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[PRIME] So you're coming to Seattle? A local's take on the best of the Emerald City

QuintiousQuintious Registered User regular
edited September 2012 in PAX Archive
I swore I would be more social this PAX, meet more people, be more helpful, reach out more, etc. I think a good way to do it is to provide my insight as to the city I call home. I see lists here and there on the forum here, but they seem to be compiled largely from outsiders. That's fine, and a lot of what I see is good stuff, but it's missing that intimate knowledge of the area.

Who I am: Extreme foodie, thrill seeker, globetrotting 1st world hobo, all around generally nerdy type with just enough cool points to stay above the Creepy/Awesome scale. Longtime resident of PAX's fair homebase. Oh, and I really, really hate hipsters, hippies, hip checkers, hipless women, and rampaging hippos.

What I -hope- to provide: A comprehensive list of not only what to eat, but what to do while you're here when you aren't geeking it up. I'll try to tell you not only the best places to eat, but what made them so famous in the first place. I'll give you the typical touristy things to hit while here, but also try to take you off the beaten path a little bit to see some of the hidden gems that make this area so charming to those of us who live here. I'll not recommend anything I've not eaten nor send you someplace I've never been just because I've heard it was cool. I think I've lived here long enough to where I can say I have a pretty good finger on the pulse of the region.

Also keep in mind that not everything I'll recommend is walkable from a downtown hotel. I'll assume most of you will have transportation of some sort. Why? Because you can rent a car in this city for between 9 and 13 dollars a day, and the hotels in the outlying areas a whole 10-15 minutes from the convention center cost half as much as the hotels downtown. It just makes economic sense, not to mention you can actually drive from a hotel outside of downtown to the convention center faster than you can walk from many downtown hotels to the convention center - at least on a holiday weekend such as Labor Day.

First up in my Tour Guide Series: the Top 5 eats by genre. It's not a full list yet, just what I've had a few minutes to work on here and there while listening to the jet engine that is my datacenter in the background. I'll try to continually add to it, and if anyone has suggestions as to how they'd like to see it better formatted, I'm all ears.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqMQiLE417ZHdG5rYlZWU3dMY1gzcVBEVU1MRk9LaFE

zerzhul on

Posts

  • mossey3535mossey3535 Registered User regular
    Thanks man! Even with local friends it's always great to get some outside perspective. I'm probably not going to make PAX this year but a group of my coworkers and I went on a one-day food tour roadtrip and it was awesome. So we'll hopefully be doing it again soon.

    P.S. I see Uneeda Burger is better than Red Mill and Skillet? Whoa. That idea just blows me away, I was really impressed with the burgers from those two joints.

  • FalkalaFalkala Registered User
    I moved from Seattle a couple of years ago, and all your list does is make me really hungry. A really good selection of choices there.

  • OneBarOneBar SeattleRegistered User regular
    Great post! Being a resident of the Seattle area everything on this list so far is excellent. If you can dish out the extra cash the Capitol Grille is FANTASTIC!

    As weird as this is going to sound, to anyone who likes drive-in, greasy, delicious cheeseburgers and milkshakes; you HAVE to go to Dick's. There's a few scattered around Seattle. I know there's one Broadway and Queen Anne. Here's all the locations: http://www.ddir.com/locations

  • FalkalaFalkala Registered User
    Because there is nothing like a greasy bag of Dick's to end your evening. :D

  • OneBarOneBar SeattleRegistered User regular
    Falkala wrote: »
    Because there is nothing like a greasy bag of Dick's to end your evening. :D

    Um. Yes you are correct. I enjoy stuffing my face full of Dick's after PAX. LOL! :D

  • lizpiratelizpirate Registered User
    Quintious--have you been to Le Pichet? Excellent food and wine list and within easy walking distance of the convention center. It's my go-to spot to eat in downtown Seattle.

  • QuintiousQuintious Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    lizpirate wrote: »
    Quintious--have you been to Le Pichet? Excellent food and wine list and within easy walking distance of the convention center. It's my go-to spot to eat in downtown Seattle.

