At the end of last year, I was approached by the folks at Crimson Bamboo and was asked a very simple question: Where would you send people to eat in Seattle, if you wanted them to experience the “real” Seattle.
I scoffed at their question, until they said that there could be money in it for me if I would write down my answers and let them be part of their Rama Food Tours. Never one to pass up an opportunity that would allow me to tell people where to eat, I signed on as one of several food writers out in the world who want visitors to their fair cities to know where to find the good and/or interesting places that most tourist guides miss.
For me, answering the question as to where would I send people was a difficult one to ask, much more challenging than I expected. For one, due to several variables, many of them self-imposed, I could only provide six places to start, with an eye to adding six more when time and opportunity would allow.
Second, I had to balance the list. It’s no good having several lunch places to go to on the tour, because most people won’t go to all of them. A balance between breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner all had to be weighed against one another.
Finally, I wanted to send the users of this tour to, yes, visit the more popular tourist locations, but also to get off of the beaten path a bit, and see parts of Seattle that represent the neighborhoods of the city.
To wrap this all up, all of the places should have an element to them which is quintessentially “Seattle”, as vague and as ambiguous as that idea may be.
The first six places I have feel right to me, albeit incomplete. I get the tour user to Pike Place Market and the Space Needle, but also send them off to Fremont and Alki. I don’t send them to the best restaurant in the areas, but those which I believe represent a good Seattle experience.
And yes, this includes getting a cup of coffee at a local coffeehouse, and no, that coffeehouse isn’t owned by the green mermaid.
I could list each place here, but that would sort of defeat the purpose. Suffice to say, those who use the tour will see a lot of Seattle, and have some good food, and learn a bit about Seattle’s food history. If you’re interested, feel free to download the Rama application for the iPhone (it will work for the iPad, but it is iPhone specific), and then buy (and hopefully use!!) the Seattle tour.