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When you are fortunate enough to live in a city like Seattle, with its abundant local food choices, it can be overwhelming at times to decide where and what to eat.

I just adore my hometown. And, being (just a bit) crazy about food, I have this great desire to eat my way through Seattle. But many times when a friend or family member will ask me, a self-proclaimed “food lover”, where we should dine, I find myself a little embarrassed by my hesitation. It’s not that there’s nowhere I’d like to go, it’s just that there are SO many to choose from!

Finding just the right place for the mood I am in, for the company I am keeping, with the type of food that I am craving, in the correct price range and perfect location really can be tedious and turn what should be an enjoyable experience into a chore. I find myself asking others for inspiration (one of the reasons I love social media 🙂 ), doing an internet search, or hunting for one of my many poorly-organized, handwritten “restaurant to-do” lists scattered throughout the house hidden under various piles of paper. I’ve given this process a lot of thought and even entertained the idea of creating a spreadsheet. But now I don’t have to. Yes, Seattleites! We have been given a wonderful gift!

Keren Brown, owner of Keren Brown Media,  and author of the  “Frantic Foodie” blog, has written the book that we’ve all been waiting for. Her new Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle is a comprehensive guide to local  restaurants and food-type businesses, organized by neighborhood, with each section divided into three categories:

  • “Made Here” – highlighting local ice-cream shops, bakeries, chocolate makers and artisan products
  • “Specialty Stores & Markets” – places to turn when you need a special ingredient for your home cooking
  • “Food Lovers’ Faves” –  find the hot spots that everyone is talking about as well as the little-known neighborhood or ethnic gems
  • “Landmark Eateries” – these are the timeless classics

But Keren doesn’t stop there! She covers everything food-related about this city, including in her book as well some prized recipes from several of our fine chefs, all the hot food events, the best happy hours around town, tips for dining with kids and even money-saving ideas.

I don’t think I know too many people with a much more giving  spirit than Keren. She has made it her mission to support and nurture Seattle’s  growing, vibrant food-lover community by arranging networking events for local food bloggers, producing the quarterly, ever popular (always sold-out!) Foodportunity that brings local food purveyors and food lovers together.. And here she’s done it again!

I recently had the opportunity to ask Keren a few questions about her new project. Of course she graciously agreed. Here is a little peek inside the mind of one of Seattle’s favorite foodies and how she tackled this huge endeavor.

What motivated you to write this book?

I was motivated by the fact that I wanted to discover all those little places that I couldn’t find and I feel a need to hold a book in my hands and not always use the internet to guide me.

How did you choose which businesses to include in the book?

The qualities I looked for in a restaurant were local so I didn’t really include chains. If there are any chain restaurants, they are local chains. There are a few chains that I like a lot but I couldn’t put in. I just wanted it to be focused.I looked for quality of food, good service and something about each place that made it feel special. It was important for me to give a little background on these places and share the favorite dishes.

What was your research process like?

I arrived unannounced and quietly dined  by myself (a lot of the time) and after I finished writing each piece I called the places to fact check and make sure I had the correct information. For the specialty shops and bakeries, I searched all around town to find the hidden gems and discover new cultures.

Can you tell me  what were your favorite finds during this project?

I have a lot of favorites but I would say that some that are unknown are Gorgeus George’s and Plaka.

Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle is available on Amazon.com and at many local bookstores (of course!) And if you would like to meet her in person and have your copy signed, mark you calendar for these upcoming events:

Book Signing at University Book Store, Tuesday, August 9th, 7PM
Book Signing at The Elliot Bay Book Company , Saturday, August 13, 2PM

This is definitely a book that every Seattle resident should run out and buy today! I have already started to mark up my copy with all the places I plan to enjoy around town! And with the publication of this book my gift giving planning for birthdays and the holiday season just got a lot easier 🙂