Do you find yourself watching the Food Network and think “I could do that.” Well maybe you should. One can buy an existing restaurant in the Seattle area. In most situations you are buying the business and its assets including taking over the remaining portion of the lease of the building. Click the link to see over 150 Seattle area restaurant and bars that are available for purchase. The price range $2,750,000 to $5,000.
While deciding to own a restaurant is a major decision and full of risks, it is not as risky as common knowledge would have you think. According to a restaurant study the failure rate is about 60% within 3 years. While this is high, it is not nearly as high as the 90% failure rate that is often quoted.
I always drive by Hale’s Ale’s in Ballard, and Friday night I finally decided to check it out. The local brewery, inspired by founder mike Hale’s visits to different pubs around England, moved from Kirkland to Ballard in 1995. Hale’s Ales has been serving a variety of homemade (brewed in the building) ales for nearly 30 years. I went to Hale’s Ales with the intention of dinner and some good beer. It was not as busy as I thought it would be though, which I guess is a good thing. When I walked in, I truly thought the interior and feel of the place was pretty cool. There were front and back dining areas, and even further back was the brewery. The only barrier between the two was a glass window, through which you could see the brewing process while enjoying your meal. I’ll be honest, even though I liked the beer, the “brewery smell” really got to me while I ate my blue cheese burger. Speaking of, although the food wasn’t great (between myself and other we had salmon chowder, Caesar salad, fish and chips and the aforementioned burger), you can’t expect five star cuisine from a place with the motto “Think Globally. Drink Locally.” I probably would have liked the typical pub grub more if it claimed “Enjoy your beer. Enjoy your food even more.” All in all, if you’re looking for a good beer and a place where (I can only imagine) is a pretty fun joint to watch a game with your friends, then check out Hale’s Ales. The brewery is located at 4301 Leary Way NW. See their website for more information.
We previously blogged about Madrona-based Dulces coming to Capitol Hill. Initially thought to be moving in to Joule, the restaurant will now be moving in next to Oola, at the corner of 14th and Union. Read more here.
Any Time is Taco Time
Taco Time not only has brought us crisp bean burritos, Mexi-Fries, and the best crushed ice this side of the Mississippi – they now have brought doubt to nutrition labels. No matter what the study says, I personally like having access to nutrition labels, but the study looked at Taco Time over 13 months in and outside King County to test the effect of nutrition labels. The reason the study was done in restaurants in the Seattle area was because King County recently passed a new nutrition label law while restaurants outside the county did not. Surprisingly, the study found that the nutrition labels had no effect. Maybe because Taco Time already indicates what the healthy items are (even though it does not give the details), maybe it is because the clientele are not looking for healthy food from a fast food restaurant. Whatever the reason, I do not think it is going to change our local laws, nor do I think it will slow the federal government from passing similar laws.
Seattle restaurants have nutrition labels, it makes us more informed, but it does not change our actions.
PS – The study was done by researchers from Duke National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School and the Seattle area public health department. It was not commissioned by some group like Fast Food Group of America (I made that name up) – so that makes me think the results of the study were unbiased.
Teriyaki is as Seattle as the Space Needle?
There is a funny article on Seattle Teriyaki by Dan Restoine on MyNorthwest.com. The article explains that a former Seattle chef has opened a restaurant in New York that is serving “Seattle Style” teriyaki. What is Seattle style teriyaki? According to the article:
It’s got a strong dash of Korean influence and is heartier, stronger, sweeter, and spicier than the usual. And unlike the classic Japanese teriyaki sauce, which is mostly used to glaze meats, Seattle style is more independent and while varying hugely from place to place- what it shares is it’s more assertive taste.
Seattle: Space Needle, Pike Place Market (including salmon being thrown before any nationalized sports event in Seattle), Microsoft, Grunge, Starbucks’ coffee….and just maybe, if it catches on Seattle style teriyaki.
Naam Thai Restaurant
Naam is a great Thai restaurant just a couple doors north of 34th and Union in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood. From all accounts they have excellent Thai food and you can either order as a sit down restaurant or call previously and get it to go. One complaint I had when they first opened was the service was slow but in my experience that has vastly improved since then. If you feel like Thai food, then I would not hesitate to recommend Naam, but to be safe order to go if you are in a hurry. Otherwise enjoy all Naam has to offer by eating at the restaurant, it has a cool atmosphere (classic building, yet nice and clean) and you can order a cocktail from their full bar.
If you do not have young kids, I do not know if I would recommend Madrona Eatery & Ale House between 5 PM & 7 PM. If you do have young children and live in Seattle, then there is no better restaurant to go AND I would recommend you go there often.
We went to Madrona Ale House this Saturday night and got there just before 6 PM. The Seattle restaurant was not extremely busy, but within no time the place was packed. We ordered our food and while we waited I went over to the fireplace area. The fireplace area has a coffee table, a couch, and about 4 large milk crates of random toys. The toys look like they come from the island of misfit toys or toys from a garage sale (the toys that did not sell), but the couch is crawling with kids and they treat those toys like they just opened them from under the Christmas tree. While I was there with my children, I took the time to scan the restaurant and I counted 30 kids under the age of approximately 8 years old.
Our food came and we had a good meal. They have about 6 items on the kids menu, and the food for adults vary from tacos, to pasta, pizza, burgers, steak, etc. I generally either get the tacos (which is actually an appetizer – but good enough for dinner if not too hungry), grilled chicken burger with bacon, burger, veggie sandwich, or whatever the special is. I felt like I had to be healthy so I ordered a veggie sandwich….but instead of getting side salad…oops I ordered french fries and even tartar (they have good french fries – kind of thick with potato skins on some of them). Now their food is good, but some of their foods I am not a huge fan. Their wings I do not love (If you like wings read my previous blog about The Attic in Seattle’s Madison Park) and I have ordered their entree salads in the past and I was not impressed. But saying all this, we go to Seattle’s Madrona Eatery & Ale House a lot because it is a great atmosphere if you have kids and the food is good when you order the right thing and really when you do not, it is not bad, just not great.
Click here to read more about Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood where you find the Ale House.
The Attic has been a staple in Madison Park for over 50 years. As their website says: ‘Your grandparents drank here, why not you?” If The Attic was anything back then like it is now, they probably went to UW and drank beer / wine. While The Attic probably has college students that hang out there, the Seattle restaurant / bar definitely has UW alum hang out there and if a Husky game is being played somewhere it will definitely by on several of their numerous televisions. They also have 20+ beers on tap and several wines and while they have hard liquor you probably wouldn’t know it since it is hidden in the corner and rarely ordered. Thus, it is probably the most appropriate to refer to the Seattle restaurant’s full name “The Attic Alehouse and Eatery” but that only explains the beer. What about the eatery?
Wings after I had a couple - I couldn't wait
Now, The Attic has a lot of good food. Some swear by the taco salad, some love the breakfast, I am a huge fan of their wings. Now, I have had wings at several restaurants around Seattle, but I think The Attic’s are the best. I can’t really pinpoint why they are the best. There is nothing too fancy about them. They come with buffalo sauce, side of blue cheese, and a couple sticks of carrots and/or celery. Maybe it is the smattering of sesame seeds or chives they put on top. I am not sure how they cook wings in most restaurants, but in this Seattle haunt, they deep fry the wings. Maybe that is the difference. Either way, if you make your way to Madison Park then maybe make a stop and get some wings……and if you are looking for a late snack the wings taste especially good after 10 pm since the wings are $6 at Happy Hour which starts again at that time.