    I have. The food is quite good, if a bit limited (in the tradition of most French bistros). I'm happy to count Jim Drohman (their executive chef) as a decent friend. I'll be adding them to my "French" list, when I can think of 2 other French places to put on that list (Rover's, obviously, is no. 1, and RN74 no. 2). Of course, it also tends to require a diner step out of their comfort zone a little, given their love of things like liver, boudin, and black sausage at Le Pichet.

    Maybe I'll put Rovers's sister restaurant Luc in there and just call it a 4way, since French cuisine isn't something that's real prominent in this city. Or maybe I'll finally use this as an excuse to visit Cafe Pressé and find out their signature dish :)

    Quintious on
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    Throwing a couple of comments into the ring too. My resume: Seattle Native, International traveller, Food Blogger, Restaurant Snob, European Trained Cook. Please note that any snarky comments come from the sad-but-true recognition that many Seattlites can't tell the difference between Good food and Trendy food; just becuase a place is hip doesn't mean it's good.

    Suggestions for you to try:

    For Dessert, try Simply Desserts in Fremont. They've been there for about 20 years and make fantastic cakes, which can be bought by the slice. They've survived the onslaught of the cupcake trend, so that says something. Also try Cake Envy over at Greenlake. It's the only Seattle cupcake place that's owned and operated by bakers instead of business marketing professionals, and their cake can stand up to anything I've had in Austria. Not so much a fan of Molly Moon's - they have fun flavors, but it's tongue-numblingly sweet, like what would happen if Wal Mart made gourmet cones. It's no good if you can't taste it after the 4th bite.

    For Sushi, check out Shun over by University Village. It's a small, very traditional menu, executed flawlessly. No spam musubi there.

    Proprietor of Seattle's only Gamer-Owned Distillery, Old Ballard Liquor Co. 10% off all purchases with a PAX Badge through Labor Day!

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  • SmallLadySmallLady Registered User regular
    Sooooooo, we already have a Seattle food thread. Which can be found here:

    forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/159700/prime-the-great-foodening-pax-food-destinations-2012


    But, I like your idea. Maybe you'd like to incoporate it into our PAX Wiki. Where it will survive from PAX it PAX. Hmm?

    "we're just doing what smalllady told us to do" - @Heels
  • GeekyPrincessGeekyPrincess Registered User regular
    Quintious wrote: »
    lizpirate wrote: »
    Quintious--have you been to Le Pichet? Excellent food and wine list and within easy walking distance of the convention center. It's my go-to spot to eat in downtown Seattle.

    I have. The food is quite good, if a bit limited (in the tradition of most French bistros). I'm happy to count Jim Drohman (their executive chef) as a decent friend. I'll be adding them to my "French" list, when I can think of 2 other French places to put on that list (Rover's, obviously, is no. 1, and RN74 no. 2). Of course, it also tends to require a diner step out of their comfort zone a little, given their love of things like liver, boudin, and black sausage at Le Pichet.

    Maybe I'll put Rovers's sister restaurant Luc in there and just call it a 4way, since French cuisine isn't something that's real prominent in this city. Or maybe I'll finally use this as an excuse to visit Cafe Pressé and find out their signature dish :)

    Café Presse is awesome. Had many a breakfast/lunch there with the French husband and his friends. The OEufs plats is very good as are the steak-frites and croque monsieur/madame.

    There's a yelp list of French places - http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=french+food&find_loc=Seattle,+WA.

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  • QuintiousQuintious Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    SmallLady wrote: »
    Sooooooo, we already have a Seattle food thread. Which can be found here:

    forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/159700/prime-the-great-foodening-pax-food-destinations-2012


    But, I like your idea. Maybe you'd like to incoporate it into our PAX Wiki. Where it will survive from PAX it PAX. Hmm?

    I know about the other thread....but it's just an omnibus of places with no real regard as to whether the places are any good or not. I do like how they incorporate URL's and addresses, though. This is going to be a more comprehensive list of all-things-Seattle, not just food, and from firsthand experience. Didn't know about the Wiki. That might be an option.



