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Blue Heron

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  1. I was craving that fried rice that was recommended by Kathy, so we went to try Takahachi for lunch today, but it was closed . They are not open on Sat. for lunch. Darn, next time I will try during the week. So we next walked over to Kau Kau Barbeque restaurant at 656 South King St. I have had take out from there several times (they are my favorite Chinese barbeque take out), but this is the first time we've sat in their dining room. Lunch deals here are great at only $4.99. My husband ordered their famous roast duck, which is chopped Chinese style into portions w/cleaver, and it was served with a sweet plum? sauce for dipping. The bird was moist and flavorful, nicely spiced (probably 5 spice?). I ordered the roast side of pork, which was portions of chinese style roasted pork belly, chopped w/cleaver, natch, very moist and yummy with crisp crackling, and some sliced portions of leaner pork ie. typical barbeque type roast pork which were also pretty moist and came with a Chinese mustard and sesame seeds to dip in. Both lunch entrees came with egg drop soup w/ Chinese mushroom and some crunchy bits of water chestnut. Entrees included a couple pieces of properly cooked broccoli, as well a huge mound of the most delicious pork fried rice I've had in ages. They were generous with the pork bits, it was the same pork as from my roast side of pork, shreds of fried egg, and a scattering of bean sprouts to add some light crunch to it. Service and food were very good (although the meat was just a tad salty) but I am looking forward to going back. On the way out, I read they now pack and ship UPS from their barbeque take out, and roast whole Pig, too, if I read correctly. Yum. I'm also anxious now to see how the fried rice at Takahachi compares to the one I liked at Kau Kau... We finished the afternoon with a stroll through Uwagimaya and PFI to pick up stocking stuffer gifts for Christmas.
  2. I've gone a few times. Interesting Latino desserts and some more conventional stuff too. I believe they serve lunch as well. If you went to Muy Macho, White Center is up the hill to the west. There are a couple taco trucks and several Asian joints in the neighborhood as well. ← I've had pupusas at lunchtime at the Salvadorian bakery in White Center. Burian also has a Salvadorean restaurant on 153rd St. called El Trapiche, with a more extensive menu. Another good inexpensive lunch idea are the tacos at El Rinconsito (several locations including Burian). I also like the tacos at the taco wagon in White Center.
  3. I love Dick's fries! Occasionally I will have one of their cheese burgers, at the Broadway location, or more rarely, at Wallingford if I'm in the area. I have read the owner of Dick's treats their employees very well. More about it Here (I think the article is from 2003).
  4. I love reserving cookbooks using the online system and then pick them up at my local branch. The loan period is only 3 weeks, but unless there is a hold on them for someone else, you can renew them 2 times (also online). I currently have 2 Patricia Wells cookbooks on loan, and the French Farmhouse Cookbook. They also give you an email notice a few days ahead of when the loan period expires. Overall, it's really an excellent service.
  5. Please add me to the list! A Tawainese dinner sounds great. Looking forward to seeing you all, too.
  6. I'm so envious... I wish I could have been there. I'm glad everyone had a great time and great food, and I'm looking forward to seeing some pictures! I got to meet Tony, *swoon*, a couple of years agoooo at another eG thingy (we just drank, no food), and it would have been great to see him again and meet the ones I haven't met yet.
  7. We had lunch last week at Oceannaire, It was my first time there, and I left with mixed feelings (good fresh seafood, but not outstanding preparations, overall). My first course was Fried Catfish w/ hot-sweet honey mustard vinaigrette. This was excellent. Several perfect crispy pieces of catfish were served over a vinaigrette that I liked more than I thought I would, (it was more like a sauce), and topped with the most delicious thin crispy fried onion rings. My entree was blackened coho salmon w/ blue cheese butter, served over onion confit and topped with... more of those crispy fried onion rings. I was a bit onion ringed out by the time the salmon dish arrived, (however redundent, but I did eat them!). I thought there were too many competing flavors in this dish that didn't really come together well for me, and my husband agreed. The salmon was a bit overcooked, and the seasoning they used for blackening was not among the better ones I've tasted. They use Old Bay seasoning, which was predominate in both the blackened salmon and the fish n fin soup that my husband ordered. In fact the restaurant likes Old Bay seasoning so much they also have it as a condiment at the table. Dessert for 2 was Baked Alaska, and flamed with alcohol tableside. It was a huge portion, and could have fed 4 easily. It tasted pretty good, a chocolate cake bottom, blue huckleberry ice cream interior, and then toasted & alcohol laced meringue. We were so full by the time we finished that we skipped dinner that night. Service was good, too.
