DicksSign.jpg
The list was growing long--Laura and I huddled up on the couch, tapping away at laptops, trying to find the shape and texture of an

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Culinary Three-Way, Old Seattle Style

DicksSign.jpg
The list was growing long--Laura and I huddled up on the couch, tapping away at laptops, trying to find the shape and texture of an entire city's restaurant scene while still living out of luggage and boxes that were fast becoming furniture.

"This looks good," she'd say, tilting her machine in my direction to show me some architectural plate stacked with butter lettuce and prawns, a white bowl of yellow curry, plate of beef shellacked in hoisin varnish and speckled with sesame seeds. I'd dutifully scribble down names and vague addresses on the legal pad I was filling, try to connect one place to another nearby, two places to four more by cuisine, by style, by chef, link those six into a sketch of a neighborhood.

Choosing where to eat is never an easy thing. There are so many variables, so many possibilities. And doing it blind--in a new town, a new scene, with nothing to go on but instinct and appetite--is like playing culinary Russian roulette with all the chambers loaded but one. Luck is rare. Disaster and a mess on the carpet a nearly sure thing.

Option paralysis. That's where we eventually found ourselves. Too many restaurants, not enough time, not enough resources, not enough data.

"So what are we going to do, Jay? We need to eat somewhere ..."

As promised, after last week's introduction, this week I'm doing an actual review. And not just one actual review, but three--a triptych of old Seattle classics. And as also kinda half-promised, the lineup comes straight from the blog comments posted to my original "where in the hell should I eat first?" essay. I took the advice of Tournant and went for the trifecta: Ivar's, Dick's and Pagliacci.

So how did it go? Well, I'm still alive and writing, so none of the three places just flat killed me, which is a good start. But I sure didn't love everything that was put in front of me. Neither did I hate everything so much that I spent the following week weeping and wishing I was back in Denver. But in order to find out exactly which place fell where on my love-and-loathing spectrum, you're going to have to check in tomorrow when the review goes live. Or, you could be all super-cool and old-school and just go pick up the paper in its original dead-tree format--available wherever fine newspapers are given away for free.

Either way, we're off and running now. And I don't know about you, but I'm excited to see what comes next.

 
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