One of the best job perks of being a software developer on the Data Team at Redfin is actually something that I had never anticipated when I accepted the position. It all comes down to recruiting, because, let’s face it, we’re all really recruiters at heart. I certainly don’t mean to say that we’re all capable of the scheduling miracles and negotiation tap dances that REAL recruiters do. Rather, I mean to say that we’re all capable of helping decide who we sit next to at work, because it really matters! One of the things I love most about my job is being surrounded by smart, eccentric, supremely interesting, adorable people. That’s why I love playing an active role in Redfin recruiting: to find more awesome Redfin friends!
“But wait!,” you might be thinking! “You’ve only been in the industry a short time. Are you really ready to determine the technical aptitude of candidates with years of experience?”
Well, my honest answer is… maybe not quite yet. For the time-being, I’ll leave the assessing of technical prowess to other, more experienced engineers. However, there’s another part of our typical technical loop that I love being a part of: the lunch interview! “So what is it,” you may ask, “that you lunch interviewers do exactly?”
Well, we are kind of like the Data Team version of OkCupid. We’re not here to find out whether you can implement the best sorting algorithms or reverse a linked list in constant time. We just want to find out whether we would be a good fit for one another! The lunch interview is a casual setting where we can talk about what excites us about things like technology, business, customers, and work environment. Does Redfin deal with the kinds of problems that interest you? Would you enjoy a very collaborative engineering environment? Can you imagine yourself sitting next to me every day? (Let me tell you, it’s a tough job!) And the best part? We will assess all of these things about one another by eating delicious food in each other’s presence.
You may not know this about me, but I love eating. I love home-cooked meals, I love greasy little hole-in-the-walls, I love fancy white tablecloth-style experiences… I even like airplane food! You know those cute little individual packages that they give you? C’mon, you know you love those tiny cheeses! Which leads me to the main attraction. My own, personal Redfin Restaurant Blog*! (I really should never have admitted to the airplane food thing; I think I just lost all my food blog street cred). You might think this is actually a little absurd (I’m glad we agree!), but my team has now tried roughly 30 distinct Seattle restaurants through lunch interviews. So, without further ado, here are Data Team’s favorite Seattle restaurants.
*Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not reflect the official policy or position of Redfin, blah blah, legal terms.
1. Hands-Down, Far and Away Best Food
It’s gotta be Matt’s in the Market. We’ve tried a lot of good food in the Seattle area, but the Steamed Mussels and Clams at Matt’s is arguably the best meal I’ve ever had. The location is ideal, the service is great, and the Chips & Dip is like bacon-cheese heaven. Everyone on my team also raves about the Pan-fried Cornmeal Crusted Catfish sandwich. In addition to the amazing food, we love the open kitchen and attentive service!
2. Best Romantic Hideaway.
Need the perfect date spot!? Don’t worries, guys, Data Team has got your back. Our favorite romantic hideaway has gotta be The Pink Door, located in Post Alley. It’s actually a little hard to find, because there’s no sign or placard announcing the entrance; it’s quite literally just a pretty pink door. But hidden behind that door is a gorgeous dining room, complete with white tablecloths, candles, and even acrobatic shows during dinner. And the menu does not disappoint! Data Team’s favorite is the Lasagna Pink Door.
3. Unbeatable Breathtaking Seattle Views
It’s no secret that Seattle has some amazing views of the Puget Sound, and beyond that, the beautiful Olympic Mountains! One of our favorite lunch spots with the most stunning views is Six Seven at the Edgewater Hotel. The Deli Board Bento Box is wonderful, because you don’t have to choose between a salad, soup, or sandwich; they give you all three! Plus, there’s the added benefit of getting to feel like a 6-year-old, eating your lunch out of a cute compartmentalized container.
4. Best Service, with a French Flair
If you’re craving French food, there are a number of fantastic downtown options, and to be honest, they are all pretty spectacular. We love Le Pichet, Maximilien, and Place Pigalle. But the award has got to go to someone, and today we’ve chosen Cafe Campagne. Their attention to detail goes above and beyond; they even call you the day before to confirm the reservation. As for the menu, my personal favorite is the Oeufs en Meurette. But beware! The only problem with this fantastic meal is that it will leave you in a sleepy food coma through the rest of your work day.
5. Coolest and Most Unique Restaurant Concept
We couldn’t conclude this blog without highlighting an awesome Seattle restaurant that is doing all the right things for the right reasons. According to their website, Farestart, located on Western Avenue, is a “culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals”. Not only that, but the food is great (we especially loved their Famous Tomato Basil Soup) and the two-story dining room is beautiful. One final tidbit: their website also includes a Community Cookbook section, with downloadable recipe cards with many of their most popular items.
So there you have it! You’ve learned all about Data Team’s favorites (so far!) and the life and times of a lunch interviewer at Redfin. The coolest thing of all is that we get to talk about why we love working at Redfin and what makes the culture here so unique! But the real takeaway is this: now you know who you should ask if you have questions about the Seattle restaurant scene!