Saturday, October 9, 2010

Seattle: The Good

OK, I've been back for over a week and it's time to wrap this chapter up:

In the University District is little place called A Taste of Chicago. He advertises Chicago sports teams, and the presence of, most importantly to me, televised Bears games. That's where I was Monday night, only to find his A/V equipment is limited to a 20" analog sitting on a shelf behind the bar counter.
To be fair to the guy, who I spent a few minutes talking to, he hasn't been open very long, but by this time next year he plans on having several wide screens mounted on the walls, and intends to be the headquarters of Chicago sports fans in Seattle. He's also still trying to find a distributor to supply him with Old Style beer.

So seeing the game at his place turned into a bust, but while there I ordered a Chicago Beef sandwich. I've had them outside of Chicago before, and they almost always suck. This one is a major exception. He serves an authentic Chicago Beef. The real thing. I swear it.
Next time I visit, this place is a must stop.

As sports bars go, the Rat and Raven across the street has the equipment, wasn't too interested in turning it on, and drew very few spectators anyway. The bartender didn't seem all that interested in serving any beer, either. Makes me wonder why they bother at all, but at least I got to watch the Bears allow the Packers to beat themselves.

Overall, despite my complaints about the crowded streets, getting around town isn't that difficult. Highway traffic moves at a reasonable pace, and the exits are numbered. As long as you know your exit, you can't get lost. Rush hour isn't 1/10th of what I endure everyday living SoCal. Drivers don't go slow, but are not nearly as aggressive as I'm used to. This gave me an edge over them, much like my experience in the Twin Cities.

One final highlight: Samarai Ramen. Brian, check them out. The Tonkotsu is pretty good. They have a location in the U District, and another one downtown around the corner, but in the same building, as the large Asian market. The downtown location is very small, but I liked the atmosphere.

Next time, I'll have to spend more eating my way through Seattle, and less time looking for parking.
They offer a variety of broths, and maybe four or five different noodles.


Jade said...

Your story reminds me of the first time we drove I-5 from Santa Cruz up to Portland... driving through Shasta seemed endless because there were no mile markers. (My theory is, that's where they lyric "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave" came from - you never know how far you are from the boarder)

I love our numbered exits and mile markers up here - they keep me sane when I have to drive to unknown territories.

I tend to treat destinations in Seattle the same way I treated destinations in San Francisco... my directions bring me to the nearest parking garage, not the venue itself.

Brian said...

Yeah, M eats at Samurai in the UD all the time. She brought me leftovers once and they were really good. Definitely plan to get there in the near future.

Gino said...

brian: i left out Salumi. bad,bad me.
you need to go there.

RW said...

Why do you build a Chicago bar in Seattle? Old Style isn't anything special, I was born and raised there and I still don't see what's so special about deep dish pizza. And if somebody came to my town to make a Seattle-style bar we'd all be scratching our heads.

I don't get that at all.

If ever I'm in Seattle I'd want to do Seattle stuff. It's like the great hot dog argument between Chicago and New York... dude - they're two different animals. What's to compare? They're both best in their home town. Why go to New York and have a Chicago-style hot dog?? That would be stupid.

Buy, am i ever MAD!!! :-)

Brian said...

Chicago is a place where people are from. Other examples: Pittsburgh, Philly, New York, New Orleans. Old cities with long traditions (and perennially good NFL teams.) You'll find bars and restaurants everywhere with themes based around those places.

Then there are places where people go, like Atlanta, Charlotte, San Diego, Phoenix. Very little sense of place and (usually) shitty NFL teams.

I point this out as someone who is from Atlanta myself, and consider Chicago one of only about two places I haven't lived yet that I would still really like to. It's not a perfect model, obviously.)

Seattle is actually kind of in the middle, but probably more like the latter, if I'm being honest.

The hot dogs here are served with cream cheese and grilled onions. Nothing special, but they soak the beer pretty well in a pinch.

Gino said...

why? because when you want a chicago beef, you cant find one on the streets of So Cal, but if special place opens up then you can get it.

old style isnt that great of a beer in itself.
but its a traditional watered down quench (that i happen to like,anyway.) so holds a special place in some hearts.

we usually have it on hand at family bbq/parties/etc... around here because we all like it.
a cousin is good friends with a cross country trucker, who brings it back for us.