Girls on Food

Seattle

Ciao-ing Down: Seattle’s Gnocchi Bar

Gnocchi (knee-o-key): Pasta in the form of potato dumplings; simultaneously, every Italian pasta lover’s dream come true. Alas, more often than not, said pasta enthusiasts face a hopeless, defeating journey to find this elusive meal, which is (debatably) the best creation Italy has yet to grace our earth with.

I guess it’s pretty obvious that I’m a fan of gnocchi. So I was extremely excited to learn that while I was traipsing around Santa Barbara for the last four years, Seattle managed to make my dream a REALITY. That’s right – the hip, colorful neighborhood of Capitol Hill is now home to Seattle’s first gnocchi bar, appropriately named Gnocchi Bar…. basically, I moved home to try this place out:

Gnocchi Bar

1542 12th Ave

Seattle, WA  98122

(206) 328-4285

gnocchibarseattle.com

11650553_10153457080448185_1244920650_n
How precious is this view?!

I had no idea what to order, as each menu item was begging me for a taste (with respect to the meaty ones – sorry carnivores). But as the odds were clearly high that I would return, I went with the first meal that caught my eye:

Gnocchi with Roasted Portabellas, Mama Lil Peppers (straight from the Pacific Northwest), Artichoke Hearts, Basil Pesto and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Check the beauty out:

11650783_10153457080388185_526962587_n
It took a lot of self-restraint to stop for a photo.

The meal was everything I had hoped for: lots of spice (from the peppers), pesto on pesto, a balanced mushroom-artichoke ratio (I never go straight for either of these but Gnocchi Bar altered my thinking), carbs (because it wouldn’t be an Italian restaurant without bread), and the centerpiece… GNOCCHI (duh).

The only shortcoming I experienced at Gnocchi Bar was the portion size. Pretty small (I felt like the vegetables outweighed the pasta itself), but then again, I love my starches and carbs, and I LOVE to eat (hence the food blog contributor status, eh?). So in comparison, your average Cap Hill hipster may find this meal the perfect appetizer for their art-music-psychedelic-super-cool-Seattle-filled-day.

I’ll definitely be back for more Italian goodness. Oh, and I almost forgot… They sell gelato too. Say what?!

Ciao, foodies, and stay tuned for my next adventure. There are SO many restaurants around here I have yet to explore. This is only the beginning…

xoxo

 

 

 

 

Meatless Monday: The Best of the Ballard Farmer’s Markets

WARNING: This market is not meatless. There are meat, seafood and poultry stands, but I am choosing to showcase the fun items the vegetarian/vegans and meat lovers can enjoy.
You all know I’m a sucker for a free sample and there’s stinginess or shortage of them here. All the vendors want you try their products and are all very knowledgable on them.
Ballard Farmer’s Market 
Sundays 10 AM – 3 PM
Street Parking (get there early or take a bus, it’s brutal!)
5300 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
I already miss you Seattle. I miss the drizzle, I miss the overcast skies but most of all I miss your Winter produce. The Winter veggies are the best in Seattle (broccoli, kale, spinach, lettuce, squash) and it’s so sad when February kills it. So of course when I decided to showcase all the vegetables, they had died down quite a bit. This market has so many other vegetarian/vegan friendly eats though.
Soda Jerk
I was a fanatic of Dry’s Lavender soda for while, but now that I’ve had Soda Jerk, I’m converted. Soda Jerk’s Lemon Lavender soda has a much better flavor than Dry’s. It’s has the perfect amount of sweet and sour from the lemon and the lavender isn’t overwhelming or medicinal. The Elderflower is almost like a soda version of St. Germain and the Apple Ginger was also fantastic.
They have soda dispenser’s at their stand and you can also purchase a growler of them. The gentleman running the stand told me they mix up their flavors (they’re seasonal flavors), so if you go there it may be different. The sodas are also all natural, organic and local ingredients. Soda Jerk is a must try and will added to our “Best of” list (nudge nudge Tiffany). I am sad I can’t pick up a bottle at Whole Foods now that I’m in Venice. Woe is the life of a Soda Jerk lover.
Firefly Kimchi by Firefly Kitchens
Kimchi is a Korean style fermented cabbage that is often used as a topping and sometimes cooked in with food. I love to add it on hot dogs and spread it on crackers the most. Firefly Kitchen is a Seattle based fermented jarred foods business. Unlike a lot of pickled and persevered products you see in the stores, Firefly uses natural fermenting, which is better for you since it preserves natural enzymes and good-for-you bacteria. Natural fermenting doesn’t cook the food either so if you’re on a raw food diet you can use this as a topping.  Firefly Kimchi is considered Firefly Kitchen’s “go to” topping, it’s the perfect blend of spicy, garlicy and the cabbage holds it’s uncooked texture very well.
Jonboy Caramels
Jonboy Caramels make a great gift with their unique flavor pairings and party-ready packaging. The Fluer de Sel is an ultimate mash-up of sweet, buttery and salty flavors. My favorite Jonboy Caramel is the Absinthe with Black Salt. Not only do they use the local Pacifique Absinthe from Woodenville, WA, but also has a fennel and anise flavor to it. Jonboy is like a more sophisticated version of those wrapper caramels I got at the Sweet Factory in the mall growing up.
West Seattle Farmer’s Market Love: If you’re at the West Seattle Farmer’s Market during the Winter, you must try the Kale varieties at Five Acre Farms. Their Kale grows a lot bigger and with fuller leaves than the ones you find in the supermarket. Their Broccoli stems are so large and tasty you can snack on them raw or dip them in hummus. Their website is here (http://www.facebook.com/fiveacrefarm) and until next Winter she is just selling her organic Chicken Eggs, but email her for market scheduling.
I leave you with pretty Tulips…

