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Posts posted by skyflyer3

  1. OK...I need help.

    What about Breakfast in Tacoma/Gig Harbor?

    Have a friend comming to visit....and i am still down here in Gig Harbor...not too sure there is anything here.... but what about Tacoma?  Any suggestions?

    I am sure she is going to want a NW style breakfast.....maybe salmon or oysters in some breakfast thing....omelet or benedict or the like..

    If you dont have any suggestions for Tacoma then what about a place in the Seattle area that might have something like that.

                  Thanks alot

    Portage Bay has NW style breakfasts. Really great ones, I might add - Dungeness Crab Benedict was on the menu a few weeks ago, although I went for the creme brulee brioche french toast with carmelized bananas and maple syrup (or something like that). Wow, did that ever rock my world.

    I really, really want to know if there is a place in Bellevue that does good brunch/breakfast. I saw the Chace place rec, but is there anything else out there? Please? Bellevue, anyone?

  2. Delurking a little late to add that I am thankful to have seen this thread. Having worked in the public relations field, I have seen how damaging just one negative comment can be in a sea of positive ones. Many people, including myself, can forget that negative words, and even the aura of negativity, have so much more power than positive ones. As media consumers, we've learned to tune out the happy stories, and respond more to the bad ones. In the future, on this board, I'm going to think more carefully about the things I say, because while I am reviewing food here, and my experience is very subjective, what I am doing has impact on real people, diners and owners and waiters, potentially positive and/or negative, and I have to know that has power, and with that power comes responsibility.

    I have to say, had Sean not responded to some of the comments here, and even though I re-read several times some of the criticism and noticed no pointed negativity about the food, I wouldn't have tried the Heather. I don't live in Vancouver, so when I visit I rely heavily on what the members of this board have to say about a certain place. I would especially not have returned if I'd gone and had a bad experience. First-time impressions are very powerful, and I don't have the luxury to return to places where I didn't have a positive first experience because it is just too expensive to return, when there are too many other restaurants down the block that are getting rave reviews that I must try. So I understand why Sean is upset, even though I think it is important for diners to voice their opinions about a place because ultimately, it's great when diners and owners can work together to create a special place.

    Lastly, I have to say I appreciate what Sean is saying because often, restauranteurs aren't given the opportunity to respond to comments about service, or food or atmosphere. I can remember many times feeling indignant about certain service situations during a dining experience, but rarely do I take into account that this is an establishment that is built by people, who have their off days, much like I do. Working in a client-based environment, there have been so many times I've wanted to voice to our customers just how bad things have gone that day, and to please excuse our mistakes. At the same time, I know that even if I did such a thing, I would not make one difference because ultimately, I was not doing the job that was expected of me. So while there may be more eloquent ways to say what he said, I believe Sean has left his post up, unedited, because this may be the only forum where he gets to voice his side of the story, and actually be heard.

  3. The Tom Douglas rub is good, but be careful, it has a lot of sugar, so if you're pan searing it, it can burn.

    Really like these rubs - tried the Salmon Rub for the first time at the Seattle Cooks show, and have since picked up the whole line. They're on sale this week at Metropolitan Market for $3.99 a tub.

  4. Lake Champlain's 5 star bars are amazing.  Especially the fruit and nut one that is dark chocolate, bits of praline and pecans, wild dark cherries and raisins. 

    Another new favorite are the organic Dagoba bars.

    My favorite was this one, 

    Dagoba Xocolatl Organic Chocolate

    Xocolatl is inspired by ancient chocolate culture and tradition, infused with chilis, cacao nibs, maca, vanilla and nutmeg.

    this one was very good too

    Dagoba "Lavender" Organic Chocolate

    A uniquely wonderful blending of flavor! Dagoba’s signature rustic grown organic dark chocolate is infused with lavender essence and organic wild sundried blueberries.

    I was surprised with how good Lake Champlain's chocolates were. Their cherry ganache one is excellent, with a wonderful, non-cloying cherry taste.

