Out and about, Seattle


Since moving to a completely urban location 6 months ago, grabbing dinner out has become more commonplace. It’s so easy to walk out the door for a bite to eat when there are restaurants of every ilk within walking distance. On this block alone, a sub shop (lunch only), a bar/club, the Central Tavern (Seattle’s oldest tavern – bar food lunch and dinner), Med-Mix (good gyros and falafal, tasty fries, awful burgers), and the J&M Hotel (bar food, lunch and dinner). After relying heavily on Med-Mix during the first weeks of living here, I am still burned out on them. Across the street is the Grand Central Bakery – I pick up a sack lunch there once a week. Their bread is good, but so crusty and chewy my jaws can only handle one sandwich every 7 days. The italian grinder uses meats from Salumi, so if you can’t bear the long wait over on 2nd, Grand Central isn’t a bad bet. They also dress their sandwiches with a delicious pickled sweet red onion relish. Really excellent.

The next block north holds a strange Indian place – mediocre buffet at lunch, menu at dinner, but the place is almost always empty at night and the service is weird. It might be better for takeaway in the evenings. Immediately next door is a branch of the Spokane based Longhorn Barbecue which always smells incredibly good. I’ve mostly had their pulled pork, which ranges from decent to awfully dry. Next, a Taco del Mar, and finally the empty promise of a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Around the corner on Yesler I can recommend Pho Hao, especially the 21P Pork Vermicelli bowl. Their fresh rolls are also nice, but it depends on who’s making them up as to what will be inside the wrapper. Also offered are all varieties of pho, bahn mi, and bulgoki, as well as a complete range of bubble teas. They close at 8, but are a good stop for a quick light dinner. Down toward the waterfront from Pho Hao is the iconic Trattoria Mitchelli, which has been there forever and is open until 4 am on the bar side as well as for breakfast beginning around 9 am. The place is currently for sale, and the service and food have gone odd since that was announced. Before, it wasn’t bad for a red-sauce Italian place, and had decent table wines (if skimpy pours), but the last 2 times I’ve eaten there, it was disappointing. Food improperly (and obviously) reheated, distracted service, that sort of thing.

One final place on this block that I recommend if you have the time to wait during lunch, or if you happen to catch it open some evening (I’ve yet to figure out their dinner schedule), is Cafe Paloma. Turkish/Mediterranean food, including the best hummus I’ve had in Seattle (except for Cascadia’s white bean hummus). Excellent panini, delicious borek, the option of a make-your-own sampler plate. It’s a tiny space and, when crowded, service can be slow, but it’s delightful stuff when you have the time for a leisurely late lunch, watching the Underground Tour groups come out of the alley behind, blinking in the partial sun.



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3 Responses to “Out and about, Seattle”

  1. iheartbacon Says:

    Hmmm, it appears your experience with food in Pioneer Square has been as uneven as mine….

    Have you tried Collins Pub? It’s next to the Smith Tower, in the Collins Building, strangely enough. Nice big space, decent food, too.

  2. Jaq Says:

    No, that’s too uphill for us at the moment. We are ranging up to Union on 1st and out Jackson/King into the ID for now. We walked to House of Hong two weeks ago for dim sum, and decided Tamarind Tree was possibly just too far. We’ll get there by summer though, on foot.

    Pioneer Square is such a weird mix of touristy dreck and office quick lunches.

  3. Jaq Says:

    Well, after hiking up to the library today, getting to the Collins Pub seemed very minor. I had the Collins burger with excellent sweet potato fries. Not crowded for a Saturday night, but it was a bit early (7ish). The wine and beer list was extensive, but we’d hit the Red Truck pretty hard the night before, so stuck with non-alcohol drinks. Some interesting art on the walls too.

    A+ will eat there again – thanks for the tip!

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