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Everything posted by richards1052

  1. My 10 year log enjoyed wonderful Indian food on a visit to Chicago & now insists we must find something good here in Settle. I warned him this might not be possible since I've never heard of good Indian food here. Let me know if you've found anything you like here other than Poppy which we know & love. It's a bit pricey for an entire family.
  2. Can anyone recommend a Bellevue bakery where you can sit down to have a good breakfast pastry & coffee. Something like Macrina, Volunteer Park Café, Sweet & Savory or Columbia City Bakery in quality & ambience?
  3. She doesn't do cupcakes every day. But the staff told me that if you want to place an order (like for a birthday party) she might do them special. Sorry if it wasn't what you expected. I first came across her at the U. District Farmer's Market before I knew anything about her training & was bowled over. I guess sometimes these things are influenced by our expectations.
  4. We'll have to agree to disagree. I've had the pain au chocolat many times & love it. The chocolate is rich & dense & the pastry dough just the right flakiness. I bought one of the BLTs today but won't eat it till tomorrow so I can't tell you how I liked that. I've had many of her sandwiches & liked almost every one. You seem not to have bought the cupcakes which, unless you don't like cupcakes or they were out, was unfortunate. Today, they were chocolate with chocolate icing & a chocolate mint on top. Mmmmm. As I wrote in my original post in this thread, it's a cozy little shop. It's just a storefront. I'm not sure what you expected. But it's not a big place. Also, there's the owner who bakes & only two assistants. This isn't Macrina or Dahlia. It's a very personal shop. The place is also only open till 2 PM. The best time to get there for a good selection is the morning (even late morning is OK). If you get there much after lunch time things will go. After all, that's almost the end of their selling day. If you'd gotten there earlier you might've found coffee cake, apple tart, chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies, croissants, lemon tart & other items. There's also a homemade soup.
  5. I just had breakfast at Sweet and Savory this morning and want to reaffirm it is one of the finest little bakeries in the city. I had a moist coffee cake with the most wonderful, crunchy streusel topping. For lunch I bought one of Cynthia's roasted asparagus and gruyere on bagel sandwiches (yes, she makes bagels & they're the best I've had in Seattle). It was superb. A few weeks ago she made another Jewish delicacy, rugelach, which also captured the best of this supreme Jewish comfort food. Tomorrow Cynthia's baking cupcakes. If you haven't had one, you owe it to youself to go there & try one. One of the nicest aspects of the bakery is that it's a sweet little shop in a nice, cozy Seattle neighborhood. When you enter you get a nice smile & welcome from the staff. I've reviewed Sweet & Savory at my food blog as has Seattle Bon Vivant. 1418 31st Avenue South (Mt. Baker) 206 325-2900.
  6. Such lovely replies to my original post. Thanks so much everyone for trusting my advice & checking out the Café. Scarlett, I haven't looked at the pix yet but would you mind terribly if I uploaded a copy of one of them for the post at my blog. I'll give you credit by name & link, if you want me to feature yr Flickr site. The one weakness of their website is they have no food pictures up yet (they're workin' on it they told me). That's why I'd like to feature a picture for my blog review.
  7. Thanks, John. I checked out those recommendations & was able to get a reservation at Boka. It looks good fr the menu. Will let you know how it goes afterward. Zoe looks fabulous too but they couldn't take us at the reservation time we needed. I'd already made a reservation at Tulio (where I'd never been), but Boka looked more interesting & so I cancelled the former. If anyone's partial to Tulio let me know.
  8. My wife & I haven't gotten out to many restaurants for a few yrs while raising 3 young kids. Was wondering what you'd recommend downtown. The only parameters are the movie theater we'll be coming fr. is at 7th & Pike so somewhere within walking distance or 5 min. car ride would be great; and we'd like a place w/o stratospheric prices (prices approaching $30 or more per entree are too rich for us). Thanks for yr thoughts...
  9. Yeah, isn't that a great idea? I'd never heard of it before myself.
  10. I'm happy to report (unless someone's done it here before me) that Volunteer Park Cafe is a lovely new addition to the north Capitol Hill eating scene. It used to be Cafe Europa. The new place serves mainly breakfast and lunch with once a month dinnners. They currently offer one dinner takeout item daily though they'll be expanding their offerings soon. Last night I brought home the braised short rib pot pie & it was dee-licious. Moist crust, melt in yr mouth ribs, & veggies braised-in-wine flavor. The desserts are fairly typical (brownies, cookies, cakes) but wonderful. They also offer a large wine selection for retail purchase. The new owners made the room open, light & welcoming. There's a nice, friendly, neighborhood spirit about the place. They take well to kids too. I say: welcome to the neighborhood. Read my food blog for an expanded version of this post.
  11. As I wrote, your site looks lovely. We just felt we didn't want such a full-on MEAT experience that particular night. But we will definitely check out Porchella.
