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Ballard/Fremont/Phinney/Greenwood Searching for Not So Darn Sweet Thai Food

Seconding Pestle Rock. I've also had good experiences with Mai Thaiku in Phinney.

Aug 09, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

Regional Mexican restaurants

Thanks, everyone for the great suggestions, and for understanding that I meant the Magnificent Mile even though I said something else.

Mexique looks fantastic, and the birrerias as well. Hope to fit as many in as I can in the next few days. Thanks!

Jul 09, 2014
creepygirl in Chicago Area

Regional Mexican restaurants

My husband and I are coming to visiting Chicago this weekend. We're particularly interested in trying any unusual Mexican restaurants, especially from regions that we're relatively unfamiliar with.

Where we've been: We've been to Frontera Grill, and liked the food, but aren't particularly motivated to go back. We might hit Xoco for a casual lunch.

What we've had before: We've had a lot of Sonoran, Oaxacan, DF (Mexico City) Mexican before, so are not looking for recs from those regions unless they're truly outstanding. Xni Pec would have been perfect (we haven't tried much from the Yucatan), but sadly it looks like they're permanently closed.

Where we're thinking about going: Cemitas Pueblas, possibly Xoco, and Chilam Balam (looks like an appealing Mexican-inspired small plates menu).

Where we're staying/transportation issues: Our hotel is on the Miracle Mile. We're relying on public transit, but might take a cab for something out-of-the-way and spectacular.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Jul 07, 2014
creepygirl in Chicago Area

Vancouver Hound's first real trip to Seattle -- help an elf out?

My husband and I went to The Saint last night and the food from the new chef is fantastic. The suadero (braised beef belly) tacos were outstanding.

Hubby also liked the drinks, but he's not an expert on tequila.

Jun 16, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

What are the must-have desserts in the Seattle area?

Thirding the love for Mora. The dulce de leche with shaved chocolate is amazing.

I'm a big fan of the whiskey chocolate cake at Hot Cakes.

I've also really enjoyed some of the desserts at Parchment, a bimonthly pop-up bakery at Brimmer & Heeltap. The items seem to change each time so I'm reluctant to recommend anything specific, since it may not be there the next time, but she does a great job using some unusual ingredients to enhance the dessert (like miso chocolate cupcakes).

Jun 15, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

Molly Moon's #6 in the WORLD

Adding one more Mora recommendation, if you are able to squeeze in an excursion to Bainbridge Island. They are really on a different level than Molly Moon's. Some of Mora's flavors are better than others (Dulce de leche is intense and delicious, the chocolate is not particularly exciting), but all the flavors I've tried have a particularly pure and clean quality that is unmatched in by the ice cream places in Seattle proper.

Also, alas, Peaks is closed. There's Old School Frozen Custard in Capitol Hill if you want to try frozen custard. I haven't had their custard freshly-made, but their packaged stuff has been pretty good.

Jun 15, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle


We made a second visit to Parchment yesterday. We got a blueberry Danish, a savory potato and green onion puff pastry, a peanut butter/banana/bacon mini cupcake, and miso chocolate pudding cupcake.

My favorites were the savory puff pastry and the miso chocolate pudding cupcake. A lot of the treats mix sweet and savory flavors, and I thought the miso was just the right amount of saltiness and savoriness to a rich and decadent treat.

Other treats spotted there: lemon lime cupcakes, croissants, and waffles.

Jun 09, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

Seattle Ethnic Cuisines

Satay in Wallingford does a laksa, which they identify as "Peranakan (Chinese-Malay) speciality". Not sure if that is different from Singapore laksa.


I've had Satay's laksa and it's quite tasty. I am not an expert of Malaysian or Singaporean food, so I can't vouch for the authenticity of it. Hope this helps.

