Sunday, April 27, 2008

Smarty Pants, "Oh Yeah"

A few weeks ago I had brunch with my brother, B. and L. in Georgetown. My brother raved about the weekend brunch at this spot called Smarty Pants so we headed south. This neighborhood restaurant was very welcoming and the staff were really chill. It was just after 11am so the place was just beginning to fill up. You could tell that within an hour the restaurant would be packed. This restaurant which shares the block with a few other spots is just right off Airport Way in what feels like an empty ghost town.

Since it was brunch time the first thing that came to the table were my drinks. The bloody mary was perfect. The drink had just the right amount of spice and vodka. I would certainly recommend this.

B. and B. both claimed that the Troublemaker Pile-Up was the best thing to eat so all three of us ordered it! This meal consisted of Grilled Chicken, Onions, lots of Monterey Jack Cheese and Bacon served over eggs and hash browns. The best part of the dish was the side of "trouble sauce" that came on the side. Trouble sauce is like spicy mayo...but better. I claimed I was going to eat every bite but left like 3 on the plate. Damn this was good.

My brother explained that they also have this troublemaker on a sandwich without eggs and browns for lunch. That also sounds amazing. Other brunch items include standards like bisicuts and gravy and the monte cristo. You can also explore the huevos panteros or their version of egg in a basket.

L. went with the Corned Beef Hash...he really enjoyed it.

Brunch Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm
6017 Airport Way S.

I'm hungry....

Friday, April 25, 2008

Los Angeles: Sun, Food and Tres

I haven't been to LA in years...until last week. For my birthday I decided to purchase myself a gift and that was buying tickets to see Mary J. Blige and Jay Z at the Hollywood Bowl. After a few cocktails one night I mentioned I was going to a friend, who in turn told another friend and next thing you know we all ended up in LA and booked rooms at The Standard.

Well, this is a food blog so lets get started.

Day 1.
After getting off the plane and heading to our hotel we stopped at Los Burritos on Sunset (4929 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles) The "natural juices" sign caught our attention as well as the big outdoor patio. I guess this is a chain spot with close to 10 locations around the city.

I went with a chicken taco and a fish taco. The chicken taco was tasty and fresh and the salsa came right on with just the right amount of heat. The chicken was nicely cooked but it needed a bit more seasoning. I also enjoyed the fish taco which was extremely deep fried making the sour cream so-so necessary to kill the dryness. The fish was coated in what tasted almost like a curry seasoning. We also got some chips, cuz i LOVE chips. This was a nice quick meal before we hit our hotel for some draaaanks.

So we hit the liquor store and grabbed some drinks and then we did this...

After the show we did a mini pub crawl back to the hotel where we ended up eating in The Standard's 24/7 Restaurant. Several of us at the table ordered the chicken sandwich which was pretty damn good, it came on a big spicy jalapeño biscuit. The chicken was fried and the soft biscuit was a great touch. I ended up eating half at the spot and the other half the night before we left straight out the mini fridge in my room. Both times the sandwich was great, if anything it just needed more mayo. Oh yeah, and it also needed to not be like 12 bucks without a side. Welcome to Hollywood.

Day 2.
One thing pretty awesome about The Standard is their pool and with the sun blazing at 930am two of us took advantage of the opportunity. We ordered two cups of coffee and then TWO carafes. Our first carafe was some sort of coconut margarita. This was the truth. It wasnt an overpriced weak ass cocktail it came correct with the alcohol and the coconut flavor was amazing.

By the time we ordered our second carafe we had made a new friend, Bruno, our poolside server. Bruno was amazed at the fact that the two of us were that ready to party on a Thursday morning. He was a good dude and on our last day at the hotel he gave us a hug goodbye. Don't worry Bruno, we will be back.

The second carafe was a watermelon mojito. Again, the drink was nice and the flavor was so natural it did not taste all gross and sugary. I cannot figure out how they got these strong fruit flavors without syrup. I am a fan of the carafe even though they set you back at 40 dollars a piece! The thing is, one drink is $12 so why not make a budget decision and go for the goods.

