Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On The Sound

I woke up early in a room that was balls hot and smelled like the inside of a sweaty ear. A quick websearch the night before for the best breakfast in the area gave me a few suggestions, but one stood out more than the others; Lowell’s is located inside of the Pike Market itself, and if you sit on the third floor, it offers you a view of the Puget Sound. The food was supposed to be excellent, too, with the Crab Cake Benedict getting special attention. I showered and tried to grab my belongings as quietly as possible, then grabbed a quick bite at the Hostel, because I figured I owed it to myself as well as you, dear readers, to sample any breakfast available. It was very DIY, with a couple dozen eggs in the kitchen, and fruit, bread, and jam set up on the table. Knowing I was on my way to a meal, and being fairly lazy, I had a couple bits of fruit and some toast.

Then I made my way across the street to a Starbucks. I mistook the Starbucks across the street for the First Starbucks, about two blocks down, and made myself a promise that it would be the only Starbucks I visit on this trip. Having a fresh cup of coffee to consume before I got breakfast, I explored the Market and the Waterfront a little bit. I discovered the Market is a little tricky in that there doesn’t seem to be a way through it to the other side, so if you end up behind it, then you must circumvent it entirely to get around to the front. It also sits on a steep hill, so getting back around to the front involves a lot of stairs. My calves are now full grown bulls. The Market itself is fun and beautiful, very busy with singing, fish tossing, workers; lots of local and tourist customers; tons of enormous seafood; and lots of fun, hanging neon signs.

Lowell’s is funny in that it looks like a free-standing restaurant that the Market has grown up around, with its own distinct façade. Despite the recommendation of the internet to get the Crab Cake Benedict, I decided on the Hangtown Scramble which sold me on being local, and even more than that, a little weird; fried Northwest oysters, green onion, parmesan cheese,and hickory smoked bacon all scrambled up. Having had my coffee fix, I topped it off with an orange juice. A tiny, tiny orange juice. (to be fair, it turned out to be a completely sufficient amount of juice). The view was gorgeous, and I was asked by a couple from Texas if I knew “what the Sound (was),” as they read they would have a view of it, but apparently had no idea what they were looking for. I got to play a little tour guide and historian, regurgitating the history of the Sound I’d heard on the train ride up, and pointing out the Starbucks Headquarters.

It was a fun, sort of touristy way to start the vacation, and a good way to fuel up for a huge, rampagin’ day ahead. The décor was a fairly quaint, Wharf-y, Fish Market feel (surprise!), not unlike 60% of the restaurants along the San Francisco waterfront. Paintings of the Market itself, chalk drawings on the menu, etc. The real décor is the windows, and the city itself. The service was nice enough, and obviously used to dealing with tourists, as they were quick to explain exactly how the service works; the second floor is table service, whereas the first and third floors you order at the register, and find your own table.

Atmosphere: 8/13
Clean: 2/3
Structural: 2/3
Decor: 2/3
Signage 1/2
Service: 1/2

Menu: 6/8
Variety: 2/2
Size: 2/2
Beverages: 1/2
Prices: 1/2

Food: 7/9 pts
Presentation: 2/3
Portion: 3/3
Taste: 2/3

Bathroom: 2/5 pts.
Clean: 1/2
Structural: 0/1
Decor: 1/2

Overall: 23/35

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