It pays to have friends in high places. My dear dear friend, Sarah J recently gave this tiny 'ol blog a shout out in the Seattlest's Countdown to 2011: Top 10 Best Local Baking Resources in Seattle. Hey, thanks girlfriend! I may not actually be the best and I most certainly am no longer local, but cooking knows no borders...or something.
I love Seattle. I enjoyed every minute of my 4 years there at U-Dub. The rain didn't really get me down, I enjoyed the granola-ness of the city and I made some amazing friends and memories. What I didn't make while I was in college, was food. I was going to share some pictures of food I made in college, but I don't have a single one. I may have once baked a cake, but it was probably store bought. Cooking for me in college meant heating up Mini Beef Tacos from Trader Joe's and spooning on cheese and salsa verde. For the Oscars and Super Bowl, my roommates and I would each make something totally unhealthy, but totally delicious...but that was twice a year at most. They were called Gluttonfests by the way. The only time I ate well was when my money bags sister came into town. Ahhh, those were the days.
But this doesn't mean that I don't know a thing or two about good food in Seattle. So, in honor of Seattle and Sarah J, here is my Top 10 Best Restaurants in Seattle (according to college me and in no particular order):
10a. Gorditos: Gorditos in Greenwood was, for awhile, a once a week trip for me and my friends. The burritos are delicious and according to them, healthy. This probably does not apply to the Grande, which is marketed as a "a burrito the size of a baby". They used to run ads in the college paper of someone holding a baby up next to a Grande. They were right, it was indeed the size of a baby. The Grande is delicious and for college students, a very good deal, as it will feed you for at least 2 days. I only know 1 person to eat one in one sitting and it wasn't pretty. I miss the food. I do not miss the parking lot.
10b. Mango Chicken Curry from Cedars: I do believe that this was my first food obsession upon moving to Seattle. When people came to visit, I always took them to Cedars and I always ordered the Mango Curry with a Mango Lassi. Mango overload? I think not. Oddly enough, I lived down the street from Cedars senior year and never once ate there. Stupid me.
9. Pink Frosting Cookies from the Haggett Hall Cafeteria and the HUB: What happens when you give a 17-year old a plastic card pre-loaded with $800 to be spent solely on food for 10-weeks? A whole lot of unhealthiness. The food in the cafeteria got old, quick but the pink frosting cookies never did. They were rare, either because they sold out or weren't an everyday item, which probably made them even more delicious in my mind. I had to cut back on my cookie consumption when I learned that UW gave you the leftover cash on your Husky card at the end of the quarter. I used that leftover money to buy some shoes. Smart me.
8. Sourdough Jacks, Oreo Milkshakes and the 2 Tacos for 99 cents Deal at Jack and Box: Don't judge. I am not at all embarrassed to tell you that I love Jack in the Box. When I moved to New York, I used to talk my coworkers' ears off about how great it was/is. Being a college student, I frequented the Jack in the Box on the Ave quite a bit. I have a special place in my heart for that location because it is where I first met Sarah J! Sort of. Actually, I think what happened was that I was at a party and decided to do a Jack run and then while waiting to order in the drive through, I mentioned that I wish they served breakfast at night. Then a strange voice from heaven (or the backseat of car) told me that they did. I responded with "Shut up. I will punch you in the face." And then we became friends. They do in fact serve breakfast all day, but I never punched Sarah in the face. She's got one comin'.
7. Spumoni at The Old Spagetti Factory: Another place that is more sentimental than quality grubbin'. Once a month for about 3 1/2 years, my 2 good friends and I would go out to dinner at The Old Spagetti Factory downtown and caught up on the latest gossip. When I think of college, this is one of the things I miss most. Sitting in a replica train car in the middle of an Italian restaurant talking about how your roommate sucks and who's hooking up with who and who else was pissed about it.
6. Burger Master: Most people at UW will tell you that Dick's is the best burger in town. Dick's is fine, but Burger Master is really where it's at. Juicy and messy with a delicious thousand island sauce. I'd like to give an honorable mention to the Whiskey River BBQ burger at Red Robin's.
5. Plain + Cinnamon Sugar Donuts from Daily Dozen in Pike's Place: I LOVE PIKES PLACE MARKET. I love it. The smell of the water, the bearded hot flying fish dudes, those weird fruit logs everyone sells, cheap flowers and of course, Daily Dozen. I just learned 30 seconds ago that this place is called Daily Dozen. I always called it "the donut place in Pike's Place Market" but people always know what you're talking about. Piping hot and fresh mini-donuts in a brown paper bag. I don't have anything clever to say about them - they're just very tasty.
4. Cedar Plank Sockeye Salmon and Chocolate Molten Cake from Cutters Bayhouse: Hey look! A fancy restaurant! My sister and I love Cutters. I made reservations here every time she came to town. We loved it so much that I had my family graduation dinner here. We are most likely not welcome back as someone got overly ambitious with his drinks throughout the night. I'm not naming names.
(It was my dad.)
3. The Firecracker from Tubs and Subs: Ahhh, Tubs and Subs. Not to be confused with S.U.B.S (another sandwich shop) on the Ave or Tubs (a rent by the hour jacuzzi/sex hut), just off the Ave. Since I had a car, I was able to discover the delicious subs at Tubs in Lake City. I love just about any sandwich that comes with a dipping sauce, which makes the Firecracker a natural favorite of mine. It comes with a side of warm BBQ sauce and apparently, people like it so much that there's a picture of it on the internet. Kind of creepy location, but totally worth it.
2. Thai Tom: Hot, fresh and spicy. Anything you get here is delicious, but be careful with their 5 star spice ratings - they mean business.
1. Soy Chai Steel Cut Oatmeal from Portage Bay Cafe: Thank you Seattle, for introducing me to brunch. I may have really developed my brunching skills after college in San Francisco, but Seattle, you really set the bar high with Portage Bay Cafe. Everything on their menu is good but I have never had anything more addicting than the Soy Chai Oatmeal. The first time I had it, I ate my friend's leftovers after polishing off my eggs benedict. I just couldn't stop spooning it into my mouth. I'm sure she really appreciated that.