While You’re Waiting: Wander the restaurant and admire the collection of vintage burger memorabilia: a painter’s cap with Where’s the beef? printed on it or a merry-go-round horse with a cheeseburger for a head.
When to Go: between 3–6 p.m. for happy hour, which offers discounted small plates of nachos, deep-fried green beans, waygu beef sliders, and cheese quesadillas, along with discounted draft, well, and wine drinks.
While You’re Waiting Enjoy one of the 22 rotating on-draft microbrews, which come in sizes ranging from the small “schooner” to the pitcher.
Inside Tip Late risers can still enjoy breakfast—it’s served until 2:30 p.m.
The Story: Leon Torrey’s first experience in the restaurant business was as a dishwasher salesmen. It didn’t take long before he decided to trade in his tie for an apron and open Egg Cetra, which would become a hugely popular breakfast restaurant with three local locations. After more than 20 years of success, he decided to branch out and try his hand at classic pub staples, founding Blue Star Cafe and Pub in 1997. It wasn’t too much of a departure, though—he still kept the breakfast and lunch favorites that made Eggs Cetera such a hit. Today, his daughter Wendy carries on the torch.
Quote That Best Sums It Up “I avoid the trends and focus on offering consistent comfort food with homemade ingredients.” - Founder Leon Torrey
Where to Sit: A seat at the bar is the best spot in the house for watching the chefs as they slide pizzas in and out of the wood-burning brick oven.
When to Go: For cheaper drinks and food, swing by during happy hour, which takes place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Inside Tip: Give the babysitter the night off. This spot is family friendly, featuring a kids’ menu and crayons for occupying them before the food arrives.
Margherita pizza: a thin-crust pizza with basil, mozzarella, and tomato sauce. The green, white, and red toppings represent the Italian flag as a gesture originally intended to impress Italy’s Queen Margherita in the late 1800s.
Speck: cured pork leg seasoned with juniper, laurel, and rosemary
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Visit the Magnolia Public Library (2801 34th Avenue W), which was redesigned to feel like a treehouse with big windows and smooth woods.
After: Take a walk through Ella Bailey Park (2601 W. Smith Street), where fantastic views of the city await.
In the 74 years between the Paramount Theatre's opening night, when people used to line up to see “talkies” for 50 cents, and 2002, when it was voted Best Mainstage Theatre in a Seattle Weekly Reader's Poll, the palatial venue faded and decayed alongside its Roaring Twenties brethren throughout America. Luckily, former Microsoft Vice President Ida Cole saved it from the rubble heap in the mid-‘90s when she established the Seattle Landmark Association and vowed to render the Paramount "kissable" once again.
Over the course of seven months, the renovation crew expanded the size of the stage wings to accommodate more ambitious live productions. They also cleared decades of grime from the french baroque plaster reliefs, uncovering long-forgotten designs and causing only one long-dormant horror to snap open its eyes dramatically. They also replaced the gold leaf in the floral designs of the wall medallions, repainted all the surfaces in their original 16 colors, and scrubbed each of the 1.6 million crystal beads in the chandelier by hand with a toothbrush. The original Knabe Ampico player piano was returned to its spot on the four-tiered lobby's lush carpeting, and a 21st-century sound system now shares sonic space with the thundering, luminous sonority of the Paramount's fully restored Mighty Wurlitzer organ. Though the Paramount's calendar runs the gamut from rock concerts to standup comedy to Broadway musicals on the scale of Wicked, its decadent Beaux Arts trappings transport audiences to the days when reality was still black and white.
It all began with a chowder competition. Shortly after Larry Mellum and his business partner opened Charlestown Street Cafe, pretty much everyone in the kitchen was convinced they had the ultimate chowder recipe. So they decided to put each version to the test. Every Friday, they let customers sample a different chowder recipe and gave them the final say in which one made it to the menu. The smooth-as-silk winner—a creation of one of the kitchen's line cooks—became so popular, people from all across Seattle would come to wait in line just for a taste. Inspired, the restaurant decided to take the recipe on the road, entering (and winning) chowder competitions up and down the West Coast. But the real victory happened 3,500 miles away in Newport, Rhode Island. There, Mellum and company's chowder took home the grand prize at the Great Chowder Cook Off—the first non-New England contender to do so in the competition's 20-year history. After taking home the grand prize three years in a row and being inducted into the chowder hall of fame, the recipe officially retired from competition and now spends the majority of its time watching golf. When it's not in the kitchen, that is. Today at Pike Place Chowder, guests can taste that award-winning chowder—made using freshly picked vegetables and herbs from Pike Place Market—or sample one of seven other chowders, including a smoked salmon chowder, seared scallop chowder, and a vegan chowder. For those who hit their chowder limit, there are dungeness crab rolls flavored with top-secret seasonings and fresh salads topped with Oregon Bay shrimp, while a second location in Pacific Place Center has earned a following for its made-to-order fish 'n' chips, made with either Pacific cod or wild salmon.
Where to Sit: If the sun’s still shining, grab a seat on the patio for some of the best people-watching in the city.
When to Go
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