RIP Sit & Spin, Your Grub Was Rockin'"/>
When one thinks of Belltown in the '90s, "fresh" is generally not the first word that comes to mind. Before they cleaned up the crack park on 3rd and Bell and rechristened it for pups, Belltown was thriving with young folks living in plentiful, cheap studios and an area know for being centrally located and just a little sketchy.
Across from my first Seattle apartment on Fourth and Bell, there was a spot (now home to the sports bar Spitfire) to do your laundry, watch a show, play board games, hear some poetry, get drunk, study, see some art, flirt, and chug coffee till your guts bled. More Singles than Singles itself, Sit & Spin was the kind of place which still sparks a nostalgic glow among Emerald City residents of a certain age. It was where you saw the White Stripes with 30 other people, where you got your first crush on a nerdy boy with chunky glasses, and where lots and lots of the underemployed lived on $2 slices of hot, filling, reliably delicious pizza.
**See also: Still Pining for the Surrogate Hostess
In a time when the phrase "mixology" didn't exist, Sit & Spin was one of the first places in town to make an affordable whiskey with real ginger. That same ginger also served as the key ingredient in the menu item I miss most, a proven-to-be unreproducible decongestant juice drink referred to as the "Cold Killer": a mix of ginger and--if hazy, hazy memory serves--orange, apple and pineapple juices blended with an unholy amount of cayenne pepper. Sweet and spicy going down, within 10 minutes of consumption you'd find your sinuses joyfully weeping.
The kitchen at S&S wasn't elaborate--there wasn't even a deep fryer, but they used their rotation oven, a few burners, a cold bar, and industrial juicing system (a fairly newish concept considering smoothie joints had yet to shoulder-check Starbucks on every corner)--to their advantage. The oven cooked up everything from nachos to delightfully crispy bagels. The homemade hummus was next to perfection. There were veggie-rich, daily soups and hearty chili. I remember their tarragon chicken salad with cashews on multi-grain as fondly as the aforementioned White Stripes show.
My favorite thing about Sit & Spin, however, was that they offered these truly fresh items at very reasonable prices, allowing students, slackers, musicians and "colorful" neighborhood residents to feed themselves nutritiously and well for around $5-- a feat not accomplished in today's Belltown.