Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey Day

Hey everyone. I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving, if you happen to celebrate this particular holiday.

This year my family and I had a couple of Thanksgiving dinners. The first one was basically a trial or "pre-Thanksgiving" in order to find out what we like and what we don't like. We tried different versions of mashed potatoes and brines, etc. The next big meal was our Thanksgiving Day brunch. We had the turkey and all the fixings and it was all delicious. The last meal was the day after Thanksgiving (aka- Black Friday) and we ended up having the best dinner ever for this holiday. My sister baked up a delicious ham and a perfectly brined and baked turkey. She even made a chocolate and caramel cake for dessert. We were that turkey!

The food was all good this past week and I had to hit the treadmill and do a heavy work out today, just so that it all balances out. I wanted to burn off some more calories so I even walked to my sister's house, which actually took an hour from my house. It definitely seems a lot shorter when I'm driving there.

Anyway, I hope you all had a great holiday and that you were able to get some good deals on Black Friday, if you were so inclined to do so. I was awake at 5am for no apparent reason, so I got ready and headed downtown. There was a Thanksgiving parade happening that morning anyway, so I thought I'd spend some time checking out the stores that opened early for Black Friday sales. I ended up getting a black winter vest from Old Navy for $19 (it opened at 3am). Not bad. Later, I got an iPod car charger for only $10! Even better......things I can use.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone. I hope to be back with another good restaurant review or food related post very soon. Om Nom Nom Nom!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Green Papaya & Shrimp Salad

One of my favorite local eateries is a small (very only 3 parking spaces) Vietnamese "deli" near the International District called Seattle Deli. You can find all the usual dishes like those famous $2 (sometimes cheaper) Vietnamese BBQ pork or chicken sandwiches, tofu, or sweet rice desserts. Lately, I've been frequenting this establishment to pick up a chicken sandwich after work. It's packed with marinated chicken, daikon (radish), carrots, cucumbers, and jalapenos all served on a toasted fresh roll. And yes, like I said, it's all for $2!

This past Friday I stopped by there to get a chicken sandwich and browsed the front counter at all the freshly made desserts and dishes. I came across the green papaya and shrimp salad. It just looked so fresh and delicious that I had to try it out. Incidentally, I've tried green papaya salad before and it's pretty good. This one was only $4, so I couldn't pass it up.

The salad has thinly sliced (almost julienne) green papaya, freshly cooked shrimp, daikon, fresh basil, chopped peanuts, and optional fish sauce with sweet chili. It's a really refreshing, light, and filling appetizer or meal (for me, it was just an appetizer because I'm a big eater).

On a side note, you should also try a mango and jicama salad. It's just those two ingredients cut sort of a thick julienne style and mixed with fresh basil.

Have a great weekend, everyone. And as always.....Om Nom Nom Nom!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Polish Home

Polish Home is actually a Polish community center in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. I have never heard of this place until last night (one of my friend's girlfriend set up this surprise dinner/birthday party for him.....she said it's one of his new favorite places). Apparently, they open up the restaurant only during the winter hours and only on Friday and Sunday nights. I guess the locals know about it because it got packed pretty fast.

Non-members of the Polish Home have to pay $1 to get into the door. I paid the entry fee and was promptly seated with the other guests. We all felt a little special because we got to sit up on a stage-like platform since there was a number of us.

It's a very comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere with a medium sized occupancy. There's a bar on the side as you enter and about 20 tables total. It's very casual and the water cups are even paper (don't worry, the plates are real china and they use real silverware).

All the servers were extremely friendly and accommodating and took our orders right away. We ordered up a couple of plates of meat, cheese, and mushroom & cabbage pierogis for appetizers. When the majority of the people got there, most of us ordered either pierogi dishes or the "Polish Platter", which had meat pierogis, sausage, cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and julienned sweet beets. The food was very authentic and delicious! The cabbage rolls were the highlight of the night. I couldn't tell what was in the orangish sauce on top of the rolls. It was definitely tomato based, but it was a little tangy as well. I also wanted to try the white borsch (sp?) which came with potatoes, boiled egg, and sprinkled with dill. Someone from our table ordered the cheese crepes/blintz, which was really tasty (he let everyone try it because it was a huge serving). It tasted like sweet cheese and bits of hazelnut.

Anyway, let's get to my 5-doughnut rating:

  • Service, 3.5 doughnuts= The waitress was very friendly, accommodating, and attentive. She knew the right times to check up on us throughout the night and I could see her always eyeing our table from afar to see if we needed anything. There were about 13-15 or so people at our table and she did a good job of taking care of our whole party, despite it being a busy night.
  • Atmosphere/Location, 2.5 doughnuts= I liked the atmosphere because it was very casual and family-friendly, yet still clean and uniform. It's a great place to have a little dinner party with a few guests. Everyone in the restaurant seemed happy. The location was a little weird. It's in a residential area and there's no address or sign on the front of the building. At night it's a little hard to see/find.
  • Food Presentation, 3.5 doughnuts= For an establishment that's only open for one season throughout the year (and only 2 days out of the week), I thought the food was presented very well. The Polish Platter was decorated with different sides and was very colorful and aesthetically pleasing. The white borsch also looked great when it was served to me.
  • Taste, 3.5 doughnuts= I guess you can say that I have had Polish food before, since I've tried all of those dishes before. The ones I had last night were delicious. They had a lot of flavor in each bite. The white borsch was very good. I think it was the dill that brought out the flavor in a couple of the side dishes. The sweet beets were a good accompaniment to the main dish.
  • Cost/Value, 3 doughnuts= I thought the food was reasonably priced for what they served up, which was authentic, delicious food.

