Archive for the ‘restaurant’ Category

Seattle Restaurant biz-temperature falling?

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

While Seattle seems to be going through a huge boom in construction, it is not clear that all this growth is benefiting existing restaurants. Recently, one of my favorite restaurants majorly annoyed me with a desperation move, that turned out to have not matter, the shop having shuttered in the last week anyways. Today, I get an email from another local restaurant bemoaning a significant loss in visitors, and offering an apology for a recent menu change, and a promise to return to the old ways, so “please come back”….weird to see such candor from a business.

But more curiously, I wonder at just how things are for the average restaurant in Seattle these days. I suspect that while the number of potential new customers has gone up, so has the number of new alternatives to be tried, leading to several places finding themselves ignored for prior success, while the crowds move from new to newer.

Rock Salt down

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

I was caught by surprise last month, when I stopped by for dinner, only to find a note saying they were closed for remodeling. Now the sign just says closed for good ūüôĀ

Manhattan Seattle

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Walked up to Cap Hill last night, and check out Manhattan, ¬†“A modern steakhouse with a Southern flair, ” a statement which confuses me. ¬†Your restaurant, named after the most Yankee of cities, has southern flair? ¬†Because gold-plated antelope skulls with ak-47’s were a thing when I grew up in Texas…not =p

Silly naming aside, the place was pretty spiff. ¬† The space is a standard store-front rectangle, with a large bar, and a reasonable number of tables of varying party sizes. ¬†The craft cocktail menu has several absinthe items on it, but I did find something I wanted to try, a “Honey Jack”…something not entirely unlike a Dark n Stormy, but with Jack and honey.

The gumbo was farking delicious, and I might go back just to get more, sometime. ¬†I went with the fried chicken over mac-n-cheese…chicken was tasty and super-tender, falling apart at the first touch of the fork, no knife required, with a crisp and lightly spiced coating. ¬†The mac-n-cheese, while tasty, wasn’t very¬†cheesy¬†at all…if they ¬†had said “over pasta”, it would have been just fine, but I wouldn’t call it “-and-cheese”. ¬†Desert was a tasty sorbet, with some scattered granola and berries…quite yummy.

Bartender was attentive and polite, but sometimes busy.

Sunday Gay Day

Monday, April 1st, 2013

The sun was seriously out this Sunday, and the queer scooter group was getting together for a ride. ¬†My scooter is just not¬†appropriate¬†for any sort of rally riding, but they are OK with sharing the ride with a motorcycle, and I joined in. ¬†The starbucks (yes, it’s seattle, they make for universal neighborhood landmarks) was overflowing with bicycle riders, as I waited for the group. ¬†In the end, we had six people, scattered across 4 bikes, and headed out for a trip out to Alki. ¬† It was really nice, not being the underpowered-bike-holding-everyone-up, especially when we got onto the west seattle bridge where, despite a 35 mph speed limit, most people were doing 60 past us.

We drove all the way out, and after a short pause on the beach, along half the backside of Alki, before splitting up, with 5 of us going back down the beach to have lunch at Cactus.  Man, I do love the salsa at that place.  All the food was tasty.

After lunch, I went home, with the intent of getting out on the water while the sun was so nice.  Ended up spending an hour with a not-worth-it guy instead, but oh well.

For dinner, headed down to the Can Can for the yearly Easter event which is The Bunny Bounce. ¬†As it is a free first-come-first-served event, there were no set table-spaces, and I grabbed a seat at an empty table in the back, but quickly ended up with an overflowing table of joiners. ¬†Turns out they are all drag performers, there to support one of their friend’s in the cast, so got to hear lots of catty gossip all night long, a sort of secondary, private-at-my-table show. ¬†They were all very polite and¬†occasionally¬†sociable, but I went home alone, so it wasn’t THAT gay of a day. ¬†The Bunny Bounce show was fun. ¬† ¬†I think only one of the performers was in drag, or else they are on hormones. ¬†They all were fun. ¬†And the poutine is always worth getting at the Can Can.


Dinner at Wotan’s (Teatro Zinzanni review)

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Having still not found a suitable friday night Karaoke venue, I went out and let other people entertain me with their singing.

I saw a note in the Seattle PI, about how they were having a new show, and when I checked for tickets, there was a table for 2 still empty, so I grabbed a seat. ¬†I understand the desire to avoid confusion while people are trying to get seated, but it is still kind of annoying when one of these places calls up and does the whole, “Are you really such a loser that you are coming to a show by yourself?” questionings. ¬†Oh well, life goes on.

When I arrived, the hostess person who brought me to my table went out of her way to make me feel as welcome as any table-of-six, giving me the full historical facts spiel about the tent and whatnot. ¬†As the night went on, my waitress was equally attentive to me, noticing when I let my 2nd drink sit until all the ice had melted, and worrying that I wasn’t drinking it because I didn’t like it (The drink was fine, but I was waiting to get the main course down, before getting more alcohol in my system). ¬†The food was just OK. ¬†Most of it wasn’t of a style that I’m generally a fan of. ¬†The steak was cooked exactly to order, and tasty, but the potatoes, while prepared ‘correctly’ for what they were, just didn’t appeal at all, with a sour/vinegar taste that I couldn’t stand, and the veggies on the main plate were all forms of squash, again prepared ‘correctly’, but due-to-personal-preference-still-inedible-to-me. ¬†The salad was tasty, and the soup left me wishing for a bigger bowl. ¬†The desert was just so-so in my book.

