Thursday, November 29, 2007

one week commemorative post for TG

click to enlarge

so i never wrote about my first warm, sunny thanksgiving in california, and what better day to write about it than one week later! here's the spread: creamy potatoes with just the perfect amount of hand-mashed lumps in it, cranberry orange relish, requisite canned cranberry jelly, apple/cranberry/onion stuffing, coleslaw (a TG first for me), amazing, baked corn pudding, sweet potatoes w pecan crust, broiled brussel sprouts tossed w toasted pecans, suge-doctored gravy, homemade rolls, and lastly a little plate with black olives and sweet gherkins.

the mashed potatoes were great. i personally use a ricer because it's so simple and fast. my dad also bought me one for xmas several years ago because when he got one, we would make mashed potatoes all the time because it was so much fun to use. these potatoes, however, were hand-mashed. i loved the little, toothsome lumps, and they weren't overworked and gluey, which often happens w a masher.

the brussel sprouts were pretty good. they were a little dry from waiting in the oven after broiling, but that was easily rectified by dousing them in gravy and using them as a plow to pick up gravy and potatoes in one bite.

ah, sweet potatoes, i love you! this dish basically tasted like pie, just not as rich with cream and eggs. a little bit of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and mace...i added pepper to mine because i love that sweet/savory line sweet potatoes walk.

here's m's plate. it's basically a tower off food crested by slices of turkey. though it looked good, and the bird was the perfect shade of california tan, i resisted and stuck to the sides.

and here's my plate. notice the slice of corn pudding to the right. that was the BOMB; sweet corn kernels suspended in corn meal custard, omg. it was so good. a little cracked pepper on that baby, and wowsers. i still need to ask suge's mom for that recipe.

also, a visit from suge and me brought out the fine china! note the noritake landon 4111 pattern. holllllllller.

aaaaaaaaand the end.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

An evening with CarboOverload

So we scheduled to meet up some where chill on the hill and came up with the Capitol Club. I have not been to Capitol Club in a long time. My memories of this place include several nights where the bar has been too packed, the service sucked and the food was not good. I have also celebrated several events here including a bachelorette party and some good times during the summer on the patio. We were both hungry so we glanced at the menu. I realized they added some new items so I jumped in.

I went for the veggie blt. This was a damn good sandwich. The bread was nice and soft and the provolone cheese was very tasty. The toppings were plentiful and the tapenade was really spicy. I topped my meal off with the soup of the day which was yellow split pea bisque. The soup was great, it came out very hot my only complaint was that it was overly salted. Carbo reminded me that you really cannot go wrong with bisque is in the title. Word.

Carbo went for the burger and some fries. Her fries were so bomb...she ordered them spicy and they were fabulous.

The drink menu is strange and totally overpriced but you still feel obligated to try some of the concoctions. I had one drink called the zen martini that vodka and green tea liquer. It was boring. Carbo started with the carronade which was ruby red vodka muddled with lemon and topped with champagne. After all that we moved on to margaritas. The services started out great...then it turned bad when the bar got busy and was filling up for their Lovetap weekly house music party. The bar filled up with lots of people and the music took a fast change from old soul cuts to all house. They also started clearing out the dining area in what appeared to be making room for dancing. We would have stayed but our server never returned so we had to pay at the bar.

So we left and on the walk back decided to step into Kurrent for a cocktail. On our walk we enjoyed a public display of drunkenness and a fight where this women proceeded to yell at this guy calling him an asswipe from the top of her lungs. She got so made she then called him a wipeass. Classic.

The drink menu at Kurrent was insane. I saw like 3-4 drinks I would not mind tasting but its pointless to list them because the bartender who apparently invented them no longer works there. So we made our way down the menu and ended up trying the Dirty Motherfucker which was basically a white russian but with tequila. This drink was spiced up with the use of mole kahlua as well. I thought it was quite good. We did not eat at Kurrent but I did notice they had some intriguing happy hour prices and items including tofu fries and fried triple cream. Happy Hour is 3-6pm and 9pm-close. This place is strange and feels way out of place. The combination of regulars playing Wii in the back and the random passerby make you wonder if this place can stay open. One thing that was pretty cool was the long strip of solid ice on the bar to keep your drink cold...