A Day in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District

Seattle’s Chinatown, or ID as locals call it, is a cultural hub that is rich with history. It’s like a tiny version of San Francisco’s Chinatown. It may not be as big, but on the plus side, it’s less congested with people. There are all kinds of attractions, shopping and yummy eats. My days in the rainy city were numbered, so I took a day to explore. When I was not staying in one of the Lake Union Seattle hotels on the rainy days, I would be exploring all of the diverse and cultural restaurants that the city consisted of.

The famous Chinatown Gate
Uwajimaya
600 5th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

Parking can be a serious pain here. The best thing to do is either take the bus in, or park at Uwajimaya Village, which is a huge Asian supermarket. The first hour is free with a $7 purchase. It’s impossible to leave that store empty handed. It’s packed with live fish, fresh meat, imported (and inexpensive) Asian cooking supplies and a huge food court that kicks the crap out of any mall in America.

Uwajimaya has one of the best lunch platters in Seattle. It’s half of a Peking Duck, rice and veggies for $10.99. The duck comes in that traditional Chinatown style, cooked and hanging. They chop it up right in front of you and it’s ready to eat. There was so much meat that I was able to cook another meal with it: Duck fried rice. I added the veggies and rice that it already came with and pan fried it with soy sauce. This is a great bang for your buck with this plate.
I walked around for blocks and tried a couple of pastries. Honestly, Asian pastries are a bit of a “miss” for me. They often taste a little too chalky, sometimes stale. I was intrigued when I walked by a spot that had a sign advertising “Chinese Herbal Jell-O”. Sounds strange, right? I had to try it.
Sub Sand
419 6th Ave S
(between Jackson St & Jefferson St)
Seattle, WA 98104
Sub Sand is known for their Vietnamese sandwiches, but I had to try that Jell-O. Especially after the man working there told me the Ancient Chinese believed it cured a common cold. I was stuffed up and willing to try anything to get rid of it. Upon first glance, it reminds me of the image below… and if you can name the movie it’s from in a comment below, I will give you a Twitter and Facebook shout out…
The texture is just like Jell-O, but it has a herbal/medicinal taste. They pour simple syrup over it to cover the taste but it doesn’t help… It’s not something I’d order again, but it was fun to try. I also had a hot and creamy Hong Kong Tea, which is hot black tea mixed with condensed milk. Also, I’m a huge dork and I loved the “under the sea” theme of Sub Sand which comes complete with life size hanging Hammerhead sharks.
After my stroll around town it was time to meet my friend Nin for a nosh session. One of our favorite spots in Seattle is Tamarind Tree.
Tamarind Tree
1036 S Jackson St
Ste A
(between S 12th Ave & S 10th Ave)
Seattle, WA 98104
Nin introduced me to this fantastic Vietnamese spot last Summer. During the Summer the patio has a quasi-LA feel to it, since it’s modern but with a lot of bamboo and Asian style infused to it. It was a dreary day as you can see form above so we had to sit indoors. For the Winter, they have a powerful fireplace that perfectly heats the room.
Nin and I shared the Cut Nuong Me (aka Quail in Tamarind Sauce) and it was awesome. Although it appears smallish, it was a decent amount for two people to share. It’s almost like having a side of fancy chicken wings. The Quail is marinated in a tamarind sauce which makes it perfectly tangy and has a side of carrots. Plus I love the sides Tamarind brings out with every meal, which are bean sprouts, mint, lime, jalapenos and another side of lime-chili sauce.
I’m going to miss you Seattle!