  5. I saw Total at DeLaurentis last week.  I was pleasantly surprised!

    I did a special trek to the Market (I usually can't stand driving and parking in Downtown Seattle, so it is a special trek for me) and they did not have the yogurt anymore :sad:. In my frustration, I spent way too much money on proscuitto and amarena cherries, and picked up a cup of some Swiss yogurt that actually turned out quite good. Then I went home and e-mailed Fage to ask them when it will be back in stores locally (which is what I should have done in the first place) and the very next day they wrote me and said it would be back at Whole Foods and Trader Joes the first week of March. That's service, I tell you. So my fellow Total yogurt fans, yogurt happiness is only a month away.

    By the way, I tried Trader Joe's Greek yogurt, and it just wasn't the same. A different taste and mouthfeel altogether.

  6. I just tried the Vosges Gianduja, and it's quite tasty. Creamy, excellent mouthfeel.

    edited to add that the Scharffenberger milk chocolate bars you can pick up at Trader Joe's are nice as well. And the Valrhona ones from there, too, are excellent. Ooh, I love the Ritter's Joghurt (chocolate with yogurt filling), and the Lindt red bars. Wow, I had no idea I eat this much chocolate....

  7. What a great looking cake, Fernwood! I'm salivating. May I ask, is you cocoa whipped cream recipe the one in the "Cake Bible"? I haven't tried it yet, but it would be an excellent compliment to a chocolate chiffon cake.

    Just wanted to report that I did the King Arthur Flour Chiffon Cake recipe this weekend, and it's quite a huge cake. I divided the batter into thirds, baked in three 9-in rounds, left them to cool overnight and frosted them in the morning with whipped cream laced with mango concentrate. Recipe was easy, delish and slightly light - I used Enova oil, now carried at my local Renton Fred Meyer, and the resulting layers were substantial but spongy, with a lovely almond flavoring. This is a great cake for real fruit fillings, like you might see in the International District at "Piece of Cake", with honeydew, canteloupe and straweberries between the layers. Next time I'm going to add some chunks of mango to the whipped cream - I soaked the layers for a little while with some mango juice, but the flavor didn't come through as strong as I would have liked.

  8. I use a chiffon cake recipe when I want a light feel to the cake, as opposed to a groan-because-it's-so-rich cake (and both types of recipes I use equally, they just have different purposes for me). For example, I use chiffon layers when I do a mango cake, with mango-flavored whipped cream, layers lightly soaked in mango concentrate. I also pair chocolate chiffon cake layers with cocoa whipped cream and do a cocoa-cherry chocolate mousse filling. These types of cakes I bake for showers, or spring and summer parties.

    All this talk has made me want to bake a mango cake for this weekend - and I'm eying the one in King Arthur Flour's Baker's Companion. It calls for 7 eggs, and no extra egg whites, in addition to all-purpose flour. Does this sound right? I've always done chiffon cake recipes with extra whites, and cake flour.

  9. As for Tangletown (the bar), it is one of the most overrated places that I can think of.  Great beer, but everything else is the worst.  Everyone I talk to KNOWS it, but will still sometimes end up there.  It must have some carry-over karma from the Honeybear years. 

    The thing about Tangletown is that the menu reads great. As you look down the menu it all looks interesting and good, but the food never seems to match expectations.

    I agree with Jbonne's observation about Luau. The food is mediocre---but at least its over priced.

    One underrated spot is Jak's steakhouse. Very tastey yet reasonably priced.

    As far as Tangletown/Elysian goes...well, it's really all about the beer, isn't it? The Elysian is a great brewpub---they keep winning best large brewpub of the year at the Great American Beer Festival---and that's what I go there for. Even having said that, the beer doesn't taste quite as good to me at Tangletown as at the Capitol Hill location (which can be, on a good night, one of the great beer spots in the world). Maybe they're not turning over the kegs quite as fast, or maybe they're brewing on site and things aren't quite perfect. Also, I really don't like that Jasmine IPA---sickeningly sweet. I couldn't even drink it. And they once served me a Sierra Nevada barleywine that could not have been what was advertised. I do really appreciate the family-friendly thing, since I'm usually restricted to such places. I wouldn't say the food is terrible (I once head a cornish game hen thing served on andouille bread pudding that was actually quite amazing) but it does generally taste less exciting than it sounds. Don't get the American Bento, whatever you do! Mostof the sandwiches are OK.