We waited for everyone to get up and then we all needed to eat. One place on everyones list was Roscoe's. It was a meal we all shared together and it was really chill. All of us were feeling the effects of partying and traveling so a nice meal of grease and carbs was totally appropriate. With 5 locations in the LA area we ended up at the one closest to our hotel in Hollywood.

I went with the SCOES which is basically 1/4 Chicken cooked southern style and 2 waffles. A few others ordered this as well. Someone also ordered an omelet and RB went with some smothered chicken, grits and greens. I tasted all of it except the omelet. This place rules. I loved the chicken and thought it was exactly as I expected = BOMB, and the waffles were perfectly cooked. The tastes really do come together and you need to eat a piece of chicken with a bite of waffle dipped in some syrup. It is the truth, ain't just a gimmick.

We did some shopping then took a nap. Later that night we ended up across the street from our hotel at this strange little place called Cabo Cantina (8301 W Sunset Blvd). This place was everything I imagine Spring Break would be. Girls with half shirts, guys with backwards visors and loud obnoxious music. Earlier in the day we were intrigued by the signs of good cheap tacos and drinks. Apparently we missed happy hour because our tab ended up being ridiculous. Again, welcome to Hollywood. The margaritas we pretty good, a little sweet for me.

I got down on fish tacos. The spicy mayo like salsa sauce was a nice touch. The fish was a bit fishy but the overall dish was pretty good, but the portion was way too much for me considering I ate a basket of chips and downed two drinks.

More drinking ensued and then we hit a club. After the club we hit another mexican spot by our hotel called Pinches Tacos. The outdoor deck was nice because the LA evening weather was super comfortable.

I ate two chicken taquitos which were great and they were on some real budget food because they only set me back $4.50. The guacamole was tasty and fresh, I also liked the flavor of the chicken mixed with the cheese. Damn, I love taquitos...keep reading.

Day 3.
Day 3 included a quick morning stint at the pool with a fruit plate and one drink. Then next thing you know we headed out for some shopping over on Fairfax. After shopping L. and I got scooped by his Dad and we headed over to Pasadena and had a really nice meal at Cafe Santorini. I had a big seared ahi tuna salad which was dusted with a light lime ginger dressing. The salad was really what I needed after all fried food. Then again, the friend wonton chips on top of the greens were quite tasty. While we were eating we got down on a couple bottles of champagne which made the whole meal even more enjoyable.

Once again I will make the announcement about me and dessert and how they just don't mix. HOWEVER, this was no joke prolly the best Tiramisu I have tasted in a long long time. I am not sure if it was the tasty cocoa powder or the fine custard coating on the rum soaked lady fingers. The raspberry sauce that the dessert was sitting on was also amazing, it was fresh and made with real raspberries.

So after dinner we went back to the hotel, drank a lot, celebrated J.'s bday and stayed up til like 430am. This was the night I went back to my room and pounded water and ate the other half of that chicken sandwich.

Day 4.
I rallied the troops so we could get up early because we were hours from having to get on the plane to come home. Before we left we had two things to do. The first was to hit Santee Alley for some shopping. We really wanted to get breakfast first but it didn't seem to work out. (Thanks for nothing A.)

So we ended up in the Alley, had to pay 50 cents to go to the restroom and then stumbled upon some street side mexican food. Once again I went for the taquitos. What made these different from the Pinches taquitos was the dripping cream and the nice hot sauce. The chicken wasn't as good but the sauces more than made up for that.

Because it was our last day we were on a mission to eat and eat and keep eating. I think I was trying to eat off three days of partying. While we were waiting for RB to hustle some jeans and some shirts we ended up getting down on some sidewalk grub. This $2 treat was one of the best things I ate in LA. Corn coated with butter, hot sauce and cheese. Damn.....


