We’re not in Kansas any more Toto!
Yes, we’re in Washington State
Seattle, we were only there for two nights. So it was basically just a food and drink frenzy.
For anyone visiting, Pike Market is a must, I could easily have spent a couple of days there, moseying about the shops, where singing men juggle fish and there is a museum of giant shoes. Go one floor/street down and you’re suddenly in Gum Alley, a small street where the walls are covered in thousands of bits of chewing/bubble gum.
The only bar I had earmarked, before coming here, was The Pike and this turned out to be a crushing disappointment.
All the ambience of a TGIF.
We had lunch in ‘Steelhead’ which was really nice. Sat outside on a patio drinking blood orange beer and marvelling at the first salad Lesley ever failed to finish. Serenaded by a nearby minstrel who impressively melded ‘Sugar Sugar’ with ‘Waiting For My Man’. Inside was busy and, perhaps, a little too noisy from all the excitable chatter.
The world’s first Starbucks is here, so there’s always a big queue with some impressive buskers entertaining those standing in line. At night I enjoyed Jambalaya, Red Beans & Rice, Chicken Gumbo and a grilled Andouille sausage, all that sort of stuff, washed down with a Robert Johnson (which is a shot of Jack Daniels with a dash of hot sauce), not for the fainthearted.
This was in a juke joint, Highway 99 ,where our waiter had clearly spent hours modelling himself on Steve Martin’s The Jerk.
The band and in-between sets music however was great.
The Space Needle is everything you would expect. We travelled there by monorail, as you do, which costs a couple of bucks and the journey lasts mibbe four minutes tops. I pretended I was George Jetson (not for the first time). Having tried unsuccessfully for months to book the restaurant at the top of the needle, I was delighted when I called them on a whim that morning and got a cancellation at the last minute. That allowed us to swan past the already huge early queues (or lines as the locals refer to them as) waiting to ascend heavenwards in the small elevators.
That evening the ZigZag was where I had perhaps my favourite beer of the whole three week trip – a Dogfishhead Palo Santo Marron (12%) – Bejaysus this was wonderful stuff indeed. The accompanying oysters and jazz playing in the background had me making a mental note to seek this place out, should I ever return. They also do live music, but not on the evening we were there.
On our way home, we pulled into The Elysian (on 5th between Pike and Pine) for our second visit of the day. A very impressive selection of drinks and very friendly staff.
There’s some good jazz clubs to check out in Seattle, Dimitrios etc. however that particular weekend the band, Manhattan Transfer, were not up to the exacting Davidson standard.