The Panama Hotel
607 South Main
Seattle, WA 98104
My friend Jim Demtre brought the Panama Hotel to my attention. He said the photography in this place is so cool, and itís a good place for a pot of tea. So with that remark in mind I took a trip, with another Tea dork friend of mine, to the International District to have a cuppa.
The Panama Hotel teahouse has a unique look to it. The building looks historic and the ambiance inside is very cool. The photographs inside show the past , such as the local buildings, once owned by Japanese Americans before the Exculsion Act. There are also articles from the local papers about WWII, and the effect it had on the community, There are items in glass cases and the front windows have more historic images. The images give you an impression of how history effected the local people.
The photographs, articles of interest and items in the glass case give the tea room a unique feel. Inside the building, the rattan chairs and couch are comfortable, and the heavy tables are made with cherry wood or teak. Judging from the comfortable look and feel of this place, I assume this would be a nice place to stay over night.
The tea selection is short and sweet,with a limited amount of black, green and oolong teas. When ordering tea, you go to the counter and order the type of tea you want. You can oeder tea to go or to stay, but when you stay you will be served. Sit down and enjoy the really nice cups and tempered glass pots ... the service is great.
The food selection is also short and sweet. I rave about the Panini sandwiches ... they really are good. Desserts range from fresh scones and cookies, to day old dounts. Like I said, the food selection is limited, but tasty.
Iím rating this a "three teapot" place. The ambience makes up for the lack of food and and the fact you canít get free water refills for tea ( canít figure that one out ... its only water) . Another good thing is that if you have friends that donít like tea, they also offer coffee.
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