Eating out

Duck Island, and the Pressure Fried Chicken. by Dean Belder

I love getting out into Seattle and discovering new things, on this trip I found some good cheap deals. Drinking , and eating affordably is good in any city, but what’s better is being able to do it and have something awesome to go along with it.  This is what came with my final evening in Seattle.

After a long day travelling the Ballard neighbourhood, and enjoying some of the craft brews to be had there, it was time for some eats.  Warm interiors, good hospitality and comfortable seating were the perfect end to a grey Seattle Sunday, at the Duck Island Ale House.

With a couple dozen brews on tap there was no problem finding something to drink, but what about the food? Understanding that it was pretty good, I decided to find out for myself. Taking a cue from KFC they use pressure fryers to make some of the best fried chicken I have ever had, and putting the Colonel’s  chain to shame.  

For just over nine dollars you can have either three pieces including a breast or four without, along with two sides. Opting for the three piece meal with potato salad and fries, I found myself inhaling some of the best food I’d had all weekend, and some of the best I’ve had in Seattle period.  

After eating the night became a little bit foggy as I tried to work my way through the extensive list of brews, but if you find yourself in Seattle and seek a debauched evening, with fried chicken and other delights, take it from a professional, find the Duck Island Ale House. 

Delicatus, Seattle. by Dean Belder


Getting off the Bolt Bus, with a few hours to kill I took my usual route through Pioneer Square. I was hungry, having not had anything more than a banana and a coffee for breakfast, and I was thirsty, now having that coffee hours ago and miles away.

Meaning to try the cajun joint I told myself I would try, I discovered it under renovations and closed until April. I meandered further and thought well perhaps I can find a sandwich or something, and just a few blocks further I stumbled upon Delicatus a modern take on the deli style sandwich shop, which meant not the paltry three or four menu items in similar joints in Vancouver, but two dozen classic and not so classic selections.

The Seattle Cure sounded interesting to me (pictured) so I ordered it, with a bloody mary. Made with cured albacore tuna bresaola, salmon lox, and a lemon caper aioli, the sandwich was among the best I have ever had. Made with love and locally sourced ingredients I expect Delicatus to become a regular stop on my continuing adventures in Seattle.

Chipotle, Lots of Smoke, Very Little Fire. by Dean Belder

Finally having a reason to be downtown, I decided it would be a good opportunity to finally try out a fast food joint that’s been getting a lot of buzz south of the border. Chipotle has made a great many claims in an attempt to change the fast food game, from efforts to source their ingredients locally, and from organic sources, to how they treat their employees, there’s even a documentary about them on Netflix that seems to support this, though to be fair it seems to also seems to be a well placed piece of corporate propaganda.

The location in Vancouver is one of only a handful of outlets in Canada, located across from the law courts on Howe street, the location’s primary competition is the food trucks and carts that frequent the art gallery space a short walk away. 

Walking into the restaurant, it’s clear they are trying to set themselves apart from the rest of the fast food set, but are they really doing anything revolutionary? In a word, no. They make vast claims to be having the customer as part of the food creation, but no more so than say Subway, and sure all the ingredients are prepared in house, a laudable change from the norm to be sure, but is it enough? I’m not sure it is in a city like Vancouver, other establishments have already taken up this model and are doing it in my opinion cheaper and better.

I ordered a carnitas bowl with a side of chips and salsa. Presented well, the bowl was layers of rice, beans and pork, topped with sour cream, tomatoes, salsa and lettuce.  The chips in a paper bag labeled “chips”, and a side of salsa in a little plastic cup.

The food itself was nothing special, the meat on the bland side, the veggies despite their organic nature were, well boring, the hot salsa medium at best, the chips also were nothing special, and didn’t seem to represent the “made-in-house” mantra that Chipotle pushes on what has become a loyal following in America.

Ultimately there was nothing wrong with the food, but at the same time I think the Red Burrito does the whole thing a little better, and a lot cheaper. If the price doesn’t bother you, then you’d be much better served going to La Taqueria, for a much more flavorful take on the Mexican experience, and if the chain restaurant is your thing, Chronic Taco’s is also a much better choice than Chipotle.

I was excited to try out Chipotle, and having the opportunity to try it I left a little disappointed, and very underwhelmed. I can’t help but think that Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck would have been a much better choice than a run of the mill burrito joint