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christy319's Profile

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El Cabrito

I've only been to the one in Lynnwood/Mountlake Terrace but I third the rec. The green rice that comes with the arroz con pollo! And the green sauce. So good.

Apr 16, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Do any Sichuan restaurants use whole, good-quality peppercorns here?

Interesting. Do you think the peppercorn levels specifically are pretty close? While I, like the OP, find myself wanting more peppercorn flavor, I have no idea if that's indeed what I'd get in Sichuan.

Apr 15, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Do any Sichuan restaurants use whole, good-quality peppercorns here?

I have never had good luck with Chiang's, though I know some here like it. Their food seems heavy, oily and bland to me--not spicy or peppercorn-y at all.

Apr 15, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Do any Sichuan restaurants use whole, good-quality peppercorns here?

Maybe scoopG is on to something. This was in a blog post on peppercorns by Fuschia Dunlop:

"Incidentally, I reckon the main reason for the scarcity of decent hua jiao in Chinese supermarkets is that they are mainly run by the Cantonese, who have little taste for the numbing sensation that the Sichuanese adore. Outside Sichuan, and Sichuanese restaurants abroad, Sichuan pepper is mainly used in spice mixtures, and for its medicinal qualities, so a lack of ma zinginess is not really missed."

http://www.fuchsiadunlop.com/the-true...

It couid be that the cooks up here aren't from Sichuan and just don't see the need for it.

Apr 15, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Do any Sichuan restaurants use whole, good-quality peppercorns here?

Basteagow, we're regulars at Bamboo Garden and visit 7 Stars and a few other places occasionally. Haha, there's no "Szechuan Regularly" restaurant...

Apr 14, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Do any Sichuan restaurants use whole, good-quality peppercorns here?

Interesting discussion. As I write this I'm sitting here eating some Huang Feu Hong Spicy Peanuts (highly recommended, if you haven't had them), chock full of whole peppercorns that are spilling across my paperwork. Anyway.

I'm not sure I buy the argument that they are just catering to white Seattlites by skimping on the peppercorns. I go to Szechuan regularly with a Chinese friend and the food is no different when I go with her. I've had her ask the waitresses for extra ma la but nothing comes of it. Once in a while I'll get something that has good peppercorn coverage but it's really random. Many of those spots (including Bamboo Garden, where I'm a regular) cater to a Chinese crowd, but I wonder if it's really a spice-loving Chinese crowd (beyond what you'd typically get at Szechuan, anyway). My friend doesn't love her food too spicy. So I wonder if in general, the clientele, Chinese and white, of these places is perceived to be not as tolerant of numbness/heat as the customers in a Houston restaurant would be. And so these restaurants think they can cheap out on the peppercorns because none of us will mind.

But I've eaten a lot of Szechuan in NYC and the Bay Area and it hasn't been different. In fact I've generally been disappointed when eating at legendary places like Spicy and Tasty in Flushing because I thought it would be SO much better than what we get here. It was good but not amazing. And not discernibly more full of peppercorns (and in general, I always want more peppercorns). But when traveling, maybe being a non-regular and a blonde does come in to play.

Apr 09, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Willows Inn on Lummi Island - Extreme NW Regionalism

That's less that 5 months out--I've made reservations more than 6 months in advance before. They have a reservation tool on their website so you can check right now.

Apr 09, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

Willows Inn on Lummi Island - Extreme NW Regionalism

Since we have an upcoming stay I called about the breakfast situation. They now don't give you a voucher for anything, and DO have breakfast at the Inn...but for $25/pp. Yikes. I thought breakfast was extraordinary but since dinner prices went up to $165/pp, another $50 for breakfast seems too much. I though Willows was a great value the past few years, with dinner $125 and such an amazing breakfast included, but it looks like they wised up. I expressed my disappointment to the reservationist but I imagine with all the accolades and bookings, they can do what they want. Boo.

Apr 08, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

Dot's Deli, Fremont

I've had a couple of dinners here in the remodeled space and enjoyed them. It's a very classic French bistro type menu. They make killer french style mashed potatoes but alas those are now off the menu for the spring. I had a nice bouilliaisse style fish stew the other day. I don't typically order green salads in restaurants but theirs is very good (they make a great viniagrette). The wines by the glass have been very good. My biggest complaint is the uncomfortable chairs, though I do like how casual the space feels in general--perfect for just dropping in in jeans on a weeknight. Desserts haven't been a strong point.

Apr 08, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Price Comparison: WF v PCC (Seattle)

bourbongal, which PCC do you go to? Like I said I've been shocked at the lack of local produce at the Greenlake store, but each store has its own produce buyer so others may be better.

