Seattle Icon: Daniel’s Broiler And Its Deep Local Roots

Daniels Broiler, situated on the shores of Lake Union, has been a Seattle landmark of fine dining for what seems like forever. With its sweeping views of Lake Union, Queen Anne and Gasworks Park in addition to its incredible menu of USDA prime steaks and chops, all prepared impeccably, Daniel’s has always been the go-to venue for holiday and celebratory meals, fine craft cocktails and some of the best steaks you’ll ever enjoy.

Recently, people have been up in arms as rumors swirled regarding the possible closing of Daniel’s Lake Union location, due to Vulcan Real Estate’s plans to redevelop the pier on which it sits. Those fears were somewhat put to rest this week when the Seattle Times reported that Daniel’s on Lake Union will not close, but will merely move to a nearby location, still along the shores of South Lake Union. It seems fabulous steaks and sweeping Lake Union vistas will remain on Daniel’s menu for years to come, and we’ll drink to that!

Over the years, Daniel’s Broiler has become a local fine dining legend in the Seattle area, synonymous with delicious, high-end meals, superb craft cocktails, incredible views and live music, outstanding service and a seemingly never ending parade of Seattle’s most interesting and beautiful people to be found on any given night, enjoying a bite or a sip. However, many of us who have grown up in the Seattle area, (particularly those of us under a certain age) know very little of the famed steakhouse’s origins.

Daniel’s has been owned and operated by The Schwartz Brothers Restaurant group since 1981, and has changed very little since its beginnings at the Leschi Marina in 1980, but it’s true roots go much deeper than that. Daniel’s Broiler was started by a man named, well, Daniel, believe it or not. Daniel Jack Sandal, to be specific.

Daniel Sandal, a born and bred Seattleite, grew up in The Emerald City’s Wallingford neighborhood, graduated from the now closed Lincoln High School, and got his start in the food industry at the World-Famous Pike Place Market. Daniel’s Grandfather, Dan Zido, founded “Dan’s Better Meats” in Pike Place Market in 1910, and it was there, (in a space at the market that is now known as the home of Italian favorite, Il Bistro) that Daniel began his love affair with meat, as a third-generation butcher.

Eventually the butcher shop moved upstairs in the market, to where you will now find “Don and Joe’s Meats” (unsurprisingly, Don and Joe are related to Dan, and have kept the family tradition of quality cuts alive in Pike Place). Dan took over the family business when his father retired and decided to expand their wholesale business drastically, with their meats soon being featured at Seattle’s finest restaurant, including Canlis, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, The Space Needle and plenty more. He also started a daily-delivered, fresh-ground meat patty service for local favorite burger joint, Dick’s Drive-In, helping to make those burgers we all know and love so darn scrumptious.

In the Early 1970’s, Dan began his foray into the restaurant world as a restaurateur himself, co-founding Benjamin’s with partner Arnold Shain. The success of Benjamin’s fueled Dan and Arnold to continue on in the restaurant game, with the opening of The Gasworks Restaurant, but eventually, they parted ways as partners.

In 1980, at the ripe, young age of 40, Daniel decided it was time to start his own place, a place for steaks and chops so terrific, people would fall in love, and that they did. The vision for the original Daniels Broiler was to be Dan’s own take on the fine dining he had grown up with in Seattle, drawing heavy inspiration from places like Canlis, but staying true to the steakhouse theme with top quality steaks and chops consistently available and prepared perfectly.

Daniel’s was a sort of experiment for Dan, as he had only ever opened and operated restaurants with partners prior to Daniel’s Broiler. He was once quoted as saying “I wanted to see if I could do it, I did it on my own so I didn’t have to deal with other’s dreams and problems and wouldn’t be at anyone else’s mercy.” And do it, he did. Daniel’s Broiler became a success from the very beginning, in its original home, located on the glistening shores of Lake Washington in the Leschi Marina.  At the time, this was a convenient location for Mercer Island and Bellevue residents, until they closed the I-90 entrance and exit on the east side of the tunnels when the second bridge was built.  Today, the original Daniel’s location serves the Mount Baker, Leschi, Madrona, Washington Park, Madison Park and Denny Blaine neighborhoods and a slew of long-time customers. 

Since being purchased by the Schwartz Brothers in late 1981, they have made very few changes to Dan Sandal’s original concept for the restaurant. The Schwartz Brothers did expand the Daniel’s brand to include locations in Bellevue (opening in 1989) and the location we all know and love, on the shores of Lake Union (since 1999), where Dan and Arnold’s first venture, Benjamin’s, once lived.