A Tale of 2 Cheeseburgers: Feedback Lounge and Esquire Grill at Terminal B, Sacramento International Airport

It’s a sick day and all I’m eating is soup. I clearly have cheeseburgers on the brain… These two places get a shout out because I believe they’re misunderstood. They have amazing cheeseburgers (they meet the criteria in a past blog) that deserve some recognition.

Feedback Lounge 
6451 California Ave
West Seattle, WA

Feedback Lounge is my neighborhood bar of choice. It has a very 90’s rock ‘n roll feel to it which seems to alienate some of the West Seattle residents, but I can hang with it. They also have live shows there, if you go to the website, there is a calendar with info. In addition to having every kind of liquor imaginable (as well as housemade syrups) they have a great food menu. My go-to here is the Feedback Burger, which as you can see bleeds like crazy. They get bonus points for using Romaine lettuce and not iceberg. The fries it comes with are amazing, packed with black pepper, but I’ve been trying to be good and sub the fries with a Caeser salad. The top portion of the bun is a bit thick, but  that’s okay cause I can soak up the fat and remaining Caeser dressing with it. Other great items are the Bourbon Walnut Chicken, which is the perfect blend of sweet and salty, the 3 Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese and, if you’re brave enough, the Lights Out Burger.

Yes, Andrew, I jacked this photo from your Facebook page.
The Lights Out Burger is insanity on a plate, the kind of burger Adam Richman would approve of. 1/2 of a beef patty with ham, bacon, American cheese, a Tabasco aioli and to top it off- a fried egg. Oh, if that wasn’t enough, it comes with black peppered tater tots. It’s a hot mess, literally. Before you go thinking I’m a total badass who ate myself… I’m not. A friend ate about 1/2 of it and I joined in only able to eat 1/4. I’ve grown a little attached to Feedback Lounge and I will miss it when I’m in sunny California. 🙁
<a href=”https://www.zomato.com/seattle/feedback-lounge-west-seattle&#8221; title=”” target=”_blank”><img alt=”Click to add a blog post for Feedback Lounge on Zomato” src=”https://www.zomato.com/logo/16727077/minilogo&#8221; style=”border:none;width:104px;height:15px;padding:0px;” /></a>

Esquire Grill – Terminal B at Sacramento International Airport

Sacramento Airport, Terminal B

Sacramento, CA 95837

Terminal B at Sacramento International Airport brings a lot of mixed feelings from the locals. Many locals, like myself, like it because it makes out of towners who do not think of Sacramento as a metropolitan city feel like they’re at least landing in one. I think it gives off a great impression, especially at a time like this where they lost the Kings and are scrambling for some sort of tourist attraction. Sure, nobody goes to a city for the airport and apparently this new terminal has increased prices. I still love landing in Sac though and it gives off a good impression before I get totally bored there. 🙂 The terminal has a few local spots including Burgers and Brew, Cafeteria 15L and Jack’s Urban Eats. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling in the past year and Esquire is my favorite out of the bunch. The Esquire Grill is famous in Sacramento for their location on K street, it’s been around for ages and is run by The Paragary Restaurant Group. Since the Paragary Group has dominated the Sacramento food scene for years, I hear a lot of grumblings about their restaurants. With success comes criticism. Their restaurants also also very “white table cloth” which isn’t very mid-town, so people can be quick to judge.

As you can see from the image above, it’s a bloody good burger. The tomatoes were plump and juicy and the top bottom bun ratio is just right. What I appreciate about this burger is the portion, it’s one of those rare kinds that doesn’t make you feel freakishly stuffed afterwards. I haven’t tried their fries, because I do believe that’s what kills you. I have had their famous Mac and Cheese, which are made of fun, spirally pasta and have the perfect crispy bread crumbs on top.

This is the perfect way to kill time before your flight.

