Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Best and Worst of the Pacific Northwest

You have to hand it to Seattle for the views.
The locals have a lot of them and they are
justifiably proud of the look of the beautiful
water and lush greenery. All that rain is good
for something. Everywhere your eye can see is
the dense growth of carefully manicured lawns,private
gardens, parks and open areas.

My arrival into Seattle was late, seriously late as weather delayed us on July 4Th. My disappointment at missing the fireworks was blown away as our plane lowered and slowed and we saw show after show as we approached. Every township,
waterfront, and private yard was putting on a show and trust me when I
tell you the BEST place to see them from is the window of an airplane.
As tired as I was it was magical.

We S.O. another couple and I had a house in which to stay and it was a little gem with a great kitchen, a gas BBQ and a beautiful deck with yard. 22 hours after leaving my house we went to bed.

Let's talk about the BEST of the area first. My birthday dinner (yes it was the big one) was delicious from the first sip of wine to the last bite. I have mentioned the restaurant Wild Ginger from
the first bite of succulent FRESH crab cake to the last bite of crispy
duck with a chilled halibut salad in the middle I was delighted. The
waitress was wonderful allowing us to order course by course and taste
many things. This was the best seafood we had in the entire area. I
highlyrecommend it if you find yourself in Seattle.

We took a Ferry to Victoria B.C. and the ride was a delight, again beautiful
views. We brought breakfast and had a picnic arriving near lunch time.
Our plan was to go to the Fairmont for their fiercely expensive afternoon tea but when we got there and saw those sad little petit four trays with rather nasty food that looked at best pre-fabbed and not fresh we opted out. If you check the website their is a pastry chef named, quite franly I would be ashamed to take credit for the stuff, but if it is indeed made on the premises and not defrosted pre-fab from Sysco
then that chef should be hiding and not putting their name out there. One can argue that we didn't taste it and you feel free to spend your 60 dollars for that sad little trio and write me if it is anamazement I missed. I read on another site that the Fairmont is riding a reputation they no longer deserve and it is the worst tourist trap in town. I will not disagree. However the building and
grounds are beautiful.

Now back to thebest.Butchart Gardens are so worth the time it takes to stop and smell the roses. They are quite beautiful, well laid out and very much a worthy
attraction. I did stick my nose in their tea room and the spread looked
much more appealing than that at theFairmont and it was about one third
of the price. Tea on a porch overlooking a garden, I could do that and
if ever back in that area I shall.

We drove down to the State Theatre and saw a wonderfully professional production of The Rocky Horror Show, another best. Check what's on when you are there.

I have saved for last the tourist trap of tourist traps. The
viewing deck might be worthy although Seattle is more attractive from
one of it's many natural heights than from here, but to go to a world
fair relic can be fun.

The restaurant deserves it's own category of shame. It has windows and it revolves, but so quickly it made me dizzy. It is like being on the turntable of an LP. I just
wanted it to slow down. We chose brunch because it was the more cost efficient meal and daylight offers better views. The one in our bunch who had the 45 dollar eggs Benedict
was the most satisfied. Let's talk about the crab cakes, two of our
party chose them and if indeed they were made from fresh crab we must
get the chef to share his secret; for making them taste tinned. Oh but
an attempt was made to mask the tinny flavor by covering the crab with
cheddar cheese. I bet that's what the gourmets are eating these days,
delicate crab topped with overwhelming cheddar. I had the halibut
sandwich covered in so much stuff I had to excavate the tiny portion of
fish. It had a strong and unpleasantly dressed Cole slaw dumped upon it,
and then an arugula salad dressed with tarter sauce. What creativity
arugula and tarter sauce. Additional vegetation and a huge bun served
to further hide my tiny bit of fish. I ate the fish, the tarter sauced
arugula did not agree with me. I did eat most of the crisp but cold
fries it was served with.

Oh but how could I forget the starters, mushy fruit salad, and my clam chowder made from slightly thinned library paste and potatoes. With 3 actual bits of what purported to be razor clam.

When filling out the survey card I wrote..."Your reputation for mediocrity
will not go unchallenged by me." I was feeling overly polite. I would
now like to correct that. Space Needle restaurant you are one of the
WOST tourist traps in the world and your chef belongs in the hall of

What further can you say about a restaurant that
charges almost 30 bucks for a bottle of white zinfandel that can be
purchased retail fo4 3.99 except...white zinfandel is what your food


Karl Wilder, Chef said...

I apologize for the spacing issues. There are long and short lines that seem to be a glitch in the program. They happen sometimes and the more I try to correct them the worse they get. KW

John and Amanda said...

We had the misfortune of eating at the Space Needle for dinner assured by a proud local that there was a new Chef...where did they get him Denny's, The Olive Garden?

You may want to do a tourist trap Hall of Fame.

The food at the space needle is so bad it deserves to be served with YELLOWTAIL.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone notices how the space needle is advertising on the very page that trashes them. This if funny.