Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Last Meal

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Okay, not my last last meal, but if I had a "Last Meal" it would be what we used to call growing up in Vancouver at the infamous Shanghai Palace, "juicy buns" a.k.a. Juicy Pork Soup Dumplings a.k.a. Xiaolongbao.  Upon the first nibble of this perfectly folded and shaped steamed dumpling cradled in your spoon, the most savory, comforting stock pours out the side which you slurp up lovingly and noisily.  OH...MY...LORD.  If you love pork and relish in heavenly experiences, you cannot miss this experience. It is quite common to couple the dumpling with a mixture of slivered ginger, soy and rice vinegar, which you see in the second photo.  Most people I don't think have had these dumplings, but if you ever get the chance you HAVE TO and that's an order!  I happen to go with a few friends to the Din Tai Fung Dumpling House.  Check our the website to read about their delicious origins!  I am anxious to try more spots around town who specialize in this particular pork dumpling, perhaps a more "hole in the wall" restaurant just to compare it to this larger place. I heard there are a few more in Bellevue, WA that are just as good. It's interesting I hadn't found them in the more obvious location of the International District, but maybe they are there; I just haven't looked I guess.  Please enjoy the Dumpling Porn!  (not seen in photos: the Shrimp and Pork Wontons with Spicy Sauce - not to miss seriously, GET SOME!  we ate them too fast to photograph!)

"Juicy Pork Dumplings"
@ Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

Oh wait I see the spicy wontons in the back! Hehe.
@ Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

"Vegetarian Dumplings"
@ Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

"Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai"
@ Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gainsbourg for Brunch!

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pain perdu

Had a really delicious brunch at Gainsbourg in Greenwood the other day that I thought I'd share with you all.  This French inspired restaurant has a menu that is comforting, somewhat rich, authentic and delicious!  Their Pain Perdu is what I had, which is "lost bread" (basically day old French bread), black rum custard, brown butter bananas with syrup and bacon!  It's just a winning combination of sweet and salty, it just melted in my mouth.  My friend had their omelette du jour, which was a fluffy mound filled with swiss chard, caramelized onions and pears and brie. I think it was pears...could have been apples actually.  Anyway, I highly recommend them for brunch!  And actually for dinner too.  Check out their menu:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Best Seattle Restaurants 2012

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The Best Restaurants 2012 list is out according to Seattle Met!  This is actually a post more for me, to keep a record of where I still need to go eat.

Wow I still have a lot to check off, let's see (click on their names to see more info):

☑ Sitka and Spruce - I just went here a couple of weeks ago!  Very impressed with their "hay baked ham" for this season, my gawd, it had a lot of soul to it.  Spendy place but well worth saving the pennies for!

☐ Revel - Okay so technically I haven't been like INSIDE this place, but I have been to it's sister bar next door Quoin, where you can order food from Revel!  Does that count? Probably not but the drinks and food were super tasty!

☐ Canlis - Okay so this is probably one of the most expensive restaurants in Seattle, and based upon the fact that it's such a formal setting (like formal as in our grandparents and parents age concept of formality - must wear a jacket, tie, etc.), there is a good chance I will never go here.  I don't like a whole lot of pomp and circumstance when I eat, even if it's some of the best food in the world!

☐ Spur Gastropub - Have not been here yet.  Know nothing about it: note to self, check it out.

 Skillet Diner - Been to the one at Seattle Science Center, and of course numerous times to their food truck, but not the one on Capitol Hill.  I'm still counting as a "yes". Amazing burgers!

☐ Madison Park Conservatory - Still have to go here!  I can vividly remember the food porn I saw posted on Flickr awhile back.

☐ The Walrus and the Carpenter - Nope, haven't been!  I've only seen the outside while heading into Staple & Fancy next door, which incidentally was one of the best dining experiences I've ever had, ordering the prixe fixe menu to have the chef cook us whatever he wanted.  It should really be on this list. 

Blind Pig Bistro - I swear I hear about this place every week!  Anyone wanna come with me??

☑ Tamarind Tree - Sweet!  Finally another place I have actually been.  This place really raises the bar with Vietnamese fare and will bust your palette wide open with it's amazing aromatic and flavorful food.

