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A Biergarten in Bellingham

They only seemed to have the same three mustards, two were very good. I just can't imagine being there in the winter. It will be interesting to see how they create a warm environment outside!

I have never tried the pretzels at the farmers market. I get stuck sampling cheese....

Aslan Brewing Co. Bellingham

I don't know if the gravy is vegetarian, you would have to clarify, but it is mushroom gravy! They clearly want to please vegetarians and gluten free folks as the menu is crafted that way and states so at the bottom.

I find that refreshing for pub food!

I tried the ginger beer, not my favorite but I really liked several of the light ales and really, really liked the summer one. Nice vibe to the place, I must say.

Walla Walla Restaurants

I go to Walla Walla yearly, but the focus is on wineries and hiking, not the food :) It is not really a "fine dining" kind of town...But-

I have eaten at two places that ( that are still open) and that were memorable meals- lunch at Brasserie Four and dinner at The Marc (Marcus Whitman hotel). Both places were very nice, but maybe not 'fine dining" ...more like casual Northwest style fine dining, sort of :)

Brasserie Four is French inspired, small menu, bistro type food -more than fine dining French food,not real creative -but well done. Good value, nice wines but not NW wine themed. I remember having a chicken dish that I thought needed more taste but a really delicious green pea soup was very delicate and nuanced. A real qualifier for me is that French food (in general) is not my favorite outside of France :/ I have only had lunch here but I would think it would be nice for dinner.

The Marc is in the hotel (which is gorgeous)much more upscale and "fine dining" in atmosphere and menu- but not in price.It is very inexpensive(like 35 bucks for a dinner). I have had dinner there many times, including this year. I think the restaurant is improving yearly and is breaking away from the "hotel food" category. Northwest food and NW wines to be sure! Seafood/steak kind of menu again, not creative but well done. I remember I had steak and it was done perfectly.

I have also had happy hour in the lounge at MW hotel on several occasions. They have a very nice, dark fireplace lounge with an "upscale" bar menu. We stay here when wine tasting in the spring or winter and really enjoy the hotel- and walking around the town after dinner.The breakfasts there are decent ( buffet style) with good coffee (!) and champagne/mimosa/bloody mary, etc. as well.

Tell-Tale Terms

Bay city rollers....don't ask me how I know :/

...and tcamp, no need to hang your head in shame, unless you are still sportin' that mullet! Lol.

A Biergarten in Bellingham

I just returned. Weird place. Looks like a drive through coffee shop. I don't know why, but I thought it would be in an actual building with outdoor seating! Nope.

Very nice quality and variety of German beer. We had 2 lagers, one unfiltered and unpasteurized, then shared a grapefruit one.... very different and interesting. Nice! We really enjoyed the beer.

The food was "meh" to really boring. Extremely limited menu. I think they only had a choice of 6 different "wursts" to choose from, no buns ( keepin' it real, apparently), kraut and potato are the only sides. We had a 2 sausage plate instead of the other choice...a 1 sausage plate.... kraut, potato. We chose a currywurst (pretty decent, good curry flavor/bright yellow in "curriness") and a cheesewurst (processed orange cheese)... boiled potato (no discernible seasoning, I asked for some salt) sauerkraut ( tasted a bit mushy and maybe canned)three types of mustard, the stone ground and the sweet one were very good ( i.e. fresh and different), the other mustard was a bit plain and seemed typical grocery store quality. We also ordered a soft pretzel( it came with the same three mustards). It was fresh but nothing to write home about.

We asked about the future ( being that it is all outdoor seating now). Apparently, they are hiring contractors to help with weatherizing for the cold and rain.

Communal seating (ugghh,again!), cute set up with the umbrellas and food truck/grill/big screen TV combo, quality large/heavy beer glasses with handles, superior to Leavenworth (a frequent haunt of mine for this type of experience) for food(but that isn't saying much).

I hope they broaden the menu.

