Sunday, August 3, 2014

Americana Series Part IV: The Emerald City ... Exploring the Pacific NW with Gringo G ... Seattle!

The Place: Seattle - The Emerald City

Gringo G’s Experience

Summary: Seattle was a short stop for the Gringo but an ejoyable one nonetheless. The views from West Seattle, across Puget Sound from Downtown Seattle (what everyone thinks Seattle is), are stunning and provided Gringo G a calm place to stay where he could launch quickly into the city!

The Eats: First up is the Marination Ma Kai, where the Gringo stopped for a quick lunch shortly after arriving in West Seattle and before cruising down nearby Alki Beach on a bike. Marination is a hybrid Hawaiian Pacific Rim quick food joint built into Seacrest Park by Alki Beach. The food was decent and the spam sandwich on a Hawaiin Roll (they do have these in Hawaii accordingly) was interesting as well as the Fish and Chips. The view though for a fast food joint is almost unbeatable, a view of Puget Sound and the Seattle Skyline.

The View
Spam Sandwich
Fish and Chips
Alki Beach

The second place the Gringo G visited is Salty's on Alki Beach which is prominently known by locals (recommended to the Gringo by locals before his trip) as a good seafood joint with an immense view of Downtown. The seafood was very nice ... with the coconut encrusted prawns and West Coast Clam Chowder highlighting the evening. The Skyline at night was the cherry on top of this sundae though!

Local Microbrew with a View
Crab Cake, Coconut Prawns and Calamari (left to right)
West Coast Clam Chowder with Dungeness Crab Topping

The morning after the dinner the Gringo G strolled around West Seattle to see what it was like and on the recommendation of reviews we went to Easy Street Records & Café which has hosted live shows of a multitude of Seattle bands. After purchasing some nice used CDs we had a coffee (and would have one of the gnarly looking breakfasts if it had not been for the hotel breakfast we had before). It was a nice place for a coffee!
Easy Street
New Age

Finally after checking out of the hotel Gringo G headed to get his long sought after sandwiches from Armandino's Salumi. Calling a day ahead of time to get them as take out without a line (that can last as long as two hours according to online reviews) was well worth it. The Hot Sopresatta was dripping in wonderful  greasy, spicy goodness. The Salumi Muffo with Cotto and Sopresatta and House Tapenade was wonderful and as you can see below ... after the Mexico City Foodie's walk around Discovery Park and Beach the view while eating them was surreal including Mount Rainier!

Hot Sopressata
Salumi Muffo
The View
The Beach to accompany Salumi!

The Lodging: Gringo was just looking for a place to crash for the night where he could park his car without an extra charge away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Seattle. The Grove West Seattle Inn definetely fits the bill ... no frills but very convenient at a very reasonable price for Seattle!

The Grove West Seattle Inn Webpage and Location

Things To Do: 
Other than the aforementioned Discovery Park and Alki Beach Gringo G only got into Downtown (after much convincing) to hit up the tourist sites during his first afternoon in Seattle. Pike Place Market, world famous was alright ... but simply could not impress the Gringo given the multitude of markets in Mexico. The first Starbucks location was too crowded and far too touristy for Gringo G ... but if you want to do this stuff then to each his own!

Pike Place Market
The First Starbucks
The Evil Starbucks HQ Sirens ... Scary!
The Pike Place Fisherman ... Cool!

Coming Next: Americana Series Part V:  CANADA ... Exploring the Pacific NW with Gringo G ... Vancouver, BC!

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