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Titans Tour Guides: Seattle

Matt Hasselbeck played 10 seasons in Seattle, Jordan Babineaux played there for seven seasons, and Jake Locker played collegiately at the University of Washington.

Titans Online asked the three players what they like about Seattle and for their recommendations if they were making the trip as tour guides instead of football players. All three players complimented the area for its natural beauty, and Hasselbeck and Babineaux both shared their fish stories from Pike Place Market.

Matt Hasselbeck

What's most unique about Seattle?

The most unique thing about Seattle would probably be the landscape. The water, the mountains, the bridges, the sunsets, the sunrises, it's a beautiful part of the country.

Is there a particular spot to get the best view of the area?

On a clear day, the Space Needle. It's a very touristy thing to do, but on a clear day, you get to see Puget Sound, Lake Washington, Lake Union, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, where the Seahawks play, where the Mariners play, Husky Stadium. It's a great spot to take it in.

Seattle is known for coffee. Do you have a favorite cup?

Seattle is known for coffee. The original Starbucks is there, and there are about two on every corner, but I think my favorite coffee spot — or one of my favorites — is the Velvet Foam Latte. You can search on the Internet, but it's the Velvet Foam Latte. They're all over the place, but it escapes me on where to get them. (He later remembered the name of the business is Uptown Espresso).

Do you have a favorite place for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Yeah. There's so many great spots to have a meal in Seattle. Breakfast, a strong decision would be to go to Portage Bay Café. There's one right near the University of Washington with really fresh food and kind of healthy and really good.

For lunch, my go-to spot is Santorini Grill in Kirkland. It's cash only, it's Greek food. It's very very good — incredibly good. The owner's name is Starvos. He's the best.

For dinner, lots of good choices. You could go to Seastar for great seafood. One of my favorite places in Belltown would be El Gaucho for steak. A lot of people would say Metropolitan Grill is another great place to go. There's so many great places to go, but El Gaucho and Seastar are two of my favorites.

If a person goes to Seattle, what should they make sure they do before they leave?

I think the thing that you would say to do is to hit the fresh fish market, Pike Place Market, and see the people there buying the fish and throwing the fish. It's a touristy thing, but it's a good spot to go.

Have you ever thrown or caught a fish there?

I have. I've caught many fish there. Just be aware that when you catch the fish or are near someone catching the fish, that you may get some fish remnants or ice. You may get a little wet. It's just part of the experience.

Pearl Jam or Nirvana? Both those bands were born out in Seattle, so which would you pick?

Pearl Jam and Nirvana are like teammates. They're allies, so you don't really have to choose, but for me growing up, it was Pearl Jam, but both make Seattle proud.

Jordan Babineaux

What's unique about Seattle?

The scenery. When the sun's out in Seattle, it's probably one of the more beautiful places you'll ever see in the country. There's nothing like seeing snow-capped mountains, houses on a hill and a lake right underneath. It's beautiful.

Where would you go for breakfast, lunch, dinner?

Breakfast, that's a tough one. Maybe Brown Bag in Kirkland. It's a well-known restaurant for their portions — really good home-style type of restaurant. You can't go wrong. You go to order eggs and bacon, and you get two big, twin-sized pancakes about the size of a 10-inch photo or something. It's crazy.

For lunch, I would probably, wow, it's so many places to choose from. You're making this tough on me. Palisade is a nice place to go. They have a nice brunch. It sits off the water on a pier. It's really nice.

For dinner, I would take you up to the 23rd floor at Daniel's Broiler in Bellevue. You get a nice, panoramic view of the whole city. It looks across Lake Washington over to the city of Seattle and is probably one of the most spectacular views out there.

If a person goes to Seattle, what should they make sure they do before they leave?

If you go to Seattle, of course you know about the main attractions: Pike Place Market is one of the nicest places, not only because you can go down there and see the guys catching the fish — that's something to see in itself — but they have a nice collection of shops and antiques that you can buy. The Space Needle for sure. You can go up and get a panoramic view. There's a restaurant up there that's really nice. But you could do something as simple, as unique as walking around the lake. There's several bike trails and walking trails that people take all the time, but then you find something off the water and just kind of enjoy the sounds of the ocean.

Have you ever caught a fish at the Pike Place Market?

I have. We were playing the Houston Texans on a Monday night seven years ago or so, and ESPN came down and did a whole spiel on catching a fish. I caught it, too. Those guys are pretty smooth the way they throw the fish and catch it too. It's something to see.

Pearl Jam and Nirvana both got their start in Seattle. Do you like one better than the other?

Mostly Pearl Jam. I would say that I'm more familiar with their music. Jimi Hendrix is also from Seattle, but don't forget to mention Sir Mix-A-Lot, OK, Baby Got Back *or *Posse on Broadway. Those are classics.    

Jake Locker

What's the best thing about Seattle?

The best thing about Seattle, especially this time of year, is just the beauty of the landscape and how green it is. You've got water everywhere. You've got beautiful plants everywhere, and hopefully the sun will be shining.

It's kind of known for its coffee. Where's the best cup of coffee.

There's a lot of good places to get coffee in Seattle. I don't think you can choose one that's going to be better than any. Obviously Starbucks started there, but there's a lot of good places to get a cup of coffee.

If you were able to pick one meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner, where would you go?

One meal? That's tough. I'd go breakfast, probably, at Portage Bay.

What's the best thing there?

They have a fruit bar that you can get with French toast, waffles, pancakes. It's awesome — throw whatever kind of fresh fruit you want on it. It's really good.

What's one thing about Seattle that makes it unique or what's something people should do if they go out there?

Pike Place Market is something that's really cool if you've never been there and never had a chance to experience it. It's right on the water — a lot of different things to be able to look at. Artists have their work down there. There's flowers, food. It's all kinds of stuff and it changes every time you go down there.

That's also famous for thrown fish. Have you ever thrown or caught a fish there?

No, actually, I have not ever thrown or caught a fish there. You've got to buy one to catch one, so I've never bought one and I've never had the opportunity to throw one either.

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