Olympia Jane's Profile

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I need help making the perfect omelet

No words we write serve to teach as well as the post with the video links to Jacques Pepin's short video or the one below for Julia's techniques. I love that they both teach more than one technique. One of them may be the key to the Portland Waddle's Coffee Shop omelet experience. ("Eat Now at Waddles" with the giant clock - who could forget that iconic sign?)

If you watch both videos, you will have a total of 3 approaches. Eggs are relatively inexpensive, and it's fun to mess around and try them all. In terms of pure joy, Julia gets giant fun points for her suggestion of practicing on flying beans, but Pepin is clearly in his element as well.

Jacques teaches how to make both French and American (or rustic) omelets. Julia teaches the French omelet style, then mentions the rustic style but snubs it as leathery and finishes her tutorial with how to make a "Scrambled style Omelet". Personally, I prefer the so-called rustic style. Horrors - I love a buttery browned omelet edge, it seems both Julia and perhaps Jacques prefer the tenderness of a classic French omelet. Neither of them demonstrate adding cheese or other ingredients other than fines herbes - but Jacques does mentions the proper time and manner to add cheese.

Thanks for asking your question - it was a joy to re-watch the videos and partake in their pleasure. One imagines gathering eggs in a French farmyard...


Feb 16, 2015
Olympia Jane in Home Cooking

Paseo reopened?

You have good reason to be skeptical about the long lines. We were frequent and passionate Paseo aficionados, so I gave the new owners a few weeks before the first visit. I tried to call in my order, but no luck - there were not answering their phone. No matter how busy, the old Paseo crew managed to cheerfully answer their phone - although sometimes we got a busy signal and it took a few tries to get through. That was my first clue times have changed.

Thinking it would not be terribly busy at that time, I showed up at the Fremont location at 2:30pm midweek in late January, well past lunch hour and before the usual dinner rush. They were slammed. Or... it looked like they were slammed and maybe the people queued up around the joint had all been there since early in the day waiting...? The counter service and kitchen was, shall we say, really disorganized. They seemed to be tripping over each other and not getting much accomplished in the tangle. At 2:30 in the afternoon the line to order food was about 20 people deep, and even more people were waiting around for their food. The line was moving very (very) slowly. The ticket numbers being called were significantly out of order of tickets taken, much to the delight of someone who had just ordered and the dismay of someone whose order had gone in 10 or 15 tickets prior. I vowed to gut it out, and when I reached the order counter, I ordered a little of everything to make the trek as worthwhile and as much of a taste test as possible. I put in an order for Paseo Press sandwich (formerly the Midnight Cuban), one chicken thigh full on dinner, one side order of spicy red sauce tofu (Tofu Con Gusto), and one side each of caramelized onions and black beans. Prices seem to have gone up $1 or $.50 per item?

Unfortunately, I was one of those people who had a lower ticket number, yet watched everyone who ordered after me get their food and go, and a new group arrive before my order came up. I didn't have a complicated order...one sandwich, one dinner, 2 sides.

The good:
1) The Paseo Press sandwich was messy and delicious. It was not exactly the same as the old Paseo sandwich, but it was very tasty, perhaps even better.
2) The Paseo salad seemed to be the lettuce greens/shredded beets/shredded red cabbage salad of yore. Okay, the dressing was not quite as good - it was a tad more vinegary.
3) Caramelized onions - same as before. Delicious.

The pretty good:
2) Sadly, the chicken thighs were fine, but not the addictive crave-them how-do-they-make-these-so-delicious Paseo chicken thighs. Wahhh. I loved original Paseo chicken thighs. THAT'S the recipe I want.

The meh:
3) The white rice. The corn on the cob. What one might expect. Okay. Fine. Serviceable.

