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3 Nights in Jaipur

Will be interested to hear where you ate, GordonS. This is not necessarily finest dining, but the meal I had at the Chokhi Dhani village was Rajasthani cuisine, and it was definitely different from the food I ate in Delhi. Lots of ghee on everything. I ate in the Gorband:

Feb 27, 2010
chipqmunk in India & South Asia

Must eat, must drink - Seattle and Portland

VooDoo is worth a stop for the atmosphere or if you want to try one with odd stuff on top like Tang or Capn Crunch cereal, but the donuts themselves are just good, not great.

However, if you want a donut that blows Krispy Kreme out of the water, try Top Pot in Seattle. The 5th Ave. location is within walking distance of several of the Tom Douglas restaurants. And right about now, they should be bringing the pumpkin old fashioneds back out. Makes me long for a Top Pot store in PDX (not including the sad version you can find at Starbucks).

If you want to eat at Pok Pok or Apizza Scholls, either get there right at 5 pm or be prepared to wait an hour. But the food is great once you're in. And from Pok Pok, you can walk a couple of blocks to Pix Patisserie for dessert.

Also, look up the food cart scene in downtown Portland (it is mentioned elsewhere on this board).

Sep 21, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Clover coffee brewers (SEA)

The Starbucks at 4th & Columbia has one. I've been reading about the Stumptown mishegoss in Portland, so while I was in Seattle last week, I opted to try a "promotional" cup from the Clover to taste what the hype is all about. While waiting for my cup to brew, I enjoyed watching the little hockey puck of coffee grounds rise up from the brewhole in the center of the machine. It was a decent, smooth cup of coffee. I can't say I was wowed. Maybe if the coffee had been made with Stumptown's beans...

Sep 09, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Kefir in SEA

No way, raspberry is the best flavor! Just about every major grocery with a health food section will have some brand of ready to drink kefir. I always see it at Fred Meyer. Whole Foods has single serving containers, which is great for taking to work or school.

Aug 26, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Best Nachos in Portland?

Another related question...any good chilaquiles in Portland? It seems like something Por Que No would do really well but I don't see it on their menu.

Aug 26, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Best cinnamon rolls/buns in PDX

For taste test purposes only, the cinnamon rolls at Country Cat's weekend brunch have a heavenly brown sugar/butter mix swirled on them. But I don't think those are available during the week for sharing with the office.

Aug 13, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Lunch (to-go) for 100 (Seattle)

Is Gretchen's or Specialty's too close to the riot inducing sub sandwich lunch? They are both capable of box lunches to feed 100 and the food is better quality than a national chain sub store.

Gretchen's Shoe Box Express
2415 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA

Specialty's Cafe & Bakery
505 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

Aug 12, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Sell yourself, Portland!

If you have to point out that you're not being churlish....
(I probably just invited another round of "I am not!")

Hey tjennis, how about you sell yourself a little to this board (as explained in the previous posts) so the locals don't feel like their efforts are wasted. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from (somewhere noplace near the PNW)? That might help in defining what you consider "Pacific Northwest cuisine".

Aug 12, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Noisy Restaurants: A painful experiance

Cactus Ya Ya in Vancouver, WA
Crow on lower Queen Anne in Seattle

Just invest in a little sound baffling! The noise pings all over the ceiling and walls and I end up nodding and smiling with no idea what's being said.

Jul 29, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

First Post! Vegas Chowhound in PN. 2 weeks

To each their own, but I really like their donuts, especially the pumpkin and the apple with cinnamon dusting. They are best eaten fresh from the source, the ones sitting around in a grocery store case all day are admittedly less than awesome. I like Top Pot too but sometimes they are just too much sugar and grease overload for one donut.

Jul 15, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

First Post! Vegas Chowhound in PN. 2 weeks

This might be outside the confines of true Chowhoundyness, but when you say you want a real feel for Seattle, I want to recommend locations to you, not just the top trendiest restaurants.