  • Originality, 3.5 doughnuts= I think it's original for a restaurant to be this good in a community center and only open during the winter season. It's also original to be located deep in the heart of a residential area. I don't know of any other Polish "restaurant" in Seattle.
  • Overall, 3.5 doughnuts= I heard about this place before I got there and wasn't really sure what to expect. I guess after I heard it was in a community center that I thought it wasn't going to be that good. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the food.
You can check it out at

And as always.....Om Nom Nom Nom!


Friday, November 13, 2009


No, I'm not talking crazy. Kukuruza is a new gourmet popcorn store that opened up a couple of blocks east of Pike Place Market. I happened to come across this new place by accident as I was walking downtown from the Market.

When you walk in, you'll be amazed by not only the awesome aroma coming from the freshly popped popcorn and the other ingredients, but also by the assortment of popcorn flavors and the gift tins along the wall (sorry, I didn't get pics of those).

They have really decadent flavors such as "black raspberry liqueur with vanilla cream" or "egg nog with brandied chocolate" (yeah, you're drooling, aren't you?). Or, if you want to go savory, you could try the "buffalo wing and blue cheese" popcorn. I love it when people come up with crazy concoctions like this.

Anyway, be sure to check this place out at and maybe order up some as a nice Christmas gift. I know I'll be heading back there soon to do just that.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pike Place Market - Revisited (Fall Edition)

Hey fellow foodies. I was down at the Pike Place Market again today. I guess you can call this the Fall edition. It was during normal business hours, so it wasn't as busy as it would be on a weekend. However, whenever the weather gets a little dreary, cold, and wet, it's not uncommon to see the crowd gradually dwindle.

Anyway, I was sure to take some quick pics of the Market. I got a little bit of food and a little bit of scenery. Did I mention that I love this place? Enjoy:

The sun did try to make an appearance:

Usually crowded:

Orange blossom and cinnamon sugar homemade donuts & beignets:

View of Post Alley:

The restaurant where that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie was shot:

One of the best bakeries for freshly baked bread:


Monday, November 2, 2009

Bella Pizza & Pasta

Hey everyone. I was down in the Capitol Hill neighborhood (east of downtown Seattle) for dinner a couple of days ago and tried out this Italian place I saw for the first time. It's located at the end of Broadway, right at the intersection near Roy.

It was dinner time and I was in the mood for either pizza or pasta, so this was a good pick. The inside is very clean and inviting. The mood lighting made it very comfortable for a dining atmosphere. Getting a table wasn't a problem, despite the small establishment. I really liked the interior with the huge blackboard near the front displaying the entire menu. Everything looked so good, I wasn't sure what to get.

I wasn't that hungry (can you believe that?, so I ordered the "Chicken Snack". It said a quarter chicken served over pasta with meatsauce. Sounds good, right? The service was extremely friendly and social, even though she was the only server for the entire restaurant at the time (things started to pick up).

The dinner came with a dinner salad, garlic bread, and even these really good homemade breadballs that they make as a complimentary side. The bread was served with a dipping sauce composed of Italian dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was very tasty.

The wait was only about 15 minutes, which is what I predicted since it was oven roasted chicken. The dish was huge! The chicken piece was close to a half a chicken instead of the quarter piece. The serving size of the pasta was enormous as well. I have to say that I could not finish it all and had to take the rest to go, which is a very rare thing for me to do because I usually finish it all (unless it's pizza).

I apologize for the so-so quality pics. I'm actually shopping around for a better camera with a good macro function for up close quality pictures, just for this food blog (don't you feel special?).

Let's check out the 5-doughnut rating on this place:

  • Service, 4 doughnuts= The service was great. She checked on my table just enough and not too often. She was very friendly and even offered to bring more homemade bread even when there was enough on the table.

  • Atmosphere/Location, 4 doughnuts= I really liked the atmosphere of the inside. It wasn't too busy or too loud, and was a very nice place to eat. The inside was well decorated as well. I think the location was in a good place. It's located near the end of the very busy Broadway Ave, so there is plenty of parking around.

  • Food Presentation, 3.5 dougnuts= I thought it was well presented. The dish looked so delicious when it was served to me.

  • Taste, 3 doughnuts= The chicken was extremely tasty and moist. However, I thought the pasta was lacking more flavor. It was a little bland even though it had meat sauce and everything. The sides were delicious.

  • Cost/Value, 4 doughnuts= The dish came out to $9 or so, which is great for the generous portion and all the sides. It could definitely feed 2 people.

  • Originality, 3 doughnuts= Nothing too original about this pizza & pasta place, except the big blackboard menu as you enter, and flat screen tvs all throughout the little place (even one huge one facing outside so people can see the menu).

  • Overall, 3.5-4 doughnuts= I thought this place was great. They had so many pizza combinations that I want to try, so I have to go back (by the way, I'm also on the lookout for Seattle's best pizza.....I already have one in mind that I've been to that I still have to review, and another one of Tom Douglas' pizzerias). I definitely recommend this place.

And as always....."Om Nom Nom Nom!"