Monday, November 17, 2008

Adventures in Eating: Seattle Style

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Seattle on a recruitment trip. As much I as was looking forward to the recruitment side of the trip, I was also looking forward to the food. I knew I would be able to get some good seafood and other options as well. Upon arriving at the hotel and only having eaten a few airplane snacks, Betty and I were ready for lunch. And across the street, like a beacon in the night was the Cheesecake Factory! There is no Cheesecake Factory in Billings, and I would wager there isn't one in Montana. So, we indulged in some over-sized portions of a delicious lunch (but skipped the cheesecake -- I'm not sure how people could actually eat one of their meals AND cheesecake). The remainder of the trip, we did hit the local joints!

The following day, Betty and I walked down to the waterfront for lunch. Many hills and stairs, we made it to the Crab Pot. A restaurant with checkerboard table cloths covered with butcher paper, just waiting for that large pot of crab, shrimp, mussels, corn on the cob and red potatoes. Neither Betty nor I were quite that hungry, so I opted for the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Heavenly! The chowder was buttery, creamy, the clams were meaty. And the sourdough was wonderful! You cannot get sourdough quite as "soury" anywhere but on the west coast. There's just something in that salty, sea air that gives it an extra tang.

My aunt Patsy from Eugene drove up that afternoon to spend the weekend. She knew exactly where she wanted to eat that night: The Wild Ginger. She raved about their green beans. Unfortunately, that Friday night, the earliest reservation we could get was 9:30. Never fear, the Sheraton has a wonderful concierge that got us reservations for the following night and recommended a tapas place, Tango Restaurant, just a few blocks walk. Neither of had ever had tapas, but we were up for the adventure! We started out and soon realized the walk was straight up a hill! I never knew Seattle was so hilly, like San Francisco. I think we all worked off all the food we ate! But the tapas place was fabulous! The staff was very friendly. The owner greeted us and got us drinks right away. Pat had the margarita and I enjoyed the sangria. Our meal started with an appetizer, complements of the owner. It was a mini bleu cheese souffle, topped with a cranberry compote. We ordered the green beans, a pear and pomegranate salad, and a seafood combo tray which included shrimp, scallops and a mixta with mussels, calamari and octopus! I tried the octopus, which while it tasted fine, was very chewy and probably not anything I would order again. The rest of the meal was fabulous!

Saturday, we enjoyed a late breakfast after Betty and I finished our 2nd to last exhibit time at a restaurant at Pikes Public Market (one recommended by the concierge). We had one last exhibit session, and after we packed up, Pat and I had some time to enjoy the market before dinner at the Wild Ginger. Dinner was as wonderful as Pat had lead us to believe. We had the green beans, lettuce wraps with halibut, kung pow chicken and jasmine shrimp.

Over all the recruitment trip seems to be very successful. Betty and I spoke to many nurses who seemed genuinely interested in moving to Billings or at least learn more about what we are doing at the Billings Clinic. But oh the FOOD! I have also learned to ALWAYS ask the concierge for a restaurant recommendation.


  1. I'm dying to try octopus! Also tapas in general, for that matter. There's a tapas place in downtown Columbus, but with the rates babysitters charge per hour around here, a date for us usually means drinking tea and reading magazines at the Barnes & Noble cafe! Also, I didn't realize that you're a nurse. My mother is a retired RN!

  2. Oh, I'm not a nurse, I just recruit them! I love working with them though and really admire what they can do!

    I'm glad I tried the octopus, but wouldn't order it again -- too chewy. I like my really chewy foods to be sweet (like caramels).