Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lunch #29: Harbor City

ClosedHarbor City is no longer in business. It has been replaced by Harbor City (new).
Harbor City Seven of us braved the unfamiliar, threatening fireball in the sky and set out today for our next MSG150 adventure. Having scouted out Harbor City BBQ & Seafood Restaurant last week after the mixed results of Fortuna we had some hint of what we were facing, another meat-in-window joint with dirty windows. We drug the ailing JohnAt along on his first MSG150 experience assuring him that Harbor City would certainly have a nice soup that would cure his ills.
Harbor City, Seattle
Address: 707 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104
Cuisine: Chinese: Cantonese, Chinese: BBQ
Average rating: 3.7 chopsticks
Lunch date: 2/19/2008 @ 12:00:00
Time taken to be seated: 0 minutes
Time to take order: 0 minutes
Time for food to arrive: 20 minutes
Total lengh of meal: 51 minutes
Chopstix quality: Nice Plastic
Do they use MSG?: A little bit, but you can order your food sans MSG.
Where is the owner/chef from?: Canton
Number of tables: 12
Number of occupied tables: 3 (25%)
Number of business lunch tables: 1 (33%)
Number of "local" tables: 1 (33%)
Healthcode Score: 0
Links: Yelp!, Urbanspoon
Harbor City

Luncher: Geary

Lunch: Roasted (BBQ) Duck Lunch Box - $6.50
Fortune: #1: There is prospect of a thrilling time ahead for you. #2: You will dine in an exotic restaurant.
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Geary's Review

Although Harbor City looks a lot like Fortuna from the street, on the inside it is quite different. For starters, it is on a single level and is much more spacious feeling. The cafeteria like dining area is sparse on character but very clean. However, like Fortuna, there were only two other tables seated when we entered. These places must survive on their dinner business.

In addition to the regular menu there was a MiW lunch box menu over the counter, a lunch specials menu on a white board on the wall in the dining area, and a dinner specials chalk board on the opposite wall. Fearing the worst, but recognizing my obligation, I ordered the Roast (BBQ) Duck Lunch Box to make a completely fair comparison to the two chopstick lunch box from Fortuna.

The Lunch Boxes arrived first and it was obvious from the start that Harbor City had Fortuna beat, even with the $2 extra cost. The generous portion of BBQ duck was laid out on hot steamed rice with a side of freshly steamed bok choy. The Lunch Box came with a couple of accompanying sauces: a dark brown, rich sauce that tasted like liquid BBQ duck and a sweet dipping sauce. The duck was delicious, although I think Asia BBQ may have them beat on the duck alone. As a whole meal, however, Harbor City wins that paring. The brown sauce was amazing and with the additions of their house special hot sauce the lunch box was a definite four chopstick lunch.

Also today I got twin fortunes in my cookie, a first for the MSG150. They were fraternal, thanks for asking. I wonder what the actual rate of twins is in fortune cookies. Maybe the folks up the street at the Tsue Chong fortune cookie factory would know. For the MSG150, so far, it's 1 out of 218 cookies.

Luncher: Adam

Lunch: Roast Pork with Rice Lunch Box - $5.75
Fortune: You will excel in something in which another failed.
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Adam's Review

They may look similar, but Fortuna and Harbor City share nothing but a common wall. Whatever I ordered this time, I was damned-well going to make sure it included some of the meeting hanging in the front window (which was my mistake at Fortuna Cafe)

I ordered the Roast (BBQ) Pork... because I knew Geary would order the roast duck (he's so predictable). Geary and I were served quite promptly, in about 5 minutes; the rest of the suckers had to wait upwards of 20 mins. What is the morale of the story? Order the food that is already cooked (and hanging in the window).

The Roast Pork was delicious. The main word that comes to mind is: succulent. It was juicy and flavorful. It was a little salty, but I chalk the use of salt up to an attempt to strengthen my heart. The pork by itself was already delicious, but the nice people at Harbor City decided that they needed to bring us some sauces too. We had 5 different sauces to try from: 2 hot sauces, and 3 tangy sauces. The darker of the hot sauces was awesome. The tomato-ier of the hot sauces is skippable.

If you're in the market for Asian BBQ, and want to try somewhere other than Kau Kau... definitely give this place a try.

Nice atmosphere. Very courteous service. Above average food.

