Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bahama Breeze

Hey everyone. I apologize if I haven't posted lately. I've been rather busy. This next restaurant review is on a restaurant located in Tukwila next to the Southcenter Mall called Bahama Breeze. It's a Caribbean restaurant that has a very friendly, colorful, and inviting atmosphere. I was there about a week or so ago with a beautiful someone and her two friends. Anyway, here we go with the review:

I've always driven by this restaurant every time I've been down in the area, mainly to go to Southcenter Mall. It's located less than 20 minutes south of Seattle. The outside looks very neat and somewhat interesting. There aren't a lot of Caribbean restaurants around here with this type of flair.

I should have taken more pics of the outside to show you, but there are a couple of tiki torches near the entrance. There are also a couple of valets to park your car, if you're so inclined. I'm not really sure this is the type of restaurant where you'd need to have someone park your car, especially since there is ample parking all around the restaurant. In any event, it's nice to know it's there, right?

Inside the restaurant is pretty colorful and has a very "fun" atmosphere to it. Right away we were promptly greeted and seated (well, we just told them we were meeting people there and found them ourselves). On the way to our table we could see this huge bar in the middle of the restaurant. People were lined all along the edges sipping on alcohol and enjoying a bite.

The waitress quickly introduced herself with a friendly personality and got us our drinks. I have to admit that it did take quite a while before she returned to actually take our order (we were starving). There were moments where she would just disappear throughout the night when we actually needed something. Only occasionally I had to flag her down. Overall, the service wasn't too bad. She was there to frequently check up on us on occasion, but not to a point where it was annoying (like in some restaurants).

I ordered the Breeze Wood-Grilled Chicken Breast dinner. The menu states the dish as: "Moist and tender with citrus butter sauce, fresh broccoli and cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes." Damn, doesn't that sound good? When the dish arrived, the presentation was nice. I thought the layered chicken breasts looked delicious, and the veggies and mashed potatoes looked tasty (of course, I was starving so anything would have looked delicious). The chicken breast was pretty moist, although I think I was expecting a bit more flavor. Yes, I did resist the urge to just swallow the entire dish whole (alligator style) in my hungry state, just so that I could try to savor the food and enjoy it. I have to say my favorite part of the dish was the cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes. I thought it was a good accompaniment to the dish, although a roasted pork shoulder or loin would have been even better with it. The broccoli was fresh and tasty....but it's still just, well, steamed broccoli. I did not have anything else to drink besides my water. I did manage to take a sip of "E's" pina colada (I don't remember the flavor though), which was very refreshing and tasty. Sorry, we were all too full to dive into dessert that night.

I did have to use the restroom and got a look at the layout (yes, I'll try to review the whole restaurant in its entirety everytime I do one of these things). It was actually a very cool restroom. The urinals were far apart and angled away from each other. You know, us guys like our space when it comes to urinal use. The sink area actually had different soaps, lotions, and even mouthwash (even with little disposable cups)!

I have to say, I'm glad I finally got to check out this restaurant. I thoroughly enjoyed the company and the atmosphere. And now time for the review/rating using my 5-doughnut system:

  • Service, 3 doughnuts= We were promptly greeted and promptly seated. Our waitress was very friendly and cool and occasionally checked up on us, but there were a couple of times when our table really needed something and we had to look around and/or flag her down.

  • Atmosphere/Location, 3.5 doughnuts= I thought it was a pretty "neat" restaurant. It had an outdoor eating area with even a firepit. There seemed to be a bunch of different large dining rooms (we were in the main/center area next to the bar). The restaurant is all by itself outside the mall not too far from the highway. Overall, it's a friendly hang-out type of restaurant.

  • Food Presentation, 3.5 doughnuts= I think for this type of restaurant, the presentation was alright. They layered the dish and even included a couple of fried plantain chips sticking out of the mashed sweet potatoes. Not too bad.

