Man, college students at the U just got seriously lucky. I've been eating hom bows (aka char siu bao) from Mee Sum since I was 10 years old, when my mom would drive us up to Seattle to have a "city experience." I love the baked bbq pork and the curry beef, but I won't turn down a steamed bbq pork. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm not turning down anything from Mee Sum.
And now for the trivia:
I stopped into Allegro for old-times-sake. I hadn't been there in probably a dozen years, but when I was in college at UW I would go to Allegro almost every day for an Americano, enjoyed while sitting up on the deck, smoking cigarettes. If, by chance, you happen to have similar memories of the place, I think you'll be happy to hear that Allegro's still home to people who look like they're trying to look like professors, (mostly men) with hair so un-washed you can smell it. Twenty-first century hippies, keeping the dream alive.
Anyhoo, I explain my wistful smoking-upstairs memories (for the record, I quit years ago) to the barista who said, in a bummed-out tone, that they had to stop the smoking two years ago. We chat for a few minutes more and I find out that (and here's the trivia part): Allegro was Starbucks' first corporate customer, way back in 1975!
Unbelievable. If you're hungry for a taste of what Seattle coffee bars were like before the Starbucks-on-every-corner phenom, Allegro'd be a good place to start.