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jlo mein

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  1. Went back this past weekend for their special Crawfish Boil! Check their website calendar for remaining dates (June 27 is one of them). I must say that the crawfish boil was very spicy. I like food with some kick but this is definitely for those who like stuff really hot.

    Beignets with crawfish gravy.


    1lbs crawfish boil. This was quite big for one person, and they even had a 3lbs version available to share.


    Bread pudding with bourbon sauce. I prefered the beignet dessert I had previously.


  2. Dropped by Alligator Soul in May on a Saturday night and it was crowded. All the locals in Everett seemed to eat here and its easy to see why. No creole or cajun restaurant in Vancouver comes close to the experience I had at Alligator Soul, the food is simply heart warming good.

    Sampled turtle soup, deep fried alligator tail, hush puppies, gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish etoufee. Everything was good, with the crawfish etoufee being a particularly great standout. Finished the meal off with the dessert beignets which had some banana and caramel sauce.

    Its really a shame that Southern food doesn't exist in my home town Vancouver, at least at this level. I know this isn't the kind of high end cuisine normally mentioned on egullet, but I really liked the restaurant's welcoming and friendly quality. Forgive the poor photos, I was too impatient to deal with camera settings and wanted to dive into the food.

    Hush Puppies


    Alligator Bites


    Jambalaya with shrimp, crawfish tails, scallops, mussels, and clams


    Crawfish Etoufee


    Dessert Beignets


    Table Sauces (also for sale)


  3. Thanks to all your recommendations my girlfriend and I did visit Taberna Del Alabardero last month on a Saturday for lunch. The restaurant was absolutely dead. The space is huge, but there was only one solo diner present when we arrived. The restaurant looks fabulous inside, including the windowed kitchen, and I felt severly underdressed in casual shorts and a t-shirt. Regardless, we still received warm service from our waiter. The Paella Valenciana wasn't on the brunch menu, but when I asked for it the waiter gladly said it would be fine.

    The paella comes out tableside in the paelleras pan in quite spectacular fashion. Once you get a good look at it, the waiter delicately serves it out onto plates for you, with great presentation. It tasted absolutely wonderful and made me instantly disdain all the "paellas" I've eaten in Vancouver. The rice was a little too salty, but the juice from the lemon wedge eased it away nicely.

    Once again thanks for your recommendations, I enjoyed my lunch there thoroughly.




  4. Can't imagine why you would go to Mike's. Never herd of HulaHula till this post - but I wasn't looking either. Some strange options, if inexpensive?

    La Taberna is very authentic as I understand it, with many paella options. The old Cascadia spot. I hope you do try it and let us know if it pleased you.

    I first saw Mike's on Food Network's Diners Drive Ins and Dives and thought it would be a great opportunity to try spaghetti with chili, which seems to be a Cincinnati staple. I haven't found a place in Vancouver that serves a good chili. Alligator Soul intrigues me as Southern food is equally as hard to find in Vancouver (a good restaurant called Dadeo just closed).

    La Taberna seems like a winner right now, as they specifically mention on their menu they do a paella the traditional Valencian way. Is it formal there? Going to Seattle for a day or two I'd probably go shopping or catch a baseball game and would be dressed accordingly.

    Hula Hula ~ if you're looking for a Tiki Bar, they have decor, but nothing vintage, the drinks are sugary sweet . the vibe is Frat Boy.  the food isn't anything wonderful. oh and karoke after 9.

    try Tini Biggs next door if you want drinks, Jamie Boudreau has changed the menu and its supposed to be great.

    they share the same kitchen, but have different menus.

    I was hoping to be able to find an original Trader Vic recipe Mai Tai cocktail with some interesting bites on the side. HulaHula sounds like it started as a good concept that got adapted to modern young people's tastes. Tini Bigs could be an interesting stop at the end of the night.

  5. I did a search on the forum but didn't come up with any results. I'm from Vancouver and am looking to find the best Paella in Seattle as options are quite limited up here (and lackluster). As far as I am aware, there are three restaurants in the Seattle area that serve Paella: Tango, Andaluca, and Gaudi. Are there any opinions on which place is the best?

    Of all the options, I have read more reviews on Tango, which are generally positive but usually don't comment on the Paella. I did find a poor photo online that still manages to make it look fantastic.

    Paella at Tango Restaurant

    If anyone wants to add some off-topic comments on other places I intend to try, I'm interested in:

    Alligator Soul (Everett)

    Mike's Chili Parlor

    HulaHula Lounge

    I've already visited many great places like Paseo, Baguette Box, Union, and Zig Zag.

