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Gone, but not forgotten.


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I've only been in Seattle for a few years, so I wanted other people's take on this.

We've got a thread on restaurant openings and closings, which started me thinking about longer-term trends in the area. What used to be around that you really miss? Restaurants, vendors, whatever. Places come and go -- it's just the way of things -- but what do you wish were still around?

I'll start. I wish the Blue Onion Bistro were still around in its original incarnation. That was some darn good comfort food.

Others?

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I've only been in Seattle for a few years, so I wanted other people's take on this.

We've got a thread on restaurant openings and closings, which started me thinking about longer-term trends in the area. What used to be around that you really miss? Restaurants, vendors, whatever. Places come and go -- it's just the way of things -- but what do you wish were still around?

I'll start. I wish the Blue Onion Bistro were still around in its original incarnation. That was some darn good comfort food.

Others?

There used to be a New Orleans creole-style restaurant in the international district (it later moved to First Avenue, just north of the stadiums area). The folks who ran it cared about food and regular customers, not about decor or attracting new diners. The food was delicious, and cooked in small amounts so if you arrived late you were told what was left and you made your choice from that. No problem...everything was so tasty you couldn't go wrong. There's a good bit of Cajun/Creole/New Orleans food around--my current favorite is up in Everett--but it's either mediocre or pricey. This was cheap and delicious. Can't remember the name, but I'm hoping someone else can. Sure miss it.

Editor of Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner, a Take Control series ebook.

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The Arrowhead Cafe. Used to be on Westlake, probably where Pasta Freska is now (looking on a map right now). It was in this arrowhead shaped building, with a single table at the front, and progressively getting more adjacent tables as you headed to the rear.

Food was pretty good, although it probably is clouded by the last 10-12 years since it closed, and it was all decently priced. I remember having great chili, marguaritas, and their infamous Fire Starter appetizer (roast a habanero and serve with fry bread, goat cheese, lime wedges and salt -- the serving staff said do not let it touch your lips on the way in or you might blister!).

Anyone remember this place?

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I can't believe I've lived in Seattle for 15 years. It doesn't seem like that long. here's a short list of my favorite places places that have folded since I've been here.

Abruzzi's Pizza

Rocket Pizza

Testa Rosa

AJ's Deli on First Hill

Capon Rotiseree

The Green Cat

Ezell's in the U-District

Dairy Queen on Broadway

The Dog House

Cafe Paradiso

Moe's

Sit and Spin

RCKCNDY (not for the food but I saw some ggod shows there)

"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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Just a few of the places that I miss are:

The Unicorn

It was in the U-District across from Costas. A bit of a hole-in-the wall sort of joint that served english "pub food". Pasties Peas and Chips, Steak and Kidney Pie, Shepards Pie, Toad in the Hole, and of course Guiness... at least until Angus (the owner) go so fed up with the quality of Guiness that we were getting sent here in the states that he berated customers who ordered it :->

Piccolo's Pizza

Across from Dante's in the U-District. In my mind, this was hands-down the BEST pizza in the city. It was fairly non-traditional. There was one which was white-sauce with onions and steak. Another which was a vegetarian "monster" pizza, and some other odd-balls. I've still got one of their menu's taped up on one of my kitchen cupboard doors.

Henry's Off Broadway

One of the things I liked here, was that they had a great bar which (as I recall) served some pretty good drinks. Also, when seated at the bar you got a good show from the saute station.

Davil's

I think I spelled this wrong... oh well... It was a French Restaurant up by Seattle Central Community College, which I thought was absolutely fabulous. One of the things I distinctly remember was that they almost always had Escargot on the menu, but I don't think I ever saw it served in the traditional garlic/butter sauce. Instead they had a variety of other exceedingly yummy sauces that they would use.

Glendenning's

North Aurora, near the Doce's Antique Mall, it's now some little sports bar. This was what I refer to as a "gourmet shor-order" restaurant. One of those somewhat standard "breakfast diners", but almost everything on the menu was just a "notch up" from what you might expect, and very well done... unfortunately Jerry Glendenning (the owner) apparently ran into some tax problems and such, and they shut it down.

More recently...

Stars

At the top of Pacific Place shopping mall in downtown Seattle. I'm not sure if I ever actually ate in the restaurant proper, but I hung out at the bar A LOT. It was fabulous, with a great selection of well crafted drinks, and bartenders who honestly appeared to be interested in making their drinks right. I still keep in touch with several of the bartenders I got to know from here.