Aug 19, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

A Biergarten in Bellingham

I drove past this one Sunday when I remembered this post. It was crowded and looked pretty popular. It is on my short list. Maybe tonight. I am also not really much of a beer drinker, but I enjoy a well paired beer/ food experience and appreciate a light tasting beer with a pub dinner.

I am traveling more than being at home (temporarily) right now, so I am using the crazy schedule to try new places when I am here. Appreciate the heads up about it! Will report back! :)

Aslan Brewing Co. Bellingham

As a follow up, I did take my adult kids there on a Saturday afternoon. We sat outside on the patio. It was fairly crowded. We ordered several different beer tastings, the waiter customized to our preferences (nice!). We also ordered a few different items. The rockfish grilled taco's were deemed as excellent (I thought they were meh) by two of us, the waffle fries poutine with mushroom and herb gravy with Beecher cheese curds were really good.

The adult kids from Seattle pronounced it as a new favorite pub.

Side note: We went to Kushan brewery on Sunday for a similar beer tasting/ pub grub adventure. Really great street food truck food as usual, also good beer, outside seating in the summer is a nice way to spend an hour or so after a hike or shopping. The major difference between the two pub places IMO is total price (the food trucks are really pricy and you have to order a whole "meal") and of course, you are limited in food options depending upon which truck is there. This time, the truck offered sandwiches (and they were exceptional, at that) with no other choices for lighter foods. Luckily, we were all hungry and the food was perfect this time :)

Aug 19, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

I'm cooking lowfat for my elderly dog, post-pancreatitis and thought I'd share

Me either! I suggested some raw food already on this thread!

My neighbors terrier takes the raw food issue into his own paws....he stalks mice and moles outside and lays in wait...swallows them whole. Gulp. It is amazing.

Aug 18, 2014
sedimental in Not About Food

Looking for a slow cooker Alfredo, without using a jar of pasta sauce.

But it is clear from the OP she is not looking to replicate authentic fettuccini Alfredo. She is asking for an Alfredo "sauce" made with milk and cheese in a crockpot for her hotel room. The kind served in every chain restaurant across America called "_____Alfredo". She would prefer not to use a pasta "sauce in a jar" version. Pretty clear what she is looking for. It is not authentic, nor particularly healthy but is pretty tasty and comforting in it's own right (like Mac and cheese). Answers about the authentic version are obviously useless which is what it sounded like drongo was suggesting.

In my experience with slow cookers, cheese or cream sauces tend to break or the texture goes off and grainy after a few hours. That is why they were so popular when used with cans of cream soup "back in the day". The cans of soup didn't break or separate much at all. I don't know if there are healthier versions of those soups now, but I suppose they would still be an option and be easy to use in a hotel room. I know there are healthier homemade versions of cream canned soups (with lots of thickeners added) that might help in an Alfredo sauce. Milk or cream will break down after several hours.

I know there were a lot of recipes for these types of crock pot pasta sauces that added cream cheese. I think the cream cheese kept the structure better. Might look into that.

Aug 18, 2014
sedimental in Home Cooking

I'm cooking lowfat for my elderly dog, post-pancreatitis and thought I'd share

I have no idea. I haven't researched it for a dog with pancreas problems because mine don't -but my senior dog has Addison's disease and takes steroids (his adrenal glands are shot). He is 12 years old and doing well on homemade customized food. He needs to eat to take his meds every morning. He has a small appetite anyway, so I try to pack in nutrition in small amounts of food for him.

His custom food has increased his energy level, improved his weight, and has improved his dental health and GI upset problems ( throwing up and eating grass). Dogs seem to respond quickly to food changes, so if something doesn't agree with him, I know it right away. That helps.

