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  1. Well, the news about Lemon Grass depresses me. I haven't been there for awhile, but I've always been a sucker for their satay skewers, chinese sausage fried rice and heaven beef. I'll have to go again soon and see if things have gone downhill. Regarding Mojito Bay, I've eaten there twice and I'm smitten by the croquettas with the romesco dipping sauce. My entrees have been so-so. I forgot about BBQ: Have you tried Ranch House ? They are out towards Elma but have opened a takeout/catering place on Capitol Blvd. They have won a bunch of national awards. Also, I meant to recommend breakfast at "The Place" on Mudd Bay Road. awesome artery-clogging diner food. I enjoy the Chicken fried steak and eggs whenever I want to get in touch with my inner homer simpson. mmmm, gravy. My Sweet Oasis was downtown wasn't it? I think it's gone now. I"m sorry to hear you are going through a rough spot hummingbirdkiss. Best wishes!
  2. I am completely ignorant about gluten-free dining around here, but I can give you my thoughts on a couple of good places. Italian: Begins and ends with Trinacria. This is a hole-in-the-wall type place on Capitol Blvd between 4th and State (next to the Brotherhood Tavern!), so don't go expecting elegant decor and delicate food preparation. This is authentic southern italian peasant food made by sicilian owner/cook Eugenio. His english is barely intelligible, but his food is incredible italian comfort food. I love the spaghetti alla amatriciana, the lasagna is wonderful and the penne broccoli too. His sicilian pizzas (calzones) are great. My favorite is the #2, spinach and raisin. I've not tried Firenze, which is supposed to be more upscale italian. I've heard mixed reviews, so on the rare night where my wife and I can get out it is hard to pass up Trinacria. I don't care for Mercato at all. I find the food very bland. Pizza? Feh. I don't mind Farrelli's (Yelm highway), but it is fairly spendy. Old School pizzeria is a good place for a NY-style slice. Overall, pizza is not good in the Olympia area and we usually end up making our own at home. Vietnamese/Thai I really like Lemon Grass (downtown, 4th ave) and there's a new place in Tumwater (Capitol Blvd by the airport) called Tran's Dynasty that is fairly good. The Thai Pavilion used to be good (also on 4th), but I haven't been there in several years. Racha in the mall is worth trying too. Japanese Osaka is my favorite sushi place, but if you don't like sushi they do some other japanese dishes fairly well. I love their geoduck batayaki, the bento boxes are ok and their sukiyaki is great on a cold evening. There's a new sushi place on the westside called Sushi House that is a step above most of the other places. Seafood I'm off the Anthony's bandwagon. Everything is starting to taste the same to me there. There is a place in Shelton called Xinh's that people rave about, but I've never been. It's seafood with an asian twist. I really need to go. Run, do not walk away from the Oyster House. yecch. Mexican Mexican food around here generally means flour tortilllas and ground beef smothered in orange cheese. I'm not a fan. My favorite mexican food in Olympia is the truck parked on the westside (Harrison ave ). A couple of asado tacos washed down with some real mexican coke is a nice lunch. Mojito Bay is kind of a combo of mexican, cuban, and spanish food in the capital mall. It is a mixed bag, but i love the croquettas and their mojitos aren't too bad before or after a movie. Miscellaneous It's called Gardner's seafood and pasta, but it is the best steak in town. There's a new place out at the end of the marina called Hearthfire Grill run by the Anthony's people. So far it has been fine but not spectacular. I like the Waterstreet cafe. It is hit and miss, but at least they are trying to do something different around here. Big wine list. They are doing a tapas/wine bar downtown too, but I haven't been yet. Where to buy stuff With the market closed, it's kind of tough. I try to get my meat from Stewart's, which is easy when the market is open. Now that it is closed I have to drive all the way out to McKenna (past Yelm). They raise and butcher their own beef...it is very good. To be honest I don't know where to go for outstanding seafood w/ the market closed. I think you were referring to the Olympia Seafood Co. I've only been once and left because it smelled bad. I like to shop at Bayview, they have lots of hard-to-find stuff like san marzano tomatoes, manchego cheese, real prosciutto di parma etc. etc. Their seafood and meat shop is small, but good. It's fairly expensive and I don't think I've ever escaped Bayview without spending an inordinate amount of money. Good hell, this ended up being a lot longer than I intended. I hope it helped a bit!
