Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Virtues of Ignoring Seattle Hipsters

13 Coins
130 Boren Ave.
Seattle, WA

I have to admit, I was hesitant about checking out 13 Coins.

The on-line reviews just aren’t very good.

But then I thought, “What do people in Seattle know anyway?”

After all, this is the city that actually erected a statue just two miles from here to Communist Dictator Vladimir Lenin, the man who introduced to the world the most destructive and violent ideology of the 20th Century.

And of course Seattle is the city that replaced the testosterone-fueled rock n roll of my youth with Grunge.

Instead of Bon Scott and David Lee Roth singing about kicking butt and banging chicks, we get scruffy effeminate dudes staring at their shoes mumbling about suicide and their low self-esteem.

I’m taking advice on where to eat from these people?

Not a chance.

Good move.

My breakfast at 13 Coins was an example of what makes suffering the indignities of modern travel all worthwhile.

First of all the place is just cool.

Of course all the Seattle hipster Yelp reviews come to the exact opposite conclusion.

But I assure you, if you are seeking a discrete spot to rendezvous with that busty new blonde receptionist -- or to plot the overthrow of the federal government -- 13 Coins is the perfect spot.

As you walk in and your eyes adjust to the dim old school lighting, you notice a row of snug booths on the left that envelope their patrons in ten foot walls of black leather.

On the right is more black leather, this time in the form of enormous swivel bar stools wrapping each patron in a cocoon of privacy.

That is where I chose to ensconce myself with a perfect view of the flaming grill in front of me.

The primary reason I chose to ignore the lackluster reviews and give 13 Coins a try is because I heard they served a mean “Hangtown Fry” for breakfast, an elusive culinary delicacy I’ve been meaning to try for years.

A Hangtown Fry is an omelet of onions, bacon and oysters.

What’s not to like, right?

It is a West Coast specialty that originated in Placerville, California during the height of the Gold Rush in a town so rough and tumble locals just called it “Hangtown.”

As in “Hang him by the neck until he dies.”

Legend has it that some cocky miner flush from a big score walked into a Placerville saloon, threw his winnings on the bar top and demanded the most expensive entrée the cook could assemble.

In those days before refrigeration, eggs, bacon and oysters were rare luxuries.

I sat there mesmerized as the cook sautéed and flipped the onions, eggs, oysters and bacon over an open flame right in front of me.

The result is a decedent breakfast for the gods.

While I can always wish for a few more oysters, you could taste the briny crustaceans in almost every bite, as the salty oyster liquor permeated the entire omelet.

The bacon lended a smoky essence while the onions spiced up the well-seasoned fluffy eggs.

Omelets don’t get much better than this.

On the side, I requested 13 Coins famous hash browns.

Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these hash browns benefited from a liberal dousing of oily, greasy goodness.

Clearly, the old school atmosphere gives this place its claim to fame, but the food doesn’t lack for attention either.

No doubt about it, hip isn’t an adjective you would use for 13 Coins or its throwback Hangtown Fry.

But I’ll take oysters and bacon, AC/DC and Van Halen over hip most days of the week.

Even in Seattle.

Rating: Bought the Shirt!

13 Coins Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. "Instead of Bon Scott and David Lee Roth singing about kicking butt and banging chicks, we get scruffy effeminate dudes staring at their shoes mumbling about suicide and their low self-esteem."

    Concise, devastating, and beautiful.

  2. I'm not sure I can ever go back to any other place, after an experience like this. This place is appropriate in a space that lends so much gravitas to events. The design of Chicago venues is sharp and environment is unbelievably good.

  3. Thirteen Coins has been at the top of my list since 1974! My favorite is the Joe's Special- ground beef & onions sauteed, wilt some fresh spinach, add beaten eggs and finish with plenty of shredded cheese!