It seems you can't turn around in Seattle these days without running into a Tom Douglas joint. Etta's is one of the unpretentious stars of this franchise, tucked in among three of his restaurants in the Pike.
Of the lot, Etta's is my current favorite. The menu has an impeccable quality-to-value ratio, the space is flexibly accommodating, and the staff are genuinely jazzed about the food they serve.
I'm determined to find the best frites on the planet before I die. While delving into the deep frier may quicken my inevitable end, I consider the quest my culinary sacrifice. Etta's fries are hot, crisp, and real. No chi-chi dipping sauces to mask any weakness in the potato preparation. Simply wonderful.
Then there was the special, Shellfish Shindig, a collection of seafood so fresh, you could hear waves crashing. This Asian-themed array included huge prawns on a bed of ramen noodles, lettuce wedges topped with crab and cole slaw dressing, miso soup, and steamed clams and mussels with miso butter. Every part done to perfection. A masterful prepping accomplishment, in and of itself. Then the roasted sesame ice cream came out, and I'm thinking, "You've got to be kidding me." This is a Tuesday night special, so plan accordingly.