If you’re just joining us you’ve missed out on the first two exciting episodes of “Top 5,” but don’t fret, just page down and read the last two posts to find out my top 5 rural communities for missions and my top 5 tv shows.
Today, the task isn’t any easier, I have to decide on my top 5 restaurants. Of course, once again, I could have made this a lot easier on myself by narrowing the subject to “Top 5 fast food joints” or “Top 5 fancy places” or something like that, but no, I made this darn-near impossible by just keeping it Top 5 Restaurants.
The way I’m choosing to do this was to look at it as if I had been outlawed and was sentenced to a year w/o going out and my sentence started after the next five nights… so where would I go? This criteria helps me, because I would be tempted to just go out for steak each night, but instead I’m going to balance it out a little bit…
Oh, and the nice people who outlawed me are actually paying for my flights to go enjoy these places as well, so space is no issue either! However, the location (as in city) cannot influence the choice, the restaurant is ranked for ambiance, but not for the surrounding activities in the city.
Without further ado, here is my list:
Five: Gordon Biersch, Pacific Place, Seattle, WA. This is one of my local favorite places, and because it is local it makes my top five. Great variety on the menu, plus I have a few great memories with my wife, family and dear friends. It served as the “birth place” for my Lead Team this year for the YMV’s as well. My favorite dish here has been the Fettucini with Sun Dried Tomatoes, but the burger takes a very close second. I am especially fond a certain wheat beverage they serve to people over the age of 21 as well (with lemon).
Four: In-N-Out Burger, California, Arizona and Nevada (and a specific one would be the one on Lyons Ave. in Santa Clarita). Wow, a fast food place makes the list! Well, it’s not any fast food place, simply the best fast food burger you can get. I remember many a late-night burger run during college, this served as the ideal alternative to dorm food. My favorite is a Double-Double with both regular and grilled onions, fries and a Strawberry Shake.
Three: JaK’s Grill, U-District, West Seattle and Issaquah, WA. JaK’s has three locations in Seattle, and it probably makes the list based on food/cost/location. Because the food is so good, because the cost is pretty reasonable and because the three locations all offer different ambiance I bring this one into my third position. We go here once-a-year for Elisabeth’s birthday. Though I have had a better steak (at Ruth’s Chris), this steak compares, but comes with a large salad, bread, fresh steamed vegetables and your choice of starch (all for cheaper than just a steak at Ruth’s Chris). My favorite is the large Sirloin with baked potato (all the fixin’s on the side) and salad with ranch on the side.
Two: Marriott Breakfast Buffet, Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii. By FAR the best breakfast I have had at a restaurant, and this is saying something because I love going out for breakfast. We love going to 67 on the waterfront and it nearly makes the list, but it is dwarfed in comparing it to the breakfast we splurged for twice on our honeymoon (and once when we were speaking at a camp in Maui). Way too many choices, short order chefs making any egg dish you can think of and THE BEST fresh squeezed orange juice I have ever had. I even remember the passion Iced Tea my wife gets. My favorite is to get a bunch of fruit, a few great danishes, lots of crisp bacon, breakfast potatoes (with onions) and have the chef make me a wonderful three-egg omelet with ham, onions, peppers, cheese and tomato.
One: Casa Guadalajara, Old Town San Diego. A San Diego must for me! I love Old Town, but I love this restaurant even more. This outdoor restaurant has the beautiful ambiance, great chips, great salsa and the best mexican food I have ever had. San Diego is one of the best places to visit because the weather is so very consistent and this plays such a factor in grabbing a bite-to-eat at Casa Guadalajara! Even if there is a line, there are women out front making and serving fresh tortillas to those waiting. I have been able to treat a few friends to this place when on scouting trips for missions, they agree it is the best-mex they have ever had! My favorite is the Chicken Fajitas with plenty of spice in each bite.
There are so many restaurants that are worthy of top 5, so many places I have had once that I just loved, but the second shot it ended up being not as good. Those listed above I have been to more than once, in fact, each has had a minimum of at least three sittings, so, what about you? Which places have you been to at least three times that make your list? Which of mine should be bumped off because you disagree? I want to hear your opinions!
Okay, done posting, now when is that plane coming to pick me up for my first restaurant?
*** UPDATE ***
Totally forgot about Bojos Pizza in Idaho Springs, Colorado. Best pizza I have ever had! Definitely makes it around the 3 range!