Everybody wants to be just like us! It turns out, while we take our bountiful city, brimming with salmon, oysters, and teriyaki, for granted, there is a whole lot of places out there that don’t.
A visiting restaurant critic from Dallas off-handedly mentioned to me that there is a Seattle-themed restaurant in her city. A friend emailed me a menu from San Francisco’s Northwest themed-spot. A tweet about a café in Mongolia caught my eye.
It makes sense, when you think about it: Seattle’s best restaurants are rarely doing food easily described without some reference to Pacific Northwest cooking or ingredients. Why wouldn’t the rest of the world want to try that out, too?
Here’s where you can find a taste of your hometown on the road:
Montlake Cut, Dallas, Texas
An image of the Montlake bridge dominates the website, and the menu offers Willapa Bay and Hood Canal oysters. A Tillamook Cheddar burger, Dungeness crab dip, and Northwest clam chowder share the menu with other coastal classics from around the country. While the wine list is mysteriously light on Washington wine, overall the menu reads like an ode to the Northwest’s finest.
Café Eugene, Albany, California
It hardly seems like the Bay Area’s California cuisine is far from Northwest cuisine, but one of Café Eugene’s co-owners is from Eugene, Oregon and wanted to bring a taste of his childhood to his new hometown. They describe the food as having “a Northwest flair,” which means grilled oysters, mushroom flatbread, and Penn Cove mussels.
Glaze Teriyaki, Various
This teriyaki chain (“bringing Seattle-style teriyaki to the world”) with locations in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Madison, was also started by a homesick Northwesterner. Owner Paul Krug missed the quick, delicious meals he found all over Seattle, so he opened a place doing the same sort of chicken, rice, and salad meals in New York—and it’s only grown since then.
North by Northwest, Austin, Texas
With the exception of a cedar plank salmon, the food menu here pays little heed to the Northwest name. But the brewpubs themselves are an ode to the Northwest—and they do make a Northwest-style IPA. The restaurant was designed to create the feel of old-school lodges in the area and the theme is an ode to the Northwest’s micro-brewery culture.
Seattle Café, Mongolia, Presumably
Sportswriter Joon Lee alerted the world to the existence of a Seattle Café in Mongolia last year on Twitter. Why a sportswriter? Well, among the local icons and luminaries for whom dishes were named (Bill Gates, Space Needle, Foo Fighters, Ray Charlez [sic]), was Jason Terry. It’s hard to tell from the photo what exactly they’re serving, but if anyone makes it to Ulaanbaatar, please let us know!