weekend recap: seattle
17 November 2009, 2:16 pm
Filed under: eating, traveling, weekending | Tags: , , ,

This 3-day weekend was full of a (early birthday?) trip to Seattle. On the Boston-to-LA road trip, we decided to skip Seattle altogether and ‘focus’ on Portland since we were running out of time, and I think we made the right decision. We were lucky to have some great recommendations from my friend Kate, who (unfortunately) recently moved back east after living there for a year or so. It turned out to be a weekend full of coffee, good eats, cozy bookstores, and a lot of walking/exploring. What a fantastic city!


  • had an early flight from lax -> seattle (we were also able to give nathan a lift for his flight to nyc, hooray “carpooling”)
  • got to rainy, cloudy seattle. bundled up and took the light rail most of the way from the airport. right now there is a shuttle bus to the second light rail station, since the last leg is opening in december.
  • checked into our hotel in belltown early. great view, great price. props to hotels.com- i’ve never used them before but it really worked out.
  • stopped into the seattle glassblowing studio en route to brunch. my grandpa was a glassblower, so I am always fascinated by it. i’ve blown glass before at the corning glass museum, the great thing about this place was that the public could actually walk into the studio to see live glassblowing. the only thing that got us out of there was the fact that we were starving!
  • brunch at cj’s, a neighborhood cafe (choke on not getting the swedish pancakes, but the hashbrowns were delicious too).
  • walked up to seattle center to see the space needle and the experience music project. hung out for a bit at international fountain. it’s really too bad that the sonics moved, because key arena is in a great location. after deciding going up in the space needle was not a necessity, we decided to go into the emp/sfm (sci fi museum). emp had an amazing collection of ‘famous’ guitars- the history of the guitar room alone was incredible.
  • swung by the crocodile cafe to see if there happened to be a show we could get tickets to, but no luck.
  • dinner at the very highly regarded shiro’s sushi. there was a wait, of course, so we had a drink at nearby sports bar while we waited for a table. at shiro’s, we ended up with a seat at the bar, which was great because of the energetic vibe, with a front row seat to chef shiro himself. we ordered oysters (a pnw must) and also tried sauteed geoduck, which was absolutely delicious.
  • after that, we were pretty beat, but still wanted to do something low key, so we got tickets for zombieland at the cinerama across from our hotel (sister theater by the architect of the cinerama in hollywood). hilarious movie.


  • started the morning with a mocha at monorail espresso. this hole-in-the-wall joint is beloved on yelp, and I can see why. plus, the little old guy who owns it with his huge sweater, accent, and anti-republican stickers is just toooo cute.
  • pike place market, where we saw some fish tossing, sampled some smoked salmon, and bought some amazing apple butter (which I later lost at the airport… doh!). I oogled over a store that sold beautiful marimekko fabrics (which you amazingly can’t get in LA), and found an amazing map store that george had to drag me out of…
  • had a bite to eat at piroshky piroshky, a russian bakery with, well, piroshky- “stuffed pies,” both sweet and savory (we got the last smoked salmon pate piroshky, along with a more traditional potato, onion and cheese). oh so delicious.
  • snapped a photo of the first starbucks, then followed up our piroshky with some clam chowder at pike place chowder. definitely rivaled new england clam chowder, and the weather was perfect for it…
  • wandered into the seattle art museum, then down to the seattle public library (where I totally took a nap!) It was much bigger than I expected, and I loved the building. saw city hall (a bohlin cywinski jackson building) on the way to pioneer square, qwest field, and other cool waterfront industrial buildings.
  • more oogling at peter miller books, an architecture bookstore just north of pike place, then we warmed up, relaxed, and read the paper at stella’s coffeeshop, a great local joint.
  • sampled some handmade cheese at beecher’s before dinner at etta’s, one of tom douglas’ six restaurants in seattle. we had crabcakes and more oysters as an appetizer, then I ordered the signature salmon dish (a little dry, but still good), while george had super yummy cioppino. for dessert, george couldn’t pass up the coconut creme pie (I’m not a fan), so I got creme brulee and snickerdoodle cookies.
  • although we were stuffed, we wanted to have a few cocktails at zig zag cafe, a super chill, unpretentious place on the hill climb behind the market that came highly recommended.


  • watched a little of the steelers game and read the sunday paper in bed before working up enough motivation to go out in the rainy weather (up until now the rain held out!)
  • walked to the water and did the alaskan way harbor walk. got some pike place roast at starbucks (thought it was about time I tried it!)
  • took the ferry to bainbridge island, where we had brunch at big star diner (which george somehow remembered was featured on diners, drive ins, and dives on the food network, hehe). despite the fact that it was chilly and rainy outside we couldn’t resist getting some milkshakes.
  • hung out in the local bookstore, oogled at real estate for the island (decided we could absolutely live there, haha), and headed back to the ferry.
  • one last stop at olympic sculpture park- saw the “red sculpture thing” by alexander calder (which I learned was called “eagle”) and a richard serra- before heading back to the hotel to grab our bags and go to the airport.

Wow, we managed to do a lot… I just started typing and kept going! Unfortunately, we didn’t get to catch up with my old college roommate, or a friend from high school who lives in WA, either, but maybe on a future trip. I would have liked to take advantage of the hotel pool/jacuzzi and had a pizza at Delancey, but that’s okay. In a future PNW (Vancouver?!) trip, I’d love to see the Boeing factory, see Mt. Rainier, and visit some more Seattle neighborhoods. Until then, I’m going to cross it off the list!

Stay tuned for photos…


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

sounds fun!
isn’t it funny how vacations end up to be so much about eating? :)

Comment by shana

i know! after i wrote this i thought, wow, no wonder i didn’t feel so hot when we got home on sunday ;)

Comment by fiveftfour

hehe well sounds like you ate some fabulous food, even if it was a lot of it ;) and you definitely got to see more of seattle than i did – the 10 or so hours i was there was not even close to being enough.

Comment by katie

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