About Jay Friedman, Gastronaut

Jay Friedman is a freelance food writer and gastronaut—global explorer of things gourmet and, well, not-so-gourmet. Born and raised in New York (and missing those back-east bagels), Jay says he came to Seattle in 1999 because “there’s great produce here.” He’s dabbled in classes at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, taken cooking classes around the world, cooked as a Vermont inn-sitter, worked as a waiter, and evolved into an omnivoracious eater.

Jay is co-editor/author of the Fearless Critic Seattle Restaurant Guide and is a regular contributor to Eater Seattle after doing extensive writing for the national Serious Eats blog. He wrote regular columns about sex and food for Edible Seattle (until…) and the Voracious blog (he also did an Asian noodle column there, earning him the nickname “The Mein Man”), and he still occasionally pens articles and contributes to “best of” features for Seattle Weekly. Back to the Asian theme, Jay covers the food scene for the Ethnic Business Coalition’s EthnicSeattle.com. He also writes about the local and global dining scene for TheSunBreak (he’s the food and travel editor) and SeattleDINING!, and served as a restaurant reviewer for Seattle’s City Arts magazine. Other freelance assignments have included USA Today, Northwest Palate, and IBUKI magazine. Further, Jay uses his food interest as a foundation for travel pieces he calls “Passport to Pleasure.” These romantic getaways are a hedonistic quest for great food and good times for two, from nibbles to naughtiness. They appear on TheSunbreak and are cross-posted here on the Gastrolust blog, which was the number one restaurant blog in the United States, per Urbanspoon, before that turned into Zomato.

When he’s not in his kitchen playing with a takoyaki grill pan, or one of his three woks and four waffle irons, Jay’s likely out searching for everything from chu-toro (well, not so much anymore, due to depletion) to chocolate. Most likely, though, he’s in a Chinese restaurant trying to order organ meats off the Chinese menu, getting ideas on how to make better xiao long bao, or slurping noodles—especially his beloved biang-biang noodles.

Also: Jay is a freelance sex educator…in case you’re wondering why there are so many posts about the connections between sex and food!

Note: Jay accepts occasional media “comps” and discounts. These are in no way in exchange for favorable reviews or lack of criticism.

19 Responses to “About Jay Friedman, Gastronaut”

  1. October 14, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    Have you ever tried bagels in Montreal? Although they lack the crunch of the NY Bagel, they are sweetly good.

  2. admin
    October 14, 2008 at 6:50 pm #

    I DO like Montreal bagels. A different beast than the NY bagel, for sure. What I especially like, though, is being in Montreal and getting bagels at any hour of the day–or night!

  3. November 13, 2008 at 4:49 pm #


    My chef, Andy Beaver, and I told you a few months ago that we were going to significantly upgrade our menu…well we took the plunge yesterday.
    It is in our humble opinion much improved and something we are proud to call our own.
    You can find it on our (new) website. Give us a call or stop in if you’d like some info.

    Travis Stanley-Jones

  4. admin
    November 13, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

    Thanks for writing in, Travis! Hope the new menu launch goes well and is successful. Will try to stop in sometime.

  5. December 7, 2008 at 10:39 am #

    Jay this is Eric with SmoketownUsa and I am so appreciative that you wrote about us. Every little bit matters with the complexity of the rest. world. I read some awsome story’s you wrote about other rest.’s… sounds like a great career. Anyway thank you so much for thinking of us! edg Shalom

  6. January 29, 2009 at 7:45 am #

    Jay the Gastronaut,

    Meet Kang the Londoneater.

    :D just dropped by to say I love the blog!

  7. February 10, 2009 at 8:16 pm #

    Jay, thanks for spending the afternoon at Carlos Cafe. Enjoyed the conversation, hope you enjoyed your meal…

  8. March 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Hi Jay,

    Ever come to Vancouver? If so r.tl (regional tasting lounge) would like to invite to a Foodie event that we are putting on. Fun foodie social, sponsored by us. It’s on March 24th, 6-8pm. Let me know if you are interested, please contact me directly.

    info at meshingmedia.com


  9. September 7, 2009 at 3:31 am #

    Hi Jay,

    Great site- too bad I’m all the way from Australia. I’ll remember to check out your suggestions when I’m up there next! ‘Gastronaut’- love it!

    Keep Eating- Adrian

  10. December 8, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    Good to meet you at the TK event at Bastille. I like the wide range of restaurants listed and reviewed — always fun to read someone’s thoughts on a favorite! I also like Malay Satay Hut!

  11. JR
    December 28, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    Great blog! If you get the chance you should check out Pacific Grill in Tacoma. Its a beautiful restaurant with great food from Chef Gordon Naccaarto.

    He also has a food blog: http://blog.pacificgrilltacoma.com/

  12. Ramon
    February 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Just wondering if you are a Gastronaut “a la Floyd” or just happen to like the designation. I’d like to consider myself a fellow Gastronaut, since I learned to cook from watching Food a la Floyd in the early 80’s. Keep on doing what you’re doing, it’s good work. Eat up!

  13. April 2, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Hello Jay, I’m enjoying your blog. As a transplant from NY to San Juan Islands, I too search the planet for real deal food. You can take my Brooklyn word on the fact that I have found REAL NY bagels in Bellingham at The Bagelry and REAL Brooklyn pizza at Brooklyn Brothers Pizza in Everett. Both are consistent and will put a smile on your face for days! Enjoy and let me know what you think.

  14. admin
    April 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Thanks for your note, and for following my blog, Canarsie. That’s a mighty big claim you make about Brooklyn Brothers and Bagelry. But I read your passion about Brooklyn Brothers in your blog, so I’m excited to give it a try (as I’ll get to Everett sooner than Bellingham). I appreciate the recommendations!

  15. chia
    June 4, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    Hi Jay,

    I love your blog and noticed your tastes in Asian cuisine. I would like you to look into a new comer in the International District on Jackson St. called, “Red Lantern.” There’s an interesting mix of Korean and Szechuan dishes on the menu. I think the best surprise is their desserts. Can it quite possibly be the best tiramisu in Seattle and that it’s served in a Chinese restaurant? I spoke to one of the owner and apparently she studied at FCI in nyc and the French Pastry school in chi-town…would love to hear what you think of it!!!

  16. Evan M.
    June 11, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    How am I just finding your blog? Your quest for organs warms my heart. My lamb heart tacos that is.


  17. June 12, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    I love eating in Seattle when I visit my Grandparents. I’ll definitely check out your blog for some tips of where to eat. Great reviews. Cheers from Canada

  18. December 15, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Hello from San Francisco, we are fellow food bloggers at Foodnut.com.

    Great website, I’ll be sure to check it before my trip.

  19. May 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Mr. Friedman: Thank you for all the work that you put into your site and over at Serious Eats. I trust you much more than the food critics in town. Keep up the good work. Steve

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