June 3, 2008

Cascade: Seattle's Potemkin Neighborhood?

Garden%20at%20REI.JPG St%20Spiridon.JPG Alley%2024%20w%20new%20apartments.JPG

Paul Allen's development of South Lake Union, with at least a dozen new buildings devoted to high-tech enterprises and grandiose plans to become a highrise virtual downtown, extends uphill and eastward to encompass the residential neighborhood known as Cascade. REI built its headquarters here and surrounded it with a lovely garden; the grand old St. Spiridon orthodox church stands guard over a street of new construction. One facade of Alley 24 remains untouched; the other side is a new "green" apartment building. But is the neighborhood just putting up a good front?

A German restaurant called Feierabend (literally "quitting time" or "day off"), in the Cairns apartments, is a good example of the uncertainty. Yes, there are 18 taps of German beer, each served in authentic logo glassware. But then?

Let's take a cheese appetizer called Obatzter (that's the way it's spelled on the menu, although it's also known throughout Bavaria as Obazda). It's made with a soft cheese like brie or camembert, mashed up with butter, onions and paprika. Was seduced by it at the Viktualienmarkt in Munich last spring, couldn't wait to try it at Feierabend. Alas, even with an excellent pretzel from Ravenna's Morning Star bakery, the "Obatzter" was no more than a disappointing dollop, flanked by two varieties of mustard. (The mustards would return, on a later visit, on a plate of Landjaeger sausages--Germany's version of almost inedible beef jerky.)

Plenty of gloss, not enough substance. Pity. Feierabend on Urbanspoon

Obatzler%20at%20Feierabend.JPG Sign%20outside%20Feierabend.JPG Landjaeger%20%26%20Bit.JPG

And lest you think I'm making this up, here's the real deal, the Biergarten at the Viktualienmarkt in the center of Munich.

Viktualienmarkt%20in%20Munich.JPG Obazda%20in%20Munich.JPG

Posted by Ronald Holden at June 3, 2008 11:04 AM | TrackBack

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