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Everything posted by dandelion

  1. They started out being closed Monday and Tuesday, but they've exapanded their hours and are now only closed on Monday.
  2. Agreed with vengroff -- eat as much Mexican food as you can before you go. There is no (well, hardly any) Mexican food in NY, other than Azteca-like places. Especially outside of the city.
  3. Yeah, I am a vegetarian... but I rarely eat at vegetarian restaurants because I tend to dine out with people who like all types of food. I just get tired of eating the same grilled portabella sandwich at so many restaurants in Seattle. I don't need more than one option, it would just be nice if that option was changed every now and then. Matt's is a great place, so I'm just surprised they're not a little more creative with their veggie offering. P.S. - I haven't seen the new menu.
  4. I love the location and the people, but I wish the menu would change... there's only so many times I can eat ANOTHER grilled portabella sandwich, no matter how good it is.
  5. I walked by Harvest Vine yesterday hoping to stop in for a glass of wine and a bite, and they were packing everything into big moving trucks! Luckily, they're just going to be closed for a couple of weeks for a kitchen remodel.
  6. This does look like an interesting idea... looking forward to seeing you around town. Looking over the menu, I notice that you don't have any vegetarian sandwiches or mains. Is this just an oversight, or an intentional business decision? You'll notice a vegetarian option at almost all restaurants in Seattle, except for non-local chains. Even steakhouses (even El Gaucho), have vegetarian options. I'd say that especially since you plan on setting up shop in places like farmers markets, I'd say it would be a good idea to think about tweaking the menu to include some vegetarian friendly food.
  7. Me too -- with the painting of Red smoking a joint by the front door! Classic. You know about the parking lot across the street, right? It's a block away but much less scary.
  8. cheers to that!Like Black Bottle didn't... cough, cough -- although now they're a gastro-tavern??
  9. XO Bistro has been closed for a couple of months... actually it's for sale if anyone is interested. I ate there once and thought it was good. It had the same owners as Maximilien in the Market. LMF, are you sure you're not thinking of The Cellar Bistro, located in the same building as XO, around back? That place is the WORST, weirdest Italian restaurant I've ever eaten at. I can't believe it's still open.
  10. I spoke with the owners of Entre Nous a day or so after their opening. A nice couple, husband as chef, wife doing the business side I believe. I don't recall where the chef worked before, but the menu is simple takes on French food; things he likes to make for himself. As an example, one of the lunch items is basically a nicoise salad on a baguette. Lots of other baguette sandwiches, streak frites, and fondue. I didn't try anything because they weren't actually open when I spoke to them -- it was Easter Sunday... and a friend and I got caught peering into the window and invited in. They've really done a fabulous job transforming the space... it's got a French bistro feeling without a hint of the former Mamacita's.
  11. Up on 15th Ave E on Capitol Hill... Rainbow Natural Grocery closed on Sunday. No real surprise there, their shelves have been 50% empty for maybe a year. I'll miss it though. Up the block on the other side, Cypress closed suddenly. The space it occupied really does seem to be cursed, I can think of four restaurants that have been in there in as many years. As for the new tenant, I heard an unconfirmed rumor about cupcakes....
  12. I hate making reservations, because I rarely know what I feel like eating until I'm hungry for the night's meal. So I like places that don't take them for small parties, because it means that I have as good a chance as anyone else to get a table. I realize that this means I'll usually have to wait a bit to get seated, but I expect it so it doesn't bother me. If the wait is too long, I'll go somewhere else. I feel differently when I'm organizing a dinner for large group. It usually takes a lot of pre-planning to get a large party together; working with everyone's schedules means figuring out when and where we're going to eat is a must. At these times, a reservation is essential. The "eight or more" policy you mention for Marazul does seem excessive though... most places seem to have minimum of six.
  13. I definitely prefer Carmelita to Cafe Flora, even though their chefs (and thus the menu) do change often. An article ran in the Seattle Times recently: Six degrees of Carmelita. It's really interesting to see how many of Seattle's top chefs have made their way through Carmelita's kitchen over the years. Seattle is a fairly vegetarian-friendly town, with most restaurants having at least one entree option, so there's really no need to seek out all-veg places unless you really want to.