The bad:
4) The black beans were flat out inedible. Really bad. We don't waste food, and we had to toss them in the compost bin. The beans were half-cooked, half-hard, and in a very watery rosemary(??) flavored sour broth that was just plain foul.
5) The side of "Tofu Con Gusto" in red sauce? Uh, or not. Upon arriving home, I discovered the takeout box yielded five small and lonely 1 inch rectangles of tofu on white rice in NO red sauce. None. Not a drop. Hunh? Oops. Major fail to box up an order of tofu with no red sauce. That's like forgetting to spoon the marinara on a bowl of spaghetti.

We have not been back, but if they open it, we will give the Ballard hot pink shack location a try. I really want to think the Paseo 2.0 folks will figure out a way to replicate the 1.0 roasted chicken thighs. If any of you Seattle CH'ers have a clue as to how to prepare chicken thighs so they taste like Ye Olde Paseo...holler.

Feb 14, 2015
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Adieu, Elysian. Thanks for the Sellout

That is one whopper of a visually cool and mentally interesting map, thanks much acgold7. The map sparks the imagination as to the multiple layers of stories lurking beneath each graphic...and what an assembly job to put it all together in a simple format. It's an art poster of hundreds of stories.

And, as for Elysian being purchased by AB, what the heck, maybe AB will arrange for Sea-Fair princesses to accessorize their ball gowns with yellow lab puppies and ride in the parade on Clydesdales...

Feb 11, 2015
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Ideas for a Molecular Gastronomy Store Name {prize}

Thanks for the challenge. I love coming up with names (and winning is always fun) so I played around with a bunch of ideas and liked Basket of Elements the best. Also, as of this moment, the domain name www.basketofelements.com is available on Go Daddy. Do we have a winner? I'm wishing us both luck!

Feb 05, 2015
Olympia Jane in Not About Food

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #13 – 01/28/15 (spoilers)

Hello Linda Whit from a Grateful Fan,

This is a moment of love and appreciation for Linda Whit. I faithfully read your recaps each week. In fact, that's the only way I "watch" Top Chef. I saw the first several seasons of Top Chef, but the format became too full of grocery carts racing around Whole Foods, nano-second edits, perpetual product placements and sproingy sound effects for me to tolerate. Yet, I am as curious as the next person about the trajectory of people who are full on passionate in their chosen element - in this instance, the passion of chefs. So, for the last many seasons, I don't "see the movie" each week, I "read the book" via Linda Whit's new installment. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Linda Whit, for your hard work, remarkable skill and delightful write up of each week's Top Chef episode. I read it within minutes of your posts. Via your story telling skills, I am a Gregory fan. I read each week's write up quickly to find out if he has been told to PYKAG or if he lives to see another challenge. Whew, so good so far. Can't wait for the final..

I am certain I am not the only one who does not watch the episode but reads your write ups. Your story - and the ensuing comments - are far more entertaining than the televised version.

I thank you.

Pop Pop Thai Street Food

Creepygirl, thank you. You've made me merry and bright on the darkest days of the year. Because of you, I have eaten twice in 2 days (yesterday's lunch and today's dinner) at Pop Pop Thai Street Food, a "never-in-a-million-years-would-I-have-found-or-gone-here" kind of a place. This is exactly why Jim Leff, our beloved Alpha Hound, invented Chowhound oh so many years ago. He would be very pleased with your find.

Before I dive into a food report, a word (or two) about the "never would have found" it aspect of Pop Pop. The street address is not sufficient for finding this place. (13242 Aurora Ave North is the address). They are on the east side of Aurora (on the right if you are driving northbound on Aurora) located between a Jimmy John's and a T-Mobile, directly across the parking lot from LA Fitness. When I saw the LA Fitness sign/building, I drove into that mall area parking lot and then meandered over to them. They aren't easy to find the first time, but well worth it.

There was a table of teenagers and some departing lunch folks, but otherwise it was pretty empty when I went in yesterday at 1:30pm. I had a large mug of jasmine tea and ordered the #12, Grilled Chicken with Sticky Rice, a Sweet Chili and a Tamarind Sauce. My gracious server said that menu item took 15 minutes, did I still want it? Yes, I did. I was happy to sip tea and read. Very hungry when I sat down, the dish arrived in about 10 minutes, and I devoured about a third of what was served to me. I would not say the portion was overly large, just unusually filling. The grilled chicken was surprisingly juicy, very tender and mildly greasy/salty/garlicky. The sticky rice was, well, very sticky and the two sauces just right to balance the saltiness of the chicken.