 Dick’s Drive-In - Okay I'm not sure why this place is on their list, as it's a drive-in burger joint and not really a restaurant per-say  but hey, they make some wicked little burgers, fries and shakes that serve a purpose when you're coming home late after the bars or just need a quick bite.  And no, it does not cater to the "local" and "free range" diet.

☐ Delancey / Essex Bar / Pantry - come I've never heard of this place.  Looks like a great Ballard find!

☑ Homegrown - Update: Had a 1/2 Turkey, Bacon and Avocado sandwich on gluten free bread with a mushroom soup, delicious!  Even the gluten free bread was good, reminding me of a scone actually...I was pleasantly surprised.  I was on an elimination diet, hence the change in bread.  Definitely a nice little spot for lunch and I love that all their ingredients come from our state or one state over in Oregon!

☑ Tilth - One of the best brunches in town!  Went there for a birthday only once and we definitely need to go back.  I mean just look at this french toast!

 Paseo - The fact that I haven't been here is pretty deplorable actually, with all the high praise it's given. 

☐ The Herbfarm -  I think I've wanted to go here ever since I moved to Seattle from Vancouver, Canada.  It's just one of those dining experiences that you have to save up quite a stack of dough for, but knowing what you will receive, makes it all worth it according to my friends who have been.

☑ Sutra - A tiny little gem that was probably one of the most interesting vegetarian places we've been to.  My hubby is veggie, so we're always on the lookout for special places like this.  When we went, we shared a table with another couple (seating is extremely limited but encourages meeting new people).  Delicious!  Highly recommend it.

☐ Brave Horse Tavern - Still haven't been here, but I've got a gift certificate for any Tom Douglas restaurant and this is going to be my choice this time. :)

☐ Rione XIII - ALMOST went here, but is the last on my list of Ethan Stowell restaurants to try.  All of his restaurants have been pretty outstanding to say the least.

☐ Bar del Corso - This place looks amazing with my favorite style of pizza; Neapolitan!  Looks like it's doing really well on Beacon Hill.

☐ Shiro’s Sushi - Voted if not THE best sushi place in Seattle currently, probably in the top 5.  I know it's gotta be good as I always see a line starting outside at 5pm because they don't take reservations.

☐ Full Tilt Ice Cream - I think between my husband and I this is a match made in heaven; he loves pinball with a passion and I love interesting ice cream flavors!  

☐ Cascina Spinasse / Artusi - Need to go here.  Looks friggen delicious and the perfect setting for date night!

☐ Ray’s Boathouse - Probably doesn't get more Seattle than this place, I still haven't been here...they literally have NOTHING for vegetarians so I will have to kidnap one of my "paleo" friends to dine here.  And no, salad is not enough.

☑ Matt’s in the Market - I went here SO long ago, I can see from pictures online it is quite a different setting now, but the food was spectacular so I definitely need to put this at the top of my list.

 Restaurant Zoë - Update: Went here New Year's Eve!  Outstanding and very accommodating to special dietary needs.  Highly recommended!  The server even got a hint from a conversation that we had about bourbon, and gave my husband a surprise shot of it with a candle at the end of dinner for his birthday.  How nice was that!

Okay time to save up and cross things off the list, hehe.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Korean BBQ Time!

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Ka Won Korean Restaurant

So I hadn't been to a Korean BBQ place for let's seeeeee, like 30 years, and recently was determined to end this decades long streak!  After polling a few people as to their favorite places, a couple of friends and I decided to make the long drive up to Lynwood where a lot of Korean restaurants reside and chose Ka Won for their table top BBQ experience.  Just the very thought of it, as we drove for nearly 45 minutes, brought up many memories of specific types of tastes that my mouth remembers...nutty, spicy and sweet.  I guess a whole lot of umami, too, although as a kid I didn't know what the heck that meant!   I will always remember the fun I had with my parents going to our favorite place in Vancouver, B.C. at Broadway and Commercial, and getting to sit in those special private seating areas, grilling our own meat and drinking some kind of simple soup with scallions and bean sprouts.  It's really those two things, meat and sprouts, that I remember the most.  The restaurant hasn't been there for a long time, but every time I go by there even today, I think of eating that amazing food.  Ka Won did not disappoint.