Like Ray's Boathouse out by the Shilshole marina where you can sit on the deck and get a great view of Puget Sound and the boats coming in and out of the Ballard locks. And the food is pretty decent (try the mussels in Thai red curry).

And you didn't ask for breakfast or snacks, but you have got to try Mighty-O vegan donuts in the Tangletown intersection in the Greenlake neighborhood. And Kisaku right across the street is one of the better sushi restaurants in town. Then you can walk off all that good food with a stroll around Greenlake.

Jul 14, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Pizza in Portland

Tastebud (across from the Aladdin theater). Just went there last night and found it by accident because we needed a place to eat dinner before a show. Pretty darn good pizza. When I looked them up on this board afterwards, the only thing I could find was references to the wood fired bread they sell at various farmers markets around town. I didn't know about Taste Bud Farm. Apparently their restaurant has only been open since early 2008.

I tried the one with pancetta, mascarpone and arugula. Nice chewy crust and the toppings gave it a good salty buttery flavor. Maybe a little too salty. I wasn't so sure about having salad on top of a pizza but the flavor complemented it. It seemed right to have a fresh bite of greens with the pizza crust. I also had a glass of the sweet Lambrusco which helped to balance the savory/salty. I'd definitely go back and try other pizzas.

Taste Bud Farm
3220 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR 97202

Jul 06, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Astoria, Oregon - one night?

If you like good fish & chips and don't care so much about fancy atmosphere, the Ship Inn is good.

Sunset magazine recently had a page on Astoria and mentioned Drina Daisy. It sounded good, but I haven't tried it.

Ship Inn Restaurant & Family Pub
1 2nd St, Astoria, OR 97103

Drina Daisy
915 Commercial St, Astoria, OR 97103

Jul 02, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Report on dining in Gustavus, Alaska

Just spent a week seeing the sights around Glacier Bay and we found some decent food.

Right now, the Glacier Bay Lodge inside the national park is pretty decent. Nothing too creative but solid offerings (your basic Dungeness crab boil, salmon dinner, halibut tacos). The sweet potato fries on the deck menu are excellent. The coffee is atrocious, and we fantasized about buying the 8 acres for sale near the town's four corner intersection and starting up an espresso shop.

We ate one night at the Gustavus Country Inn which has a chef with some imagination not expected for that area. The prix fixe dinner included a Thai coconut chicken soup, some really delicious shrimp skewers with a chili strawberry dipping sauce, and a berry kiwi cheese tart with a biscuit crust.

The town pizza restaurant was okay. They also serve a halibut melt sandwich that was quite good.

Of course, our hosts at the Blue Heron B&B deserve a shout out for putting on a tasty and non-stop breakfast every morning.

After reading some other Alaska threads on this board, my expectations were low going into this trip. The diner at the Juneau airport did nothing to raise them, but if you like the local food Alaska has to offer, how can it get any better than right out of the sea? I just wish we could have been there when the local organic gardens are in full swing.

Jun 29, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Two Nights in PDX

Just had a meal at Tanuki yesterday. The restaurant setup is still a little rough around the edges but the food was interesting and delicious! We had chicken gyoza, marinated duck wings and the Osaka griddle cake with bay shrimp. I tried a drinking vinegar with apple juice and it was good. I like the tap water flavored with lemon, cucumber and celery. My only complaint is I really needed a wet wipe after eating the duck wing, even after licking the delicious sauce off my fingers. And it is impossible to eat the griddle cake with chop sticks--the dish is stacked in layers and really needs knife and fork action.

May 18, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Recs for 2 days in SF Nob Hill/financial

Reporting back on my trip, thanks to everyone for the recommendations. I wish I had more time to try them all, but here's what I did do. First day, co-workers took me to lunch at Tadich Grill. Had the seared ahi and scallop from the lunch specials. The tuna was tender and delicious, covered with a light sesame oil sauce, the scallop was a little chewy, and the pea vine salad was good with its creamy dill dressing. Very nice business lunch spot. The coworkers knew to come early because it got crowded quickly.