Tonight I had dinner with a friend. We went in at 8:30, about a half hour before closing, and they graciously seated us. We did not feel the least bit rushed throughout our entire meal, on the contrary, it seemed like they enjoyed having us in the restaurant and were delightfully attentive and kind. Friend ordered #6, the Braised Pork Leg with pickled mustard greens, steamed bok choy, white rice and an incredible, delicious green sauce. Couldn't tell you what was in it, wish I knew. Yes, indeedy, I had Friend Plate Envy. Big time. But, we shared plates so all was well. The braised pork was incredibly flavorful, as were the pickled mustard greens and steamed bok choy. The sauce was also very good - I could have eaten it by the bowlful.

I had reluctantly ordered Pad Thai with tofu and vegetables (an up charge of $2 for the extra broccoli and green beans). Pad Thai because I thought I needed to eat something bland - but yum, or not! The Pad Thai was so delicious, well, all I can say to describe it is it didn't taste like Pad Thai, it tasted really good. Not bland, not boring, truly tasty. Not sure how they managed to make Pad Thai delicious, but they did. I had another big mug of Jasmine tea, but they do serve beer.

We look forward to going back over time to work our way through the menu. As you can see by the menu cg uploaded above, no time is more expensive than $9.95. Thank you again, cg!

Dec 20, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

New Yorker looking for quintessential Seattle cheap eats

Or maybe FoulShotz has a good shot by Christmas? If Paseo re-opens soon and is of similar caliber, what a gift to those of us who can't go a week without sadly remembering what we once happily took for granted. Hopefully all the former Paseo employees fare well in this passing of the (grill) torch, and we will see them again - and can put an extra stuffing of green in the tip tub.


Dec 12, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Pop Pop Thai Street Food

Thanks for posting, CG. With your recommendation and the interesting menu, I will give them a try.

Dec 09, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Lunch Recommendations in Phinney Ridge or Greenlake?

Hmmm, from what I can see from the website, Mai Thaiku is only open for lunch on Saturdays? Maybe worth a call. Thanks for the question, I'm looking forward to Tiko Riko per BearCity's recommendation.

Dec 04, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Best recipes for homemade Christmas gifts

Yikes. Looks like a "don't try this at home" recipe. I'm intrigued. Tell us more, oh maker of baumkuchen "tree rings".

Nov 23, 2014
Olympia Jane in Home Cooking

Seattle Donuts

Parchment's pop up Sunday dates are announced on their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/parchmentsea...

They have the best selection when the doors open at 8am. She had pumpkin spice donuts at the end of September, but not sure if she will do those again or not, but I didn't try one so I can't vouch for their chow-worthiness. I can, however, recommend the goat cheese, spinach & mushroom flaky pastry. Mmm-memorable.

Oct 07, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Seattle Donuts

Yikes! Your post made me curious enough to look up the website for Top Pot "nutritional information". I am far too ancient to count calories, but I like any aspect of research. 350 calories for a plain cake donut, 600 calories for a Top Pot Maple Bar and 620 calories for a Top Pot Chocolate Bar are sobering numbers. Hmmm. To put in perspective, I trooped over to McDonald's website and there it was, right at the top - a Big Mac weighs in at 530 calories. While I would not be tempted to eat a Big Mac, I did once upon a time devour a fresh-to-the-display-case Maple Frosted Cake Donut from Top Pot and it was quite tasty. I would consider eating another one if it was fresh, calories, fat and sugar be darned, "fresh" being the non-negotiable element.

The tastiness of donuts plunges proportionately to time out of the fryer (thus the appeal of the hot KK glazed donut, the cotton candy of donuts). I happen to think that both cotton candy and hot KK donuts have their rightful place in the universe, or at least a rightful time and place in my mouth. Not an every day or even once a year moment, but - I am grateful for an occasional foray.

