Seattle—misty and overcast, kind of the typical dreary morning people expect in Seattle. One quickly learns to appreciate sunshine when you can get it. I lived there for a few years and absolutely loved it. I didn’t want to leave, but returned to California to finish college. I was excited to get back to Seattle and see all my old stomping grounds.
Our first stop was Voula’s Offshore Café for breakfast. The place was packed and we had to wait nearly an hour. They had self-serve coffee out front, which was hot and satisfying. We got a good table and a good waitress. Unfortunately, Voula herself was not there that morning and we were really hoping to meet her.
It was quite a wait for our order to come, but it was worth it. I ordered the “Hobo” and Anna had the Piñata Eggs Benedict with smoked pork and chipotle hollandaise. Both dishes were fabulous and they served us enough hash browns for six people. As you can see from the pictures, all the food was perfectly cooked. The smoked pork is still some of the best we’ve had anywhere. We must have been there close to two hours, but we rolled out of there happy.
We had dinner with my brother and his wife at Southern Kitchen in Tacoma. Sadly, they were just getting ready to close and the food wasn’t their best. We did get to meet the owner, Gloria Martin, and she was very gracious. I sampled the fried chicken and Anna ordered the catfish. We sampled a few other goodies and Anna enjoyed a glass of the strawberry lemonade with whipped cream (what’s not to love about that?).
We took a ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island the next morning and had breakfast at the Big Star Diner. The place had changed hands several times, and the food was okay, nothing special.
The most anticipated spot in Seattle was Mike’s Chili Parlor. Again, we got to meet the owner, Phil Semandiris, and we enjoyed the chili. I was so excited, I forgot to take pictures. Mike’s happens to be one of the places that falls into the “Dive” category of the show, but it was intimate and the place had character. I liked the “Cash Only” sign in the window and the sandwich board out front. Mike came over to our table after we ordered and chatted with us for a few minutes. I asked him about the chili recipe and he asked what I ordered. Well, I blew my once in a lifetime chance to tell him I ordered the grilled cheese sandwich. If you haven’t seen the show, the grilled cheese is something like $45.00 (as a joke). You can tell that Phil is unflappable, and that would have got a laugh out of him. Actually I ordered the chili cheeseburger. Good stuff. I’ll be heading to Mike’s every time I make it to Seattle.
On our last night there, we went out to dinner at Slim’s Last Chance Chili Shack. My brother and I shot some pool over a few beers and we put away some food between the four of us. Slim’s was one of our first experiences of having a server who didn’t see the show, wasn’t a fan of the show and didn’t care to talk about it either. (Unfortunately, she would not be our last.) I liked the atmosphere. It was a big place with a long bar up the side and an open kitchen in the back . I wouldn’t call it a biker bar necessarily, but I’m sure bikers would feel welcome there. If I get a chance to go back, I’ll be looking forward to it.
I used to live in West Seattle, not too far from Slim’s. In an incredibly amazing coincidence, my little brother and I happened to live in the exact same apartment complex although it was about 15 years apart. It turns out that West Seattle is his and his wife’s favorite part of town too. We knocked around the old neighborhoods and down to Alki Beach. In true Seattle fashion, my little brother is rarely without a cup of coffee in his hands (unless he’s playing one of his guitars or riding his motorcycle). We didn’t grow up together, so it’s amazing how much we have in common. We joke that he got the talent, our other brother got the looks, and so that leaves me with the brains. Scary thought. I may have a brain, but the only thing I know for sure is that everything is better with bacon.
We used to travel to Seattle when I was a little boy and I thought the Space Needle was about the coolest thing I ever saw. I couldn’t wait to go up in it and look out. Besides all the great memories of my travels to Seattle, the special people I’ve spent time with there, and all the good times I’ve had, the Space Needle and I were built at the same time and debuted just a few days apart. I don’t know if I will ever move back to Seattle, but I know I will always enjoy visiting there. The Emerald City will always hold a special place in my heart. The abundance and diversity of great food there is just icing on the cake. I can’t wait to see what DDD comes up with on their next Seattle adventure. Whatever it is, I won’t be too far behind.
Next DDD destination: Portland, Oregon (DDD count: 14)