Ka Won Korean Restaurant

I haven't had beef like that for a looooong time, just melting in my mouth with it's sweet glaze, nicely caramelized on the grill.  We ordered 2 combination plates (way too much for 5 people!), which included fatty pork, beef, some sort of huge mushroom stems, onions, and squid, which the waitress cooked for us as she put it "because you never been before right?".  Well, a couple of us had, but we let her do it anyway, haha!  It was pretty funny that she assumed we didn't know what we were doing.  It also came with salad which had the MOST delicious sweet sesame soy dressing ever!  I was pretty obsessed with it, and I know, it's only salad but it was so yummy!  I mean, I'm assuming it was sesame, but who had a small spice to it too.  Anyway, back to the meat, holy moly I had to stop myself from gorging.  We also had a side plate of Japchae, which are noodles made from sweet potato and one of my favorite Korean staples - I must say they did a great job on it!  Just that plate alone could have fed us all a full meal.  And of course we had all the little plates of pickled treats that Korean meals are typically coupled with that you can eat alone or with your food, surrounding our already crowded table.  I made a conscious choice not to completely go over the edge with my portions, so I left full, but not dying.  It's a good strategy, even if you can't finish everything.  What a meal I tell ya!  We will definitely be going back.

Ka Won Korean Restaurant

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Winter Baking Has Started!

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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Had an amazingly relaxing weekend with loved ones this weekend, which included time with my "bestie" Juli Adams, who is an amaaaazing artist and friend.  Recently she had been craving those big sugar cookies with the thick layer of pink icing you see at the store and wanted to know how to make them from scratch.  Not really a baker herself, we thought how fun it would be to do it together.  And since it's almost Halloween, why not pumpkin shaped cookies with orange sprinkles, yaaaaay!  I popped onto the internet to find the most popular easy recipe I could find and found this one below from All Recipes. We stuck super close to the recipe, using 1% milk instead of 2%, but it's what I had in the fridge and of course it turned out fine, I mean, c'mon there's enough butter and sugar in there to induce a coma!

This recipe will fill your house with the sweetest smells and creates a lovely soft cookie, ever-so-slightly golden on the bottom, and the icing is exactly how it should be:  sweet and creamy.  I dare you to just have one. I DARE YOU.

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies


1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Sugar Cookie Frosting


4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup shortening
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring


1. In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners' sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Food Porn!

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This is really a gratuitous food porn post.  From the Boat Street Kitchen at lunch, where we haven't been in eons, the place seems to have upped their lunchtime portions!  Fine by me...just fiiiiine.  :)  Perfectly cooked fish and steak with accompanying veggies and fresh bread, topped off by little chocolate Souflée cakes with salted caramel.  WOW.
David had the fish...
steak salad
tiny chocolate Souflée cakes with salted caramel

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


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A wonderful food eating/learning/mingling event on Monday, October 22nd at Palace Kitchen in Seattle!

Wish it weren't on a Monday, but if you go, you have to report back to me!

Check, Please! at Foodportunity

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chopstix Sticks!

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A few weeks ago my co-workers and I tried the Chopstix Mobile food truck that parks on Elliott Ave.W and Harrison every Thursday from 11am-2pm, and I was back this week to eat there again!  Super tasty modern Asian fare, reasonably priced and surprisingly not too heavy or greasy with their smaller portions.  And where else are you going to get DUCK for lunch??  I've been having the Peking Duck Tacos (so delicious!) with a side of their Plum Slaw, which I feel had a strange muted tang to it, like there could have had more "plum" flavor or vinegar...not sure why it was kind of off.  But either way, the tacos aren't usually quite enough for a filling lunch, so I order a side.  The duck seems to be done with really simple spices which I like accompanied by a sweet tangy hoisin-like "Chinese BBQ Sauce".  The green onions on top actually give it a nice pop of peppery taste at the end.  My friend had their Nori Fries and THAT was such a treat, wow!  Never had anything like that before, as it had a light sweetness along with the slight taste of the salty sea from the little nori bits sprinkled throughout.  They don't have everything on the menu that you see on their website, focusing on a handful each time, but I hope to see more variety in the future because this is definitely something to look forward to every week.

