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the worst place to find a restaurant


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Ahoy there fellow gulleters...Everyone knows I am hunting for my new place. I try every option to do feasibilty studies on various areas. I have been looking at various neighborhoods and I just see what the competition has or what the neighborhood needs. I have been trying to use citysearch and it is so ridiculous that 99% of the reviews are such obvious fakes. does anyone stand behind this sight??? If I went by the reviews for my study I would have a location in every neighborhood. Probably the reason I think e-gullet is tops. No baloney here except if it is in a thread concerning oscar meyer.

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Bum,

Whatever you do, stay away from any suggestions CitySearch may give you. The customer reviews are bunk (unless they are positive :biggrin: ) and the site itself is profit driven (duh). That said, Seattle is a tough place to find a new location. Look for a neighborhood you yourself want to hang in and go from there. That's my $600,000 worth of advice.

Carla

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For me, all of the excitement is in Ballard (accidentally hip) and Columbia City (trying a little hard to shake its image, but often succeeding).

Most overrated: Belltown; I've never been to a restaurant that was about the food there (yeah, I'm sure there are two exceptions.) They all focus on getting people drunk so they don't notice how mediocre the food is, which has always been the same strategy the chains employ, so why bother?. Capitol Hill; If it weren't The Stranger's outpost and heavily populated by aging hipsters, I'm not sure why most of these places would survive. Exceptions are mostly around 15th and 19th.

Things that are missing: clever, interesting, breakfast spots that move beyond the diner modality, especially in downtown Bellevue, Phinney Ridge, and, damn it, most of Seattle, for that matter. I never want to go out to breakfast because it's all so disappointing. I stick with Cafe Besalu or Essential because I can get decent pastry or bread, at least. Sometimes I'd like a truffled egg omelet that isn't overcooked, maybe. Or maybe something simple but unfamiliar, like Japanese-style or Chinese-style breakfasts, or something pushing the envelope.

Oh, and lunch. I like good sandwiches. I like a good Thai noodle dish. I like a little taco or burrito now and then. But can we do anything else? I know portability or slurpability is desirable, but I can't think of many Ladies Who Lunch venues around town. And there are more options for slurpability. I can't think of a soba shop or udon shop that just does that one thing very well. Neither can I think of anything that's in the $6-12 range comfort zone but not incredibly familiar as a "restaurant concept." Yawn.

Underserved generally, except by chains, no-budget teriyaki joints, and bland corporate concepts: Northgate, Shoreline, Magnolia, Beacon Hill, Georgetown, White Center. Beacon Hill has some serious average household income, in spite of low housing costs, so this continues to surprise me. The Central Area has some room for creative restauranting, and it's only inches from Madison Park. Georgetown is where all the artists are that haven't moved out of Capitol Hill or Fremont, but didn't want to go as far as White Center are; usually artist colonization is a precursor to better restaurant markets. Wait until a few moderately successful galleries open, maybe.

Room for more: As much as I like them, it seems to me if traffic at Cafe Lago is as steady as it seems, something else should open next door to them in Montlake. Why isn't there more nearby? And speaking of accidentally hip, Ballard needs at least one more decent dinner and drinks spot, because La Carta, Volterra, Thaiku, Sambar, and even Matador have no trouble packing people in, and I don't want to keep waiting in line. There are plenty of old-school diners that could be redecorated. Phinney Ridge: There's low-brow bar food, basic Chinese, upscale vegetarian, and one grazing spot. I think there's more room for tapas/small plates there, and maybe something with owner eccentricities that keep people guessing what will be there the next time they come.

Please, something else, please: Fremont. Something that's not a Thai restaurant. Please. Pioneer Square: Something that's not hamburgers and beer, pizza and beer, or gyros and beer, please. And something that's not just for tourists. Oh, that one may be too much to ask.

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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Stone Way could use more places to eat. There are condos and apartments being built here and there with a floor of retail, but so far it's just office space. Tutta Bella is coming soon at 44th & Stone Way, and I see a land use sign at 45th & Stone Way that says it too will be four floors of apartments on top of a floor of retail (and underground parking.

The old Safeway at 40th & Stone Way still lay empty (and dirty), but QFC owns it and they have no plans on developing it for 5 or 6 years (according to the manager at the QFC in Wallingford).

I think within the next ten years, Stone Way could be the next Ballard or Fremont (with the right development).style).

"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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Try finding somewhere to eat in the Georgetown area.

Belltown to me is always a few steps from the Market and always exciting. Two Bells, Shiros, breakfast at Macarima Bakery and all the food the comings and goings around 1st and Bell keep the neighborhood as one of the best to entertain guests.

This is all based on working at 1st and Bell for years, and then moving to Georgetown where you have to get in your car and head to W. Seattle or North to the International District for a decent lunch.

dave

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Call me crazy, but I think South Park is primed for a good non-Mexican restaurant. Many younger families are buying homes there and it's close to both Georgetown and West Seattle, as well as my neighborhood (Boulevard Park). There is a good retail strip and I'm guessing that rents are still reasonable.

(There's actually a building near my house that is just BEGGING to be a restaurant, but I'm not confident the area will support anything middle price range and up.)

Edited by tighe (log)

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Room for more: As much as I like them, it seems to me if traffic at Cafe Lago is as steady as it seems, something else should open next door to them in Montlake.

It would be AOK with me if something else opened in our hood. FYI and BTW, sorry, just found the site:

http://www.netlingo.com/

However, the lunch crowd in Montlake is slim at best. Unless it is a Husky game day. Which presents it's own problems. Drunk frat boys fighting in the street and peeing on Cafe Lago's building? good times...