Hop Scotch

A wonderful little resturant up on 15th, which had a fabulous selection of Scotches. They unfortunately ran into some "partner" problems, which ended up taking the business down.

Cassis

:-< :-< ... Nuff Said.

And I'm sure there have been others if I take a little longer to think about it.

-Robert

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There used to be a New Orleans creole-style restaurant in the international district (it later moved to First Avenue, just north of the stadiums area).

Franglor's. I remember it well. The BEST red beans and rice.

Born Free, Now Expensive

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The Dairy Queen became Burger King became Noodle Studio.

I hadn't heard Hopscotch closed.

Is Piccolo's Pizza now the Calzone King? I remember visiting Seattle in 1982 to see The Who at the Kingdome and I remember eating at a pizza place up the road from Peaches Records (now Petco on 45th) that served a pizza called "The White Whale" which was the first time I had shrimp on a pizza.

Though not in Seattle, I'd like to add I miss Farrells in the Tacoma Mall (I loved their BBQ Roast Beef sandwiches), The Sweete Shoppe at the South Sound Center in Lacey, Shakey's Pizza in Olympia, and Luigi's Pizza in Lacey (closed about 30 years ago).

"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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Grapes Wine Bar in Ballard. Interesting selection of wines by the glass, simple but fantastic food - they cared about their cheese, and always served it in impeccable condition. Gone now, so very sad...

:sad:

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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We fondly remember Bella Luna at about 142nd and Greenwood. It was a little neighborhood Italian place that never failed to please when it came to nice pasta dishes and ambiance. Lots of graphics on the walls depicting the moon in all its romantic glory (bella luna, get it?). At the same site now is another good place, Saltoro, that features French bistro food with a touch of the gourmet, yet with a neighborhood ambiance and prices. Good but not the same.

Sacred cows make the best hamburger.

- Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

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:sad: I miss Buongusto's on Queen Anne. Mostly for sentimental reasons--I used to go there for special occasions with my hubby(who was my boyfriend at the time) when I lived on Queen Anne. I loved the feel of the place--quiet and romantic and close to home.
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Grapes Wine Bar in Ballard.

At least Portalis is there to take its place. If you haven't been yet, do. The have a great space and the people/wine/food are fantastic.

Edited by LEdlund (log)

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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I miss Cool Hand Luke's in Madrona one of the friendly comfortable places to go and get very good food and service. When I lived over there I was in at least once a week. Just thinking about makes me want an Imperial Mixup.

Fishshooter

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I was quite fond of Bombore on the Harbor Steps downtown. It was run by a fairly creative Japanese guy who created usually successful fusion dishes. Not everything was a winner, but some simple fusions like his hijiki polenta with a miso bechamel sauce were fantastic. The only time I found that things fell flat was when he went too far into the school of towers and layers of incongruous ingredients.

I still steal a few of his ideas from time to time.

Unfortunately he probably suffered the syndrome of being in and out of fashion during the dot com bubble. I recall the restaurant sometimes being really incredibly full (circa 1996 and 1997) and then sometimes shockingly quite empty, maybe around 1998 or 1999.

Fusion foods as a "restaurant concept" got into the head of a few too many interior designers and not enough people who really cared about their ingredients, and it's since mostly been a brutal cycle of briefly trendy restaurants that subsequently lose their grip, usually due to too many dishes featuring too many terribly unrelated ingredients.

Eventually the restaurant was replaced by an unremarkable Portland-based chain Japanese restaurant where had the worst okonomiyaki of my entire life, my friend had a remarkably oversauced donburimono, and we shared some of the most haphazardly cut sushi outside of a home dinner party.

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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In the late '70s the Kissel's had the Brasserie Pittsborugh (sp) in the basement of one of the buildings on Pioneer Square, I think it was the building that Underground Tours are run out of.

It was really something for Seattle. It first see the marble floors and tables with butcher paper on as you came in on wintery days like we are having now.

And the food.... I think it was the first time I experienced the combination of salmon, tomatoes and tarragon. It was - hands down - the best food experience in Seattle.

Great place. Don't remember what happened, perhaps they lost there lease, anyhow they moved to the Market and Maxmilliens.

