It's swimsuit season somewhere, which means magazine stands are now thick with slimming tips. But since nobody can see your waistline beneath the parka you're bound to wear through mid-July, why bother shedding weight? After all, those extra pounds will keep you warm on chilly Seattle summer nights.
Getting fat isn't a willy-nilly endeavor. It requires finding the greasiest, cheesiest and most sugary foods that you feel compelled to eat again and again and again. Since you're probably busy looking for your yoga pants, Voracious contributors have already done the heavy lifting, ferreting out the city's most irresistible hi-cal dishes. Here, our Erin Thompson-compiled list of Seattle's choicest spots for eaters intent on becoming enormous. As always, the rankings from tenth to second place are arbitrary, but the top finisher rules supreme.
10. Northlake Tavern
10. Northlake Tavern
At first glance, the encyclopedia-sized pies of Northlake Tavern & Pizza House appear to be Chicago-style or some other variety of deep-dish pizza. But upon further inspection, their crusts are actually relatively thin, while the toppings are piled so high and deep that a single slice is almost a serving in itself. The specialty pizzas--led by the legendary "Logger Special," with thick-cut Canadian bacon, Italian sausage, onions, green peppers, and crumbled black olives--weigh in at nearly two-and-a-half pounds. And that's a "small." The large pizzas, the menu proudly proclaims, tip the scales at six pounds and take more than a half-hour to cook.
9. Katsu Burger
The most astonishing menu item at Katsu Burger is the Mt. Fuji, a ziggurat of bacon, cheese, chicken, beef, and tonkatsu, the familiar breaded pork cutlet that provided inspiration for Hajime Sato's Georgetown burger joint. But if the sandwich is big, Sato's ambitions are bigger: He intends to make the single-patty version of his spectacular fried burger a signature Seattle dish
Resistance to Top Pot's doughnuts is futile: Relentlessly calling to you from their brightly lit display counter, the little buggers sing the siren song of immaculate decadence. Top Pot earns its tagline of "hand-forged donuts" by being the most substantial, deep-fried bit of dough to ever cross your lips. The donuts are homespun and devoid of overbearing sweetness, perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside--reason enough to brave even Top Pot's weekend crowds.
7. Plum Bistro
Vegans can't get fat on burgers and pizza made with normal cheese, so they're lucky that Plum Bistro makes liberal use of its deep fryer. "They deep fry everything," our Beet Street columnist Gwen Elliott assures us. And if ethical eaters don't want to get fat on fry, they can order spicy Cajun mac and yease orStumptown pancakes with vegan cream sauce.
6. Beard Papa's
The Japanese gobble cream puffs the way Homer Simpson does doughnuts, which is precisely why in 1999 Yuji Hirota founded Beard Papa's, a puff-pastry specialty shop that has since expanded to more than 250 stores in his home country, 300 worldwide. Its success is unsurprising--Beard Papa's uses only the most delicious (meaning most fattening) ingredients: butter, eggs, whole milk, and a whole lotta sugar. The result is a ball of perfection--a generous dollop of whipped-cream custard encased in a sweet, cruller-like shell. While they can be frozen, these cream puffs taste best fresh, when their exterior contains a slight crunch. And yes, that counts as a pretty good excuse to polish off an entire box in one sitting.
5. Beth's Cafe
Beth's is the archetypal greasy spoon--a Peter Pan restaurant that opened in 1954 and never grew up. Nothing will ever kill Beth's, despite the fact that the menu (full of 12-egg omelets, huge plates of hash browns and pancakes the size of placemats) seems, in certain places, custom-made to kill you.
Spud sells ling cod, halibut, salmon, oysters, prawns, clams, scallops, and baby shrimp, and, provided the fry guy isn't feeling overly heavy-handed that day, they're all done simply and crisply. Most of the sides are fried, too--breaded zucchini and artichoke hearts if you want to pretend you're being at least a little healthy, mozzarella sticks with marina dipping sauce if you're going full-fatty. Top it all off with a root beer float or a chocolate shake.
Long before Oprah Winfrey declared Ezell's Famous Chicken to be "the best chicken I've ever had in my life," this Southern-cooking oasis has been a battered-and-fried Seattle institution. Ezell's portions are huge, the meat tender, and the batter (spicy or classic) crispy and packed with flavor. Of course, no fried-chicken joint can be worth its weight in obese customers without an A-plus offering of delectable side dishes. Ezell's delivers on that end with thick and creamy mashed potatoes, fresh gizzards and livers, and sweet-potato pie made from scratch.
The chalkboard menu at Lunchbox Laboratory crowds your vision with a preponderance of options--burger type, sauce, cheese, sides, and shakes--often inducing an overstimulated pause in one's decision-making abilities. The burgers spill over themselves, oozing melted cheese and one of a number of house sauces.
Bales of bacon. That's the sight and smell that stays with you after a visit to either of Seattle's two Red Mill locations, in Interbay and Phinney Ridge. So many sandwiches come topped with bacon that the kitchen fries the stuff by the basketful. And there it sits on a counter, visible from the line leading to the register, glistening with grease like some edible monolith erected to appease the god of obesity. When true gluttony calls, order a double bacon deluxe with cheese: a half-pound of beef topped with thick strips of black-pepper bacon, a thick slice of Tillamook cheddar, and a brilliantly green lettuce leaf that stands out like a vegetarian in a tribe of cannibals. Add a side of onion rings and wash it all down with a milkshake. Then sit back and listen closely before you nod off into a saturated fat- and calorie-induced coma, because that sound you hear is your arteries hardening. (Or is it the bacon sizzling?)
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