Plucking a wealth of ingredients from local vendors, the culinary team at Highstrike Grill puts together pub and comfort food classics almost entirely from scratch. Cilantro-lime, sweet-potato fries accompany hand-cut Angus ribeyes with creamy, bleu-cheese chive butter. Finally breaking the lunch-dinner stranglehold on the American classic, Highstrike Grill unapologetically serves the breakfast burger—a half-pound of Angus beef topped with sliced ham, an over-hard egg, and hollandaise mayo.
Along with breakfast-inspired mains, the cooks take to the grill to whip up breakfast every weekend with creative entrees like Belgian waffles with bacon cooked into the center. Steamy cups of Torrefazione Italia Coffee can complement those a.m. feasts, while bartenders can pair dinners with local and domestic beer and wine.
Despite there being three restaurants, each Salty's boasts a waterfront view. The Seattle location looks out on Elliott Bay and the city's skyline, the Redondo Beach location has views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, and the Portland spot oversees the Columbia River. And customers don't have to fret about getting a window spot—the spectacular sights are viewable from nearly every seat in the house.
About the only thing longer than the menu is the list of awards. A plethora of critics and publications have heaped praise on Salty's on Alki, naming it everything from the Best Place to Bring a Date (West Seattle Hearld) to Best All-You-Can-Eat Buffet (Seattle Weekly). Wine Spectator has given the Seattle location an Award of Excellence every year from 2003–2013, and Seattle Magazine also named that branch the restaurant with the best view from 2009–2011.
Salty's on Alki’s brunch, replete with a huge all-you-can-eat buffet, has been lauded by publications ranging from OpenTable to Seattle Magazine. It’s not hard to see why. Every Sunday (and Saturday at the Seattle and Portland locations), the staff situates trays and trays of prawns, salmon, dungeness crab, oysters, and other fresh seafood next to made-to-order omelet stations, waffle bars, hand-carved meats, and every dessert Betty Crocker could ever imagine. It's even got a make-your-own bloody-mary bar, where patrons can whip up custom hangover cures.
Though Pepperdock Restaurant’s storefront proudly advertises its broiled hamburgers, that's hardly the extent of their menu. The Pepperdock crew also serves up scallops, oysters, clams, and fish paired with crispy french fries. Hot dogs and steak sandwiches round out the eatery’s hot options, while ice cream blended into shakes or scooped into waffle cones can end meals on a sweet note.
In terms of both geography and cultural temperament, you can’t get much further from the Deep South than the Pacific Northwest. But that hasn’t stopped the Seattle-based owners of Smarty Pants from opening a new restaurant—Hudson—that specializes in flatiron steaks, cheesy grits, and other hearty staples of Southern cuisine. And despite being dished out north of the Mason Dixon, the grub is convincingly authentic. Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn––a born and bred Southerner––called Hudson's blackened catfish the best she'd ever tasted. The comfort food isn’t the only thing that makes Hudson feel refreshingly out of place in the Seattle restaurant scene. With its horseshoe-shaped lunch counter, welcoming outdoor patio, and nightly staged readings of Gone With the Wind the cozy spot is as a true a slice of the South as you’re likely to find in the Emerald City.
Where to Sit: Come early to nab a seat on the year-round heated deck that extends out over Puget Sound, lauded as one of Seattle’s most scenic views by OpenTable, Zagat, and CitySeach.
When to Go: Enjoy the same priceless views during weekday happy hours, only with discounted drinks and bar bites. Or, opt for an affordable prix fixe brunch on Saturday or Sunday.
While You’re Waiting
Walk through the post-modern forest that is the dining room, replete with metal and wood tree sculptures and the ghost of Samuel Beckett.
Many entrees are available in economical half portions for those on a budget or those looking to sample as many plates as possible.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Indoors: Stop by the iconic Pike Place Market (85 Pike Street) and say “hello” to the seafood you might be enjoying later that evening.
Outdoors: Explore the colorful glass sculptures at Chihuly Garden and Glass (305 Harrison Street), pausing to admire an incredible view of the Space Needle.
Where to Sit: Snag a seat by the windows, where you’ll enjoy stunning views of Puget Sound, as well as Washington State ferries.
When to Go: Happy hour starts at 3 p.m. and runs until the restaurant closes. A hefty number of appetizers, entrees, and specialty cocktails are discounted, and well drinks, drafts, and select wines are priced at $4.
While You’re in the Neighborhood: If you have some extra time after your meal, take the Bremerton Ferry—which departs at Pier 52—across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island.