  3. From your keypad to God's ears Rogelio! An extended cultural and culinary adventure in Spain is at the very top of my "list of things to do before I die". To think of all the times I ate Burger King in Elche and McDonald's in Alicante....I would like to travel back in time and kick my own ass.
  4. I recently read the article "Boss Hog"; in Rolling Stone (Issue 1015; December 14, 2006. not available online as far as I can tell). The article was an expose, focusing on Smithfield foods and the way in which they raise their pigs and deal with the "by-products" of hog farming. Needless to say, it didn't inspire me to go out and buy a smithfield-raised pork butt. Alright, the reason I am posting this here: The article got me to thinking about the care with which the prized pigs of Iberia are raised...and how damned good the ham is. I haven't even had the good stuff, just Iberico that you can get in the USA (Redondo Iglesias) I'm wondering about the rest of the hog though. For instance, is the lomo from a pata negra pig wonderful as well? Is the rest of the hog prized in spain and do you pay a similar premium because of the animal? It's been along time since I lived in Spain, and I was a poor 19-21 year old so I have no idea about this kind of thing.
  5. I am a creature of habit, and have thusfar been unable to break away from Le Panier for a breakfast pastry while in Seattle. We had the Jambon Mornay and the chocalatine along with a latte this weekend....maybe it is because we live in Olympia where nothing similar exists, but I love the pastries at Le Panier. Someday I will try something different...perhaps when Ling decides to open her pasteleria. That pan au chocolat looks insanely good!
  6. For those that are interested, there is a nice article in today's Las Vegas Review Journal about Settebello. Read it here If anyone wants to subscribe to a "Pizza of the Week" email notification, you can send your email address to info@settebello.net and get added to the list. I think this week was a very traditional pizza with Italian Tuna, olives, and roasted onion with tomato and mozzarella. From what I understand, people may not be ready for that one yet! It changes weekly though, (obviously) so check it out if you get a chance. I'm trying to talk Brad into a version of a Lasagna pizza I've had at Via Tribunali and Tutta Bella up here in Seattle.
  7. We just got back from a week in Vegas to help out at Settebello a little bit. We hadn't been down since it opened, so it was very exciting to see how things are going. The entire week I meant to take a bunch of pictures, but only managed to fire off a few after hours last night. (I had to have a couple of pizzas before leaving! )Here they are: My margherita baking in the oven. Here it is, ready to eat. Here's the Del Cafone. (Is it wrong to have 2 pizzas for dinner? what can I say, I was hungry) Mozzarella, sausage, basil, roasted onions & peppers A look at the cornicione of the Del Cafone. At the risk of overhyping things, this is one of the best pizzas I've ever had.
  8. Brad (my brother) has talked about it, but hasn't made it a priority right now. Let me ask you, what's the best gelato you've found in and around Las Vegas? We've been all over the place, and I think the best is the Gelateria at the Aladdin. It's not quite there though. We've even thought about going over to Italy and learning to make it ourselves as Brad did with the pizza. We'll see how it goes but you are right, nothing would be better than following up that pizza with a nice nocciola gelato. If the person making your pizzas was 6'6", that would be my brother. Otherwise, it was a pizziaolo that came over from Napoli named Carmine D'Amato.
  9. Brahms, I'll be interested to hear your thoughts. I've eaten at Bianco's as well, and he sets a very lofty standard. His homemade sausage is about the best thing I've ever tasted! I'm also hooked on the Spiedini he makes, but I'm a sucker for prosciutto. I hope your trip to Settebello was enjoyable.