Jun 02, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

Bourbon and Bones BBQ

I may have caught them on a bad night, but found the brisket to be really, really dry and tough. For a reference point, I've had brisket dozens of times from Rainin Ribs, and even the worst brisket I've had from Rainin Ribs has been head and shoulders above what Bourbon and Bones served tonight. The greens were pretty blah as well. That plus the loud music (loud enough that I couldn't have a conversation with the person across the table from me in a normal tone of voice) left me with a pretty negative impression.

Jun 01, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

Seattle visit

Here's a random list of 10 of my favorite places at the moment:

1. Monsoon
2. Revel
3. Facing East (in Bellevue, which is across the water from Seattle)
4. Kedai Makan
5. Shanik
6. Little Uncle
7. Pestle Rock
8. Salumi
9. Green Leaf
10. Mezcaleria Oaxaca

May 11, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle


I searched but didn't find any posts about this pop-up bakery.

This is a bimonthly pop-up bake sale at Brimmer and Heeltap. The baker is Laura Pyles, who was the pastry chef at Revel and Joule, and who created the desserts at Brimmer and Heeltap.

We went this morning and bought a potato-chip brownie, a peanut-butter/spent grains cookie with cherry buttercream filling, and a rhubarb-cream-cheese Danish.

The brownie was more like fudge. We were ok with that, but it's something to keep in mind if you like more of a cakey brownie.

Peanut butter cookie was fine, though hard to eat as a sandwich cookie, because the cookies were thick and chewy and the filling kept squishing out with each bite. We ended up pulling apart the halves and eating it that way.

The best item was the Danish. It was still warm, and rhubarb was just the perfect tart counterpoint to the cheese and the pastry. It made me sad for all the times I've eaten a Danish that wasn't as good as this one was.

They also had small bundt cakes, lemon pound cake bites, and various sweet breads (I can't remember the flavors) as well as some savory pastries.

Also, Slate (the coffee shop across the street) has is cool with bringing in Parchment pastries and buying coffee at Slate, which is what we ended up doing.

Anybody else been? Any suggestions to try the next time?

May 11, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle


Went to Ramen Santouka for lunch today. We'd been to the Vancouver location before, but this was the first time we'd visited the Bellevue location. Menu is a bit more limited than what I remember from Vancouver (no gyoza yet, no tan-tan ramen). Husband had the Karamiso ramen and I had the shio (tonkotsu) ramen with toroniku (pork jowl).

The noodles were not super-chewy but had some bite. The broth was creamy and rich. The chashu in the karamiso bowl was excellent, but paled in comparison with the toroniku, which was as amazing. It's tender and the fat kind of melts in your mouth like a good piece of sashimi.

We showed up at 11:00am and there was already a line outside the restaurant that was 30-40 people deep by then. There's a sign outside instructing the proper line-up technique, so I think this must be a regular occurrence.

Service was very quick at getting our orders/food and very attentive with refilling glasses, and making sure we were happy with their food.

We will definitely be back, but only on days where we're ok with waiting a bit for our food.

May 11, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

Seattle Trip Help 5/4-5/7 Food Experiences and restaurant help

With respect to the ramen question, you might want to check out Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Bellevue. They just opened and I haven't had a chance to visit the Bellevue location yet, but the menu is identical to the Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Vancouver, which is fantastic. The toroniku (pork jowl) is pork perfection that just kind of melts on your tongue like good sashimi.

Apr 28, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

Brimmer & Heeltap?

My husband and I had dinner here tonight. The standouts for us were the steak tartare, the smoked lamb shoulder with pickled vegetables and black bean sauce, and the triple ginger carrot cake.

We lucked out and got the table in the back, near the door to the patio. This table is next to a wall that is covered with signed menus from dozens of restaurants, mostly Seattle ones (Cafe Juanita, Lark, Poppy, Local 360, Lloyd Martin, Cascadia, Nell's, Tilth, Two Bells Tavern) and some from other cities (Olympic Provisions and The Country Cat from Portland were the ones I recognized). We had a blast looking at the them throughout the meal.

We'll definitely be back. We really liked the food and the ambiance of the space.

