If one to visit Seattle, one might notice that the most popular type of restaurant found in the area is not the ubiquitous franchised fast food joint, but rather the independently owned teriyaki Chicken stands. Often these places blend into the various urban commercial zones throught greater Seattle, hiding in various plazas and strip malls, or next to other more ‘sexy’ restaurants.
One may not realize just how many of these places exist until they sit down and count them. For example, within a 4 block radius from my home in West Seattle there are six teriyaki restaurants. As a comparison, within the same area there are three fast food restaurants, two pizza joints, and ten coffee shops.
Yes…ten coffee shops. I am not lacking for caffeine.
Tara and I have often asked the question “which teriyaki restaurant in the Seattle could be called ‘The Best’, or at least ‘Pretty Damn Good’?”. But teriyaki places are often ignored by the local food media. There are probably several good reasons for this, but it still leaves me with my question unanswered.
To that end, we’ve decided to go on our own little quest. We’re going to visit dozens of teriyaki restaurants and then rate them. By the end of the year, we should have a good idea on what criteria makes a good teriyaki joint and which places meet those criteria.
Here are our ground rules:
- We have to eat at the restaurant. No take out.
- I have to order Chicken Teriyaki. Nothing else except for a drink.
- Tara has to order something other than Chicken Teriyaki.
Here are the aspects of the meal which we will rate:
Chicken: (0 – 5 points) Was the chicken moist? Fresh? Or was it rubbery and tasteless?
Teriyaki Sauce: (0 – 5 points) How was the chicken to sauce ratio? Was the sauce too thick or too sweet?
Rice: (0 – 5 points) Sticky? Has it been sitting out for a while? Does it complement the chicken and the sauce?
Side Dishes: (0 – 5 points)
What other foods were served with the Chicken Teriyaki? How tasteful were the dishes?
Menu: (0 – 5 points)
Did the restaurant have an extensive menu or did they have a limited selection of options for those not in the mood for chicken teriyaki?
Other Entrees: (0 – 5 points)
Did the other menu options meet or exceed the quality of the Chicken Teriyaki? Was the food good?
Intangibles: (0 – 5 points) Was there something that the restaurant offered that set it apart from other similar businesses?
Expect the teriyaki posts to start in two weeks or so, as I’ll be out of Seattle next week.