A dining club for hip, young Seattleites meets once a month for dinner and drinks. High jinks ensue.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Dining Highlights 2006

I just wanted to commemorate some of my favorite meals/restaurants from this year...

Best Pizza: Hands down - Zachary's in the Bay Area. Spinach and mushroom deep dish. Sigggghhhh. Literally nothing of this Earth can compare. (Best Seattle Pizza: Serious Pie. Delicious. It's almost unfair having Zachary's to set the bar.)

Best Happy Hour: Sazerac -- LOVE IT! They have a really nice selection on their bar menu (clams, pizzas, sausages, grilled veggies, etc.) and I believe everything is $5 during happy hour. It's extremely reasonable. Plus, Sazerac is rarely so crowded that you have trouble finding somewhere to sit.

Best Breakfast: Tough call, tough call. I'm inclined to go with the Maltby Cafe since it's new (to me) and their food is awesome. BUT I also really like the OPH since I can get a somewhat quasi-healthy meal (egg-whites-only, baked, vegetarian omelette, hold the cheese), whereas at the Maltby everything is slathered in so much grease that no matter how I modify my meal it's still a heart attack waiting to happen. PLUS no matter what you can't skip having a cinnamon roll.

Best Downtown Restaurant: 94 Stewart. Love the Crab Sandwich and the Fried Avocado. So yummy! I can't think of a restaurant I like better than 94 Stewart.

Best Sandwich: Toss up between The Baguette Box and Honey Hole... since I don't think I visited Hillside Quickies in 2006. Both are delicious gourmet sandwich places. Honey Hole is a little more down home and has a funky bar vibe, and it has some really good vegetarian options (I can't think of any other restaurant with seitan on the menu besides the Hillside Quickies). The Baguette Box is like pan-Asian/Asian-fusiony cuisine served on a baguette. Pretty yummy. I've only been to each a couple times, so hard to decide a clear winner.

Best Sushi: I haven't eaten much high-quality sushi this year. I have to give props to Nijo's Chili Cha Cha roll though. Softshell crab, tobiko, jalapeno, and avocado. So good! Well worth the $10+ price tag. Another great sushi place is Kozue in Wallingford. They have both avant-garde/fusion-y kinds of rolls as well as very traditional Japanese cuisine.

Best Vegetarian: The Teapot!!! I <3 the Teapot! This was one of the highlights of my stay at La Casa de Dan y Rico. The Spicy Eggplant is so yummy! And I love that they have brown rice!!

Best Latin American Meal: This year I finally tried Mama's Mexican Restaurant with Tia. It was pretty good, but the service was lousy and the majority of its VAST menu was the super-Americanized Mexican (extra cheese, lettuce, etc.). I did have a really good carne asada taco, though. Hmmm... Giving this some more thought, I'd say my favorite was La Isla (formerly Sofrito Rico) in Ballard. There are a few Mexican places I want to try in 2007 -- there's one near my office and one in Beacon Hill that got rave reviews from the weeklies. I have extremely high standards for Mexican (being from California -- hell, my grandmother used to cook more Mexican food than Japanese food), so we'll see if they measure up.

Best Dessert: Pies & Pints. Of all places!! I love their giant peanut butter cup. A close second is the peanut butter pie at Zoka in the Greenlake/Tangletown neighborhood.

Anyone else have some favorite meals they want to commemorate??


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