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Category: Washington State Page 1 of 4

Full Tilt ice cream

Our last day in Seattle and we capped our trip off with some literal fun and games. Our brunch stop was within walking distance to “Full Tilt”. “Full Tilt” is known for small batch ice cream and arcade games, and we would fully indulge in both.

Three quarters of the shop was old school arcade games. Stand up, joy sticks classics like “Pac-Man”, “Street Fighter vs Capcom”, and pinball. And best of all, priced as they would be when they originally came out: 25 cents to play. You traded your bills for quarters and off you went.

We played “Gauntlet Legends” as a group of 4, then duelled it out in a fighting match, followed by shooting down dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park” with plastic guns. All our button mashing helped to build up our appetites for an ice cream dessert to follow.

Right at the front of the shop is their ice cream counter with 16 classic and creative flavours. We were offered tasters before committing on a full scoop in a sugar cone.

The “Caramel apple” tasted a little too artificial, with plenty of cinnamon in attempts to mask it. The “Huckleberry chip” had a nice nice berry flavour to it, finished with crunchy bits of chocolate to chew through. The vegan “Pineapple rum with chocolate” reminded me of a pina colada with its use of coconut milk. The vegan “Arabic coffee” was a little too strong in spice for my tastes, I expected more coffee flavour and some coconut from the milk used. And the “Ube” ice cream didn’t have enough flavour to taste it and know it was ube.

The ones we did purchase were the “Mexican chocolate”, a dark bitter chocolate with swirls of cinnamon. The “Chocolate raspberry” had subtle hints of the fruit, giving the ice cream some sweetness. The “Thai tea” was mild. The “Orange fruit loop” was another vegan ice cream made with coconut milk, but I didn’t find the coconut flavour complimentary to the orange cereal milk. And I was warned that the “Coffee Oreo” was very melty, after is was scooped and presented to me. Had I known this earlier, I wouldn’t have ordered it.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
This is definitely a one of a kind place. Where else can you play arcade games for 25 cents anymore? I would come back just for the games and treat myself to a scoop of ice cream on my way out. Don’t deny your cravings.

FULL TILT
5041 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118, United States
+1 206-226-2740
fulltilticecream.com

Super Six

For our last meal in Seattle our group of 5 decided to stop at “Super Six” for a Hawaiian themed brunch. The restaurant was very rustic with a mechanic/garage theme. Dented metal road signs and rusted tool boxes were used as decoration. A worn chain sectioned off the bar that used tool diagrams as its backdrop. All the above, along with the classic 90’s and early ‘00’s hip hop playing helped to set the tone for a very chill dining experience. One as familiar and as comforting as the dishes to come.

We arrived bright and early and were the first ones to grab a seat by the window. Knowing our intention of ordering multiple dishes, we asked for a table large enough to accommodate it all. I often make such attentions known to servers, as it ensures that we are not packed into one table with elbows touching, and no room to move dishes around for sharing family style.

One of us started the morning off with the “Beach Bum daiquiri” with rum, lime, orange, vanilla.

And the following is what we ordered for food, for 5, in a free for all. The “Lumpia” were spring rolls filled with pork, beef or tofu (vegan). We went with pork and found the appetizer highly enjoyable. Crispy and salty with its sauce, it was a nice appetizer to enjoy as is and with cocktails.

The “Aloha fries” were hand-cut fries, kalua pork, kimchi mayo, scallions, and a sunny-up egg. It was like a saucy and well developed rice bowl; but over fries instead. Crispy sticks of potatoes made gooey and moist with a runny egg yolk. The pork was tender, and there was plenty of it to really satisfy.

The “fried chicken wings” were seasoned in a spicy Korean sauce and served with grilled pineapple on the side. These were large wings with a thick breading for extra crouch. They were salty and slightly spicy, a great compliment to the thin slices of pineapple seasoned with dried plum powder. The addition of the powder helped to enhance the fruit’s sweetness.

We all really enjoyed the “Shoyu Ahi poke” with tobiko, ogo, and macadamia nuts; eaten with thinly spiced and fried to order taro chips. The poke had a familiar flavour, one that I liked. It was a well balanced and not overly seasoned. My only compliant is that we were asked if we wanted rice or greens with our order, but weren’t informed that it would be an add on. We would only find out when we saw the $1 fee attached on to our bill. Not to mention we didn’t even finish most of said rice that we had ordered.

