Etta’s Seafood Near Pike Place, SeattleSeptember 9th, 2013 by Michael Kwan
While in Seattle for PAX Prime, we naturally took the opportunity to try out some of the local fare. I finally got around to eating some xiaolongbao soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung (overrated) and I indulged at The Cheesecake Factory (didn’t have any cheesecake), but I’d say one of my better dining experiences during that Labor Day long weekend was in the admittedly tourist-heavy area by Pike Place Market.
So, after settling in with our iced tea, we ordered our late brunch.
Even though Etta’s is clearly a seafood restaurant, they’re also pretty well known for their brunch menu. Of course, I couldn’t go to a seafood restaurant and not order any seafood. I chose a couple of fresh shucked oysters from the fresh sheet (about $2.50 each); I forget what they were called, but they’re from the Pacific Northwest.
They were fresh, to be sure, but they weren’t particularly meaty or juicy. That said, they had a nice briny flavor, which I enjoy. I’d put these oysters roughly on par with what I had at Rodney’s in Vancouver, but I think my favorites are still the Malpeque oysters I had at Joe Fortes.
Again, based on Gladys’ recommendation, I ordered the French toast with bacon. I’m not exactly sure what they do differently at Etta’s, but this was some fantastic French toast. It must be the bread. Or maybe it’s the bacon fat. Either way, there’s a wonderful buttery richness to it, offering a slightly crispy outside and a very tender inside. The vanilla mascarpone and huckleberry maple syrup were pretty nice too. While the Hawaiian sweet bread used for the French toast at Kona Kitchen had a distinct “chew” to it, it was definitely less pronounced here.
One of my dining companions had a soup and sandwich combo, while the other had a standard bacon and eggs, though the home fries are said to be cooked in bacon fat.
Etta’s is a little on the pricier side of things. Most of the breakfast items are in the $15 range and indulging in some crab cakes could set you back over $20. This isn’t outrageous, to be sure, but it’s not exactly inexpensive either.
If you are down by Pike Place Market in Seattle, though, Etta’s Seafood is one place that is definitely worth checking out. If that French toast is any indication of what they have to offer, I’ll surely be back for some fresh seafood dinner soon. I’m sure the quality is far better than Crab Pot.