    Café Presse is awesome. Had many a breakfast/lunch there with the French husband and his friends. The OEufs plats is very good as are the steak-frites and croque monsieur/madame.

    There's a yelp list of French places - http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=french+food&find_loc=Seattle,+WA.

    Yeah, I just haven't been to most of them because most of them haven't really garnered much of a name for themselves in the foodie community - and I try to avoid using/trusting Yelp too much because I find that it's pretty much overrun with 20-something hipsters (or hipster-wannabes) that don't really share the same values as I do, both from a culinary perspective as well as an anti-groupthink perspective. I've been to so many places that rate highly on Yelp (usually in Cap Hill) that are just either uninspiringly mediocre or downright atrocious.

    Quintious on
  • tsrblketsrblke Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Quintious wrote: »
    SmallLady wrote: »
    Sooooooo, we already have a Seattle food thread. Which can be found here:

    forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/159700/prime-the-great-foodening-pax-food-destinations-2012


    But, I like your idea. Maybe you'd like to incoporate it into our PAX Wiki. Where it will survive from PAX it PAX. Hmm?

    I know about the other thread....but it's just an omnibus of places with no real regard as to whether the places are any good or not. I do like how they incorporate URL's and addresses, though. This is going to be a more comprehensive list of all-things-Seattle, not just food, and from firsthand experience. Didn't know about the Wiki. That might be an option.

    There's basically a thread for each indiviual topic and although the Google Doc in the food thread (which just got merged to this EDIT: Strike that I just can't keep tabs on what tab I'm in. i.e. I'm stupid) is just an omnibus, the discussion takes place in the thread itself.

    I'd imagine the same is true for other threads (such as the "Non Gaming things to do" thread down below.)

    "Good or not" is a highly subjective thing anyway, so it requires a fairly good discription of what's what.

    tsrblke on
  • cedelacruzcedelacruz Registered User regular
    something new and awesome will be coming in june that will add to the greatness that is seattle :)

    http://www.king5.com/news/cities/seattle/Work-begins-on-Pier-57-Ferris-wheel-145914345.html

  • poodpood Registered User regular
    no Jak's under steaks???

  • WadeWade Registered User regular
    I just have to say, its good to see kau kau on the list! Though I live pretty close (kent), its always nice to see some new places to try for when I am in the city.

  • The_PowerThe_Power Registered User
    Quintious wrote:
    What I -hope- to provide: A comprehensive list of not only what to eat, but what to do while you're here when you aren't geeking it up. I'll try to tell you not only the best places to eat, but what made them so famous in the first place. I'll give you the typical touristy things to hit while here, but also try to take you off the beaten path a little bit to see some of the hidden gems that make this area so charming to those of us who live here.

    I've heard of Bumbershoot and the Rainier park. For those getting to Seattle before PAX what would you recommend? Is it cool to take a break from Prime to go to Bumbershoot on Saturday without pre-purchased tickets, for example?

    "You'll shoot your eye out, kid."
  • RobogirlRobogirl Registered User regular
    If you're into nature/parks/whatever, The Arboretum is my absolute favorite place in Seattle, and probably the world. It's a several square mile tree sanctuary, super lush, and during pax everything will be in full bloom. It's about 10 minutes drive north of downtown(if even), and free(except the japanese gardens, but the park is so huge you're not missing out if you just hang out in the free area). Simply gorgeous. Here's the website with the address and information, sadly, it's short on pictures:
    http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/gardens/wpa.shtml

  • QuintiousQuintious Registered User regular
    pood wrote: »
    no Jak's under steaks???

    Compared to the other 5 on the list, Jak's doesn't even come close. Heck, for that matter, I could come up with another 5 off the top of my head that make a better steak (El Gaucho, Pallisades, Stumbling Goat, Buenos Aires Grill, Sullivans). Jak's makes a better burger than steak, and I had a real hard time leaving them off my list of 5 best burgers.
    Wade wrote: »
    I just have to say, its good to see kau kau on the list! Though I live pretty close (kent), its always nice to see some new places to try for when I am in the city.

