Brian Hardison needs no introduction. But I think I'll do one anyhoo. This former North Idaho resident moved to Seattle several years ago after a house landed on his sister. This area was simply not worthy of his pointed wit, refined sense of culture, and highly luscious gams. He is currently attending the University of Washington, majoring in Dusty Old Books with Obscure Phrases. His likes include Jeeves, gin, Siouxsie Sioux, and gin and his dislikes include errors in spelling and grammar and the entire human race in general. He was kind enough recently to park his broom long enough to tell us what puts the squiggly line underneath his ç, both Idaho-wise and Seattle-wise.
1. Favorite place to go for breakfast: When I lived in the area, I enjoyed going to Rustler’s Roost down on Sherman—I miss their home fries and gravy!—or, more recently, I enjoyed going to Rockin’ Robin. Since I moved to Seattle in 2005, I either go to Café Presse (http://www.cafepresseseattle.com), as it is within walking distance of my apartment, for the œufs plats, jambon, et fromage, or I go to Smith (http://www.smithseattle.com) up on 15th for the pitchers of mimosa and a Full English!
2. Favorite place to grab a sandwich for lunch: When I go out for lunch, I rarely get a sandwich. I can make those myself at home and they’ll be less expensive and tastier! However, when I lived in Idaho, I enjoyed going to lunch at Takara for the bento or the oyako donburi. During the work week, my favorite place for lunch is the Kafé at the Swedish Cultural Center. It’s only open on Friday, but the chef, Ann-Margret, serves excellent smørbrød (open-faced sandwiches, I prefer the prawn smørbrød. Although, the one with gravlaks is good, too!) and dishes like kjøttbullar (meatballs served with brown gravy, boiled potatoes, and lingonberry sauce) and desserts like eplekake med vaniljesaus (apple cake with vanilla sauce). Plus the view of Lake Union and downtown from the dining room can’t be beat.
3. Best Mexican restaurant: In Coeur d’Alene, Toro Viejo was always my favorite! I almost never eat Mexican food in Seattle! I’ve never found one near my stomping grounds that made a decent carne asada.
4. Best Chinese restaurant: The Chinese restaurants in Coeur d’Alene when I lived there were rather appalling. Here, I go down to the International District and go to Purple Dot for my Chinese food! I’m there practically every weekend for dim sum and I’ve been known to make late night/early morning runs when I simply must have delicious Chinese food. The dim sum hostesses and cart staff all know me.
5. Best place to get sushi: In Coeur d’Alene, the only place, when I lived there, to get sushi was Takara. In Seattle, I go to Nijo (http://www.nijosushi.com) downtown on Spring Street. They’ve a killer happy hour! The walk back up the hill, however, is equally a killer. Do yourself a favor and have the waitress call you a cab!
6. Best fast food joint: I dislike fast food on principle and almost never patronize them. I prefer that my food be readily identifiable.
However, when I’m really hungry and want food in a pinch, my mind turns to phở! If I’m in the University District, I stop in to Phở Than Brothers for some incredibly delicious phở. It’s cheap (under seven dollars), quick, and served with an incredibly tasty cream puff. The restaurant is a bit dingy, but it’s always packed by starving students. The Broadway location is a bit cleaner, but not by much. If I’m not in the University District and find myself craving phở, I trip over to the International District and visit Phở Hoa. They, too, have excellent, inexpensive phở that is served quickly. It’s also noticeably cleaner. The only downside is the lack of a cream puff!
7. Most frequented bar or nightclub: Since my schedule has become so much busier, I rarely go out to bars or clubs these days. However, in Coeur d’Alene, I was frequently found at Mik-n-Mac’s having a good time. In Seattle, I’ve a few more options, naturally, and it depends on what I feel like. If I’m meeting a friend out for a drink during the week, we often go to Tavern Law (http://www.tavernlaw.com), Café Presse, or Smith. If I’m not working on homework on the weekend, I generally go out to a private goth/industrial club.
8. Someone offers to buy you a drink. What do you order? In Coeur d’Alene, it was generally a shot of something! In Seattle, however, it really depends on where we are and my mood. However, I regularly drink Old-fashioneds, double Maker’s-and-sodas, Manhattans, Tanqueray martinis (extra dry, three olives, shaken), Guinness, and champagne cocktails.
9. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be and why? Does it have to be ice cream? Or can it be gelato? If I can pick gelato, then definitely vanilla! It’s simple, delicious, and just slightly decadent.