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15 Seattle Restaurant Dishes That Keep You in a Rut

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In last week's Friday Open Thread the question was posed: What single dish keeps you from branching out — the dish that's so satisfying, so seductive, that it makes it near impossible for the rest of the menu to get noticed.

Shout outs ranged from "The lasagna at the Pink Door!" to "Whatever is on special at Uneeda Burger" and "The Wild Boar Sloppy Joe at Quinn's." There were also (already) four-alarm freakouts over dishes that have already disappeared: "Where can I get great Green Curry with Shrimp now that Noodle Ranch is closed?," "Used to be the mac & cheese at Poco Wine & Spirits, probably 2000 calories of baked cheesy awesomeness. Then those bastards went and got rid of it last week! Not sure level four is high enough for the freakout."

Here now, in complete random order, a round-up of some of the best answers in the form of a map of Seattle's 15 Dishes That Keep You in a Rut (in a Good Way!).


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Sexton

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5327 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 829-8645
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"I can't order anything but the mac & cheese at The Sexton. It's the absolute best in town. The bacon in the crumble, the arugula and balsamic to offset the creaminess. It’s absolutely addictive."
[Photo Credit]

2. Tilikum Place Café

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407 Cedar St
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 282-4830
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"The roast chicken at Tilikum Place Cafe. And a double side order of Brussells sprouts!"

3. The Wandering Goose

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403 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 323-9938
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"If you want a delicious heart attack. Go get 'The Sawmill': biscuit, gruyere, pork sausage gravy, aged cheese, add bacon, add an egg, over easy. Cookie for dessert. Blam...delicious."
[Photo Credit]

4. TanakaSan

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2121 6th Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 812-8412
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"The Brown Rice Bowl from Tanakasan. Can't get enough of it. The tofu is marinated to perfection. The avocado hollandaise pure genius. And, the radishes, delicious. It is a meal that I could have for dinner and breakfast. Would also be mighty fine with an egg."
[Photo Credit]

5. La Medusa

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4857 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 723-2192
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"Caciocavallo with cider vinegar at La Medusa. Best cheese dish I've ever had. Anywhere. Ever. It will blow your mind. One of the best single dishes in Seattle, in my opinion."
[Photo Credit]

6. Grub

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7 Boston St
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 216-3628
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"My boyfriend and I are obsessed with the fried rice special that's only served the third weekend of the month at Grub in Queen Anne. I never cared much about fried rice until this fried rice. AND YOU CAN ONLY GET IT ONCE A MONTH!"
[Photo Credit]

7. Rione XIII

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401 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 838-2878
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"Cacio e Pepe at Rione XIII. It is the perfect dish. Savory, sensual, rich...but not overwhelming. And simple. But try as I might, I can't duplicate it. Thankfully, Rione is three blocks from my home. Maybe my 2014 New Years resolution will be 'Try something else!!!'"
[Photo Credit]

8. Tacos Chukis

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219 Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 382-4447
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"The house taco at Tacos Chukis. I must eat 15 a week. I eat more tacos in a week than anything else."
[Photo Credit]

9. Salumi

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309 3rd Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 621-8772
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"I normally insist on variety, but the Meatball Sandwich at Salumi has the most delicious meatballs I've tasted."

10. Thai Tom

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4543 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 548-9548
"Tofu Swimming Rama at Thai Tom. The spinach in the swimming rama stays crispy after just a brief toss in the wok, and the sauce is so much more than just your usual bland peanut sauce. Their chicken is boring, so I go with the fried tofu to add another texture combo to the mix."
[Photo Credit]

11. The Walrus and the Carpenter

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4743 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 395-9227
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"Steak tartare at Walrus and Carpenter. Perfectly seasoned with great contrast in texture with the rye toast. Also, it looks very pretty with the egg yolk on top. Kind of ironic how an 'oyster bar' does a tartare better than steakhouses."
[Photo Credit]

12. Serafina

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2043 Eastlake Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 323-0807
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"Every time I go to Serafina, the specials sounds amazing. Alas, I seem to always get the melanzane - eggplant rolled with ricotta and baked in a delicious tomato sauce. It is all I want to eat when it's cold outside. Delicious!"
[Photo Credit]

13. Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant

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418 8th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 340-1388
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"The vegetable rice noodle soup, #46, at Green Leaf in the ID. I've been ordering it for YEARS and it's always perfect."
[Photo Credit]