So the very last thing we had to do was hit Venice Beach. This was the perfect end to our trip because we got to walk around and enjoy the last bit of sun. After 2 hours of walking around we got hungry again. We really set out to just get a snack but ended up with more food than a small army would need. You would think that at a place called Big Daddy Pizza we woulda just grabbed a slice....but we didnt.

I went for the chicken chunks and fries. Uh...this was a whole chicken that they blew up and then fried the busted pieces. The chicken was sitting on top of sliced potatoes "fries" which were undercooked and nasty. I am still also not sure why they need to serve this to you in a damn tortilla bowl? Whatever, I ate a few chicken bites covered in the best thing on the dish (RANCH) and then it hit the trash. I do not even know what the hell that chicken was seasoned with.

L. got some fish and fries and also went for the churro. Nothing like some fried fish and some fried dough. He claims it was all good, but damn he got those fries too and they were not whats up. (Wait...hold up, is that t-shirt a picture of MJB and J Dilla!?!??!)

Before I say farewell, I need to leave you with one more picture from our Venice Beach snack time. A. ordered a turkey leg....and boy was it disgusting. What the hell. No comment. Don't worry, she didnt eat it.

Goodbye LA! I didnt eat that many meals but I know I gained 2 pounds! I am gonna bet most of that came from the drannnnnnks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Hey remeber me..... CrumbYum!!

I don't know what happened I got hit in the head and forgot how to use the internet. What's blogging?! Moving along.... most of you can guess I started out my Sunday morning relaxing, enjoying a tasty cake (with weeeeeeed), but that was homemade so it doesn't apply to this situation. What does however was my serious hankerin for snacks! I'm gonna skip the grossness I experienced when I "winged it" on mystery asian food at Tony's Bakery next to Viet Wah off of MLK. Stick with the sandwiches there that's my advice. From that experience I knew I needed an epic snack to tie me through that awesome Sunday comedy lineup on Fox. For my condition it needed to be in walking distance. I called Lottie's to confirm they were serving and off I was.

Lotties has been reviewed before on the wonderful world of Ketchup and Soup, however, they are adding and altering their menu regularly. Plus, their happy hour is daily from 4 - 7 and that works for me. $2 domestics; $3 wells and something else was mentioned but I was dddddrinking!

I examined the menu carefully. They have some vegetarian stuff as the owner is a veg head. Salads, soups and sandwiches are their specialties. A pleasant variety of all 3 are offered. I went with a salad with pecans, dried cranberries that were more sweet than tart, gorganzola and 3 choices of dressing. I went with dijon vinigrette! I then added onto the order a smoked turkey sandwich on a tasty baguette bread, but not too hard, with bacon and chive chevre creamy cheese that came with a salad or soup. I went with the soup cause it was a clam chowder!

I think the salad was $6.50 and my soup & sando combo was $8. I also added on 3 whiskey's on the rocks and a steam anchor. Very nice. I told the waitress that they may want to make my order a special package cause it was a perfect complimentary treat. Nice thick layers of smoked turkey with a layer of good bacon on top. The cheese got a little messy squishing out the sides, but I suffered through it. The clam chowder was right on too cause it was FULL of clam chunks and was saturated with butter or cream so it was on the lighter side and I got to really taste it. Me likey. The salad was a great treat as well. Allowed them to get a little creative and play with different ingredients that don't normally go together and the vinigrette was spot on.

That's my review. Enjoy all!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Honey Court Seafood Restaurant

I don't even remember the first time I went to Honey Court, but I know it was after a late night of drinking and partying. Honey Court is a comfortable, family style Chinese restaurant open until like 330am (Fri-Sat) in the International District. The place is extremely bright, worn down, full of random decor and always fast paced. The restaurant is typically packed with the younger club crowd and local regulars.

