Steamer’s Seafood Cafe
Mmmmmmmm battered fish. Okay — the photo doesn’t really show much – but I swear Steamer’s is a delicious fish cafe on a corner down on Pier 56 (see! you can see the Argosy sign in the corner!). Okay, I don’t have a decent pic because I wasn’t gonna review it. Casual dinning is so hit and miss, and I thought it was just some garbage deep fry shack. I stopped in to grab something before my harbor cruise took off….no, I am not a millionaire.
Anyway – my preconceived notions were smashed after the first bite – I was suddenly in fantastic food heaven! The food is made fresh and the Alaskan cod is battered and fried lovingly by the cheerful staff. I’m talking real Alaskan cod — not the reshaped frozen dinner cod brought to you by the monsters who invented Highliner. That first bite made my eyes pop in astonishment — after I got my eyesight back — I glanced around a realized that the place was hopping with happy people in their 30’s. Please note, this is one of my tests. If I know nothing about a place and have to judge it on sight – I go by the patrons – if they look like regular good hearted folk who are having a good time, then try it. If everyone inside looks miserable, like they hate their lives and wish they were dead, skip it (I also pass if everyone seated is a senior citizen, or if the majority of the peeps inside are under the age of 12).
Sure, it may come on cardboard plates, your order is taken at the counter, and the iced tea comes out of a soda machine — but it’s far better for the price ($5-10) than anything I’ve had lately. The selection includes cod and chip plates, clam chowder, steamed manila clams, clam strips, grilled fish tacos, calamari, beer battered salmon, and everything comes with the yummy thick cut peppered fries. Plus, they serve beer (Northwest microbrews) and have an ice cream counter!
My visit was made particularly comfortable by the friendly Tracy who was overseeing all the customers. He really went above and beyond to ensure each patron was having a good time. Dear other fish shack owners: fresh lemon slices and friendly banter go a long way.
I really want to go back and get the clam chowder which I have heard is ‘a big hit’, ‘deliciously sweet’, and even ‘awe-inspiring’. I would go to Steamer’s over Ivar’s any day of the week — it’s cheaper, just as good (if not better), and not a horribly annoying tourist trap.
Bonus: Kick ass views of Elliott Bay and bustling Alaskan Way from both inside and out.
Open: 10am – 8pm
Other locations: Seattle Center House on Harrison
Tacoma – Titlow beach
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