To have any chance at impressing your visitors, I agree with the person who suggested a trip to Dahlia (I think Lola does it too?) to order them off the menu and devour at your table while hot. Yum.

Oct 07, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Seattle Donuts

Aye, thee is quite game. I would not attempt to beat a Portland doughnut with a Seattle doughnut. This grandmother's gentle advice is to graciously forfeit the competition, and perhaps gather doughnuts from sources noted below and turn it into a blind taste test or a We Can't Beat Portland in Quality but Here's an E for Effort in Variety & Quantity. Your Seattle CH readers would thank you for the results....

As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, why bite into a Seattle doughnut when you are in the Land of Pastry? When in Seattle, eat Seattle's finest? For me on an ordinary day that might be Bakery Nouveau's Twice Baked Almond Croissant or their Plum Danish, on the every-other-Sunday they are there, it would be an assortment from the Parchment pop-up in the Brimmer & Heeltap space taken to go across the street for the Slate coffee experience. Then again, if you go to Crumble and Flake at the right moment, it can be pretty darn fun trying to choose between the possible temptations, but not so fun if there is a line or they are all out. Then it is just sad.

Oct 07, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

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

Thanks to all who responded, especially for your personal comments and dish preferences (and Laurella's tip that Saffron Deli skipped town to Whidbey!). We now have quite the line up of Thai food to sample in coming months. Much appreciated.

Aug 12, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

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

Thanks, Gizmo, we've enjoyed occasional forays to Noodle Boat for several years and it's right smack up the alley of Thai food we enjoy.

Aug 12, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

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

Thanks very much to everyone for your suggestions. Pestle Rock, although it sounds quite delicious, will be last on our "try" list for now due to the lack of soup on the menu. What we really are looking to replace in the NW is a low key, basic Thai restaurant (the Thai version of a red checkered tablecloth Italian joint?). A Tom Yum that is prepared without the sweetness of the soup at Chillies and Thai Thani would be especially appreciated. If we can't find it in the NW, we will continue to make occasional pilgrimages to Royal Orchid in Renton, but with the half dozen suggestions we have from y'all, we will try out all the suggestions in our new neighborhood. Thank you! (And if you stumble across any more Thai places and the food is not sugary sweet, please post).

Aug 10, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

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

We have yet to find a Thai food place that is not sugary sweet in NW Seattle (we were successful in SE Seattle, but we recently moved). So far we've had an assortment of soups, noodles, and veggie and chicken or tofu dishes, none with coconut milk, from Chillies Paste in Fremont and Thai Thani in Ballard. Every dish from both places tasted as if made primarily with sugar water. Chillies' food was the more sugary of the two, but not by much. After 2 strikeouts, time to turn to Chowhound. Any suggestions for a Thai restaurant in the Ballard area that doesn't cook with what tastes like simple syrup?

Aug 08, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Seattle's Best Sandwiches

Q Bakery is not near Tamarind Tree. It is at the southeast edge of a big parking lot with other bakeries and grocery near Columbia City. Address is 3818 S. Graham, but the bakery faces MLK. It is close to the corner of Martin Luther King Way & Graham. Parking is plentiful (did you get that Kaleo?) but kind of tricky driving in there because you can't take a left off of Graham if you are heading east across MLK (you are fine to turn in there heading west off of Graham from Seward Park side), nor can you cross the light rail tracks. Easiest to access it off heading north off MLK, or take light rail and walk. I made that sound trickier than it is, it's easy driving there after you do it once.

Apr 02, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Seattle's Best Sandwiches

Total agreement, eQuinoise - Q Bakery is my fav banh mi in Seattle. That said, I've just had the chicken and the tofu banh mi at Pho Cyclo (chicken is fine if a little meh, the tofu - yuck - terrible, what was I thinking - tofu banh mi- really?). I will try the Cyclo BBQ pork next time, thanks for the tip.

