Daniel’s Broiler Prime Steaks and Chops

Daniels BroilerIn the mornings I often hear Mitch in the Morning on KJR radio talk about his love for the Daniel’s Broiler Prime Steaks & Chops.  But even without the advertisements, Daniel’s is well known as one Seattle’s premier steak restaurants.  Probably the best known is Daniel’s on Lake Union or even in Bellevue, but the original is Daniel’s in Leschi.  It was started by Dan Sandal, who family roots took him back in the Seattle food business.  His grandfather, Dan Zido started two separate meat markets in the Pike Place Market.  Dan Zido’s son in-law, and Dan Sandal’s father sold to restaurants, thus Sandal had a great deal of exposure to the food industry.  With his experience, Sandal and partners started Benjamin’s which they later sold to the Schwartz Brothers.  Then in 1980, Sandal decided to open a restaurant bearing his name: Daniel’s.  A year later, he again sold to Schwartz Brothers who continued the tradition of his fine dining steakhouse.  Perfectly located on the shores of Lake Washington in the Leschi Marina it was a very convenient location for Mercer Island and Bellevue until they closed the I-90 entrance and exit on the east side of the tunnels when the second bridge was added.  In 1989 around the time I-90 was being upgraded, Daniel’s opened their Bellevue restaurant and shortly thereafter the restaurants went to exclusively serving USDA prime beef with the goal of becoming a world-class steakhouse.  In 1999, the former Benjamin’s space on South Lake Union became the third Daniel’s location.

Today, all three Daniel’s restaurants are Seattle favorites to eat a great steak and have a good time.

Lunchbox Laboratory Moves to South Lake Union

Lunchbox Laboratory, is hailed for serving up some of the best and most unique burgers in Seattle since its opening in 2008. The Ballard-based experimental eatery serves anything from American comfort food like tuna casseroles and fried foods, to specialty burgers made with tender-loving trial and error. The man behind the grill is chef Scott Simpson, who also created the Blue Onion Bistro. At the lab, Simpson serves up memorable beef, turkey, lamb and dork (a mix of duck and pork) burgers with a wide variety of toppings and sides. Their current small, retro location in Ballard at 7302.5 15th Avenue N.W., has a chalkboard menu; diners formulate their burgers from a number of columns choosing thier preferred meat, cheese, condiments and toppings. That same pick-your-burger chalkboard is soon to be hanging on a different wall come January. John Schmidt, the owner of Southlake Grill, has partnered with Simpson to open Lunchbox Laboratory’s new location in Lake Union where the Grill currently sits. At 1253 Thomas Street, the new Lunchbox Laboratory will have two levels and nearly 5,000 sf to amaze customers with its creations. Just as the square-footage, the menu will be expanding as well, incorporating dishes that were served at Blue Onion Bistro. The restaurant is set to open January 24th. Sadly, Ballard will have to say farewell to the one-of-a-kind burger joint and head to South Lake Union if they want another taste. SLU residents get ready-something good is coming your way!

Seattle Restaurant: South Lake Union’s Re:public

re:public

re:public

re:public

re:public

I went to re:public restaurant and bar for lunch today with a group of friends to celebrate the Christmas Season.  Re:public is in South Lake Union on Westlake near the cross street of Republican.  It is located in a cool old brick building that has probably seen a 100 year of changes in the Lake Union neighborhood.  The inside of the Seattle restaurant shows off the brick and the beams of the old building.  The restaurant has a large bar and you could tell that place probably is packed at Happy Hour with all the people that work around there.  I asked my friends and they confirmed it.

The menu looked good.  Not too many items to pick from, which I like when the options are good.  The top of the menu had 3 or 4 salads to pick from, the middle of the menu had about 5 sandwiches, and the bottom of the menu had about 4 items for entrees.  I concentrated on the middle of re:public’s menu where they featured a Kobe burger, Kobe bacon burger, Reuben sandwich, crab melt, and I think a tuna salad.  They all looked good; and I was having trouble deciding between the bacon burger, Reuben, or crab melt.  I went for the crab melt on the condition that my wife ordered the Kobe bacon burger, so I could try it.  Then we started to order and after going around the table, 5 Kobe bacon burgers were ordered and one crab melt.

The crab melt was very good.  I have talked about my love of cheese before, but I have to admit, I often shy away from crab melts because, dare I say it, a lot of times they have too much cheese on them when I order them in restaurants in Seattle.  This crab melt was perfect: it was light on the cheese and I could taste the crab (which often gets drowned out).  It was served on grilled sourdough, and it looks like it was made in a Panini maker.  I order the side salad which was light, but good.

I was not impressed with the Kobe bacon burger.  The burgers came on those buttery type rolls, which looked good but the buns dwarfed the meat.  It seems they make their own patties at the Seattle restaurant, since the burgers were all shapes and sizes, but all on the small side.  The restaurant also overcooked nearly every burger – the largest one had a sliver of pink in the very middle.  The cheese was very light (unlike on my crab melt, I think this is a big mistake to go light with the cheese on a burger).  Finally, they came with two strips of bacon.  Although there was ketchup on the side, there was nothing else to add (tomato slice, lettuce, mustard, etc).  I do not know if that stuff was need or not, but just an observation.  Really the most disappointing thing about the burgers was their size and that they were overcooked.  I did not hear the waitress ask how to cook them, but maybe you could order the burgers medium rare and at least that issue would be solved.

I will say the burgers came with fries, and the fries were pretty good: salted with sea salt, cut thicker than say any fast food restaurant in Seattle, but not too thick.  And you could see the potato skin on the ends.  They kind of reminded me of Seattle’s famous Dick’s Drive-In fries but thicker.

It was my first time I was at re:public, since I do not make it down to South Lake Union for lunch very often, so I hate to judge the burgers so critically with one visit.  I guess all I am saying, is the Kobe bacon burger looks real tempting (5 out of 6 ordered it), make sure you order it the way you like it cooked and do not go with an empty stomach.