A Trip to the Pacific Northwest
Wed, 12/7/11 2:56 PM
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.....
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