korean lunch with japanese dessert

I asked the Mayor of Foodtown where the best Korean is in Seattle, and his response – “In your backyard.”

So about one block from our house the mixologist and I found:

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affectionately called by us “the friendly pig and calamari”

I very stupidly forgot to take a picture of our table, but it was an amazing crazy mess of tons of kimchee and condiments and pickles and ribs and soups and and and………It. Was. Amazing.

Then we went to a Japanese dollar store and bought Mango Marshmallows.

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They are cute….

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…and full of mango jelly.

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my papa’s 60th

In my move I pretty much missed my father’s birthday – and it was a big one.

So on my last trip home I got the fam together and made of my pop’s favorite dishes – osso buco. (I found out this was his favorite when we went to Italy a few years ago and he set out on a mission to eat osso buco at every place that served it. Honestly it was an amazingly interesting experience – we tasted osso buco from fancy places to corner cafes, each a little different.)

You will find soon that I am not the biggest fan of traditional recipes – I much prefer the paragraph method that is basically me telling you the story of how to make something with extremely loose quantities.

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Start with thick beef shank; salt and peppered. Sear to a dark crust in cast iron. Add chunky mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onion) garlic, and sage. Deglaze pan with red wine – about a half inch. Cover and throw in a 300degree oven until the beef is falling apart. Add more liquid if you need, the meat must stay moist. This will take a few hours.

Pull the meat off the bone – place on platter. Scoop out mirepoix with slotted spoon and place around meat. I also like to place the bones on a separate platter on the table, so people can eat the marrow at will. Simmer the pan liquid – adding stock if necessary – until it is tasty. Whisk in a whitewash (water and flour, 2:1) and thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and add a touch of light vinegar or lemon juice if it needs a bit of brightness.

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I also made home made peanut butter cups – my dad’s two favorite things are peanut butter and chocolate.

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the historic paramount theater.

I went downtown last week to see my cousin dance with Hubbard Street at the Paramount Theater. I have just a few things to say – where to start?

Well, I’ll start here – the Paramount is a beautiful theater, with a huge lit sign, gold gilding, and old-style architecture. We also missed Soundgarden by one night! It was a nice place to a a performance.

The show was comprised of two pieces, both choreographed by Israeli artists. So out front of the theater we had to walk through a prostest of Palestinians, carrying signs like “DON’T DANCE ON THE BODIES OF DEAD PALESTINIAN BABIES.”

I mean, come on!

The pieces were in no way politically charged – they were just some artsy dance pieces to music. No agenda, no politics. I know that I might crucified for thinking this up here in the PNW – but “get over it.” Seriously. The protestors were annoyingly aggressive and really had no place there, politicizing something that is not political in any way.

Oh my, Seattle – chill out dudes.

a seattle institution.

The mixologist told me about Beth’s. But I didn’t quite realize. After I posted a picture on some sort of social media – everyone chimed in to tell me that it is a Seattle institution. Open since 1954, I’m sure it’s one of the oldest standing businesses in this city that seems to be pretty new. This place reminds me a bit of home – and man do I love a real diner. We got the obligatory breakfast foods (eggs, sausage, hash browns, pancakes, toast).

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It was good and greasy – the pancakes were a bit too dense for me. Along with the standard diner fare – the walls were covered in drawings done by patrons. It was something to do while waiting for the food, and made the place feel very loved and homey.

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some nature for your soul.

One thing I really love about Seattle is the amazing amount of nature. Trees and parks everywhere! Lakes and grass and ocean and ducks and moss. Over the last week I went to two beautiful places: Richmond Beach and Discovery Park.

Richmond Beach

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This place was pretty desolate in February, full of dead fish and driftwood. But it was still beautiful. The train was a wonderful added bonus. It was a nice walk from the car – like 100 steps or something like that.

Discovery Park

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This place is huge and interesting and easy to get lost in. Happily lost in. We took some trails that weren’t really trails. Got covered in mud, slid down a sand dune, climbed on drift wood, and woke up the next day sore as heck. Oh, and there was tons of laughing. And, well, discovering.