  14. Issaquah: Issaquah Brewhouse (Rogue Ales) 35 Sunset Way http://www.rogue.com/locations-issaquah.html Stop in for one of their signature beers, like Dead Guy or Morimoto Soba, several brewed on site. Occasionally they even have test batches available here that you can’t get anywhere else (like Chamomellow, a light beer infused with chamomile). Or, if you don’t feel like drinking and then hitting the road, you can stock up on bottles of your favorites at a great price. Food is nicer than average pub grub. XXX Root Beer Drive-In 98 NE Gilman Blvd http://www.issaquahhistory.org/sites/xxxdrivein.htm The very first of the XXX Drive-Ins and one of only 2 left in the country, this relic from the 1950s is visible from the highway. Classic retro style burger joint plus shakes and fries, and of course the root beer float. The food is not great, but it’s big, messy and fun. The have classic car meet-ups here on some weekends. North Bend: Twede’s (a.k.a. Double R Diner) 137 W North Bend Way http://www.twedescafe.com/ If you ever watched Twin Peaks, you can stop here for cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee. A fire completely gutted the interior about eight (?) years ago and they redid it as a tacky 1950s diner. But the outside is still the same, they still serve cherry pie, and back by the bathrooms are some great one-of-a-kind photos of the cast and crew that were taken during the filming. Snoqualmie: Salish Lodge 6501 Railroad Avenue http://www.salishlodge.com/ Dining here can be very high-end, or more moderate and cozy. I prefer the Attic Bistro to the Dining Room. If you don’t stop for food, at least stop and walk the path out to the overlook for a break taking and dramatic view of the falls. (This is the Great Northern Lodge if you’re still on the Twin Peaks tour.) Thorp: Thorp Fruit Stand 410 Gladmar Road http://thorpfruit.com/ Once you come down over the pass, you’ll come into what I know as Eagle Valley, and soon Thorp, home of the fruit stand and not much else that I know of. You’ll see the big white building on the left side of the highway. They’ve got fresh local produce (probably not great this time of year), wine, preserves and gourmet food items on the ground level. The upstairs is an antique mall, which is really overpriced, but creaky and interesting and fun for a little browsing if you’re in the mood. Ellensburg: D&M Coffee Company http://www.dmcoffee.com/Locations/RetailLocations.htm Multiple locations. The original was in a vintage gas station that was converted to drive thru at 408 S. Main St. Unfortunately, I think they had to close that one when the Starbucks moved in down the street. The owners are former Seattleites who decided to bring good coffee east of the mountains. Very cute. Beyond: Once you get past Ellensburg, it’s all about the views. If you have time to stop in Vantage, go to the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. The rocks are cool, but my favorite part is the caretaker’s cottage, built with pieces of the petrified wood and rocks during the Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps. After you drive across the Columbia River, head south and follow the road cut into the rocks, passing damns and cutting through acres of vineyards and apple orchards. I’ve never checked to see if any offer tours, but during certain parts of the year you can roll down your windows and the smells are amazing. Sometimes you’ll pass a roadside fruit stand (again, not sure what you’ll find this time of year). There are only a few small towns out here, and unfortunately no other standout places to get food. In Schwana there’s a cute local gas station that has a great popsicle selection. As you continue, you’ll cross the river again, and you’ll pass the through the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Just before you get to the Tri-Cities, on the outskirts of West Richland, a smaller river will be on your right near the road. Look carefully and you’ll sometimes see small Indian fishing platforms built over the water.
  15. What a drive! I've driven from Seattle to the Tri-Cities approximately 4 million times, so I'm working on a list for you. But I'd say, unless you have a compelling reason to take 82 through Yakima and go that way, the drive is a lot more scenic if you continue on 90 past Ellensburg to Vantage, then go south on 243 along the Columbia River, and through the grape vineyards and rock formations. It's just a pretty 2 lane highway with a lot less traffic.
  16. Crow has a chef's counter that's set up like a bar that faces into the kitchen. Rather than servers bringing out your food, the people working the line will pass your hot plate directly to you. It's pretty fun to be able to watch everything like this, and much more common in the Seattle area than an actual table in the kitchen, where space is at at premium. The only place that I can think of that has an actual dining area in the kitchen is Bucca de Beppo (ew!).
  17. I definitely agree with the reviews above. I stopped in for a cappuccino (which was good and perfectly dry) before a walk through the park on Sunday. The new owners have really done a great job on the space -- the old Cafe Europa was always so dark and weird. I might even say I felt the spirit of the Surrogate Hostess (sans communal tables) in here, everyone was so nice and cheery and the food looked creative and delicious. The wine dinners sound great too -- I look forward to checking them out.
  18. I've got to agree with Rocky's review, above. I just don't think that the pizza at Serious Pie is very good. I first went a week or two after it opened, and had the truffled mushroom pie, which was literally doused in truffle oil. I'm always suspicious of this, because truffle oil has such a strong scent that it hides every other flavor. Ate in anyway, and I could still taste it in the back of my throat all the next day. Not good. I went back again just yesterday to try the basic buffalo mozzarella and tomato pie, thinking perhaps they had worked out some earlier issues, and that I'd enjoy something a little simpler. It was nice to see that the prices have dropped a bit -- this pizza used to be $15 and now it's down to $12. Unfortunately, I still didn't like it. While the toppings were good, the crust just tasted really floury to me... it reminded me of frozen pizza. All over the top was a liberal dusting of dried oregano -- how tacky! It might seem like a small thing to quibble about, but it's hard for me to believe that Tom Douglas restaurants can't get their hands on some fresh oregano. And if they can't, either stir the dried into the sauce so it rehydrates a bit, or just leave it off completely. I much, much prefer Via Trib or Tutta Bella.
  19. Don't laugh, but I have a big collection of Sunset Magazine cookbooks. They do a recipe annual every year, and there's a couple "Best of Sunset" cookbooks that I like better. The books, especially the photos, might seem a little dated (I love the ones from the eighties), but they're very Northwest oriented with local ingredients, info on local producers, and historical stuff, like why we eat cedar planked salmon. Easy to find and cheap in area used bookstores. Greg Atkinson's new West Coast Cooking is also great, and very thorough.
  20. Yep... glad to see someone finally moving in there. It's been depressing to walk by and see the dust grow ever thicker on the bottles of alcohol that they never removed from the bar shelves.
  21. I think this is the place that took over Firefly/Lumiere? That was fast! Maybe I'll take a peek tomorrow....
  22. I'm definitely going to miss Banjara. When I first moved to the neighborhood, a few friends and I had dinner there. I ordered the aloo saag, which was delicious. When we were getting ready to go, the waitress asked if I'd like a box. Since I only had a couple of potatoes and some sauce left, I said "no, thanks." She asked if everything was okay, and said that the chef always thought people didn't like the food if anything was left at the end of the meal. Apparently it hurt his feelings! After that I always got a box, no matter how little food I had left.
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