Aug 17, 2014
sedimental in Not About Food

I'm cooking lowfat for my elderly dog, post-pancreatitis and thought I'd share

My dogs do well on small amounts of bloody, raw meat mixed in their foods weekly. Raw beef liver, chicken livers and heart are chopped up and mixed in. They get about a tablespoon of the raw. I also add healthy oils but both are in good shape and get exercise. Raw heart would be a lean muscle meat you might try first and see if she likes it. My pups will gobble anything that the bloody, raw meat touches...even icky pills!

Aug 17, 2014
sedimental in Not About Food

Civility

He is referring to the very famous urban legend airline passenger story that is the same as yours, it's the next to the last story on the page:
http://www.snopes.com/travel/airline/...

The story usually ends with the "you'll have to wait in line for that too"....

Aug 17, 2014
sedimental in Not About Food

I'm cooking lowfat for my elderly dog, post-pancreatitis and thought I'd share

My dogs get a wide variety of foods cooked for them. Their favorite meats are liver (both cooked and raw) and chicken. I use a combination of things like meats, rice/pasta/sweet potato and pumpkin, green veg in the FP (so they can't spit it out) and they like tomato and blueberries for some fruit every once in a while. Bone broth is mixed with everything and I also supplement with healthy oils, nutritional yeast, calcium, fish oil, vitamin e, glucosamine for my senior dog, and seaweed.

For a cooked breakfast treat, my fur babes really like a soft cooked egg with a little bread or a cracker torn in pieces and mixed around with a pinch of salt or furikake sprinkle (they like the salmon furikake!).

Aug 17, 2014
sedimental in Not About Food

Mayonnaise safety: A question about salmonella on the shell of the egg (from a skeptic)

I don't want to get way off topic here but yes about the samples.

Yes you have to research it yourself ( but it is not hard as it is such a hot topic). Search the net for key words specifically related to gut health: resistant starch, feeding your microbiome, prebiotics, soil based probiotics, lacto fermented foods. Scholarly articles, theories, N1 experiments and blog/forums, research reports.... as well as weirdo's abound.

Once you get your report on your "own bugs", it is easy to see who took up residence in you..who you most likely want out...and who you want to encourage to stay and live with you to fight the good fight :)

Aug 16, 2014
sedimental in General Topics

A few things to get off my chest ...

The triscuit thing sounds like it might be winner. Similar to a peanut butter fluff sandwich.

Yes to coffee and ice cream.

Kimchi on anything is winner at my house.

No to corn chowder ...mustard or no.... Ick, too much like canned cream corn circa 1967 for my sense memory.

No seafood on pizza, no amount of trying will help me there.

I prefer to skip the donut, add a sugar cube to the whiskey, a few drops of bitters, toss in a single crescent shaped ice cube, swirl.... and sip my dessert :)

Aug 16, 2014
sedimental in General Topics

Mayonnaise safety: A question about salmonella on the shell of the egg (from a skeptic)

I think anyone interested in topics like this (food risks, good bacteria vs bad bacteria, gut health, prevention, nutrition) should check out the American gut:

http://humanfoodproject.com/americangut/

If not to join and learn about all this, but to learn about their own personal bugs and how to encourage them! Fascinating stuff for a science/food geek :)

Aug 16, 2014
sedimental in General Topics

Mayonnaise safety: A question about salmonella on the shell of the egg (from a skeptic)

There is fascinating research coming out about gut health (good bugs and gut Ph).

I am doing the American gut-human food project and learning a lot. I love it. Well worth the hundred bucks to start.

Aug 16, 2014
sedimental in General Topics

Mayonnaise safety: A question about salmonella on the shell of the egg (from a skeptic)

I have chickens, don't wash the egg shells (unless dirty) and make mayo weekly, prefer runny yolks, etc.

The "other side" of the salmonella issue is that not everyone exposed to salmonella (or other hostile bacteria) gets sick. Most people are exposed quite a bit to small amounts of bad bugs (including stains of salmonella) with no ill effects. Larger amounts can get the better of anyone. Children, people with unhealthy guts, chronic disease, immune system problems, and people that take antacids have a much bigger chance of getting sick from exposure to all kinds of unfriendly bacteria.