A little later Francois' brother opened a bistro called The Left Bank on 2nd in Belltown. We had a business at the time where the Flying Fish is now located and used to run up for a great lunch each day.

I miss the Kissel's and there major parts in what used to be a great Bastile Day festival in Seattle.

dave

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I miss the Raison D'Etre cafe that was on Virginia around the corner from First. Not sure when it closed but I was a regular around 1982. My old self absorbed, brooding goth days...Raison was the perfect setting. It had to be the first place in town to serve "edible flowers". Remember how cool that seemed? :biggrin:

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Fusion foods as a "restaurant concept" got into the head of a few too many interior designers and not enough people who really cared about their ingredients, and it's since mostly been a brutal cycle of briefly trendy restaurants that subsequently lose their grip, usually due to too many dishes featuring too many terribly unrelated ingredients.

Eventually the restaurant was replaced by an unremarkable Portland-based chain Japanese restaurant where had the worst okonomiyaki of my entire life, my friend had a remarkably oversauced donburimono, and we shared some of the most haphazardly cut sushi outside of a home dinner party.

Is this the Japanese place that's there now?

The fusion thing is interesting, and it's part of what caused me to ask the initial question (and the reflections on Seattle food history are interesting too!). My theory is that the places that endure are those places that either don't buy into trends and just serve good, classically prepared food or the places that are really good at keeping a finger on the pulse of trend and rolling with the punches. And I bet more of the former endure than the latter.

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We fondly remember Bella Luna at about 142nd and Greenwood. It was a little neighborhood Italian place that never failed to please when it came to nice pasta dishes and ambiance. Lots of graphics on the walls depicting the moon in all its romantic glory (bella luna, get it?). At the same site now is another good place, Saltoro, that features French bistro food with a touch of the gourmet, yet with a neighborhood ambiance and prices. Good but not the same.

You should get to Pienza in Italy (if you haven't been already) - every other business is "something Luna". I'm not sure why, but I found that enchanting.

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I miss the Raison D'Etre cafe that was on Virginia around the corner from First. Not sure when it closed but I was a regular around 1982. My old self absorbed, brooding goth days...Raison was the perfect setting. It had to be the first place in town to serve "edible flowers". Remember how cool that seemed? :biggrin:

Me too! It was still open in 1989 (a memorable brunch) and some amount of time after that. Turned into a Gravity Bar, then El Nino, soon to be Porta.

Also, Cafe Counter Intelligence, though I'd happily sell it's soul for the replacement - Matt's in the Market, especially since the food is so much better.

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I miss Rattler's Grill on Eastlake (where Azteca is now). Not everything was good there, but they made these chewy, stretchy tortillas right up front where everyone could see them. They served them with tomatillo salsa and orange butter. Yum.

The party girl in me misses Tlaquepaque which was under the Alaskan Street viaduct just off Pioneer Square. Before they had a limit on the tequila poppers (tequila mixed with ginger ale which you covered with the palm of your hand, slammed on the bar then drank as a shot) you could have. Arriba, Arriba!

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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You should get to Pienza in Italy (if you haven't been already) - every other business is "something Luna". I'm not sure why, but I found that enchanting.

I would love to go to Italy, if the droopy dollar ever recovers.

Sacred cows make the best hamburger.

- Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

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Also, Cafe Counter Intelligence, though I'd happily sell it's soul for the replacement - Matt's in the Market, especially since the food is so much better.

Oh yeah, Cafe Counter Intelligence has fond romantic memories for me as well. I am so glad that Matts' has inherited the good restaurant karma that that the CCI left.

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I miss Rattler's Grill on Eastlake (where Azteca is now). Not everything was good there, but they made these chewy, stretchy tortillas right up front where everyone could see them. They served them with tomatillo salsa and orange butter. Yum.

Right there with ya on Rattler's tortillas. I loved their pumpkin soup, too. Luckily, I asked what was in it before they closed, and I can put together a pretty close approximation when the mood strikes.

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I forgot about Rattler's Grill. It seems like a lot of places have come and gone on Eastlake. I liked that big Japanese place, who's name escapes me, and I liked Bridges before it wen't through all the changes. The menu just keeps getting smaller and the food gets blander, but they still have a great view.

"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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Grapes Wine Bar in Ballard.

At least Portalis is there to take its place. If you haven't been yet, do. The have a great space and the people/wine/food are fantastic.

It's nice, but it's just not the same...

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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