And, yup, I'm in that river of people streaming through Q for the bread in the baskets by the door...crunchy fresh bread for cents. Kinda fun. 98118. Gotta love it!

Apr 02, 2014
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Any Seattle 'Hoods Where Lack of Parking Keeps You Away?

Kaleo, your taste buds are relying on you to outsmart the dang parking dilemma. I hope you don't let finding a spot for your wheels to hang out be the boss of your dining pleasure - we love reading your reviews.

By definition, popular destinations in most cities, including ours, require strategizing to park a car. Go early. Go late. Use a parking app as acgold7 suggests. Decide ahead of time you will park 3 blocks, 6 blocks, 1 mile, etc away from your destination, park, and enjoy the journey to tasty eats. Treat yourself to a couple of nights at the new(er) Ballard Hotel, and walk to breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Or, perhaps we need a new thread about Seattle's chow worthy dining that has EZ parking?

The Taste season two finale Spillage

Marina on Masterchef would be interesting, but I would prefer seeing her participate on the Next Food Network Star. I want to learn what she knows that I don't know. Yes, I very much wanted Marina to win the whole kaboodle. Fascinating person. Loved her feisty, confident and spirited approach to the competition.

Veal stock bones in Seattle?

+2 for Bob the Butcher. Have a couple of pounds of their oxtail bones in the freezer, they'll be in a roasting pan this weekend for stock.

Jan 15, 2013
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Gravity Bar clones?

Fondly remember the Gravity Bar - both the location at First and Virginia - in the old Raison d'etre space that has been through many changes, most recently a "pop up" Baby & Co temporary shop - and their last location on Capitol Hill. Have never found a place remotely like it anywhere. Still miss the attitude and the food - especially the wild combos of fresh fruit and veggie juices, and the avocado, shredded beets & carrots, sliced tomatoes, brown rice and greens salad with lemon tahini sauce. Oddly enough, in a very strange sort of way I think the Paseo salads come closest to the Gravity Bar salads. Must be the shredded beets and chopped red cabbage thing they do. Speaking of Paseo, IIRC, they come off of winter break on January 21. I might make it 6 more days of waiting before lining up for their fall off the bone roasted chicken thighs and Paseo's wildly good red sauce tofu entree, but possibly not.

Locally made jam

I am pretty picky about jam, too, and my "go to" grocery store jam is Trader Joe's house brand Cherry Preserves and Hero Orange Marmalade (I find it at DeLaurenti's but it is available in other places). Last year a local jam maker sold her excellent plum jam at Leschi Market, but I have not noticed it there yet this season (but since we canned close to 40 jars of plum jam this summer I have not been on the lookout for it - neighbor's ancient plum tree fell down from the weight of the plums and, well..., yeah, had to do something with all the fruit). Agreed, summer fruit and berries are done for the season, but tis the season now to make apple or pear butter, quince jam or jelly, or a bit later into winter, citrus marmalades.

Oct 14, 2012
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Food Network Star: "Pilot Greenlights" (7/15/2012) [*SPOILERS*]

I can't wait to find out the answer to the question - Can America Love a Boy named Justin witth kewpie doll lips and ruby red lipstick (an infinitely charming look in my ancient old lady opinion - Justin's look appears to beckon "I dare America to fathom kissing me" in a come hither/go away style) and who prepares burnt green lettuce that is black around the edges (how do you burn anything so watery, that takes big heat) with savory jello dressing as his make or break it/winner takes all dish?



Justin is outstanding in every respect. Gutsy, charming, creative, simultaneously repulsive and intriguing and above all, MUCH NEEDED. Break up the landscape of mediocrity, boy. Yvan is a warm hearted darling, but to heck with mac and cheese, bring on the burnt lettuce!! I want more Pollock, less Norman Rockefeller.

