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  1. Seattleite heading out to St. Pete's Beach near the end of March. Bumping this up to see if there are any updates about good places to eat. In particular, we're looking for seafood, for Florida-style cooking, and for casual (i.e. 3 kids age 8 and under). Good seafood markets, too - we'll have a kitchen where we're staying. Thanks. Susan
  2. Okay, I know it's a pretty specific question, but we've got a family vacation there starting next weekend, and there are 6 people in our family who have birthdays in August (with one of us turning 70, and one turning 40). We've got a big group, and would like to get a very nice cake (or two) to celebrate, but really don't go for the supersweet supermarket cakes. Any ideas for a fabulous chocolate cake? How about a white cake? And do they decorate? Thanks!
  3. Reviving this thread & hoping to get an update. Heading out to Southern Shores in about a week. Will cook quite often, but especially interested in good, inexpensive, local food. Still the same recommendations? Any other holes in the wall? Thanks! Susan
  4. Don't be afraid of the Eastside - Noble Court and Top Gun are both favorites of ours for dim sum. Closer to home, though, we like Honey Court and we're also fans of Jade Garden. Jade Garden is a bit on the shabby side decor-wise, and the waits for a table are long during prime dim sum hours on weekends. But if you go in on the early side (say 10:30ish) and then stay until the interesting stuff starts coming out (after 11), you can avoid some of the longest waits.
  5. Resurrecting this thread in hopes of more recommendations for the Bend Area. Driving there from Seattle to stay a few days. Restaurants must be kid-friendly, but would love to find some good food. Thanks.
  6. We love love LOVE Vios - the food is wonderful, Mr. Soukakos & his staff are warm & the kids' play area is lovely (and much nicer than "the pit" at the Montlake Alehouse). The play area means that my spouse and I can actually enjoy our food & have a conversation during dinner while our active almost 3 year old plays nearby. I'm glad you posted, jbonne, to let folks know how great it is. And I hope you and lots of folks go so that Vios has the success it deserves. But you childless folks, give us parents a break - you all have so many great restaurants you can go to at any time. Vios' kid-friendliness makes it absolute paradise for parents like us who are in dire need of kid-friendly places with great food. Susan
  7. Does anyone know of a restaurant in Seattle with a decent number of vegetarian maki (or nigiri) options? Our toddler loves the idea of sushi (thanks to one of her favorite books), likes kappa maki, but we're not ready to move her on to raw fish yet. So I'm looking for a place that: 1. Has more non-raw-fish options than tamago & kappa maki; and 2. Would be child friendly enough for us not to tick off the other patrons (not Shiro's, for example). There's a great sushi place in San Francisco in the Richmond where I've gone with my vegetarian friend, which serves some really great stuff, including kabocha squash maki. Thanks for any ideas! Susan
  8. Friends of mine are planning a seder in a couple of weeks and are looking for a good source for some prepared kosher foods. My friend mentioned matzoh ball soup, pickled beets, and decent kosher wine (if it exists) . . . Any recommendations for a good deli or market?
  9. While bleeding chocolate would've made the chickens more realistic, they are, alas, merely hollow with little foil-wrapped eggs inside. The shape is a hen sitting on a basket. They are small, about the size of a large orange. Small enough not to send all the kids into sugar orbit.
  10. Our brunch includes a ceremonial reading of "Max and the Chocolate Chicken," after which the kids will hunt for eggs and for said chicken. We found some nice chocolate chickens with chocolate eggs inside at Rosehill Chocolate Co. in Mukilteo. They are super nice folks.
  11. Bill, just wanted to say THANK YOU for your recommendations & give a little report back on our trip. 1st, I must rave that Cedars is wonderful. The Lebanese menu contains some interesting dishes I haven't seen at many "Middle Eastern" restaurants. We had some great dishes, including the best pita bread I have ever had - in fact, I now feel like I never had pita until I ate it there. Piping hot little puffs of bread with a somewhat crackly surface - wonderful. A very nice fool mudammas (I'm probably messing up my spelling), excellent mixed kabob grill (our preschooler loved the lamb & the chicken), a Lebanese ground beef kabob, and a lovely dessert that was somewhat like flan. We ate in the outside space, which seems a bit less formal than the inside. This turned out to be a smoking area, but that was okay because folks were smoking hookahs, not cigarettes & the smoke was more like incense. We were even entertained by a belly dancer! It was a great evening. We also enjoyed Boma at Disney. Buffets are a good option for families (like us) with a preschooler as it is already noisy and we could get food immediately. I don't know much about foods from Africa, but my impression was that the foods were primarily from West and South Africa - there wasn't anything I recognized from our meals at our many local East African (Ethiopian, Eritrean) restaurants in Seattle. Some of my favorites were the Fufu (puree of sweet and regular potatoes) and a grilled chicken. The desserts are lovely as well, and servings are small enough that sampling many things is reasonable. It is quite pricey - $25 per person for dinner - but the Lodge is lovely and worth seeing as well. As an aside, I was dismayed at the number of folks I saw around me who had plates full of chicken fingers and french fries when there were so many other dishes to try, but such is Disney, I guess. We returned to Wildsides for some pork sammiches, beers & (coincidentally) the end of the Daytona 500. We combined our trip there with a walk around