Monday, August 25, 2014

{a post about food}

When we went to Seattle, I had a list a mile long of coffee shops and restaurants that friends had recommended to me. We ate at zero of them. Because the thing about travelling with a baby (I'm talking about me, not Sullivan) is that when she gets hungry, you don't have time to hop on bus number 5 and casually stroll around Fremont looking for Delancey (though I kind of regret this now). You stop and you eat at the first interesting place you come to. But the thing about Seattle is that there is no shortage of interesting places.

Like I said in my last post, part of the fun for us in trying new places, be they coffee shops or restaurants or food trucks or whatever, is putting our judge faces on afterward and rating them. We critique the customer service, the atmosphere, the coffee, the quality and selection of baked goods, the menu, the artwork on the walls, the music playing in the background, etc. We do it like it's our day job. I wish it was.

So here, even though you didn't ask for it, is a very professional list of our top contenders in Seattle for Best Food Experiences.

1. Beecher's

Beecher's is a little corner shop in Pike Place Market that specializes in cheese. Cheese. The menu is full of grilled cheeses and mac'n'cheeses and cheesy soups and breads, and if you can find a spot to sit, you get a front row seat to watch the cheese-making process in action while you eat. It's exactly what I needed to know exists somewhere in this crazy world. I got the mac'n'cheese, Barclay got a grilled cheese, and we shared a breadzel.

I got us a spot by the window and this short woman came and stood right behind me. She stared at my seat with big sad eyes until I stood up, and then she promptly displaced me. She didn't say thank you. We had to take our food across the street and eat in the market--which was nice too, don't get me wrong. But that short lady needs to have lessons in frequenting public establishments without being a jerk about it.

2. Storyville Coffee Company

Storyville is also in Pike Place, but it's tucked up in the top floor of the Corner Market Building (if you're going to explore Pike Place, you have to make sure to check out every stairwell, every back alley, and every old building, or you'll miss something great). I'm about to make a super bold statement: This place makes the best mocha in the whole world. The baking was also ridiculously good and they were playing an old Stars CD when we walked in. Plus, probably because it's so hard to stumble across, it wasn't packed. That was nice.

3. Top Pot Doughnuts

A classic case of judging a book by its cover. We decided we'd like this place based solely on how it looked from the outside, and we were right. We got coffee and doughnut holes and sandwiches and it was all amazing. I feel like I can't give it a 10 though, since the coffee at Storyville owns my loyalty forever. Besides, the music selection was very subpar.

4. Piroshky, Piroshky

Another Pike Place place, a little bakery with a line-up that stretched out the door and around the side into the alley. I got a cherry white chocolate piroshky and Barclay got one with ground beef and cheese in it. We were in a hurry, so we took our baking to go and ate it on the Link on our way home. I wanted to cry when I finished, partly because it was so good and partly because I couldn't have another one. Good graish.

5. Victrola Coffee Roasters

Look at that doughnut. That is the best doughnut I've ever had. The mocha was good (Storyville has ruined me), but the doughnut stole the show. Victrola was just down the street from our B&B but we didn't find it until our last day there on our way to the train. That was pretty sad. But it was nice and quiet and the lady behind the counter didn't seem to mind that we had all of our luggage with us.

6. El Quetzel 

Last on the list but not in my heart. This place is in Beacon Hill, right next door to Victrola, and it's small and dimly lit. It's as hot as a furnace and the mariachi band is horrible. Can't carry a tune in a bucket. We loved the whole experience. The food was beyond amazing, and there was just something about the atmosphere of the place...not to mention the free dessert samples and complimentary nachos.

So there, as they say, you have it.