    Speaking of Tangletown, what about Kisaku? I've only been a couple times, haven't yet had the chance to sit at the sushi bar, but it's been good and I always hear good things. I'm not sure they do an omakase, though.


    Kisaku is my favorite sushi place in Seattle, with Sanmi sushi a close second. I've never had a bad experience at Kisaku, and the owner is fabulous. There's a warmth, and a neighborhood/community feel, similar to that at Mashiko, but with much better quality fish, (in my opinion). Prices are very reasonable, and service is attentive.

  10. Since they pulled it last summer due to FDA regulations, I'm wondering if the whole Total Yogurt situation has been resolved and if anyone in Seattle has been able to purchase it recently, or has found it in stores. I call Whole Foods and Trader Joes periodically to check, but am I limiting my search? Thanks!

  11. I bef to differ Skyfkyer 3 but I would have to say that Gelatiamo in Seattle has the best gelato this side of the PNW. I've never found anything in Vancouver that comes close to the Hazelnut Gelato they have there.

    I have to say, it may be the flavors I navigate towards are the ones that Gelatiamo never gets right for me - and since I haven't tried the hazelnut, I guess I can't truly dismiss them outright. In Italy, I'd always judge the quality of a gelateria by the texture, taste and color of the pistachio flavor. If it was a minty or bright-ish green, it was bound to have artificial flavorings. If it was slightly greyish green, or a more muted brownish green, it was going to be good stuff.

    Right after we got back from Florence a couple of years ago, I tried Gelatiamo, hoping to quench my hankerings for the real thing, and was sorely disappointed. Not because it was bad, mind you; it was because the texture and taste was closer to ice cream than gelato for me. Gelatiamo had a thicker, denser mouthfeel, rich and velvety but not what I was looking for. And the color of the pistachio at Gelatiamo was minty, and the flavor seems just not Italian to me. I think Bottega Italiano is the the most authentic here in Seattle, and better than the gelaterias in Portland, but even there the mouthfeel isn't as light, or the flavors as complex as those in the finer gelaterias in Italy. Something to be said for local ingredients, I suppose (although you can still find sub-standard gelato in Italy as well!).

    edited to add: Butter, Bottega Italiano is in Pike Place Market, on 1st next to DeLaurenti's. The owner is from Milan, and they cary granita as well.

  12. Hey, I'd love to hear about this chi-chi tea place in Seattle. I buy tea at The Perennial Tea Room in Pike Place Market, or at the TeaCup on Queen Anne. Both have a great selection. The Perennial Tea Room sells a Masa Fuji For Life Teapot that is designed not to drip after pouring. They have a very generous infuser that allows three+ teaspoons of tea to unfurl with quuite a lot of space, and the teapot is wide and low, as is the infuser, so that it meets the water levels well. The mesh infuser is so handy, and slim enough to use in large mugs for single servings of tea.

    I use cold tap water, measure out two-cups exactly, pour into my kettle, and then I pull the water right before it fully boils. There's a sound the water makes that cues me to do so. I've heard many times that this prevents cooking the leaves, which adds bitterness.

    It's true that types of teas, even within variations of black, have different steeping times. I usually do 45 seconds for most greens, unless they are an oolong, for which I do 3 minutes. Darjeeling black I also do 3 minutes, but earl grey I do five. Rooibos and herbals I do 6. Greens I often re-steep for increasingly longer periods of time, but black and rooibos I throw out after the initial steeping. And I do milk after sugar or honey - to give some heat for the sugars to melt.

    When I don't want to bother with cleaning my teapot, which often happens, I steep my tea in a pyrex measuring cup. I know it sounds funny, but I love how easy it is to clean.

