Last night, my husband and I went and had dinner at 13 Coins across from the airport. My husband has grown up in Seattle and yet had never eaten there. I decided it was time to remedy that and we wanted to celebrate a little victory. So early evening found us being ushered to the counter and tucked into the big comfy chairs you see in the picture to have some dinner.
13 Coins has been around longer than I have, since 1967 according to their website. They are open 24 hours a day, famous for their Eggs Benedict and their "open" kitchen. Living in the city, you find quite a few restaurants that are open very late and a few that are continually open. For twelve years in my twenties and early thirties, I lived up on Capitol Hill in Seattle. I had moved back to the city from a small town on the Olympic Peninsula where I had never felt at home. Now, living in the neighborhood where my grandparents lived for almost as long as I could remember, I had come back to my native heath.
For the eight years I had been away, I would hear radio ads for the opera, the symphony, Broadway shows, festivals and sporting events that were going on in Seattle. I promised myself that one day, I would move back to the city and I would enjoy all the things I was missing out on by living away from it. My chance finally came and at 21, after finding a suitable job with opportunities for promotion, I came home. Little by little I kept my promise. At first, I could only afford the occasional show or hockey game but, as I rose in my company, I began to truly live the life I had envisioned for myself. Soon, I had season tickets to the Seattle Thunderbirds and the Seattle Opera. If something or someone came to town that I wanted to see, I went. I got to see Mikhail Baryshnikov dance, see Dr. John perform live, go to Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera, see The Nutcracker, go to Bumbershoot and so much more. It was during this time that I made some of the best friends I've ever had.
Eating out after a show or a game became standard practice because often I would not have time between work and an event to do more than shower, get dressed and go. I've stood at Dick's Drive-In in a full length gown on my way home from the opera devouring a Dick's Deluxe, fries and a shake with transvestites and homeless guys. I've eaten with friends at 3 in the morning at the IHOP off Broadway. Finally, one night after the ballet, my friend, Angela, took me to have dinner at 13 Coins in downtown Seattle. We sat in captain's chairs at the counter, flirted with the staff and had dinner. I love Eggs Benedict so that was the natural choice for me. I think Ange had pasta or a steak and we ordered dessert. It was one of the most memorable dining experiences I have ever had.
Since that time I have eaten at 13 Coins many times but the memory that comes back to me is always that meal with Angela. I think we got to the restaurant about 10:30 or 11 and we didn't leave until after 1 a.m. I remember thinking as we walked out to the car that it was for evenings and experiences like this one that I moved back to the city.
John had their prime rib special last night and I had a shrimp louis. Afterwards, we split one of their massive creme brulees. It was relaxing to sit and watch the salad/dessert prep cook do his work. I watched him make my salad and my husband's eyes just about came out of his head when the guy lit up the blow torch to caramelize the sugar on our creme brulee. We got a kick out of banter that went on among the staff and were waited on most attentively. It was another great experience.
"The "13 Coins" name is of Peruvian origin. The story goes that a poor young man loved and wished to marry a wealthy girl. Her father asked what he had to offer for his daughter's hand in marriage. The young man reached into his pocket. He had only 13 coins, but assured the father he could pledge undying love, care and concern. The father was so touched, he gave his daughter's hand and "13 Coins" has come to symbolize unyielding love, care and concern."