Some of my recent trips have been the least appealing type of mileage runs: I never leave the airport, never see the city, and am doomed to eating airport fast food. Or, even worse, do like I did on my Boston to Los Angeles flight a few weeks ago flight when I ate overpriced airline food.

This mileage run to Seattle was different, I’d have a four-hour layover in SEA, not really enough time to see the town, but enough time to at least get a good meal. But where would I eat?

I started my research on Google maps and searched for “restaurants near Sea-Tac airport.” Instantly I had a listing of over 20 restaurants in the area; in most cases I could read reviews of the food and also visit their website. Sharps Roaster and Ale House had good reviews and was the closest to the airport, so that was my choice.

The trip started nicely with a 7:25 a.m. flight from Austin to DFW. I’ve started many mileage runs with a 6 a.m. flight, so the later departure was a pleasant change. After a one hour layover at DFW, I flew to San Jose.

I love flying over the Western United States, the scenery is stunning!

I’m fascinated by the channel that a river can carve through solid rock.

A marina has been built on the lake in the foreground.

We arrived early in San Jose, giving me extra time to make my connection to Seattle. That flight would be on Alaska Airlines, requiring me to change terminals. I not only had to change terminals, I had to take a bus to the next one! I look forward to San Jose completing construction of their very large new terminal building which should be able to handle all flights from one terminal.

Alaska Airlines flies out of what can be called a temporary terminal at SJC, passengers have to walk out to the aircraft and then up a ramp to board. Thankfully, there was no rain.

We had a nice flight to Seattle, passing near San Francisco on the way.

San Francisco Harbor, with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge visible in the foreground.

As we prepared for landing at Sea-Tac, the plane flew over Seattle, then turned to the south for the final approach. Again, I got some great views.

Seattle Space Needle

The Space Needle was built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and is the most easily recognized structure on the Seattle skyline.

We passed over Boeing Field, where a group of aircraft await pickup by their new owners.

I hope to visit the Museum of Flight on a future trip to Seattle. A Boeing 747 and the Concorde are among the aircraft on display outside.

We landed at Sea-Tac and once again we were early. Every flight I have taken this year, except for the DFW-BOS mess, has arrived early.

Now that I was in Seattle, it was time to eat! It was a very short walk to Sharps: I left the terminal, walked to International Blvd, turned right, and walked another two blocks. In less than 10 minutes I was there.

Sharp’s Roaster and Ale House is a short walk from Sea-Tac airport.

If you are a vegetarian, Sharps is not the place for you! This is a place for meat-eaters! I tried to choose between the chicken, sausage, and ribs, but could not decide; I finally ordered a combination plate.

Dinner at Sharp’s Roaster and Ale House.

I got a huge plate with BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken, BBQ sausage, pulled pork, beans, cole slaw, and delicious honey corn bread. This was a lot better than anything I could get at an airport! I had enough food to feed two people, but I had not eaten since I left home almost 12 hours earlier and I knew I could eat it all. It was great!

Sharps is also a micro-brewery, so I ordered their Sharps Hefweizen, a German wheat beer. They offered three sizes; small, medium, and large, and I went for the medium. Their idea of medium is 22 ounces! There was so much food that I needed another beer and tried a regional one, Moose Drool Beer from Montana. I decided to go for the large, and got a 34 ounce beer. So, I can say I only had two beers at Sharps, I’ll just leave out the part about them totaling 56 ounces.

After the meal I walked back to Sea-Tac and took a late flight on Alaska Airlines to Los Angeles. I slept most of the way there. The only problem with connecting from Alaska Airlines to American at LAX is the different terminals. Alaska uses terminal 3, American is at terminal 4.

So, I walked out of Terminal 3, past the international terminal, and entered terminal 4. I had to clear security again; I don’t know if they were training new staff, but it was one of the slowest lines I have ever gone through, taking almost 30 minutes for me to get through. And this was at the special line for elite passengers.

After a short stop at the Admirals Club I boarded the flight to DFW and promptly fell asleep. This was the same flight I took after my BOS-LAX flight a few weeks earlier, and again we arrived early at DFW. Again I ate breakfast at McDonalds, and again I took a shower at the Admirals Club. At 8 a.m. my flight left for Austin, arriving at 9, I was home by 10 a.m. Sunday.

It was a long weekend, but I had a great meal in Seattle and got home safely. I earned 10,644 miles, and will get double EQMs for the American Airlines segments (Austin to San Jose, and Los Angeles back to Austin). All in all, it was a good trip