  • Taste, 3 doughnuts= I guess I'm giving them a somewhat low score because I think the main course (the chicken in this case) should be the biggest deciding factor of whether this was a tasty dish. Like I said, it was good, but not crazy good. I think it just needed some more seasoning or something. I definitely liked the mashed sweet potatoes though. Don't get me wrong, it was a pretty good dish.

  • Originality, 3.5 doughnuts= I don't know too many Caribbean restaurants around here, even in Seattle. The layout of the restaurant is pretty original in itself. As I stated before, there are a couple of different, large dining areas, a bar, and a nice outdoor eating area with a firepit. It's pretty cool looking at night.

  • Overall, 3.5 doughnuts= I had a nice time at Bahama Breeze. I would like to go back and try a couple of other dishes that I saw on the menu. I think the company made it more enjoyable to hang out and dine there. The food was good and the atmosphere was "chill".
Be sure to check it out at

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bite of Seattle on Sunday

Well, I finally did attend the Bite of Seattle this year. I was debating whether or not to actually go. I know that's weird for me to say, since I normally do attend every year (and yes, I am usually all about food). It's just this year I didn't have a huge desire to go. I've toned it down from eating because I'm trying to stay a little more fit and healthy. Nevertheless, I had some time to kill after church, and I was a little hungry. I do have pics, but unfortunately they are just of the Seattle Center area and not the food itself. Sorry. I was too hungry to remember to take a pic before I ate the food.

As expected, the parking situation was a little crazy. There were a lot of spaces right outside the Seattle Center, but they were going for like $15-$20. I was like....what?! I went around the center twice before I caught a $10 lot, which just happened to be right across the street from the center. I said, "Why not?" I parked.
The crowd was not as intense as it usually is compared to Friday and Saturday (from previous experience). There were some huge gaps of just empty space. There was a lot of fresh grass just open in front of a couple of the stages. So, for those of you who don't like extremely huge crowds but would still like to try out the Bite, then go on a Sunday.

I passed through the Tom Douglas vendor section called "The Alley". For a fee you can try little samples from about 7 of his restaurants. It looked good, but the line was too long. I even bumped into an old friend that was waiting that I used to work with. If you're reading this, good to see you again, E.D.

I did a walk through of almost the entire center before deciding on a crabcake for starters. I kept telling myself that I had a lacrosse game a couple of hours later, so I didn't eat too much. After the delicious crabcake I hit up another vendor and had a lambsteak sandwich. That was very tasty as well. That's pretty much all I had at the Bite.
After that, I just walked around and checked out the other non-food vendors that were selling their items. I came across this one stand that sold wooden puzzles (all very cool) and some large sheets of hand-pressed paper straight from Thailand. If you look into the paper, you can see real dried flowers and leaves from different plants (there were some paper sheets that were made out of coconut or papaya, etc). I asked what it's used for and he said that people use it as very original stationary. I thought that this isn't really my thing....but I automatically thought of someone that might just like this. I figured it would be a good gift for someone I know. Anyway, I'm not going to post pics of them on this blog. Check out my normal blog for those pics, since they're non-food related.
Anyway, if you've never been to the Bite of Seattle, it happens every year in July. Be sure to try it out at least once, especially you Seattle-ites that have told me that you've never been. Later.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Goldbergs' Delicatessen

Hey everyone. This morning I picked up my mom and treated her to a nice brunch at Goldbergs Delicatessen in the Factoria Mall (Bellevue). I've actually been there before, but I haven't rated it on this food blog. So, here we go.

The moment you step into this place, you know you're in a different type of restaurant. It's not like a normal family restaurant since it has a fully stocked bar near the middle and a full deli/store near the front entrance. The interior is adourned with various, colorful artwork with a very New York theme for very good is a New York-style deli.

This place serves up stacked sandwiches that melt in your mouth. As I perused the menu, I was eyeing the mouth-watering specialty sandwiches like the reuben and the hot corned beef (or hot pastrami) and chopped liver sandwich, which I ordered. As an accompaniment, they serve up a side of freshly sliced quartered pickles (light and dark). My sandwich came out stacked with warm corned beef and cool lettuce and tomato. On the side was a small cup of tangy, sweet slaw, which is a great addition. I plan to try out the reuben next time.

