It’s all about spice and the small things at Ballard’s Middle Eastern eatery.

Golden Beetle’s reputation undoubtedly precedes itself due to the Ballard restaurant’s James Beard award winning chef, the organically enthused Maria Hines.  One might think an ego would turn things toward gaudy, but her vision for the maroon hued, perky eatery is that of simplicity and spice both in food and drink. 

What happens when an early love of restaurants and a uniquely named uncle come together?  Lucky 8’s China House on Capitol Hill.

As will happen, most restaurants have a pretty interesting story of how they came to be.  In the quaintly tucked Lucky 8’s case on Capitol Hill, all it took was 25 plus years in the industry for co-owner Bracey Rogers, an Uncle named Villepique

Daily specials and original cocktails make this upper Queen Anne establishment worth the hike.

There are few cases when not appearing to try to hard actually serves a purpose.  Rock n’ Roll comes to mind along with modern art and smoking cigarettes – all of which seem tied together in one blob of angst.  On a lighter note, I’m happy to add the rustic (but not superflously as many new restaurants make the mistake of – “These are authentic spider webs from 1925.”) interior of Lloyd Martin.

Unique meats, indulgent cheeses, and an industrial atmosphere make this burger spot one to enjoy.

In the Seattle burger scene, the bacon definitely rises to the top.  With the closing of the highly regarded Counter in Ballard, it goes to show, if you’re going to cook it up in Seattle, it better be good, which is why I was surprised when a friend, a true Red Mill loyalist, invited me to Capitol Hill’s newest meat and cheese joint, 8 oz. Burger Bar.

Still miss the Sopranos?  Drop into this West Seattle joint and get your fix for Italian-style eats, drinks, and attitude.

For those who grew up in West Seattle, or at least know of it a bit, the borough’s ability to set itself apart from the rest of the city is undeniable.  Sure, the peninsula that hosts Alki and other great sunny weather spots is only minutes away from downtown, but

Sneak up to this Belltown hideaway for simple snacks and kooky cocktails.

If there’s one thing I know, Belltown isn’t going anywhere.  Not that it should, but over the course of my time in Seattle and the three years I lived in the borough, it’s fair to say that all the ups (Patagonia, Cinerama, my dear Lava Lounge) could also be countered with a few downs (crime, concrete, coo coos).