Welcome BlogHer Food Attendees – 10 Things You Should Know About Seattle
We’re huge fans of many of you. You see, we like food. I mean, we really like food. We even have a section of our whiteboard dedicated to which food trucks come to our neighborhood each day. So we probably read your blogs as often as we read ESPN, CNN and Mashable.
We know you’ll only be here a few days, so we want to suggest a few things to do while you’re in town, and a few things you should know about our city.
1) First, let’s get the weather jokes out of the way. We know that for many people, the wettest winter they ever had was summer in Seattle. But let’s be clear – summer doesn’t start here until July 5th. And spring starts about June 23rd. So, you are barely missing our dry season.
The Iceman Commeth
2) You may have also heard about the “Seattle Freeze.” Now, this doesn’t actually have anything to do with the weather. And it’s not our lacrosse or Roller Derby team either (that would be the Rat City Rollergirls). It means we are typically polite in a Finland type of way. Most native Seattleites will be happy to give you directions and point you in the right direction of a restaurant. But it would never cross their mind to actually invite you to have a drink or dine with them. If you do run across someone who invites you out, a reasonable reply is, “So, where are you from originally?”
Don’t Call Me Ishmael
3) Yes, Starbucks is headquartered here. But we don’t drink any more coffee than the average person. Just like everyone else, we have a latte in the morning, an iced Americano to wash down lunch, and typically a single espresso shot at 3 P.M. coffee time. But when we go to the coffee shop at night, we may just have a chai tea. It’s not like we have coffee in the vending machines or anything. You might want to try to reach Brad Nelson, the man behind the Starbucks Twitter account for a long long time. Nice guy, good interview. But if you want to drink coffee like a Seattleite, we actually prefer Uptown Espresso, Café Vita or any place that’s using a La Marzocco machine.
The Man, The Myth, And His Legendary BBQ
4) If you have a car, load up the crew and go across the 520 bridge to a little shack under the highway called Dixie’s BBQ. Ask to taste their spicy sauce called “The Man.” This is a Seattle “can’t miss,” even though it’s in Bellevue. In fact, it’s one of the only things in Bellevue that Seattle will take credit for. And your readers will love the content you get from the visit. Trust us.
Tom’s Got A Few Beards, Himself
5) There’s a rule in town that everyone who visits Seattle is required to eat at a Tom Douglas restaurant. It might not be a rule – but if you’re going to be downtown, it’s almost impossible to avoid them, so you might as well plan it. Hopefully one or two of you will be able to snag interviews with Tom; he has great stories to tell. And the food is fabulous too.
6) You guys will be downtown, so we strongly suggest the Triple Door for your evening entertainment. It’s a fantastic place to have a great dinner and watch live music. It’s an old time dinner theatre that was rebuilt a few years ago. The food comes from Wild Ginger, and the music comes from all over the country. Great blog and photo material.
There Goes The Neighborhoods
7) If you can get out of downtown, Seattle is loaded with great hole in the wall restaurants in Ballard, Capitol Hill, Fremont, Shilshole and Madison Park. Try to venture away from the downtown core if you can. We could list our favorites (which we’ll provide upon request) but you might also check out the map Rand Fishkin put together last week for SMX attendees.
2 Degrees Of Separation
8) Here’s a fun game to play to quantify your networking skills. Keep count of everyone you meet who either works, has worked or has a spouse that works at Microsoft. If you don’t get up to 20, you didn’t talk to enough people this weekend. Once you win the Microsoft version of the game, try it again with Amazon.
The Ire Is As High As The SuperSonics Can Fly
9) We’re still sore about Oklahoma stealing our basketball team. So if you are from Oklahoma, you’re better off just saying you are from Nebraska. The whole Midwest is one big Red state is a mystery to us, except Oklahoma, which is the epicenter of all things evil.
Drink And Be Merry
10) Finally, if wine and beer are your thing, try them all this weekend. All of our restaurants are stocked with Washington-based beverages. The smaller and more local, the better they are. In fact, if you are really ambitious, the Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Wineries are about 30 min away up in Woodinville. And once you’re there, try the smaller Mark Ryan, Sparkman Cellars and Guardian Cellars tasting rooms. We have Uber here, so throw it all on the expense account and have yourself a good evening.
So welcome to town. If we can be helpful in any way, please let us know by tweeting us @Relaborate. We hope you enjoy your stay.