14. Hing Loon

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628 S Weller St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 682-2828
"Szechuan Eggplant from Hing Loon: rich flavors, crispy edges and way too much than is decent for a single dish."
[Photo Credit]

15. Revel

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403 N 36th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 547-2040
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"Albacore rice bowl at Revel. It's the fennel kimchee!"
[Photo Credit]

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1. The Sexton

5327 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
"I can't order anything but the mac & cheese at The Sexton. It's the absolute best in town. The bacon in the crumble, the arugula and balsamic to offset the creaminess. It’s absolutely addictive."
[Photo Credit]
5327 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

2. Tilikum Place Café

407 Cedar St, Seattle, WA 98121
"The roast chicken at Tilikum Place Cafe. And a double side order of Brussells sprouts!"
407 Cedar St
Seattle, WA 98121

3. The Wandering Goose

403 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112
"If you want a delicious heart attack. Go get 'The Sawmill': biscuit, gruyere, pork sausage gravy, aged cheese, add bacon, add an egg, over easy. Cookie for dessert. Blam...delicious."
[Photo Credit]
403 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112

4. TanakaSan

2121 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
"The Brown Rice Bowl from Tanakasan. Can't get enough of it. The tofu is marinated to perfection. The avocado hollandaise pure genius. And, the radishes, delicious. It is a meal that I could have for dinner and breakfast. Would also be mighty fine with an egg."
[Photo Credit]
2121 6th Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

5. La Medusa

4857 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
"Caciocavallo with cider vinegar at La Medusa. Best cheese dish I've ever had. Anywhere. Ever. It will blow your mind. One of the best single dishes in Seattle, in my opinion."
[Photo Credit]
4857 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

6. Grub

7 Boston St, Seattle, WA 98109
"My boyfriend and I are obsessed with the fried rice special that's only served the third weekend of the month at Grub in Queen Anne. I never cared much about fried rice until this fried rice. AND YOU CAN ONLY GET IT ONCE A MONTH!"
[Photo Credit]
7 Boston St
Seattle, WA 98109

7. Rione XIII

401 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112
"Cacio e Pepe at Rione XIII. It is the perfect dish. Savory, sensual, rich...but not overwhelming. And simple. But try as I might, I can't duplicate it. Thankfully, Rione is three blocks from my home. Maybe my 2014 New Years resolution will be 'Try something else!!!'"
[Photo Credit]
401 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112

8. Tacos Chukis

219 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102
"The house taco at Tacos Chukis. I must eat 15 a week. I eat more tacos in a week than anything else."
[Photo Credit]
219 Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102

9. Salumi

309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
"I normally insist on variety, but the Meatball Sandwich at Salumi has the most delicious meatballs I've tasted."
309 3rd Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

10. Thai Tom

4543 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
"Tofu Swimming Rama at Thai Tom. The spinach in the swimming rama stays crispy after just a brief toss in the wok, and the sauce is so much more than just your usual bland peanut sauce. Their chicken is boring, so I go with the fried tofu to add another texture combo to the mix."
[Photo Credit]
4543 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

11. The Walrus and the Carpenter

4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
"Steak tartare at Walrus and Carpenter. Perfectly seasoned with great contrast in texture with the rye toast. Also, it looks very pretty with the egg yolk on top. Kind of ironic how an 'oyster bar' does a tartare better than steakhouses."
[Photo Credit]
4743 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

12. Serafina

2043 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102
"Every time I go to Serafina, the specials sounds amazing. Alas, I seem to always get the melanzane - eggplant rolled with ricotta and baked in a delicious tomato sauce. It is all I want to eat when it's cold outside. Delicious!"
[Photo Credit]
2043 Eastlake Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102

13. Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant

418 8th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
"The vegetable rice noodle soup, #46, at Green Leaf in the ID. I've been ordering it for YEARS and it's always perfect."
[Photo Credit]
418 8th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

14. Hing Loon

628 S Weller St, Seattle, WA 98104
"Szechuan Eggplant from Hing Loon: rich flavors, crispy edges and way too much than is decent for a single dish."
[Photo Credit]
628 S Weller St
Seattle, WA 98104

15. Revel

403 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103
"Albacore rice bowl at Revel. It's the fennel kimchee!"
[Photo Credit]
403 N 36th St
Seattle, WA 98103

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