Apr 02, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Price Comparison: WF v PCC (Seattle)

Because that $4.99 pork is factory farmed, mass produced and the animals are treated incredibly inhumanely. There are some awful, awful videos of pig farming up at the Humane Society's factory farming page; it'll make you happy to pay the $12.99 or buy right from a farmer's market at whatever that costs.

Apr 01, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Price Comparison: WF v PCC (Seattle)

I think PCC is more expensive, for what I buy anyway. They don't have anything equivalent to WF house ("365") brand, and I find the 365 stuff as cheap as TJs. When I was in my 20s I did 100% of my shopping at PCC (well, I worked there too) but I have nearly sworn off. I stopped in the other day for canola oil and the cheapest one they had was in a glass bottle and it was expensive. Not only are they too pricey, they never have the basics I need ie if I go for regular flour tortillas they have a million kinds of spelt and GF but not plain flour (or maybe one expensive kind). And the one in Greenlake anyway often won't carry local produce if it isn't organic, so I've been in the height of berry season and all they have are rock hard California berries in clamshells. The in season produce is generally more than you pay at a farmer's market. I'm not actually a fan of WF for local produce either--I think Ballard Market, little Ken's Market in my neighborhood, and the farmer's markets are where I go for that.

*whew* PCC rant over. But obviously you can just go shop there and see if it suits you.

Mar 27, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Loulay

The entrance is on the corner of 6th and Union so you can't even tell it's in the Sheraton. (Maybe there's a back door we didn't see?). The relationship seems like it's to the part of downtown where people where suits (not the case at 1st and Madison, where I work) rather than the hotel.

Mar 21, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Loulay

I had a nice lunch there today. Perfectly cooked halibut, nicely sauced, nice garnishes. They cater to the business lunch crowd and the food and service were snappy without feeling rushed. That said, I wish there would have been some kind of filling side--bread, vegetables, something. It really just was the fish and garnishes and I am hungry right now.

Mar 19, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Willows Inn on Lummi Island - Extreme NW Regionalism

Oh this is terrible news! Breakfast has been almost as memorable IMO as dinner. Unless we will be getting the same quality at the Beach House. I still dream about the gravlax. I haven't had any that came close to what I got at Willows for breakfast before or since.

Mar 11, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

Seattle's Best Sandwiches

I occasionally surprise my coworkers when I bring back the Romanesco (the beef sandwich) from Rain Shadow Meats, because I rarely eat meat and they always think I'm a vegetarian. But I love this sandwich.

Mar 06, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Seattle Food/Happy Hour recommendations with specifications.

My favorites, both of which have hh 5-7, are Tavolata and Boat Street Cafe (the latter only does it Tu-Th). I think Boat Street is romantic and it's French/NW. I agree with the Cafe Presse rec, too, though it's more like a very bustling French place as opposed to dark and romantic.

Looking at your list, I'm not sure many of those places are really known for their food OR drinks. Some of them may tick the dark and funky box (ie Gainsbourg) but I guess it depends on whether food or ambiance matters more.

Mar 05, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

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

I'm surprised to hear that so many folks have trouble in Ballard. I don't. Even, say, on a Saturday night, I always find a spot on Market St.

I was in upper Fremont last Friday night and had the worst time finding parking in memory. I was shocked at how bad that neighborhood has gotten. I don't have issues during the day (ie when I stop in to Eyes on Fremont to get my glasses adjusted) but on a weekend night...yikes.

Mar 05, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Boat Street Cafe--Hide the Ball & High Estrogen?

I'll admit I haven't had dinner there in ages, but it's one of our HH spots and a small group of us will typically order the entire HH menu. And it's been stellar, which is extra nice since so many good restaurants really phone in HH. That said, it seems like you have some legitimate complaints....

Feb 18, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle
1

Best casual restaurant in Seattle for a young couple this coming Valentine's day?

If you can skip going out on Valentine's for all the reasons mentioned already, hit up Boat Street for happy hour Tues-Thurs. You don't have to sit at the bar--you can get a real table--it's a romantic atmosphere, they have plenty of food choices, and overall it's a great pick for people trying to watch their wallets. You might look at the various happy hour threads and the recent "best value" thread for other ideas.

Also, for staying in, local stores sometimes have some great deals on special dinner items that people might want to cook for VD. Ie Town and Country Markets (Ballard Market, Central Market) has had lobster for $9.99/lb.

Feb 06, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Cascade Fresh Yogurt is gone!