I keep my microbiome in good shape and have less to worry about (in general) so I don't worry about a 1 in 20,000 risk of being exposed to salmonella from an egg. So long as I don't take an antacid, eat a medium rare burger while swallowing it with a raw egg in my milkshake and playing with my pet turtle.... I should be fine :)

Aug 16, 2014
sedimental in General Topics

Anyone Cook with Truffles at Home?

Although they are all called Oregon truffles,they are found all over the Pacific Northwest (a lot come from Washington) and are inexpensive in many stores and markets around here.

http://www.uncorkwashington.com/2011/...

Aug 15, 2014
sedimental in Home Cooking

Aslan Brewing Co. Bellingham

I went for happy hour (and more) yesterday. Wow. I am very impressed!
The negatives for me, was that it is full of hard surfaces (including uncomfortable chairs) so it is loud in there and it has communal tables (which I despise) but with happy hour being less crowded, it worked out fine.

The beer was terrific, all organic, and the attention to detail and pride in the craft is obvious. The servers were very knowledgable about the brew and gave us spot on advice. I ordered a summer ale that was really light, citrusy with delicate carbonation ...perfect for me as I am not a big fan of beer most days. I asked about a brew with ginger in it, the server steered me out of that one unless I was "committed" ...it is very gingery. I laughed and thanked her because we were ordering food and would, indeed, likely clash with our menu choice that day. The service was amazing, fast, informative, polite, friendly but not overly so- if that makes sense. My partner ordered a new beer, just out, and I can't remember the name. It was an IPA and was fragrant and medium bodied, a nice palate cleansing beer actually.

The food:

One order of Elote. Elote!!! In a northwest brew pub, let me think a minute....yes please. The grilled corn on a stick delight had a perfect char in spots, covered with a spicy chili crust and cotija cheese. It is served on a plate with fresh cole slaw. I hope they continue this through fall as it is perfect with the lighter ale's...and I don't have to just make it at home! 5 bucks.

One order of black bean dip and chips. I am hard to please with black beans as when they are poorly done (often), they taste like dirt...or worse...complete mush...or...a can. Not here! They were perfectly prepared, of medium mash, topped with avocado cream and topped again with fresh pico de gallo. Served in a good sized bowl with quality homemade fresh chips! The server let us know that we can ask for more chips if the dip outlasted them. It did not. 5 bucks.

Then we split a bacon bison burger. Now, I like bison and we often have it at home, butchered to spec from local farms. The grocery store bison is usually inferior so I hesitate to order it out. But, I took a chance. The bison burger was cooked perfectly, moist without being loaded with fat, bacon jam and blue cheese (Good call), arugula, on a nicely toasted poppyseed bakery bun. It is a fairly small sized burger in comparison to typical pub burgers, but perfect for me. Waffle fries. 13 bucks.

So far, this place gets my vote right now for the most creative, flavorful, thoughtfully prepared, best value, casual food in the 'ham. They truly designed the food around the brew. Someone put some serious thought into the menu. What an unexpected visit!

I am planning to take my Seattle "kids" there Saturday. I am curious as to the loudness level and crowd in there on a weekend. It might be bad. So, I will report back on that if it works out. I wish the seats were more comfy, they look cool. They are tall metal bar stools, the seat is made of a piece of flat wood... Not good for people without a lot of padding in the butt :)

Aug 15, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

Penn Jillette’s secrets of “Celebrity Apprentice”: Donald Trump is a whackjob!

That was a secret? Hahaha.

It is that time of year again.....school lunches

In their thermal lunch bag for cold stuff, room temp for salads and they used the micro at school for hot things.