We had 2 out of the 3 available musubi: pork belly and spam, by passing on the vegetarian option with soy, nori, and furikake. Essentially each is the listed protein on top of some packed sushi rice. The pork belly was tasty, but dry. And the spam was salty and fatty, just as expected.

“Sichuan pork noodles” are Portuguese sausage ragu over flat rice noodles with bok choy, shimeji mushrooms, serrano, and daikon. I liked the texture of the gummy noodles and the daikon for crunch. Although it was still a little bland for my tastes.

The “Loco Moco” had a lot more flavour. A substantial beef patty, topped with pickled red onions, two sunny-up eggs; all over rice, covered in a dense brown gravy. I liked the crispy bites and the gooey egg, but could have used more pepper for seasoning. This was a comforting bowl light enough for breakfast, and plenty satisfying for dinner.

The “Pulehu spare ribs” were tender and tangy. The signature slaw on the side offered freshness, and the kimchi Mac and cheese a nice spicy base. Although the latter could have used more cheese for my taste.

I prefer the “Mac salad” a lot more. Softened noodles fully coated in creamy mayo. It served as a great palate refresher and a complimentary side to all of the above.

For dessert we had the “Malasada”, described as “Hawai‘i’s favorite donut!” I have never had these Protugease doughnuts before, so was surprised by how large they were. They were $4 each plain, and for $1.50 more you can have them filled with either Nutella cream or coconut cream. We shared one of each. The coconut cream was light like custard, good but I wanted some condense milk over it for sweetness. The Nutella wasn’t pure hazelnut spread, but diluted and as creamy as the coconut. Both fillings were subtle enough to allow you to enjoy the fried dough of the doughnut themselves. They would have been nicer smaller, server as one bite balls for a better ratio of dough to cream.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Our group absolutely enjoyed our brunch. We got the flavours we expected from the menu, and were appreciative of their execution. No complaints, solid food in a nice setting. Don’t deny your cravings.

SUPER SIX
3714 S Hudson St, Seattle, WA 98118, United States
+1 206-420-1201
supersixseattle.com

FlintCreek Cattle Co.

A group of like minded food writers and myself took a trip down to Seattle for 2 days and a night. And we agreed ahead of time, to indulge in a steak dinner at their well known steak house “Flintcreek & Co. “.

A dinner we would not miss considering in order to make a reservation you had to leave your credit card number. And if you didn’t show, they charge $50 for the disappointment. Although, we did have to move our reservation back an hour, and they were okay with that. Not that a reservation was all that necessary this Sunday night. Our idea was to indulge in rich salty foods to balance and best follow our generous wine tasting before.

At “Flintcreek” were given a more secluded booth in the corner, by the entrance. Here metallurgy and plant life offer interest and some colour. The rest of the restaurant was less cozy. Vaulted ceiling seats around a curved bar or high top bench. And four top tables just behind that.

The following is what we had in the order in which it came. Each dish divided 5 ways because sharing is caring, allowing you to try more.

The “Anderson Ranch Lamb Tartare” was dressed in cured lemon, rose petal harissa, radish, herbs, and dukkah spice. And was served with crispy flatbread. This crispy cracker was a nice contrast to the chilled soften meat. The tartar was peppery with hints of cumin, a nice start to help wet the appetite.

“Prosciutto San Daniel” with buffalo milk burrata, plums, pistachio oil, saba, arugula, and sea salt. Fresh flavours and varying textures. Not only was this dish tasty, but fun to eat as well. Creamy cheese, peppery greens, and sweet plum. I got a citrusy flavour from the candied orange peel, which enhanced the saltiness of the freshly cut, whisper thin slices of prosciutto, and elevated the sweetness in the burrata that melted under the pressure of your tongue; and there was plenty of both.

The “Wild Mushroom Bolognese” was my favourite dish. It had fresh radiatori (type of a small, squat pasta), garlic, sage, nutmeg, liason, parsley, pine nuts, and parmesan. It was a fragrant red sauce pasta with levels to it. Lots to sort through as you chew, which kept you going back for more.

