USSM Official Pre-and-post-game Meal Endorsement

DMZ · December 23, 2006 at 9:29 am · Filed Under bars and food, Mariners, Off-topic ranting 

So the Pioneer Square Saloon is the best place to meet your friends, have a beer or three, and vent about the team before you head on down to the stadium. What if you want food, and you don’t want to go to Subway or wherever and haul something into said Saloon?

Go to Elysian Fields. 542 1st Ave South. It’s across the street from Qwest Field, right next to Sluggers.

It’s beautiful. I don’t know any other way to put it. It’s spacious, the seating is comfortable, there are TVs and… it’s great. You can see how much care went into the design. I love it.

The beers are great. Elysian’s own brews are delicious. The food’s good. You’re making a tradeoff, though, and it’s obvious when you compare Elysian Fields to what’s next door at Sluggers. Sluggers you can get a giant plastic cup of Bud for $4, and at Elysian, it’s a pint of something nice. At Sluggers, if you can get food, it’s standard bar food at ~$10/sandwich and serviceable. Elysian’s food costs more but it’s genuinely enjoyable. At Sluggers, you can’t get a place to sit, but Elysian there’s a comfortable seat available.

There’s the decision, though: if you want a pre-game bite to eat, and that’s the criterion for this endorsement, and you’re not strapped for cash to the point where you’re willing to haul some food into the Pioneer Square Saloon, this is where you want to go:
– ridiculously good food
– great place
– great beer

And you pay more for it. When I had a job, that was a trade-off I was willing to make. Hopefully they’ll comp me now that I’m unemployed and desperate.

Honorable mention: the J+M up in Pioneer Square. It’s bar food, so you’re paying $8 for that chicken sandwich, but everything I’ve ordered has been good, they have some nice drink specials, and – I kid you not – I once sat around drinking there while they played, start to finish, Sonic Youth’s “Daydream Nation”. That’s so cool.

Pyramid has some great food, and I love their DPA (t’s one of my favorite beers in all the world, which is saying something) but it’s really hard to get a table there, so.. it loses out.

Others considered: FX McCrory’s, I’ve gotten really bad service the vast majority of times I’ve been dragged in there and the food’s not as good as Elysian. Larry’s Whateveritscallednow, which was once upon a time my pre-game hangout. King Street Bar & Oven, which is where I got my food after I stopped going to Larry’s. Many other places.


19 Responses to “USSM Official Pre-and-post-game Meal Endorsement”

  1. unkrusty on December 23rd, 2006 9:36 am

    Is Elysian Fields run by the same folks that have the Elysian on Cap Hill? If so, I am there (do they have the Steak Frites, by any chance?).

  2. Tap House Dan on December 23rd, 2006 10:49 am

    Great points Derek, and I agree. I haven’t had the food at Elysian Fields yet, but I LOVE the decor, and their beer is fantastic.

    Ironically, we looked at that property as a possible location for the Seattle Tap House, but ultimately decided not to jump on that game-day traffic roller coaster and locate it downtown.

    As in…. 6th Avenue, just south of Fox Sports Grill. We’ll be open in April….

    Was that a shameless plug?

    Maybe we can enter into that pre or post-game discussion next year at this time.


  3. kcw2 on December 23rd, 2006 12:19 pm

    For inexpensive food, try Mae Phim Thai, which is just off 1st on Columbia (94 Columbia). All entrees are $6.00, and the food is quite nice. It is open until 7:00.

  4. Livengood on December 23rd, 2006 12:31 pm

    Elysian Fields is run by the same people who run Elysian on Capitol Hill (as well as Tangletown, at 56th & Meridian in the Wallingford/Green Lake area – the old Honey Bear Bakery site). The menu is totally different at each place, but you’ll like your steak options at Fields (among many other options).

    TH Dan – no such thing as “shame” in plugging. Good luck at your new site – I, for one, will visit as soon as it opens, and I think you’ll do well.

    DMZ, thanks for this.

  5. Bossy Joe on December 23rd, 2006 1:25 pm

    +1 for Mae Phim.

    Also, if they decide to do it this season (they stopped partway through last season due to low attendance), you can pick up a great cheesesteak at Tat’s up to gametime for weeknight games. Not usually too crowded if you want to eat in, and the sandwiches travel really well if you want to take it to the park. It’s a great way for folks who aren’t normally downtown during weekday lunch hours to try the best cheesesteak in Seattle.

  6. msb on December 23rd, 2006 1:51 pm

    I’m one of the bring-your-lunch crowd, though not Subway.

    what is in that restaurant space on the east side on 1st ave (when heading north, towards the Aurora on ramp — it was Italian for a while. wonder if the new Silver Cloud will put in a decent restaurant….

  7. RaoulDuke37 on December 23rd, 2006 2:08 pm

    I used to work downtown on 1st and King St. Everyone (except me) LOVED Mae Phim. My favorite was probably the King Street Bar and Oven’s Calzones. A few blocks up on the west side of 1st and Washington is the Planet Java Diner. GREAT Burgers, Phillies, and Chicken Strips.

  8. Jimmie the Geek on December 23rd, 2006 2:41 pm

    Sometimes I really feel left out as a result of not drinking. 🙁 Do they have Thomas Kemper Root Beer on tap?


