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July 30, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Help! Air-conditioned restaurants: Who’s hot, who’s not?

Andrea and Phil Mann wrote with a question: “Can you provide a list of air-conditioned restaurants?” Wish I could. Short of calling every restaurant in town (sue me — it’s hot and I’m lazy) I’ve decided to make a few suggestions and throw the question out here on the blog. So, tell me: Have you been in a deliciously cool restaurant in the past week? Where was it? Do you own, work in or represent an air-conditioned restaurant? Feel free to chime in right here in my comments box.

“I’m melting! I’m melting!”

Rich Malia from Ponti Seafood Grill e-mailed me yesterday. He told me his wife, Sharon, reminded him that it was the anniversary of their first date (they went to Green Lake), and said they’ll celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary this fall. He also mentioned their poplular patio tables along the Ship Canal have been a hard-sell in the heat, but nobody’s complaining about his air-conditioned dining room-with-a-view!

Chef Wayne Johnson is celebrating an anniversary, too. His 10th as chef-exec at Andaluca in the Mayflower Park Hotel. In addition to offering AC, Andaluca’s bartenders are mixing plenty of sangria while Wayne’s dishing out three kinds of chilled gazpacho — including the glorious green gazpacho I sampled the other night at Keren Brown’s fun “Foodportunity” event at the Palace Kitchen.

Hotel restaurants have the edge when it come to chilling out. I’d venture to say most — if not all — are air-conditioned (feel free to tell me different if you know so). In fact, when I stopped into Seastar adjacent to the Pan Pacific Hotel late yesterday afternoon, the temperature outside was 102, but it was plenty cool in the bar where they were kicking-off happy hour.

And I just received news from the air-conditioned icon Grill touting “limited time” menu-items for beating the summer heat. They’re selling pulled pork sliders with grilled peach chipotle barbecue sauce served with house-pickled watermelon rinds ($11.95), plus watermelon cocktails and even a delightful-sounding watermelon lemonade ($3.50).

By the way: earlier this week I treated myself to dinner at Taka Sushi, where I was more than happy to get out of the heat, get my hands on some cold sake, eat some cool sushi and enjoy the air-conditioning.

Well, what say you? Can you help me help those in need — of a restaurant where folks can chill. Call us a bunch of Northwest wussies, but baby it’s hot outside. Too hot to cook, for sure, and so hot that if we don’t find relief we might end up like the Wicked Witch of the West.

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