OK, now for my 5-doughnut rating system:
  • Service, 3.5 doughnuts= We were promptly seated once we entered the establishment, and our drinks were immediately served shortly thereafter. The waitresses checked up on us frequently enough whenever we needed drink refills or condiments, but not so often that they were bothersome.
  • Atmosphere/Location, 4 doughnuts= I really like the interior of this restaurant. It's definitely different and interesting with the decor. The inside deli/store and bar add a different feel to the restaurant as a whole. The location is pretty nice....right in the middle of a mall. I have to say that I normally don't visit this mall that often, since I only go there for Target, and now Goldbergs!
  • Food Presentation, 3 doughnuts= The food is very tasty, but the presentation is that of just a sliced sandwich that you'd get at any other deli.
  • Taste, 4 doughnuts= Like I said, the food was very tasty. I eat pretty much anything, so my taste buds are a lot different than others. The corned beef and chopped liver (especially the liver) might not seem appealing to most people, but I liked it. The chopped liver reminds me of a brown Filipino sauce that is served up with lechon. Anyway, sorry for straying. The pickles compliment the food with a tart taste and crunchy texture.
  • Cost/Value, 3 doughnuts= Some of the specialty sandwiches are kinda pricey. You can get about $13-$14 for a sandwich with one side. I'm not sure if that's a great deal or not. It was good, but might be better if they shaved off about $2.
  • Originality, 4 doughnuts= I don't know of another New York style deli/store/restaurant around here. If there is one, I don't know if it's this good. The interior is fun and relaxing at the same time.
  • Overall, 4 doughnuts= I really like this place. The service, food, and atmosphere are great. I'll go there again.

So, go check out Goldbergs Delicatessen at the Factoria Mall in Bellevue/Renton.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Seattle Food Bloggers

Seattle Food Bloggers

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Sushiland & Wann & Bite of Seattle

Hey everyone. This is my first food blog where I actually feel a little embarrassed because I'm lacking pictures of the most important part....the food! I promise to not make another mistake like this, especially since people who read food blogs rely on how the food looks. Nevertheless, stay faithful to "Om Nom Nom Nom!" and you won't be disappointed. Get ready for a double-header.

OK, first I wanted to give a shout out to one of my favorite "carousel" or "off-the-belt" sushi joints in Seattle. I give you SUSHILAND! I must say this beats the other big contender, Blue C Sushi, in taste and especially value. I do have one food pic to offer you of what you can expect:

Anyway, I (and my beautiful company) had a lot of really good dishes. I tend to stick with my favorites: salmon nigiri, smoked salmon nigiri, California roll, crab salad gunkan, and calimari. There are a couple of other ones but I can't think of them at the moment. The salmon nigiri is fresh and tasty, as well as it's smoked brother (or sister, mother, father, etc). The smoked taste gives the salmon a nice grilled aftertaste, and changes the texture to more flaky than mushy. The California roll has it all with the crab, avocado, cucumber and fish roe. The crab salad gunkan is just tasty imitation crab. Finally the calimari is chopped into smaller bite-size pieces and fried fresh. Mmm.

Now for the moment you've been waiting for.....the review of Sushiland. Again, I will be using my 5-doughnut rating system.

  • Service, 3.5 doughnuts= We were promptly seated and the waiters/cooks checked up on us frequently (but not too frequently where they're annoying) to see if we needed any refills or special orders. Not bad for this type of restaurant.

  • Atmosphere/Location, 2.5/3 doughnuts= The atmosphere is nothing special. The main thing was that it was clean. The interior doesn't get much natural light, so it feels a little enclosed (at the Bellevue location) as opposed to the one in Queen Anne. The location is kinda weird. It's nestled on a side street off of 2nd in Bellevue (there's also one on 15th downtown). It works though, since it's in the heart of the city.

