America Eating Abroad

Seattle, WA

November 22, 2013

We arrived in Seattle after a surprisingly scenic bus ride which involved a border crossing far more relaxed than airport security- let’s just say that I didn’t have to worry about whether I was wearing my good socks and customs was more of a chat than an interrogation. All in all, a pretty relaxed introduction to the city.

I really had no expectations of Seattle as most of the things I associated with the city came from pop culture, for example:

  • It’s the home of Grey’s Anatomy- yet I did not catch a glimpse of McDreamy nor was I mistaken for Cristina Yang.
  • The show is also always showing shots of a tower resembling Auckland’s Skytower- theirs is called the Space Needle.
  • There’s a movie called Sleepless in Seattle which actually is more about New York… would you agree?
  • It’s where the first Starbucks opened and apparently there is one on almost every corner… I can now verify that this is probably true.
  • A season of Top Chef I recently watched was filmed in Seattle.

So with an open mind, we ventured out…

The Seattle Centre, home of the Space Needle also happens to be the home of a really cool glass exhibition, some interesting art installations (we got quite the fright from the music flowers which ring out when you step close to them) and lots of concert halls. From there, we took the 2 minute monorail to it’s only other stop- the Westlake Centre, which is right in the heart of the city.

Seattle_SpaceNeedle

From a Top Chef episode, I was introduced to Pike Place market. On screen it looked like a gloriously tasty and eclectic farmers market but in real life, it kinda fell flat. It was not nearly as action packed as portrayed (reality tv eh?) and once you got past the ground level, was a confusing rabbit warren of stalls across several buildings. In saying that, it wasn’t all bad and we did have a decent lunch at Jack’s Fish Spot– fresh fish on one side of the stall, fryers on the other.

The biggest win was stumbling across Dine Around Seattle, pretty much their version of Wellington on a Plate- 3 course dinner for $30. Bargain right? Or so I thought until a certain someone very sensibly told me that after drinks, taxes and tips, our dinner would cost more than $100… something we couldn’t afford to do every night but surely we would make it up somewhere along the way? Watch this space.

Our first dinner was at Steelhead Diner, a trendy (lots of glowing write ups) and popular (chockablock) restaurant downtown. The menu consisted of crab tater tots- more tater than crab but I still love me some fried goods, a pretty standard steak, an above average salmon which was frightfully on the cusp of being overpowered by spiced almonds, pecan pie, and ginger pudding- though being cold, I’d just call it cake but perhaps America disagrees. It was good but I wouldn’t rave about it.

The next night we opted for something a little different- a Korean fusion place called Chan. Its deliciousness made up for the fact it was rather tricky to find! The menu consisted of grilled asparagus with poached egg and miso aioli (yay, got my green fix), deep fried oysters, spicy pork belly with tofu, and the most incredibly tender beef short rib with rice. The desserts were a little blah but who cares when you’ve already had 2 knock out courses. This little place was packed to the brim and it seems we got there just before the wait list started to grow.

I’m not sure we’ll be rushing back to Seattle anytime soon… unless they’re looking to introduce Cristina’s younger sister onto the show?!

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