A New Orleans native visits Seattle for the first time

Seconding Little Uncle as one of the best Thai restaurants in Seattle, and the best one close to the Sheraton.

For Chinese, Henry's Taiwan (Taiwanese) and Seven Stars Pepper (Szechwan) in the International District are pretty good. Unfortunately, the best Chinese places are mostly in Bellevue, which is across the bridge and well outside of your 15 minute range.

Apr 09, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

Visit to Vancouver--itinerary feedback

Back from the trip--we didn't get to try as many new places as we wanted, but did hit a few new-to-us places.

Koko Monk--really good festival flavor of curry and coconut hot chocolate. I thought the curry and coconut were subtle but definitely there, and added something positive to the mix.

Baoguette and Cafe Phin. We were staying in the West End and decided to do a Denman Street banh mi crawl. We tried the pork belly banh mi from Cafe Phin and the nem nuong (pork patties) banh mi. Both were quite tasty--good bread, veggies, and meat.

Best meal at an old favorite was probably at Ramen Santouka. The toroniku was amazing, with that sort of melty sensation that I get with really good nigiri.


Husband and I tried them last week. We were very pleased with the cumin beef noodles, which were exactly at our spice level limits (I'd say we're not lightweights, but also not extreme chileheads). Noodles had a nice texture but were a bit unwieldly to eat because they are so wide. We also had the minced pork sandwich (pork was kind of tart/sour and a good match for the flatbread, which was pretty bland). Didn't try the soup (which is really the only thing I remember well from Shi'An), but based on the other items, I suspect it will be good.

Feb 01, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

Visit to Vancouver--itinerary feedback

My husband and I are coming up to a visit to Vancouver at the beginning of February, and I'm trying to finalize our itinerary. Any feedback or suggestions would be welcome.

Places we're considering visiting for the Hot Chocolate Festival: Bella Gelateria, Cocoanymph, Thomas Haas, Schokolade, Koko Monk, Bel Cafe, Beaucoup Bakery, French Made Baking.

Old favorites we're thinking about visiting again: HK BBQ Master, Kingyo, Zakkushi, Octopus Garden, Meat & Bread, Peaceful, Crystal Mall food court, Phnom Penh, Santouka Ramen, Damso.

New places we're considering adding: Alvin Garden, Pidgin, Chicha.

We're generally looking for places where we can get different/better food than in Seattle. We prefer Asian food/flavors but are open to really great places that aren't Asian.

Any new places we should be adding to the list? We'll have a car, so distance/location isn't an issue. Thanks in advance.

Huarachitos reopened?

They have reopened. No menu on their website yet.


Has anyone been there yet? Is it up to their standards at the old place? I'm in North Seattle and want to know if it's still worth the long drive there.

Jan 14, 2014
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

The Cronut has landed - Vancouver, meet the Frissant

The cronuts weren't on their brunch menu inside the restaurant, either. We had to ask our waiter about it (my husband follows them on Facebook, which is how we heard about them.)

The Cronut has landed - Vancouver, meet the Frissant

I took a trip to Vancouver this weekend and had brunch at Secret Location in Gastown.

They have cronuts with two fillings: dark chocolate and white chocolate. Dark chocolate is on the left in the photo; white chocolate is on the right. The stuff on top is aerated chocolate (I think that's what they said).

I haven't had one of the M. Ansel originals, or any other cronut, so I can't make any comparisons.

What I can say is that they were beautifully presented and decadently delicious.

The staff told us that they were trying to have cronuts available every day. They take a while to make and fill so they might not be ready first thing in the morning. I highly recommend trying one if you can.

Where to find a variety of chocolate bars in Chicago?

Thanks to both of you. I thought Hannah's Bretzel had a better variety of bars, but I ended up buying a ridiculous number of chocolate bars at both places.

Jun 04, 2013
creepygirl in Chicago Area

Where to find a variety of chocolate bars in Chicago?