Chopstix food truck
Asian Pull Pork Sandwich
Peking Duck Taco

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Top 10 Veggie Places in Seattle!

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Just happened to be reading Seattle Weekly's online blog about the top 10 vegetarian/vegan places in Seattle and ran across one of my photos being used:

Pretty awesome!  I've had people use my photos before, especially if I have them listed under Creative Commons on so it's always interesting to see where they end up.  Glad the photo was from Carmelita in Greenwood, it's my favorite vegetarian place in Seattle, for something a little more fancy.  Their Top 10 is pretty spot on, although of course there are a plethora of Indian, Ethiopian, and other ethnic restaurants that serve totally vegetarian and vegan options, my faves being Cedar's, Taste of India, Habesha, and Annapurna Cafe.  Check them out!

Spaghetti squash bonbons

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bisato Closing!

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Such sad news!

It's so ironic I was just thinking about revisiting there in the while...maybe I can swing it this month or early next month.  I wrote a review awhile back, Bisato really was just one of those places you never forget.

Thank you Chef Scott Carsberg for one of the most memorable meals I ever ate!

Chef Scott Carsberg of Bisato - Seattle

Bisato is set to close Sunday, October 14th, 2012.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Seattle Restaurant News Opening Closings Chefs New Restaurants Seattle Area | Gayot

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Seattle Restaurant News Opening Closings Chefs New Restaurants Seattle Area | Gayot

Wow lots of new places opening and closing in Seattle, or already have!  The revolving door of the restaurant industry continues to spin each year. Fumaça Brazilian Steakhouse is so near to where I work, I think that might be my first choice as I've never had that type of table side service of amazingly cooked meat.  I'm making my way through all the Ethan Stowell's restaurants, and so far each one has been really delicious and I love the open kitchen concept that seems to be a theme with all of them.  A good article, click the link above!

Anchovies & Olives

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blueberry Coffee Cake for Everyone!

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Blueberry Coffee Cake

Wow 2 posts in 1 day, whaaa?!  Can you tell I'm trying to catch up?

This recipe is definitely one of those you keep on hand for potlucks or family dinners. Okay who am I kidding, why not just bake it for yourself and eat the whole darn thing for breakfast all week like I did!  Blueberry season is pretty much over, so a few weeks ago my mother-in-law's long time beau made THREE of these things for us all to take home after a family dinner.  I couldn't believe he made so many!  I mean coffee cake is just sort of one of those things that I rarely eat, but when I do I remember how flippin' good it is.  I should really be adding it to the regular cycle of things I bake between cupcakes and scones.  A  pretty straight forward recipe, it's super moist in the middle with a ton of blueberry flavor layered with the crumble and then a more crispy topping. MMMMMMMM! Just the right amount of sweetness I thought too.  I didn't bake this myself but I really wanted to share the recipe which is from the last issue of Bon Appétit.
Happy baking!


Crumb Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) blueberries (about 10 ounces)
1 tablespoon panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Special equipment:
An 8x8x2-inch metal pan


Crumb Topping

Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in nuts. Add butter; using your fingertips, work butter into dry ingredients until large, moist crumbs begin to form. Set topping aside. DO AHEAD: Can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.


Preheat oven to 350°. Coat pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom with parchment paper; set aside. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat 3/4 cup sugar and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until mixture is pale and fluffy, 3–4 minutes longer.
With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients to bowl in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Pour half of batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Whisk remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly over batter in pan. Spoon remaining batter over; smooth top.
Toss blueberries with panko in a small bowl; scatter evenly over batter. Sprinkle crumb topping over blueberries.
Bake cake until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55–65 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake with Ganache!

