My Top 5 Favorite Seattle Restaurants

In my four years of blogging, I have never once written about food, which happens to be a popular blogging topic for many people. However, since my move to Belltown in February, I have had the privilege of sampling some of Seattle’s best restaurants. I wouldn’t describe myself as a food connoisseur, but I definitely like trying new foods and I like to think I know good food when I try it! 😀 That said, let me share with you my top five favorite Seattle restaurants/eateries.

5. Sushi Wave

Sushi WaveSushi Wave is a little sushi restaurant on 2nd and Broadway. Despite it being significantly less expensive than trendier spots such as Umi or Shiro’s, it is much better tasting. I always go for their spicy tuna rolls and spicy chicken teriyaki. Not to mention, the miso soup is by far, the best I’ve had in Seattle. The decor may not be as nice as Umi, but Sushi Wave makes up for it in price, taste and friendly staff.

4. Red Mill Burgers

Red MillNext to Dick’s Burgers, Red Mill is probably the most popular burger spot in Seattle. GQ voted Red Mill as one of the top 20 burgers you must eat before you die. So, enough said. There always seems to be a long line outside of Red Mill during lunchtime. Everything about Red Mill is awesome – the burgers, fries, and shakes. Red Mill, located right off Phinney Ridge in Greek Lake, has been voted the best burger in Seattle for 10 years in a row.

3. Petra Mediterranean Bistro

PetraEvery time I frequent Petra Mediterranean Bistro, it is completely packed – a good sign when choosing a restaurant. Combining the flavors of Jordan, Lebanon, Greece, Turkey and Northern Africa, Petra has some of the best tasting Mediterranean food I’ve ever eaten, especially the Baba ghanoush, hummus, garlic cheese fries, and garlic lemon chicken. Petra has 106 reviews on Yelp with a 4.5 star average. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu!

2. Primo Pizzeria

PrimoEveryone loves pizza and there are a ton of great pizza spits in Seattle. However, one stands out more than the others – Primo Pizzeria. The Brutus pizza – sausage, onions, and pepperoncini, is ridiculously tasty and spicy. Combine that with a chicken caesar salad and booyah – awesome dinner, lunch or breakfast! 😛 Their prices are a little high, but the service is excellent and they have never disappointed. Free delivery to First Hill, Capitol Hill, Belltown, Downtown and Madison Valley when you order online.

1. Zeitoon Cafe

Zeitoon What do I love most about Zeitoon Cafe? Taste, price, and convenience. Not only is Zeitoon a two-minute walk from my place in Belltown, the grilled chicken panino, caesar salad salad and rosemary potatoes is the perfect lunch or dinner. For $10, it will completely satisfy your hunger with some of the tastiest flavors in all of Seattle. Zeitoon, located on 4th and Wall, also has awesome happy hour specials – from 3-7pm, $3 specials for hummus, dolmades, falafel, baba ganoush and $6 pizzas.

Bonus – Bang Bang Cafe

Bang Bang CafeFor the best breakfast food, check out Bang Bang Cafe. I first heard about them from my business partner, Josh. Bang Bang is famous for their out-of-this-world breakfast burritos. I prefer the original “Bang Bang” breakfast burrito – eggs, potatoes, beans, verde sauce, wrapped in a tortilla. Damn, I’m hungry now! Not to mention, they have 133 reviews on their Google Places Page with a 4.5 star average.

That’s it for my favorite Seattle restaurants. To all my fellow Seattle-ites, what are your favorite restaurants in the Emerald City?

What’s New So Far In 2011

It’s been quite a while since my last blog post; in fact, this is my first post of 2011, and it is already April! As many of you knew, my last blog post was about our new company, Highlighter. This past five months have been a wild ride of startup madness! Obviously, a lot has happened since my last update, including:

  • We successfully completed the TechStars seed incubator program with Highlighter
  • Matt, Josh and I moved to Belltown in February to be closer to booming tech scene that is Seattle
  • We raised $300,000 as part of our seed round for Highlighter (more on that here)

All of this would not have been possible without TechStars, a program that provides funding and mentorship for startups. Though we had nearly four years of previous business experience and a handful of connections from Unique Blog Designs, it was through our work with TechStars that allowed us to build enough momentum to raise the seed round required to get this new (and much more exciting!) business off the ground.

That said, a lot of hard work, dedication and persistence were also required. Even though the Seattle TechStars program started out with ten (10) companies, only eight (8) of those companies are still in operation – proving that even with great mentorship, hard work, and guidance, there are many difficulties that need to be overcome when starting a new business in the technology space.

Finally, I would like to give a shoutout to the Seattle TechStars companies still in operation, including:

  • Deal Co-Op, the best white label software for group buying
  • GoMiles, the best way to manage your frequent flyer miles
  • ThinkFuse, a startup that is simplifying weekly status reports
  • Kinizi, an apartment deal finder
  • Giant ThinkWell, a social gaming company focusing on celebrities
  • RewardsForce, a startup disrupting the customer loyalty arena
  • The Shared Web, a site that allows you to discover the best content based on your friends and interests
  • And of course, us – Highlighter

Even though I haven’t had too much time for blogging over the past few months, it is something I definitely want to get back into as it is a good way to keep track of all of the changes and happenings. I’ve found myself reading over old posts just to see what I was up to a few years ago…If anything, a blog is simply a great personal journal for keeping track of one’s life!

Our Newest Venture – Highlighter.com

For the past six months, Matt, Josh and I have been working on a super-secret new startup. I am happy to finally announce it!

Highlighter

Highlighter is a WordPress plugin that allows authors to actively engage their audience. They can direct readers attention to any part of the post by ‘highlighting’ any word, sentence or image.