Have you tried Nancy's, the kind where the fruit is separate? It's the only kind I'll eat--the fruit actually tastes like fruit (because it IS just crushed fruit and honey). I thought Cascade was awful--the fruit tasted like weird fruit flavor. It wasn't as bad as the mainstream grocery brands, though.

Feb 05, 2014
christy319 in General Topics

Beef Stroganoff - your best recipe?

This isn't a dish I'd ever liked but the Cook's Illustrated version linked above it great. Searing the meat until medium rare in larger pieces then slicing it at the end is a great idea, as is getting the water out of the mushrooms before adding them to the pan.

Jan 23, 2014
christy319 in Home Cooking

Best Value-to-Price Ratio in Seattle?

The $8 spaghetti and chicken meatballs during happy hour at Tavolata. Actually, the whole HH menu is a great value there, but this is one of my favorite dishes anywhere, and it's a dinner sized portion (I usually even bring some home) for $8.

Jan 16, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Seattle Knife Sharpening

Seattle Knife Sharpening is right by my house so I've become a regular. We've had only good experiences there and I'd also recommend them.

Jan 07, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Recommendation for 3 days (French, seafood)

Seafood: Rock Creek, Westward and Taylor Shellfish. I pick Rock Creek and Westward over anything downtown because they are locals places in real neighborhoods, and have great food and cool spaces. Westward is my current favorite--they are right on Lake Union amid the boats with a cool view and a fire pit. I like sitting at the bar looking outside and having $1 oysters for happy hour. You could have oysters and wine there then move on to Rock Creek for dinner--they are less than a couple miles apart. And Taylor is fun because it's so ultra casual--order at the counter, and it doesn't get any fresher.

Dec 30, 2013
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Wild shrimp?

Fresh Fish Co usually has these, but they won't be cheap.
Try Whole Foods--they have a number of kinds of frozen shrimp, and I think some might be wild at a relatively reasonable price (I'd call first though).

Ken's Market has had spot prawns from Rosario Strait in their freezer for a while. They are delicious but $22/lb/. I'm told local spots are harder to find because the tribes get most of the allotment, and their catch tends to end up in the casino restaurants now rather than being sold off rez.

Dec 12, 2013
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Uway Malatang Restaurant?

That looks really interesting, thanks for the head's up. The mini hot pot looks great as do the noodles (and the spicy sauce over noodles...intriguing....). I'll try not to hold the Szechuan burger against them. :)

So is the cooler set up like a salad bar, where you make a bowl of what you want then they put it in the hot pot?

Dec 11, 2013
christy319 in Greater Seattle

A Night Before Christmas, in Seattle...

I third Matt's, and I was going to say the same thing as Lauren--you get a good view of the Market Christmas vegetable lights (when it's dark). And the food's great (happy hour here is wonderful, if you don't want a full meal).

Canlis books far in advance during the holidays, so that might be a bigger stumbling block than the dress code. Having drinks in the bar is really fun--the piano player is amazing, and you can order from the menu (you don't have to follow the dress code there though you'd still want to look nice).

For other Christmas-y stuff...the Sheraton does a gingerbread village. Pioneer Square puts some lights on trees but I think that's about it.

Waterfront area=touristy and not that interesting. But if it's clear, why not ride the wheel? If the weather is good, taking the 30 minute ferry to Bainbridge Island and wandering around main street over there could be fun. There are a few good places to eat, ie Marche and Hitchcock.

Dec 04, 2013
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Reasonabley Priced Food in Whistler?

I know the OP is long gone but I've found a few to add--I'd love to know about other's new Whistler finds as well.

I'll second Cure Lounge in the Nita Lake Lodge. They do a surprisingly nice job for a reasonable price. I just had a pretty generous bowl of Thai-ish seafood stew that was absolutely delicious, for $10. The fish and chips was also very good--definitely not frozen fish. They do sliders during "après" (I guess you can't have happy hour in BC?) for $5, and have beer and wine for $5 as well. I like Samurai Sushi in Creekside; it's a hole in the wall, order at the counter, very popular with locals. Fuji Japanese Grocery, by the Convention Center, has a take out counter and cooler with to go items as well. Neither of these would be anything to write home about it a city but here in Whistler, I am thrilled for these options.

I just tried Southside Diner as well and would third the recommendation.

I got a sandwich from Ingrid's today, and I know locals love the place, but salsa on a sandwich? There's a lot of odd, hippie-ish combos there. But prices are good.

Nov 29, 2013
christy319 in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

Roux? Matt's Truck

That's a shame. Let's hope it was an anomoly and there was a good reason for it. I've always had to wait for my food (shrimp and grits or po'boy) and it was definitely made to order.

Nov 26, 2013
christy319 in Greater Seattle