Another one I really liked was the “McEwen & Sons Heirloom Grits” with maitake mushrooms, sherry jus, and shaved grana padano. A comforting dish and great starch to accompany our fattier steak below.

I found the “Fennel Braised Wild Boar Shoulder” very salty. Made with garlic, sage, fennel sugo, and parmesan-potato gnocchi, it all tasted herbal with a pronounced 5 spice flavour. The gnocchi was my favourite part, it had a great texture, but was a little too heavy when paired with the boar shoulder.

And given that this is a steakhouse, we had to fully indulge with the “48 oz. Prime-Niman Ranch Porterhouse”, the largest and priciest cut at $125. A quality cut prepared medium rare. The others liked the flavour, but I was not a fan. I found the sun-dried tomato notes were not what I expected or wanted from such a thick and fatty of beef. Instead, I wanted something richer with more gravy.

And for dessert we had the “Molten Chocolate Cake” with warm ganache, peanut ice cream, and candied pecans. We were disappointed that cutting in to it didn’t yield a river of liquid chocolate, but at least the toppings were plentiful. I am not a fan of chocolate, but with this peanut butter ice cream, I went back for multiple scoops.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
A nice spot for a night out, but it wouldn’t be my go to for steak. Didn’t find anything to deter me, nor anything specific to bring me back to this one when I visit Seattle next. Don’t deny your cravings.

FLINTCREEK
8421 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, United States
+1 206-457-5656
flintcreekseattle.com

Great Wine Tasting Room

Located in Bellevue, “Great Wine” studio delivers on its name. Showroom, tasting hall, and educational class room all in one. From the moment you walk through the doors you are engulfed by this unique experience. Cast iron cages surrounded bulbs, wine barrels deconstructed to outfit a wall, and more repurposed as side tables; all speaks to the theme.

We grabbed a seat around their heavy wood table with floral carpet under foot. This private tasting room opened 3 years ago, with their original location being in China. We would be exploring their new concept here.

When the majority of us chooses a bottle of wine we tend to gravitate towards either a specific price point, beautifully done labels, or simply stick with what you know. What “Great Wine” is offering is a way to pick your bottle based on taste and what you like in a wine. And they do this through an online quiz. By answering a few questions you learn what your vino type is, and based on the possibility of four outcomes you have what wine is best suited to your palate. The quiz takes into consideration how your genetics affect your taste buds and how many that you have. The more tastes buds you have the more you like sweets foods, whereas those with less taste buds prefer a strong smokey flavour. And at the end of the day there is no good or bad wine, just what you like.

If you are interested in learning what your vino type is and what it says about you, visit the link below. https://www.myvinotype.com/en/

Of the for categories, 50% of people belonging to the “hyper sensitive” category, a characteristic of this type is that they will look at everything, but have difficult time making a choice about any. They have good interpersonal skill and are often seen as leader. Out of our group, myself and Joyce of @VanFoodies fell into this category.

“Tolerant” types make up the smallest percentage. Most of these end up being wine critics, which means they are telling us what to like, when their tastes are so much different from ours. Not surprisingly for those who know him, David of @Pickydiner fell into this category.

“Sweet” types are pretty self explanatory. Sherman of @Shermansfoodadventures lived here. They are particular about their wines, and as expected, lean more to the sweeter bottles.

And “sensitive” types was at the centre of all and pretty flexible in their choice. This was Diana of @Foodologyca. Such types are known for their adventurous and adaptable nature.

So we learned that you drink what you want because your tongue knows best. And “Great Wine” produces their house brand “Percipio” to make it easier to choose. “Percipio” is produced in California, where their wine caters to a specific vino type. They currently the only ones doing this. All of their wines are a blend, typically featuring Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and/or Viognier grapes.

Our tasting started with a white, the “2016 Percipio white wine”. It is a crisp wine on the sweeter side with notes of green grapes, pear, citrus, and vanilla. Naturally “sweet” vinotypes gravitate towards this one. For additional information on the wines, the tasting also came with laminated cards we could reference.

