Category Archives: Capitol Hill

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!

Sherlockian

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At The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes, Pacific Science Center

d9c18aa5156398452acb91954aef5a99The enduring appeal of Sherlock Holmes lives on, even 128 years after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle penned his first story. In the past few years, we’ve seen interpretations of the famous sleuth frequently: the BBC’s “Sherlock” British series, the “Elementary” US television series, three movies, and another one currently in-production. And local Sherlockian events include a monthly meeting for a society called the “Sound of the Baskervilles”, The Seattle Repertory Theatre’s staging of R. Hamilton Wright’s “Sherlock Holmes and the American Problemthis past Spring, and the yearly Sherlock Seattle Convention just took place last month in Seattle. Mr. Holmes’ popularity is stronger than ever.

And now The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes is in town at the The Pacific Science Center. This exhibit is an immersive experience, recreating the Victorian England that Doyle’s fictional character solved crimes in. It touches on history, science, architecture, and design, while tying it to modern events. Some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original writings and instruments are also on display, and an unsolved mystery awaits you, using your own sleuthing powers of deduction. Admission is the General Admission price + $9 for this exhibition.

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Arthur Conan Doyle, by Walter Benington, 1914

Sherlock Holmes was created not only from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s imagination, but from his life experiences. He studied and practiced medicine, which accounted for his accurate description of his scientific detective’s techniques. His former university teacher, Joseph Bell, was part of the inspiration for the character of Holmes, because of his astute, highly observant ways and elevated intelligence. Doyle’s first short story/novella writings (and one book) are relevant today, because modern police work techniques developed in significant part due to them. Interesting trivia: The iconic slim, tall build with aristocratic nose that has defined the Sherlock figure all these years was actually the way the artist’s brother looked; he had sat in as the model.

 

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The Seattle Mystery Bookshop at 1st and Cherry

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The Sherlockiana section, Seattle Mystery Bookshop

The Seattle Mystery Bookshop, located at 1st Ave. and Cherry St. in Pioneer Square has a special section in their store for Sherlock fans. They handle a wide variety of mystery books from “cozies” in the Agatha Christie vein through to the hard-boiled crime detective stories, and are located in the basement below Starbucks on that corner. Concerning Sherlock Holmes’ importance, J.B. Dickey, the store’s owner, mentioned, “There are certain touchstones concerning mystery: Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, and Edgar Allen Poe [who wrote the first detective story in 1841]. They [The Sherlock Holmes stories] are a key element of the history of mysteries.” He also mentioned that ever since Doyle stopped writing his series (which started in 1888), other authors have been writing “pastiches”, which imitate his writing style ever since. This continues to this day, so there’s no shortage of literature to choose from.   

 

So why visit the international Sherlock exhibition while it’s in town, watch a movie, or read one of these books? Elementary, my dear Watson—it’s relevant even today.