  12. Thanks to all for those replies. They're really helpful as we're from Seattle & don't get to eat in Bellevue too often. This will give us a few promising new ones to try. <a href="http://www.porcellaurbanmarket.com/index.htm">Porchella</a> sounded wonderful & the website looks yummy. We actually chose to go to Bis for a variety of reasons too complex to go into here. Suffice to say that while we liked the meal we had there a year ago or so, I can't say the same for tonight's meal. It was entirely ordinary. Nothing very bad, but very little that was very good. I had bacon wrapped scallops on polenta with apple coulis & brussels sprouts. When I ordered I didn't realize that apple coulis & scallops could taste quite strange together. It didn't ruin the dish, but didn't help either. If you don't do scallops perfectly when you're grilling or pan-cooking them you're left w. entirely avg. scallops, which happened tonight. The outside of the scallop must be seared nicely & crispy, while the inside should be tender & moist. There was very little sear on the outside at Bis. The bacon seemed undercooked (not raw, just not cooked till the proper full brown coloring came out). And at $28.50, it wasn't worth the price. The polenta tasted bland. The dessert list was entirely the "usual suspects" you find in too many restaurants. The typical molten chocoloate souffle pecan pie, & lemon tart, among others. We ordered the lemon tart. While it was good in its way, it did nothing to rise above the 400 other lemon tart servings you've had over the years. The restaurant makeover was nice. The room was still cozy and warm. But it was nothing like the wonderful, intimate familiarity of the old Bis setting. We really wished it was better. We truly wanted to like it.
  13. My wife & I are going to the movies tomorrow at Lincoln Sq. (Bellevue). I wonder if anyone likes any restaurants very close by. I've been to Bis & quite liked it though I don't know if it's open on Mondays. Anything else worthy mentioning?
  14. Thanks for all those great tips (unintended pun) about brisket. In my other post, I confused flank steak w. brisket, but I meant brisket & not the former meat. The recipe my wife uses is Nach Waxman's Brisket of Beef, The New Basics Cookbook, p. 494-95. It calls for 5-6 lbs. of brisket to be (after browning) placed w. the liquid in a 375 F. oven for 1 1/2 hrs., then cut into slices & roasted for another 1 3/4-2 hrs. BTW, we generally buy one or two whole briskets & add cooking time proportional to the increased weight over that listed in the recipe (5-6 lbs). I realize 375 degrees is a hot hotter than the 220 recommended by an earlier poster. But it has seemed to work for us at the hotter temp. before. I suppose the tough brisket we made might've been due to either under or overroasting. We'll have to be careful about that this yr. With all these good ideas hopefully we'll get a nice tender brisket this yr. In the NW food section where I also posted (on a slightly diff. topic) someone suggested a local meat purveyor who sells grass fed beef. I imagine grass fed would have less fat. Would that rule out grass fed since brisket depends on the cut having substantial fat?
  15. Again, I apologize for confusing people by being imprecise. We make brisket & buy brisket. I mistakenly thought flank & brisket were one & the same cut. Shows how little I know about cuts of meat. But it's brisket I'm talking about & that's what we buy. Skagit Valley & A&J's are really good suggestions. I shop at Columbia City Market ea. wk. & I can talk to them there about brisket.
  16. My wife uses the Silver Palette Cookbook brisket recipe and has found it to be a killer recipe. Far & away the best I've ever had the pleasure of eating. But I don't understand why the texture of the meat can be oozingly deicious some years and tough as shoe leather others. We use the same ingredients & cook it precisely the same way every year. My wife thinks it has to do with a difference between kosher & non-kosher meat & that kosher is the more tender variety. I'm not sure if that's even possible as a valid explanation in culinary terms. I thought my wife's theory was true myself until last year when we bought kosher meat from our QFC here in Seattle (recently bought by Kroger's) and it turned out tough as shoe leather. Can anyone with serious experience making brisket explain to me in culinary terms why a brisket can be so different fr. one yr to the next & whether there are things one can do to ensure a tender one?
  17. I didn't make myself clear above & apologize for that. I mentioned kosher meat not because I keep kosher, but rather because my wife has found that kosher flank steak makes much more tender brisket than non-kosher. Don't know why, it just does. At least that's been her experience.I personally love Don & Joe's & shop there regularly, but we tried their flank steak one year & it just didn't measure up to the old QFC kosher flank steak. I guess I could give Whole Foods a try since I always find their meat terrific.
  18. If you love brisket or buy kosher meat and live in Seattle I hope you can help me out of a jam. My wife makes the meanest brisket you've ever tasted (no, sorry but you're not invited to our High Holiday feast this yr but I can provide the recipe). But one of the keys is finding the tenderest flank steak meat available. We used to buy kosher meat at QFC. But last yr, we bought their kosher brisket & it was so tough it was almost shoe leather. I'm kinda wondering whether after the Kroger takeover they switched kosher meat vendors. So the question is where can you find tender brisket (not prepared, but in raw form) in Seattle?
  19. If anyone can point me to a good mail order source for oro blancos I'd be deeply grateful. I live in WA.
  20. What a tantalizing pitcher of shimmering gold...It's almost dead winter here in Seattle but boy am I feeling thirsty!