Next we compared three of their reds. The “2104 Stellar 8” is ideal for “tolerant” and “sensitive” types. Made from Petit sirah and Zinfandel it is a smoother red with peppery berry notes.

The “2015 Cabernet Sauvignon” has more body and flavour. Another great one for those who are “tolerant”. A fall wine with dark fruits, pumpkin, cherry and chocolate. This one was recommended for thanksgiving dinner, given its spices and notes of cranberry, as it would pair with a thanksgiving feast.

The “Cupid” was considered an “odd ball” wine, either you loved it very much or hated it a lot. As a sweeter red, they use to only sell this in China; given the country’s higher percentage of “sweet” vino types, of which majority of prefers red. This was an easy to drink red with red fruits like raspberry, cherry, strawberry, and red and green apples. This one was my favourite.

There was a lot of tasting and I waived the spit bucket option, so greedily snacked on the mixed nuts available for balance.

Overall, this was a great way to learn more about yourself and what you like. We found ourselves comparing our types and discussing what we liked because of it. Not only was this a clever and fun way to engage and talk about it wine, but this was also a great way of choosing and trying new wines. I will definitely consider my vino type the next time I pick up a bottle. To learn more and find out how you can experience this for yourself, visit the link below.

GREAT WINES
958 111th Ave NE Suite 103, Bellevue, WA 98004
www.greatwineusa.com

The Maxwell Hotel, A Staypineapple hotel

Myself and group of 4 other food lovers and food writers were visiting Seattle for the day. We planned to maximize our time and our restaurant visits by spending the night. Given the theme of our travel and the common interest of the group, we made “The Maxwell” our hotel of choice. It is better known as the “pineapple hotel” given its heavy use of the fruit as decoration.

The spiny yellow fruit found its way in many of the decor pieces, whether recreated in tile on the exterior, as a mosaic in the foyer, or simply sitting atop of a table to be admired.

In general the hotel was fun, delivering on the hotel’s mantra and belief that “pineapples are sweet and yellow makes people happy”. Which included many features unique to this property. Each elevator had a game to play. Either spinning blocks that have you crafting random sentences, or one of those push panel puzzles that have you trying to move sections into place to form a picture.

I liked the virtual reality projector that turned your head into either a pinapple or that of their doggie mascot on a large screen. Be warned, only 4 can play at any given time.

We decided to do our overnight stay sleep over style, sharing two beds, and one pull out between 5, all in one room. Truly putting our friendship to the test. However all was not as planned. The advert on the website said the beds were queen-sized. However it was only the headboard that was, and we ended up sleeping a lot closer to one another than intended (especially for our first time).

And our pullout couch was not cleaned. Removing the seats and pulling the futon out yielded used napkins and a cheese string wrapper. The clerk was quick to apologize when we requested room service, and a housekeeper was quick to come by to tidy. However, I couldn’t feel at ease in our room after this discovery. The rest of the room looked fine, but how would I know for sure? It would have been nice to be given another room by the hotel for piece of mind. It is like when you find a hair in your food, they take back the whole plate and make you another from scratch. They just don’t scoop out the strand and give it back to you.

Other than that the stay was good. We were able to each get our own yellow robes. We enjoyed cuddles with their in hotel plush mascot (available for you to take home at a price), and took in the modern aesthetics of our boutique hotel room.

Pineapples on our pillows, pineapples on the throws, a pineapple shaped multi port USB charger, and pineapple cups to drink our pineapple branded coffee pods from. Even the extra roll of toilet paper in the washroom was wrapped in coloured tissue paper meant to resemble a pineapple.

And although the push pump dispenser of soap, body wash, shampoo, and lotion by the washroom sink and in the open shower stall weren’t scented as pineapple; their “exotic coral” flavour gave you a similar tropical feel.

We didn’t get much of a view in our third floor suite. The Space Needle was visible in the distance, but obscured behind black electric cables. But we wouldn’t be in our room all that long anyways, we definitely maximize learning our foodie field trip.

We did check out the hotel’s complimentary happy hour. A help yourself counter of pineapple flavoured water and pineapple shaped sugar cookies to snack on.