Oh yeah, remember wipeass? Well he posted up outside the bar and puked all over the street. So awesome. The bar back went out and washed it down but it was too late, we saw the whole thing. Wipeass also came into the bar to apologize. So hilarious.

I proceeded to tell Carbo that we really needed to bring a camera crew with us when we go out. We needed the camera when Capitol Club turned into a house party and they dj turned on the disco ball and we certainly needed the camera to capture all that is wipeass.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

welcome to no-vato(s locos)

it's the night before thanksgiving, and momma suge refuses to make an easy meal before the big day. in addition to the pictures below, we also ate buttery scallops, assorted cheeses, and three different types of bread. unfortunately, i'm so new to the K&S game that i forgot to take pictures.

mmm, meatballs. i don't partake in meat, so i'll leave it to m to let you know how they were. they looked absolutely delicious.

ah, spanIkopita, how delicious your crispy phyllo dough is! what's better than crispy pastry brushed with butter?? i was so inspired by this dish that i decided to pick up some phyllo dough this past weekend. it's in the fridge, and i'm making it tonight!!

we also had some sort of crusty, cheesy bread from safeway that i've never seen before at local stores. i kept going back for more to soak up the salty butter from the scallops plate and to dip in this sweet.tart herbed oil/vinegar combo suge's family always gets.

thanks momma suge!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

in-n-out of the groovement

(click to enlarge)

of course, if you leave the great state of washington, you must make the requisite trip to in-n-out for some cheap and tasty noshes. we ordered two 3x3's, a double-double, a hamburger, a cheeseburger, three orders of fries, two animal fries, and a strawberry milkshake for about $27.00. now if that's not ridiculously inexpensive, i don't know what is.

unfortunately we made the mistake of ordering via the drive-thru since we had eager beavers awaiting beef and cheese at the homestead. since everywhere in california takes at least 25 minutes to get to, the trip left our food room temperature and a bit underwhelming.

don't be fooled by the above wrapper....that is no double-double! it's a 3x3, aka 3 beef patties sandwiched between three slices of melted cheese. below are patties and cheese in all their glory.

in my state of sheer excitement, i almost forgot to take a picture of my animal fries. so all you have is a pic of the ravaged remnants of half-eaten french fries smothered in grilled onions, cheese, and special sauce (which i believe is some mixture of mayo, mustard, and ketchup).

overall the trip was pretty successful, though underwhelming. one take-out companion noted that it is most likely due to the 25 minute ride home. agreed, young compatriot. in-n-out, until we meet again!

In-n-Out Burger in San Francisco

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Love for Cafe Flora

I remember the first time my mom took me to Cafe Flora this was on or about my 10th year of being a vegetarian. Well so much for that... at the age of 30 I welcomed chicken back into my life. Anyways, I loved their menu at first glance because of the savory selections and the way they pair all of the tastes. They also have a specialty drink menu which features some unique drinks including my favorite, Cringer, which is cranberry ginger cider. I even took my father to Cafe Flora once and he about lost his mind when he tried the portabella wellington. This dish is a great place to start for those who crave that hearty meat and potatoes meal. My dad always embraced my vegetarianism even though his concept of meat free was basically picking out the polish sausage and just eating the sauce.

I work fairly close to Cafe Flora so I went to lunch with RiRi last week. She was craving their Yam Fries, which she ordered a bucket for her lunch.

I was really interested in trying the coconut tofu but it was gone by the time I ordered. boo. So I went with the Quesadilla Verde which had yams, pepper jack cheese, pumpkin seed cilantro spread which was topped with green salsa and cream. The tortillas were corn , making this dish gluten free for those who get down like that, aekae.

I also enjoyed a bowl of the soup of the day which was lentil. It had big pieces of garlic which was quite tasty. The soup came out so hot, I was unable to eat it right away...which is a plus because I cannot stand room temperature food.

Address: 2901 East Madison Street, Seattle WA, 98112

Phone: 206.325.9100

Dinner Sun-Thurs 5:00-9:00
Fri & Sat 5:00-10:00
Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; afternoon menu 2:30-5:00

Brunch Sat & Sun 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Cafe Flora in Seattle

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving in Renton

Well I didn't have to cook a damn thing but some chex mix for my thanksgiving meal, my brother held down the rest. We rolled out to Renton to enjoy some family and some great food. My brother knows how to cook, that is truth.