Lake Eola & a long play session for our daughter at the adjacent playground. It was a nice day - the BBQ is good, though I thought it was a bit on the dry side. I did like being able to have a salad with it since BBQ is so heavy. I wondered what happened to the lake, though - it seemed very dry. We had a couple of other meals that were just expedient (near our hotel, etc.) The Italian restaurant in the Swan (might be called Palacio or something like that) is pretentious and overpriced and just not that good. They claim to have a wood fired oven, but their pizza was not much bettern than Dominos - too much cheese, crust and the sauce iis not flavorful enough. Ugh. Just wanted to mention that we went back to the Shark Encounter restaurant at Sea World. Definitely very pricey & food is uneven. But watching the sharks & other large fish in the tank was great - especially for the mobility-impaired elderly family member with us. I had a very nice citrus caesar salad, and some red snapper that was really excellent - tender, not overcooked, sauced delicately. The empanada and creamed spinach accompanying were pretty awful, though. If you're at Sea World, it can definitely fill a need as it did for us. Again, thanks for all of your help. We had a great time. Susan
  12. I have a question for you though. When I was interviewing at Microsoft about 6 years ago I ate dinner in Bellevue (I think) at a very good restaurant on the top floor of a high-rise. Do you know the name of this place and if it's still open? Any help is appreciated. Thanks very much for your detailed answer - it's very helpful! I don't know that many restaurants in Bellevue, but I'm thinking maybe the restaurant you're talking about is Daniel's Broiler? It's primarily a steakhouse & part of a small local "chain," but very popular and is on the 21st floor. with a great view of Lake Washington. http://www.schwartzbros.com/daniels.cfm#anchor3 Could this be the one?
  13. May I piggyback on this topic as my request for help is similar? We're looking in particular for good non-chain food, ethnic or regional. I searched this forum & found a fair number of discussions of higher end food, but aside from a yummy-sounding Puerto Rican restaurant, and California Grill, I didn't necessarily see much in the moderate-to-cheap, toddler-friendly type of place. We'll be at the Swan on Disney property for 3 days, and then the Holiday Inn Sunspree on Rt. 535 near Lake Buena Vista for two days. We have a car. Our toddler is a good eater & good restaurant kid (she's already eaten all kinds of things, from Vietnamese to Ethiopian). Last year, we got a recommendation for a delicious Cuban restaurant called El Bohio, to which we may decide to return. We also liked Wildfire's, a barbeque place near Lake Eola (as much because it was nice to go to the lake after as the food & as I recall, the name of the restaurant had changed...can't remember what it was). We did not like Tutu Tango - too loud and food was mediocre. We'd particularly like to try restaurants with food that's not done as well in Seattle -- Cuban, Puerto Rican, Southern.... Thanks for your thoughts! Susan
  14. We both had Congee--didn't try the noodles like Susansea, and maybe we should have. The Congee was lukewarm, very bland, not much of the featured meats and goodies. The BBQ comes from the place next door (actually connected) but I didn't catch the name. Now I want to try Takehachi.... ←
  15. Finally used our gift certificate for Troiani last night & I must say I was underwhelmed by the food & glad we didn't pay full price. Here's our menu: Olives, olive oil, sundried tomatoes & bread were brought out while we read the menu. The olives (of various sizes & shapes) were delicious. Grilled calamari with tomatoes, mint & avocado -- the squid was nicely grilled in that it was quite tender, but both my DH & had one piece that tasted fishy & we just didn't like it much. The mint just didn't work for me - it seemed odd with the squid. Pappardelle with wild boar Bolognese -- this was the biggest hit. The pasta was silky, sauce earthy & flavorful. We both loved this. Roasted Salmon with leeks (1/2 portion): Really not very good. Strangely fishy. Also, not cooked medium rare as the waiter had said it would be. The leeks seemed tasteless. Lamb rib chops with parmesan crust (1/2 portion): This was tasty, the lamb tender, but nothing spectacular. The parmesan crust seemed a bit too salty. At this price, i expected something better - we waxed nostalgic about a simply wonderful, meltingly tender and delicious lamb shank we had some years ago at the now-defunct Brie & Bordeaux. No comparison. Sides of Sauteed Broccoli Rabe (tasty, nicely crisp & a bit spicy), & Polenta (pleasantly cheesy but nothing wonderful). Chocolate torte with mocha gelato. Gelato was smooth and delicious. The torte was not at all rich or particularly chocolately. I had no desire to finish it. Panna Cotta with pine nuts & lemon shortbread: Panna cotta was silky & light & the pine nuts were a delicious garnish. Shortbread was overly lemony. We had a 1991 Antinori Chianti recommended by the waiter. It was good, but seemed overpriced at $42 a bottle (and that was one of the cheaper wines). In sum: the food at Troiani is not bad, but it's not particularly good, either. At this price, I would expect something special & instead I felt this was not really better than many an average run of the mill hotel-type restaurant (and it's not in a hotel). Atmosphere: Very dark, clubby feeling. It was also too noisy for my taste. Service: Our waiter was attentive, but perhaps a little more informal than I'd expect in this expensive of a restaurant. We had to laugh at the apparent attempt to provide us with a pseudo-Italian experience. The first time the bus boy came to the table to clear dishes, he said, "Finito?" to us. The 2nd time, some minutes later, it was "Finished?" Then, finally, another bus person said, "All finito with that?" Susan
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