Or at least where I ate when I was in Seattle and Portland a couple of weeks ago.
Right on Lake Union, this place is near to the hotel that Kurt and I often stay in when visiting Seattle. I’ll be honest, the décor, clientèle and overall vibe are not my cup of tea, but sometimes quality (and convenience) trumps all that. If you like seafood, their happy hour is to die for–the ceviche is some of the best I’ve ever had and the calamari, which all too often goes wrong, is delicious.
Feels like a punk rock dive bar that also serves Mexican. If I was 22 I would have been all over this place, though at 32 I still had a lot of fun. I had a beer, Kurt had the nachos, we were both satisfied.
Barrio Mexican Kitchen and Bar
Barrio was amazing. A little bit of a bougie vibe, but let’s not kid ourselves, Kurt and I are a little bit bougie. Whatever. The food was amazing, as was the service. I had a cazuela and ate until I thought I was going to explode and still left tons on my plate. Kurt had the Barrio Chopped Salad with chicken and it renewed my faith in restaurant salads and even restaurants themselves.
We met our friends Adam and Dana here for brunch, who had driven to Seattle from Vancouver (we took the Clipper ferry the day before). I had the french toast and knew I could die happy because it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted.
We stumbled upon this place totally by accident. We had tickets to see Hayes Carll at the Aladdin Theatre next door and were running behind just enough that we didn’t have time to explore the neighbourhood for a great restaurant. When we first sat down our expectations were low, but everything was great. My fish tacos were as good as any I’ve ever had and the other three raved about their burgers the whole weekend. Plus the service was the best of the entire trip.
Blue Star Donuts
I’m a Voo Doo Donuts fan, personally. Those honey cruellers. But on this trip I was outnumbered 3:1 by people who just weren’t willing to wait in line for an hour and a half for a donut. Fair enough. Blue Star had been recommended and it didn’t disappoint. We shared 5 donuts between the 4 of us and the clear winner was the old-fashioned buttermilk. Kurt says it’s the best donut he’s ever had in his life. Still bummed I didn’t get a crueller though.
My favourite part of the trip. After having a great lunch at some nearby food trucks we walked past this place and stopped to check it out. This is basically a beer store that also has a small bar with a few local brews on tap and some indoor seating. If you wanted a bottle or can you just added $1 to the price and you could enjoy inside, or out on the sidewalk where we chose to sit. Plus they had games! We spent an hour or two in the sun sipping our drinks and playing crib and euchre. It doesn’t get much better than that.
If you’re planning a trip to Portland and ask people where to go, this place will be suggested to you about a million times. And it should be, the food is great, the room is great, the service is great.
Thanks to my newly restored faith in salads, I ordered the cobb and I’m glad I did because it was so good. It was also so large that the four us could have split it and walked out the place satisfied. However, instead of sharing I greedily ate as much as my body could handle, only to regret it as I put on my bikini an hour later. Oh well. Tilt also had some incredible looking desserts that they would probably sell more of if their meals weren’t enough to feed a family of 6.
On our last night in town Dana and I wanted Mexican, and lucky for us this was the place we landed on. Word to the wise: lots of places are closed on Mondays, so check the website before you make the trip. Chips and guacamole, fish tacos, margaritas and an outdoor seat. Amazing.
Pine State Biscuits
I never really got the appeal of biscuits, but everyone I was travelling with wanted to stop here for breakfast on our way out of town. I had my fresh biscuit with strawberries and cream. Now I get the appeal. 100%.