Seattle: Cedars Restaurant on Brooklyn

After the Boeing Tour which took a good part of the morning, we headed south towards Seattle and decided to have lunch in Cedar’s. Cedar was one of the most recommended from Chowtimes readers on my list. I guess I won’t go wrong going for lunch here since also that the family loves spicy Indian cooking.

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Cedars or more accurately Cedars on Brooklyn Restaurant is located, well, on Brooklyn Ave (St? Dr?) in the University District. From outside one would never have thought that this is an East Indian restaurant. Moreover, the name Cedar has no absolutely no connection to anything Indian, at least not to my knowledge.

We were a bit wary about this place as we went in. We wanted only authentic Indian food and seeing also the customers there who are mostly whites, I thought their food might have been watered down to suit the local palate. I was sooo wrong.

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The lunchroom was packed but we got seated quite promptly. Maybe it’s just me … but the customers do seems like they are either students or university professors. After all we are in Seattle’s University District.

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Mango Relish. I guess it must be something like a chutney that one uses as a condiment. What do you eat this with anyway?

As far the Iguana XXX Habanero sauce I am quite sure this is not Indian. Ooooh, this I like. There is a real kick to this and loves the fact that the burn comes on slowly. Try a dip and for the first few seconds, it was just like nothing and then the burn will set in to such an intense level I had to reach for the glass of water. Nice, wickedly nice! I put some on the dishes that came afterwards.

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Oh wow … the naan was heavenly. (more…)

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Seattle: Boeing Tour and Future of Flight Aviation Center

Day two in Seattle. The highlight of the day is the Future of Flight and Boeing Factory Tour. This place is located somewhere north west of Seattle. We had always wanted to visit the world famous Boeing but did not managed to do that because Nanzaro did not meet the minimum height requirement for the tour.

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The Future of Flight is a Aviation Museum but more importantly it is the starting point of the Boeing Tour. We bought the entrance tickets online before the Seattle trip to make sure we have the time secured. You can try to walk in and get the tickets but on some days they are so popular that there are no tours available.

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Security is tight and they are really serious about it. You cannot bring your bags in, not even cameras, cell phones and believe it or not, not even an iPod! Since we had already pre-purchased the ticket we just had to go pick up the ticket.

We visited on a Monday morning and so there were hardly anyone there. Also, we booked the first tour of the day which is kind of early for a lot of people too. We enjoyed it this way because we get a lot of space at the exhibits.

The Boeing Factory tour started with a video presentation on the history of Boeing planes.

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It is too bad that we did not managed to get any pictures at all of the Boeing Factory Tour. (more…)

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Seattle: The First Starbucks Store

Suanne and I must have a cuppa every morning. For some reason, we had never really liked the coffee from Starbucks. If we wanted coffee, we would head to Tim Horton’s.

While we were still in the Pike Place Market, we thought we make a visit to the first Starbucks outlet. This is (almost) where the it all began, where the first of trillions of cups were served. For coffee lovers, I guess visiting the first Starbucks is like a pilgrimage.

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I said this is “almost” the first Starbucks. The actual first Starbucks is located just 500 ft from this shop. In many ways, this outlet can be considered as the first Starbucks. You see, when Starbucks were first opened in the earlier location, they only sold coffee beans and equipment for about 11 years. It was only after they moved to this location that the first cup coffee was brewed.

It goes without saying that Starbucks is now the biggest coffeehouse on the planet. But guess you would not have guessed it was started by three teachers.

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The Starbucks logo is a green circular logo with a kind of a mermaid on it. This store sports the original all brown logo. (more…)

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Seattle: Piroshky, Piroshky in Pike Place Market

There is never a lack of eating places in the Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Everywhere you turn, you will come across food from every corner of the world and all of them seems so authentic.

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We came across this small little dank looking shop and had a long queue of customers. The queue was so long that it spilled out to the sidewalk. Well, with a line that long, this place would certainly be something.

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The name of the place is called Piroshky, Piroshky. It sounds a lot like a Russian — I wasn’t particularly sure. I had expected to see Russian looking people running the place but the person who attended to us looked very much like Chinese. But other than that, the place does look authentic Russian.

