Tat’s Deli Seattle, WA

by Andie Mitchell on September 18, 2011


If and when we dine together,

at my house or yours, or or or

any old place we can picnic and pack our bellies,

I will want to stab my fork into whatever’s sitting on your plate.

I cannot help it.

photo 2

Cannot apologize.

Can’t even pretend I have the want, the will, the ‘why-should-I’ to mind my manners.

Because I’m in love

with food and experience and dining


in the most hedonistic way.

So we’ll likely sit and talk small and smile, and within minutes I’ll have your plate inching toward mine. My fork carefully carving into your meatloaf, swiping mashed potatoes on my way out.

Do you mind if I just…

can I-

just that little corner bite right there…


The friends who love me most know this. They share sandwich halfs. Halfs of halfs, even. They let me double my double dip and lick their ice cream cones, thankfully.

paseo cuban roast (1)

A few weeks ago, Karlyn, Camille, and I visited Tat’s Deli in Pioneer Square because they know one of the things I miss most from the east coast, from Boston and certainly Philly, is a solid steak and cheese sub. Shaved steak, not too lean, peppery and piled with grilled mushrooms, green peppers, and caramelized onions. Extra provolone. Toasted.


Try as I might to find them, these subs just don’t live here in the west.

But Tat’s assured me authenticity.

And this one,

shared with friends,

alongside two other subs: a traditional cold Italian with the works and an eggplant parm,

tasted like back east.

Lightly greased and grilled steak, juicy with subtly sweet peppers, onions, and mushrooms, a fluffy roll to sop up any drippings, and a thick, silky layer of melted cheese.

Not quite the same, but close and still delicious.

Because unlike most of the fancier fare I’ve encountered out west, Tat’s was unabashedly blue collar. Sandwiches were straightforward and substantial, the kind that don’t fuss or double frou. Even the staff had a distinctive east coast sensibility. They seemed quick, direct, and though perhaps a bit colder than most Pacific Northwest folk, they came across sincere. Like my Bostonian mother.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea September 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Sharing is the best part of dining out! Unless, of course, you have a husband like mine that gets the same 3 dishes everywhere we go. BLTs. Bacon burgers. Ok, two maybe? Hehe.


Lara @TresLaLa September 19, 2011 at 12:38 am

Sharing is required. Although I’m happy to share if you ask, I likely won’t offer. But I will definitely steal from your plate. Non-apologetically.


Irene L. September 19, 2011 at 4:23 am

Haha! I call it plate envy! I have the same “problem”!


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh September 19, 2011 at 5:48 am

I don’t mind sharing if asked. If you don’t, I can’t guarantee you won’t come back with a bloody stump. ;)


Brenda the Barefootcookingirl September 19, 2011 at 6:10 am

“You stab my plate and I’ll stab yours”….I’m sure there’s a song and skit hiding in there somewhere! :)


Megan (Braise The Roof) September 19, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Yum, there’s nothing like a good sandwich from a real deli sometimes. I’m glad you found a close approximation to home all the way out there.


Lisa September 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I’d share with you. Why is it that sometimes the food on someone else’s plate is what you wished you would have ordered?


Kristin Murdock September 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Sharing food is my love language. Truly. I wish I were joking, but I’m not. One year for Christmas my sister gave me an extendable fork, so I could reach to anyones plate on the table and eat off it. Aaaah, sharing food, one of life’s true pleasures.


Alexa @ Simple Eats September 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Love subs! They always remind me of the east coast, too. :)


Lauren C September 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I loved reading how you insist on sharing…and thank you for making me feel not so alone in insisting on making others share with me as well!


Melissa September 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I knew we were soul sisters! I’m totally the girl reaching across the table to stab my fork onto everyones plate. I have to have just a bite of everything. My co-workers know this about me and have accepted it well. They even get offended now if I don’t try what they’re having. :)


Beth September 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Just moved home to New England after 8 years in Phoenix, AZ. I totally agree with you, the west coast missing the comfort foods I love from here. On the rare occasion that I found some fellow east coasters making my favorites it was never quite the same. Perhaps it’s the air and water that make things just that bit different.


Lu @ A Mix of it All September 19, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I knew there was a reason I couldn’t get enough of your blog. I steal food, too! :) Actually when I go eat lunch with my friends it is strictly stipulated at the beginning of the meal that I will taste whatever they order. I even ask the waiter for extra forks to dig in with a clean one.


Heather September 19, 2011 at 9:59 pm

I just love your blog. Seriously. Brilliant.


Kelly @foodiefresh September 21, 2011 at 3:34 am

This is why we would be the best of friends in real life. Sharing food is one of my requirements of being a friend. It’s pretty much my only requirement.

It’s no wonder, my husband and I fell in love over tapas. ;)


Cortney @ Nerd on the Run September 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm

We need a deli like that in Pullman STAT!!! Looks amazing! :)


Alisha @ Wee Foodie Fashionista September 28, 2011 at 9:24 am

Is it wrong to day dream about visiting Seattle, sitting around drinking vats of coffee and tea with you, and sharing all of our plates? I hope not.


lara (According to Lara) September 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Another place to add to my growing list of your Seattle recommendations!


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