Meatless Monday: Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe

Believe it or not, I don’t only eat cheeseburgers and fries. I always try my best to get 5 veggies and/or fruits a day, I watch the carbs and take my vitamins. I can appreciate a good veggie burger. #GOF blogger Tiffany mentioned the In-N-Out Grilled Cheese Animal Style Veggie Burger, which I’ve had and that’s very yummy. It’s easy to forget it’s vegetarian, which is the number 1 must for a vegetarian burger.

If I get lazy and don’t feel like cooking, I always try to eat at Chaco Cayon Organic Cafe in West Seattle. Chaco Canyon is all vegan, so I don’t feel guilty afterwards (there are also plenty of gluten-free options). It’s on the pricy side, but the sides that come with enormous entrees often leave you with leftovers. 90% of the ingredients are certified organic, with monthly seasonal menu. They also have fresh juices, smoothies and housemade Kombucha.

Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe
3770 SW Alaska St
(between S 37th Ave & S 38th Ave)
Seattle, WA 98126
http://www.chacocanyoncafe.com

This is their Lentil Burger, which is often hailed as one of “Seattle’s Best”. The Thousand Island is made with Veganaise and the burger patty is made primarily lentils. Unlike the store bought veggie pattys, the lentil patty doesn’t not attempt to taste like red meat, which I appreciate because that would be a waste of time. It’s topped with pickled onions, fresh cucumbers and bean sprouts, the only bummer are the pickles. Instead of dill, they use the sweeter Bread and Butter pickles. Not usually my thing, but I can let it slide. Although it’s healthy, it will leave you feeling stuffed.

The entrees can come a la carte for $3 less. However, I always want a side dish, so I chose the Braising Greens Salad. It’s packed with carrots, kale, gold beets and cashews in a tart dressing. I couldn’t even eat half of it, since it’s such a large portion. There were plenty of leftovers for the next day, so it’s worth the price.The items I talk about below are from their January 2013 menu, so if you’re reading this late, it may not be there. Sorry!

This is their Breakfast Burrito. The house-made, gluten-free buckwheat tortilla is stuffed with a curry tofu scramble with black and rice, cashew cheese. The burrito is also covered in a spicy tomato sauce. I’ve had a terrible sinus infection the past week and this cleared me up quick. I’m very surprised by the cashew cheese, I wouldn’t have realized it was non-dairy if you hadn’t told me. It also comes with an option of sides so I chose to brave the chia seed pudding (never had chia seeds before).

Chia seeds are high in fiber and omega-3’s, they’re becoming the new “It” health food item. The pudding combined with the bananas, shaved coconut and coconut milk was… interesting  They remind me of a mucus covered flax seed. It’s a strange texture, I’m not going to lie. After consuming the banana and coconut bit you’re kind of just left with a bowl of slimy seeds.

Okay. So I should’ve stuck with fresh fruit as my side dish. I still love this place and will miss it dearly when I’m in SoCal.
<a href=”https://www.zomato.com/seattle/chaco-canyon-organic-cafe-west-seattle&#8221; title=”View Menu, Reviews, Photos & Information about Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe, West Seattle and other Restaurants in Seattle” target=”_blank”><img alt=”Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info – Zomato” src=”https://www.zomato.com/logo/16728469/minilogo&#8221; style=”border:none;width:104px;height:15px;padding:0px;” /></a>

 

It’s a “Shore” Thing: Saltoro

Now that I have done most of Seattle’s “best of” spots, I have been trying to get into some of the lesser known, but also fantastic places. I had to run an errand outside of Seattle and discovered this charming Italian place called Saltoro in Shoreline. Although they have a Yelp listing, I can’t seem to find any info online about this spot’s origins, I think the pics will keep you happy though.I’m suprised I haven’t seen any Seattle publications drooling over the Sea Salted Chicken, because it’s rare to find a chicken dish that pleasing. I’m glad I’m the first to discover it. If I lived closer to Shoreline I would live here. On another note if you’re looking to relocate out of Seattle, IwillBuyHouse.com buys houses in Seattle quickly and in cash so you’re able to move into your dream home quicker than you first imagined.

Saltoro
14053 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133
Open Mon – Sun 5 PM – 10 PM

I had read rave reviews about the Truffled Fries and they live up to the hype. They are the crispy shoe string style and the truffle flavor doesn’t overwhelm.

By the way, this is a half portion. This almost destroyed 2 people alone, I can’t imagine trying to order a full size.

