The Place: The Hurricane Café , 2230 7th Ave., 682-5858, DOWNTOWN

The Hours: 24/7

Uptown, Downtown or Down Home: Downtown gone waaaaaaay downhill. Once a


Brunch at the Hurricane Will Leave You with a Not-So-Fresh Feeling


The Place: The Hurricane Café, 2230 7th Ave., 682-5858, DOWNTOWN

The Hours: 24/7

Uptown, Downtown or Down Home: Downtown gone waaaaaaay downhill. Once a spot full of gritty charm, the Hurricane has evolved. Through either poor ownership or management, it is now the most depressing eatery I've ever encountered, and I've had diner food in New Jersey. An unfortunate choice of lighting and what has to be the most unappetizing paint job known to man aren't helping their cause. When you walk into a bathroom that is unbearably filthy (the toilet tanks are open and place strewn with -- I swear to you -- discarded Vagisil wipe packets), it doesn't put much faith in the quality of your dining experience.

Bubbles, Bloodies or Black Coffee: You can get all three -- if you can get the waitstaff to pay attention to you and you have 20 minutes to wait for that drink to arrive with the apology "Sorry, I got to talking" -- but they all pretty much suck ass.

Hungover, Hooked -Up or Hanging with the Family: Tots are welcome in the café area and there is a game room, provided you have hand sanitizer and/or rubber gloves for your kids to spend some quarters. If you come here with a hangover, be prepared to feel worse than you already do. The only two reasons I can think of to bring a hook-up here would be to A) induce them into breaking up with you, or B) as part of some heavy BDSM punishment role-play.

What's Cooking: I hate that I have to say these things about the Hurricane. It was the first place in Seattle I ever consumed a meal way back in the summer of 1994, and later, upon moving back, where I drank a ton of coffee as a student in Belltown. It used to be dark and fun, and while never "clean," it wasn't frightening to use the facilities. It is such a bummer this place has taken such a disappointing turn.

Sandwiched between the city's least expensive downtown hotels, this spot should be brimming with low-budget tourists; instead there were only four other tables occupied by folks who looked like they were mentally writing their suicide notes, and it made our inability to get service even more frustrating. My dining companion and I sat in the completely empty bar section, where we were pummeled by the house music, which is 80's Top 40 via satellite radio. After the third Phil Collins' song, we asked someone if they could change the station, to which they sadly replied, "No, we aren't allowed to." If the staff at this place were allowed to have a little fun, they might actually give two poops about their jobs.

The food was not much of a joy to write about either. My Typhoon (a mess of veggies) was served on unlimited, but wildly undercooked hash browns. I felt pretty sketchy about the kitchen, given the state of affairs in the bathroom, and didn't dare send it back. My starving and still tipsy from the night before co-diner managed to get his down and order a second round of browns that upon request were actually cooked. I can't stress enough how depressing it all was. Going back to the Hurricane was like meeting up with a long lost love to find them strung out on meth -- an exercise in sorrow there is absolutely no reason to repeat.

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