Although we are starting with a WordPress plugin, Highlighter will eventually unify what you highlight, comment, and share across all content, platforms and devices, to create a dynamic relationship between publishers and readers.

That means whether you are reading a blog post from your computer or an eBook/PDF on your iPad, the interaction with content will remain the same.

Highlighter will keep those highlights, comments and notes in a centralized location that you can share with others and/or review at a later time.

Readers can now highlight, comment and share any word, sentence, paragraph or image on a blog post as well, giving the audience unprecedented ability to interact with content.

This means that conversations are no longer limited to the just “comments” of the page – now visitor interaction can take place anywhere within the content. Visitors can also share any sentence or piece of text just by highlighting and clicking!

Sound confusing? It’s not. Check this video out to see how it works.

Collect more emails

The rules of “Internet Marketing 101” say that an email list is the foundation of all internet marketing efforts. Highlighter has built-in email collection tools that will allow you to integrate with Aweber, Mailchimp or GetResponse. This means that you can capture commentor’s email addresses that before would have been lost.

Anyone who knows anything about online marketing knows that emails convert better than Twitter and Facebook combined.

Increased traffic

Highlighter makes sharing remarkably easy. All a reader has to do is highlight any word, sentence, or image and with one click, readers can share via twitter, facebook, or email. This means that instead of just sharing article titles, your audience will now be able to share the specific elements that they find interesting.

The easier it is to share, the more your visitors will do it.

Commenters will also be notified when someone else responds to the conversation, which also increases pageviews.

How does it work?

If you want to comment on something, just highlight it and click the comment button. Highlighter allows the publisher to moderate inline comments just like regular comments. Therefore unless the author has changed the default setting, comments will need to be moderated before they appear.

Once you have made your comment, a little bubble will show up letting all other readers know that someone has made a comment.

You will find that on any previously commented line of text, the text has a slightly grey dashed underline followed by a little comment bubble. Upon hovering over this text, you will see the comment bubble enlarges with a number in it. This is the number of times this text has been commented upon.

What about blogs with mountains of comments?

The guys at Highlighter were aware that with any significant amount of conversation around a topic, it would be less convenient to read via the bubble.

That is why they created the Highlight Box, which displays all of the inline comments in one place for readers to view. However, with the Highlight Box, each comment or conversation is in context to a highlighted word, sentence, paragraph or image on the blog, making the conversations on the blog much more valuable.

Why would readers want to comment inline? Often with a highly commented blog post, the context the comment can be lost after XX number of comments. Highlighter makes it much easier to retain the context of conversations.

Highlighter is also ideal for longer, more in-depth posts.

Inline commenting

For some verticals, there can be many uses for inline commenting, such as:

  • To reference a particular word or term in the medical or legal fields
  • To provide peer review/feedback in an academic or enterprise setting
  • To display a relevant affiliate link or advertisement within any kind of review/promotional blog post (links and images can be easily embedded within inline comments)

A more social web

Imagine how much more ‘social’ web pages will become when ANYTHING within the content can be attached to a specific, in-context conversation or shared with just one-click!

Of course, giving the publisher fully-moderated control over what is and isn’t displayed is paramount. The last thing anyone wants is for a web page to be graffitied up with spam or other nonsense.

Thankfully, Highlighter gives the publisher full moderation control and fights spam using WordPress’s built-in spam tool, Akismet.

Try Highlighter on your blog

Highlighter is still in development. The guys developing it, Matt, Nate and Josh are running a few case studies and wanted feedback from me, you and my readers!

What do you think of this new way to interact with content? Let me know in the comments, or better yet, comment on any word, sentence, paragraph or image in this blog post!

Pay $25 for $50 Worth of Gear & Apparel at GiantNerd

Hey guys! I’ve got a quick favor to ask. One of our fellow TechStars teams is working on daily deal marketing, and launched a store today for one of the TechStars founders (Brad Feld). On the store you can purchase a $50 voucher for $25 that can be used at a website that has lots of great outdoor clothing, shoes and gear. It doesn’t matter where you live… they can ship anywhere!

Please support these guys on their big launch today at www.dealcoop.com/bradfeld

IMCoach.com – the Internet Marketing Training Community

A few months ago, we acquired the fantastic domain name, IMCoach.com. We knew this would be the perfect web address to launch our new Internet marketing training community and blog.

IMCoach.com

Everything on IMCoach.com is completely free – there is nothing to purchase. We created this blog as a “thank you” to our customers and to give back to the Internet marketing community.

The writing/managing team includes professional bloggers and online marketers such as John Chow, Zac Johnson and Michael Kwan.

You can go there right now and read a ton of cool articles, including some very useful blog posts, such as: 

IMCoach.com is so brand new that it doesn’t even have any comments yet! You are literally one of the first people to learn about this new site.

In the coming months, IMCoach.com will become a major hub for online marketers and those who want to learn to become better marketers. We have a ton of cool stuff planned, including the first launch contest (details below)…

IMCoach.com Launch Contest: WIN a $100 Best Buy Gift Card

WIN a $100 Best Buy Gift CardWe are having an IMCoach Launch contest and you can win a $100 Best Buy Gift Card! Here’s how…

  1. Go checkout IMCoach.com
  2. Leave a comment on any of the posts
  3. You will will automatically be entered to win!
  4. OPTIONAL: For an additional entry, re-tweet one of the posts using the
    hashtag #imcoach
  5. OPTIONAL: For another additional entry, “like” our Facebook page

The contest runs for the next two weeks – until Friday, August 6th. Check out IMCoach.com and let me know what you think!

If you are looking for strategic internet marketing, take a look at The College Startup where you can get some of the best tips and tricks on how to leverage your business, such as how to rock Google+ and get more conversions from your social media.