This is their Spinach salad. The two crusted squares you see are “Brie pillows”, which is just fun to say out loud. It was also topped with pickled onions, roasted grapes and pancetta and tossed in an anise dressing. The dressing made the salad for me, it was the right amount of anise and balsamic vinegar.

The brie pillow oozes out when you cut it. The only downside to this salad is that there are only 2 brie pillows. I wish there was more of it, especially if 3 people were sharing the salad.

 

This is the Sea Salt Roasted Chicken with broccolini and mashed potatoes. I drenched it in extra chicken jus. I never thought I could love a chicken dish so much. This chicken was perfectly seasoned and even after I doused it in jus, it kept a crispy consistency. The breast it self was moist and covered in herbs. This also one of those rare dishes I didn’t have to add salt to. This is their “winner” item… especially since I went back the next night to order it again….

This is a special dessert, so it may not be an option for readers, Saltoro’s Wine Poached Pear. It’s so fragrant, it’s like eating Grandma’s potpourri (sound insulting, but I mean it as a compliment). The vanilla gelato and minced pistachio also added a Christmas like flavor to it. The other favorites here are the Chocolate Pot du Creme and the Berry Crumle. There is also a large selection of dessert wines and fruity cocktails.
Click to add a blog post for Saltoro on Zomato

You say “Salami” and I say “Salumi”…

My year long stay in Seattle is coming to end. I will be moving to Venice, CA in February to jump start the acting career at a full time basis (fingers crossed!). I’ve eaten at a lot of the Seattle “must try” spots and Salumi rounds out as my last one. I am kicking myself for having not tried it sooner.

Salumi
309 3rd Ave S
(between S 2nd Avenue Extended & Main St)

Seattle, WA 98104
http://salumicuredmeats.com

Salumi is located in Pioneer Square which has a bunch of Seattle history. Of course the only real history I know it for is the “Singles” movie poster, but that’s just me…

Salumi is only open Tuesday – Friday for lunch hours. I never seem to be out at lunch so that’s a little disappointing which is why it took me so long to finally get in. Salumi is know for their cured meats, but you have the option of dining in for a hot meal instead of just ordering a bulk amount to go. The space itself is pretty cramped, I don’t think it’s the best place for a large party, but great for 2 people or ordering food to go. The sandwiches are made in front of you so you can basque in it’s fatty glory.

I ordered the hot porchetta sandwich on a ciabatta roll. I’ve always had a rough relationship with porchetta, sometimes it’s too fatty. I’m happy to report that Salumi’s porchetta is flavorful and succulent. There is fat but it’s the perfect amount, no gag reflex
happened here. They also added this amazing garlicy butter sauce which oozes out with the flavor of the pork and roasted green pepper. It also drips and the bread becomes the right amount moist but not soggy. It’s heaven and earns a “best of” for GOF. The best part? I have leftovers!
Click to add a blog post for Salumi on Zomato

Battle in Seattle: Red Mill Burger v.s. Katsu Burger

Do I really need to type an introduction to a burger post? I think not.

 

Red Mill Burgers
1613 W Dravus St
(between W 16th Ave & W 17th Ave)
Seattle, WA 98119

 

Let’s start with the positive:

There are a lot of milkshake options.

The sauce they use is like In ‘N Out’s famous house sauce but with a slightly spicy kick. It’s a great side to dip your fries in.

The veggies on the burger were crisp and fresh.

BACON! A BIG PILE OF BACON FRYING ON THEIR PAN WHEN YOU ENTER!

The negatives: 

My burger barely dripped. I like my burgers to bleed.

The fries were seriously lacking. They reminded me of bowling alley fries.

The meat bum ratio was off on mine. I somehow managed to eat the patty all the way before the bun, which is a turn-off.

The bun tasted like a grocery store bun.

When I ask a local, “What’s your favorite burger joint?” about 90% of the time the answer is “Red Mill”. There was great expectations on this place and while it was very good, I wouldn’t say it’s “the best”. Sorry, majority of Seattle.

Katsu Burger
6538 4th Ave S
(between Michigan St & S East Marginal Way)
Seattle, WA 98108

 

First off, Katsu Burger is next door to a liquor store has this epic sign. So… yeah, SODO isn’t the best area of Seattle, but Katsu Burger makes it worth the purse hiding.