Luncher: Emmett

Lunch: Spicy Twice Cooked Pork with Rice - $5.95
Fortune: You will excel in something in which another failed.
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Emmett's Review

Another day, another hole in the wall. Harbor City looked very discreet on the outside, but you walk in and it was quite nice on the inside. There is a framed letter from the health department on the counter, basically congratulating the establishment for their cleanliness and professionalism. A good omen! The restaurant was clean, a bit dark, but with nice art on the walls. We took a big round table in the back, which was already set for us. The waitress seemed excited to see us, and was very welcoming and inviting.

On opposite walls they advertised two boards of specials - one pricey, indicating they were more special perhaps? The opposite board was clearly labeled 'lunch specials'. I went with the Spicy Twice Cooked Pork with Rice. It sounded interesting, and twice cooked! Couldn't be bad.

The food came, and the presentation was fanastic - a big steaming plate of pork and veggies, stir fried, along with a big bowl of rice all to myself. I tore into it - it was good. Spicy, salty, fatty, and good. Though tasty, the cuts of pork were super fatty - I was certain they came from the Pork Belly. It was basically a greasy plate of bacon stir fried with veggies. Now I'm all for bacon, but they added too much grease and salt, which got in the way of the flavor of the pork. I tried a bit of Michael's cod, which was tasty, and some of Geary's duck, which was fatty and good, but not fantastic.

The service was awesome, food was slightly above average.

Luncher: Jeff

Lunch: Roast Duck Stir-fry with Rice Stick Noodle - $5.95
Fortune: Your popularity will increase.
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Jeff's Review

I’d like to give Harbor City a higher rating. However, I have to review based on what I had for lunch, not what others had. I had a Roast Duck stir-fry lunch special. Several other people had roast duck dishes which looked a lot better than mine. It wasn’t that my dish was bad… it was just bland. The portion size was fine. It was fresh and hot. This price was fair. Serve was good. In comparison to some other plates at our table I had less meat, but I can even let that slide. I was simply disappointed in the lack of robust flavor. I tried Michaels fish – excellent. I tried Emmett’s Pork – excellent. I tried some of the sauces on the table – excellent. My own stir-fry plate… average.

Luncher: Michael

Lunch: Steamed Black Cod with Black Bean Sauce - $5.95
Fortune: You will make someone's heart grow fonder.
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Michael's Review

So I broke the rules. The MSG150 is supposed to be about ordering 'typical lunch fair'. I had to break the rule when I saw that the specials board had Cod with Black Bean Sauce. So what if it cost three times as much as anything my fellow lunchers was ordering? That just means that my lunch was three times better than every one else. Ha!

Luncher: JohnAt

Lunch: Wonton Noodle Soup - $4.00
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

JohnAt's Review

It's not got the reputation nor the swank confines of its around-the-corner neighbor, Sea Garden, but the BBQ cum Cantonese restaurant does have its charms. I had the remnants of the flu, which called for soup. Ordering by the trusted method of pointing at a man eating soup with noodles at the table beside us, I gulped down a hearty bowl of won ton noodle soup with a healthy portion of shrimp won tons, bok choy, green onions in what seemed to be a homemade beefbone stock and fresh tasting shrimp. It was delicious and just what the doctor ordered. The server, who also was a part owner of the establishment, was just as charming as the food. When I finished the soup, she offered me a second portion free of charge. Considering the size the first, I was not up to the challenge and politely declined. After seeing what several of my friends ate from the dinner menu -- the twice cooked pork and the BBQ duck, I would definitely recommend a return visit. Four Chopsticks.

Luncher: Al

Lunch: Spicy Twice Cooked Pork with Rice - $5.95
Fortune: You will be approached with an interesting proposition.
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Al's Review

Salty, fatty, and spicy: too much of a good thing is even better.

Harbor City Photos

Harbor City
Harbor City

Meat in Window
Meat in Window

Harbor City Lunch Menu
Harbor City Lunch Menu

Roast Pork Lunch Box
Roast Pork Lunch Box

Roast Duck Lunch Box
Roast Duck Lunch Box

Won Ton Noodle Soup
Won Ton Noodle Soup

Spicy Twice Cooked Pork w/ Rice
Spicy Twice Cooked Pork w/ Rice

Roast Duck Stir Fry w/ Rice Stick Noodle
Roast Duck Stir Fry w/ Rice Stick Noodle

Cod with Black Bean Sauce
Cod with Black Bean Sauce

Fraternal Twins
Fraternal Twins

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

300% is a lot of business tables.

Geary said...

anon, thanks for the catch. bad tpying.

Jace said...

know problem, know god