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christy319's Profile

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Des Moines Update

Surprisingly, I haven't heard about Tasty Tacos...I know about Taco Pizza, and my relatives in eastern Iowa love what they call "walking tacos" which I find baffling on a number of levels (like, you can walk with a regular taco).

about 6 hours ago
christy319 in Great Plains

Alaskan Cruise Stopping in Juneau & Skagway

Oh, right! I had a terrific lox bagel at the Silverbow. It's just a bagel bakery/deli but great for that.

about 6 hours ago
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

MSP Hound visiting end of June - Rec's needed - San Juan Islands

I just saw this in the Times:
http://seattletimes.com/html/travel/2...

about 6 hours ago
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

Taylor Shellfish at Pioneer Square

We tried to go for lunch yesterday, and were greeted with a sign that said "we're all shucked out!". Their inaugural HH on Tuesday must have been much busier than anticipated. So we ended up at London Plane, where I convinced myself that I need to stop trying Matt Dillon's places. I just don't like his food. At all. Though I love that he's opening popular spots in Pioneer Square--every little bit helps that area.

about 6 hours ago
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Des Moines Update

We're in town for a wedding and all of our meals are accounted for, between rehearsal dinner/wedding/husband reliving childhood favorite's ie George the chili king. But thanks.

1 day ago
christy319 in Great Plains

Des Moines Update

Thanks, I'll look at websites for all of these spots.

jhojati, it didn't necessarily have to be a craft cocktail bar, but someplace I could get a gin and tonic and not have to choose between only Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire. I'm not sure if Iowa laws allow for local distilleries but if so, the kind of place that would have locally made liquor. Or a classic, old school spot is great, or a restaurant with a bar area--Lucca sounds nice. I'll look at the websites of the spots you mentioned--that's really just what I was hoping for, a list of places that make "better" cocktails.

I'll skip the breweries as beer is my drink of last resort, and anyway I live in Seattle and can't throw a rock without hitting a brewery. :)

Jul 22, 2014
christy319 in Great Plains

Des Moines Update

Can anyone recommend a good cocktail bar downtown? We're staying at the Embassy Suites so something within a mile or so?

Jul 22, 2014
christy319 in Great Plains

MSP Hound visiting end of June - Rec's needed - San Juan Islands

I get wine at Roses--its where I also buy bread, and cheese if I need it. I get oysters, clams, crabs and salmon at Buck Bay Shellfish Farm. The main grocery is good--I'm always surprised at what I find there (mini Vermont Creamery cultured butters, signs advertising whole pigs, a locally made habenero sauce that I now love). There's a natural food store but I haven't been in in ages. I get baked goods and desserts at Roses or Brown Bear Baking.

I don't know why another poster is telling you to stock up elsewhere. We don't even bring much up from Seattle.

Jul 16, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

Alaskan Cruise Stopping in Juneau & Skagway

It's VERY touristy, but you can get decent crab at Tracy's Crab Shack. I don't think the crab rolls are as good as what I can get at my favorite places down here in WA state, but they were pretty good. I did a lot of research but didn't find anything else in Juneau worth mentioning.

Jul 15, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

Rain Shadow Meats - first experience not stellar

I love the roast beef/romanesco sandwich (can't remember what they call it). But, it's just a sandwich. I love the place because it's in an area (save Salumi) that doesn't have a ton of great options for sandwiches, there's not the line Salumi has, and so I go for work lunches. But maybe expectations play into this. I wouldn't make a special trip to Pioneer Square to get this sandwich.

Jul 04, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Chippy's

I asked my QA friends about it once and they steered me away, and the menu isn't appealing to me--there's so much fried, and the remainder either just doesn't sound great to me, or it's stuff I could make at home but probably better ie grilled salmon and coleslaw. If it was in my neighborhood I'd try it; maybe there's something I'd like.