  8. The Seattle PI had an excellent article yesterday on the matsutake, with several recipes and suggestions/ideas. Everything from shaved raw, to roasted, to sukiyaki and more... Matsutake suggestions The link is sometimes not working, so if not, try back later.
  9. er, I would disagree with this. Some are, some aren't. The one thing about boletes (porcini/cepes) I have noticed, is that the day you pick them, if you remove the sponge underside (in the larger ones), and then store in fridge with damp paper towel on top, one is ok. If you don't remove the sponge underside on the large ones, overnight the worms seem to travel from the sponge into the cap and also spread from mushroom to mushroom. I was able to sucessfully store boletes in my fridge for about a week, after removing the sponge and separating the small ones from the larger ones. I was shocked, but happy they stored well after my prep work.
  10. I have tried a few things. Basically, from what I have heard, the ground rules are these are mushrooms that are best appreciated without butter or cream... My favorite thing is to slice them thin (ie. 1/16 to 1/8 inch) and deep fry in peanut oil for about 2 minutes or until golden (a technique someone told me about with mushrooms at Sugiyama in NYC). Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt. Yum! The unique flavor of the pine mushroom is very apparent, and it is a delicious and luxurious snack. Depending on how long they fry, they are either crispy, or still slightly chewy (I like them like this). I also slice paper thin and add to chicken broth with ginger and green onions. Tom Douglas has a recipe in his cookbook, also recommending them basically like that, in dashinomoto (ie. from Uwajimaya). I have tried them also by infusing with rice, and was not happy with the results. I don't know why, but the perfume of them was too overpowering in the rice. But many people like this. I have tried a few other things with them, but the unique flavor of them did not shine through, so I'm still on the hunt for new things. I'm going to try a pickled matsutake recipe (online, google search) and see how it goes. Anybody have other recs? I will let you know if I discover any other methods. Usually they are so scarce that one does not have a problem in finding ways to use them. This is a banner year. I have read they are not recommended for drying as porcini's (boletes) are. Does anyone have experience or advice about this?
  11. whups. Didn't see this thread until just now. Just made a long post about our mushroom finds (esp. matsutakes) on the mushroom thread. Yes, I also agree the Fried Chix mushrooms are fantastic. We got some from the forest, and I just sauteed them in lots of butter, and they were out of this world. I have read online they are second rate mushrooms, but there was nothing second rate about the flavor of these. My 2 cents regarding worms... I am meticulous with regards to checking for worms, as I find them off putting (although many people ignore them). I have in the past even had worms in Chantrelles (including yesterdays from the forest after the rain), matsutakes (last year) and boletes (very common in larger boletes). This year's mushrooms for the most part have been excellent!
  12. Imagine my surprise while walking through an Asian market the other day I spotted 2 large boxes of matsutakes selling for only $5/lb. OMG, but that is cheap! There was one lady buying a pound or 2 (cherry picking the smaller grade 1's ), otherwise, they were just sitting there. . If you don't feel like tramping through the forests looking for them, check your asian markets for good deals. (or PM me for more info, I saw these ones in White Center). A spot check at Pike Place market last week showed Sosio's: Matsutakes $20/lb, Fried Chicken Mushrooms (these are fantastic) $20/lb, Hedgehog mushrooms (also fantastic) $15/lb, Chantrelles $6/lb. Franks produce: Matsutakes $15/lb. Admiral Metropolitan Mkt: no *wild* mushrooms available. Fauntleroy Thriftway: Matsutakes $20/lb. Uwagimaya's Grade 1's $30/lb, Grade 5 $10/lb. Mr. Heron had good luck finding matsutakes today at elevation 4000 feet (2 hours out of town plus a 2 hour hike uphill). Very few grade 1's today as the veils were not intact for the most part, and few buttons, but otherwise great looking (large) specimans. For further info on where these were found, please PM. Note!: The Seattle Mycological Society Mushroom Society has their annual Fall show next Sat. and Sun. at Sandpoint. Saturday, October 16th, from noon to 7 pm. Sunday, October 17th, from 10 am to 5 pm. at Sand Point Magnuson Park 7400 Sand Point Way N. E. Seattle, WA 98115 $7 for General Admission $5 for Students and Seniors, Children under 12 are free Mr. Heron is unofficially co-chairing the event this year. Cynthia Nims (who I had the pleasure to meet the other day!) will be there on Sat. at 2pm, doing a mushroom cooking demo, Yum! , and later will be signing her brand new mushroom cookbook. Here is their website: Puget Sound Mycological Society
  13. While having lunch at Union a couple of weeks ago (excellent lunch), I asked our waiter if Union will feature a $25 multi-course dinner at the same time as 25 for $25 in November like they did in March. He reported the sous chef said they are working on a 6 course tasting menu for $25 during that time. I can't wait!