  • Food Presentation, 3 doughnuts= Well, it's sushi on a plate. Most of them aren't "doctored up" but just placed on a mini plate for quick eating. There are a couple that are garnished with something or drizzled with some special sauce that give them extra flair, I guess. Nevertheless, it's not a bad presentation for this type.

  • Cost/Value, 5 doughnuts= I have to say this place is one of my favorites because of the value. You get delicious, quick, and healthy food for a great value. I finally found the best place to go if you want a ton of good, fresh sushi (I love sushi) but without the usual sushi pricetag.

  • Taste, 3.5 doughnuts= It's really good sushi, but not the best. Of course the really great sushi is found at restaurants that don't involve a rotating belt, like off an assembly line. However, it definitely does the job and I am always satisfied after leaving Sushiland.

  • Originality, 1.5 doughnuts= Nothing too original here. It's just another rotating belt sushi joint. I guess it's cool how the cooks and waiters all greet you and say goodbye/thank you when you leave. I guess that's a little original.

  • Overall, 3.5 doughnuts= This is one of my favorite sushi joints. Good sushi for an exceptional value. I totally recommend hitting up a Sushiland near you (I like the Queen Anne joint the best).

Next off is Wann, a Japanese restaurant in Belltown which serves up izakaya. Izakaya is a term for Japanese bar food. I guess the equivalent would be tapas (mini, tasty dishes with variety). Again, I totally apologize for not having taken pictures of all the delicious food I tried. I guess I was so hungry that I just went for the food once it came out. I will make it up to you all with tons of food pictures on the next one. I was able to take a couple of pics in the restaurant though, so you can see the atmosphere.

The interior is actually very nice. It has a nice mood-light type of setting where you feel comfortable just sitting back and relaxing. You can choose either a comfy booth or sit at one of the roomy tables with equally comfy seats. They even have a lit candle on the table for that nice, quiet, homey setting.

We had the Crunchy Garlic Rock Shrimp, the Chicken Nanban, the Spicy Pork Potstickers, the Wann Short-Ribs, and a California Roll. The Rock Shrimp was pretty good. I don't know if I totally liked the batter it was rolled in. They were almost like nonpareils. I guess it was the "garlic". Although it gave the shrimp a weird bite to it, it was pretty tasty. The Chicken Nanban is egg batter dipped fried chicken with sweet vinegar and house made tartar sauce. This was a great dish. It was pretty much seasoned and tasty chicken tenders with this special sauce. The Spicy Pork Potstickers were delicious, although a little too spicy for my taste. I love food too much to have to sweat through it just to enjoy it. Next time I'll ask to omit the hot sauce. The California Roll was just a nice appetizer. It was freshly made but nothing too exciting. Last, but certainly not the least, is the Wann Short-Ribs. Wow, these marinated ribs were pretty much fall-off-the-bone status. They were marinated with some special sauce that was infused into the meat. So good! I will definitely get the short-ribs again.

OK, onto the review of Wann in Belltown (downtown Seattle):

  • Service, 1.5 doughnuts= I have to say that I wasn't too impressed with the service. When we first got in, we had to wait for a lot longer than we should have just to be seated. There were two servers, but they seemed to be focusing on one other table in one of the private dining areas. We were only asked a couple of times if we needed a refill or anything. I think I had to flag down the waiter/waitress to get more water at least 2-3 times myself. Lastly, the ribs didn't come out until towards the end of our meal when we were almost ready to go.

  • Atmosphere/Location, 5/4.5 doughnuts= The atmosphere is very nice. I did enjoy the look of the interior with the mood-lighting and Asian accents. There was even a lit zen garden underneath the booths. Also, the bathroom was awesome looking. It was decked out in slate tile and was very clean and neat. Plus, there was a motion detection paper towel dispenser. I love those things.

  • Food Presentation, 4.5 doughnuts= The presentation was very nice for most of the dishes. They were served up on really nice curved dishes and garnished or drizzled with something colorful and/or aesthetically pleasing.