Jun 16, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

MSP Hound visiting end of June - Rec's needed - San Juan Islands

Just to weigh in on the between Seattle and Anacortes bit: Stop at Skagit's Own Fish for lunch--especially for crab rolls and other local crab and shrimp dishes. It's not NW at all but the other day they were out of ALL of their crab items so we got the lobster roll--$12.99 and as good as many I've had in Maine. Also read up on Edison and Bow and see if that interests you as a food stop.

We go to Orcas once or twice a year but always get a cabin and usually cook in, so while I can tell you where to buy your oysters, I'm not up on the restaurants anymore. As you can imagine the islands don't have much of an immigrant population so you wouldn't go there expecting ethnic food. There are also no uber fancy places. I have New Leaf and Doe Bay (this used to be a very hippie café but I've heard it's very good vegetarian now, and it's a unique and pretty setting) on my list for our upcoming trip but may not get there before you do. You'll have to post a report so I can read it and piggyback off your picks!

Jun 14, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

Chippy's

Based on the comments and expectations here, I'm thinking it's unfortunately named. It's not a fish and chips place like Ivar's. They have it, but it's expensive, though I liked the cod quite a lot. The niche it fills is for the casual seafood spot--why we don't have places that serve crab rolls, salmon sandwiches, seafood salads, cocktails and ceviches, etc. and such all over town I've never understood. I've always wanted a place like the Market Grill, but cleaner, nearer to me and serving dinner, and Chippy's scratches that itch (someone will probably say Ballard Bros., but I think they're quite mediocre). The fact that it's got a bar is a plus.

Jun 14, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Molly Moon's #6 in the WORLD

Mora is fantastic.

Bluebird is right by my house and I want to love it, but the service--you'll wait a half hour in line if there are 6 people in front of you, since it's only one person doing the scooping and cashiering--and the weird quirks (they don't have cups. They put ice cream in coffee cups, with the lid with a hole in it, Why. Why???). I do love the waffle cones though.

Has anyone had the ice cream sandwiches made of Parisian style macarons at Parfait? They are delicious. But Parfait also doesn't have good to go bowls. They give you a real bowl, but then put an upside down bowl on top and saran wrap the whole thing. What is wrong with the little ice cream makers in this town that no one can buy normal cups with lids?

Jun 12, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Good wine store in Santa Fe

I'd like to get a gift certificate for a friend in Santa Fe, hopefully one that I can print out online. I see La Casa Sena does that--opinions? I'm not sure what part of town he lives in, unfortunately.

Jun 10, 2014
christy319 in Southwest

No more breakfast at Willows Inn

Oh, I really liked the chestnut thing, but I do like chestnuts--especially chestnut soup and ice cream (not together), which we see in France in season.

Jun 10, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

Dot's closing

I really liked Dot's, the last incarnation that is, but it was never even close to full when we went. That's actually something I really liked, that when everything else was bound to be booked we could have a very good meal in a casual space where we could walk right in. But I'm not surprised to hear that they weren't doing well. Maybe the classic French dishes just aren't what the neighborhood wanted. I wanted them, but French doesn't seem that popular right now.

Jun 09, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Getting Off Bolt Bus; Have Two Hours to Kill

You get dropped off at 5th in the ID, right? If so, go to Green Leaf or Thai Curry Simple. You can kill more time at a café (lots of choices in the 'hood) if you need to.

Jun 09, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

No more breakfast at Willows Inn

The rosehip-salmonberry dish I posted was by far the best dessert I've had there. In 3 visits they just haven't been noteworthy. I'm not much of a sweets person so this doesn't actually bother me; I'd rather have them make the effort in the savory category, since I can get dessert or baked goods a million places in Seattle.

Jun 09, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

No more breakfast at Willows Inn

Yeah, I've been to Per Se three times and I think I might put Willows over it. Willows is just more FUN, more relaxed, I love how there's always an amazing sunset and everyone starts running outside to take photos. And you don't feel so obscenely stuffed at the end. No tums needed at Willows.

Jun 09, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

No more breakfast at Willows Inn

I don't typically like fish skin so I was scared of this halibut skin thing but it was delicious. I don't know what the filling was but it was great. I did a pescetarian menu but my husband agreed the two meat dishes ie the lamb were his least favorite courses.