1FAAF1,

Carla, the juvenile

ps. I think Stone Way is way cool. Just don't open a wood fired pizzeria there. :biggrin:

Edited by olivina (log)
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Wedgewood/Bryant is a restaurant desert.

Ditto north ballard/Crown hill.

If you're feeling all girly girl :wink: Seattle has a desperate need for a place that does a good Afternoon Tea on par with the Queen Mary, but without the terrible service/management and uber-price.

My top request would be for Russian/Eastern European food - that seems to be a big hole in the seattle spectrum.

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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Beacon Hill has some serious average household income, in spite of low housing costs, so this continues to surprise me.

AND, Beacon Hill will someday in the not-so-distant future also be the home of a Sound Transit station! What more could you ask for?

If you come to our little 'hood, though, would you also please open a sweet, small, dark, classy little bar to boost your margins and soothe our souls? Pretty please?

Richard W. Mockler

Seattle

I will, in fact, eat anything once.

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Try finding somewhere to eat  in the Georgetown area.

  Belltown to me is always a few steps from the Market and always exciting.  Two Bells, Shiros, breakfast at Macarima Bakery and all the food  the comings and goings around 1st and Bell keep the neighborhood as one of the best to entertain guests.

  This is all based on working at 1st and Bell for years, and then moving to Georgetown where you have to get in your car and head to W. Seattle or North to the International District for a decent lunch.

dave

If I worked closer to Georgetown, I'd be funneling my funds to Smarty Pants, Pig Iron BBQ, Two Tartes Bakery, Matt's Chili Dogs and occasionally, Stellar Pizza.

Kent, on the other hand, is a veritable culinary wasteland.

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Funny a guy actually approached me about Beacon Hill. My problem is that it is not ready yet. What would happen is I would run out of money and then it would pop. I would the be relegated to holding a cardboard sign begging for a cup of Plumpjack Wine and organic cheese.

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I actually looked at that space. My problem is that I have a 5 mile no compete clause and the new owners just will not let me open anything around them even though it would be absolutely different. But they have that option. I would never try to hurt their little bistro. Even though I do not own it I always want it to be around as long as they do. I think they feel I will take away their customers and to be honest I think it would not hurt them at all. There is a certain ethnic place that has been in Wallingford for 10 years which I wanted very badly but again it falls in that 5 mile zone. Too bad I had a great idea for that place. Call it passport and serve various cuisine from around the world each month like Impromptu does but on a bit grander scale. Impromptu is a really cool little joint. It has really refined itself since it opened.

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Wedgewood/Bryant is a restaurant desert.

Which is why I moved to Wallingford/Fremont.

(Stella's closed?)

I agree that Montlake could probably use another place, preferably one that's open for lunch. I work at the UW and would like an option other than the Ave or the Hub.

Where was your former restaurant? And is it 5 square miles with your former location ground zero, or five miles each direction from ground zero? In this town, five miles is a lot (you might have to look at Shoreline, then again I am a bad judge of distance).

Edited by elswinger (log)

"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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There is a certain ethnic place that has been in Wallingford for 10 years which I wanted very badly but again it falls in that 5 mile zone. Too bad I had a great idea for that place. Call it passport and serve various cuisine from around the world each month like Impromptu does but on a bit grander scale. Impromptu is a really cool little joint. It has really refined itself since it opened.

Hmm, Kabul? Never have eaten there. But there are many other ethnic places as well...

Passport - wasn't there a place by that name in Everett? And the rotating menu thing, Coastal Kitchen and the likes...

Now back in the day, there was a restaurant in Santa Cruz that visited a different country each day of the week, India Joes (?) was the name. Each day of the week featured one cuisine - Indian, Indonesian, Thai...

elswinger - Blue Onion is / was on Roosevelt, just south of Ravenna.

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My problem is that I have a 5 mile no compete clause
Wow, I just pulled up a map to get an idea of what a 5 mile radius would cut, and it's basically the entire city from Pioneer square up to about 175th or so.

you're talking south of the king-dome, shoreline or the east-side. That's harsh. I'd understand 1-2 miles, but 5 seems extreme...

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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I actually looked at that space. My problem is that I have a 5 mile no compete clause and the new owners just will not let me open anything around them even though it would be absolutely different.

I may not be a lawyer but I do know that such clauses are complete Bull. They are overturned in court on a regular basis. Unless there is some reason you need to keep these people as friends I would open up whatever you want, where you want. Restraint of trade is a serious issue and unless these people are covering all your bills you owe them nothing.

Living hard will take its toll...
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Given the hash that they've made of the ol' BOB, I don't think anyone would say that you are competing with them, in any sense of the word, unless you opened a radically similar place within a few blocks.

Edited to add:

I totally respect that you "would never try to hurt their little bistro" but you couldn't hurt them any more than they've already hurt themselves.

Edited by ScorchedPalate (log)

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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You caught me on the name. I stole it. They did not actually have the rotating menu thing at Passport. The people that had that place are really,really good. If anyone has not been to their bakery Pave in Everett I suggest you go next time you in that part of town. They do it right. Passport for them was a bit ahead of its time and of course in Everett.

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LOL...not Kabul. Without mentioning a name it is much closer to the theater in Wallingford. Whatever they decide is up to them and I respect that. They are doing new things over there. Before long people will forget about me there and start associating them with good stuff. They were newbies to this biz but they have learned by trial of fire and it only gets better. I was jealous they added a salsbury steak. I did not even think of that. I would like to stuff some foie gras in that steak and make a wild mushroom sauce. MMMMMM I am hungry. I do hope that wherever I go they don't make an issue of it because I do not want to be by the stadium unless I am watching a game and eating those awesome garlic fries.

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