  9. DMZ on December 23rd, 2006 4:12 pm

    I used to love King Street’s calzones and sandwiches, but it’s probably been a year since I was there and got decent service anywhere but at the bar, even in off-peak hours, and sometimes it’s been atrocious.

  10. RaoulDuke37 on December 23rd, 2006 4:29 pm

    I haven’t worked at 1st & King in two years (we moved to Bremerton. Talk about lunch time disappointment) but the King Street Cafe was always a nice long lunch break. One time we tried Tiki Bob’s next door for lunch, after 30 minutes and no service, we never tried again.

  11. colm on December 23rd, 2006 6:07 pm

    Mentioned elsewhere, but my experience of service at FX McCrory’s is different from Derek’s. The 2 or 3 times I’ve been there the staff have been cordial and attentive – but I haven’t gone recently at game time. The main point in their favor is that they serve oysters – although that’s not a treat I’d recommend in high summer.

    I didn’t know there was an Elysian establishment near the park. The Immortal is my favorite American beer bar none. I’ll scope it out.

  12. Paul B on December 23rd, 2006 6:41 pm


    And across the street, the barbecue place with the ducks hanging in the window. Very cheap carry out box, what Hawaiians would call plate lunch.

  13. Deanna on December 24th, 2006 12:12 am

    Well, yeah, if the international district counts, my favorite place to eat dinner anywhere within walking distance of Safeco is Fuji, up at 6th and Main. I don’t think there’s a single other Japanese restaurant in the city that can compare in terms of price, service, and quality of food. It’s just astoundingly good. You can go in at 5:30pm and eat a full wonderful meal and be out by 6:15-6:30 to walk to the stadium.

    On the other hand, Tat’s (recommended by #5) sucks. If you’re actually from Philly, or have eaten real sandwiches in Philly, the stuff that Tat’s serves is a pretty terrible imitation, especially for the price. But if you’re just looking for an average sandwich shop in Seattle, Tat’s isn’t bad. I just got annoyed at a review I saw there that said something like “Tat’s sandwiches make native Philadelphians weep,” with my reply being “I’d be weeping because I can’t believe I paid 14 bucks for this crap.” You’re also not really saving any money by buying food from them compared to the stadium food; the Porter’s BBQ sandwiches up on Lookout Landing are practically a bargain at $8.50 or whatever.

  14. mln on December 24th, 2006 1:21 am

    Wow, USS Mariner is now offering restaurant and music reviews, in addition to sabermetric/baseball analysis. This is almost Bloomquistian in its multifaceted utility skill. 😉

  15. Bossy Joe on December 24th, 2006 10:52 am

    I won’t defend the prices at Tat’s (not cheap…but not $14 for a sandwich either), but Deanna, you’re the first person I’ve heard complain about their food. I work downtown in a fairly large office; lots of us eat there regularly, and nobody who we’ve taken for the first time hasn’t enjoyed it. I can’t vouch for the authenticity of their steaks (I’m from LA), but they taste darn good.

  16. djw on December 24th, 2006 6:27 pm

    Good call. Also, you don’t have to spend a lot at Elysian Fields. A Chicken club sandwich with fries is 9 dollars, just like all sorts of inferior places. I went there a couple of times toward the end of the season and was shocked at how few people were there. They have happy hour deals until 6, too.

  17. BlueEyedBuddhist on December 24th, 2006 6:38 pm

    I bought a condo in The Florentine specifically because it’s an easy walk to Safeco, and was delighted when Elysian *finally* opened up (it seemed to take forever).

    They do a decent job with food; some of it is standard stuff but some is really quite good, and the setting is indeed awesome. I did get a really terrible chicken sandwich in Elysian the first time I ate there, but since I live next door (my unit is on the end of our building, literally next door to Sluggers) I kept giving them a try and they’ve done quite well since then.

    The upstairs of that building is being remodded into space for Starbucks IT nerd types- Starbucks is taking over this whole area, buying up the block on the west side of 1st from King down to the Triangle Pub at Railroad (which will remain open and untouched, last I heard).

    This should provide for more good places to grab some eats as more people move in.

    There will be one giant change within a few years when they put in 800-1000 units of housing on the present north parking lot of Qwest Field. That should bring a LOT of food/beer choices to the area.

    It makes me wonder how long the Nordic Cold Storage joint will be able to remain there and in business.

    Back to Elysian (which I’d agree is one of the very best for a good bite of food, setting, etc prior to a game in this neighborhood)… the only problem I have with them is that the entire time they were building and remodeling, they double-parked and parked too close to our garage entrance, making it a real b**** to get in/out of our garage.

    But the cops have been more assertive/aggressive in writing tickets in the past few months, so let that be a warning to all- if it’s a red curb, they mean it.

  18. mack on December 25th, 2006 12:50 am

    Tats rocks. $8 gets you a bigger sandwich with better quality meat & cheese than Quiz or S/W. I think they close at 6 game nights.

    Elysian is la dolce vita. It’s a gorgeous place, with great beer, and good-quality food usually – but not always – prepared well. The staff is young, beautiful, and in September, disorganized. Did not have the concept of getting the check handled by 6:50 on game nights; hopefully, that will be cured by the Twins’ series.

    If we don’t have time for that, then we just eat inside.

  19. DMZ on December 25th, 2006 2:16 am

    I expected that Elysian would be a lot more erratic since they’re so new, but they’ve been spot on so far, even on some easily botched stuff (like shellfish). So… my experience has been better than others, it seems.

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