Top 10 Lifestyle Tips from the #ManAboutTown

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Top 10 Lifestyle Tips from the #ManAboutTown 

By John Spear

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John spear

Vice President, Seattle Magazine

John Spear, here. 206 Man About Town and Seattle magazine’s Associate Publisher-at-Large, I love friends, food, drink(s!) and laughter. Urban Dictionary defines Man About Town as a sociable, fashionable fellow who can often be seen around the city, particularly in the right places or with the right people. I’d say I’m more friendly than fashionable, but hey, who is #206ManAboutTown to argue with Urban Dictionary!

I’ll be sharing my top spots for dining, drinking, breathing in the fresh air (now that the smoke has cleared!) and generally carrying on in the next few weeks but here’s a quick highlight reel to whet your appetite. Want seconds? Be sure to attend this Thursday’s (September 28) first FutureCast Forum at MG2 in downtown Seattle.

My Favorite Top 10 Places:

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1. Discovery Park

500 acres of everything. Puget Sound beach access, forested trails, open meadows and stellar views of the Olympics. Who would know this is part of Seattle and not somewhere as quiet as Vermont.

2. Pike Place Market

Seattle’s original farmer’s market! From flower stalls to the first Starbucks, this gem in the city never fails to be different every time I go. My favorite time- weekday morning as the market opens up! Least favorite- weekend mornings when cruise ships are in town.

3. Seattle Center

This is Seattle's underused gem! tons of green space, home to the Space Needle, a cultural hub of live theatre, ballet, opera and home of Seattle's and the world's coolest radio station KEXP. If there is ever a public-private partnership, I'd want my condo right here. Seriously!

4. Myrtle Edwards Park

Where else do you get waterfront trails, see such a combination of natural beauty and humanity? From watching people fish to the public art in the sculpture park, and just the utter joy of watching roller bladers zoom next to boats and Boeing fuselages going by on trains close tothe rose gardens and the grain elevators, it is scenery overload yet peaceful as a park.

5. Lake Washington

Great access all along Lake Washington whether for a (skinny) dip, lying on the beach or kayaking in front of million dollar homes. The lake never disappoints!

6. Going Up??

Chances are your accountant, attorney, financial advisor or your wife's divorce attorney has one hell of a fine view! Push that elevator button to the 34th floor and gasp at our natural beauty!

7. White Swan Public House & The 100 Pound Clam

Image Credit: Andrea Coan 

Image Credit: Andrea Coan 

This indoor/outdoor partnership of upscale pub and takeout window answers all of your burning Seattle restaurant recommendation issues: Where to take a visitor for seafood? Where to enjoy the sunshine on a summer afternoon? Where to take the family, a place that has the beef sandwich and French fries ($16) Aunt Marnie will want and Dad’s order of fried oyster Lyonnaise salad ($12)? White Swan’s trendy nautical blue and white decor pairs perfectly with the Lake Union view, while The 100 Pound Clam’s down-home, seafood-shack ambiance enhances the summer and saltwater flavor you can taste in every dish. Dan Buggy is the very hard working proud owner- tell him John sent you.

Don't miss: The seafood chowder ($11), only offered on the lunch menu. Not only is it the city’s best chowder, it’s destined to be a new classic. South Lake Union, 1001 Fairview Ave. N; 206.588.2680

White Swan/100 Pound Clam’s fresh take on seafood includes oven-roasted octopus with caponata, long beans, braised celery hearts, toasted peanuts and chili oil, alongside a salad of English and snap peas.

8. Mean Sandwich

This Ballard sandwich shop with a backyard patio may look simple, yet it’s anything but. Owned by Kevin and Alex Pemoulie, a couple of NYC Momofuku vets (one of whom is an original Seattleite) who moved west for a change of pace to accommodate their growing family, the restaurant serves just a half dozen sandwiches. Each ingredient, however, is there with a purpose, from the fried lemons on the sardine sandwich to the yuzu kosho mayo on the steak tartare club. Also, the skins & ins—baked, frozen, then fried bits of potato—may just be the city’s best treatment of a tuber.  This restaurant got critical acclaim not just in the pages of Seattle magazine but also Bon Appetite!  Bonus fact-microbrewery right next door you can order beer from!

Know Before You Go: The Pemoulies are known to throw a themed dinner party every month or so—such as April’s New Orleans po’ boy feast—so keep an eye on their Facebook page for details. Ballard, 1510 NW Leary Way; 206.789.9999

9 and 10. FlintCreek Cattle Co. & Rock Creek

Ok, FlintCreek Cattle Co.  is newer so timeliness counts here, but I like Rock Creek more. I am a self-proclaimed glutton. I love fish and meat - pretty much anything with a face on it. Sorry vegetarians!

Chef Eric Donnelly and wife Christy Donnelly first paid respects to seafood at RockCreek, their Fremont restaurant, in 2013. Every local said it was the seafood restaurant they’d been waiting for. Then, last year, the couple opened FlintCreek, where they turned their attention to lean meats: lamb, bison, quail…you get the idea. Neighbors raved again. Even those turned off by the idea of game meats will find something to love—fennel-braised wild boar ($25), bone-in pork chop with red-eye gravy ($29)—in the revamped 1910 space.

Don’t Miss: The creative vegetables dishes, such as pickled veggies with blue cheese tahini—they’re as good (or better) than the meat courses. Greenwood, 8421 Greenwood Ave. N; 206.457.5656;

Rock Creek is in Fremont- 4300 Fremont Avenue North98103206 .5577532. I have my reservation this Friday night!