Check out the plate:

To dissect the plate here are some photos.
Cranberry Sauce:

The cranberry sauce, homemade, was amazing. I could eat that sauce straight up on some crackers or something. It had the perfect tartness and savory spice. As a matter of fact, I shoulda got that recipe.

Brussel Sprouts:
I like brussel sprouts but these were on a whole new level. The way they were prepared was new to me. They were cooked down and seperated which made them a lot easier to eat that is for sure. He also mixed them up with some spice and some diced apples. Great dish.

Mashed Potatoes and Dressing:

Classic taste on two classic dishes. The potatoes were so fluffy and perfect and the dressing had that kick ass combo of soft bread and crispy outside. I think I had more potatoes on my plate than anything else.

My mom makes the best squash but this was a close second. The way the squash was cut and layered like au gratin potatoes was unique. This preparation cooked the vegetable evenly and allowed the flavors to really get into the squash. Good taste.

THE TURKEY WAS AMAZING. The way he cooked it in a bath of broth in a really deep pan made the meat so soft and tender. We also got down on an organic turkey which you can honestly tell the difference. The meat had a consistency that you are not going to find in a regular bird. I kept eating more turkey even though I felt like my stomach was going to explode. Damn, I might go buy a turkey tomorrow just to cook another one this way.

I did leave with a nice tray of leftovers, which I plan to make some sweet sandwiches. He also sent me home with the turkey carcass and I am going to make some soup...can't wait.

Oh dessert you ask? Well I didnt have any but a cheesecake and that good ol' dahlia lounge coconut cream pie were served. Right now I think I could go for some but that is almost 7 hours after dinner.

Good times, thanks fam.

baguette boxers or briefs

baguette box has a "new" menu! i say "new" because i havent been there in a very long time...mostly since their hurs dont mesh well with my life and food cravings. they used to be open really late (many a crispy drunken chicken has been devoured by my cohorts at 215 am)...but now i hear they're open until 7/8. boo. anyhow, new-to-me on the menu are salads (yay!) and more sides. there were some new sandwiches, as well, but i didnt get a shot of it. the ones that i could remember were a bershire pork belly and hoisin, meatball, and plain zucchini sandwich. im sure im forgetting something, but youll just have to go there and find out for yourself.

the new selections on the menu threw off my dining companion, and though i tried to buy him lunch, he was too stressed out to order with me. he chose the meatball sangwich, which looked absolutely delicious.

the baguette box twist on the regular meatball standard was some roasted red and yellow peppers, carmelized onions, and strips of roasted eggplant. he said it was "bomb" and the "best sandwich he's had" there.

i went for my standard....the braised tofu, however there were some new accoutrements alongside my favorite. instead of just "braised tofu," it was "coconut braised tofu with avocado." avocado?? i like avocado, but after eating the sandwich, it was completel forgettable. as always, the pickled carrots and daikon were tasty, the red onion was on point, but the cilantro was lacking. i got one sparse twig of the aromatic green, and it was simply not enough.

overall, it was a successful trip to the 'box. i also got the truffle fries (oops, no pic, my bad) which were good. they always look overdone to me, but when you bit into them, theyre damn good. mine were a little over-salted, but hey, you can knock that off. my dining companion also ordered the truffle fries, but they *gasp* forgot, so he had to ask for them. they were aptly apologetic and speedy to fill the void of fries.

im going to have to find a way to return during operating hours to try out the new salads and soup options. i love the sandwiches, but hell, maybe one time im in an arugula and tofu mood...something light and breadless is a nice option to offer. thanks for the updates, baguette boxxx.

Capitol Hill: 206.332.0220
1203 Pine Street Seattle, Wa 98101
hours: 11-8

Fremont: 206.632.1511
626 N 34th Seattle, Wa 98101
(In between Peet's Coffee & Stone Cold Creamery)
hours: 11-8

they also offer delivery, but theres a 4 boxed lunch minimum

Baguette Box in Seattle

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monsoon on 19th

Upon several recommendations, I decided to battle the walk uphill to 19th to try Monsoon.

Monsoon is hidden on 19h and is embedded in a bunch of houses and apartments, it is a true neighborhood restaurant. The menu is full of "Vietnamese cuisine with Pacific Northwest Innovation"...amazing sounding dishes, I didn't even know where to start.

