Why did I create an iPhone app?
The version I tell everyone: I created the Roll with Jen iPhone app, a curated list of restaurants approved by yours truly, as a service to the good people of Seattle who are pressed for time and want to quickly access a list of restaurants/bars without having to either sift through all the crap on Yelp or go into researcher mode and triangulate all the data from their favorite food blogs.
The real reason: I am starting to get old and I selfishly want to have a crib sheet readily accessible at my fingertips, for those times when I am at a dinner party and people are anxiously huddled around me asking me for suggestions on where to eat.
To show my love for you homies who are rolling with Androids and Window phones, you get a first peek at the top five restaurants I am fancying at the moment. Brunch, late night dining, classics, and new on the scene restaurants are all represented in my top five.
For you iPhoners who have downloaded my app, you will see these restaurants displayed in my “Jen’s Favorites” list shortly.
Newbies on the scene
Bar Sajor: Matt Dillon has presented me with a problem I suspect parents probably experience deep down inside: Well, which one of you kids do I like more? First, there was the Corson Building, then Sitka and Spruce (or was it the other way around. I am not sure, but you get my drift). And now Dillon is rectifying grungy Pioneer Square with his high-ceilinged North Africa, Portugal, Spain themed restaurant, named after his grandmother. Open for lunch and dinner, chances are you will be seeing me at this one-month old restaurant all the time, with a beet shrub in one hand and a pickled vegetable in the other.
Miyabi on 45th: This is where you should take out-of-towners who seek a unique experience that isn’t being replicated anywhere else. I mean, who else offers the most comprehensive selection of soba to rival my favorite soba shops in Tokyo (seven varieties of cold soba with dipping sauce and eight noodles in hot broth)? Oh, and did I tell you Mutsuko Soma also grinds all of her Washington-grown buckwheat noodles by hand?
The always reliably good classic
Spinasse: Like port, Spinasse continues to get better with age. This Piedmont-inspired restaurant makes ragu and variations of bagna cauda that compete with the grandmothers in Italy. I like eating at the bar so I have a good view into the hustle and bustle of the kitchen.
You can read more about Spinasse on Roll with Jen’s featured pasta article.
The Wandering Goose: Biscuit sandwiches done right with an overflowing case of baked goodies. Not into either? Ok, well then can I entice you with their Hangtown Fry? Still no? That is fine as that makes for a shorter line at this popular Capitol Hill spot.
Kedai Mekan: Malaysia Meets Big Sky Country: Open six days a week from 4:00pm-midnight (closed on Tuesdays), this farmers market stand concept turned brick and mortar takeout joint churns out the same type of exceptional Malaysian grub you would see at a hawker food stall in Singapore and parts of Southeast Asia. The nasi goreng (aka – Malaysian fried rice) and roti canai are not be missed.