The performance numbers were entertaining, and made good use of  the space.    A fair number were aloft, many were at ground level.  It should go without saying, but obviously a musical performance based somewhat around the Ring cycle is going to have a bombastic, full-figured female singer involved, and they cast well their Broomhilde, who could certainly fill the room with sound, without needing to lean on the mic.  Thor was a very sexy sky-high-tall statue of muscles and long hair.

It is amusing how they integrate the change in course, with the musical numbers.

The biggest¬†disappointment¬†of the night was in how character-staff treated a single diner. ¬† Now, I’ve only been there once, but it sure seemed like at least 2, sometimes all, of the characters would visit with each table in the inner ring, and at least 1 person visited every table in the outer ring…except mine. ¬†Every character, and even the photographer, looked at me, and then moved on to chat with someone else. ¬†Add in the way they exhort the crowd twice, once to dance with someone from your table, and once to kiss someone at your table, and the whole night gets tinged with a bit of “why are you here, loser”.

I also noted that at least one of the major characters seemed to be having a really bad night, full on glowering, every time he wasn’t ‘in focus’, out of character with his character’s motivations during the scene.


Overall, I’d say the Can Can is a much better value for the money, and a much more enthusiastic show. ¬†The size of Teatro’s space allows for more impressive acrobatics, but at least for my tastes, the music, food, and people, are much more inviting down in the Market.

Not THAT quiet, surely

Friday, March 15th, 2013

I tried to order a cookie today, a little after-lunch desert as I walked back to work. ¬†For some reason, the woman behind the counter made me repeat my order literally 5 times. ¬†It was almost to the point where I was going to ask if she was having a medical emergency or something. ¬†I know I can be a little quiet sometimes, but she gave no indication that the issue was a lack of volume; it just seemed like she didn’t give a shit about paying attention to the world around her.

Impressively, the corporate feedback system has already responded once, for clarification, with the promise of a second call “soon” from the correct manager. ¬†I really don’t understand why, or what they hope to accomplish.

Morning after

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

I went out for dinner last night, a tasty goat cheese covered burger.¬† I got home, feeling fine, went to bed, and had to crawl to the bathroom, sweating and panting, to puke it all up.¬† Was so weak, I couldn’t even bring my head up to toilet level.

And yet, this morning, other than expect-able nausea while trying to clean up the rather fragrant goat-cheese infused vomit, I’m doing OK.¬† A little headache, but that’s unrelated, I think.¬† So, food poisoning?

Now, time to clean up a MySql DB that has grown to fill up all the local drive space, a whole different kind of sick making.

Can Can Halloween at the Triple Door

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Another holiday season starts off right, with the Seattle cabaret group, Can Can Castaways, and their yearly take on Nightmare Before Christmas, at the Triple Door. I knew it was coming up, but work has been crazy, and I didn’t get tickets until late in the game, so I ended up seated with little view of anything further back than the curtain line. The house was packed, and many people were in costume, though none of the staff.

The food is always tasty, though I could swear that they used to do a 9-flavor beef, not a 7-flavor beef. It is still tasty, just confuses me. Maybe my mind is conflating the 9-flavor beef (formerly) at Shallots. None of the pumpkin themed drinks were non-beer based, so I dunno how they turned out.

The show was awesome. They double up the Jack and Sally roles, presumably to concentrate singing and dancing talents separately. If there is any complaint, it’s that unlike their regular shows, 90% of the skin you’ll see if female. Usually, it seems like they try to split the skin closer to 70/30. I don’t expect 50/50, but I do wanna see Jack’s bones =p

With a live band, and a much larger stage (and cast), the show is bigger than a usual CC-show, but also a lot tamer. Maybe it’s just harder to get everyone as drunk and good-naturedly-yelling-along, in such a refined space, with so many more audience members.

Overall, I was happy, even if I didn’t get a chance to say hi to the cast.

Unrecognized lie?

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Yesterday, at dinner, as one bartender went off shift (lol, typo’d off-shirt), and the other came on, we were chatting, since I hadn’t seen 2nd’tender in a while. She asked if I was feeling better, and proceeded to tell a tale of how I had said I was sick for 1+ weeks with bronchitis, the last time we talked.

This confuses me, as I don’t remember this conversation, nor the illness it comments upon. I really haven’t been that sick since I moved into the new place, not in 6+ months at least. I mostly haven’t been coming into the bar because of the 3rd’tender (not present) who rubs me the wrong way, with the gay-rape-jokes, that and the fact that I made several months worth of meal-balls, and just don’t need to go out to eat right now.

I suppose it could have been a white-lie I told her to explain why I wasn’t around without bringing up 3rd’tender, but it doesn’t seem quite like a tale I’d tell. The bronchitis detail is what makes me think she’s thinking of someone else, I tend to be more general if I’m making stuff up =p

Interesting Walking

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Motorcycle course recap to follow, but in the meantime, the walk to dinner and back this evening.

3 people driving the wrong way on a one way street, 1 guy who smoked his tires from one light all the way to the next light, which stayed red a full 60 seconds after he got there, a bicyclist playing chicken with a bus, another driving the in the dark with her headlight pointed at her own front tire, some guy dumping a tub of water out his window, and what a first I thought was a cat, but turned out to be a raccoon.

The bartender at the Capitol Club was too busy counting his tips to serve me a drink, but it was so hot inside, it was just as well I left. The Pine Box, despite being basically a dead-zone, was almost as slow in service, but all the more worse because the bartender made eye contact, then went back to chatting with a friend, eventually moseying over to server a so-so drink and a menu lacking a single thing I wanted to eat. The Six Arms had a tasty burger though, made by a line cook with an awesome work style. Mostly a highly professional minimum of movement to accomplish a task kind of thing, but with an occasional flourish that was both functional and funky. And the food turned out right, quickly.