  10. full disclosure: my brother is the owner of Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana (I am also invested in it) , so I have more than a little bias in recommending the place. I have debated how to go about recommending Settebello since it opened last month without being dismissed as some sort of shill. Luckily, a favorable review came out in the Las Vegas Weekly that has backed up my opinion of Settebello. You can read the review here: Las Vegas Weekly: Settebello Review I live near Seattle but have eaten at several authentic pizzerias in the Western US and in Napoli ( I volunteered to help with research!). To me, Settebello most closely resembles those pizzas served by the pizzaiolos in Napoli. The crust is perfect, I think because Settebello gets the oven hotter than most other wood-burning places in the US...also because it is given a long rise with little yeast. All the ingredients are what you would find on a pizza in Italy, with incredible cured meats from Salume up here in Seattle and great fennel sausage made locally in Henderson (Primetime meats). If any of you living in the Valley are fans of authentic pizza, you ought to give it a try. I'd say start with the Margherita (tomato, fior di latte mozzarella, and basil) as that is sort of the "gold standard" of pizza and then go from there. I'll be interested to hear what you think! Settebello is in Henderson (1776 Horizon Ridge Parkway just off of Valle Verde Drive). Settebello's website
  11. I will set about my homework with gusto. Thank you for the input Albiston!
  12. Several years ago, my brother dragged me from the train station, across the Piazza Garibaldi, through several trash-strewn alleys, to a small place selling pizzas out of a window for something like 3.000 lire. It was a simple margherita, folded and served on a paper towel. It was the best thing I had ever tasted, and I laughed as I ate, olive oil and tomato dripping down my arm. That was my introduction to authentic pizza...and since we were leaving Italy the next day, it was my last pizza experience in Napoli. However, it has born in me a love for the real thing to the point where I feel a certain sense of blasphemy whenever I find myself choking down a dominoes or Pizza Hut pizza. There are a few places here in America that do a reasonable facsmile, but I am excited for the day I can return and more fully explore the pizza of Nap. A question: What is the preferred wine in Napoli to accompany a pizza or saltimbocha? Is it a table wine from Campania? Anything good no matter the origen?
  13. Miller sold the brewery to All-American Bottled Water Corp A stipulation of the agreement was that beer would never be brewed on the site. All-American has been selling off parcels, and news is some developer is going to put 300 condos, offices, and retail down there.
  14. but you could get a decent drive-through burger at Eagan's Big Tom The Eagan's in Tumwater got plowed over to put up a Burger King and Homestreet bank. There is a new Eagan's by Kildow nursery, but it is not the same to me (maybe I'm overly nostalgic for the time when Kim Kelly would give us all kinds of freebies out the Big Tom's window). If it's still there, there was a restaurant with a great view of the Tumwater Falls across from the old Olympia Brewery). ( The Falls Terrace, great view but terrible food. (BTW I used to deliver pizza's for Brewery City in Tumwater in the early 80's and back then they were better than any other delivery place). BCP might edge out Domino's and Pizza Hut, but that isn't something to really brag about Was Luigi's off of 4th in a blue house?
  15. Shelora, You will love the Trinacria, it is by far my favorite restaurant in the Olympia area. Eugenio makes some insanely good food. My favorite is the Spaghetti Alla Matriciana, but everything is good including the lasagna and the pizza (split the Sicilian #1 if you get a chance, spinach & raisin calzone!). Great, now my mouth is watering and I have to sit at my desk for another hour. The Mark is nice for cocktails, and Fishtail is a great place to sit and drink a beer (or several). The Lemon Grass (downtown) is a very good Thai place, at least by Oly standards. Gardner's is another restaurant in our rotation, but after that it gets pretty bad around here. The spar is great for breakfast, although a place called "The Place" is even better (out by Mud Bay). The Brotherhood has been renovated, but I haven't been there since I saw Thunderfist play there about 5 years ago so I don't know if they took all the funkiness away. I know you can't get Oly stubbies any more, so what is the point in living really? As a public service announcement, places NOT TO EAT AT in Olympia: *Brewery City Pizza. Always named best pizza in the Olympian survey, and it is awful. The sauce is thick, overly sweet, and applied too liberally. The toppings generally have no taste. *Any mexican place. *Any chinese place. *The Olympia Oyster House. Outside of the Fish & chips, I find the food inedible. Have a good time!
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