No alcoholic beverages at this happy hour, but you can get your fix at their lobby bar, the “Pineapple bistro + bar”. I suggest their signature cocktail the “pineapple express”, made with buffalo trace bourbon, caramelized pineapple purée, whiskey butters, club soda, and amarena cherries. With plenty of room to enjoy it in, across the lobby seating area.

We didn’t have the time, but as guests you are able to take one of their yellow bicycles for a ride or borrow one of their giant yellow umbrellas should it rain.

In summary this was a fun stay at a unique property. For those who love pineapples and some charm in their hotels, this one is for you.

THE MAXWELL
300 Roy St, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
+1 877-298-9728
staypineapple.com

Dochi, mochi donuts

I was visiting Seattle with a group of like-minded foodies, and collectively we agreed to add Dochi to our list of food stops in between full meals.

Located as a stall in the food court portion of the Uwajimaya building, it is pretty easy to spot from the exterior. The line of customers goes out the door, and wraps around the corner. The front of it is marked with a board listing all their donut options for the day. It also thanks you for your patronage and patience in rainbow markers. The line does go pretty quickly, all the donuts are made ahead of time, so it is only a matter of packaging them and taking payment.

A clerk directs traffic into the building, which is an additional wait by a stanchion, gazing longingly at their colourful booth. A sea foam green background with paintings of their bulbous donut rings sprinkled all across it. When you get to the counter you can see all the donut options under plexiglass. With 6 different options available it is easiest just to get one of each, that fits perfectly into their teal box with white detailing. But if you want more there is a limit, they are so popular that they limit one dozen donuts per customer, per day; as to not disappoint those who come later to collect their donut fix. Although with the amount of people they see, I am sure this is hard to monitor.

We got our box and ate in outside. Each ring consists of 8 balls. 8 easy to pull apart balls that readily pops into your mouth. And each delivered on the premise of mochi and doughnuts combined. You get the gummy chew of mochi at the centre of cakey dough. And depending on the flavour a crumbly, crunchy, or sticky topping for further indulgence.

The “pumpkin spice” dochi spoke to the season. Its flavour was subtle, making it a nice way to enjoy pumpkin spice when you don’t like pumpkin pie.

I liked all the textures that came with the “strawberry shortcake” mochi donut. The strawberry reminded me of strawberry pocky frosting, given a little crunch with cookie crumbs.

The “matcha Oreo” had a similar texture, sweet matcha made sweeter with the frosted cream of the cookie crumbs and its chocolatey crunch.

The “cookies & cream” is for those who like their snacks sugary. The classic flavour made more tempting with a drizzle of caramel.

The “taro pebbles” was the most photogenic of the bunch today. I didn’t get much taro flavour, but didn’t mind, the dough was great on its own.

Thus making the “ube glazed” with its purple centre and lightness my favourite of the bunch.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
If you have never tried such doughnuts, these are worth the wait. These Japanese crafted doughnut are the real deal and my new favourite kind of doughnut. Don’t deny your cravings.

DOCHI
600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, United States
(425) 503-5559
dochicompany.com

Stateside

A group of local Vancouver food bloggers and I ventured down to the Settle for a two day and one night stay. The goal, to eat and taste our way within Seattle and Bellevue with liked mined individuals, and blog all about it after. We created our itinerary based on popular Seattle stops and places that came recommend. Our first was “Stateside” for an Asian inspired fusion brunch. I liked the pan Asian influences to the menu, so was excited to give them a try.

The restaurant had a tropical feel with palm frond printed wallpaper and worn wooden tables and chairs. It was kept dark and cozy with the romantic glow of orange bulbs, the handsome bar was outfitted with several, hanging above each seat. We were given one of their round tables, which proved ideal for light conversation and the sharing of everything 5 ways. The following is what we had, in the order they arrived. Written with the feedback from Diana of @foodology, Joyce of @vanfoodies, @pickydiner’s David, and Sherman of @shermanfoodadventures.

We started off with some drinks. The classic slow drip “Vietnamese iced coffee” with condense milk to stir into and glass of ice to pour over.

The “Jasmine ice green tea” came in a bamboo shaped glass.

“The coconut” was a popular cocktail given the way it was presented. A whole young coconut with paper umbrella. Rum, lime leaf and galangal, mixed with coconut water in a freshly cracked coconut. It was boozy and citrusy, with a sugary finish.