The last time I prepared tomato aspic was in 1966, using an Irma Rombauer recipe. It was disgusting. You GO, Justin. Give us what for, society needs you. Okay, that's a bit grand, make that - this old lady needs you. Very much. Hope to see lots more of you soon, and god forbid they mess with your vibe one iota, son. You have my vote (that is you would have had my vote if I could have figured out how to vote for you....too social media-ted for me).

chicory coffee

This is the time of year chicory is in flower by the side of the road around Seattle, or you can grow your own - it grows quite well if completely ignored and neglected. You can dig the root up in the late fall, slice it, roast it in your oven, grind it and have fresh chicory coffee.

This morning I saw drifts of blue flowered chicory blooming on scraggly stalks amongst the other weeds - blackberries and pink vetch - along Swift Avenue South between Albro and South Myrtle in south Seattle.

If you want more information about roasting your own chicory, here is Hank Shaw's detailed account, especially helpful because he writes with humor:

The last time I had a cup of chicory coffee, my mother made it for me on a hot Ozark night in Reynolds County, Missouri. She mixed chicory coffee half and half with regular coffee, measured into a 1960's style coffee pot, and let it percolate. She carried it on a tray out to the screened in porch, where we drank it with cream and sugar, watching the fireflies and listening to the relentless cicadas. The whippoorwills didn't call until long after bedtime.

Jul 07, 2012
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle


You could do nothing but take your London pal around town for turkey reubens, but if it is a sunny day (despite the frost on the crocus this morning, it's gonna happen), the bright pink Shilshole Paseo shack would double the "only in Seattle" points if you get your sandwich and head across the street to Golden Gardens to settle in and devour it on the beach. We went last weekend in the windy cold snow/rain and t'was delicious. If it really is sunny and you aren't wearing rain gear the day you go, consider schlepping along a tablecloth to wear over your clothes. As you well know, the sandwiches are the epitome of messy goodness.The beverage offerings at Paseo are pretty limited - you might want to bring your own if you go to the beach shack Paseo.

Back to the original request: In addition to the other good T. Reuben suggestions, there is also Essential Bakery: "Rachel" (as copied from their menu:"Pastrami, “Rachel” (Turkey) or Portobella Reuben $8.50 whole / $4.25 half sandwich: Choose cured pastrami, oven roasted turkey or portobella, with gruyère cheese, house-made Russian dressing and red cabbage sauerkraut on our Rye bread". 'Tis my daughter's fav. Essential Bakery also has good soups and salads as well as bakery items and breads. But, coffee/juice/only at Essential - having the option of good beer with the Reuben may make one of the other numerous suggestions more desirable - depends whether your pal wants a pint with her Reuben or wants the options available from a coffeehouse / bakery setting.

Mar 23, 2012
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

What To Do When the Restaurant Boards Disappear

I have to admit, I was a far more frequent user of Chowhound in its formative years (circa 2001ish) so I don't even know what a "restaurant board" is, but glancing through this link on the topic of removing restaurant lists on "Site Talk", I see no mention of eliminating local boards. That said, if I'm wrong, and that is being proposed, I would hate like heck to lose the local boards. It was difficult enough to go through splitting off PNW, Seattle and Portland. If the Greater Seattle board went, we'd just have to start our own...

I imagine this thread may be moved to "Site Talk" soon - but since the chowhound folks have not moved the Olympia pizza thread over to the PNW board, maybe they're out chowing.

Feb 29, 2012
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

Heart Shaped Ravioli

I'm curious - did you find heart shaped ravioli in Seattle (or thereabouts)? I didn't find any pre-made, but your post inspired me to experiment with making enough large heart shaped ravioli for a dinner for two. I used a heart shaped mold (see photo) instead of a cookie cutter and a roasted butternut squash filling with a dab of ricotta in the center. I've never made ravioli, and it was kinda fun, but preparation time would definitely win first (or would that be last?) place in a s-l-o-w food contest.

Feb 14, 2012
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle

wine shop recommendations?

We appreciate vintage port in our household! There is a birthday celebration coming up, so the purchase of a fine bottle of port make a fine gift. If it is something you have with you, maybe we could meet while you are in the Seattle area?

Dec 27, 2011
Olympia Jane in Greater Seattle