It sounded so easy to find. We were staying in a condo on Alaskan Way in downtown Seattle. We had the address, directions, and instructions. What we didn't understand was that we couldn't get there. It turned out that the condo building was one of several that were interconnected. Once we found security, had keys in hand, and met our host, we were relieved and on the way to being relaxed.
Parking was in the basement, which ran for two blocks underneath the condos. It looked like Beemer Heaven, but our car fit right in. We drove through the garage and then parked about twenty feet from the front door. We unloaded and then I returned to the garage where I parked and then walked a block and a half to the elevator. Peg was mostly unpacked by the time I returned.
We read for a while and checked our email and phone messages before deciding where to eat. As we had circled the block several times, we knew what the neighborhood had to offer.
We admired the waterfront along with the lights of Seattle. We walked two blocks to the restaurant. Both coming and going we were lucky and missed out on several downpours. It was a pleasant evening for us.
We've seen television commercials for sometime offering a clambake type feast at The Crab Pot. We thought we would give it a try. The Crab Pot is on the same pier as the Seattle Great Wheel, which is a 150 foot tall rotating Ferris wheel. We thought we might get back to the wheel during our stay. We didn't. A shame. Perhaps, next time . . . in better weather.
We looked over the menu and decided not to get one of the feasts. The price for a feast was almost $40. I did have to think twice about their feast that included Dungeness crab, snow crab, and king crab. I a couple of little lobster tails were included I would have been right there. I like crab, but I don't like to work too hard for my dinner. King crab is my favorite because the legs are so long and thick. I can break one in half and have a mouthful or more of succulent crab meat.
We decided instead to order an appetizer of crab cakes. They were wonderful. The tops and bottoms were browned, which provided a nice crunch, but left the inside tender and moist. They were excellent.
I ordered the fried oysters with vegetable. The vegetable selection included parsnips. I can't recall ever being served them before in a restaurant. They were excellent. They were really good, but came in third after the crab cakes, and Peg's ruby red Idaho trout (#1), which was cooked to perfection. This entrée was the best we had during our Seattle condo adventure. The trout was nicely darkened and crisped on the skin side leaving the meat moist and flavorful.
When we return, and we will, I'll order the crab cakes again AND the trout just for myself. Of course, enjoyed the trout, also. Outside of her fried trout, I think this was the best we've eaten.
We were completely full, but that's never stopped us before from sharing a dessert. Our server explained the selections and suggested the apple crisp. We took him at his word. It contained perfectly cooked apple slices that still retained some tooth. Some people might prefer them mushy, but I like apple pieces that stand up for themselves. The ice cream was served really cold in a separate bowl. The ice cream melted easily into the hot crisp. Nicely recommended and served.
Two men at the next table over had the crab/crab/crab feast. They loved it. As I listened to their crab mallet pounding and leg/claw breaking, I over-heard them, "The best meal I've ever had." The Crab Pot is a great place to eat. We'll have to try it for lunch, too.
Still in November and deep into fall, the weather was typical of the Pacific Northwest: windy, wet, and gray. The muted scenes still convey a certain beauty and charm.
Alaskan Way didn't have that much traffic, except for utility trucks, but the pedestrian and militant bike traffic was immense. Many of the short streets entering onto Alaskan Way have no stop lights, but you have to be very careful by looking both ways (sometimes twice) watching for walkers, joggers, and independent-thinking bikers who feel free to not use the roadways.
The views to the west would be absolutely fantastic in the summer, but in November bring more of a casual enjoyment. I walked along the waterfront getting so relaxed, it often led me to a morning or afternoon nap.
Our second night in town meant dinner with our granddaughter Vanessa and then a play at Seattle Rep, now celebrating their 50th Anniversary.
We gave Vanessa exact details on how to find us. She was able to park (paid parking) about twenty feet from our condo window. Once she arrived we gathered all of our coats and scarves and headed to the garage, where we jumped in our car and drove another block to Anthony's Pier 66. We took advantage of their valet parking and then walked close to a hundred feet to the restaurant.
We shared a scrumptious salmon appetizer. It was lovely.
Peg's salmon got lost in a cascade of small and pretty much tasteless shrimp. Vanessa enjoyed one crab cake and took the other one home. I scored with the last twilight dinner special offering lobster. The next night, the lobster specials came off the menu. I was greedy and had the steak (sirloin) and lobster. The steak was so-so, but the lobster was perfection.
