sky city

sky city’s dining room reminds me of a hotel lobby.  there’s the carpeting.  there’s the cheesy music.  the waiters are dressed much like porters, in earth-toned vests.  upon entering i would have worried about the food even if the restaurant weren’t perched atop seattle’s tallest tourist destination.  

we’d peaked at the menu while in the gift shop below.  

“27 dollars for a chicken sandwich?” we’d gasped, “34 dollars for vegetarian soba noodles?!”  and yet, after we were done mocking it, we found ourselves making reservations for lunch.  

the reasoning: the ride up was going to cost us $16 a person and we were going to have lunch somewhere regardless, likely spending at least $25 each.  once you accounted for the free ride up that came with lunch, the food prices were somewhat easier to digest.  

the dining room rotates.  with a full turn every 47 minutes, it can take some time to adjust to the movement.  the resulting view, however, is enough to distract you from what you’re eating and what it costs.  

the bread  basket was enormous.  five to six hefty rolls came to our table of two.  they looked like they were different flavors, but all tasted about the same. after finally settling on the chicken sandwich i’d earlier rolled my eyes at (the logic was to go for the least mess-upable dish on the menu), my spirits were raised while perusing the wine list.  for some reason, space needle booze is shockingly affordable.  entirely domestic, the list included numerous by-the-glass options, a great many of which ran about $7.  my glass of wine came in a small pitcher and as i poured, and then poured some more, i felt sure i had at least a healthy glass and a half in front of me.  

my sandwich arrived.  the bun was large, the pickles and fries plentiful.  the chipotle mayonnaise wasn’t powerful or plentiful enough to carry the flavor burden left by the hazelnut crusted chicken.  the avocado was fresh and ripe, the tomato pale.  fries were lacking most of the qualities i value in fries – deep color, extra salt, skin on, never-been-frozen-ness.  

we skipped dessert, partly because there’d been so much entree and partly because it was satisfying and hilarious enough to see a neighboring table receive the space needle sundae, dry ice induced fog pouring from it’s base.  

space needle rules require that you spend $25 in the restaurant – a joke, really, since there’s very little offered for less.  i’ve become accustomed to $30 entrees, but i haven’t become numb to them.  if i’m paying thirty dollars for a single dish – even a full meal – i want there to be something notable about it.

now, don’t get me wrong, i recognize that it is notable to eat lunch 500 feet above the city.  i understand that it is expensive and complicated to transport food every day, to keep the windows clean to keep the rotating room rotating. what i don’t understand is why, if someone is going to do all that, they don’t bother to meet high standards when it comes to food.  


Sky City at the Needle on Urbanspoon

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~ by patmybutter on May 11, 2008.

One Response to “sky city”

  1. I went up there before I left for NY with my family and found the $40 meal to be ultra sub-par.

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