I found the Whole Foods on California & Franklin, and just picked up some dinner supplies to eat in my room. Very classy to check into the Mark Hopkins with a paper bag in tow!

The next morning, I walked down the hill to find Sugar Cafe but I must be an idiot because I am pretty sure I walked right by but never found it. The walk back up the hill was invigorating...

That night, I had dinner at the Nob Hill Cafe. I went early and had no problem getting a table. Had the melon and prosciutto starter (mainly because it reminded me of The Sopranos) and pasta alla carbonara. It wasn't a wow meal, but it was quite tasty and inspired me to make the appetizer at home. I love salt on melon, so I don't know why I have never tried it with prosciutto before. If I lived in that neighborhood, I would probably end up there quite often. The environment was very casual and comfortable.

Recs for 2 days in SF Nob Hill/financial

Looking for recommendations for espresso in the morning, and a light meal and dessert in the evening near the Intercontinental hotel. Although I'm staying there for work reasons, the hotel itself sounds a little too swanky for my tastes. I don't plan to dress up for dinner, and I'll be dining alone. Any ideas for good Asian, Mediterranean, Sicilian cuisines? Thanks in advance!

Cheap Eats in Jantzen Beach?

I don't know about good food on the Oregon side, but if you cross the bridge into downtown Vancouver WA (which might require a car), some non-chain options are Tommy O's or Pepper's Taqueria at 8th & Washington, Waterlily Cafe at 8th & C street, or Paradise Cafe at 13th & Main.

Mar 29, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Sushi Downtown Seattle / Belltown / Q.Anne.

Shiro's is still good. Just went there 2 weeks ago, sat at the bar and had omakase. I am afraid to try uni anywhere else because it might ruin the good experience I've had twice now at Shiro.

Jan 30, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

SoCal (OC) Hound tripping to Astoria OR

Here's a link to my last comment on Astoria:

I didn't mention it there, but we also ate at the Silver Salmon Grille. The food was fine and the portions were huge. It's a good restaurant for a small town, and it seemed like the kind of place locals would go for a nice dinner. It's not going to knock your socks off with local charm and a unique PNW experience, but you will get a decent meal.

Here's a link to the Oregonian newspaper's blog from May 2007 with comments about Astoria restaurants and other local things to do that might help:

Jan 30, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurant near PDX?

Sebetti, I can only speak for a few items on the menu. I don't go that often, so I keep getting the same thing (the mixed plate of hummus, baba ghanouj, tabouli, falafel, stuffed grape leaves and fried cauliflower).
I have also tried the lamb shawarma sandwich (good flavor, a little too much sauce), kibbeh (good), sambousak (kind of plain mini meat pies, mine came with slivered almonds instead of the advertised pine nuts), fatoush salad (tossed with too much dressing and too strong, would be better with more plain lettuce), baklava (I like Greek style better).

Jan 05, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurant near PDX?

Ya Hala is right across the street from Country Cat. The decor is a little old and worn, but they have a mezza plate with pita bread that comes out hot and puffed up to the size of a football, decent hummus and this really good smoky baba ghanouj. I can make a meal of the appetizer plate.

Jan 04, 2008
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Located in Fremont despite efforts to not be...

Go to Kao Samai and order the mieng kham appetizer. It is a lot of fun and really tasty.

Stop by Simply Desserts and pick up a slice of the chocolate caramel cake or the pumpkin orange cake.

Have sushi at Chiso.

Dec 18, 2007
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Second Annual Ultimate Seattle Restaurant Poll (2007)


Dec 16, 2007
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Spokane - Fine Dining Recs?

As someone who used to live in Spokane, I found Retired Chef's assessment a great read (well, it would be funny if it weren't so sadly true!). I don't profess to have an expert palate, but I know that once you've had the authentic version of certain foods, it's hard to go back to the Spokane version.

