Formerly Sam’s Steakhouse, Eastlake Bar and Grill is one of three lakeside restaurants owned by brothers John and James Schmidt. Although each of their three bar and grill restaurants serve similar food and offer up amazing views I believe that it is their Eastlake location that might be the most popular. Although it wasn’t their original (opened in 2004) the Eastlake location offers panoramic views of South Lake Union.
I recently went to Eastlake on one of the first nice Seattle sunny days of the year. Knowing how fickle Seattle weather can be, my girlfriend and I took full advantage of the restaurant’s large outdoor deck facing the water. The deck was packed and although our server graced us with her presence ten minutes later than what would be normal for most restaurants after you’ve been seated, we decided to brush it off.
The Eastlake Bar and Grill offers the Sunset Dinner which is comprised of a soup or salad, one of twelve entrees and a dessert for $12.95. Knowing that hot soup was the one thing I did not want I started with a Caesar Salad. I know that Caesar’s aren’t that complicated to make but I’m starting to realize that I’m sort of a Caesar Salad connoisseur. It was recently brought to my attention by a friend that I eat approximately five Caesars a week, never changing to a different salad choice. Knowing this, you can understand why I was pleased that the Caesar at Eastlake was fresh and crisp and not drowning in dressing.
My girlfriend chose Alaskan Cod and Chips as her entrée. Although we remarked about how cute the crinkle-cut fries were we both noticed that her fried fish tasted sort of soapy. Yet another example of why I stay clear of fish and chips. I decided to try the Blackened Fish Tacos. Although the item title was “taco” and the description said that it was “two flour tortillas” I was still surprised when a Blackened Fish Burrito was served. The fresh slaw and tilapia fish looked refreshing so I figured it would be a waste of time to talk about the dissimilarities between taco and burrito. For as large and heavy as the fish tacos looked they were surprisingly light. The tilapia had a good seasoning to it and the slaw and mango salsa had a cooling effect on this hot day.
For desert I kept it simple; ice cream sundae for me and my girlfriend went with key lime pie. I don’t like key lime pie very much and I found their version too creamy for my taste. My ice cream was served in what I can only describe as a melted state of being. I’m pretty sure this occurred because the weather was hot or perhaps because the ice cream bowl was served on top of a steaming hot plate.
I think the food at Eastlake Bar and Grill is more in the category of upscale bar food as opposed to high end grilled cuisine. While the food was pretty solid there were definitely some aspects that could have easily been fixed. Despite any of these negatives I know that come the next sunny Seattle day I’m going to consider sitting on the outside deck at this restaurant… I just won’t order the ice cream