Friday, May 27, 2011

I Pledge Allegiance: Sweet Iron Waffles

While we loved Cafe Campagne, we purposefully skipped dessert, so we could visit Sweet Iron Waffles for a sweet treat afterward.

These aren't just any waffles. They're Liège waffles made with all natural butter, Shepherd's flour, honey, yeast, and pearl sugar.
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We shared this ice cream waffle with Lopez Island Creamery ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, and Holquist hazelnuts ($5.99).

Sooooo yummy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

French Classics Done Right: Cafe Campagne

After a disappointing dinner the night before, we crossed our fingers that Cafe Campagne would represent Seattle the way Seattle should be represented.
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It did! It did! Three cheers for Cafe Campagne.

Omelette a l'epinards -- French rolled omelette filled with spinach and herbed goat fromage blanc served with chicken and pork sausage ($16).
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Classic. Simple. Fantastic.

Cassoulet -- Southwest French white bean stew with lamb, pork, duck confit, and garlic sausage ($23).
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Worth every penny and then some! Four different meats simmering in beans and seasonings? How could this not be splendid? We love cassoulet, and this was a lovely one.

If you're in the Pike Place area and want a place to brunch, this is it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crappy Faux Indian Fusion: Poppy

Chef Jerry Traunfeld didn't get very far on Top Chef Masters. If his food on the show tasted like our pathetic dinner at poppy, then I applaud that result.
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poppy claims to offer a "modern northwest tasting menu served all at once," inspired by the Indian thali.

I call bullshit. poppy is crappy faux Indian fusion. It was so bad that it made us angry.

Eggplant fries with sea salt and honey ($7).
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This was the one somewhat tasty item we had all night. It was only "somewhat" tasty because it was not nearly as crisp and crunchy as it should've been.

Anderson Ranch lamb osso bucco with cumin flavor
Cauliflower, sesame and fennel soup
Radicchio, citron and taggia olive salad
Red cabbage with pomegranate
Chard, chanterelle and farro gratin
Gingered burdock pickle
Nigella-poppy naan
($25)
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Sounds incredible, right? Well, it wasn't. The lamb lacked flavor. The naan tasted like wimpy cardboard. And the rest of the accompaniments were nothing more than sad filler.

Alaskan scallops with pork belly and vanilla-thyme quince
Pumpkin, cardamom, and green chile soup
Radicchio, citron and taggia olive salad
Fingerlings with lavender and mint
Chard, chanterelle and farro gratin
Eggplant shiso pickle
Nigella-poppy naan
($25)
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The main was marginally better on this thali, but there just wasn't enough of it. The same comments I made above apply here, too.

When our server asked if we wanted dessert, we refused in unison.

With all the excellent food that Seattle has to offer, I urge you not to waste your time here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spectacular Sandwiches: Paseo Caribbean

I was so excited to go to Paseo Caribbean, not only because I'd heard the sandwiches were amazing, but because we were going to meet one of my favorite Internet friends and her husband!
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Be advised that there is very limited seating at Paseo Caribbean in Fremont, and the line can get long. It's worth it, though! Mr. Monkey and I thought the Chinese plasticware was hilarious.

But even more hilarious were our new friends, the Scientists! Why do we not live in the same city?!

Cuban roast -- pork shoulder coated in Paseo marinade and slow-roasted ($8.50).
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Oh, luscious, glorious sandwich! I love you so!

Midnight Cuban Press -- Cuban roast pork, sweet banana peppers, smoked ham, and Swiss cheese melted in a hot press ($8.95).
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Very good but not as good as the original Cuban roast. Keep it simple!

We simply couldn't get enough of the Scientists, so we extended our lunch date to an additional coffee date!

Caffe Vita was only a few steps away. The Northwest coffeehouse has eight locations, six of which are in Seattle.
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Cookies and coffee were a sweet end to our double date. I love Ms. Scientist even though she has a pixelated face! Ha!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Seriously Delicious: Serious Pie

When we returned to Seattle, it was a late Friday night. It was also Mr. Monkey's birthday! The perfect time to try another Tom Douglas restaurant! We chose Serious Pie because Mr. Monkey is happiest when we go casual.
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Here's Mr. Monkey as we waited. Even at 10:30 p.m., the place was still packed.

But, lo and behold! We didn't even wait that long -- maybe 15 minutes or so -- when our darling server apologized to us profusely for the wait and said our meal was on the house! Wow! Happy birthday, Mr. Monkey!

Braised octopus, crispy pancetta, sunchokes ($9).
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Extraordinary. Charred lightly, amazingly tender, perfectly chewy. Could it be because we were feeling the euphoria of knowing our meal would be free? Maybe. But I still highly endorse this starter!

Penn Cove clams, house pancetta, lemon thyme ($17).
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Mr. Monkey ordered this one. Yes, we ordered one each! Hey, it was his birthday! I'm not a huge fan of bivalves, but even I thought this pizza was superb. Crisp, a tad chewy, and great cheese-to-crust ratio.

Prosser pumpkin, pork belly, pistachios ($17).
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I'm a sucker for alliteration, but, repeating consonants notwithstanding, this pizza was a dream. Did you read those ingredients? I almost shed a tear.

Just in case you couldn't tell, we loved loved loved Serious Pie.
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Hopefully our server loved her huge tip!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Solid Seattle Supper: Dahlia Lounge

Chef Tom Douglas has a veritable restaurant empire in Seattle. Dahlia Lounge is one of his 12 well-regarded eateries.
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Mr. Monkey ordered a Dahlia mocktail -- fresh ginger, lime juice, simple syrup, soda ($3.50). I downed the John Daly -- Firefly sweet tea vodka, fresh-squeezed lemonade ($8.50). We both enjoyed a refreshing amuse bouche and warm fresh bread.

This was our last meal before we hopped on our flight back to Los Angeles. It was quite the early dinner, so we shared three appetizers instead of getting full meals with entrees.

Sea bar sampler ($22.00)
Ahi tuna, yuzu kosho, fennel pollen, nashi pear
Dungeness crab, Pence Orchard peach, lime, agave
Dahlia smoked salmon, hot mustard, sesame
King clam sashimi, heirloom tomato, ponzu, waiwaiole
Cured Astoria sardines, smoked sweet pepper, basil mayo
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Like a seafood pinwheel! Raw stuff! Cured stuff! Smoked stuff!

Warm Dungeness crab, Akane apple, hazelnut, brown butter Hollandaise ($17.00).
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A heavenly cold and hot duo on one plate -- the textures, the flavors, the happiness.

Braised oxtail, melted Tête de Moine on toast, Cipollini onion, Bordelaise ($13.00).
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Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh. Oh. My. Gosh. Yes.

Washington peach crostada, almond, red currant, ginger ice cream ($9.00).
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A thing of beauty, inside and out. Hot! Cold! Sweet! Tart! Flaky! Mmm!

Made-to-order doughnuts, seasonal jam, vanilla mascarpone ($8.00).
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Little warm hugs! Just...ahhhhhh. Glorious end to our first Seattle weekend in November.

But you know there's still more to come. We went to Seattle twice in November!
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