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Best clam chower in Seattle?

Old Aug 30th, 2004, 05:27 AM
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sls
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Best clam chower in Seattle?

Spending a long weekend in Seattle end of Sept. and years ago we would frequent McCormick and Schmick's for the best chowder. I do not even see this restaurant mentioned in the forum. Any comments?
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Old Aug 30th, 2004, 11:35 AM
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We enjoyed the clam choweder at Salty's on Alki Beach and also the Flying Fish. For casual places, Steamer's down on the waterfront had some good chowder AND fish tacos.

My daughter had some very good chowder at a small cafe somwhere by Inn at the Market. I can't recall the name right now, but it was very crowded, located in an alley-type place. ***kim***
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 10:52 AM
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The best chowder in Seattle is not in Seattle - it's in West Seattle at Webster's on California St. at Charleston. They are many time winners of the annual Newport RI chowder cook off. And it's great!
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 11:08 AM
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I think the best clam chowder is Dukes on Lake Union. It's also a great place to hang out and watch the sea planes come and go.

Dukes has a chowder sampler that you can get- 4 small bowls of their different chowders, I love that. And they serve a really wonderful sourdough bread. That a few good Mac n Jack beers and you are all set. Duke's is also a true Seattle restaurant, casual and laid back.

M&S is fine, I don't think they have the best chowder. But they do have a damn good happy hour menu.
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 11:25 AM
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I really enjoyed the clam chowder at the Brooklyn.
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 12:21 PM
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Let this offer some CLARITY to all regarding the best CHOWDER in Seattle:

One person was on the right trail, but was still misleading, about the best chowder in Seattle.

Firstly, "West Seattle" is IN Seattle, but secondly, and more important, the "best chowder in Seattle", and winner in 3 consecutive years of the Great Chowder Cookoff in Newport, RI, can be had at TWO LOCATIONS as follows:

The one any tourist would want is simply called "Pike Place Chowder"... in the Pike Place Market (go to the PIG, then maybe half a block north, into an alleyway on the right side, and you'll see it.)

THIS PLACE is terrible about advertising the fact that theirs is the SAME CHOWDER served at "The Charlestown Cafe" (California Avenue and Charlestown streets in West Seattle) (NOT "Webster's", as someone tried to say above)

One need only read the restaurant review posted outside of Pike Place Chowder to make the connection to the West Seattle location.

"kimamom's" daughter clearly remembers the locale of "Pike Place Chowder" for it being "in an alley-type place" and near to "Inn at the Market".

Hopefully this clears up the confusion and ends this discussion.

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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 12:31 PM
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Well, not so fast, Northwest Male. While we're on the subject, my seafood-obsessed husband is on the hunt (we'll be in Pacific Northwest for one week starting this weekend) for GEODUCKS! He wants to hunt them down, and he wants to eat them. Any suggestions? Are they actually used in any cooking in the area? Thanks!
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 12:46 PM
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In my humble (oh hell, who am I kidding?) opinion, looking for good clam chowder in Seattle is like looking for decently prepared salmon in Boston. Now in the interest of full disclosure I have not had the chowder at the West Seattle place or its Pike Market offspring, and I'm aware that they win awards. But I refuse to be budged from my close-minded assertion that "clam chowder" served on the west coast is overwhelmingly a gooey travesty on its east coast namesake. It's like sitting down to a bowl of salty cream with chunks of cream-flavored stuff suspended in it. Could be clam chowder, could be horse chowder. Tastes the same.

Geoducks are on display at the Pike Market, and ostensibly make good home-made chowder, but I've never invested the ten-spots needed to prove or disprove this. I'm not clear on how politically acceptable it is to eat them, anyway, given diminishing numbers. I'm not aware of any restaurants that use them in preparations, since they're costly and would end up tasting like creamed chunks anyway.
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 02:20 PM
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'k, I'll bite. What's a geoduck?

love
roxy
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 02:27 PM
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Big clam with a long (up to 12") neck. They look like atomic clams -
"My son, there are things science should not disturb..."

Pronounced "gooey-duck." No idea.
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 03:21 PM
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NorthwestMale - it's Webster's Charlestown Cafe. That's the way a lot of longtime W. Seattle residents refer to it, anyway. And they do have excellent chowder.
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 03:22 PM
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Joan, the Sea Garden on 7th Street has geouck on their menus. No website, but CitySearch gives it a 9.5 rating! Might be a nice place to try them. ***kim***
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 05:59 PM
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My favorite is the Manhattan (red) clam chowder at Chinook's at Fisherman's Wharf below the Ballard Bridge. They also serve the Manhattan chowder with a dollop of the Boston style chowder floating in the center. That's good too.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 05:44 AM
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OK thanks Kim! We'll be sure to check out the Sea Garden. And they sure get alot bigger than 12 inches...we have a customer who used to live in Alaska, and she brought in a picture of herself with a giant geoduck, like 4 ft long. Said they used to cook them.

For the uninitiated, here's a very graphic and humorous explanation of "gooeyducks". Don't let your kids see!
http://www.tonywhite.net/Goeduck.htm
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 05:59 AM
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Sea Garden is one of the better Chinese restaurants in the International District. Don't go asking for chowdah.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 06:16 AM
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Gardyloo, any geoduck (and you're correct, it is pronounced gooey-duck) with a 12" "neck" (siphons, actually) is a mere baby - I've seen them with necks of 3 ft. or more. For any east-coasters who don't know what we're talking about, picture a typical eastern steamer clam on steroids, with a shell about the size of a dinner plate and siphons to match.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 06:29 AM
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Yes I've seen those mutant geoducks too - not Mother Nature's finest hour...
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 11:08 AM
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LennyB: To begin, it is NOT "Webster's Charlestown Cafe", I have lived in West Seattle since long before that restaurant was built so I'm duly qualified to know that it is "The Charlestown Cafe".

Gardyloo: I can appreciate your feel and loyalty for east coast chowder but there has to be a reason why just a single establishment west of, say, the NY/PA line has EVER won the big chowder cook-off in Rhode Island. It sounds like you're just depriving yourself because of the high improbability that it could be available so near to your world, on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. But your honesty about never having tried it is truly refreshing, especially for the internet.

One of these days, I'm hoping...
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 12:02 PM
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Gardyloo, judging by the shape of those geoducks, Mother Nature just might be Father Nature, and in that case, proud of it!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 09:25 AM
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NorthwestMale - Perhaps you know why so many people STILL refer to it as Webster's, since you are so eminently qualified? Whatever. It still has excellent chowder.
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