Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A bathroom is really only as great as the people using it.

At the beginning of dinner tonight at Long Provincial, I was finishing up in the bathroom when someone tried the doorknob and then pounded on the door. Yeah, if the door is locked from the inside, someone's in there. No need for a neon "OCCUPIED" sign or anything. I would understand if I had been lingering (say, in there taking pictures or something) but that wasn't the case at all. Two employees were outside when I opened the door, but they didn't seem to be waiting.

At the end of the meal I went back again to wash up, and as I opened the door I caught the reflection of one of the cooks just as she shoved the door closed, shoving me back in the process. Luckily, there are two bathrooms, so I opened the other one, only to find a guy standing there peeing. Seriously? Two bathrooms, both with people inside who didn't lock the door.

Maybe I should teach classes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

15th Avenue Coffee and Tea
328 15th Ave E

There's not much to say about 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea that hasn't already been gone over so many times before. If you aren't familiar with it, it's a Starbucks-owned coffee shop that isn't Starbucks-branded in the spot where a Starbucks used to be. Confusing, eh? Their web site describes the shop as being "inspired by Starbucks" which really doesn't make sense if you think about it.

I can't say that I have a real problem with it the way so many people did. If a coffee shop chain wants to open a new coffee shop with a different feel than the rest, I say go for it. Just be prepared for all the extra unnecessary work. Will each shop like this have to have its own web site and stationery? What a pain. Or is "Street Level" the actual brand? Beats me.

The one person I think has a valid complaint is Linda Derschang. The shop looks way too much like her restaurant next door. Except not as nice. Take the bathroom, for instance.




To me, it looks just a bit too much like someone had a gift card from Michael's and no money for paint. I really wouldn't have even bothered posting about the bathroom at all, but hey. It was clean, and the shop was spacious and has outdoor seating, which is unique for 15th Avenue.

Now that the media frenzy is over, we're left to wonder what the big deal is, and why they're doing what they're doing. It will be interesting to see if this lasts. Remember Circadia and Cafe Starbucks? Didn't think so.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I found a cute drawing in one of the bathrooms at Pony last night. I'm glad my phone's camera can get good shots as long as there's enough light.

Posted without comment

Friday, November 6, 2009

Coastal Kitchen
429 15th Ave E

Coastal Kitchen is a Capitol Hill institution, mainly because of its location. Down on Broadway, there are tons of competing restaurants, but up on 15th, you've only got a few choices if you need some brunch. This is why it wasn't until after about six years of living here that I finally went in; every Sunday morning, there was a huge crowd waiting out front.

I love their bathroom. Orange is my favorite color for bathrooms and they've got a lovely shade of it on the walls.



I also always appreciate when there's a little bit of art to liven the room up.


And these hand dryers are amazing. Have you used one? They blast the water right off. The air isn't warm, so you don't come away with that satisfied feeling you're looking for, but your hands are actually dry enough that you won't wipe them on your pants. Unfortunately, it's placed so close to the sink that there's not enough room for the next guy to wash his hands while you're drying yours.


I think that this bathroom has got to be one of the hardest ones in Seattle to maintain. Not because of any challenging surfaces or plumbing issues, but because they always record a language lesson to play as a companion to their ever-changing country-specific menu. Right now, they're doing Cuba.

This leads me to the main issue with the restaurant. Their menu changes constantly, always focusing on a new cuisine, and I don't think they ever have enough time with any of the menu items to get used to making them well. Which isn't to say that they're bad, they're just not great. I was thankful that I had an early bird special there a couple of days ago, because I felt the prices matched the quality only after the discount.

Do stop in sometime and see for yourself, though. Consider ordering off the regular menu instead of the regional one.