The burgers here are influenced by Japanese cuisine. I ordered the appropriately named “Godzilla Attack” burger. The burger patty is crusted with panko and then deep fried. This was the first time I have had a fried patty and although it doesn’t drip, it’s juicy and crispy in one bite.

The burgers come with shredded cabbage, tomatoes, pickles and onions. Mine also came with jalapenos, pepper jack, spicy mayo and tonkatsu sauce. The bun wasn’t grilled as much as In ‘N Out, but it was still fresh tasting. I also got a side of curry fries which were the best fries I’ve had in a long time.

AND THE WINNER IS:

KATSU BURGER! 

Stay tuned for the next battle: Zippy’s v.s. Burgermaster

Time to Ketchup!

Wowza. It’s been a while since my last post! I’ve been all over the West Coast auditioning, shooting and visiting friends and family. Below is a re-cap of my gluttonous adventures.

 

Bunk Sandwiches
211 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97205

Say hello to my little friend. This is the Pork Belly Cubano. Ham, swiss, pickles, mustard and pork belly. Also comes with fresh fried kettle chips for only $9.

This isn’t one of those “keep Portland weird” spots. It seems to be popular with the lunch and mom crowds. It wasn’t on par with the Swinery’s BLT, but a very good effort.

Tat’s Delicatessen 
159 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98104

Tat’s is located in Pioneer Square, so it’s over-crowded with Seahawks fans. It’s a little loud but the energy is fun. They are known for their Philly Cheesesteak, you are given an option of cheeses, but it’s considered “authentic” if you go with Cheez Whiz. Yup, canned Cheez Wiz that I loathed as a child. I pretty skeptical to try this since the “food in a can” mentality usually disgusts me, but I was wrong.
The Cheez Whiz melts beautifully their thin sliced beef and fresh Italian roll. I added sweet peppers to mine as well for a kick. The fries were also fresh tasting and reminded me of the now closed Ford’s in Sacramento.

BONUS – The left-overs heat up great the next day!

Pioneer Hot Dogs 
Outside Qwest and Safeco Field
Seattle, WA 98134

I was promoting Miller Lite and I learned about the tailgating culture. Tons of football fans invade the vacant Safeco Field (since it’s football season) and relish in beer and food. There were a lot of food stands tailored for the junk food junkie.

I tried the “Seattle Dog” which is grilled with onions and cream cheese. Honestly this was a bit overrated. I’m not a fan of raw onions, so I wish mine were cooked more. Also the dog itself tasted a little burned. Maybe they were busy listening to the game when they cooked it?

NOTE: I DID NOT EAT ALL OF THE ITEMS BELOW MYSELF. I SHARED WITH MY FABULOUS CO-WORKER BRE, WHO IS A FAT MAN DISGUISED IN A RUNWAY MODEL’S BODY. IT’S UNFAIR SHE LOOKS THAT GOOD…

Po Dog Hot Dogs
1009 E Union St
(between 10th Ave & 11th Ave)
Seattle, WA 98122

This establishment is located next to a bar that plays a lot of indie rock, so it’s fun to people watch here. They have lots of options to wash the dogs down and there’s plenty of seating. What separates this place from other hot dog stands/spots is the bun. It’s made in house (not Rainbow brand!) and reminds me of a softer, sweeter pretzel that accommodates the dogs beautifully.
To my left is the PB dog, a hot dog topped with peanut butter, bananas and topped with more peanuts. I know what you’re thinking, it sounds awful but it was actually amazing. I like I made Elvis proud eating this.

 

Fried pickles are easy for a place to screw up. First off, I despise the pickle chips. They don’t keep the vinegar flavor and the crust slides off too easy. Second, most places that serve fried pickles don’t have many options for sides, you’re stuck with either ketchup (BLEH) or Ranch (DOUBLE BLEH!).

At Po Dog, they are fried as spears, the coatings actually stays on the pickle. Also, there are a lot of options for dippings. We got the wasabi and house aioli which was a nice switch from the usual condiments.

This is the Deep Fried Danger Dog. Oh boy. A hotdog wrapped in peppered bacon and deep fried to perfection, topped with sauteed onion and a chilli sauce. This is heartburn in a bun, but it’s so worth it. I don’t think the two of us could eat this in one sitting but it was delicious trying.

Po Dog does offer a Seattle Dog, which is topped with cream cheese and scallions. We didn’t try it but it gives me an excuse to come back and I will let you know when I do.

