It’s been a while, I know. i’ve been busy eating, shooting, drinking (really should’ve had a budget for that), walking (my feet could use some physio), and according to a rumour, having sex in the bathroom of a hostel with a cute girl (wish that was true).
Restaurant reviews will come soon. Once I get to London, things will slow down a bit for me, and I should have more time. But hey, at least I have a lifetime (unless the internet dies first from some sort of apocolypse like Revolution or H+ or of course a zombie apocolypse) to write my blog :). Joe, I don’t know how you do it, especially when you travel.
Boarding now…I’ll update again
When I agreed to meet up with an old aquintance of mine, we didn’t know where to go. After a little bit of googling and looking at menus, I suggested. A 20 minute walk later, I ended up in Capitol Hill.
We grabbed seats at the bar, featured a very open kitchen, so close, I could feel the heat coming from the french flattop burner (not fun working in firont of those).
My dining partner, “C” and I started with some Salt and Pepper Pork Rinds, which came with some pickled shallots. They were delicious, but not the best I’ve ever had. Personally, I like something with a little more crunch.
Next came the La Bete Deluxe: Painted Hills burger and Kaesespaetzle rabbit sausage. When we were first looking at the menu, we thought, why is there a burger on the menu? But when we saw a burger being made, we were sold. We were also offered the choice of fries or caesar salad as a side. We opted for the fries. I always go for fries, not just because they’re friend and delicious, but because I want to see how other places do it. The fries however, were the only miss of the night. They were almost identical to the fries at the Coterie Room. As for the burger itself; it was really good. I would have that burger again. “C” mentioned that the bun was from Macrina bakery, and suggested that I go, which led me to the ham and cheese brioche in my previous entry.
The Kaesespaetzle was actually a feature for the night. It was served with rabbit sausage which had a lamby flavour to it, as well as a sunny side up egg, which tied it all together.
For dessert, we shared a sundae with lemon curd, puffed wild rice, and hazelnut madeline. Overall, it was quite nice. it’s a place I would return to. It was actually my best meal in Seattle this time around.
I’ve only been to Seattle three times (excluding this time) since 2010. Since then, I have developed a bit of routine for when I arrive in Seattle. I always like to arrive early in the morning so that I can have that day to explore and eat. This time was no different. I woke up at 5 am and went to the train statation in Vancouver. A lot of people choose to take a greyhound to Seattle. I would recommend Amtrak. Yes, you have to wake up early, and its a 4 hour and 25 minute ride, but, you get a good view, and you can move about in the train; which is great if you can’t stay still (the reason why I hate flying…in economy at least). Whenever I go to Seattle, I’ll check in to the Moore Hotel, drop off my things in my room, and then head to Pike Place, specifically, Matt’s in the Market.
Back in 2010, I went to Seattle with my parents to visit family friends. I decided to do some research on where to eat, and that led me to the pork belly confit banh mi at Matt’s. But Simon, why would you spend 16 bucks on sandwich you can get for 3 bucks? It’s just a really good sandwich, that’s why. Sometimes, it’s just worth it, despite its lack of financial logic. But sometimes, something goes wrong. In this case, the sandwich simply did not live up to the standard set by my previous vists to Matt’s
I arrived early, before the lunch rush, and grabbed a seat at the bar. Rob, the lunch bar manager looked at me and pointed to the chalkboard to his left, which displayed the day’s special and soup. It was porchetta. After struggling to decide (I’m very indecisive), I ordered the banh mi with a chicken tortilla soup. I expected amazement from this sandwich, but what I got was far from it. It wasn’t the sandwich I remembered. It was too greasy (I know pork belly is fatty, but, there was a pool of dripping fat on the plate that I didn’t have the last times). It also needed more carrot and daikon pickles, as well as cilantro. Basically, the sandwich lacked balance of flavours.
I left Matt’s feeling dissapointed, and went to Il Corvo, hoping they wouldn’t do the same, but hope was a little bitch that decided not to show up that day. Il Corvo used to be located inside a Gelato shop behind Pike Place Market; an area that was hard to find back in the day. However, earlier this year they moved to Pioneer Square on Jameson st. between 2nd and 3rd Ave. It was a small space decorated with old pasta equiptment on the walls and a chalkboard menu. I ordered a Gigli (no, not the J.Lo movie) with bolognese. Once you place your order, you grab your cutlery, water, then find a seat and wait. Once your food is ready, they’ll bring it out, calling your name. It’s a little bit of Marco Polo game to get your food to your table.
Misfortune struck twice as I was left dissapointed yet again (this is how girls must feel when they have bad sex). I found the noodle to be flavourless, and the ragu to be nothing special. I never thought I would say this, but, the bolognese at CinCin is far better than the one at Il Corvo. That said, if you’re visiting Seattle, go to Il Corvo. It’s worth the try.
