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.

Guaro and the Seattle Empanada by Dean Belder

Ain’t no party like a Costa Rica Party.  There was much rum to be had this night in Seattle, the lovely Maggie was an exceptional host, and made delightful, bean stuffed empanadas, which, over-zealously I tried to consume fresh out of the oven, and my head melted.

Also in attendance were a couple bottles of a Costa Rican treat called Guaro. Like Rum it’s made from sugar cane, but the similarities end there. Guaro is the Central American equivalent to moonshine. Made from sugarcane, the government of Costa Rica legalized it’s production in an attempt to stop more shady operations. They’ve tried to bring it into the US, but it hasn’t gained any traction, of course theres a reason for that… it isn’t very good.

At sixty proof, it’s doesn’t seem the harbinger of doom it likely is, after trying one shot, I realized that there would be no hangover quite like a guaro hangover, so I stopped. To the producers credit they seemed to find the right balance of alcohol content to shitty flavour.  Too much alcohol and you’d be in danger of blindness, and too little it wouldn’t be worth getting past the taste.

I wish I could say the guaro enabled party devolved into a morally depraved bacchanal, or an orgy broke out in the makeshift pool room, or that I got into another rum fueled game of dungeons and dragons, but it didn’t happen. I was frightened away by the spirit of guaro, finding comfort in my little hot pockets of love….  I mean the empanadas people!!