  21. Jason: Thanks for that recommendation. I'll check it out. UPDATE: Bummer! They don't sell to WA. or CA. But I want to find citrus that is harder to find than satsumas: oro blancos (a grapefruit pomelo mix). Would you have any suggestions on where I might find them mail order? I think they're mostly grown in CA, though there's no reason they might not also be grown in the SE. I live in Seattle & don't know much about citrus outside the west coast. I'm dying for a mail order oro blanco source. So pls. let me know if anyone has a recommendation.
  22. For those of you who love French pastry, Seattle has a wonderful purveyor of the art: Carolyn Ferguson, owner of Belle Epicurean. She sells her creations at the U District Farmer's Market on Saturdays. My favorites are the chocolate walnut bun and the ham & cheese galette. Soon (in the fall) Carolyn will be opening a retail shop in the Olympic Hotel. I'm delighted that Food & Wine Magazine read my post about her in my blog & is interested in including her work in an article about artisanal bakeries. I'd love to see her get her "due" in a national food publication! And I'm so jazzed that I could be the matchmaker! Here's the link to my post: http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_ol...-best-pastries/ (I have no commerical interest whatsoever in Belle's Buns)
  23. While I didn't find it either funny or very good--after July 29th the above link will go dead & the way to access this article will be via this one
  24. I'm rather surprised that so many members in this thread thought well of Powell's column. I thought she was way off base in so many ways. It's certainly a provocative & deliberately in-your-face attack on the Alice Waters of the food world & the organics movement, but it just doesn't hold water. Since when are farmer's markets the preserve of the privileged? And why does someone who shops at Whole Foods become an emblem of all that is bad or snooty with food lovers in this country? I certainly don't dispute that there is a certain preciousness, classism and elitism that creeps into some who profess a great love for food. Taking on Alice Waters as an exemplar of this is wrong, wrong, wrong. Waters' Edible Schoolyard is an attempt to have schoolchildren in public schools learn to grow their own food, prepare it & eat it. The pubic schools in Berkeley, where she started this project are economically & ethnically diverse. And what's wrong with teaching a child from a poor background (or a middle-class or upper-class for that matter) to grow & eat greens, asparagus, kale, etc.? Why is that elitist? Also, Powell seems to champion the poor person who shops at Key Foods & Western Beef and attacks the rich folk who look down their noses at such a shopper & such a food venue. Is there anything wrong in trying to persuade that shopper that she can buy healthier & cheaper produce at her local farmer's market? In fact, at the farmer's markets in many places I've lived (Berkeley, Westchester, Irvine, Seattle) have a customer base that is ethnically & economically diverse. Poor people shop at farmer's markets. So why does Powell consider them a bastion of privilege? Finally, if a person truly loves food then they take no account of the class or ethnic origin of the food. A dish that comes out of a poor person's oven is just as delicious (& prob. often more so) as one that comes off a Viking range. Looking down one's nose at a person or the food they eat because of their economic or class status is just plain stupid. You'll find an expanded version of this post on my food blog.
  25. Just wrote a post at my food blog about our first visit to Lark. I know, you're asking incredulously: "what took you so long." Well, how's about 8 mo. old twins & a 4 yr. old? Pretty good excuse, no. Anyway, it was a lovely dining experience. Here's an excerpt from the post: ...I read on a food website that a Lark customer said you must order the pork rilletes: “I dream about them.” Well, that was enough for me. We had to have that as one of our courses. Turns out I wouldn’t dream about them but they were quite good. The pork was strong, almost gamy while the texture was almost caramel soft. Yummy. The waitress suggested that I order a glass of Cote du Rhone with my meal and neither she not it diappointed. It was powerful without being overwhelming and also smooth, lacking the tannic quotient of some red wines. I read another online comment saying the striped bass was a disappointment–not to me! The dish, called bass tagine, came with coucous and succulent baby carrots. It was infused with cilantro and cumin which gave it a delightful herbal complexity. The fish had a delightful soft texture. We ordered the rosti potatoes with klabber cream which comes out of the kitchen in its own mini castiron skillet. It looks like a little cake with a swirly top. But there the resemblance ends as the swirly top is actually a toasty brown crisp crust. Inside the potatores are meltingly creamy. It was delicious. We ordered a cheese plate and though it was good, I wouldn’t say any of the cheeses bowled me over. Though my wife and I normally share a dessert at restaurants, we knew this was the kind of place where we’d each order one. This is also the kind of restaurant where one dessert sounds better than the rest. I always peruse a dessert menu to pick out the ones I can eliminate as too boring or common. Not at Lark. We knew we had to turn to the waitress and again she pointed us in the right direction. My wife had the lemon parfait. It’s served like flan in a short round presentation doused with sauce. The texture was heavenly-soft. It felt like you were eating clouds–that’s how delicate it was. I ordered black fig tart tatin topped by a small mound of chilled mild goat cheese. It too was extraordinary. You can’t begin to exhaust the wonders of Lark’s menu in one sitting. So we’ll have to return the next time we can find a babysitter to take care of three young ones (maybe another year from now?!).
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