I had the “Tom yum Mary” and was so disappointed by it that I ended up sending it back. It was an aromatic infused vodka mixed with chilies, ginger, lime leaf, and fish sauce; but all I tasted with salt. I expected it to have the thickness of a Caesar, and resemble more like drinking a soup. It didn’t taste like Tom yum, besides having a sour kick. I asked for more tomato juice to cut into it, but that did nothing. It was so strong that it took away from the flavour of everything else. Our server offered me another Bloody Mary, or any other drink of my choice, I passed as I wasn’t all that impressed with the coconut either, so didn’t want to take a chance on another disappointing cocktail.

For food, I liked the texture of the “crispy duck fresh rolls”. Not just your regular vermicelli and raw vegetables wrapped in rice paper; these included a deep fried wrap for an extra crunch. I wasn’t a fan of the texture of the pulled duck meat, it was mealy and fibrous (much like a few of the other meat products below). Where as I wanted freshness in the roll, and a creamy sauce to balance out the deep fry. Similarly, I wanted a creamy sauce for the appetizer below, but I can at least appreciate the fact that each appetizer had a different dipping sauce to go with it.

The “Crispy sticky rice finger sandwiches” were filled with a chili-cumin pork or a tofu mixture (for the vegetarians), and is seasoned with house fermented mustard greens. We went for the former, and I found it too salty and the cumin out of place. It was punchy and in complete contrast to the dish’s assigned cilantro lime sauce. It was a refreshing sauce that brightens, whereas I wanted something more complimentary to the flavour of the filling. Like a tangy oyster sauce or a slightly spicy mayo that adds levels. I did like the idea of this and how crispy the sandwich “bread” was. If I had to choose, this would be my favourite of the night.

The “pho braised beef potstickers” sounded promising, but with the same mealy texture of meat used above, and a salty black vinegar and ginger dipping sauce that added nothing, I was disappointed. I wanted a more classically done potsticker and for it to taste like pho. It could have been a soup dumpling with pho broth inside. Or filled with a mix of the more familiar sliced beef and beef balls, used with pho. And to bring it back full circle, the dipping sauce to be the brown sauce provided to help rejuvenate a bowl of pho and any restaurant.

Another one that I liked the idea of, but not its execution was the “eggs bao’nedict”. It is similar to a regular eggs Benedict, but instead of using an English muffin, they use a stuffed and fried golden steamed bun. The bun was stuffed with diced Canadian bacon, then topped with poached eggs; all smothered in a thick hollandaise, and sprinkled over with pork floss. Once again, a similar sandy shredded meat was used here. I grew up on pork floss and wanted the authentic kind that is airy and light with a texture that melts under the tongue, and a slightly sweet after taste. The egg was at least perfectly done and the hollandaise well made.

I was the most excited for the “Hong Kong style charcoal waffles” that mentioned the use of pandan. However I was barely able to taste it in the syrup, and would have liked more of it flavouring the jug of coconut cream that came with the waffle. A help yourself serving of sweet cream to glop over over the waffle. Heavy and coconut-forward, it just made the waffle soggy. And had we known this was the case we would not have gotten the scoop of coconut pandan ice cream, as extra. It didn’t add anything new in flavour or texture. I did like the mango jam and shaved almond toppings, and found they gave things a nice twist.

The “open faced gold brown omelette”, weren’t the Vietnamese-style egg crepes we thought they would be, but more like an omelette pizza or frittata. We added on country ham for $3 more, and found the omelette too salty for it. I didn’t make out the gruyere and the “potato crunchies” were more of a distraction. They were cut small and fried up hard; whereas I would have liked them better as larger chunks with a crispy shell and chewy centre, more like breakfast potatoes. The crepe did have a nice spongy egg texture, but was oily. I wanted something fresh to bite into: raw cherry tomatoes or some pickled vegetables on the side, or better yet the classic fish sauce to dip egg into.

“The Classic” was as promised, a banh mi stuffed with housemade Vietnamese mortadella, chicken liver pâté, pork floss, pickled vegetables, cilantro, chili, cucumber, maggi sauce, and mayo. There was a lot of meat in this, and I wanted just as much vegetable to balance things out. The sandwich was dry and I was left longing for the cream of a mayo and more tang from the barely pickled vegetables.

Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I wanted the traditional flavours I was drawn to from the descriptions on the menu, but in new applications. Instead, I was left with the disappointment of one note dishes and diluted ingredients. Great ideas, and great for anyone that hasn’t tried the originals, that these dishes take example from. I don’t visit the Seattle area often, so wont be coming back, when I can visit other such brunch spots. Don’t deny your cravings.

STATESIDE
300 E Pike St #1200, Seattle, WA 98122, United States
+1 206-557-7273
statesideseattle.com

Lady Yum

I was in Seattle, doing some self guide sight seeing. Simply walking the streets downtown, allowing what will to catch my eye. And this detour was a newer champagne and macarons themed cafe. Their name brought me close, their dressy decor and quirky slogan of “macarons and mischief” brought me through the door, and their happy hour specials had me opening my wallet.

From Monday to Friday, 4-7pm they offer customers $1 off little bottles of sparking wine and $1 off select flavours of macarons. The flavours are on rotation, sadly the two offered were vanilla and chocolate, and not the usual interesting flavours I gravitate towards. Of note, these macarons are a little on the smaller side, each is made by hand and with that inconsistencies do arise. So instead of discarding them, they are are offered at a discount. A great idea if you ask me.

But instead of taking advantage of the discount, I paired my glass of sparkling wine with a dozen of their more unique macrons. A few such flavours included “princess torte”, “unicorn”, one that tastes like the pebbles cereal, and raspberry Chardonnay.

But that is not even my favourite thing about this place, the friendly and inviting staff are. They are genuinely happy to be behind the counter, making dessert dreams come true. They greet everyone with a welcoming salutation and offer suggestions and help any way they can. The gentleman assisting me today even offered to take photos of me against their ornate wallpaper and allowed me the privilege of stepping behind their counter to get a non reflective view/photo of their macarons collection. He even directed me to their washroom explaining how many of their customers work their way around their space taking advantage of their very Instagram worthy back drops. Like the black background with creeping leaves various wildlife holding props. A lemur with an accordion, a badger holding a cocktail, an otter with a paper fan, a squirrel with a banjo; and a blue parrot with a medal around his neck, perched on a hookah.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
A fun spot for a sweet treat and a great place for wall to wall photo ops. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

LADY YUM
2130 6th Avenue, Seattle WA, 98121
ladyyum.com
Lady Yum Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Central District Ice Cream Company

Living in Vancouver, we are spoiled with our small batch ice cream options. A bevy of seasonal flavours, tart sorbets, and unique combinations to plaster your tongue on. So when travelling to another city, it is always fun to do a little comparison. Therefore when visiting Seattle this time around, I did my research and made a plan to visit “Central District”. Seeing them online I was enamoured by their our of the box ice cream flavours coupled with their colourful hues. Enough to go out of my way just to visit them for an ice cream lunch.

They constantly rotate their homemade flavours and for the month of August 2017 (when I visit), it was a reprisal of their fan favourites. Folks voted online for that which they wanted to see on the menu again and these were the winners! This list included ube cheesecake, chai latte, and a pineapple with salted plum for a salty and sweet mix. One that tasted like mint mojito. A chicken and waffles flavour that reminded me more of maple syrup than chicken or waffles. And “beast mode”, a toasted marshmallow flavour with more solid marshmallow chunks embedded within the ice cream, along with fruity pebbles crumbs. It’s tastes was true to the cereal. Visiting during a slower time meant I was the only one in and the clerk allowed me a taste of everything from behind her counter.

A few of the ice cream flavours had matching macaron shells that you can add on to your order, to layer on the flavour. Like a white macron shell with some brown swirling on it for the “beast mode”, and an aqua coloured macaron shell with actual pebbles cereal dusting it. I strongly suggest visiting them early to enjoy these build your own macaron ice cream sandwich options. I have a feeling their giant unicorn one, flavoured like vanilla, is probably their most popular and sells out quick. It is just so cute, and definitely what I got.