Happy eatings!

Little Things Mean a Lot: Hardy Kiwis and Feijoa Fruits

Last Fall I discovered Hardy Kiwis at the West Seattle Farmer’s Market. At first glance, they looked like olives so I was a little skeptical. When you bite into them (no need to scoop, just pop ’em in) they are just as sweet and juicy as a kiwi. The only bummer was I never saw my Hardy Kiwi man again.

 

2 weeks ago I lucked out and the Hardy Kiwis were back! They seem to only be around once a year in October, so if you see this stand, pick a batch up. I brought some to work and when my co-workers cut them open, the reaction was “awww”.

I’m striking out on other ways to try Hardy Kiwis, so the best options for my readers are to wait for the West Seattle Farmer’s Market in October of 2013, or to purchase a plant. They sell the plants here:
http://www.burpee.com/

I just shot a role on a TV show in the Bay area and got the chance to hang at my mom’s house in the Greenhaven neighborhood of Sacramento. I have memories of eating the petals off the fruits in the Spring before they grow. Luckily for me, mom’s fruit tree was in full bloom. Feijoa has a similar flavor to guava, but it’s texture is grittier and it’s more fragrant. To eat it, cut the fruit in half and scoop out the pulp, the same way as a kiwi. It grows rapidly in New Zealand but also grows in California, and regions in Texas to Florida.  If I could bottle it and create a perfume I would. I’ve never seen it sold in grocery stores, but I found them sold here:
http://www.buyexoticfruits.com/feijoa.html

Luckily, mom is shipping some up to me so I can have a taste of New Zealand in the PNW.

Battle in Seattle: Bakery Nouveau v.s. Nook

Growing up a total McDonald’s kid, I still get random cravings for a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. I try to make my own breakfasts as much as possible but I’ve been super lazy this week.  I decided to try some hot breakfast sandwiches and make them battle to the death.

Bakery Nouveau 
4737 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

Bakery Nouveau is a West Seattle bakery the serves bread, all kinds of desserts, sandwiches and even pizzas. Whenever you walk by there is a line out the door and plenty of tourists snapping Instagram photos (not just me!). The desserts and here pizza are amazing but I was there for the Junction croissant.

The Junction croissant is stuffed with scrambled eggs, bacon, ham and melted cheese. It tastes amazing and I love that the scrambled eggs were moist and well seasoned, but it’s a little complicated if you’re on the go. The croissant ends flake everywhere and the inside goodies spill all over. It’s not something I would eat on the way to work, but I had time to dine in I would for sure.
Another slight bummer I had with this place is the service. Their employee handed me the croissant while it was luke warm so I asked for it to be heated. She assured me it was hot and it so wasn’t so I had her heat it up and I could she was a little irritated.

nook

4754 University Way NE
(between 47th St & 50th St)

Seattle, WA 98105This woman should totally look into print modeling, am I right? Yes, I asked permission to take this picture and she posed.

nook is a little vintage inspired biscuit bakery in the U district of Seattle. They are primarily known for their biscuits and gravy, but since I was on-the-go I got a biscuit sandwich with ham, brie and arugula pesto. The biscuit held it self together well, it didn’t flake off. The brie melts perfectly with the thick cut ham, but the arugula pesto added a nutty flavor to it that made it stand out for me. The girl working the counter was also super patient asked I asked her a million questions about their other options. That gives them a boost.

AND THE WINNER IS…….

nook. It’s yummy, doesn’t flake and they have nice service.

Squeal Like a Pig: The Swinery

The Swinery 
3207 California Ave SW
(between Hanford St & Hinds St)
Seattle, WA 98116
Keeping this short and sweet.
One of my favorite West Seattle spots. The Swinery is a porcine butcher shop that also serves hot sandwiches.


Every kind of pork cut is here, friendly service and they have DRY soda, Seattle company. I love to order a Lavender soda with my sandwiches.

The Swinery BLT – Fried pork belly, lettuce, tomato with chicken pate mayo on a house baked bun. This is one of the best things you’ll ever eat. I could bathe in the pate mayo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

<a href=”https://www.zomato.com/seattle/the-swinery-west-seattle&#8221; title=”” target=”_blank”><img alt=”Click to add a blog post for The Swinery on Zomato” src=”https://www.zomato.com/logo/16727411/minilogo&#8221; style=”border:none;width:104px;height:15px;padding:0px;” /></a>