Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Steelhead Diner: Splurging for Service

Last weekend Jared and I spent some quality time exploring Seattle's Pike Place Market, which neither of us had visited for a few years. Our excursion reminded me of why I love the Market and Seattle. The people-watching opportunities are superb, the artisans are top-notch, and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, even if the weather isn't.

When our stomachs started to grumble, we headed to the Steelhead Diner, where we planned to enjoy a meal we normally wouldn't have the budget for (hooray for gift cards, and many thanks to Stephanie and Andy!).

We were seated immediately in a booth situated next to a display of neatly labeled fishing lures. A panoramic view of a river dominated one wall and an extreme close-up photograph of salmon roe hung on another.

The menu at this snazzy establishment focuses on fish, as the name would suggest, but I was eager to try a dish from the veggies and legumes selection. While the Steelhead didn't have a special gluten-free menu, our server very kindly pointed out a couple of gluten-free options from the regular menu that looked appetizing.

Jared ordered a hard-to-find Scotch ale, which arrived quickly while I pondered the gluten-free options. I ordered a Revelry Merlot to complement a vegetable chili and pan-seared broccoli topped with toasted almonds.

A lightly baked layer of creamy cheese covered the chili, which was packed with veggies like red peppers, tomatoes and even a little eggplant, I think. The broccoli dish was larger than expected, with a generous topping of warm, roasted almonds. Though the broccoli was a little oilier than I would have preferred, I forgave this because of the fresh citrus-flavor that balanced the nuts.

The waitress was attentive and helpful without being pushy or insincere, which is exactly how I like my waitstaff! She apologized for a delay in taking our order, but I will admit I hadn't noticed, since it takes me so long to decide what to order. As an appeasement, my glass of wine was complimentary.

If you're in the Seattle area, searching for some luscious seafood, quick service and a casual atmosphere where the waitstaff are polite enough to know when to leave you alone, try the Steelhead Diner!


  1. Oh yay! I think it's such a great mix of casual, diner atmosphere that serves fresh high quality food. (The golden beet salad is to die for!)

    I've heard their brunch is fantastic. We should all go together!

  2. Mmm...brunch and beet salad! Yes!