Lowell's

"Help Wanted: Food Runner" read a sign recently taped to the window at Lowell's, where the phrase "fast food" takes on new meaning. This decades-old Seattle institution inhabits three floors in the heart of Pike Place Market, so meals often travel a long way from kitchen to table. Order at the counter and take a seat on the first or third floors—your food will be whisked to you on fleet feet. Or sit in the bar/lounge on floor two for table service. Seafood dominates the large menu, from the prawn taco salad ($10.95) to the Big Kahuna tuna melt ($8.95) and the seafood combo platter, with prawns, cod, oysters, and clam strips ($15.95). Lowell's will probably appeal most to big-portion lovers who like fries with that and aren't too picky about seasonings (or lack thereof). The tuna melt and the grilled salmon sandwich ($10.95) were ho-hum the day we visited, as was the bland, starchy white clam chowder, declared a "house specialty" by the cashier ($3.95 cup, $5.95 bowl). But everything arrived super fast, with a fantastic view of Elliott Bay on the side. 1519 Pike Place, 206-622-2036. DOWNTOWN

 
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