Sup fools. You might have realized that there hasn’t been a bathroom review in quite some time. This is due to the fact that I work a lot and don’t really have time to wander around campus looking for clutch places to pee. I also don’t have any friends, so that eliminates the possibility of other people contributing to the site. The good news is that it’s summer so there’s not that many people on campus that need my services. For those that are indeed taking classes and think they would have had a much better bathroom experience if I kept updating during the summer, I’m sorry. But not really.
To continue with the summer-long trend of not doing bathroom reviews, I decided to review something else UW-related. The idea behind this post was the catalyst to get me and my ex-co-blogger Danny into blogging, so it’s cool to finally be able to put the original idea in motion, although I do like where the blog is now in terms of content. Without further ado: the best places to eat and drink on the Ave.
Honorable Mention: There are a lot of quality establishments on the Ave, but while this is great for customers, it makes it very difficult to rate all of them. There is an unequivocal top ten that we must honor. However, that does not mean that we cannot celebrate the others that just missed the cut. They include the following:
Trabant Coffee and Chai (45th and Brooklyn): This is easily the best coffee near campus. Nothing else can really compare. This is a decent study spot when not super busy. Only receives mention because it is technically not on the Ave (45th and Brooklyn) and drinks are insanely expensive. Is it worth it? You be the judge.
Mongolian BBQ (45th): The huge perk of Mongolian is that you get one bowl for $9, and what and how much you put in it is your prerogative. If you are creative and efficient with managing space in your bowl this can mean up to three days’ worth of leftovers.
Memo’s (47th): Okay, everyone knows that the food here is absolute garbage. If you go here just for the food you are doing it completely wrong. You go for the experience. It’s one of the only 24 hour joints on the Ave and it serves Mexican food. The perfect drunk/high eating establishment. Hang out with your drunk friends, bond over awful Mexican food that magically becomes the nectar of the gods when combined with excess alcohol, and bond with other equally drunk people. All at 2am. The only downside to a Memo’s outing is that you end up dropping stacks because all the menu items are overpriced and you’re so drunk that you don’t care about what things cost so you keep buying food until you’re satisfied. Any trip to Memo’s is going to be a memorable one if you’re not blacked out. It became THIS close to getting ranked but their food is so bad when you’re sober that I didn’t have the heart do it.
Orange King (15th and 42nd): The nicest, coolest old Korean ladies work here. They are so goddamn nice. Technically not on the Ave though. This is a top 3 burger place for suresies. They also have some teriyaki and other Oriental menu items too. You can be assured that your food made by those Korean ladies will contain love and kindness in every bite, not to mention copious amounts of MSG.
Pagliacci Pizza (45th): One of the disappointments on the Ave is the lack of pizza places where you can get pizza by the slice that’s open reasonably late. There are three places that sell pizza as far as I know on the Ave. Pizza Brava is terrible and Mod Pizza only makes small personal pan. Pagliacci is the only place that fills this quintessential collegiate void of pizza by the slice, and that is incredibly important. You can get it in the dorms but it’s overpriced and just not the same.
On to the Main Event. Hold on to your butts.
10. Cafe Allegro (42nd, in the alley): If someone’s doing a ranking of Seattle eating establishments, then a coffee shop needs to be on it, period. This is the oldest and best one off-campus, and on-campus for that matter. They brew good coffee and the baristas know their shit. It’s a good place to study on slower weekdays if you want to crank out some reading. Avoid during midterms and finals to not deal with people distracting you because, believe me, they will. Did I also mention cheap refills?
9. Pho Thy Thy (41st): Fuck your Bloody Mary or whatever stupid hangover cure you use. Pho is the best remedy, and Pho Thy Thy makes it best. That broth is absolutely clutch any time you’re sick or really hungover. A medium bowl costs six bucks and is so big it’s almost impossible for one person to finish. The bonus cream puff is pretty neat.
8. Chipotle Mexican Grill (42nd): Chipotle is one of the only national chain joints near campus besides all the coffee places and that new 7-11 across the street from here. Do I really have to explain the appeal? Fat, delicious burrito. Made fast. Carry out. Eat around six or 7 before going out and you’re good for the rest of the night. You’ll probably still be full of burrito and beer by 2am when all your friends want to go to Memo’s so it’ll be a great excuse not to eat food there (but you should still go because it’ll be a good time). The only drawbacks here are its national chain status and long lines pretty much whenever you go there. I’ll contend that you’ll definitely get what you pay for and then some, especially if you aren’t a wiener and load up on Tabasco sauce.
7. E.J. Burger (45th): The undisputed best burger place on the Ave. Some people swear by A Burger Place but here’s why E.J. Is better. One, E.J. doesn’t freeze their patties ever. ABP does. Two, ABP is on average $1.50 more expensive than E.J. for a very similar product. Three, E.J.’s house sauce is amazing. Four, they give you a mound of fries that would rival Ayers Rock (Mt. Urulu for all you aboriginal readers out there). Five, free refills. All run by very friendly Koreans to boot.
