I owe Tom Douglas a huge apology. Just like some relative or friend that has been part of your life for so long that you tend to forget how much they mean to you, his suite of restaurants is such a Seattle mainstay that I often take it for granted.
I have spent countless lunches at Dahlia Lounge tables; many evenings sipping cocktails at Palace Kitchen; been privy to fun events at Palace Ballroom; and been applauded for my recommendation of Serious Pie as the place to get pizza downtown. It’s been awhile since I’ve spent serious time at Etta’s – and I think that’s a mistake. I’m so easily distracted by all the new and shiny pennies in our dining scene that I just assume you know about Tom’s empire and that it will always be there.
While the second part of that is probably true, the first part may not be. And that was something that I was thinking about during a recent lunch at Lola.
I’d checked myself into a downtown hotel for the weekend. I needed some serious R&R and thought it would be fun just to be a tourist here in Seattle, something I like to do. I was able to check into my room just after noon and once settled in I took a short walk to Lola for lunch. I sat at the bar, as I do in most places.
I arrived past the main lunch rush and so overall the room was quiet. A couple of other people at the bar and while many of the tables were full most were finishing up. It didn’t take me long to place my order – although it was a little tough as there is so much I love on this menu – the lamb kabobs were my choice for the day, and I’ll take the Greek salad to go along with that. (The other option is Greek Potatoes.)
My order arrived in no time. In addition to the kebabs and Greek salad, freshly made (and still warm) pita and tzitiki graced the plate.
The lamb was slightly sweet, tender and succulent. Dipped in the tangy tzitiki it was heaven on a fork – the contrast of sweet/tangy, warm/cool, rich/fresh just made me close my eyes and concentrate on the wonderful contrasts. The salad was so good that when I arrived home I made a list and the next time at the grocery store I picked up all the ingredients so I could duplicate it at home. I don’t really like making salads but this is one I am happy to assemble. It is so fresh and clean tasting.
The homemade pita was so soft and comforting I would have liked to take a really big one, cover myself with it and take a little nap. Okay, not really but it was good enough to do that! Instead, I dipped it in the tzitiki for another wonderful taste combination.
I ended my meal with a nice pot of tea. Refreshed and ready for an afternoon of adventure playing tourist in my hometown.
2000 4th Ave (At the corner of 4th and Virginia)