In some families the tradition of the holiday outing  is  sacred; the holiday musical performance, visiting Santa at the mall, attending a tree lighting, or maybe dinner at a special restaurant. The same, year after year. A tradition. In our home we very rarely attend the same holiday event every year. Call us untraditional, but we usually vary our choices from year to year,  attending as many seasonal events as we can, so that we can experience the true range of what this fine city has to offer. And of course as the boys get older their interests are changing and we find ourselves adapting to that as well. They don’t care so much about going to sit on Santa’s lap (maybe they’re just at that age where they are just too cool for it), or counting down to see a tree light up. But we do all enjoy a good meal, and this year we may have found a holiday celebration that is truly tradition-worthy for us.

With our family’s varying food preferences, we just love buffets. There is so much to choose from, everyone can get exactly what they want, and the bonus is that a teenage boy can eat his true fill! Have you ever seen a 13 year old boy eat? Even an adult-sized plated portion at many nicer restaurants can still leave ’em hungry. Every Mother’s Day, I always ask to go a buffet brunch – the gift to me is  enjoying a nice meal with my family where everybody gets to eat as much of the food that they love, and the bonus is that I get a  family who are filled up so that I don’t have to cook for the rest of the day! Over the years, we’ve been to most of the popular brunches in Seattle and in my opinion no-one does the buffet brunch better than Salty’s.


Salty's Alki Chef Jeremy McLachlan


Recently we attended the Santa Brunch at Salty’s on Alki. What a wonderful morning it was! I am always amazed at the number of dishes that can be presented, in addition to the amount of food that needs to be produced in order to feed a full venue of people over several hours. With such a wide variety of offerings there is something for everyone – even the pickiest of eaters. And let me tell you, I have one of those so I truly appreciate the pasta bar! (I’m sure you other parents out there know what I’m talking about.)

When you go to Salty’s for brunch they start you off by bringing some fresh, warm, mini-donuts to your table. It such a nice welcoming way to start the experience, but I warn you, don’t get filled up on those – there’s plenty to enjoy. They have all your favorite breakfast items such as traditional eggs benedict (plus a crab benedict that does not scrimp on the crab!), thick-cut bacon, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, french toast, Belgian waffles, and so much more, as well as buffet favorites like chef carved ham and prime rib, fruit, roasted veggies, and smoked salmon. Then the seafood, ah the seafood. We are so spoiled here in the Northwest with our abundance of lovely seafood and Salty’s makes the most of it by serving every kind imaginable.

My younger son loves the  mussels and clams.



And I think we all got our fill of the peel-and-eat shrimp and the crab legs.


But wait. There’s more. Did I mention all of the different Meet-the-Chef stations? There’s a pasta station, made-to-order omelets, and hand-made crepes. I loved the savory crepes filled with chicken and mushroom cream. There’s even a  Bloody Mary Bar!


And what special meal would be complete with out dessert? Well, Salty’s has you more than covered in that department as well. There are house-made scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls, cakes, adorable seasonally decorated and flavored cupcakes, cookies, pies, mousse – you name it. But the glorious milk chocolate fountain  is King of the desserts here – reigning high above all else, towering almost to the ceiling, and surrounded by a  luscious array of goodies for dipping. There are strawberries of course, but also pineapple, marshmallows, graham crackers, coconut macaroons, and even rice crispy treats. This is my kids’ favorite thing about brunch at Salty’s.


But that is not all. Salty’s has now topped even the topper by adding a caramel sauce tower for your dipping pleasure! My favorite dessert though is still the cheesecake – plain, unadulterated cheesecake! Maybe with a little fruit on top 🙂


When you go to Salty’s the food is only part of the experience. The view is breathtaking, and if you are lucky you might even catch a glimpse of the local sea lions.  The extremely attentive staff brought us binoculars so that we could view them better. What fun!

Just look at this view we had!


The holiday decorations and the Magical March of the Nutcrackers that will be on display into the New Year added to the magical feel of the season. Salty’s Restaurants has purchased over 65 of these exquisitely painted nutcrackers that were created by people with disabilities through the Northwest Center, resulting in more than $40,000 donated to the organization.


To add to the festivities you can also have your child’s picture taken with Santa (my kids opted out of  seeing Santa – much to my sadness) and enjoy the Evergreen City Ballet dancers as they perform to The Nutcracker during the Santa Brunch at Alki on December 18 and 19, from 10:30am to 12:30 pm.

Salty’s Santa Brunches continue this weekend, Saturday, December 18 (9:30am to 1pm) and Sunday, December 19th (8:45am to 1:30pm) at Alki, and Sunday the 19th at the Redondo Beach location (10am to 1pm). Santa Brunches are $39.95 for adults,  $34.95 for seniors,  $20.95 for children age 9-13, and $15.95 for ages 5-8. Kids 4 & under are free. (Adults $36.99, Ages 6-12 $14.99 (5 & under free) at Redondo) For reservations at Alki call (206) 937-1600 and at Redondo call (253) 946-0636.

With excellent food, exceptional service, and a drop-dead gorgeous view of the city across the sound, they have a perfect ingredients for success worthy of a repeat performance every year. Or any time of year – Salty’s does brunch year-round!

The restaurant continues to celebrate the season with a Christmas Day Brunch served from 9:30am to 2pm, and a New Year’s Day Buffet served from 9am to 2:30pm, at the Alki location, and a New Year’s Eve Gala, first seating at 4:30pm, last seating at 10pm, at Salty’s on Redondo.

And the party is just getting started at Salty’s! In celebration of the restaurant’s silver anniversary, owners Gerry and Kathy Kingen invite all to celebrate. Throughout the month of December and into March (when the restaurant will invite you back for a commemorative 25th anniversary party to benefit the Volunteer Services department of Swedish Medical Center) join Salty’s for “Cheers to 25 Years”. Executive Chef Jeremy McLachlan invites you to take a step back to the future with a special dish that was served on the menu 25 years ago before Salty’s was opened and was known as the Beach Broiler. This dish, created by then Chef and co-owner Bertil Hansson, Pan Fried Petrale Sole Beach Broiler-style, with crispy potatoes, broccolini and dilled creme ($26.99) was on the menu of the former owner Joyce Entus and a favorite among many. The sole has stood the test of time. You can try the recipe for yourself at home.Each week, Chef McLachlan will serve dishes made popular from the Salty’s menu from 25 years ago such as Lobster Thermidor, Steak Diane, and Crab Fondue.

And last but not least, what would an anniversary be without a little fun, especially Salty’s style? The management team will host a daily random giveaway of $25 gift cards. It could be you. Whether you are joining them for lunch or dinner, you might be the lucky recipient of a gift card to use toward your next dining experience at Salty’s.

All photos provided by and used with permission of Salty’s.