The next morning, at the recommendation of a friend, I went to Macrina Bakery. I love bread. So when I hear about a bakery that I should go to, I will make it a mission to go. Bakers, like cooks, chefs, and servers, are in the business of making people happy. When you bite into something amazingly delicious, you smile, or you feel happy, right? If not, you need some help, dude. In the “food porn” episode iniof No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain said that “chefs…are in the pleasure business.” It’s true. So while waiting in line, I saw a ham and cheese brioche. I knew right away I had to try it. Sometimes, when I started work at 8 am, I would stop by Thierry and get a ham and cheese croissant. I also picked up a pecan banana coffeecake.
My first bite of the brioche was the greatest moment of that day. Ham, cheese, and brioche. It was simple, brilliant, and just damn tasty. The coffeecake was nice too, but, i found the outside crust to be unenjoyable as I kept eating it.
Happy Hour is huge in Seattle. Everyone does it. The hotel receptionist said that Happy hour started in Belltown in Seattle, and was One place I always go to for happy hour is Serious Pie by Tom Douglas. I don’t go for the drinks, but I do go for the $6 small pizzas. The Serious pie on Virginia street was closed for a private event (hate it when that happens…unless I’m working the event) so I walked to the westlake location. After a good 20-30 minutes of unnecessary walking, I found Serious Pie and grabbed a seat.
I ordered a happy hour sized mushroom pizza. It’s not mind blowingly amazing, and I feel like it needs some acid, maybe, but it was still a good piza, and for the price, it’s great value.
I started with a very generous portion of pork rinds and buttlermilk fondue. They didn’t taste like pork at all. You know those Korean fried onion ring chips you can get at Superstore or H-Mart? Tasted like that. It didn’t taste bad, it just didn’t taste like a pork rind. The dill was a very nice touch on the rinds though. The real star however, was the buttlermilk fondue. I want that at a chip and dip party.
I also saw a poutine on the menu. I thought, “why not. Let’s see how they do it.” Let me just start by saying that it’s a frakking giant portion. It’s like a meal for two. I’ve learned through this trip that bad fries piss me off. They weren’t crispy (yes, its drenched in sauce, but even the parts that weren’t soaked weren’t crispy), and they tasted like they had been in the fryer for too long. The part of that poutine was the Beecher’s fried cheese curds. They should just serve those cheese curds with the butter fondue. Either that or Beecher’s Cheese should just get a deep fryer and make even more cash. All in all, It was mostly misses, but, there were some hits too. Til next time, Seattle
How the hell do you start your very first blog entry? do you say hi and introduce yourself? Or you just pretend people kno what the hell you’re talking about and just go about writing whatever it is you write about? I started this blog to keep in touch with people and keep them updated on my trip (Hi Joe!). What the hell is this guy talking about? I’m going on a trip. Start today until…I don’t actually know until when. I don’t have a return flight. I just have some money in the bank for a return flight when I need it. Where am I going? Seattle, NYC, Washington DC, Toronto, London, and then we’ll see what happens after. I’ve got a bunch of other places on my list, I just don’t know what I’m going to go.
I live in Vancouver, so Seattle is relatively close. I chose to go to Seattle because I could fly to NYC for much lower price. Canada’s just way too expensive for things; from airfare to phone bills. I’m saving a lot of money by flying from Seattle. Also, if anyone has every had the pork belly confit banh mi at Matt’s in the Market, they would understand that a 4 hour train ride to Seattle is worth that sandwich. For me, that’s a Three Michelin starred sandwich. I’ll take that over my entire meal at Per Se. More on that later.
To Me, New York City is the place to go for good eats. yes, Noma in Copenhagen is the best restaurant in the world, but, New York has a special place in my heart. It’s where I dreamed of going when I was in school. I had been there two years ago, eating at some of the best restaurants of the time. NYC is my gastro tour city. It’s where I’ll spend my money primarily on eating at Michelin starred restaurants.
Washington D.C….why you wonder (or not)? There are no Michelin stars there, and the biggest chef there is Jose Andres. I don’t have tickets to his supposedly-hard-to-get-but-not-actually-that-hard Minibar. I also enjoy taking pictures. I think it’s what keeps me a little less insane in my life. Like amazing food and the San Diego Comic Con, it brings a little joy to my life. I’m just going there to take pictures. It’s somewhat close to NYC, so, I thought, “Why the frak not?”
Toronto. If I didn’t have friends in Toronto, I would never step foot in that city, but I do. That and I’m flying to London from there. I don’t really have any restaurants that I want to check out. Let’s see what Toronto’s got.
London. I’m going to leave that as a bit of a mystery for now. We’ll talk about London when I get there.
In the meantime, enjoy my next blog entries.