Took my two little brothers (8 and 11) up to Seattle (from Portland) Tuesday and Wednesday. Started with the Six Flags water and amusement park. Then viewed the city from Alki at night. Next day did the basics: Pike Place Market, Aquarium, Monorail, Space Needle. Had time to throw in some extras: Imax, FAO Schwartz, Gameworks, the fountain at the Seattle Center (I think I'm still wet). And I think I did okay on food considering the restriction of having two young boys to feed and only a couple items from Chowhound and a couple guidebooks:
TAQUERIA GUYAMOS: Pretty darned good. Normally I'd say I was surprised that a chain could does so well, but that must be why they're a chain. Had six tacos: two carnitas, one al pastor, cabeza, chorizo, and asada. All the meats were pretty good. The carnitas were very good, crispy on the outside and flavorful. The al pastor and chorizo had good flavor. The asada and cabeza were just standard, decent but not especially good. The salsas at the salsa bar were very good. I mostly remember three, a chile-based red, a tomatillo-avocado smooth green, and a smoky chipotle-based one, I believe. I liked them all very well. Also got a cheese quesasilla, a tamal, and chips. The quesadilla was very cheesy but nothing special. The tamal was decent, but had too much masa and wasn't anything special either. The chips were mediocre. The side items were all a disappointment, but what I go to taquerias for, tacos (and salsa), were all very good. I would definitely be willing to return.
PEGASUS PIZZA: Needed a place open late and my brothers love pizza. This place was well-regarded in my guidebooks and it was in a good place relative to where I was, so I headed off. Got to get a great view across the water of the city, which was very nice. The pizza was decent, but not my thing -- bready crust, almost unnoticeable sauce, and lots of cheese. It reminded me of a decent homemade pizza where you think the more cheese the better. I also got their greek salad, which I did like. Not much different from something Olive Garden might come up with, but still pretty good.
SALUMI: Really wanted to try this after all the recommedations on Chowhound. I definitely liked it. Got a meatball sandwich, braised pork cheek sandwich, pasta salad, and the cured meats and cheese plate. The meatballs were tasty with a soft texture and homey quality. The braised cheek had good flavor, though was maybe a little dry, I don't know; it's close. The pasta salad was decent, much like a deli salad but with higher quality ingredients -- nice salami, smoked cheese, fresh Italian parsley, and good sundried tomatoes. The cured meats were all excellent. Really liked them. A little spendy, but quite tasty. Everything was reasonable, though, and quite a few step above places like Quiznos and Subway. But that's its competitors for lunch. Don't forget that if you think of going. There was a wedding dinner menu up on the chalkboard, many courses with even breaks for a walk in between, that I was *very* interested in. Man, how do I crash that wedding?
GELATIAMO: Definitely more what I think of when I think of gelato than our Mio Gelato down here, denser and not as creamy as Mio. The flavors were very good, too. We got hazelnut and creme caramel, strawberry and passion fruit, and mango and mixed berry. All had good, relatively intense flavors. The texture was good, less creamy than ice cream, yet with very few ice crystals. Which do I prefer, this or Mio? I don't know. The kids preferred Mio because of the flavor choices, essentially. I think it's a toss-up.
FOUNTAIN TAMAL: Bought a tamal ($1) from an Hispanic lady near the fountain in the Seattle Center. It was pretty damned good, with very flavorful chicken filling and a nice masa that wasn't too thick. Look for her.
PAGLIACCI: Asked the boys what they preferred, pizza or Mexican so this is where we went. Not bad. I prefer it to Pegasus for sure. More flavor, better balance. I wish some of these places would add a mixture of better cheeses, but they have to make money. At least they sell by the slice. Not as good as Escape from New York down here, but close enough. btw, at both places we got cheese pizza and pepperoni pizza.
GORDITO'S: So, I didn't feel like pizza. I always feel like trying a new taqueria. Really this is a burrito place, I'd say. The tacos are first on the menu, but second in the heart of the customers. This place isn't as good at Guyamos, but it's obvious why people go there: the burritos are the size of a fat steelhead. They're giant. "Football" is not apt because it's too small. They're probably 12" long and 5" wide and several inches thick. Giant. I got tacos, though. I got a pork taco and a steak taco along with some pozole. The pozole was okay but got old quick. Really, I think it was thinned salsa with some hominy and chicken thrown in. Okay, but not what I'm looking for in a pozole. The pork and steak were okay in the meat. Not bad really. All the meats there looked grilled, but grilled nicely. They also have a decent selection of salas, thogh no green salsa. The place was slammed. Line went out the door and it was past 9pm on a Wednesday.
KRISPY KREME: Last stop, the one in Tacoma. Thought I'd get my brothers a dessert and have reason to weigh in on them, too. Dissapointingly, the doughnuts were all cold. I really don't think they're any better than most decent doughnuts except when they come out of the fryer (or whatever).
Good food overall. I was happy with what I got. I think I'd definitely be interested in returning to Salumi, Gelatiamo, and Guyamos.
Thanks for your suggestions.