Jun 09, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

No more breakfast at Willows Inn

We were there this weekend and had such an extraordinary dinner I kind of forgave them about the breakfast thing. They also were extremely generous with the wine.

We went downstairs to the Taproot Café and bought "The Willows" breakfast, which was a platter with a bunch of different house made things, from granola to gravlax to a biscuit to a soft boiled egg. You can order these things a la carte. Given the summer prices of rooms I do think they should set up something simple in the lobby, even just granola, milk and fruit, along with the coffee that's there.

Jun 09, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

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

It's exactly as spicy as it should be. :) (It's not really that spicy, but it looks like it is). The Bamboo Garden version has wood ear mushrooms, tofu and sprouts, and I love the extra stuff in it. Lol, the fish is probably my least favorite part. I've seen the dish made with tofu, and with chicken, in the Bay Area--I think a similar broth is used as the base for a lot of different combos.

I actually haven't been back to BG since the staff change fiasco I described earlier in this thread (this is the longest I've gone without going there in...ever) and I'm really scared they won't serve us the right version of Swimming Fire Fish, that they'll dumb it down somehow. I will be crushed.

Jun 05, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

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

Are you guys talking about water boiled fish (one of the many names for the dish)? I'm not getting any Google results for the name you use. If so, Bamboo Garden's Swimming Fire Fish is my favorite version of this dish I've ever had, from NYC to BC ( disclaimer: I've never had it on China). 7SP version is lackluster IMO, or, at least it was-maybe I need to give it another shot. I don't think mine came with sprouts or anything but fish, which was one of my complaints.

Jun 04, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Chippy's

Problems with rapid growth aside, you won't hear me complaining about the good food in the 'hood. I sure don't long for the days when Yankee Diner, Denny's and Louie's were the main restaurants, when there was no farmer's market...

May 28, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Chippy's

It didn't fall apart--it held together very nicely in fact. I just think that type of Bahn Mi roll has no flavor. I don't really enjoy it on Bahn Mi, either. I can see why they use it--if it's a choice between that or either making their own buns, or using a harder, denser roll, it's probably the obvious choice.

May 28, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Chippy's

Loved it. This is the kind of casual (well, it's not Ivar's-casual, but casual enough) seafood place that I've always wondered why Seattle doesn't have more of. Delicious crab roll, though I do wish it would have come on a buttered split top bun rather than a bahn mi roll, though they probably would have to make their own buns and maybe they are trying to put a west coast spin on things. Cod and chips (great fries, very potato-y), delicious. Shrimp ceviche, very nice. There is almost nothing on the menu that doesn't sound good to me. Full bar, good space.

May 27, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

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

I think I know that dish as Chong qing hot chicken:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/married...

If that's the same one, you can reliably find that on Szechuan menus, though it sounds like you've found a great version. Thanks for the tip.

May 22, 2014
christy319 in Greater Seattle

Buy ramps in Seattle?

The Ballard Market (the store) has had them for a while now.

May 22, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest

any updates about Methow Valley / Winthrop WA?

There's gas in Mazama, at the store, 14 miles west of Winthrop.

We regularly rent the same cabin in Mazama but it has a full kitchen and we have a dog, so we just cook in. The one food thing I'd say not to miss is the bagels at the Mazama Store. I've never had bagels like that outside of NYC. They are a world apart from what you get in Seattle or anywhere in the west. So good. But you need to get to the store by 7:30 or so. They use most of them for egg sandwiches, and the rest sell fast.

It's not exactly new anymore, but if you haven't been to Kelly's at Wesola Polana, it's a very pleasant place to have a beer or meal outside.

And I don't know if this is a fairly recent change, or if just has always escaped my notice because it's in Twisp and we stay in Mazama. But Hank's Harvest Foods (grocery) is great. Good local and specialty products, cheese, wine, and they do a Saturday seafood market where they sell only wild fish. The taxidermied animals on display...I'm not sure if I'm fascinated or repulsed.

May 21, 2014
christy319 in Pacific Northwest