I stumbled upon the website for UW's Summer Session a few weeks before it was about to start. UW offers a wide variety of classes during the summer, and you don't need to be a current student, or go through the application process to take them. All you need to do is fill out a quick registration form and send in a $35 fee, and you can register for any class during the 2 month summer session. In fact, everything can be done online or by mail so you never need to set foot in a UW administrative office to become a student for the summer.
If you're a resident, the classes are inexpensive and well worth it. The classes are taught the same as they are during the normal quarters, but with a compressed schedule. This is a great opportunity to take that fun subject you always wanted to explore, or take a class you need for your job. As a summer student, you can also take advantage of the U-Pass bus pass, which is a great way to get around Seattle.
I will definitely take more classes via the Summer Session in the future!
My husband loves a good steak so we went to Morton's to try it out. And boy, was it not worth the price. Decor is your usual "dark wood and brass" good ol' boy steakhouse atmosphere. We were seated after waiting about 10 minutes, even though we had a reservation.
One of the "traditions" of Morton's is that they bring around a cart with the meat choices and you get to choose. Well, apparently our table was right next to the wall where they store the cart. Not very appetizing to stare at raw meat during our meal. Not to mention the barely-alive lobster actually moving on the cart. Service was slow, and not very attentive - it took us half our meal to get someone to move the cart away.
The food was ok, but nothing special. We definitely won't be going back - there are much better steakhouses in Seattle. This one had too much of a "chain" feel to it.
PROS: good downtown location
CONS: poor service, average food
El Gaucho is a good place to go for a special occasion dinner. The interior is very dark, romantic and hip. It feels like a place The Rat Pack would go. Service is excellent, the steaks are out of this world, and the Bananas Foster dessert (prepared on fire at your table, even) is reason enough to go there. It's definitely pricey, but well worth it for a special treat.
They also have private dining rooms you can reserve for events. We didn't choose it for our wedding dinner since their options for vegetarians are somewhat limited (only 1-2 items on the menu), and there isn't any sort of view.
But I highly recommend it for a nice evening on the town, as it's very close to some fun bars and a pool hall.
PROS: great atmosphere, excellent steaks
CONS: not many vegetarian options, expensive
We use MasterPark Lot C, which is a bit farther from the airport than their other two lots, but is a few dollars cheaper.
It's easy to find (right on Intl Blvd), always has availability, and they valet park your car and we've never had to wait for a shuttle to take us to the airport.
Unfortunately, we have had a few trips where we had to wait over 15 minutes for a shuttle back to the lot. After a trip, you just want to get home, and this wait is definitely a hassle. Also, it's a little bit confusing, but you need to get on the shuttle for the lot you parked in, so you really have to pay attention when the MasterPark shuttle comes around.
However, once you call from the courtesy phone, MasterPark has your car waiting for you when you arrive at the lot. So if you can get off the bus first and pay quickly, you can get out faster.
In the evenings, the desk isn't staffed very well so there are often long lines of people waiting to pay. But all in all, it's a reputable establishment with reasonable prices. We've never had a problem with them, and will continue to use them.
PROS: valet parking, reasonable price
CONS: somewhat long waits for shuttle
As with any shipping place that's not for a specific carrier, you will pay a premium to pack and ship your package. Lines are a lot shorter than at the post office, so it's probably worth the extra expense to ship your packages here.
The staff is extremely friendly and helpful.
The store also rents mailboxes and provides notary services. They even notarized our marriage license application for free! You can also recycle styrofoam packing peanuts here.
Parking is easy to find and the hours are convenient.
PROS: convenient, friendly staff
Silver Platters has a huge selection of CDs and a very knowledgable staff, not to mention state-of-the-art listening stations where you can find almost any artist and listen to some of their music before you buy it.
Prices are the usual "regular" high prices for CDs ($15-18) but a nice touch is the staff offering to open the CDs for you (and remove the plastic and annoying sealing sticker) before you leave the store.
It's easy to spend a few hours browsing the store and listening to music. They're usually playing good music in the store. The music and DVDs are well organized.
PROS: good selection, knowledgable staff, listening stations
Eastside Dog is a fun place to go to when you're walking your dog at Redmond Town Center. The staff is very friendly, and there is usually a friendly shop dog name Jake who will let you scratch him behind the ears.
All of the items are quite expensive, but they have a wide selection of well-made and fun dog toys, in addition to more natural and healthy treats. They also have T-shirts and jewelry for dog people. They always include a few free treats for our dogs, and we always feel welcome, even with our large Rottweiler mix.
Parking is easy to find. The only drawbacks are price, and the limited food selection. You can definitely find the staples (food and treats) elsewhere for cheaper. But if you want to treat Fido to a new toy, collar, pair of "doggles", or specialty treats, Eastside Dog is a fun place to go.
PROS: location, parking, toy selection, friendly staff
CONS: expensive, limited food selection
Namasthe is all vegetarian Indian food, and the menu is quite extensive and prices are reasonable.
The lunch buffet has a lot of items, which are frequently refreshed, and is also a good value. You can also buy sweets and desserts to take with you.
Service is good, and the owner is very friendly.
On a busy evening parking may be hard to find since there's another restaurant in this strip mall that's quite popular. But usually there are one or two spots available.
PROS: vegetarian, good selection, good value
CONS: may be hard to find parking
We eat here a few times a month, mostly take out. Prices are higher than other fast food, but so is the quality. I appreciate that they have grilled cheese on the menu, and you get a choice of 3 different cheeses. The fried mushrooms are YUM. Lots of interesting shake flavors, too.
Service has always been friendly, and food is cooked to order, so it's a little slower than McD's, etc. Their punch card program, as well as the "extra stamp if you answer the daily trivia question" program has gotten us quite a few free burgers.
We've also brought our dogs here and eat at the outside tables.
Parking is plentiful and the lines aren't usually too long.
PROS: good food, fast, allows dogs on patio
This small teriyaki joint tucked away in a strip mall between Subway and a Chinese restaurant is hands down the best teriyaki I've ever had.
The boneless chicken breast is grilled and the meat is good quality and not fatty at all. The sauce is amazing - not very thick and sticky, but just the right amount of sweetness and saltiness. The shrimp teriyaki is very good as well, and the rice-vinegar based "cole slaw" on the side is very fresh, crunchy, and healthy.
The staff is friendly and very accomodating to dietary requests for less rice, no rice, no sauce, etc. They make your order when you order it - your chicken isn't stewing in the sauce for hours. They even have a half order of the boneless chicken teriyaki, which is plenty for smaller appetites.
Prices are a little high for teriyaki but well worth it as you will have leftovers and it's very high quality food. Service is quick and efficient.
It's best for takeout though there is a little space to eat there.
PROS: great chicken and shrimp teriyaki, accomodates dietary requests, quick
CONS: not open on Sundays, a little more expensive than other teriyaki places