.  Mariton did not care for them as much as I did, since she is more sensitive to salty foods.  Fish-wise, we started with a one piece fish and chips with halibut. 

The fillet was thin, extra crunchy and deliciously sweet.  I did order and extra side of tartar sauce on the side for .25 cents,

but we liked the excellent vinegar

on the tables even more.  A spritz of vinegar also went well on top of the fine french fries.
 
Still feeling like we needed to try more, I went back up and ordered a single piece of cod. 

It was oddly shaped, but this was even better than the halibut.  Being from Pittsburgh, where I think we make the best fried fish sandwiches in the universe, this would have been right up there with the best.
 
And we still haven't gotten to both of our favorite thing at Spud and that is the heavenly milkshakes. 

These shakes are extra thick and considering this was late in November, the raspberry shake sure did taste of fresh fruit.
 
Spud Fish and Chips
9702 NE Juanita Drive
Kirkland, WA
425-823-0607
 
Once back in the room, we snacked on the candy from Oh Chocolate and the donuts from Mighty-O

From left to right, that is a maple bar, chocolate raspberry, grasshopper and a cinnamon sugar, with the last one being the best.
 
Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 12/15/11 11:12 AM>

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/15/11 11:03 AM
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lleechef


bb, thanks for the lovely report and pictures.  Makes me homesick for the Pacific Northwest.  I would move there in an instant!

Lisa, did you used to live in Seattle, too?  You have lived in so many interesting and scenic places, I shouldn't be surprised.

wanderingjew
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/15/11 11:34 AM
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Buffetbuster
 
Your report is like a trip down memory lane. You hit all of my favorite spots- Julia's, and arguably one of my favorite breakfast spots in the country, the Maltby Cafe as well as
Ray's Boathouse and Dick's Drive In. In fact Dick's is where we used to go after a night of drinking in Pioneer Square or Capitol Hill. I'm really glad you finally made it to Spud's my "must go to" place whenever I'm Seattle.
 
Looking forward to more.

buffetbuster
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/15/11 1:48 PM
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Sunday November 27, 2011
 
As usual, I was up way too early.  When Mariton showed no signs of stirring, I headed out to Countryside Donut House on my own.  Located in a small strip mall, a short distance from I-5, I was very happy to see lights on upon arrival around 6:00AM. 

That soon changed when I walked in and saw the cases practically empty. 

There was nobody up front, but I could here a lot of activity in the back.  It was a few minutes before they realized a customer was here, so I killed time rereading their mention

in the Stern's 500 Things To Eat book.
 
The man who came out was very apologetic, but it seems they overslept this morning and the donuts weren't ready yet.  I asked how long and he told me at least another 30 minutes.  Not having that long to wait, I bought a couple of old fashioned donuts, left over from the day before.  But, before I could leave, he mentioned he had some cake donuts just about done and he would be happy to ice them for me anyway I wanted.  We eventually settled on a coconut one for Mariton and a peanut butter one for me. 

The bag didn't get opened until I reached our room and the smell got Mariton out of bed.  She ate hers along with the coffee I grabbed in the lobby.  I got to tell you, the fresh, incredibly light, still warm cake donuts were the best I have ever had in my life.  And she agreed with me.
 
We got packed up, dressed and checked out of the hotel.  But before we left Seattle, we stopped for breakfast at Beth's Cafe

Beth's is a 24 hour a day diner that has been around since the 1950s.  No doubt, this place is very popular with the 2:00AM just left the bars crowd.  This place has an enjoyable sense of fun, which shows in their sign, which says "Handling Your Huevos Since 1954".  The inside is typical diner, with two dining rooms.  Both rooms are decorated in signs and drawings that Beth's customers creat on their own. 

There is paper and crayons/pens on each table if you are feeling creative.
 
Beth's claim to fame is their humungous 12 egg omelets. 

Sitting at a table next to us were six young guys, all taking on one of these monster omelets.  They were happy to let me snap photos of their half eaten breakfasts and even let me get a group shot. 

As near as I could tell, none of these guys were able to eat and entire own themselves, which is certainly no reason to hang your head in shame. 
 
The menus themselves are, shall we say, well worn.  And each of our menus had a different, cool, artistic cover.  This one

was mine.  My days of possibly eating a 12 egg omelet are long over and the only other size of omelet they have is a 6 egg.  I did give that some consideration, but we had a long day ahead.  I eventually settled on a more reasonable 3 egg Ham Scramble,

with sauteed ham and cheddar cheese. Honestly, there wasn't anything special about the ingredients, but some places just have a knack for making eggs and Beth's is apparently one of those places.  Nice crispy hashbrowns came on the side.  As for Mariton, it was more oatmeal,

with milk and brown sugar.  To drink, she usually gets coffee (she gave the strong coffee here a thumbs up) and water, while I get a large orange juice and water.  Noticing the impressive roster of milkshakes, I ordered a blueberry one. 

Unfortunately, this was the one item we didn't like.  It was too thin, had way too much whipped cream and really didn't taste very blueberryish.
 
To pass time while we were waiting for the food, Mariton started a drawing of her own, while I checked out all the ones already hanging.  There were a lot of strange ones, as you could expect and here are some of my favorite ones. 






And here is Mariton's contribution

to the wall and I think she did a nice job on it.
 
As we were almost finished with our food, a family of six behind us received their 12 egg omelet.  They started snapping photos of it, so I thought I should join in.  

I don't even think a 20 year old version of myself would be able to eat this entire thing.  They were also nice enough to send over a small sampling of it

and it was really good.
 
The service at Beth's was excellent and as you can tell, Mariton and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience here.  Still, I would like some kind of explanation of why the food here is so good.  

Ah, THAT explains it!
 
Beth's Cafe
7311 Aurora Avenue N
Seattle, WA
206-782-5588
 
We got back in the car and headed south towards Portland.
 
 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 12/15/11 7:36 PM>

lleechef
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/15/11 3:57 PM
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buffetbuster


lleechef


bb, thanks for the lovely report and pictures.  Makes me homesick for the Pacific Northwest.  I would move there in an instant!

Lisa, did you used to live in Seattle, too?  You have lived in so many interesting and scenic places, I shouldn't be surprised.

 
Never lived in Washington or Oregon but have been through there many times.  Great eats!  But then, Alaska is pretty much as Pacific Northwest as you can get in the USA!


drummagick
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Thu, 12/15/11 4:33 PM
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One of my fondest memories of growing up and living in Seattle until my mid-20s is shooting pool at the Eastlake Zoo Tavern until closing, and then going to Beth's Cafe  to split a 6 egg ham & cheese omelet with my pool partner of the evening.  The food there is incredible under those circumstances! :D
 
btw, the Eastlake Zoo Tavern is next door to the 14 Carrot Cafe
http://www.roadfood.com/R...iew/359/14-carrot-cafe
 
<message edited by drummagick on Thu, 12/15/11 4:38 PM>

mr chips
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Re:A Trip to the Pacific Northwest - Mon, 01/16/12 10:25 PM
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I'm personally looking forward to hearing about the rest of your Sunday when you have time.
 
 

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