  13. I'm in agreement with Mooshmouse - Mario's is better gelato than Casa's. Other than the huge number of flavours I have never really seen what the attraction is at Casa.  As for cinnamon ice cream, I find it easiest to just have it with gingerbread pudding at the HSG :biggrin:

    I've not tried Mario's, but La Casa Gelato was not a pleasant experience. Many flavors there, even the exotic ones like Durian, tasted off, like the base had artificial flavorings in it. Won't be going back. Mondo Gelato is the best gelateria in the Pacific Northwest - definitely the most authentic artisinal gelato in taste and texture than anything in Seattle or Portland. I love the Maple Caramel, Milk Chocolate and Lime flavors.

  14. Had dinner at Cafe Campagne for the first time in many years while in Seattle a week ago and I have to say that the food was remarkably good, particularly the oysters we were served and the steak frites, which is among the best pieces of meat I've had out in a very long time! And for $20, that is saying something. We also had the steak tartare which I thought was good but nothing spectacular--I wish I'd skipped it and had the pate which I love.

    Service was not good. Not good at all. But the food was good from start to finish. I think this place is often overlooked by locals, so I thought I'd make mention of it.

    I forgot to mention we encountered some poor service as well during a brunch last August at Cafe Campagne. Food was wonderful, as always, but our server was really rude/clueless, and I was there with Russian business guests, which was very embarrasing for me. But I wrote a letter, and they sent a gift certificate for me to come back. I believe they have hired a brand new house manager, so hopefully they have turned the service around. It was truly a sour experience, though, that I haven't returned since.

  15. Husband and I did Lark last Saturday to celebrate getting my grad school applications out, after trying to get a last minute reservation for 9:00 at Union and given an abrupt "no" for the entire evening (and they are open until 11:30 p.m, or something like that). So we walked in at 9:00 p.m. and had the good fortune of being seated right away. I'm not recommending you do this, as I'm sure during the summertime this would have been near impossible, but it can happen. Please forgive me if I get some of these wrong as I recount the dishes, but here's what we had:

    Some Heritage Vermont cow cheese: This was described as rich and creamy but nothing like we thought. It seemed to me more like an Iraty sheep's milk cheese than from a cow - firmer and dryer than most cow's milk cheeses I've had. (Please note, I'm not a cheese expert, just listing some similarities). This came with a dollop of honey and some citrus rind, which complimented the dryness and saltiness of the cheese. We ate the cheese with the bread, irregular slices of a very plain white and a rye with raisins (really unremarkable bread, but the butter was top notch).

    Rosti potatoes: A puffy hash brown pancake topped with a dollop of cream. These were good, and I liked the crispy bottom. They came in a cute little cast-iron pan, similar in shape to one I might have used with my Mini-bake oven as a kid.

    Robuchon mashed potatoes - I really wanted to try these as well, since so many people have raved about this dish. This was the clearly the best dish of the evening. Smooth, yet silky, not grainy at all, but not gluey. Very buttery, with a subtle tangy note, like there was a little sour cream or cheese in the butter. I loved this, and can't tell you why, except that it was like getting ultimate comfort food from the finest restaurant in the world. Truly good stuff.

    Squab and little rolled pasta, with parmesan - This was tasty, and the pasta was nicely done. It had the texture that only freshly made pasta has, in an unassuming buttery sauce accented by chanterelles. The squab portions were tiny, as expected, and I wish they had de-boned the little leglings, as it was super hard to get the near-rare meat off without a little tussling. Thankfully, I remained ladylike throughout the evening.

    Hangar steak, on a bed of lentils and chard - Steak was nicely done, lentils were seriously ehhh compared with everything else that evening. The wine sauce was what really made this dish, but even it could not save those blah lentils.

    Chocolate madeleines with chocolate sauce - Wow, there were like, 20 little 1-inch madeleines with a little crock of nummy chocolate sauce. I was full before dessert came, but these puppies really threw me for a loop. Seriously, in relation to the entrees, this dish alone was twice as big and filling as the squab. No joke - three people can do this dessert and come away satisfied. The madeleines were fairly chocolate, but not very sweet, and came tucked in a napkin to keep them warm, which was a nice touch. Chocolate sauce made the dish, and made our ice cream (see next) even better.

