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Bruce Burger

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    Seattle (Queen Anne)
  1. Lark's food is far better than Canlis's. Canlis has a more formal atmosphere which I don't like, though some do. For great food in a more elegant atmosphere than Lark -- and also to be able to make reservations -- I suggest Rover's (modern French) or Crush (Northwest / modern American / whatever). Both are fabulous. Rover's is a little more traditional -- but not stuffy -- while Crush is more hip.
  2. Thanks, Tri2Cook! Now I want to try the Ritz Cracker Ice Cream as well. I'm pretty sure the Pretzel Ice Cream I had was smooth, so pureeing seems to be the way to go. I'll experiment with/without the sour cream and eggs and report back on my findings.
  3. I want to make pretzel ice cream like I had at Momofuku Ko. Elsewhere on the web I find that WD-50 recommends using Snyder's pretzels, so that's a start. Unfortunately I can't remember the texture of the ice cream I had, just that I loved it. How finely should I crush the pretzels? Should I steep them in the milk/cream mixture, add them at the start of churning, or add them at the end of churning? Should I add anything else to a standard sweet cream base? Any other suggestions?
  4. We had a fabulous dinner there a few months ago. I loved the menu, everything was delicious, and the serve and atmosphere was excellent as well. It may be a bit corporate but it didn't seem to suffer from that!
  5. We had our first meal there a few weeks ago. It was superb. Everything was made just perfectly.
  6. How about smoked eel? I had it once in London and loved it; I can't even find it to mail-order in the states, let alone buy in person in Seattle.
  7. Speaking of Queen Anne, has anyone tried Calva Cafe, the tiny sushi/Chinese/espresso/bubble tea place where Pat's espresso used to be? The menu has a fairly extensive sushi list plus a couple fozen Chinese standards. I've yet to try it, but the people are friendly and a friend said the food looked good.
  8. I had a frustrating experience when I called Marazul yesterday to make reservations for a party of 4 on Friday at 6pm. They don't take reservations except for parties of 8 or more! I asked why and was first given BS about how this is their policy. When I asked why it's their policy, he said "We cater to large groups." He quickly realized this sounded bad and continued, "We want smaller parties too, but we don't take reservations for them." I mentioned that the recent Seattle Times review said "Reservations recommended" and he said "Unfortunately they didn't say what size groups can make reservations." I mentioned that very few hotel restaurants refuse to take reservations and their policy made it hard for people to plan on eating before a show at the Paramount; he had no real reply. (I realize that Marazul may technically not be a hotel restaurant, but it's close.) Most surprisingly, when I asked for the manager so I could register my distaste for this policy, he said he was the manager! I can tolerate policies like this at quirky, chef-owned places like Lark and Sitka & Spruce, though I don't like it there, either (and go less than I otherwise would). We frequent restaurant patrons need to complain before this consumer-unfriendly policy spreads. In our case, since we're dining at 6pm, I suspect we'll be OK, but I've already got a bad feeling about Marazul's attitude.
  9. How reliable is that report? I can't imagine any restaurant paying $10,000 for a recipe. I can imagine paying that much, or more, to a restaurant consultant to design a menu that fits a particular restaurant.
  10. I'm headed to Breck, where I've been many times but not for a few years. What's new and delicious (or old and still delicious)? Any cuisine, any price, but we care much more about food than elegant atmosphere (but elegant is fine if the food is great). And even if it's not one of your top picks ... what's the best sushi? I promise a report when I return. Thanks!
  11. The counter has always been the cool place to sit at Matt's in the Market, and I assume it will still be so when Matt's reopens after expanding.
  12. FareStart, the nonprofit that trains homeless men and women to become cooks, opened for lunch today in its new location at 7th & Virginia. It's actually a soft opening; the official grand opening is Feb 5, but anyone can go there now. The space is gorgeous, the menu is the same diverse but mostly American fare as before, the food was delicious, and it was cool to be able to see the students working in the kitchen. The new building also has 3 private dining rooms for meetings, parties, etc. And the increased space will allow them to double the number of students they train. They're open M-F for lunch and Thursday nights for guest chef dinners. Here's the Guest Chef calendar; reservations are recommended for dinner (the first two are sold out) but not needed for lunch. Full disclosure: I'm a volunteer for this worthy organization.
  13. A couple of years ago I found cacao nibs at the Metropolitan Market in upper Queen Anne. I haven't checked since.
  14. It was Firefly and then Lumette (not to be confused with the excellent Lumiere in Vancouver!). The new place looks elegant and the menu very interesting. It says it's a mix of regional Italian cuisine, branching out from the Sicilian focus of their other restaurants.
  15. Any idea what O Pal is? Banjara had a checkered history that deserves to be memorialized. When we moved into the neighborhood in 1996, they already had the space rented, but it took a year or two for them to get it open. Meanwhile an Indian restaurant opened across the street -- first I believe it was a branch of Raga (from Bellevue), then Mayuri (also from Bellevue), though I may have the sequence wrong. Finally Banjara opened, and, even though its food was inferior, it did better because it had a corner location, it was slightly cheaper, and it was decorated more like a typical Indian restaurant (albeit badly). Eventually the food improved too, and Mayuri (or whatever it was called at the end) threw in the towel. For a while I believe the Banjara people even ran the Mexican restaurant that replaced Mayuri. But in the last couple of years, Banjara's quality declined, and eventually their customers realized it and stopped going. Some comic moments in Banjara's history: - For a long time, they had a framed letter in the bathroom from the health department saying something like "We are writing to commend you for being one of the most improved restaurants in cleanliness this year. With continued work on your part, we look forward to helping you become a leader in restaurant sanitation in the county." Apparently they thought this was something to be proud of. - When they were preparing to open a place across the street, the (apparent) owner said he was thinking of a Mexican seafood restaurant. One day I saw him perusing a seafood cookbook that was one of those books you find at a supermarket checkout stand for $4.99. - For many years they had a big sign in the window advertising "LUNCH BUFFETT $6.99". I couldn't walk by without thinking of Jimmy Buffet. - After 9/11, eager to show their patriotism, they put a big handmade poster of an American flag in the window. However, it looked like a first-grade class project: crooked lines, the wrong number of lines and stars, etc.
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