Dan Sandal passed away in 2012, but left behind a much loved and delicious legacy in Daniel’s Broiler. While many people find success in the Seattle restaurant scene, few reach the iconic status of Daniel’s Broiler, nor do they stand the test of time, untarnished and as beloved as ever the way Daniel’s has.

Daniel’s Broiler has been a Seattle staple for over 35 years, in 3 different locations, and it doesn’t appear that that will be changing anytime soon. While the Lake Union location may be moved slightly to make way for the inevitable growth and changes of a bustling city, it’s good to know it won’t be going far.

Chocolate Happy Hour

Chocolopolis truffles in display case

For those of us who love chocolate, let’s face it, any time one is savoring chocolate is considered “happy hour”. But to have a formal chocolate tasting, one of our local, fine chocolate businesses, Chocolopolis, actually has a Happy Hour. Once a week on Thursday evenings at their store (1527 Queen Anne Ave. N.), they feature a certain theme: chocolate from a certain country, how chocolate flavors vary between different regions in the world, or tastings of different “inclusion” chocolate bars that have a surprise center, to name a few. Besides selling chocolate from around the world, their fine chocolatiers also make award-winning truffles under their own brand in their on-site kitchen.

The chocolate Happy Hour tasting table, Chocolopolis.  Photo: Alethea Myers

Washington State, not just Seattle, is home to quite a few artisan chocolatiers. This isn’t surprising in the Pacific Northwest, since other artisan foods such as single-origin coffee and microbrews are highly prized for their unique taste. Around Seattle, Fran Bigelow of Fran’s Chocolate’s experimented with sprinkling sea salt on her chocolate caramels years ago, which became extremely popular and may have started the sweet & salty combo movement we see now. Frango mint chocolates at Macy’s locations are produced locally and began back in 1927. Chocolat Vitale in northern Ballard serves their own rich, European hot chocolate made from real chocolate instead of powder (and sell other chocolates, too). Theo Chocolate, a relative newcomer, is housed in a former brewery in Fremont (a hops scent is still sometimes prevalent in the lobby air), and created the first U.S. certified-organic chocolate bar. And Dilettante Chocolates started on Capitol Hill over 40 years ago, and actually make cocktails featuring their confections (Mint Kiss Martini, anyone?).

Chocolate arranged by World Region

So back to Happy Hour at Chocolopolis: One can learn much from store owner Lauren’s mother, Marcie Adler, who has worked there for 8 years since the store opened. She was guiding the tasting theme this evening: Ecuadorian chocolate in different percentages (55%, 70%), under different brands. She explained that the key to tasting fine chocolate is to let it melt on your palate, no chewing allowed, and move it around in one’s mouth since taste buds vary.

Marcie also mentioned that cacao, which chocolate is made from, only grows 20 degrees north or south of the equator, so is a specialized crop. Hawaii is the only U.S. state that can grow it. At Chocolopolis, they divide their chocolate bars into world regions (such as Asia, South America, Madagascar, others), via a handy wall chart and labeling, which makes it easier to shop for small-batch, single-origin bars. And besides making their own, some of the other beautiful truffles they stock are from Orcas Island, Los Angeles, France, Kansas City, and San Francisco.

Chocolate labelled by region, Chocolopolis

If you really want to splurge on every artisan chocolate under the sun and even take educational classes, go to the Northwest Chocolate Festival each autumn to get your fix. Or occasionally stop by for happy hour on a Thursday night in Queen Anne.

Get Your Girl Power On At The 2017 Northwest Women’s Show!

Century Link Field is about to get a heavy dose of Girl Power on March 18th and 19th!

The Northwest Women’s Show is coming back and celebrating its 29th year of showcasing the latest and greatest in fashion, health, food and fun!  Enjoy seminars, entertainment, fashion shows, and hundreds of exhibits ranging from food to jewelry to healthcare and beyond.  And don’t forget to grab some tasty snacks and a sip from the Wine & Spirits Lounge, provided by Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

If that doesn’t sound like enough fun, they’ve lined up two full days of fabulous main stage entertainment, plus another stage just for what are sure to be fascinating seminars.

Enjoy live performances including fabulously fun celebrity impersonations from The Wild and Colorful Le Faux Troop, Sexy Northwest Firemen & The Boogie Boot Babes Onstage with KMPS, see what will be hot in 2017 with a Fashion Forecast from Macy’s and more.

The complete list of scheduled seminars is still being updated, so be sure to check the website for more info and to see who you want to hear speak.

