2011's best dining spots: Pizza pie and Dick's, oh my!
Diners kept their purse strings tight as economic woes continued. Families looked to pizza as an affordable way to feed the gang.
Thankfully, Snohomish County has pizza parlors spread around the region like circles of pepperoni scattered on mozzarella and tomato sauce.
We reviewers sampled thick crust and thin; we sliced pies with red sauce and some that came with just garlic, olive oil and the scent of fresh basil.
There were other favorite foods, too, of course. Snohomish County welcomed local outposts of regional chains that offer fresh takes on breakfast and burgers.
Some old places were reborn, and other places were bright spots we discovered for the first time.
Here, starting from the most recently reviewed and working backward through the year, are some of our favorite restaurants from 2011.
Hat Trick Pizza: 1816 Hewitt Ave., Everett; 425-374-8156. Specialty: Pizza.
This charming downtown Everett pizza place near Comcast Arena delivered thin crust pizza made from scratch with all fresh ingredients.
Pho Mai Noodles: 5129 Evergreen Way S., Everett; 425-303-8866; www.phomainoodles.com. Specialty: Vietnamese noodle soup. Warm up on a filling and delicious bowl of pho, Vietnamese noodle soup, at this friendly, bright storefront on Evergreen Way.
Dick's Drive-In: 21910 Highway 99, Edmonds; 425-775-4243; www.ddir.com. Specialty: Burgers. The fabled burger joint was worth the wait. Line up in Edmonds to indulge in a burger, shake and fries at the first Dick's build outside of Seattle.
#1 New York Pizza: 17809 Highway 9, Snohomish: 360-668-7282. Specialty: Pizza. The attitude are recipes are from New York, the pizza from Clearview. When they put garlic on a pizza, they mean it.
Emory's Lakefront Bistro & Bar: 11830 19th Ave. SE, Everett; 425-337-7772; www.emorys.com. Specialties: Northwest fine food. This South Everett favorite rose from the ashes of arson. The rebuilt restaurant has many favorites from the past, plus new items that keep the dining room packed.
A Pizza House: 2625 Colby Ave., Everett; 425-252-5555. Specialty: Pizza. When you're hungry for toppings, A Pizza House pleases. Sausage, pepperoni and other yummies come by the pound, and pizza is available by the slice.
Original Pancake House: 1904 201st Place SE, on the Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell; 425-419-4476; www.originalpancakehouse.com. Specialty: Pancakes and omelettes. You may have to wait for a table, but it's worth it. Bring a hearty appetite to this Bothell breakfast mecca.
Pacioni's Italian Restaurant: 606 South First St., Mount Vernon; 360-336-3314; www.pacionis.com. Specialty: Pizza. Pacioni's may not be the newest pizza joint on the list, but the Mount Vernon institution stands the test of time.
Major League Pizza: 2811 Colby Ave., Suite C, Everett; 425-259-5554; www.majorleaguepizza.com. Specialties: Pizza. Baseball is the metaphor at this downtown pizza destination that hits a home run with their fresh, tasty pies.
Mukilteo Lodge Sports Grille: 7928 Mukilteo Speedway, Mukilteo; 425.374.3333; www.mukilteolodge.com. Specialties: Burgers, steaks and beer. Burgers might be so last year, but you won't notice at this thriving Mukilteo sports pub. Get ready to bow down to the Dawg burger.
Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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