At locations dotted all over the Pacific Northwest, Black Rock Coffee Bar’s baristas dazzle patrons' taste buds with their simple and elaborate coffee creations. Served in ink-black cups emblazoned with their understated lowercase logo and red stars, their hot drinks range from brewed coffee to chai-tea lattes to flavored mochas. The baristas infuse the mochas with extras—including white chocolate and caramel to create the caramel blondie and hazelnut to concoct the blackout mocha, which, unfortunately, will not make you black out for the entire workday. On the chilly side of the menu, their blended drinks include shake-like delights made sweeter with Oreos, mint chips, and chai, as well as smoothies and icy coffee granitas.
Formed from about 17,000 islands that stretch from the coast of Thailand to the border of Papua New Guinea, the nation of Indonesia encompasses many climates and cultures. Recognizing that diversity, Indo Cafe's chefs strive to serve up an authentic sampling of the country's eclectic cuisine. The smartly curated menu ranges from daging tuturuga?a curry beef stew from Manado, on the northern island of Sulawesi?to bakmi goreng jawa?a Javanese-style egg-noodle stir-fry. If you're stopping by for the first time or have had your memory wiped since the last time, Seattle Weekly's 2012 Voracious Dining Guide recommends the ayam goreng fried chicken, a pan-Indonesian specialty which Seattle Weekly calls "extra-crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and best topped with fiery chili paste and paired with cooling, slightly sweet coconut rice." Indonesian produce stars in the desserts; the chefs fill whole coconuts with their savory-sweet pudding and make their own avocado- and durian-flavored ice creams.
Framed Indonesian art accents Indo Cafe's main dining space as well as three private rooms that can each host a party of up to 30 people or two giants on a romantic dinner date. Strengthening the restaurant's international ties, its owners are also active supporters of the Children's Foundation of Southeast Asia, which rallies local business owners to help build children's homes and schools in Southeast Asia.
The city of Seattle is speckled by pho joints, each one serving its own rendition of the beloved belly-warming noodle soup. However, Le's Phở Tái remains a cut above the competition with its commitment to using locally grown ingredients and creating flavorful broth. Chefs begin the process of preparing the beef stock more than 20 hours before the soup hits the table, setting beef bones and spices to boil in order to procure what reporters from Journal Magazine praised as "exceptional flavor". Once the broth is ready, the chefs add thin vermicelli noodles along with cuts of tender beef, fresh seafood, and crisp veggies. They serve the soup in massive bowls alongside plates of bean sprouts and jalapeno slices.
When chefs aren't cooking pho, their attention is absorbed in the preparation of other Vietnamese specialties—chewy spring rolls, tangy teriyaki dishes, and bahn mi sandwiches with barbecue meats and french bread. Servers carry these dishes out into the warm, casual dining room, along with glasses of sweet iced-milk coffee and refreshing coconut juice. The accommodating staffers encourage guests to call ahead to place food orders for faster service, particularly if they have to speed back home to make sure their cats don't start scratching the Bruce Willis statue they’ve been sculpting out of peanut butter.
Boardroom Cafe is the kind of place where you could spend a few minutes, a few hours, or the entire day. It's a popular breakfast spot, and lots of people show up in the morning to order a breakfast burrito or a latte to go. But the plaid pillows and sleek leather couch can be so enticing that, before you know it, it's lunchtime. That's not exactly a problem when the lunch menu includes B.L.T. sandwiches and steamy bowls of chicken tortilla soup.
Long waits and harsh lighting are just two inconveniences that can plague a standard trip to the post office. The process leaves little room for relaxation, let alone time to kick back and enjoy a freshly made latte. That's what Sip and Ship hopes to remedy. The family-owned business combines two different worlds—the post office and a coffee shop—into an operation that runs as smoothly as its coffee goes down.
The process is both friendly and simple: customers bring in items they need to send far away, such a piece of art, an old-fashioned letter, or a cursed monkey's paw. The Sip and Ship team wraps, packs, and ships it—all while customers wind down with organic, locally roasted drinks and homemade cookies and scones. In between all the sipping and shipping, customers can squeeze in some shopping, too; the store stocks its shelves with bottled wine, bath products, and even children's toys.
Man v. Food host Adam Richman has conquered his fair share of eating challenges. But when it came time to face the famous 12-egg omelet at Beth's Cafe, the show’s host discovered too late that he had bitten off more than he could chew. Stopping mere bites from the finish line, Richman had to admit defeat. If he ever gets his appetite back, he might fare better with one of Beth's regular omelets, made with a relatively modest six eggs. Beth's Cafe is used to hosting guests who like to press their luck. Back in 1954, the business opened as a gambling parlor, but owners Beth and Harold Eisenstadt hit their first jackpot when they ditched the betting machines and began serving breakfast 24 hours a day. Since then, Beth's Cafe has enjoyed a slow and steady rise to fame. Breakfast is still served all day, but there are now chili-topped burgers and slices of Beth's epic chocolate cake to further complicate your decision. As far as decorations go, Beth's most famous designers are the people who eat there. Guests are provided with paper and crayons while they wait for their food, and the resulting doodles are gathered and hung on the walls until New Year’s Day, when the staff votes on the top 10. The winners remain in the dining room permanently, but the runners-up aren't hastily discarded; instead, the staff stores them in a "super secret vault" dusted with pancake batter to give away the fingerprints of would-be thieves.