  • Cost/Value, 3.5 doughnuts= It was dinner in Seattle. With that taken into consideration, the prices for the dishes were reasonable. The food was great and so it was actually worth their respective pricetags. Our party of two came out to about $40 or so for all those dishes.

  • Taste, 4 doughnuts= The food was very tasty. I liked all the edible garnishes and special sauces that were added to compliment the food. They were like gourmet Japanese tapas. They all had a lot of flavor.

  • Originality, 4 doughnuts= I don't see a lot of Japanese izakaya places around here, or anywhere else. I'm glad I got introduced to the Japanese "tapas" or barfood. Damn tasty barfood!

  • Overall, 4 doughnuts= If the service could be a little more accommodating, I'd probably bump this up half a point higher. The food was great, and I loved the atmosphere/ambiance. I guess it also helped having a pretty someone to eat and talk with over dinner. ;)

Before I forget.....the Bite of Seattle is this weekend, starting this Friday and through Sunday. There will be food vendors from different restaurants in the city, along with the normal food vendors that show up to every big Seattle event. I actually still feel full from last night, so I don't know if I can eat like I did last year. Anyway, go check it out.

OK people, check back on occasion to learn about new places to eat. By the way, I'm looking into possibly getting some sponsors to help me with a food review tour here in Seattle. Wouldn't that be awesome? I already have the desire, drive, and website to get started. I'm slowly building a network/client base for such a thing, and I already have interested parties to join the tour. I'd probably want small parties for each restaurant I visit and critique. More people would help me get a couple more opinions on the food and restaurant, and be more enjoyable since there will be others to eat with (I hate eating alone).I would visit a new restaurant maybe once a week or so. So, if you're interested and live in the city.....let me know!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

7 Stars Pepper Restaurant

Today I revisited a Chinese/Szechuan restaurant in the International District called 7 Stars Pepper Restaurant. For all you local Seattle-ites that know of this place, it's located on the second floor of a small plaza near 12th and Jackson. Parking is minimal (at least on ground level), so I usually drive my "land yacht" underground in the dark, dirty, tight parking garage below the plaza. I'm really good with parking, so it's not that bad for me.

Anyway, the restaurant ambiance is typical Chinese (Chinatown-like) decor with Asian artwork and red lanterns and such. It's about a medium-sized restaurant, probably with about 15-20 tables or so. I've been there before when it's been packed, unlike today.

For those that are familiar with this place, it's the hand-shaven noodles that are worth trying. When they first seat you, they serve up the usual ice water, hot tea, and kimchee. Today's meal consisted of hand-shaven noodles with pork, kung pao chicken, beef with broccoli, and garlic eggplant.

The hand-shaven noodles and the garlic eggplant were delicious, especially the eggplant. When the dishes was served up hot, you could automatically see the red peppers that were sauteed in with the eggplant. Incidentally, and as the restaurant name implies, this restaurant likes to use a lot of peppers in their dishes. However, for those that aren't really into spicy foods (I for one am not into spicy foods.....I actually like to enjoy my food and not sweat up a storm while I eat), don't let this turn you away. The dishes aren't really spicy. The way they prepare the dishes with the peppers makes them rather mild to the palate, and the dishes come out tasting delicious.

Anyway, the kung pao chicken and the beef with broccoli were not very high on my list. The chicken wasn't all that tasty to me (didn't taste like chicken much), and the beef in the beef with broccoli dish was "funny" tasting. The beef was a little too undercooked and didn't have much of a meaty taste, like I had hoped. So, I just loaded up on the other dishes, for the most part. More rice, please!

