Friday, June 17, 2005

The Yankee Diner

Grandparent food. That is how my wife described the Yankee Diner on the waterfront in Ballard. She said they served meat loaf, fried chicken, roast beef and other "home-cooked" kind of things. She had kept up this description for years whenever I wondered about it. The image that I ended up with was of a cafeteria buffet kinda place where old geezers sit and talk about how Ballard used to be while a gruff waitress called Mabel made pithy wisecracks. I pictured linoleum floors, bright flourescent lights, ceiling fans and flystrips. Of course, this mental picture didn't make me want to visit, so we've avoided it for years.

However, the point of the Ballard Bites project is to visit places in Ballard we normally wouldn't go. Except for the ground-rule that we can't go to the Chinese restaurant that my wife saw a drunk fall out of at 7 in the morning once. So the Yankee Diner was fair game to us. We went on a Monday night, which might not be the best time to get a restaurant at its finest. Well, imagine all my preconceptions being wrong! Huh, who woulda thunk. The Yankee Diner is actually a very well appointed restaurant with a full bar and a deck overlooking the Lake Union approach to the Ballard Locks. The benefit of Monday night was that we got a window seat to a sunny night over the water.

The menu is also more adventurous than I had imagined, but of course heavy on the steak/seafood kinda thing. I had Wild King Salmon with garlic mashed potatoes and my wife had crab/shrimp cakes. The odd thing about my meal was how hot the fish was and how cold the potatoes were. The salmon was tasty though with its lime/chile butter.

We were warned that the Yankee Diner has huge portions, but we really didn't run into that with our dishes, I finished mine and my wife took home a crab cake. All in all, it was a pleasant experience and probably a bit cheaper than the seafood places down the waterfront like Ray's, but not as good in my opinion. However, my wife did get the grandparent thing right - a lady in the brightest pink possible in non-tropical climes came strutting from another part of the restaurant with her walker clearing the way from her birthday party.

4 Blue Wigs
2 Hard Hats
1 Cellphone
0 Ironic Wool Caps

P.S. Don't quite get the name though. Yes, there was a tremendous nautical theme going throughout the restaurant, ala the Yankee Clipper I guess. But this is the Pacific Northwest, not New England and those kinda boats don't really make up the heritage of Salmon Bay and Ballard.


At 9/18/2005 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I had dinner tonight at the diner. We had not been there in many years. The service was bad. The salad was drowned in dressing. My turkey dinner was good. My husband had the pot roast. He was disapointed. The service was bad. We won't be coming back again :-(


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