  14. I just bought Dahlia's cornbread today for the first time. Yum! It's much better than I expected. Hubby raved about it, too.
  15. Abra, your food blog is great reading! Wonderful pics, too. Happy belated birthday. I was disappointed I wasn't able to make it to your Island cooking party, but hopefully will get the chance to meet you at another PNW event soon. Looking forward to reading about and seeing more pictures of your cooking and personal cheffing adventures... And you should consider posting a picture of the view from the Island, to show the beautiful area you are in.
  16. Thanks for your report! When we went last year at this time, I recall my favorite & most memorable thing was their appetizer Rabbit Pate (with cognac). Yum. I would love to have that again. Also had nettle soup for the first time there, which was good, and with gorgeous color. I mentioned on the other thread my main course was Beef (tenderloin I think) with some type of sauce. They were both underseasoned, imo, as in a little too subtle in flavor. I can't remember off hand what our dessert was. Overall we enjoyed our meal though. Our service was good, although I have heard conflicing reports from others. I also recall the wines were a very good value by restaurant standards. We had a reasonably priced Adelsheim Pinot Noir.
  17. I shared a few bites of a really wonderful key lime cheesecake at Matt's in the Market yesterday. A+++
  18. I don't go out for ice cream very often (in fact don't eat it very often), so please don't konk me over the head for mentioning this... but I recently had some store bought Hagan Daaz Coconut Pineapple ice cream that I thought was truly wonderful stuff. It beat the pants off any other Hagen Daaz I recall having. Nice bits of coconut and pineapple in it. Tasted restaurant quality , infact reminded me of a delicious coconut gelato/ice cream I had had at Wild Ginger back in March 25 for $25.
  19. A week ago Friday we tried the Rover's Friday lunch. Wow! What a treat and a wonderful experience!... both food and service were exemplary. We both went with the set 3 course lunch for $35, and made no substitutions. It began with a small plate of thinly sliced house cured cod (very yummy) with a small minced radishy salad in center. Very good, especially that cod. The main course was Moulard Duck breast, sliced, with a sauce including lots of morels, and a dollup of mashed potatoes to go with. The flavor was very good, although the duck a bit chewy (perhaps an indication that it was just a tiny tad overcooked?). Dessert was the Opera cake w/ Caramel sauce... excellent. In fact, I was wanting to lick each plate clean, as everything was so good. Their bread served was a sliced baguette from Essential bakery, served with Plugra butter... just great, and I asked for extra the bread to get every drop of sauce from the duck plate (saucing was ample). The service (2 fellows) was both polished and extremely professional. I took a liking to them very much and conversed with them at various times throughout the meal. They sensed my interest in the food and total experience to the extent that when I started to return from the ladies room, (near the kitchen) one of them asked me if I would like to go into the kitchen? Wow! Talk about a treat! I was overwhelmed by the offer and could not resist taking him up on it and went behind the door with him into kitchen, very tidy, orderly, etc. where about 5 people were busy with various preparations. To top it all off, at the end of the meal, while paying the bill, and filling out a card w/birthday and anniversary info on it... I commented to the waiters about the card I was filling out and informed them that it was my anniversary and asked if was too late to get something complementary for it being our anniversary? They looked at each other, gave us a smile, and happily brought us 2 glasses of complementary champagne to end our meal with! Totally delightful and I could not have been more happy about the entire experience. I don't think it hurts to tastefully ask something like that, the worst they can say is sorry, no, which would have been fine, but was a bonus that they said yes in this case. Another example, a friend of mine who went for a birthday dinner there last week, also filled the card out at end of meal, but didn't mention it was his birthday or ask about anything, and consequently didn't get anything. Perhaps it's at the whim of the waiter, too, whether they say yes or no? I don't know. There were about 7 tables of diners during the time we were there (a very sunny day), and I asked if they will continue with the Friday lunches, and was told they will go at least through Fall, when the weather is cooler to see if business picks up during lunch.. as with the weather being so great, perhaps people are spending time outdoors eating casually instead of having formal lunches indoors. I only made my reservation that day, and had no problem getting in, and didn't need to give a CC to hold it the day of. I also asked about dining with small children there for lunch, if that is ok, and was told during lunch it's fine to bring small children (he suggested 3+ as the age he felt they could sit through a lunch of 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours, which is how long our lunch took). Thierry and wife were not there that day, they were in Napa wine tasting, and everything went great, even without their presence in the restaurant. I would highly recommend this place for a special lunch on Fridays.