  6. Thought I'd revive an old thread instead of making a new one. I returned from a seven day New York trip a few weeks ago and had a great time. I managed to find the tiny entrance to the Pegu Club on a dark night (ok I asked for directions after crossing the same intersection three times). Here is some eye candy.



    Left: Pegu Club - London Dry Gin, Angostura Bitters, Regan's Orange Bitters, Orange Curacao, and Lime Juice.

    Right: Ode To Ankarah - Gin, Elderflower Liqueur, Grapefruit Juice, Lemon Juice, and Regan's Orange Bitters.


    Kill-Devil - Rum Agricole, Green Chartreuse, Demerara Syrup, Angostura Bitters.

    I'm still kicking myself for not buying any rum agricole and bringing it back home to Vancouver, Canada (not available). I opted instead for Zacapa 23 rum, and didn't have any other luggage space.

  7. I didn't even start to drink Camparai until last summer (first had it in a Negroni in Las Vegas back over July 4th weekend).

    Where did you possibly go in Vegas to have a decent Negroni? I'm very interested to know if a good bar exists there.

    BTW I just checked my latest Campari bottle and it lists the ingredients as sugar, alcohol, aromatic herbs, and E120. I wiki'd E120 and it is natural carmine. Yay!

  8. I'd like to say thanks again for this excellent recommendation. I really wish we could have gone to Country Village (the complex Stella Mia is located in) during the day as it seems like a lovely throwback to old town shops and atmosphere. The restaurant itself feels cozy with a friendly atmosphere. Service was great and the food better than I expected from a little town traditional Italian place.

    Started with polenta gorgonzola and a bottle of Chianti wine. The wine was only $10 with a coupon from their website. The polenta was fantastic with a crusty outside and a wonderful soft inside. The gorgonzola sauce was smooth with a strong flavour and paired well with the polenta.


    My girlfriend had a fettucine bolognese. Pretty standard stuff, but it was exactly what she wanted that night and really hit the spot for her.


    I had the fettucine di mare. It had all sorts of seafood: mussels, prawns, clams, scallops, and calamari. It was just what I needed after a long and hungry day of driving.


    I didn't take a picture, but we ended with an excellent creme caramel. If I ever find myself in the Bothell area again I would definitely eat there, unfortunately there really isn't much to do in Bothell. I'm sure I'll do the same next time and go to Bellevue and make a stop at Stella Mia on the way back. It's nothing fancy, but it has a great small town appeal to it with familiar Italian favourites.

  9. Went down to Seattle to near the end of January to see the Symphony and stopped by Union before hand. Thanks to everyone on egullet who recommended I eat at Union. Checked into the Sheraton hotel around 4:30PM, and had enough time to iron and change clothes and head to Union for our 5:45PM reservation. I was surprised since the walk looked further on google maps. When we arrived we told our server that we had to make the symphony at 7:30PM and he was very accomodating. Service was great the whole night, and my girlfriend and I enjoyed the secluded window table they gave us looking onto the Seattle Art Museum.

    Started with a rabbit liver mousse with cipollini onion agrodolce and walnut toast. I've never had rabbit liver before and found it very refreshing and mild tasting. The mousse was airy and light.


    In the next picture is a sidecar cocktail, cavatelli pasta with braised pork cheeks, and carnaroli risotto with hedgehog mushrooms and crispy pig's ear. The pasta was a little boring with the pork cheeks having a taste and texture much like an average stewed beef, although very tender. The risotto was ok but the pig's ear was far from crispy, and was hard and chewy. It really took away from the texture of the risotto and didn't contrast well.


    Last we had beef tongue with yellowfoot chantrelles, farro, and marjoram. I thought this was fantastic. The beef tongue was well seared and crusted on the outside, and kept the centre nice and juicy. This has been one of the most tender cuts of beef I have ever eaten, as it melted in my mouth after biting through the crusted outside.


    There were a lot of other things I wanted to try on the menu but my girlfriend and I were both very full from a late lunch. Overall I think I enjoyed eating there and would maybe go again. I find the menu to be a little confusing for the average person with so many unusual items and names. Below are pictures of the menu that night.



  10. I went to Baguette Box for the second time about 2 weeks ago, and was again very impressed. I had a pork belly in hoysin sauce and pickled cucumber that was unbelievable. I keep seeing locals ordering some sort of sausage or meatball sandwich that looks divine. Two locations, one near downtown to the East.