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The line moved quite fast. We could see them making whatever they call it from the outside window. They do look very delicious. (more…)

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Seattle: The Confectional in Pike Place Market

You never believe how hilly Seattle is sometimes. I’ll always be reminded that it’s a long way up from the Waterfront to The Pike Place Market in our previous trips. That was when we did not realize that there were actually lifts that we could use.

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No trip is complete without making a trip to the world famous Pike Place Market. Pike Place Market was originally a farmers market but had over the century (oh yeah, it’s over 100 years old) turned into a potpourri of unique shops and restaurants. Perhaps the most famous of all these shops was the fish market. That is where they throw big fishes across to the counter but nothing happened on the day we visited.

Anyway, having been here so many times already, we skipped most of the public market. What we wanted to really do is to check out the food outlets.

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We came across this place called The Confectional. Nice name I thought. We would not have given it a second glance if not for their tagline “Confess Your Love for Cheesecake”. Oh, when you see the word cheesecake, Suanne gets all excited. That woman can live on cheesecake alone, I tell you.

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The choices were bewildering. All of them looked so pretty. Suanne had a great time just reading the names and checking each one out at a time. (more…)

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Seattle: The Crab Pot

After a nice nap on board the Argosy Cruise, I was all ready for our first real meal. Top on our list for a meal at the Seattle Waterfront is the Crab Pot. This is quite unlike any Seafood restaurant that we had ever been before … and certainly a meal that is unforgettable.

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The Crab Pot is located on Pier 57 … just a stone throw away from the Argosy Cruise and the Seattle Aquarium. Anyway, Pier whatever, if it’s on the waterfront, you will be able to find it. The Waterfront is not a long stretch … almost all the main attractions are located on a 1/2 mile stretch or so.

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It was almost 2PM by the time we got to Crab Pot. I thought that it will be a great time to go for lunch expecting to avoid the lunch time crowd. Bad idea. Even at 2PM we had to wait 20 minutes for a table.

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It was a really cold day, freezing cold as a matter of fact. We asked to be seated inside but they told us it will be quite a wait. Being hungry and not wanting to waste any more time waiting we took the tables outside. It was quite OK. It was not that it’s outdoors but it certainly is not as warm as inside. [I thought Suanne certainly looked very hungry and cold in this picture! LOL!]

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The Crab Pot has a very extensive menu which includes steak, burgers, chicken and of course seafood. But the Crab Pot is known as the home of the famous Seafest. There are four choices of the Seafest. They are charged by the person. The cheapest is $15 per person and ranges up to $33 per person. My advice is to get the most expensive meal you can afford — it is worth every cent.

After doing a few calculation, we decided that we can afford “The Westport” which costs $22.

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First came one of the best bread we ever had … and no, it’s not because we are hungry and cold. They are really nice … warm and crusty sourdough bread. It was so nice, we asked for more.

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Herein is the fun and best part of eating in the Crab Pot. First they lay a large piece of paper over the table. Then they gave each of us a wooden block, wooden mallet and a bib with a large red crab. Oh yeah … no plates, no forks and knives … we all eat with our hands.

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(more…)

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Seattle: Argosy Cruise Around Seattle Harbor

We went next for the cruise. It’s called the Argosy Cruise.

We used the CityPass for this cruise. Let me tell you, again, that when you are visiting Seattle you simply must get the citypass. You get quite a bit of savings. For instance, the 1 hr Seattle Harbor Cruise costs $21.75 but with the CityPass which costs only $44, you get entrances to four other premier tourist spots too. The CityPass covers the basic 1-hour harbour cruise but you have the option to upgrade to other Argosy’s cruises.

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We boarded the cruise from Pier 55 on Seattle’s Waterfront. For some reason, I felt all tired that when we got onto the ship. I guess I was just all tired from the hecticness of the day before. The seats were so comfortable, guess what, I fell asleep for the entire duration of the cruise! But Suanne and the boys had a great time and took a lot of pictures.

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You get to see the colorful Seattle waterfront from the cruise. It was a fun and quick way to learn about Seattle with the narration throughout the cruise. We passed by the newly opened Olympic Sculpture Park, which is really a huge outdoor sculpture park and opened to the public for free. We did not get the chance to visit it this time but we will some day. (more…)

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