I really can’t wait to see this park in the spring and summer. It is truly a gem.

ballard bbq

Went to Bitterroot in Ballard last week. It has a great name, a good menu, and a beautiful interior. We ate a lot of things off the menu.

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Cornbread, hush puppies, fries, pulled pork, nachos, ginger beer, mac n cheese.

All in all, it was good. But I would describe it as “white folks bbq.”

What does that mean, you ask. Well, it’s hard to describe – and it’s not really racially motivated – more like it’s cultural. The flavors were…subtle. Or you could call it lacking. I am used to bbq sort of hitting me over the head – or at least hitting me in the taste buds. Maybe I am biased, maybe I am a snob, but this is no Midwest BBQ.

I’m sure the lardoons (…um, it was bacon) in the mac n cheese were locally sourced and the corn chips in the nachos were organic,  but it left me super homesick.

Food Breakdown:

fries = perfect

hush puppies = overcooked and boring

pulled pork = underspiced and dry, bun was great

nachos = good

cornbread = interesting and good, honey butter was great

mac n cheese = lacking in flavor, but ingredients and texture were great

house made ginger beer = amazing, light and not sweet

sauce = good, needed a bit more umph

indian (dot not feather).

The mixologist and I shared a lovely dinner at Roti in Queen Anne a few nights ago. The food was good. Above standard Indian fare. It had a big menu and interesting choices. The naan was excellent, the green chutney was extremely enjoyable, and the service was nice. They claim to “grind fresh spices everyday” – and I would have to say that it did seem that way. All the flavors were fresh.

By far my favorite part of the place was the decor. There where a number of paintings, wood carvings, wall coverings, and chubby deities.

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a piece of cocktail history.

the mixologist and I went to Vessel on Olive and 7th, downtown last night. He was picked to be in a vermouth cocktail competition. While I was waiting for the competition to start, I asked for a menu. I was handed a thick leather bound book, which included a complete listing of their liquors, their small (but interesting) food menu, and a cocktail list that was comprised of the cocktails from the competition. Looked like this:

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Before I even got a chance to ask about their “regular” cocktail menu, the gentleman behind the bar explained that the cocktail menu changes each night – depending on who is tending bar. And for this special event (which they do once a month) they wanted to feature the drinks in the challenge so folks could get involved in a way.

A different menu every night? That was mind blowing to me! My mind was eased a bit when he explained that each bartender doesn’t change the menu every night – the bartenders may stick with their menu for a week or a month – it’s just specific to them.

Proprietary drink menus. That is a super interesting way to do it.

I got a Carne Salade, thinly shaved cured beef with cheese and sprouts and oil. It was salty and delicious. I would have killed for a squeeze of lemon.

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Then I tried a bit of the winning cocktail (no, my mixologist didn’t win) and realized they have the clearest ice I have ever seen in a cocktail in my life.

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The bartender told me that they have a giant ice machine that is made for making ice for ice sculptures – it goes through all kinds of processes to make the ice clear and free of air and minerals. I was an incredible and beautiful thing – I guess I’m about to get snobby over the cloudiness of my ice now.

accidental caribbean.

 

 

 

 

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On my way to the Book Larder – to check it out – I stopped across the street into a tiny little place with very little signage.

We had no idea what we were getting into. We stepped into Paseo. The menu was just a simple board with sandwiches, rice dishes, and entrees. All of it looked delicious. We were actually on our way to eat somewhere else, so we settled on one dish between us.

The winner was Fish in Red Sauce. Came over rice with a side of beans and a big salad of lettuce, thinly sliced cabbage, and cilantro. I thought the sauce was a bit sweet for my tastes – but everything was kind of exceptional.

My favorite part was how there were about 4 tiny tables and about 15 hungry people trying to negotiate the tiny space – I am partial to a small dining area – and I love when people like the food so much that they will crowd in the corner for a taste of it.