Just in Time for Sunday, 3 Denver and Seattle Food Specialties to Try

potluck_party.jpg
Photo by Marshall Astor
Yayyy partyyy

This Sunday, I'll be at my friend's house watching two teams that aren't the San Francisco 49ers play in the big game. It's going to be horrible. Between the fact that I used to live in Seattle (and the Seahawks used to buy ads in my paper) and the fact that they knocked my team out of the running (also, division rivals and everything), who am I supposed to pull for? Bruno Mars? The Red Hot Chili Peppers? The weather?

All I know is, it's going to be a really long day, and all I'm going to have to keep me company is beer and food (and a whole mess of people).

At least I'm in Orange County, because we'll have the barbecue going, and I'm going to have my pick of everything from carne asada, to thit nuong and regular ol' burgers. If I were in Seattle? Or Denver? Well...

Seattle
3. Seattle Hot Dogs

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Photo by Stuart Spivack
Imagine this but with cream cheese

As much as I love to hate on Seattle's cuisine, if there's one thing that'll always stick with me about the city (apart from all of that professional and personal development), it's how they eat hot dogs.

Straight out of Pioneer Square, Seattle Dogs come topped with a healthy helping of cream cheese and grilled onions. That's right, that's it. There's no fuss, no real mess, just meat, bread, cheese (which might as well double as glue), and some onions to cut the richness. Whoever thought poppy seed buns, peppers, and stupid amounts of toppings were a good idea anyways?

2. Putting Smoked Salmon on top of Everything

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Photo by Karen Neoh
Hilariously, this smoked salmon is from San Francisco

The hot dogs just about end my love for Seattle food. Smoked salmon, on the other hand, begins my hatred.

Everyone who visits tries to bring home smoked salmon. I don't understand why, it's a waste of perfectly good fish. Worst still is Seattle's penchant for putting it in places it doesn't belong. On top of some croissant with egg? Fine, that sounds amazing, but I've found smoked salmon in places way away from Copper River.

Case in point, smoked salmon sushi. I was at Uwaijimaya, the local Japanese super market, one lunch looking for something quick. I picked something called a "salmon roll" and went on my merry way. Back at the office, I took a bite and almost died. In place of the wonderful raw salmon I was expecting were thin slivers of smoked salmon so discordant with the sushi rice that I had to throw half the roll away. It's okay, I didn't go hungry that day; I had lost my appetite.

1. Pulling Things Out of the Dirt
Pacific Northwest Cuisine is the only cuisine I can think of that's defined by the freshness and locality of its ingredients instead of its spices or flavors.

Ever see that Portlandia sketch with the chicken? Yeah, that's not that much of an exaggeration.

Every single iconic Seattle eatery, from Molly Moon's Ice Cream (which doesn't even make its own ice cream base) to Lil Woody's burgers and Skillet Seattle has the provenance of their ingredients readily on hand. How're we supposed to replicate that without a ridiculous amount of community gardens? Well, just start digging, I'm sure you'll hit something edible eventually.

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3 comments
JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Charles...on my last trip to Seattle (2011), I had one of those hot dogs with cream cheese (in Westlake Square, not Pioneer, though).

It was one of the most disgusting things I've ever consumed. And I love hot dogs...and I love cream cheese.

My sense is hot dogs with cream cheese is to Seattle what Del Taco is to SoCal...something that only tastes great at 2:30 am....

CharlesLam
CharlesLam

@JBinOC  I will admit that I have eaten many of them at 2:30 in the morning.

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