things about town.

Some things I did in Seattle over the past month or so:

 

dumplins

made some lovely pork dumplings as a practice for this spot on STL Channel 2’s morning show.

tacoma

did a demo at this amazing store in Tacoma – called Tacoma Boys. so much produce!

turmeric

where I got this weird drink that actually turned out to be so good that I find myself searching for it at stores.

bastille happy

and I went to Bastille for some delicious food.

the end.

 

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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.

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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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.

a little queen anne. a little vinyl.

had lunch today in Queen Anne at Toulouse Petite. it was phenomenal – i had the best gnocchi i think i have ever put in my mouth. with chanterelles and cippolini. the place is beautiful during the day, i can imagine it is super dramatic at night as well.

then we walked down the street to “some random record store” – which turned out to be one the most famous record stores in Seattle (Easy Street Records), having an amazing sale because they are moving in two days. Yes. and yes.

for $20 i got a giant stack of used vinyl. four of the best being these:

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progressive dinner. south city style.

i’ve been living in South City St. Louis for the past 6 years – it’s an international and diverse place to be. i will surely miss it.

but last night, the Mayor of Food Town took me and the Mixologist on a tour of South Seattle. it is also diverse and wonderfully full of tiny hole-in-the-wall gems.

we started at Catfish Corner – it’s exactly what it sounds like – on the corner, small, friendly, and bursting at the seams with golden fried goodness. some of the best catfish and hushpuppies i have ever had. who knew Seattle had soul?

then we went next door for the proclaimed “Best Ethiopian in Seattle” – Assimba.

 

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the injera was wonderful, the honey wine was weird and interesting, and the vegetarian lentils and greens were missing something (a bit of flavor, i would say).

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then we drove across town and stopped into a little bar and grill called, Rose Petals.

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first day on the job. with no job.

dropped into Seattle last night after a long plane ride of puking children and bad movies, only to enjoy one champagne cocktail before retiring to a dead sleep.

but, alas, my first day in jet city proved out some of the best food i’ve had in a while:

taco bus

 

the taco bus (Taqueria El Carreta) at 150th and Aurora. this little piece of heaven is a mostly hollowed out school bus (the drivers seat and controls remain), outfitted with a little kitchen and counter in the back half and basic wooden  bar stools and a metal eat tops in the front. the distractingly hilarious and loud TV keeps you from having to make too much lunch time chat with your date.

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minutes after arriving for my “ride” on the bus, our food came out and i dove into my sopita and mulita – both with the most savory and salty carnitas i have ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth. i also enjoyed salsa roja, pickled jalapenos, and sliced radishes – all while staring out the same old metal windows i dramatically stared out of during my middle school years.

i think this might be starting out on just the right foot.