Food & Drink Mar 30, 2016 at 4:00 am

What is a city if not full of businesses like this? Restaurants and bars are not just about places to eat and drink. They’re about culture, chance encounters, opportunities to disappear, and finding people to have sex with.

Our built environment makes us more urban in much the same way that the beaver-made dam made its maker, the beaver, more aquatic. DARIN SHULER


Who, exactly, is complaining about new restaurants? Textbook Charles strawman.

Charles, do you even read what you've written when you're done? There's not a single line in this mess of a piece that even slightly addresses its title.
Of all the Charles Mudedes in the world, you're the Charles Mudedeist.
The Stranger pays you enough that you can eat out every night, Charles?
20-something here, sharing a house with more roommates than rooms. We all make $14-18/hr. I always imagined at least half of The Stranger readers to be people like me, so it's a shame that Mudede is so out of touch with our demographic. We need our kitchen because we buy all of our food in bulk and cook budget meals at least 6 nights out of the week. Every once in a while we will try a (cheap) restaurant for dinner. Unfortunately, most of the new restaurants aren't all that cheap. Almost every menu item at Fat's (the closest new place to our house) is over $15 with tax, and I'm not about to pay $12 for red beans and rice. Enjoy the new restaurants, Charles. I dream for a city that's not just for the most bougie among us.

4) how? i have never owned a car. never. no gas, no insurance, no repairs, no tabs, no loan payments. that freed up a lot of cash for me. a lot!
What's that? What's that you say? The plebs can't afford to eat out for every meal? Let them eat cake!
Paragraph four. A gourmet restaurant where the wait staff are all sex workers. Now that would be a cosmopolitan enterprise.
@6 I have never owned a car either; it's a complete waste of money when I'm lucky to be able to walk and bus everywhere. Most of my friends don't own cars, but most of us are also weighed down by student loan debt and trying to get by on near minimum wage (which is not yet $15 for many people). A city that expects everyone to eat out for every meal is a city only accessible for the wealthy. Also, I love cooking, and I'd love to cook for you, but we all know how much line cooks and sous chefs make...
I disagree that prostitution should be legal. I support the Nordic model.
I think the complaining has more to do with the quality of the restaurants and their focus on style over substance.
But, I don't want to sleep with strangers!
Hi, Charles,
This is a love letter from one straight man to another. Basically, you are why I still after all these years come back to SLOG every day or two, despite its now much reduced circumstances. If there is a Mudede post, I know it will be worth the visit. It’s not that I agree with you that often – I don’t. It’s just that I know I can count on your posts to be incisive and sometimes lyrical and never trite. If I disagree with you, at least you will be worth disagreeing with. In my line of work, the coldest insult you can level against someone’s work is “he’s not even wrong.” You’re never not even wrong.
Someday I will cook for you, Charles.
I took this as something of a love poem for urban living. Kind of all over the place with some really big assumptions about rural life that are only backed up by limited experience, but clearly grounded in love for city living.

I also love city life and I enjoyed reading your article. You have a very idealistic vision for urban living and I think we need more of that.

As a sidenote from a transplant, Seattleites tend to be fucking spoiled. This is an amazing city. Straight up. If you don't think so, then you are comparing it to just a few other cities. Go try living *anywhere* in the midwest for a year and you are guaranteed to miss Seattle horribly.
Oh FFS: I wish there was still a Denny's close by so I wouldn't have to grind within earshot of all you fuckers singing your love poems to urban living.
....because most of the restaurants have become cookie cutter and we are consuming. Partially sarcasm...partially true. I mean if you compare 80% of the restaurants in town they are about as original as TGI Fridays.

You you eat every meal in some restaurant. I cook in my kitchen because it's creating something that I made, I was like you when I was in my twenties, you will learn. Have your friends over for football or whatever, you will learn to make food you like. As far as the city micro-sizing everything, no I will bolt for the suburbs, I have someone once a week asking to buy my little 1600 square foot house for almost twice as much as I paid for it.
You know what's so funny about this article, it was slapped in the spot where the old one used to know, the one where all the seattle libs were going for one another's throats...much more entertaining.