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amazing birthday chocolate cake

I have the best mother-in-law EVER.  Seriously, I couldn't have lucked out any better with marrying my hubby.  Not only does she mean the world to me, but she spoils me royally.  For my birthday she told me she was making chocolate cake and "I hope you'll like it" to which I replied that it was pretty much my favorite dessert OF ALL TIME.  So there.  I feature many chocolate cake recipes on my blog, but this is a style that I don't have, which is a dark layered cake with ganache frosting - sooooo rich, moist and decadent!  Really reminded me of a cake I get at B&O Espresso in Seattle called Devil's Cake.  And it really is eeeeeeeevil let me tell ya!  Taken from Epicurious, here is the recipe featuring all the sinful ingredients you can possibly have in one dessert.   OH YEA.  Thanks mum-in-law for the best birthday ever!

Double Chocolate Layer Cake
Makes: 12 to 14


For cake layers:
  • 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
  • 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
For ganache frosting:
  • 1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
Special equipment:
  • two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans


- Make cake layers: Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.
- Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
- Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
- Make frosting: Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.
- Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).
- Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

Friday, September 14, 2012

So speaking of food trucks...

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I found myself sitting here at work wondering what to eat for lunch, and it occurred to me that there might be a truck around and that I should pass on this link to Seattle's food truck scene:


Photo By:  Russell Lo

Thursday, September 13, 2012

YEEHAW! It's a Mobile Truck Rodeo!

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Off the Rez Frybread menu

Almost forgot to post about this coming up in South Lake Union THIS SATURDAY THE 15TH!

Promising to be one of the most popular end-of-summer events in Seattle, it sounds like getting a VIP Express Badge is the way to go!  Here's the quick version of what the website says and the list of trucks:

"If you want to SKIP THE LINES, we suggest you buy your VIF Express Badge for just $25 that supports the Sound Culture reserved at 500 tickets that averages out to about 10 people per line for the two hour duration."


September Food Truck Line-up:
  1.  Lumpia World | Southeast Asia | Website
  2.  Big Food Mobile | Caribbean – Indian | Website
  3.  Fusion on the Run | Vietnamese | Website
  4.  Box on Wheels | Asian Fusion | Website
  5.  Trophy Cupcakes | Cupcakes | Website
  6.  Happy Grillmore | Hamburgers | Website
  7. Crisp Creperie | French Cuisine | Website
  8. Tuscan Stone Pizzeria | Wood Fire Pizza | Website
  9. My Chef Lynn | Soups and Sandwiches | Website
  10. BUNS | Contemporary American| Website
  11. Street Treats | Artisan Ice Cream | Website
  12. Hot Dog Stop | Gourmet Hot Dogs | Website
  13. Barriga Llena | Mexico City Tortas | Website
  14. Caribreso’s Jerk Station | Caribbean | Website
  15. Parfait | Fine Artisan Ice Cream | Website
  16. Raney Brothers | BBQ | Website
  17. Snout & Co | Cuban | Website
  18. Skillet Street Food | American Diner | Website
  19. Rollin’ Q | Southern Texas BBQ | Website
  20. Jemil’s Big Easy | Cajun | Website
  21. Contigo | Contemporary Mexican | Website
  22. Chopstix Mobile | Website 
  23. The Real Falafel King | Website
  24. Off the Rez | Native American | Website
  25. Rainy Day Gourmet | Northwest Soup’s & Sandwiches
  26. Tokyo Dog | Japanese Hot Dogs | Website
  27. Street Donuts | Artisan-Infused Donuts | Website
  28. Bistro Box | Website
  29. Grilled Cheese Experience | Website
  30. Urban Nomad | Website
  31. Caravan Crepes | Website
  32. Flair Taco | Website
  33. Nomad Curbside | Website
  34. Seattle Biscuit Company | N/A
  35. Slate Coffee Company | Website
  36. Molly Moon | Fine Artisan Ice Cream | Website
  37. Hallava Falafel | Russo-Turkic| Website
  38. Maximus Minimus | Pulled Pork | Website
  39. Charlie’s Buns-N-Stuff | Hamburgers & Sandwiches | Website
  40. Where Ya At Matt | Creole | Website
  41. Dante’s Inferno Dogs | Website
  42. Veraci Pizza| Wood Fire Pizza | Website
  43. Kaosamai Thai | Thai | Website
  44. Athena’s | Greek | Website
  45. Curry Now | Indian |  Website
Skillet burger

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cute Little Alehouse on Beacon Hill!