I'm visiting Chicago from Seattle and am looking for a place that sells a variety of chocolate bars (lots of different chocolate makers, lots of flavor combinations). Something like Meadow in Portland or Fog City News in San Francisco would be ideal. If there isn't something like that in Chicago, a grocery store that has a wide selection of chocolate bars would be great.

My taste in chocolate is pretty eclectic--I've liked higher-end stuff like Amedei and Rogue Chocolatier and cheaper stuff like Chocolove. I like straight up dark or milk chocolate, or chocolate with fruit/nuts/toffee/whatever added.

I'm planning a trip to Vosges already, but would welcome other suggestions. Thanks in advance.

May 19, 2013
creepygirl in Chicago Area

Where to buy a chocolate Kouign Amann in San Francisco on Sunday?

Thanks, all. My husband ended up going to Bi-Rite and getting a Starter Bakery chocolate KA there and it was fabulous! I've also put Belinda Leong's pastries on the list of things to try the next time I take a trip to the Bay Area.

Where to buy a chocolate Kouign Amann in San Francisco on Sunday?

The chocolate Kouign Amann from Starter Bakery sounds like the dessert of my dreams.

My husband is visiting San Francisco this weekend (we live in Seattle) and is willing to bring me back one, if I can figure out where to get one.

The Starter website has a list of places where the pastries are sold, but I'm not sure which places are open on which days, and how far they are from Forest Hill neighborhood (where my husband will be staying).

Any tips on which places would be closer and/or more likely to have a chocolate Kouign Amann on Sunday would be greatly appreciated.

Looking for an adventurous Saturday lunch and a less-adventurous dinner late Saturday night

Thanks, JillO and syrahgirl!

We had a fabulous lunch at Evoe. We split the lamb meatball sandwich, a beet salad, and a plate of house made pickles, all of which were fantastic. For dinner, we tried a few places without any luck, and ended up having a great dinner at the Observatory. They had a really nice touch with vegetables (some perfectly caramelized brussel sprouts and really good kale.) and my husband fell in love with their peanut butter ganache dessert (shared between four people, which seemed about right--it was really, really rich).

I've got some great ideas for future visits ( Nostrana and Higgins look fantastic), so thanks again!

Dec 12, 2011
creepygirl in Metro Portland

Looking for an adventurous Saturday lunch and a less-adventurous dinner late Saturday night

My husband and I will be visiting Portland (from Seattle) this Saturday and are looking for recommendations for a couple of meals.

Lunch: It's just the two of us, and we're fairly adventurous eaters. On past visits, we've enjoyed meals at Andina, Pambiche, Pok Pok, and Tasty & Sons. We'd be up for a food truck if it's not too cold outside.

Dinner: Relatives will be driving in from Eugene and will arrive sometime between 7 and 9pm. Since we don't know exactly when they'll arrive, we don't think reservations will work. We realize that Saturday night will be busy everywhere, but some guidance on which places might be easier to get into without a reservation would be appreciated.

Also, one relative does not enjoy spicy food (spicy means not only chili heat, but spices like cumin and coriander), so we're looking for something more along the lines of Pacific Northwest cuisine or Italian than Indian or Thai for dinner.

I've been looking up new-to-us restaurants and am not having much luck. It seems like the restaurants I find most interesting aren't open for lunch, and the more traditional places that would suit my relative aren't open late. Any suggestions? We will have a car, so we don't have any concerns about locations.

Dec 05, 2011
creepygirl in Metro Portland

Where is the best brunch? Seattle? Eastside?

Coming in very late to this, but if you're willing to do something a little different, Monsoon East has a fabulous Asian-y brunch. I'm a fan of the nem nuong (shrimp and pork sausage), the egg dishes, and their banana bread.

Monsoon East
10245 Main Street, Bellevue, WA 98004

Oct 29, 2011
creepygirl in Greater Seattle

Seattle Chowhounds in Vancouver--where should we go next? (Also, recommendations for Victoria)

Thanks to everyone who replied. My husband and I had a fabulous time in Victoria/Vancouver.

