During PAX, we eat a lot of meals downtown. But it's important to avoid close (and hence crowded) options like The Cheesecake Factory or (the delicious) La Creperie Voila. Here are some good alternatives:
Jimmy Johns: Fast, cheap and tasty sandwiches. 6th and Union, inside City Center.
The Pike Pub: It's all the way down on 1st and Pike, but it's nice to get out of the crowds and has great happy hour deals.
Blue Water Taco Grill: Coastal Mexican Food at 6th and Union.
Specialties: Fabulous sandwiches and salads, and the best cookies you can buy in Seattle. 5th and Union.
Dragonfish: Nice cocktails and tasty sushi, but a tad spendy. 8th and Pine.
Von's RoastHouse: Tasty roasted meats, and reasonably priced. 7th and Pine.
Pro tip: It looks like this year's "Main Theater" will be the Paramount (Scroll down to "Sunday, August 28th") on 9th and Pine. The Paramount Theater's seating capacity is 2,807, which is a little bigger than the 2,500 available at 2010's Benaroya Hall.
Last year, I used one of my Groupons at Oh! Chocolate - a Seattle chocolatier / confectioner with locations in Mercer Island, Madison Park and Bellvue Place. I got the lovely box of truffles in this picture, and a delicious bag of "mistakes". The truffles were quite good, but I enjoyed the mistakes (which featured some chocolate-covered marshmallows and fruit) even more.
Since MLS season is upon us, the husband and I will be spending lots of time at the Pike Brewing's pub in Pike Place Market. It's our go-to place for a comfortable, reasonably-priced dinner in downtown Seattle with both tasty food and micro-brews. Apropos, here are my picks from their food and drink menu:
Roasted Garlic Prawns: These shrimp are fat and delicious, and my favorite choice.
Halibut and Chips: The halibut is baked at a very high temperature instead of fried, and is perfectly creamy on the inside without being greasy, if the chef is having a good night. If not, they're still pretty good.
Nachos: Fabulous; I recommend the pork.
Ginger Lemon Drop: This is just what it says, and it's a great cocktail option.
Chocolate Martini: But this is my favorite drink. The maraschino cherry doesn't hurt.
Pro Tip: The half price Happy Hour (until 6pm) menu includes the nachos and an appetizer portion of the shrimp.
I work in downtown Seattle. I encounter a constant stream of panhandlers while walking to and from the office. I never give them money. Once time, I bought an extra turkey sandwich at the grocery store, thinking I'd give it to a fellow with a sign just outside the store.
"Oh", he said, "I'm vegetarian. But I'll take a coke!" So I pulled a pulled a Diet Coke out of my 12-pack and gave it to him. I ate the extra sandwich the next day. Somehow, I got the feeling that he'd have been allergic to peanut butter if it had been a PB&J sandwich.
I finally found a way to feel like I'm doing good. I donate to The Millionair Club - a downtown Seattle organization to help the homeless with food, hygiene, work opportunities and social services.