Expo Floor Map. Please click here for more details

When you’re not enjoying a great show or seminar, stroll around the exhibition floor and explore booths from lovely companies such as Stella & Dot, Damsel In Defense, Jamberry Nails, LuLaRoe, The Healthy Bra Company, Younique Cosmetics, Pampered Chef, Pure Romance and many, many more.

Be sure to stop by “Celebration Central” for exhibitions from Urban Float, Ideal Image, SubZero Ice Cream, Choukette eclair’art, Mermaid Hair Extensions and more!

This year’s event will run on Saturday March 18th from 9 AM to 5 PM and on Sunday March 19th from 10 AM to 5 PM. Sponsors for this fun and fabulous event include Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Virginia Mason Medical, Western Washington Toyota Dealers and BECU Credit Union.

The Northwest Women’s Show is an annual tradition, bringing women from all walks of life together to celebrate the beauty of the feminine, to learn about what’s new and next in fashion, food and health and to just have a good time! With two stages of entertainment and seminars, too many amazing vendors in the exhibition hall to list here, fashion shows and yummy bites and sips abound, The 2017 Northwest Women’s Show is sure to be a splendid good time and a great excuse to celebrate sisterhood!

Tickets are only $17 and are available here.

Buy your tickets before February 28th and save $3!

Sweat, Sprint And Sip Your Way To Fun At The 2017 Hot Chocolate Run!

It’s almost time to lace up those running shoes and sign up for the annual Hot Chocolate 15/5k run! This year’s yummy and fun event kicks off on Sunday, March 5th at Seattle Center How’s that for a great way to spend the first Sunday-Funday of March, both for seasoned runners and first-timers who aren’t afraid of a challenge!

The fun begins bright and early at 6:45a.m. with the 5K and the 15k starts at 7:55a.m. Race participants can expect a fun, well organized and challenging race through the heart of beautiful Downtown Seattle (hills and all!), a fabulous SWAG bag of goodies to take home, of course, delicious chocolate. Talk about motivation to finish strong!

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your Sunday while getting a great workout, consider signing up for this once-a-year event. The challenge is worth it to get to the Post Race Party where runners will enjoy music, a family friendly environment and a ‘finisher’s mug’ filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and delightfully dippable treats. Don’t count the calories, you will have more than earned this chocolate indulgence!

The Hot Chocolate Run isn’t just a great way to spend a day off. The Hot Chocolate Run is partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities, helping to provide a home-away-from-home for children and the families of children being treated at Seattle Children’s’ Hospital, at little to no cost to the families. A portion of the proceeds from signing up for this race will go to this outstanding cause, helping to make a real difference in our community.

Not into running or chocolate? That’s fine! But be aware, this race will take place in Downtown Seattle and along many main roads and thoroughfares, so you will want to plan ahead for any travel on that day. Take a look at the map (left) to see the route and read the chart below for a street closure timeline, to help you plan your day.

This event is great to do with friends, family or even by yourself. You’ll probably leave with new friends after a little friendly competition! This event brings together people from all over the city and state, so get out there, mix, mingle and help build a wonderful feeling of community in our fair city. Sprint into Springtime at this fabulous annual event, get a good sweat on and maybe even make some new friends….oh and eat chocolate! Do we really need to sell you on this?

For more info on this event, road closures, the post-race party and more, visit the Hot Chocolate Run website here.

 

 

 

Anticipated Road Closures:

Street Closure From To Side of Road Closure Time Anticipated Opening
2nd Ave Thomas St Broad St Whole Road 6:15AM 9:10AM
Broad St 2nd Ave Elliott Ave Westbound 6:15AM 9:15AM
Elliott Ave Broad St SR-99 NB On-Ramp SB One Lane 6:15AM 9:20AM
Elliott Ave SR-99 NB On-Ramp Western Ave Whole Road 6:20AM 9:20AM
Western Ave Elliott Ave Spring St Whole Road 6:20AM 9:40AM
SR-99 Bell St John St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
SR-99 Western Ave John St SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Aurora Ave Denny Way 45th St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
Aurora Ave 38th St Denny Way SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Harrison St Aurora Ave Dexter Ave Whole Road 6:25AM 11:15AM
Dexter Ave Harrison St Mercer St SB One Lane 6:25AM 11:15AM
Mercer St Dexter Ave 5th Ave East Bound Lanes 6:25AM 11:20AM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave SB Lanes 3:00AM 12:00PM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave NB Lanes 6:25AM 11:25AM