This weekend is the Bite of Seattle; the annual eating event where Seattle Center becomes home to the biggest food party of the year. Be prepared for three days of giddy chaos, crowds, and calories.
'The Bite' is part of the fabric of Seattle summers and for anyone that is born and raised here, you probably have memories of a Bite. Mine for example include the steak sandwich from Metropolitan Grill.
But for everyone that is attending the Bite, there is a lot to take in - from the food, the entertainment, coupled with the massive crowds. For the food, there too are a lot of places that you'd often find at the state fair circuit - so this is yet another moment to treat yourself to an elephant ear.
But you should find plenty of gems to try through this weekend. Here is a guide to maximize your enjoyment of the Bite of Seattle.
- Make a plan - Spend some time with the program (PDF). Look at the map (PDF). Plot your plan of attack. The Bite takes up a lot of the acreage of the Seattle Center campus; so tired feet may be as common as full bellies. Having a plan helps cut down on the dawdling and aimless wandering.
- Don't be beholden to the plan - As you take in the Bite, look around you; maybe there is a restaurant that is serving something that looks particularly delicious. Or perhaps step outside of your comfort zone and try something you've never had before. Naturally, there are a lot of places to eat and drink at the Bite. A bonus is that vendors will have a 'Just a Bite' on their menus, which is a smaller portion for under four bucks.
- Check out the entertainment stages - Food isn't the only form of entertainment at the Bite. There are stages scattered around the grounds for musicians and artists to do their thing while attendees are eating all the things.
- Visit the beer and wine gardens - Don't forget the wine and beer gardens strewn about. The Craft Beer Tasting, located inside the Fisher Pavilion, is dedicated to craft beers and ciders. There is also a Craft Beer Happy Hour on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-2pm. The Alley Wine Garden, next to The Alley, offers a chance to taste from wineries and meet some of the winemakers.
- The Alley hosted by Jason Wilson - The Alley has long been the area of the Bite where notable restaurants do their thing. It used to be known as 'Hinterberger's Alley' after former Seattle Times restaurant critic, John Hinterberger. The last few years, Tom Douglas was the host. This year, it's Jason Wilson of Crush and Miller's Guild to lead the Alley. It costs $10 for admission, and that gets you a few bites - all proceeds from the Alley go to support Food Lifeline.
- The Bite Cooks! - Arrive early for The Bite Cooks!; a live cooking demonstration hosted by Thierry Rautureau of Luc and Loulay, as it's been a very popular event at the Bite in the past. You'll see chefs from around Seattle provide demos, while the Chef in the Hat provides the play-by-play. Added bonus is seeing the head-to-head competitions between two chefs for the chance to win the title of 'The Bite Cooks! Master Chef.'
- Have fun and come hungry - This should go without saying, but have a good time and be prepared to eat. Yes, there will lines and there will be crowds. But everyone is in the same boat. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that you don't mind spilling on. Since you'll be walking a lot, you can eat more. Not to worry, you'll burn off the calories. And hey, the diet can start on Monday.