food road trip: savory seattle
Seattle is known as a food town as much as San Francisco. Fortunately, I have friends (what up D&B!!) who've lived there awhile and were more than happy to point me in some directions and let me eat my way around on a recent visit. I mean, that is what friends are for right? (says Dionne!) There was also a fair amount of wine drinking, but hey, that is just a bonus of getting away for a bit.
A lot of what I had was all over the map as we didn't really make reservations at places but just made last minute decisions about what we were hungry for and hit up spots nearby that might satisfy that hunger. Trying to do that in SF can be a challenge, but in Seattle, it did seem a little easier to just drop into a local neighborhood spot and get seated. Only one place had a long wait, though we were able to go back a couple days later and ease right in.
I honestly debated with myself whether to write about what I got or not, but seriously, why wouldn't I? If I did it in China, I'm doing it in Seattle. Though these won't be so much reviews but more like "this is what I got."
First stop was Skillet Diner and that name alone would have made me want to check it out. Evidently they have a whole history, but you can read their website for that. The Capitol Hill location was like diner meets urban loft. I'm sure this place is popular at brunch/breakfast. For dinner they have daily specials so I opt for that evening's dish, shepherd's pie. Ground lamb with peas and carrots covered in mashed potatoes and served in---a cast iron skillet! Hence the name I guess. Definitely real stick to your ribs kind of food and lots of it. It was hearty and tasty. I'm sure in SF they would have tried to put an egg on it. We'll put an egg on anything.
Next it was a jaunt over to Whidbey Island for a short overnighter. A stop at Christopher's provided a chance for some local seafood like the above. A bowl of shrimp, Manila clams and chorizo in a tomato sauce atop a pile of polenta dressed with some slightly warm kale. Another big bowl of food! Big shrimp, tender clams and spicy chorizo paired with a nice glass of not too sweet Reisling. I was ready for a nap afterwards.
It's a lazy late lunch on the island at The Braeburn and I'm going homestyle with a meatloaf sandwich and a side of apple cole slaw. They were out of their usual bread and I got it on their hearty full grain bread--which it most definitely was! The meat and bread are from local makers and it was a very filling sandwich which I'll chalk up to the the thick slices of bread. Could have used a little more mayo and I did need some hot sauce to notch it up a bit, but still a decent sandwich. The apple slaw was a tasty little side compliment for it.
Back in Seattle we decide to grab a quick snack bite before hitting a comedy show. We end up at a small spot kind of on the backside of a strip mall called Marination Station. It's the kind of place you either know about or don't due to the location. The food is kind of like Mexican meets Korean meets Hawaiian. My friends say I should really try the spicy pork torta so that's what I get. A toasted baguette with spicy pork, guacamole, Nunya sauce, slaw and hibiscus pickled peppers and onions. That is a lot of flavors going on in one sandwich. It was all very fresh and reminded me of a banh mi type sandwich.
The pork was nice and tender and just a little spicy, not gonna knock your socks off or anything. Kind of like a kimchi spice. I liked the addition of pickled things adding a hint of sweetness. The Nunya sauce is their own special sauce that was like mayo with Korean spices. For the most party I liked it. I do think they could have put a bit more pork on it, mainly because they were charging $11! 'Dats SF pricing! At that cost, it isn't the biggest of sandwiches and I would say it should be more like $8. Especially when you consider you can get either their salad or fried kimchi rice for less, even when you add in the option of spicy pork or chicken. And voila...I could have gotten an egg on it here, but that would have been an upcharge. I'll rate it tasty but pricey.
That's the first couple days and there is lots more to go, but I'll save those for next time.