    Baguette Box

    If you're into a sandwich lunch Tues-Fri, I'm sure people will chime in and say Salumi. I have yet to go there (primarily because they aren't open on weekends), but I did have a great sandwich at Baguette Box that had Salumi mole salami.


    If you're into classic cocktails, check out Zig Zag Cafe. It has received rave reviews from many cocktail blogs around the country. Note that is it almost impossible to find at night, even with directions. I walked around Pike Place Market for a good 30 minutes before finding it. Walk on the street behind (South) of Pike Place Market, and if you're in the area directly South of where the brass pig is (located at the front entrance of the market), hopefully you will catch a glimpse of a tiny sign with an arrow pointing down some stairs to Zig Zag.

  11. In Central City and Bear Creek areas of Surrey I always carry tactical level brightness flashlights from Surefire. It's enough to light up someone from across a field or blind temporarily at close range. Usually that's enough to make people leave you alone.

    I second the recommendation for Mahek. They have decent indian food at good prices, the Mahek preset dinner being an overly large meal of many favourites at less than $20 I think.

    Pho Tam has decent pho, but isn't a great place for a nice meal. It's more of a casual lunch spot.

  12. I am going to heading down to Benaroya Hall on Thursday, staying at the Sheraton hotel. Originally I had planned to eat at Union, but my partner doesn't seem too interested in the menu.

    Is there anything else on the way from the Sheraton to Benaroya Hall (and one to two blocks around that Hall) that I should be aware of? Restaurants in the area I have found are Wild Ginger, Palomino, Shez Chea, Brooklyn Seafood and Steakhouse, Il Bistro, Maximilien, Typhoon, and Ipanema Grill.

    Are any of those restaurants not worth visiting? It's hard to narrow down the list by just looking at menus on websites, without really seeing the atmosphere or food presentation.

    Also, does anyone know if walking to and from the Sheraton to Benaroya Hall is manageable? Or is it quite a distance?

  13. That Stella Mia place looks decent from the look of their website here. The pastas sound pretty tasty, and it seems like a classic italian kind of place that isn't a family restaurant. They also have some great coupons on their website like 1/2 price bottle of wine with two entrees. On Friday we'll be heading from Bellevue to Lynnwood in the afternoon, and if traffic is bad on the 405, it may work better to get off the highway and have a really early dinner at Stella Mia.

    What do you personally think of the place in terms of food/atmosphere/service? Is it also rather formal there? We would be going there after recreational activity, probably dressed very casual.

    BTW thanks for the heads up on McGrath's Fish House. I've heard several friends and relatives recommend it, but none of them really eat out much. I'd imagine it being something like Red Lobster or a similar chain family seafood place.

  14. If you have a particular type of cuisine that you are seeking, please let me know and I may have some other recommendations.  I live in the area and am pretty familiar with the local restaurant scene.  As with most malls, chain restaurants predominate in the immediate Alderwood area.

    Is there anything decent in the way of Italian or seafood? Being Canadian, I have never been to Red Lobster, but as a chain restaurant I can't imagine it being great.

  15. If you have a particular type of cuisine that you are seeking, please let me know and I may have some other recommendations.  I live in the area and am pretty familiar with the local restaurant scene.  As with most malls, chain restaurants predominate in the immediate Alderwood area.

    Is there anything decent in the way of Italian or seafood? Being Canadian, I have never been to Red Lobster, but as a chain restaurant I can't imagine it being great.

  16. I am heading down to Seattle next Thursday to watch a Seattle Symphony Pops concert. Thinking of maybe hitting Union or something else for a fancy dinner that evening. I will be staying over night and spending the latter half of Friday shopping at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood.

    I was wondering if there are any good dinner places around the Alderwood Mall area, or anywhere relatively close to an I-5 Highway exit heading northbound back to Vancouver, BC.

  17. Was at Kombinya last night... they definitely have Calorie Mate!

    Thanks! Even before reading this I was finally going to make it out to Kombinya tomorrow...thanks for the confirmation that it is definitely there. I hope it's cheaper than online. At jbox.com you can get 10 boxes of the same flavour of Calorie Mate shipped to Canada by Economy Air (2-4 weeks) for $3.74US.

  18. I'm pretty sure, though, that I had read that they had relatively recently discontinued using real cochineal to color Campari.  Could be wrong about that, though.

    I have no idea how recent my bottling of Campari is (bought it from a local BC Liquor Store last month), but it lists the ingredients as sugar, alcohol, aromatic herbs, and carmine.

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