I've only been at this restaurant a couple of times and now I know what to order and what not to order. So, let's rate this restaurant using my 5-doughnut rating system, shall we?:
  • Service, 4 doughnuts= The waiters were attentive and frequently checked to see if water refills were necessary and if anything else was needed, without constantly being annoying.
  • Atmosphere/Location, 2.5 doughnuts= The atmosphere had a typical "Chinatown" restaurant feeling. This one wasn't that spectacular with dull-colored vinyl seats. What was worse was the parking situation. The garage was pretty bad today with a slight water leak problem, resulting in huge puddles everywhere. It's just really tight driving/parking underground.
  • Food Presentation, 4 doughnuts= When the dishes are served up, they actually look really nice, especially with the bright red peppers and the freshly chopped green scallions. Not bad.
  • Cost/Value, 2.5 doughnuts= I thought the dishes really shouldn't cost that much. They were each running close to $10 a dish, which is a bit too much for what they offered. I'd say around $7.50 a dish would be more suitable.
  • Taste, 3 doughnuts= The garlic eggplant and the hand-shaven noodles with pork really made up for the broccoli beef and kung pao dishes.
  • Originality, 2 doughnuts= The only thing original with the restaurant was that they supposedly use a lot more peppers than other Chinese restaurants around. Other than that, the dishes were pretty universal around Chinatown.
  • Overall, 2.5 doughnuts= As I said, I've been here before, and my previous experiences were a bit more enjoyable. Overall, it was alright....just alright. I'm right in the middle there and undecided. You do have to try the hand-shaven noodles and the garlic eggplant though. Superb!

Well, that's about all for that review. Let me know if any of you have tried this restaurant and what you think. Until next time......just eat!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Welcome to "Om Nom Nom Nom!"

Hey everyone. Welcome to my newest blogspot where I focus primarily on how I rate local restaurants and eats in and around the Seattle area. My name is Nerick, and since I eat out frequently and after hearing my friends constantly mention that I should blog about my epicurean adventures, I finally gave in and created this blog.

I actually do have an entry for my first food blog today. For lunch I stopped by the "Marination Mobile". This mobile restaurant (like Skillet) serves up food with a Korean and Hawaiian flair. Luckily it stops near my work during the week, so I got to finally try it out (after hearing about it from friends).

I pulled up alongside it with one of my co-workers and took a couple of pics before ordering up. The front is very open, organized, and clean for a mobile kitchen. The staff was extremely nice and friendly, along with their two pugs roaming around.

I decided to try a little of everything (well, not everything). I got the kalbi soft taco, the miso ginger chicken taco, and the shredded pork slider. Damn! This food was crazy good! Each one was only $2 and they were well worth it. The different marinated meats were extremely tasty, and the sauces and slaw in each "dish" were a great accompaniment. I savored this newfound goodness and was actually content.

I have to say that I will definitely be back to visit this mobile restaurant. Although I do love Skillet (I'll have to do a separate blog on them), I think they're going to be pretty good competition. Today was their 1 month anniversary, so they were giving away free dessert. It was similar to baklava (they called it the "Hawaiian baklava"). Check out the website to view the menu at

At the beginning of each new entry, I will include a 5-doughnut rating system, with 5 being the best. Here is my rating for the Marination Mobile:

  • Service= 4 doughnuts; The servers were very friendly and lively.
  • Atmosphere/Location= 3 doughnuts; It's a restaurant on wheels, so what can you expect? However, it looked very clean and for the food they served it was aesthetically pleasing and appropriate. It's located on the canal, so there was nice scenery all around.
  • Food Presentation, 3 doughnuts = Not too bad for this speedy, gourmet type of "hangover" food. The slaw and the sauces added some color.
  • Cost/Value= 5 doughnuts; Very cheap food for delicious food.
  • Taste= 4.5 doughnuts; Like I said....delicious! The marinated meats were savory.
  • Originality= 4 doughnuts; I've never heard of a kalbi or miso ginger chicken soft taco. Check out their menu.
  • Overall=4 doughnuts; I was very pleased with the Marination Mobile and I will definitely be back for more. I just wish they served the Spam musubi at my location. I hear those are only served in the Capitol Hill location. :(

Well, that's about all for that. Now I have to go run and workout a bit so I can eat more tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed the first entry! Visit often. Later.