After too many happy hour cocktails after work and a run up to a beacon bar we ended up needing to soak up some liquor around 11pm. We stumbled into Honey Court and were greeted by the woman who always seems to be serving whenever you go. She took our order of Hot and Sour soup ($6.95), Barbecue Pork Fried Rice ($6.50), Chicken Chow Mein ($6.95), Honey Court Walnut Prawns ($10.95) and the Crispy Chicken w/Prawn Chips ($7.95). The Crispy Chicken is not pictured...think I was too busy shoving food in my face when it showed up to the table.

The first time I had the Honey Court Walnut Prawns, I did not like them. I am now convinced they are one of my favorite dishes. L. and I even made them for our valentines dinner this year. The cooking process for these is intense, multiple steps and ingredients...which includes mayo. They are so damn good. I am also a huge fan of the crispy noodle chow mein....the noodles are perfect and the sauce is so savory. This is the perfect food to eat when you are hungover or drunk. I will however point out, that it is just as good sober. I liked the rice but it was hard to eat, but it did have a nice flavor. I also enjoyed the crispy chicken, which is just your basic lightly seasoned fried chicken. The soup is also exactly what you would expect, yet it comes out in a huge bowl with enough soup for like 6 people.

Honey Court has over 200 dishes, you will certainly find something you like. I also heard they have a great Dim Sum but I have yet to check that out.

516 Maynard Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

Mon-Tue 10am-2:30am
Wed-Thur 10am-3am
Fri 10am-3:30am
Sat 9am-3:30am
Sun 9am-1:30am

Honey Court on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Crepe de France

I got a text from some friends Sunday a.m. with a craving for crepes. Specifically crepes at Crepe de France in the Pike Place Market. So 5 of us piled into the Frito Lay Malibu and headed to the Market. Now the crepe gods must have been shining on us as we found a parking place right in front of the ticket booth. We marched into Crepe de France and again the gods were looking out for us because in this tiny corner of the Market, space is limited. We were fortunate enough to be the only people in line to order and we procured a table that had seating for the 5 of us. Right on our heels were a dozen more hungry crepe fiends. I could feel their envy as we settled down with our coffee ($1.95..refills $.75) to wait for our crepes.

Four of us ordered the No. 7 Crepe Dujour ($9.95) with ham, mozzarella cheese, spinach, and mushrooms all wrapped up in a perfect crepe. I am a pretty big breakfast eater and this was plenty filling for me. It is served as soon as it is done so you get it hot and fresh. The saltiness of the ham and the flavor of the fresh spinach really complimented the sweetness of the thin crepe it was wrapped in. It was a hit with all of us who ordered it.

Bnopen ordered the Vegetarien Crepe ($9.95). I know "vegetarian" is spelled wrong, but that is their spelling. Inside this little bundle of goodness was cucumber, peppers, onion, mozzarella cheese, and tomatoes. She left nothing but the memory of this on her plate!

A visit here is not complete without one of their desert crepes ($8.45). They are plenty big enough to share between a couple of people.
This is strawberry with creme freche and loads of whip cream.

This is the chocolate and banana crepe. Again creme freche and lots of whip cream.

All in all this was a great start to a cool and cloudy Sunday morning.

93 Pike St., No. 4
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday- Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday- Sunday

Crepe de France on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 8, 2008



This "rustic neighborhood" restaurant was on my list of places to visit since it opened. With mixed reviews under its belt, it was time for me to make my visit for dinner. I had a short visit a few months ago for a nice glass of wine and some cheese but it was impromptu and more on a business tip. Upon the invitation from my mom and step dad we made the trip along with L. for a Sunday night dinner. We went early around 630 and were welcomed by the sunshine and rain into this small space with silk curtains and exposed rustic ceiling beams.

We admitted that we had never visited the place for dinner so our server explained to us that in order to enjoy the "range of small plates, allowing you to savor courses of cheese, charcuterie, vegetables, grains, fish, and meats" we needed to order between 2-3 plates per person. Let me acknowledge now that Lark does focus on using products from local farms and artisans. I will however point out that one of the cheeses was from Wisconsin....which is all good in my book.

