Irreverent Reviews: Seattle

Hilarious story before we begin: This one time, I tried to clean out my drafts, and deleted all my blog posts! Then some of them didn’t get restored. Hilarious!! So glad I started this blog to prove my internet competency.

Now, onto the meat. Partner and I spent a long weekend in Seattle, courtesy of my parents (yay Christmas!).

So how does one review a city? Well, I imagine it to be pretty easy. I’m just going to tell you the awesome things we did and if I think they’re awesome enough for you to also do!

For starters, our lodgings: We stayed at Hotel 5 which we picked for it’s reasonable price and desirable proximity to things we wanted to do. The bed was a little hard, and the walls were way thin (no overheard sex noises, just inconsiderate hallway drunks), but it made a good home base, and had a really cool aesthetic. I’d recommend staying there, it’s close to the Seattle Center complex doohickey, and comfy enough for a short stay.

Blinds in Hotel 5

Then we had various activities! The reason for our trip was the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. It was neat, and as an ancient Egypt nerd I was glad to see it. However it felt like the amount of Tut artifacts was small compared to the general Egypt artifacts. Still cool, still an awesome Christmas present, but hopefully someday I can get to Egypt and see it all (the exhibit did not have many of the most iconic pieces of King Tut’s burial collection, such as his death mask)! We also saw an IMAX movie about Pharaohs (narrated by Harrison Ford!) but did not explore the rest of the museum. The exhibit is only in Seattle(/the US) until Jan 6, 2013, so if you’re in the area before then you should check it out!

We also opted to be the quintessential Seattle tourist and go up the Space Needle. We did not opt to eat in the ridonkulously priced restaurant, and Partner said “no” to pictures with Santa. The sun peaked out briefly during our time up the tower, and the view was nifty. Our stay didn’t last very long, as we were both anxious to get off the tall building and be done with the elevator rides. I’m glad that I did it, as I am usually glad when I do that one quintessential touristy thing in a city, but it’s not a trip that needs repeating.

Space Needle from Glass Gardens

It is however a decent deal to package your Space Needle ticket with a ticket to the Chihuly Garden and Glass gallery thing. Despite not knowing what it’s exact title is, this is one place definitely worth spending the time and money to see, it is simply gorgeous. We went at the encouragement of my mother who wanted to live vicariously through us. I’m glad we took her advice. If you’re in the Seattle Center you really have no excuse NOT to check it out. Bundling with the Space Needle saves you $5.

Also of interest was the EMP Museum. We were there very close to closing, so perhaps the museum has more to offer than I saw, but it’s a small space with lots of potential. It really is a different kind of museum, and it was a lot of fun to see so much iconic music/pop culture stuff. The huge draw for Partner and myself was the Nirvana exhibit that is currently open. Really amazing place, with a great level of interaction. They also have a Dalek in their Sci-Fi collection. I’m a little torn of if this one is worth the money to go see. It was a lot of fun, we both enjoyed it, their gift shop has tons of awesome shit, but it felt like $17 for not that much. Gauge your personal interest in pop culture and then make your call, don’t just see it cuz it’s there.

Then we venture outside the Seattle Center (via monorail! A novelty, but very fun, and a very welcome break from walking in the cold) and went to the Seattle Aquarium. I am a person who is all about aquariums, so I will of course recommend everyone goes. Highlights included the GINORMOUS Pacific Octopus (so pretty!) the adorable puffins and sea otters, and the information about six-gill shark conservation. I had a blast, my favorite part of the trip! It’s also just across the street from the historic Pike Place Market, which is a really neat walkthrough, even if you’re not in the mood to shop.

This leads us to the final segment, where we talk about food.

We ate two breakfasts at Top Pot Doughnuts. These are the most delicious doughnuts I have ever had! Their flavors are amazing! I am so glad I don’t live near one, because I would be so very, very obese. Their shop is also really cool, two stories and lined with bookcases. I wish I’d had more time to just hang out there.

We also had breakfast at Max’s Cafe, attached to our hotel. Pro-tip: Get the Oregon Chai french toast. Fall in love. Listen to 90’s music (which I swear was the only thing I hear played the entire time we were in Seattle). Also, free coffee refills! Love it!

Our next set of restaurants were picked with the help of some Restaurant.com giftcards. All of these places were beyond phenomenal, small places that we never would have eaten at otherwise. They absolutely deserve your business, because they are tasty.

We had lunch one day at Laadla Cuisine of India. We both had the butter chicken for the main course, with cheesy naan and crab cakes. Partner also enjoyed some mango lemonade (I personally hate mangoes, so I wasn’t a fan). So much yum!

One of our dinners was at a place very close to our hotel called Acquabar. It is classified as a “gastropub” which is apparently a trendy thing, although the name is a serious turnoff. They had great mixed drinks (if a bit pricey in that area) and super delicious food. I got a large bowl of clams with some garlic bread, and it was amazing. It was also completely empty, which was enjoyable, although strange because it was so reasonably priced with such good food!

Our final dinner was at The Underground Asia, billed as an Asian Fusion bistro that seemed pretty traditional Asian, though it mixes all sorts of Asian cuisine. I had some amazing seafood pho, Partner had bulgogi (beef cooked in a particular Korean style, something we both enjoyed during my time in Korea), and together we shared crispy pork and shrimp egg rolls, fabulous edamame, and some super awesome gyoza. We also binged and got a super tasty spider roll, even though They also had a large selection of Japanese beers (Sapparo and Asahi being the prominent ones) and some of my old Korean standards: Max and Hite. This place doesn’t have their own webpage, but they’re at 88 Yesler Way. The food was plentiful and super amazing. Online reviews didn’t speak too highly of the service at this place, but there was nothing slow about ours.

Overall I found Seattle confusing and frustrating to navigate, but it’s a fun and tasty place to visit. With the exception of our food we stuck to the beaten tourist path, but it was still a great time, and we’d love to go back!

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