6. Yogurtland (43rd): Aka the democratization of frozen cultured dairy products. Here’s the deal with Yogurtland: there’s about 20 different flavors of yogurt and you can combine them in any way you want. Then you can put on any combination of the 50 or so toppings they have on top of your yogurt. If you do the math, that comes out to about a bajillion different combinations of yogurt and toppings. It’s paid by weight. How awesome is that? Yogurtland is frequented by international students but do not let that be a drawback from how insanely good their frozen yogurt is (I refuse to abbreviate to froyo).
5. Aladdin Gyro-cery & Deli/Aladdin Falafel Corner (41st, 45th, respectively): These are two different restaurants but they’re run by the same family so I included both of them. They make pretty much the same things, primarily damn good gyros and falafels. With the Ave being as multi-ethnic as it is, it’s a good alternative (or a better one, some might argue) to all the Thai joints. Speaking of which…
4. Thai Tom (45th): Out of all the Thai places, this place takes the cake. The Ave wouldn’t be the same without a mass of people waiting on the sidewalk to sit down in one of its four chairs. Or if you don’t feel like waiting in the rain for 45 minutes you can always get pick-up and eat your spicy, delicious conglomeration of noodles and vegetables drowned in some crazy sauce at your place.
3. Nook (50th): What makes Nook so freaking good, besides the fact that they make all their menu item ingredients from scratch all the time, is that it is elusive. It’s only open from 9am-12pm, five days a week. On top of that, they usually sell out within an hour or two after opening so you need to get there early. Given how many college students are actually awake and functioning by 9, it goes without saying that most people sleep in and miss it. You need to plan your outing to Nook. It’s not a spontaneous thing. It’s kind of like the McDonald’s breakfast phenomenon. You know they stop serving it by 11 but by the time you realize that you want an Egg McMuffin it’s 10:52 and you think to might make it by 10:59 so they’re obligated to serve you but then you decide it’s not worth all the stress and you end up hating yourself for missing McDonald’s breakfast for the 200,000th time in a row. That’s what going to Nook is like except with food that is 50 orders of magnitude better in every single aspect than Egg McMuffins.
2. University Teriyaki (41st): There’s not a whole lot to say about UT. It makes some of the best Korean and Oriental food on the Ave, it’s cheap, and it’s fast. I’ve gotten a plate of chicken teriyaki in less than three minutes on more than one occasion. Some people have mixed feelings about their tangy sesame salad dressing sorta deal, but I am personally a big fan. They also have a huge menu of all sorts of Asian foods, from gimmicky Americanized sushi to upgraded versions of Panda Express dishes to absolutely lush bibimbap (the shit that comes in the boiling-lava-hot stone bowl) and other tight Asian dishes. Ramen with the rice cakes are clutch during the winter, I might add. Pretty much everyone that has graduated from UW has eaten here and they all like it to varying degrees ranging from “That was quite nice” to “dopenasty”. If you didn’t like UT then you’re probably better off buying overpriced yuppie shit at U-Village and living there for the rest of your life.
1. Hawaiian BBQ (50th): Did people actually think that some other spot was going to be #1? That’s comedy right there. I don’t really know how to explain how good this place is. They give you two mountainous piles of food easily comparable to Mt. Everest and K-2, one of them being a heap of incomprehensibly satisfying fried greasy food, and the other a heap of equally satisfyingly incomprehensible fried greasy rice. And a little cup of sauce approaching cocaine-like levels of addiction, and sometimes a fried egg on your rice depending on what you got. All for no more than eight bucks. One plate will absolutely do work on the stomach of a malnourished college student. Good thing they’re very liberal with their take-out boxes. Yeah, the store is dirty and small and downright decrepit. Yeah, they only take cash (they have an ATM if you don’t have any). And who knows if they pass health inspection? I sure don’t, and I frankly don’t care. The dirt and grime from the store probably adds to the taste of the food (good thing, not a bad thing). And it’s not that dirty anyway! It’s a trek for the people living in the dorms but it’s worth it and then some. In fact, one of the reasons I live where I do is because of its proximity to Hawaiian BBQ. It’s that good.
There it is folks, your top ten food stops on the Ave. If you disagree with any or all of the spots, you can complain in the comments section, but it is highly improbable that I will care about anything you say. In fact, there is a higher chance of me buying Pizza Brava again than me caring about your comment.
Hopefully I’ll visit some bathrooms on campus on my days off but we’ll see about that. The probability of that happening is less than me eating at Pizza Brava but greater than the chance of me eating at a Thai place on the Ave simply because there are so g-damn many of them that statistically speaking I would eventually stumble into one randomly. Bottom line is, updates may or may not be occurring in the near future but stay tuned anyway. Later.