Speaking of cheese we started with a sample of three cheeses ($12) which consisted of a blue cheese (Blue d'Auvergne) the Piave Vecchio which was a hard cheese and one more ....damn I forgot the name! They were all great, my mom was truly impressed with the blue. I happen to have loved all of them which made the first course great. If you are wondering what the small bowl was was honey...which apparently is a palette cleanser...who knew?

The second item to arrive at our table was the Carpaccio of Yellowtail ($15). This dish was great and everyone loved the yellowtail. I would have been happy to leave after eating the yellowtail and the cheese. Also surrounding the yellowtail were green olives, a hint of lemon and some onions.

Also arriving within the second course was the Ricotta Gnudi. My step dad explained what gnudi was and it was great. Basically it is like gnocci without the pasta. Again, cheese in its pure aged form was perfect. I also loved the peas and pea vines that accompanied the dish and the hint of parmesan cheese.

The meal now began to pick up speed. We began receiving the "main" courses we all selected to sample as well as share with others. As it turns out, all of us ordered things that were particular to the individual, we did not share much of these items....and it wasn't out of greed it was based on interest in the dish.

My step dad went with the Veal Sweetbreads with favas, bacon and fingerling potatoes ($17) I did not taste it...but he enjoyed it!! Also in this picture in the large black bowl were the Mussels with pancetta, calabrian red chile and garlic. I ordered these and they were pretty good. I am now just making my way into the realm of shellfish and have been trying different things....let me just say the last time I had mussels my brother made them and they had red sauce and cheese ie: they were perfect. The broth that came with the mussels was too thin for me. It was clean and simple, the red chiles provided a nice spice but they just didn't carry the heartiness I needed at that moment.

L. had the Pork belly with carrots, pea puree and grain mustard sauce ($16) I tasted this dish and was at first very into the seared part of the pork....after my second bite, I closed up shop and decided that was enough. I think that was the general consensus on this dish. The carrots were yummy though.

Backtracking, I realize that we also got a side of the Sautéed wild mushrooms with
olive oil and garlic ($12). They were too salty for some, but I thought they were nice. I wasn't totally impressed but they were a nice addition to the meal.

My mom ordered the Alaskan King Salmon and it is strange I did not end up with the photo but perhaps that is when the wine kicked in. I do not like salmon unless it is smoked and dried so I did not taste her plate. It truly didn't appear as if she enjoyed it that much because she was pushing it on the rest of us.

We ended the meal with some dessert and we all ordered our own items. It was at this point that my step dad admitted he was still hungry after these small plates. The top dessert is the brown sugar date cakewith olive oil gelato and pine nuts and the bottom item was the valrhona pot de creme with almond croquant. I tasted the pot de creme and it SO rich...let me remind you that I do not really do dessert. This however would be a chocolate lovers favorite.

Which is why I ordered the rhubarb sorbet float with Blanquette de Limoux. Basically I saw another table order this and was impressed. How many times do you get the opportunity to order sorbet and someone shows up to dump champagne on it? It was good. L. had the pineapple tarte tatin with rum caramel and vanilla bean ice cream. He ate it so fast, I never got a bite!

This meal was accompanied by a nice bottle of Barbaresco which I had never had. It was great, nice, tasty wine with a clean finish. I do not know shit about wine, but I will keep this on my list of things to re-order.

This was a complicated dinner for all parties, I never heard anyone really rave about the entire meal and didn't hear the outpour of negative comments either. It was clear to me that my mom might go back for the blue cheese, my step dad for the carpaccio, L. for the pineapple tarte and myself for the champagne covered sorbet. I will leave you with a statement from the website in hopes that you find success with experiencing the mission of the place...

"Sundstrom’s version of small plates is intended to inspire communal dining with waves of courses coming to your table, a blend of simple, seasonal, classic, and adventurous dishes. You dine, talk, and laugh while experiencing more flavors than with traditional entrées."

