Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Melt Cafe

 I am always after a good sandwich (something that I believe is kind of lacking in Seattle) so I decided to try Melt Cafe. It doesn't have a great look from the outside and is honestly a  little run down on the inside too. Parking is on a fairly busy road and the restaurant sits in an industrial part of Magnolia/Interbay. The inside is very low key with linoleum floors and basic tables but everything you need in a sandwich shop. Don't let the outside dissuade you from venturing in, still waters run deep, don't judge a book by its cover and all that, right?

After walking in, I sat my kids down at a table and started to read the board that is above the counter listing the menu. There are a lot of choices including all sorts of sandwiches to suite almost any taste along with soup,  mac'n cheese, salads and some dessert options. They had a fridge with cold drinks available. A lot of the items on the menu and especially on the specials board have a spin or interest that indicate a sandwich lover put the menu together. A roast beef and cheddar dip that they added caramelized onions to. A chicken melt that is done with brie (!), fresh onions and caramelized onions. This place is also unique because they have serious meat sandwiches along with some really good options for vegetarians including a grilled cheese, the mac'n cheese, a mushroom melt and a full blown vegie sandwich that is just as you  would expect it to be with hummus and vegies. In my experience really good sandwich places that focus on meat essentially have no options for vegetarians or one sad, shouldn't even be there option.

The proprietress (I believe) eyed my children and immediately offered to prepare a kids sandwich plate while simultaneously pointing to a container with crayons, coloring books and other paraphernalia to entertain the kidelts. I ordered a chicken club and took her up on the two kids plates. She brought out two lovely little plates with small ham and cheese sandwiches, half of a banana and a chocolate chip cookie to top it off. It was a perfect amount of food for a small human and the cookie and banana were a nice touch. Soon after she dropped off the chicken club. It was piled high with delicious ingredients served on toasted bread with ultra fresh lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, chicken and mayo. The sandwich was moist without a dry bite to be found. The ingredients all went together just as they should. There was a pile of chips served with it and a slightly odd pickle which was a slice of cucumber in a small plastic container soaking in vinegar. It had morphed into a pickle but it was kind of an odd presentation for such a small piece of cucumber. I would like to go back and try almost every other sandwich on the menu. I would recommend you give it a go, especially if you are looking for the elusive sandwich in Seattle.

Melt Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pub Run

I was running on low expectations when we walked into Latona Pub; we had already left two places because they didn't have what we wanted. The first place was Galway Arms, a self-described pub. I think the term dive bar provides a more accurate image. It had a bunch of great reviews on yelp saying it was a great place to drink with decent pub food. We parked right in front and as we headed in the front door a guy smoking a cigarette turned and walked in ahead of us. Once inside it became apparent that he was watching the place. It was totally empty except for him and us. He said the bartender was gone and would be back in 5 minutes. Looking through to the kitchen which looked dark and empty, I asked if they had food. Pointing at a chalk board he said with as much discouragement as he could muster that they had the items on the board which included french fries as one of the "options". It was obvious he wanted us to leave and that there wouldn't be any food or drink forth coming. I hate to be picky but no food and no drink along with the dismal depressing environment doesn't make me want to rush back.

After that we went to Die Bierstube. We go to Freiereband sometimes for their great beer despite their not so good food but hadn't been to this sister restaurant yet. This place had a nice atmosphere and there appeared to be food and drink. We sat down and stared at the menu for a while. Nobody came up to us and after debating the lack of a burger on a menu (sorry but a pub should always have a burger on the menu) we headed for the door. This was made easy because for the 5+ minutes we sat there nobody came to take our order so we didn't feel bad about leaving water glasses on the table since none had been delivered.

Our third try was Latona pub near Greenlake. We walked into a very crowded little space and were seated immediately by a hostess. Imagine that! She delivered menus and my husband ordered me a great creamy stout. After delivering our beer it took them slightly longer than it should have to come get our food orders (we were starving at this point though so that might have been part of the problem). I ordered a chicken quesadilla off the appetizer menu and my husband ordered their burger. The quesadilla was not bad, standard pub food. It was not spectacular but had good chicken, large plump pinto beans in it and was served with salsa and sour cream. My husbands burger was phenomenally delicious, with super high quality beef shining through served on top of a great ciabatta type bun. My only gripe is that pubs should serve fries and that wasn't an option with this burger. It came with a salad of mixed greens with mediocre salad dressing that tasted like not too much thought had gone into it. The atmosphere was lovely with pretty lighting, small tables for two and a couple of booths all of which were full of happy looking people. The bar was fully stocked and they had a great list of beers written on a board. There were TVs playing sports that were present but not overwhelming the place.

Latona Pub on Urbanspoon
Galway Arms Irish Pub & Restaurant on Urbanspoon