The clerk was very accommodating, she answered all my questions, allowed me to try all that I wanted, and even gave me the option to pay less for smaller scoops of all eight of their flavours; so I can have them all for one. However, I ended up taking advantage of the above mentioned macaron shells instead.

Once again, I naturally went for the unicorn macaron (which was what actually brought me here today). I had it with their purple ube cheese cake ice cream. I like how the shell wasn’t at all too sweet, it was a good base to highlight the milder ice cream on. Though sadly the face of the unicorn got smudged in the scooping and sandwiching process.

I also got one of their pizzelle ice cream sandwiches. Pizzelles are Italian waffle cookies made from flour, eggs, sugar, butter or vegetable oil, and flavoring. These however were just plain in flavour and simply coloured for novelty. And it worked because it had me ordering one of their green to pair with their blue, with their black sesame as its binder. The cookies were disappointingly hard. They didn’t snap or have a crisp crunch to them. You could tell they weren’t made fresh, but have been sitting out in their window for some time. Sad, having it pressed to order would have made all the difference. Whereas I discarded them here.

For those looking for other sweet treats, they also offer various candies. A self serve wall of bulk chocolates and gummies in glass jars to pick and choose; then fill your own plastic bag with. You can also use them as an extra indulgence to top your ice cream with.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
I wish we had a “Central District” in my city. I could see myself visiting them for novelty and taste all throughout the year. With rotating flavours and a creative assembly I can see them being very popular in Vancouver. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT
2016 E Union Street, Seattle WA, 98122
206-519-1529
cdicecream.com
Central District Ice Cream Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Din Tai Fung

Only after my original visit and with the possibility to return, did I learn that “Din Tai Fung” at University Village in Seattle, is one location of a popular Chinese chain in possession of a Michelin Star in Hong Kong. (“Michelin Star” is a world wide recognized symbol of quality and fine dining for any restaurant.) And upon reflection, its garnered extra attention and lengthy waits now made a lot more sense. And here I was comparing it to any old dumpling house in Vancouver.

Located on a second floor of this busy outdoor mall plaza, if you don’t feel like waiting for a table in their busy foyer, there are plenty of other businesses to shop around with, in the meanwhile. But if you decide to wait in queue, they have some options to help occupy your time. A healthy bar decorated with bamboo steamer lids and wire cages to sit and sip at.

And a show behind protective glass, giving you a clear view of their chefs rolling, stuffing, and folding dumplings in a assembly line. Dressed in all white with paper caps and a protective face masks, they don’t acknowledge the peering crowd, but instead focus on the task at hand. Considering how many people dine with them, and how many various dumplings these patrons order, this needs to be a large scale operation that it is.

My original visit was an invitation for lunch. Two local ladies swore by them as their favourite place for Chinese food. Given their experience and appetite, I left all the ordering to them.

Naturally we ordered a few of their award winning dumplings. “Pork and crab xiao long bao”. Tender and savoury chunks of meat surrounded in a pool of soup, all hugged by chewy dough. They were delicious morsels, best enjoyed in one bite with the tang of the soup taking lead as you bite in.

Their “Shrimp and pork shao mai” had the same texture and a similar taste. I was surprised that these too were prepared with soup in them, but should have clued in by the way they were moulded: in two tiered bundles.

The “Shrimp and pork wontons with spicy sauce” were like the dumplings above, just without the soup and with a lot more punch thanks to the salty pool of black sauce they sat in and absorbed.

The above flavour was very similar to the “Noodles with spicy sauce”. The same tasty back of the throat spice paired with nice chewy noodle stand. It all tastes similar yet different. Not that I am complaining, as they do carbs well here, and I love me some carbs.

For some freshness and balance we also got a plate of their “Sautéed string beans with garlic”. Crispy beans pan fried with garlicky flavour, a delicious classic.

For drinks they had a full list of teas. I ordered a black tea topped with a sea salt cream. The addition of this fluffy topping was a creative way to get some body and additional texture in to every sip. It also gave the drink some saltiness to better highlight the sweet.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Definitely a great stop for some solid Chinese food in Seattle. And after tasting them for myself I can see why they are so busy. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

DIN TAI FUNG
2623 NE University Village, Seattle WA, 98105
206-525-0958
Din Tai Fung University Village Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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