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My beer making hubby should take note, this little place opened up recently on Beacon Hill called Tippe and Drague Alehouse!

Featuring rotating local beers, 16 to be exact!  And did someone mention something about a peanut butter nutella sandwich with BACON??  Yesssss.  It sounds like even though they don't have a fryer in their kitchen, they can still cater to everyone's dietary "needs", healthy or otherwise.  And you can watch a game there too!

Guess we should go!

Here's some photos I found on Flickr during their remodeling:

The Tippe and Drague is almost open
Water for your dogs at the Tippe and Drague
The Tippe and Drague is almost open

Monday, September 3, 2012

BBQ cornish game hens

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For my birthday this year, the in-laws made me one of my favorite meals: Cornish Game Hens!  In this case, they make a mean lime ginger marinade, which is so simple, but caramelizes so well on the grill it's flavor is out of this world!  Enjoy!  And if you are unfamiliar with the "spatchcocking" technique of flattening game hens or chicken, here's a video I found:

BBQ cornish game hens by Lara604
BBQ cornish game hens, a photo by Lara604 on Flickr.
Lime Ginger Marinade for Spatchcocked Game Hens

4 cups soy or tamari sauce

½ cup sesame oil

4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger

1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 12 limes)

Marinate the game hens 2 to 24 hours.

(This recipe makes enough marinade for several grillings; use what is needed for the number of hens to be served (1 cup of marinade per hen) and refrigerate the remainder. Or, reduce the ingredients to make what is needed for one grilling.)

Grill hens slowly, 15 to 20 minutes per side. Serve with grilled veggies.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Better Food Review Site!

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Tired of reading endless reviews on Yelp or Urbanspoon that make you more confused than ever about a diner's experience, because they didn't really review the food at all??

I've got a new food review site for you!

You won't have to wade through foggy reviews like, "I gave them one star because the waiter didn't bring me water, but the food was excellent."

For me, I know people are human and waitstaff can have a bad day like anyone else, even if they're "supposed to suck it up and serve me".  So if the food is still rated excellent, I usually go check it out.  More often than not, the service is just fine, and whomever wrote otherwise was probably having a bad day themselves!

Anyway this site is new, so we need to fill it with lots and lots of places we have dined, and we can put our dishes head to head in an all out FOOD BATTLE OF THE AGES!  It's really fun  being able to actually rate dishes based on categories like Appearance, Taste, Flavor, Spiciness, Value, etc.

Bring it on people!  :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bacon is Done! Finished! Kaput!

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Well maybe not entirely for many of us, but according to the trend as a cultural cult-like following is quite "five years ago".  As it happens, they used my picture of bacon in this video which I had listed as Creative Commons on Flickr so anyone could use it.  THANKS WOOT.COM !  Mine is the first image.  MMM BACON!  What do you think? Are you tired of the Bacon Phenomena?  Will you continue to buy bacon-inspired gadgets and magnets?  I think you should do whatever you want and just enjoy the bacon.

bacon right out of the oven

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Barcelona and Portugal!

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Hi folks!
Finally I have the chance to sit my butt down and post some pictures of some of the food we ate on our travels!  I didn't take shots of ALL of our meals, but hopefully this will give you a good idea of what we experienced.

Our first destination was the incredibly vibrant and international city of Barcelona.  We were there for 4 nights and soaked up every moment we could, filling our time with relaxing cafe and pastry shops, sightseeing, market browsing, tapas, and bar hopping!

Barcelona 2012

The pastry shop windows were some of my favorite to just stand there and gawk. Obviously we couldn't go into every one of them, but it sure was tempting.  Sometimes we had no idea what we were looking at, but it all looked so amazing.  Those meringues were MONSTROUS!  Here are some of the beautiful displays:

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

The next stop was one of the most famous markets in all of Europe, the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria.  Seen on every food and travel show that films in Barcelona, this market made me want to drop everything and move 5011.01 miles just so I could eat there every day.  Produce and seafood that was both familiar and strange, row after row of pastries, stacks of cups with freshly juiced fruits, stand after stand of hanging meats and rare cheeses, and little food bars you could saddle up to and completely stuff your face with local delicacies and a refreshing drink. Check out the bounty!

