Sunday, April 29, 2012

Seattle Recap

As I sit here, with my stinky cat, putting on stick-on nails and rocking velcro curlers, I really want to be back in Seattle. We got really lucky with insanely good weather, beyond delicious food, and lots of easy walking. Like Portland, I fell in love and vowed to move to the Pacific Northwest if the opportunity ever comes up (it never does).

We flew in after I got off work on Friday, so we checked in at The Max (reviewers are NOT kidding when they talk about small bathrooms) and immediately walked over to Capitol Hill to Knee High Stocking Company, where we had reservations. The neighborhood was ideal, with plenty of bars overflowing with young, beanied people. My people. Since I brought two beanies. We stopped by Taco Gringos, a little hole-in-the-wall with white people making tacos, for dinner.
lite brite sign!

Knee High Stocking Company, a "speakeasy," was suitably cozy and selective. We were given seats at the bar, and at one point some wander-inner tried to swoop Dom's seat. Our bartender asked him if he had a reservation ("no") and promptly yelled "we've got a sneaker-inner!!" Obviously, I smirked like an entitled asshole because I am an entitled asshole and thought to make a reservation. I honeslty can't remember all of my drinks, but I remember I started off with this really intense gin, stout, nutmeg combo I loved at first sip and had a really hard time finishing, and ended with a MOUNTAIN of crushed ice and some combo of gin and juice (laaaaaid back) that was great. The atmosphere was definitely more lively than the Wilson (they played punk music), which Dom appreciated. Call me old fashioned but I like when my speakeasys require hushed convos and a constant fear of embarrassment.

The next day I made Dom do all of the touristy things with me. We hit up Pike's Market (I love all of the flowers!), grabbed brunch at Cafe Campagne (I dare say over rated? I mean, my croque madame was good, but is it really a can't miss place?), and walked over to the Space Needle. Line was a breeze! Like every national monument, I spent about 10 minutes at it and got bored, and did the obligatory stop by the rotating restaurant, which made me super dizzy. Pro tip: use the bathroom down there to skip the lines.

One of my favorite stops was the Experience Music Project, mainly because they had a really interesting special exhibit on horror films. I could have spent our entire visit there. The exhibit featured commentary by Eli Roth and a few other horror masters, and different rooms where you could watch brief snippits of renowned horror movies. I loved it. Loved loved loved it. Stop by before it leaves. I insist. I also breezed through the special Nirvana exhibit and played words with friends on my phone for a while waiting for Dom to finish.

Since non of the breweries were open on Sunday, we rushed over to Epic Ales to make sure we got in before they closed. Tucked away in a building with a "for lease" sign, Epic Ales is hidden at the top of a staircase, which also takes you past a window that gives you a glimpse of an abandoned building littered with old neon signs and a couple of weird figurines. It was really random and reeeeeally cool. Epic Ales was beyond awesome. They cook up food meant to pair with their beers, and we tried a fava and pork belly dish paired with an oyster stout. It was delicious. Do not miss Epic Ales. They plan to open a small brew pub where they can do more food and beer pairings, and I cannot wait to get back there to check it out. Their chef also highly recommended Elemental at Gasworks, which is where we ended up grabbing dinner.

Not wanting to keep the guys at Epic waiting, we finished up, bought two beers (named "desert' and "forest") and walked down the street a few blocks to Schooner Brewing. Definitely a more established brewery, it reminded me of Ale Industries in that it was hidden in a nondescript industrial corner of Seattle. I got the taster, which I suppose I should call the beginning to my demise, since I guess the alky content was high. The sampler reiterated the fact that I don't like banana Hefs, but they had a great Belgian brew I got a glass of. At that point we figured we'd just kill time until dinner at Elemental. A long walk, an attempt to catch a bus, a realization we were NOT in a good neighborhood, a cab ride, and we were at Elemental.

How Elemental works is that there are two (?) seating, and basically you try not to piss off the owner. Everything I heard about the place terrified me. I've heard that the owner has kicked people out, verbally abused them, etc. So Dom and I went in there expecting to say yes to everything. Unfortunately, we missed the first seating, so we split a bottle of wine at Elemental Next Door while we enjoyed the spicy goat cheese salsa. The bottle of wine was a bad idea. On top of the beer. and the beer at Experience Music Project. and my bloody Mary at brunch. We got seated way faster than we expected, the food was fantastic, and we said yes to everything. As far as I'm concerned, the owner was perfectly nice, if not chatty, and I was a huge fan of everything I tried. But after a Manhattan and more wine, I would have liked anything. We did not make it out that night.

The next day was brunch at Tilikum (which I preferred to Campagne), espresso's from Macrina, and Safeco field, which is genius because in Washington they have those roving vendors who SELL BEER. Why does California not have this? You could literally never get out of your seat if you had a bladder of steel. The Mariners also trust their fans enough to have a bar underneath the bleachers, which is close enough to the dug out that you could peg a pitcher while he was warming up. Or something like that. I don't understand baseball, but I do understand trust and I can only assume the Mariners fans were a behaved bunch. Pro tip: get the garlic fries. I sweated garlic for an entire day afterwards, but so worth it.

Stopped by Zig Zag Cafe right at opening for a cocktail. Wish we could have stayed longer since our bartender was clearly a profesh and also was a fox. I was determined to make Dom admit the dude was a fox. He apparently did NOT like Elemental, mainly because he had been yelled at by the owner. I have no clue what Dom and I did right.

We had dinner at Poppy, which serves meals thali style, meaning you get multiple small plates on one large dish as your entree. Some were hits, some were misses, there were some SERIOUS service bumps, but our poor server honestly felt worse than we did. We were exhausted. Well, I was exhausted. We mustered up enough energy to go back to the area around Knee High to pop into Montana (a Montana-themed bar), have a drink, take a few photos in their photobooth, and head home and pass the fuck out before our 4am wakeup call for our flight.

And so ends my boring saga about Seattle. It was an amazing trip, and I'm so happy I finally got to visit after idolizing the city for so long. Seriously. My mom likes to remind me how I said I wanted to go to school in Seattle and ended up in Santa Barbara. I still feel like I wouldn't have been bad off in Seattle. There are so many exceptional places to eat, I can't wait to go back for one of the weird events the boys at Epic Ales were talking about, to try a Tom Douglas joint, and to redeem myself at Elemental. Even though I don't think the owner even cared I took a nap in my seat.

No comments:

Post a Comment