Thursday, May 29, 2014

Visit the New Seattle Center Armory -- Fresh, Local, Delicious Cuisine...

The Seattle Center House has received a much-needed facelift and you will hardly recognize her…

The New Seattle Center Armory

As a kid, in the years following the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, the Center House was one of my favorite places to visit. The original food court was filled with exciting temptations from the cutting edge Orange Julius to the ever-popular MacDonald’s.

But over the past 50 years, time had taken its toll on the good, old Food Circus. The choices had become flat and predictable. It was uninspiring to wander through the food court and see that the once original and vibrant heart of the Seattle Center  had become a pale version of its former self.

The Food Circus is now The Seattle Center Armory...


I was thrilled to hear that the Center House Food Circus was getting a facelift. Not only a facelift, but a name change as well. The first floor of the Seattle Center House – the former Food Circus -- is now called the “Seattle Center Armory” after its origins as the Seattle Field Artillery Armory, built in 1939. 

The layout is much the same as the former Food Circus but the focus is now on fresh, local, healthy cuisine. I would describe the new style is “contemporary industrial chic”, if there is such a category. The Armory features warm, neutral colors with sleek stainless steel and light wood accents. And you can now enjoy your meal and view the Seattle Center from the new 60-foot outdoor deck.

The Plum Pantry at the Seattle Center Armory

A Delicious Lunch Venue...

On a recent visit, my friend and I chose to have our lunch at the vegan restaurant, Plum Pantry, a more portable version of the popular and delicious Plum Bistro in the Capitol Hill district on 12th Avenue. 

We found a Groupon offering a 2 for 1 meal deal at this popular vegan restaurant and that was enough to convince us to try the healthy cuisine.

Even if you do not adhere to a strictly vegan diet, (I lasted one week) at the several Plum restaurants you will find deliciously tempting offerings to satisfy even the most non-vegan palette. My lunch partner and I tried two of the “box lunches” – perfectly designed for eating in or taking out to a nice grassy spot on the Center grounds. 

Baked Tempeh Sandwich and Quinoa Wrap - Yummy!
I ordered the baked Tempeh Sandwich with grilled onions, avocado, tomato, cilantro and chipotle aioli on gluten free bread. I must tell you, it was delicious. 
The sandwich came with a mixed greens salad and choice of vegan dessert. My eating partner tried the Quinoa Wrap with Mama Africa mix, coriander pesto, fresh orange slices, avocado, mixed greens and grilled onions – yummy and satisfying.  I would highly recommend giving Plum Pantry at the Armory a try.

There are several other delicious-looking restaurants I want to experience on my next visits, such as Big Food Barbeque, Blue Water Taco Grill, Quincy’s and the Skillet Counter…. 

Bean Sprouts at the Seattle Center Armory
There’s even an adorable restaurant called “bean sprouts” that caters to the uniquely specialized tastes of children in highly creative ways that are sure to delight even your pickiest eaters.





The Armory Still Plays Host to Cultural and Special Events...

The Chinese Art and Culture Festival
Over 3000 free public performances occur in the 
Center House each year. 

We were fortunate enough to stop in while the Chinese Art and Culture Festival was underway.


Dancers getting ready to perform at the
Chinese Art and Culture Festival.
We enjoyed colorful dance performances on the central stage accompanied by authentic instrumentation. The event was certainly well received. There was standing room only.

Many local interests will be moving into the refurbished Center House in the near future, including a new home for Seattle’s progressive radio station, K-EXP.


Seattle's Best Damn Happy Hour
So, if you haven’t been interested in visiting the old Food Circus lately, you might be delightfully surprised at the results of this newest makeover. 



• Grab a healthy picnic lunch and enjoy the new deck. 

• Experience the multi-cultural festivities.

• Stop in for Seattle’s Best Damn Happy Hour. 

• Or just grab your favorite cup of coffee. 

We can all safely return to our beloved icon now, and enjoy a deliciously progressive future.