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Now on to the tapas portion of my entry.  My husband is vegetarian, and knowing our fellow traveler David and I wanted to try some authentic meat-inspired tapas, he said to pick a place and he would just follow us and eat what he could.  What a good hubby, eh? We consulted the wondrous internet to find a place within reasonable walking distance from our apartment which happened to be one of the highest rated in Barcelona, let alone Spain, called Cerveceria Catalana.  When you first walk in, it's through a crowded bar area where you get to sit in front of their plated mounds of colorful tapas and just point and eat.  If you're not so fortunate or have a big party, you can walk through a very large and modern dining area and be seated by friendly waitstaff who will tell you their specials and what we MUST try!  There's also an outdoor area to sit but it was already full by the time we got there.  Ordering a picture of sangria, we hunker down.  Starting off with their complimentary Pan de Tomate (bread rubbed with garlic and tomato drizzled in olive oil and a dash of salt) dishes ranged from the simple but delicious skewered garlic shrimp and Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes), to the more adventurous but locally common fried sardines, cuttlefish and foie gras (which I don't actually like but David wanted to try it.  I had a tiny bite.  Yup, I still don't like liver).  The lighting was really low, so some of my images are really hard to distinguish...if you have a question as to what something is, let me know!

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

The rest of our few days in Barcelona we mainly had one big meal a day and the rest of the time we would stop for a small bite or just something really refreshing like Gazpacho because it was so hot!  Here are a couple more pictures from the tail end of our visit.  I took every chance I could get to eat their world famous Jamón Ibérico.  I have only seen it served in a couple of Spanish restaurants in the US that can actually import the massively expensive meat, as you're not going to ever find it in your local deli.  We also had what I think to be the best gelato we've ever tasted, shaped ever so lovingly into big delicious roses!

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Barcelona 2012

Now onto the Portugal portion of our trip!  I should tell you that growing up in Vancouver, B.C. in one of the most predominantly Portuguese and Italian neighborhoods in the 70s & 80s, lent itself to being able to see, smell, and taste food from those cultures on a very regular basis.  I can remember being in my Portuguese babysitter's kitchen all wide eyed watching them make sausage and soups by hand.  Oh my gosh, the incredible aromas that I will never forget!  I must admit I left my heart in Lisbon and was most appreciative of a friend's boyfriend who was born there, driving us to a seaside restaurant near Sintra at Adraga Beach and doing us the honor of ordering superb seafood and wine, including one very popular edible crustacean called Percebe, or Goose Barnacle, that was although alarmingly phallic (lols) very delicious and fun to peel and eat!  I also have to thank our host for flagging down the waiter to get us their fish soup; it brought me right back to my childhood, simply divine.

Another delicacy of the country that everyone talks about is the Pasteis de Nata, which are egg tart pastries the most famous apparently being from a place called Pasteis de Belem.  Disappointingly we didn't make it to the neighborhood that it was in, but we found an adorable local bakery a small walk from where we were staying in Graça where we tasted our first scrumptious pasteis!  MMM!

Okay, enough chatter!

Lisbon 2012: Part 1 Pastis de Nata

Lisbon 2012: Part 1

Lisbon 2012: Part 1

Lisbon 2012: Part 1

Lisbon 2012: Part 1

Lisbon 2012: Part 1  Fish Stew

Lisbon 2012: Part 2

Lisbon 2012: Part 2

Lisbon 2012: Part 2

Lisbon 2012: Part 2

Lisbon 2012: Part 2

Lisbon 2012: Part 2

Lisbon 2012: Part 2

Lisbon 2012: Part 2

Lisbon 2012: Part 2

If you would like to see more of our vacation photos, feel free to click on any of the images and navigate around my Flickr pages!


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