Don't waste your time trying to find big city fine dining. Spokane is the big city for a lot of rural small towns, and it's very family oriented, so many restaurant offerings are either bad because people don't know any better or they are chains that cater to family dining.

However, the region does have some nice things to offer. They may be fewer and farther apart than in a bigger city, but they are there. Your best bet is to focus on the small, interesting places and appreciate things like restaurants that make use of locally grown fruits and vegetables in season.

I have mentioned this elsewhere on the boards, but Thai Kitchen in the Spokane Valley on Pines Road is THE best Thai food in the area. The owners close for holidays at will, and the wait can be excruciating when you're hungry, but it's worth it.

I haven't tried every place on Retired Chef's list, but I can add my recommendations to Gordy's, Mizuna, Moxie, Taste of India and The Elk. I liked White House, but I like garlic in my Greek food.

This may be part of your previous convoluted trek, but Yakima and Walla Walla are both towns gaining notoriety for producing some quality wines, and they are within a few hours' drive from Spokane.

Also, you mentioned golf, and Spokane does have some nice courses.

Dec 13, 2007
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

SEA: Need recs for a great sicilian-american/italian-american place

Ditto the recommendation for La Vita e Bella and Mondello. But go to Mondello if you want the best spaghetti carbonara ever. It's not on the menu at the Belltown location. The lasagna (available at both) is also to die for.

Dec 09, 2007
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

Best food of the best in Portland

Thank you for the pandan info!

I'm sorry your experiences at CC were so bad! Agreed -- no excuse for that. I'd be leery of going back if that happened to me.

Mabaland, the November issue of Portland Monthly states that Alberta St. Oyster Bar & Grill is closed.

Dec 08, 2007
chipqmunk in Metro Portland

Best food of the best in Portland

Wow, harsh words for Country Cat. I have been 4 or 5 times, and the worst thing I can say is inconsistent quality (the lamb was excellent one night, tough another) and recipes that just didn't work for me (the oyster stew was merely a collection of ingredients). Everything else I've tried has been very good, especially the weekend brunch items.

Another vote for Pok Pok. Ask the server what they put in the carafe of water (some kind of spice or seed?). I can't remember what they told me, but the flavor instantly took me back to Bangkok.

Also agree on the earlier comment about Voodoo Donuts. It's an experience to stand in line in a funky little establishment for a donut topped with Cap'n Crunch or Tang, but that's about it.

Dec 07, 2007
chipqmunk in Metro Portland

Spokane Foods

Care package sounds like you need foods that can travel well by mail. So my recommendation of a Zip's "Belly Buster" hamburger, tub of fries and fry sauce are probably right out. As would be a slice of David's pizza.

You have to include something from Spokandy (just for the name alone). The Nut Factory has been around for a long time & sells packages of nut mixes and candies. It's not strictly Spokane but Cougar Gold cheese made at Washington State University is sold by the tin so it travels well. Also not strictly Spokane but well known in that part of the country is food with huckleberries in it (jams, syrups, candies).

Nov 13, 2007
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest

The Ship Inn in Astoria, OR

Just came back from an overnight in Astoria and tried the fish and chips at Ship Inn and Wet Dog. Both were overall good experiences. At Ship Inn, had a half order of the combination which included 1 butterflied shrimp, 1 scallop, 1 oyster, 1 piece of cod, 1 piece of halibut. Great flavor and satisfied a fish & chips craving. The next day had fish & chips at the Wet Dog cafe which included tuna, cod and salmon. Ship Inn's fish has a thicker and more flavorful batter coating, Wet Dog's chunks of fish were bigger. The tartar sauce tastes about the same at both places. The coleslaw looked fresher at Wet Dog but then I'm not big on coleslaw. The negatives were one piece of tuna at Wet Dog tasted fishy like it wasn't as fresh. And Ship Inn doesn't have a very appealing ambiance with its dated, dark interior, but if you go during the day and sit by a window, it's fine.

Nov 11, 2007
chipqmunk in Pacific Northwest