We were greeted by Brian our server who was one of the nicest servers I have ever come across. He took the time to tell us about what we were eating and was all around a very chill guy. He saw me taking pics of the food so I had to drop it on him that I had a food blog. It also tipped him off to letting us know about their monthly family style seated dinners which come with paired wines and food creations off the regular menu. I gotta check that out for sure.

We started with pork ribs:
The ribs were tasty and were sticky with a really tangy 5 spice sauce. The first taste was a bit sweet but after a few more bites the ribs were solid and had some heat. I also enjoyed the pickled veggies on the side.

Then we shared the imperial rolls:
By far one of the best appetizers I have had in a while. I love vietnamese lettuce wraps and this was a great take on that dish. The rolls were filled with this sausage like meat, made up of shrimp and pork, then fried crispy. The combination of all of these flavors was so right on. I was even thinking about them this morning. word.

Then we shared the amazing catfish clay pot:

Anyone who has ever been to Monsoon tells me to try the catfish in a clay pot. Because I know the menu changes this variation was seasoned with thai peppers and a sweet glaze. I loved the fish it was so meaty, I was surprised it was fish. I tried that damn thai pepper to see if it was as hot as Brian claimed it was...and it had some serious heat. This is a great dish and it came piping hot, always a plus.

We also shared some mustard greens:
The greens we crispy and the natural taste of the mustard green really came through. I enjoyed the mushrooms which were also cooked to perfection as an addition to the dish. choice.

Remember when I said Brian our server was amazing? Well to top if off he showed up at the end with some complimentary banana cake.
Yeah, I am not a dessert person but I ate this up. The sauce which was like cream cheese infused with a bit of coconut was creamy and rich. The cake was still warm and was so soft and moist. I could eat this for breakfast every day. This may have changed my mind about dessert.

Hours of Operation
Dinner Every Night 5:00PM - 10:00PM
Dim Sum Brunch Saturday & Sunday 10:00AM - 2:30PM
615 19th Avenue E - Seattle, Washington 98112
Directions Here
Yes, please inquire.
Monsoon in Seattle

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What time is it...?

(click any picture to enlarge for texture)

I usually find the mall food court a desolate place, especially for pescatarian options, except for the top floor at Westlake (they have so many tasty cuisines!). However, I wasn't at Westlake, White Pepper and I were trolling for sweet jewels at Northgate. I was at a loss, until I realized they have my beloved Taco Time, which offers a fish taco meal (full int'l menu here).

For $5.69 my self-busing tray included a medium lemonade, hearty fish taco, condiments on request, and a box of mexi-fries/tots/(racist term for mexicans which rhymes with "wiener") bites.

Condiments are key here. They ask if you want "hot sauce" at the register, but you must request the jalapenos, which are bomb, btw, because they are lightly pickled yet crisp. Delicious when combined one-for-one with tots. The hot sauce is pretty wack. White Pep best described it as "tomato water mixed with some sort of cornstarch or other thickening agent." Basically it tastes like nothing, but I'm compelled to ask for doubles and basically eat it dripping off of every tot.

Damn the tots were really good this time around: hot, crisp, salty. I couldn't ask for more.

Lastly, the taco itself. The "white fish" was piping hot, and the light breading was crispy. Taco innards consist of fish fillet, an assortment of chopped vegetables, cabbage, and some unidentifiable creamy, ranchy dressing. Nearly everything was on point. My only hang up is the salad that's stuffed inside. Chopped tomatoes, red and green (hollagang!) bell peppers, red onion...I'm down with all of these, but celery?? No thanks! Luckily there wasn't much in this taco, but I've had others that had big chunks of celery in them. Wtf, am I taking crazy pills? I don't want the distinct flavor of celery overtaking my otherwise pleasant fish taco.

Thanks for lunch, Taco Time! I enjoy your consistent turnout of cheap eats.

