Friday, October 31, 2008

Restaurant Review #14

We hit a few restaurants on our recent trip to Washington and here are some that were good enough to share with you:

Tidbits: In the Capitol Hill district, Seattle. Oh this was gooood. It turns out that my niece's new studio is right next door to this place and when she stopped in one day she realized that the owner is an old co-worker of hers who always wanted to open his own place. Well he did, and we were very happy to enjoy an incredible brunch one Saturday morning. I had this really decadent cheese/pasta dish with a warmed marinara - it was rich and oh so good. I don't see it on their menu so I can't give any more details. Sweet potatoes fries and mashed potato cakes were served with the other's entres along with some homemade plum jam that tasted a lot like apple butter. Gluten-free menu options are available!

Dim Sum - at House of Hong in Seattle
Yummy dim sum dishes that you could eat all day if you had the time. The only down side was having to weave through the traffic going to Qwest Field before a football game. The coconut bao was awesome. I used to really enjoy going into San Fransisco to China Town with my chinese college buds and having them introduce me to the wonders of dim sum. I loved the variety of the little dishes and the sampling of food that came by on the carts wheeled around by little chinese ladies. The atmosphere for dim sum is also very festive and its a place where you gather with friends or family to enjoy conversation and potstickers, shao mao, pork buns, dumplings, ribs, char sui, phoenix talons (if you dare), and the sweets like egg custard and steamed black bean balls.

Elysian Brewing Company
- Capitol Hill Seattle
I don't remember eating, but I do remember the great beers: Night Owl Pumpkin Ale and Perseus Porter. This was the same day we went for dim sum and I had a caesar salad for dinner to go with my beers. They had other beers on their list that we tried but I've forgotten what they all were.

After dinner we went to my niece's dance performance at the Century Ballroom. The compnay, D9, put on quite a show. There were only two pieces but they were both very detailed and lasted about 25 minutes. I can't believe that the dancers were able to keep it up for that long. I'm pretty sure that this performance was better then anything I saw her do while she was in college. It was really good to see her dancing again. I even won a silent auction for a really nice assortment of massage therapy gifts from Waking Life: sea salts, hot/cold bag (for those ailing muscles and joints) a really cool body wrap blanket, and a dvd called, "Understanding Qigong: The Human Qi Circulatory System." Friday is usually movie night so I'll have to let you know how it is!

Auga Verde - University District, Seattle
This place is always busy so it was good that we got there for a late lunch. You order at the front and then the food is delivered. It doesn't take very long and its worth the wait. I had the Boniato, yams sautéed with mild chiles and onions with cotija cheese and creamy avocado sauce. The steak tacos were also very good. You may want to order some beans and rice on the side. This cafe is on the waterway and is a fun place to go to watch the boats go by. You can also rent kayaks here.

Olive Garden - Bellingham
Ok - I admit that we may have planned destinations on road trips based on going to Olive Garden. We have often found an Olive Garden and then googled for a nearby hotel so that we could walk. This may often also align to go with bull riding events, but not always. Not that the food is that great, but it isn't that bad: its always predictable and we have our favorite dishes. We almost always get the artichoke-spinach dip while we're waiting in the bar for a table. We love the bottom-less salad and the breadsticks. Tim almost always gets the Tour of Italy (lasagna, chicken parmigiana and creamy fettuccine alfredo) and I usually get some type of pasta with seafood (clams or shrimp) or sometimes I get the cheese ravioli.

Pickles Deli on Whidbey Island near Clinton (and near Kate's Cottage!)
These sandwiches were so delicious, a deli that featured Boar's Head Meats. We got three different sandwiches and split them between 5 of us. I don't even know what kind they were but all of them were full of flavor. I especially liked the one with horseradish, black olives, and maybe pastrami (?). Maybe it was just being at the beach, walking in the sand with my graying hair blowing in the gentle ocean breeze, but YUM!

Palmer's Restaurant - LaConner
LaConner is an interesting little town. We stayed at the Channel Lodge and enjoyed the in-room fireplace. We stayed here last Christmas break and had a nice quiet stay. You can walk to everything in LaConner so its a nice place to park the car and explore the galleries, yarn store, restaurants, shopping, and harbor. I haven't been yet, but there's a Quilt Museum. This might be a good spot for a "Sister's Retreat!"

We had dinner at a nice waterfront restaurant, called Palmer's, which featured a seafood-theme menu. Tim had the f-n-c and I had Coquilles St Jacques, I mean, how can you go wrong with a mornay sauce and guyere cheese. Luckily we always do lots of walking when we're traveling or otherwise we have to buy new pants! We were starved at 5:30 so we thought we'd take our changes for an early dinner. We didn't see anyone else in the restaurant so we were a little hesitant to enter but went in anyway, remember, we were starved! Our waiter was from south america and he was hard to understand but he was very responsive. As the hour grew later, more people came in for dinner and I'm sure they too enjoyed a good meal.

Charlie's - Anacortes
This was probably the 2nd best find of the trip (tidbits being first :)) Located right across the street from the Ship Harbor Inn, we enjoyed a really nice dinner complete with complimentary shrimp cocktail. I had the Clam Fettuchini which was busting with clams. Normally you may get 12-14 but this was loaded with over 2 dozen nice-sized clams. Tim decided on prime rib. Now being from Fairbanks and being used to the Turtle Club for your prime rib fix, we're always hesitant to order prime outside of the boundaries of Fox. But being gone from Fairbanks for awhile, Tim thought he'd take a chance. His tastebuds might be in a deprived state but he actually thought the prime rib was pretty close to the turtle, unbelievable, I know. He even shared with me and I have to say that it was pretty good.

We had driven around quite a bit this day and finally settled in at the Ship Harbor Inn which is one of the last stops on the road before you get to the Anacortes Ferry. The compound was made up of small cottages. We splurged and got the deluxe queen for a special rate of $79. What a deal. We had a nice cottage with a separate bedroom, kitchen, and a nice little front porch that looked out over a meadow and a filtered view of the water and ferry terminal. If we ever find ourselves in the area before we'll stop here again.

On Rice Thai Bistro - Fairhaven, Bellingham
Maybe it was the bristo part or maybe it was the live baby grand piano playing of pop songs that made the food unappetizing. Won't be going back here.

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