    Malt ice-cream - A perfect end to this meal. Cool, refreshing and a really generous portion. This actually tasted more like condensed milk to me than anything else. It had a smooth, caramel flavor, not like burnt sugar but more like buttery sweetened cream. Good on its own, awesome with the madeleines' chocolate sauce.

    Overall, a very nice, surprisingly filling and affordable dinner - we paid $62 before tax for all of the above, plus my tea. Room was a little noisy, but the staff were attentive and down-to-earth. We'll definitely return, especially for the Robuchon potatoes!

  16. Hello - Lurking from Seattle, but had to add my vote for Moderne Burger. While I also noted that they don't ask you how you'd like your burger done, and that there could be a little more seasoning on the patty, I loved the experience anyway. The owner and has staff couldn't be nicer, or more thorough in their efforts to please - and that tops all for me. The fries were generous and tasty (although I did like the fries at Feenie's better) and I thought the burger was great. Certainly better than Dick's, or Kidd Valley, or Burgerville, for that matter. I liked the fact that the meat was lean, as I didn't get that nasty, greasy feeling I usually get from eating burger and fries. And the shakes! Chocolate covered cherry was awesome! So until a better burger is found, Moderne has my vote for the best consummate burger experience. I sure am glad I don't have one here in Seattle - I'd be eating burgers way too often if that were the case.

  17. We dropped by Sen5es today, and picked up more of the cookies. They are now called "Fleur de Cao Cookies", and they are amazing. They really are a perfect cookie - chewy, but not too dense, wonderful chocolate taste, black as midnight. Run, don't walk, and pick some of these up soon.

    We also had the passionfruit pate de fruit, and wow are these great. The pure chocolate truffle is exquisite as well, but when I asked what the difference was between the dark chocolate ganache truffle and the pure chocolate Valrhona truffle, she couldn't give me a straight answer. All I could determine is that the Valrhona truffle was 70%, and the other was lighter. Both were very good, though, as was the salted caramel truffle.

  18. I would be interested in learning in what instances Asian food uses sugar in large quantities.  It doesn't fit with what I know about Asian eating habits.

    An interesting point to note: Many people in Asian cultures like to eat jelly with a spoon, as if it were a dessert, and not a condiment. I had a couple of boyfriends from China and Vietnam who would actually grab the jelly jar out of the fridge and just eat it. And if you visit Asian groceries frequently, you'll see many jelly desserts in individual serving packages, which are meant to be spooned up and eaten straight. And these aren't thick, chunky fruit preserves either.

    Now, I don't find anything wrong with that, though I don't eat jelly that way. I really enjoy meeting people from different cultures and noticing the differences in eating habits. But this one seems sort of interesting, as it could make a trip to IHOP very advantageous, since there's a dispenser with a bounty of free dessert packets on every table.

    And I'd say this is one of many examples where Asians certainly get their recommended daily allowance of sugar.

    Speaking of Asians and jelly, my co-worker brought in some Korean Honey Citrus Tea. It comes in a huge glass jar, and looks just like marmalade. You dump a big spoonful in a glass, and then add hot water. Very yummy. I can't find it locally, so I will have to purchase it from someone traveling there next. Honestly, I think there'd be a huge market for the stuff here in the Northwest. It's interesting, tasty and exotic.

    I agree that processed things are too sweet nowadays, including mayo, and especially cereal. I like that Frosted Flakes now has a less-sugar option, although I think they added Splenda and then half the sugar. Why can't they just make it less sweet? (This is coming from someone who loves sugar, by the way).

  19. Can I vote for the absolute worst? I bought some Italian licorice pastilles, and they were absolutely nasty. I tried so hard to like them, as they were kind of pricy, but they were just so bitter. I think they were called liquirizia spezzata.

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