    Yeah, so long as you can ignore the 75 blatant-to-every-customer health code violations, it's fantastic eats.


    Robogirl wrote: »
    If you're into nature/parks/whatever, The Arboretum is my absolute favorite place in Seattle, and probably the world. It's a several square mile tree sanctuary, super lush, and during pax everything will be in full bloom. It's about 10 minutes drive north of downtown(if even), and free(except the japanese gardens, but the park is so huge you're not missing out if you just hang out in the free area). Simply gorgeous. Here's the website with the address and information, sadly, it's short on pictures:
    http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/gardens/wpa.shtml

    This will be on my "things to do" spreadsheet update. Great place.

  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    So I also posted this on another thread, but it's pretty cool: The NOAA art installations at Sand Point, including the SoundGarden, where the band (ostensibly) got its name:

    seattle.gov/parks/magnuson/art.htm#noaa

    http://www.seattle.gov/parks/magnuson/docs/NOAA_art_walk_brochure.pdf

    Proprietor of Seattle's only Gamer-Owned Distillery, Old Ballard Liquor Co. 10% off all purchases with a PAX Badge through Labor Day!

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  • GeekyPrincessGeekyPrincess Registered User regular
    Quintious wrote: »
    Yeah, I just haven't been to most of them because most of them haven't really garnered much of a name for themselves in the foodie community - and I try to avoid using/trusting Yelp too much because I find that it's pretty much overrun with 20-something hipsters (or hipster-wannabes) that don't really share the same values as I do, both from a culinary perspective as well as an anti-groupthink perspective. I've been to so many places that rate highly on Yelp (usually in Cap Hill) that are just either uninspiringly mediocre or downright atrocious.

    Please know that I'm saying this with the least amount of snark and sarcasm possible. By saying that you haven't been to a place because it hasn't garnered much of a name for themselves in the foodie community, aren't you just giving in to the groupthink perspective that you seem to rebuke?

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  • PrinnysaurusRexPrinnysaurusRex TexasRegistered User regular
    Thank you so much for doing this! Foodies of the world rejoice!

  • QuintiousQuintious Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Quintious wrote: »
    Yeah, I just haven't been to most of them because most of them haven't really garnered much of a name for themselves in the foodie community - and I try to avoid using/trusting Yelp too much because I find that it's pretty much overrun with 20-something hipsters (or hipster-wannabes) that don't really share the same values as I do, both from a culinary perspective as well as an anti-groupthink perspective. I've been to so many places that rate highly on Yelp (usually in Cap Hill) that are just either uninspiringly mediocre or downright atrocious.

    Please know that I'm saying this with the least amount of snark and sarcasm possible. By saying that you haven't been to a place because it hasn't garnered much of a name for themselves in the foodie community, aren't you just giving in to the groupthink perspective that you seem to rebuke?

    Slight difference. When I say "the foodie community", I don't mean random blogger X and his merry band of misfits, or some Meetup group or the like. I mean local chefs that I've come to know and become friends with whos tastes I trust, and who actively wander this city seeking out great eats (mainly so they can steal the ideas, I'm sure). A lot of these friends will ping me anytime they discover something great, and I'll put it on my to-do list, and of course, I try to reciprocate the favor.

    Anyways, I've added sections for the Indian region, Italian, Miscellaneous Ethnic, and a little section I like to call "Quin, help! I'm an awkward 5 dating a hot cosplayed 9, and 'Master Chief's' gotta get some tonight! (aka romantic)"

    Quintious on
  • QuintiousQuintious Registered User regular
    Oh, and gastropubbery, forgot about that one. It's in there.

  • RandomAtomRandomAtom Registered User regular
    What is a great comic shop in the area?

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  • QuintiousQuintious Registered User regular
    Crap, I never did finish this list. Damn that real-world obligation crap. I'll try to work on it.

    As for comic book shoppes, there's a place in Bellevue called the Dragon's Lair that people seem to like, though I can't personally vouch for it. Bellevue is also a good 20 minutes outside of Seattle in traffic.

This discussion has been closed.