926 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
tel: (206) 323-5275

Tuesday through Sunday
5:00pm to 10:30pm

Lark on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Chapel Bar

Next time I see this posted: "Drink Specials — Daily 5pm - 8pm and midnight to close. All martinis, only $5 each." ...I might just pass or make sure I have a ride home.

I went to the Chapel website to see what the hell this martini was called but they dont have them all listed. They have like close to 30 choices from gin, vodka, whiskey and also tequila...The one that we both had was made with tequila and pomegranate juice. Dont be fooled by the color of this drink it had a LOT of tequila. After the first one, I started to feel like the party was kickin in...on the second one I was convinced I would not be able to walk home. So much for sticking to one or two drinks, I felt like I had 10. Because we were both kinda tipsy we opted for a few small bites. We got both the parmesan-dill potato chips ($3) which were just okay...kinda tasted like Tims Cascade chips with a bunch of seasoning dumped on them. The chips were small and hard to eat...then again I might be different when your sober. It is hard to tell in the photo...sorry its a former mortuary and its dark!

We also got the Wildcard ($14) which according to the menu includes "todays top fare, cured meats, cheese & vegetable salad"I wish the photograph would do this justice because it was pathetic. I was tipsy so we laughed it off but I would never order this again. It had two small pieces of prosciutto, two peppercinis, a couple slices of brie, strawberries and small bits of cauliflower all on top of some mixed greens.

All in all I had fun, just hanging out, it is a cool place to have a few drinks after work. I love sitting at the bar in the really high stools and watching the bartenders make all these cocktails. I will continue to go to Chapel and make my way through their drink menu but I think I will forgo the food.

1600 Melrose Avenue
Seattle WA 98122
Sun-Thur 5pm-1pm
Fri-Sat 5pm-2am

Chapel in Seattle

Friday, April 4, 2008

mee sum transplant

nestled on pike place, mee sum bakery is one of several international options in the tourist-heavy market. their storefront is simple, a little run down, and in need of a good, old fashioned windexing. when my coworker mentioned a new chinese bakery near my office, i had to go for lunch. daydreams of vegetable humbow and sesame balls danced in my head all morning until i took orders from my officemates and headed over to the bakery for a quick pick-up. little did i know that it was mee sum parte due!

my girl sissy ordered the curry beef humbow from the hot case. she said it was bombers. she and her husband hadn't found good bow since they lived in san francisco maaaaany many years ago. as pictured, mee sum also offered chicken bow.

i was excited to sink my teeth into a vegetable bow since i hadn't had a full bite of baked bow in about 8 years. unfortunately they ran out. sigh. however, i did get a taste of my coworker's. next to the vegetable is the char siu bow. sheesh i used to like bbq pork.

the hot case also featured sesame balls, hot wings, crab rangoon, and egg rolls, i just forgot to capture them in my excitement.

mee sum also offered a steam case full of steamed char siu bow, steamed chicken bow, gyoza, and nor mai gai, which is a savory sticky rice stuffed with pork, chicken, a slice of sausage, and dried shrimp. it is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to perfection. mmm.

mee sum bakery also had a "wok menu," which listed several standard entrees, like mongolian beef, chow mein, honey sesame chicken, etc. my coworker who suggested mee sum for lunch actually went there once before and ordered the chow fun (wide rice noodles stir-fried with green onions and soy sauce). it was pretty good, simple, and cheap!

you can read the rest of the menu above. i ended up getting a tofu bahn mi, which was okay. the bread was a little dry, the tofu was crispy and good, but there was a severe lack of daikon/carrot pickles, and i didn't get a single leaf of cilantro....only stems!! i also got a sesame ball which was crisp and decent for take out.

i would suggest mee sum to anyone trolling around the udistrict around lunchtime, or even for a snack. i think you best bet is ordering any of the bow or entrees off of the wok menu. it's inexpensive and even offers a variety of bubble teas. this is a great spot for a snack.

4343 university way ne
seattle, wa 98105

nb: the kitchen closes at 9pm but they're still open late for bubble tea

Mee Sum Pastry (U-District) in Seattle