Funnier still, that article seems to be wiped from theStranger's feed...musn't air that dirty laundry....
You're completely missing the social sphere that is one's home. Perhaps you didn't have a parent who was a good cook, or a close friend who loved to host others? My absolute favorite social sphere is my kitchen or the kitchens of friends where we make good food, share new creations, drink too much wine and craft beer, and pull at the threads of conversation long into the night. Strangers are always welcome - new ideas, new mouths to feed old proud recipes to, new faces to learn. Family gatherings are also wheels with the kitchen at their hub. I think that none of this is antisocial, and all of it is FAR cheaper to feed so many mouths, atop the genial participation of those who float in and out of the cooking space.
Such drivel – at least he's consistent.
Thank capitalism for these restaurants.
1. Some people (not me) like/love to cook.
2. Many immigrant cultures are maintained and perpetuated by friends and multi-generation-family-members gathering together, cooking and eating together and talking loudly and arguing and laughing.
3. Seattle has so many restaurants because most other types of small, non corporate owned shops have been killed by Amazon et al. (God, how I miss window shopping and used bookstores with old couches and cats!)

@4 try the non-yuppie-non-techbro-focused Vietnamese/SE Asian restaurants and grocery stores' and delis' hot foods offerings in the ID (until they're chased out of there by condo developers next year). You can get a hot dinner for $5-6.
Cooking is a skill that you practice and learn like any other skill. If you "burn things all the time," then you are still an absolute beginner, and you need to put in more time to become a cook. And you can be an excellent cook without having any huge talent for cooking. Just read cook books, follow recipes, make up some variations, and cook a lot. This proposal to abandon your kitchen (or your sketchbook or your guitar or your dance shoes), just because professionals have more skill and "genius" than you, is rubbish. If I had unlimited wealth I would still cook two or three days a week.
Oh thank God. A thread full of other non-car-owners!! Yay!! I have also never owned a car, and walk or bus pretty much everywhere, and get to be called a freak occasionally by friends that can't imagine that concept.

I agree, not having a car frees up a lot of cash, but not everybody can get by with no car, some people actually do need them to get to work and out of the city for mental health breaks!

Mixed feelings about this one, being somebody that eats out way too much, and also doesn't drive or cook. But we can't all afford to do that, we shouldn't act like it's totally normal to spend ridiculous amounts of money on not feeding ourselves every week. I am learning to cook. And perhaps also possibly drive. One day.
It's a very privileged point of view to assume we can all afford to make use of Seattle's awesome restaurant scene night after night.
Holy cow; I had to wipe the smug entitlement off my eyes before I could see well enough to make a comment.

It must be nice to be able to afford to full-time so totally outsource something as basic as eating that his ability to do it for himself atrophies. We normal people, the 99%, usually feed ourselves, with the outsourced version reserved for special occasions. Sorry I'm not up to the standards of his favorite $150 a meal chef. My cooking hasn't poisoned anybody yet, but come over and let's test the odds.

What no commenters have called him on is his aggressive and dismissive extroversion. Yes, introverts are a minority, but how dare he position extroversion as normal and virtuous and tacitly dismiss the alternative as undesirable? My idea of hell would be living in a home I couldn't actually live in-- that's his ideal home. Why should I be forced to go "out" for social interaction on public couches or barstools when I love entertaining handfuls of friends at home, without the crowds and noise? I'm not saying my way is better than his, just that it's as legitimate for me as his ueber-extroversion is for him. Let's neither of us be bigots or snobs; let's not assume that the whole world is like us and heap contempt on the other, as he did.

I love the energy and options of living in a condo in the city, but I can love it only because my home, however modest, is a self-contained refuge from the chaos. I go "out" when I can afford to and when I choose to, not because I have to. The writer needs to get out of his wealthy extroverted entitlement bubble and get to know people who don't share his lifestyle, income, or personality type.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.