Aug 14, 2014
sedimental in Home Cooking

It is that time of year again.....school lunches

My kids got tired of sandwiches. So, I made the following, in bulk:

Calzones- pizza, ham and cheese, turkey, etc
Chili cups- refrigerated biscuit dough, muffin tins, chili, top with cheese and bake.
Huge green salad, they liked chef salads and Caesars
Tamales- make big batches and freeze
Stir fried veggie rice- with egg strips and lots of vegetables, add a soy sauce packet
Falafel PItas with and tzatziki sauce.

A variety of raw veg and dips, bread/ cracker and spreads..mix and match type lunch. Homemade potato chips (micro) with their favorite seasoning would be nice.

Oh, I have a young teen niece that is positively nuts over this soba noodle salad: al dente soba noodles (well rinsed) al dente green beans, lots of garlic, soy sauce, oil and sesame oil, green onion and sesame seeds. Chili flakes to their taste. Keeps in the fridge for days and is filling.

Aug 14, 2014
sedimental in Home Cooking
1

What should I serve with Truffled Mac and Cheese?

A salad! :)
Seriously, something light...maybe a green salad or a caprese salad riff (layered tomato and herbs) with a bit of acid in the dressing. Mac and cheese is so rich and always feels decadent, and if you are using truffle butter or truffle cheese, you want it to be the star of the show, IMO.

If you must have a protein, maybe a simple chicken breast prep (poached and sliced) with a fresh tasting acidic sauce (chimichurri or a gastrique).

Best burgers in LV? And other lunch recommendations in/near Paris (on strip)

I really like Holsteins: good, solid burgers, creative, they know the difference between medium, medium rare, etc.....and of course, the crazy fun boozy shakes to go with that burger (day drinkin' is the norm in Vegas, right?). Speaking of drinking.... Bonus is the chandelier bar right there, really creative cocktails and people watching place.

Aug 13, 2014
sedimental in Las Vegas

What's for Dinner #319 -- Hot Town, Summer in the City Edition! [through August 18, 2014]

That looks wonderful. I use pork neck bones, chicken thighs and a few strips of bacon in my broth...so inexpensive and big flavor.

Love the egg in there!

Aug 13, 2014
sedimental in Home Cooking
1

Would you give up cooking or eating?

I think I love both equally...therefore, I would give up cooking. That way, I could spend my "kitchen time" creating cocktail recipes to pair with the food other people cooked for me ;)

Best wording to offer chef services as a gift to bride & groom

What about modifying your gift a little? Like offering to cook (and provide food for) a *specific* party of 6 (or more) that is more labor intensive and more dependent on some specific cooking skills or specialty ( rather than expense) they might really appreciate.

Like.... a tamale party, a french pastry party, dim sum, pulled pork sandwich party, real smoked BBQ, all duck confit appetizer party, okonomiyaki party, empanada or arepa party, turkish mezz, etc. none of these things would add much cost for you.
I have a lot of "themed" parties and everyone loves them. As far as food allergies, easy to take care of with a few adjustments and an addition of a nice fresh salad (in the theme) or fresh beautifully plated veg. High skill, low cost, no pressure on guests and host. Most things are heavily prepped before the party, so low mess too.

Easy to word.... My gift to you is an X party for 6 at your home, everything included but the beverages of your choice.

What's for Dinner #318 -- There Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues Edition! [through August 13, 2014]

That's funny. No, I didn't know about their origin...I just know they are good with drinks! I suppose it wouldn't make them more Scotch if I served with..... scotch on the rocks? Wear plaid? I'll work on it!

I am not sure what it is, but whenever I hear a Scottish accent, I can't stop myself from joining in. It's an addicting accent. My grandmothers accent was thick. I can be quite obnoxious with it :D

Aug 12, 2014
sedimental in Home Cooking

Mother kicked out of restaurant for changing baby's diaper at table.

Bare asses, big or small...urine and feces....do not need to be *anywhere* around other diners. It is common courtesy -and that is what restrooms are for. Restrooms also allow hands to be washed immediately after attending to personal business of any kind. Some things are just so darn basic....no?