We shared desserts, which were very good. All in all we enjoyed ourselves and had great service. Scott, like Josh at The Crab Pot kept bringing me refills on lemonade, although I had fewer at Anthony's because we I didn't want to leave during a Seattle Rep performance to visit the restroom.
After dinner, we drove half a block back to the condo and called for a cab, which then delivered us to Seattle Rep. If we had known they now offered valet parking at The Rep, we would have simply driven there, but taking a cab is soooooooo easy.
The production was Inspecting Carol. The acting was fabulous. We saw familiar faces. However, I think the play was done as a homage to the Seattle Rep past in celebration of their fifty years. It was originally produced over thirty years ago as a group effort. The writing was a bit dated. It featured a play within a play.
A less than "professional" theatre is producing their annual "cash cow," A Christmas Carol. Opening night is only four days away and the artistic director finds out that they have lost half their subscriber base of 4,000. In addition they are dangerously close to loosing NEA (National Endowment of the Arts) funding. The year before they were cut $2000 and this year, they might not even receive their planned grant of $30,000. Everything hinges on an NEA inspector visiting them an recognizing their artistic contribution.
An aspiring actor is mistaken for the inspector, and merriment ensues . . . or at least expected. The vain lead delivered all of his lines in Spanish the year before, the newly hired African-American actor has no one to run his lines with, and ardor and apathy intermix with leeway of delivery and re-writing provided by the supposed inspector. Eventually the house of cards and the entire set come tumbling down. The Carey Wong set deserved top billing, but the actors tried and tried. Our last performance at The Rep was the excellent Pullman Porter Blues. Seattle Rep remains one of our favorite playhouses, but I hope they retire Inspecting Carol. It did have many laughs. I really liked the lemon warm-up actor routine.
The next night we again gave detailed directions, but our friend Al had difficulty finding the condo. We talked on the phone and suggested he meet us at Amante Pizza & Pasta. We took a cab to the eatery located on the corner of Denny and East Olive.
We arrived to find no Al, so Peg sat in a booth looking out the windows for him, while I walked from corner to corner searching for his car on the street. We finally gave up and ordered dinner along with a dinner for Al. Peg's rosemary ravioli was excellent. I enjoyed my pizza, which they serve by the slice. Brandon Ryan of Theater Schmeater recommended the restaurant, which is located about four blocks from his theater. Al couldn't find the restaurant. We were hoping he would join us finally at the theater, but I hadn't given him the address. We held his seat for the SRO performance until curtain time just in case. The theater placed his "to go" meal in the refrigerator.
This was my second time seeing a production at Theatre Schmeater, which is called by many people a "fringe theater." The house and stage are a strange configuration: long and narrow. Three rows of 15 seats face the stage which stretches almost the entire length of the room.
The play was Fallen Angels, which was written by Noel Coward many, many years ago, but unlike Inspecting Carol the material was not dated. Set in the 20s, the play focused on two married wives, best friends, who have each been married about five years. An old love interest is in town, whom they both dated at one time. They become flustered and dream of passion and re-kindled romance. The friends become rivals. The second act was hilarious with them alternately hating and loving each other as they scheme and drink martinis and Champagne.
Al gave up joining us and so we sent his meal home with Vanessa. Too bad, he would have loved the play. Both Peg and Vanessa enjoyed the fringe theater production. The scenic designer deserved accolades for his upscale mid-20s rendition of a posh London flat. Both Seattle Rep and Theatre Schmeater are lucky to be in Seattle, where the theatrical arts community supports each other so well. At both productions we saw many actors and behind the curtains participants enjoying themselves and encouraging their compatriots. I think Seattle Rep loaned "the Schmee" props and furniture. I saw a thank you notice in their program.
The next morning we slept in and then stopped for bread, tarts, and cookies at the Dahlia Bakery. I watched pigeons with their backs turned toward the winds, while Peg picked out a pecan bread, a sour apple loaf, peanut butter cookie sandwiches, ginger snaps, chocolate chip cookies, a pear tart, and a couple of other goodies to last us a few days. They gave us something to chew on while we reflected on our latest adventure in Seattle.