Here's a rundown of the new-to-us places we visited:

Relish in Victoria: Crispy smoked chicken with rice, napa cabbage slaw and SE Asian dressing, beet and corn salad. This was one of my favorite meals on the trip. The flavor of the chicken was fantastic, and I loved the freshness and sweetness of the corn and beets. The rest of the menu looked fantastic as well, and I really like places with rotating/seasonal menus.

Sooke Harbour House: We went for the 7-course menu. A lot of the food was fantastic, particularly the tomato soup, duck and cherry confit, and the peach desserts. I do wish some of the courses were a little less rich, so that the flavor of the produce could shine through--there was one course with squash where I couldn't discern any squash flavor at all. The pacing of the meal was weird; very quick at the beginning, and very slow at the end. The fish and meat courses were ridiculously large, the size of entrees at a lot of restaurants. Service was well-meaning but really clueless for a restaurant at this price point. Reading what I've written, I sound kind of negative, but overall it was a great meal. We didn't order wine so I can't comment on that.

Kingyo: Pork belly was fabulous, but very filling. We'll definitely go back to try more of the menu.

Kimura Sushi: we were pleased with our sushi and sashimi, and next time we'll give them the 2 days notice for an omakase.

Bella Gelateria: I loved it so much we went there twice. The kulfi (cardamom, saffron, almonds, and pistachios) and the lavender gelato were standouts.

Feastro food truck: We enjoyed chorizo with rice, and the huge crabcake.

Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France: wonderful rich and dark drinking chocolate, and the truffles and chocolate squares were great as well.

Ma Dang Coul Korean: enjoyed the Mandu dumplings in beef broth, and spicy chicken and potato stew. Banchan were pretty standard but well-executed. Someone at a table near us had some fantastic-looking fried chicken, and we'll definitely come back sometime to try that.

Red Persimmon at the Crystal Mall: Taiwanese hamburger was good, but a bit larger than I expected. It was a hunk of pork the size of a large pork chop.

Chao Shou Wang at the Crystal Mall: dry spicy wontons. These were fantastic. The sauce was just the right level of spiciness (making my lips burn for a few minutes), and the crunchy peanuts were a nice touch. I think there might have been some Szechwan peppercorns in there, but I'm not sure. This was our last meal of the trip and a wonderful way to conclude our trip.

Photos of the meals here:

We can't wait to go back and try some more new places, and thanks to you all, I have lots of great ideas.

Seattle Chowhounds in Vancouver--where should we go next? (Also, recommendations for Victoria)

A few years ago I posted a question asking for recommendations for Vancouver, and got a lot of terrific responses that have steered me and my husband to some great food on multiple visits. Now we're looking for suggestions for places that we've missed for some reason or another. We're especially interested in places that serve different and/or better food than we can get in Seattle.

Here are some of the places we've been, and how we've liked them:

Vij/Rangoli: I know they're not universally loved on this board, but there's nothing remotely close to this (assertive spicing, high quality ingredients) where I live.

Xiao Long Bao at the Crystal Mall: Tasty, but not mind-blowing. The soup within the dumpling is kind of interesting, but the overall taste experience didn't wow us.

Huaxi Noodle specialist at the Crystal Mall: fantastic chewy noodles with pork belly.

Peaceful Restaurant: Really liked the Xi'an white lamb stew.

Guu with Garlic: Had a few small plates there, but it was too noisy for us (lots of people yelling, too loud for us to carry on a conversation at a normal volume) to really enjoy it. We'd be open to trying other izakayas, if there are any that are quieter.

Octopus Garden: we had a lovely meal there, and particularly liked the gindara.

Mondo Gelato: loved the black sesame gelato.

Cocoanymph, Schokolade, and Thomas Haas: I really love good chocolates.

Also, we are going to be in Victoria for a day or two. We'll have dinner at Sooke Harbour House. Any suggestions for good but not gut-busting meals in Victoria would be appreciated as well.

Edited to add: We have a car and are willing to drive fairly far for really good food.