  20. I tried my first Tully's shake today, a mocha shake, at the Alki beach location. It didn't seem thin to me at all, (although, I'm not a shake expert), but it was delicious and hit the spot on a warm day! My only complaints are that a) they call the smallest size *tall*. Now why not call it small, as in I'd like a small shake please? and b) even the small, er I mean tall, is quite a lot of shake for me. I felt I was satiated by the time I had hit the half way mark (although I had just finished a small fish n chips), and would really prefer to order a *real* small (half size) for $2.50 and that would be just the perfect amount for me as well as a better price (and they might sell more that way, too, by adding an add'l size choice). Or maybe I'm just an oddball customer. That is certainly possible!
  21. For dipping in butter, I love King crab the best. For stir fry, Crab Louis salad or crab cocktail Dungeness is my favorite. And for crab cakes, I think Blue Crab beats out the others, although Dungeness is pretty good, too. But overall, I love fresh Dungeness the best. Over the weekend I had some Russian King crab. Yum. Due to fewer restrictions and size regulations, they can harvest their King crab at a smaller size than the Alaska King Crab. My seafood manager mentioned the smaller the King, the sweeter the meat, and after sampling some over the weekend, I tend to agree. The downside of their harvesting small Kings and lax regulations is that I understand they are being over fished and their population is in decline.
  22. I was so delighted to hear about this series while visiting with you all at tighe's potluck the other evening and to read this thread now, as I somehow had missed out on hearing about it. This is such a great idea, and I look forward to attending some dinners, too. This is truly a terrific opportunity and I think it's great the chefs are coming here! We'll give them a big welcome!
  23. I can't speak about the latter 2 fish, but as for late season Copper River sockeye, Dennis the seafood manager of Metropolitan Market in W. Seattle told me about a week ago that he didn't recommend the late sockeye CRS and that is why he wasn't going to order anymore and was replacing it with Yukon River salmon. I am pretty sure they have the Yukon now, as there are banners outside the store for it. He said some stores will still sell the end of CR sockeye, though he didn't recommend it. That run is just about over and other runs just beginning are better. You can always give Dennis a call and ask him, or another reputable seafood manager their opinion about the Bristol Bay and Kodiak runs. Have fun tomorrow! fresh grilled salmon... yum!
  24. For a fish that is hard to screw up, it's amazing and unfortunate how often restaurants do over cook it or in some cases serve fish/seafood that is not absolutely fresh. My litmus test of a NW restaurant is how they do with salmon. If they screw it up, they would get no recommendation from me.
  25. one word of caution about Uwajimaya... I have one time unbelievably gotten dungeness crab meat (already shelled) that was NOT fresh. I didn't find out until later that day when I went to use it for my recipe. From now on I guess it's best to ask for a small taste before buying just to make sure. I think Mutual Fish is an excellent place for fish and their place is spotless, the water tanks clear, etc. I also like Wild Salmon at Fisherman's terminal, and I trust University Seafood and Poultry completely as well. Those would be my top 3 picks. I stopped by the new Fish store at the West Seattle junction, and unfortunately, I was not impressed by either the layout of the store, nor the 'off' smell as I entered. I wonder if they will make it? I would love to buy some fresh fish off a boat at Fisherman's terminal though. I have never tried (or even seen) that.
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