Home > Ballard, Restaurants, Seattle > The Ballard Restaurant Project

The Ballard Restaurant Project

My husband and I live in Ballard, a neighborhood just a bit north of Seattle. It’s a popular place full of boutique shops, bars and restaurants, the last two we partake of multiple times a week.

At the beginning of December 2010, while heading to the main part of Ballard for dinner, we were trying to figure out where to go … playing our usual “Where do you want to go?” game.

Husband: Where do you want to go?

Me: I don’t know. Where do you want to go?

H: I asked first.

M: I don’t care. What do you feel like?

H: I don’t know.

We ended up at one of a half dozen places we go to all the time. Ballard is full of restaurants. Everything from Mexican to German to great pizza to Thai to generic bar food. At last count, in a two-mile or so square, 75+ restaurants and bars and we go to the same 6 places. All the time.

While having dinner at the People’s Pub for the umpteenth time, I came up with the idea for a year-long project. We would go to every restaurant and bar in Ballard. All 75+ of them. From Volterra to Zesto’s.

Thus the Ballard Restaurant Project was born.

The ground rules:

  • The boundries are: North of the Ship Canal, West of 8th Ave, South of 65th Street and East of 32nd Ave. Except for a couple of places, every restaurant/bar is within walking distance of our apartment.
  • No fast food chains, grocery store food bars, coffee houses or bars with a limited menu*.
  • If it’s a place we visit regularly, we have to try something new.
  • Any new places will be added to the list up to the end of 2011.
  • If someplace is scheduled to close, we make our best attempt to eat there before it closes.
  • Our reviews will be based on three categories: service, drinks and food.

Granted, neither my husband nor I are professional food critics. We’re just a couple of people who like good food and our neighborhood. Our reviews will from the view of a couple that love eating and have a smattering of knowledge of food. I’ll try to list what we eat, drink and what it costs.

Come back at the beginning of January 2011 to find out what our first stop is … we don’t even know yet.

*Bars that only offer a few things on the menu or only have appetizers. The Nobel Fir, Harlow’s, and the Stepping Stone come readily to mind.

  1. Mike Strickler
    August 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I love your project. Ballard is a second home for my wife and I while I work to reach retirement and found we always visited the same few restaurants. With your guidance, we plan to try many of your best choices and will share your findings with others that stay at our condo. If you are not a food critic you sure have a second career path to consider. Thanks immensely.

    • August 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      I’m glad the project is giving you and your wife ideas for new places to try and that you’ll be sharing our findings with others. As it goes along, I think we’re enjoying highlighting some places that many people might pass by.

      Thank you for reading.

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