Taco Time in Seattle

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Piecoras....Eggplant Parmesan

have written about Piecora's great pizza but haven't yet commented on their sandwiches. I can only speak to the Eggplant Parmesan Hero but Piecora's also serves up an Italian Hero and a Meatball Hero.
The eggplant hero came out hot with mounds of breaded slices of eggplant baked with red sauce & mozzarella in a long piece of Italian Bread. This sandwich is enough for two people or maybe you could it kill if you are really hungry. Let's just say, I have had a better sandwich on previous visits. Tonight, the eggplant was really mushy. I even wondered why it was breaded since the breading ended up just melding into the roll. The sauce was quite nice but the cheese was totally lacking....if it would have had more cheese it would have made up for the wack breading. The last time I had this sandwich it was perfect...the eggplant was crispy and the cheese was insane. I am a huge fan of consistency, so BOO to you Piecora's.

I also started with a nice caesar salad, which I might add is pretty damn good. I like my caesar salads more on the lighter side without a grip of dripping cream dressing. This salad dressing was light but with a lot of garlic. The service was b.s. it seemed like everyone was over their shift even though they still had 3 hours til closing. I really like Piecora's, so I will go back....I just know what I am getting into when I go there.

1401 East Madison Street
Monday-Thursday, 11:30AM-11:00PM
Friday 11:30AM-Midnight
Saturday 12:00PM-Midnight
Sunday NFL Ticket 10:00AM-10:00PM

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Assaggio Ristorante

So its funny how many times I have walked by this place but never dined there. Supposedly this place is on the top 10 list of Italian restaurants in the city, Assaggio Ristorante.

I was downtown for a late meeting on Monday and met L. after it ended. I really wanted to try a place I have never been and felt like getting down on some pasta. We walked in about 7:15pm and it was packed! We were quickly greeted with "do you have a reservation"...fortunately for us we were able to make an impromptu reservation for 7:45 so we skipped next store for a quick drink at Lola. The woman running the front of the house was cool, she was very friendly and gave me a call on my cell phone when the table was ready.

When you walk into this place it feels small but the huge Michaelangelo replica murals covering walls really open it up. We were seated at a corner table and greeted by a very serious waiter who spouted off specials. The service started slow, but my guess is the delay was because of how busy it was, so they get a pass. The food was very good, BOMB if you will.

We started with Eggplant Parmigiana which even in its very classical form was very tasty. The tomato sauce was perfectly seasoned and the eggplant was sliced very thin and covered with several layers of melted cheese. I could eat eggplant parmigiana everyday of my life, and this was so on point I was excited to eat the rest of my meal.

Next, I had the Caprese salad which was a very large portion even though my sweet pics below don't show that very well. The salad had 6 big pieces of fresh mozzarella layered with tasty tomatoes, basil and olive oil. The salad came seasoned with salt and pepper and a small amount of balsamic vinegar dotted the sides of the plate. Great, fresh and classic salad.

L. had the Insalata di Francesca. Which was a mix of field greens, apples, pears, pistachios and gorgonzola with a light vinaigrette. I tasted this salad and it was beautiful. The cheese was amazing, I could have eaten a bowl of that cheese on its own. The salad was also big enough for two people to share if you want to save more room for dinner.

For dinner I had the Fusilli Zafferano which was exactly what I was craving. This pasta was not as rich as it might seem being that it was mixed with sausage, pine nuts, arugula, currants and a saffron cream. The sauce was not thick but lightly covering the pasta. I loved the combination of the toasted pine nuts and the arugula. The sausage could have been omitted because it lacked definitive flavor, but I am no chef so maybe it was there for a reason. I am a huge fan of spiral pasta and this fusilli had the perfect consistency. What a great flavor with the saffron and all of the other ingredients. Amazing. The serving was also enough to share, so I took it home and got down on it for lunch today.

L. went for one of the specials... from what I can remember it seemed like linguine, tomato sauce and fresh seafood including, crab, shrimp and octopus. I tasted his pasta and it was hearty and thick. The fish was not too overpowering and simple red sauce was filled with a nice amount of garlic.

By the time the dessert menu showed up, we had to pass. I would love to go back and try some of the other items that caught my eye including the Penne Vodka and the Gnocchi Gorgonzola. Lot of other entree options included chicken, veal, lamb and pork chops also grace the menu. We made it out of there for about $100, but I think you could cut that down if you wanted to share plates.

Without a doubt I am going back. This place rocks some serious authentic Italian dishes.

Assaggio Ristorante
2010 4th Avenue
Seattle Washington 98121
206 441-1399

Lunch: Monday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Dinner: Monday – Saturday from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays. Reservations recommended.

Assaggio Ristorante in Seattle