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La Carta de Oaxaca - good?

With the possible exception of salmon roasted on an alder plank, and our local fresh oysters and crab, Seattle really does not have a specific "signature dish" or even a well-defined regional cuisine. But we do have a vibrant restaurant scene, which makes your question really broad.

By reading other threads on the Seattle board and the ubiquitous "best of" lists elsewhere on the web, you can see the galaxy of well-received restaurants in town. After doing some initial homework, we can help narrow potential choices based on the type of food you are drawn to, location, breakfast/lunch/dinner, etc.

Here are just a few:

Upscale, with a view: Canlis
Cozy French Bistro at the Pike Place Market: Le Pichet
Superb shellfish in Ballard: Walrus & The Carpenter
Cozy Italian on Capitol Hill: Cascina Spinasse
Gastropub, also on Capitol Hill: Quinn's
Great Happy Hour with Louisiana-inspired small plates (good breakfast spot too) near Seattle Center: Toulouse Petit
Fun hipster cocktail bar in Belltown: Rob Roy
Great Lunch in Pioneer Square: Salumi
Great seafood downtown: Blueacre
Great seafood in the north end: Rock Creek

...and I will gladly stand by Senor Moose and Barrio as places where you would not "waste" a meal.

Like Bax, I have had plenty of Mexican food in southwestern states (and in Mexico) and ~overall~ the ~average~ fare closer to Mexico itself is unquestionably better than in Seattle. But (unlike Bax), I've eaten at all of the places mentioned here, and a number hold their own, and will also give you a different spin from what you might see on the plate in San Antonio, Los Angeles, etc. Seattle is not the wasteland for Mexican food it was 20 or 30 years ago, when Mama's Mexican Kitchen was as good as it got.

Enjoy planning your visit, and narrowing down your many choices.

Feb 27, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

La Carta de Oaxaca - good?

Sadly, my experience over time is similar. I really liked the place as recently as a couple of years ago. Great complex mole sauces, the Oaxacan focus leads to dishes that are a little different from the usual suspects in Mexican restaurants, and there was attention to detail in everything they put on the plate.

But the last time I was there, the flavors seemed washed out, the portions were smaller, and I was a little embarrassed because I had brought along some first-timers to whom I had trumpeted the virtues La Carta, AND we had to line up for a fairly long while before we were seated, only to be disappointed in our meals.

In addition to the alternatives already mentioned, I will add Senor Moose, just a short distance away in Ballard. Silly name but consistently wonderful food.

If the OP can stand a trek to Capitol Hill and is interested in sampling Mezcals, Barrio is a good choice.

Feb 24, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Food Fight!

My own RR2 (29th Printing, 2011) shows the first printing of that volume was in September 1976.

In my own (very modest) collection of Louisiana cookbooks, that RR2 one was the only recipe I could locate in any book older than 1990. The relatively recent advent of the dish was a surprise to me.

Once the 2015 crawfish figure out what to do, and when to appear, after this very odd winter weather pattern, I hope to lay hands on a batch of live crawfish and attempt a proper (non-roux) original etouffee.

HH (or anyone), if you can point me to decent pre-roux style method in a recipe that might be found in any book, or at an online site, I'd be most grateful.

Whether or not that happens (I'll wing it if need be), thank you HH and other NOLA hounds for an enlightening thread.

Feb 21, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Bee Pollen

Amazon.com

Feb 16, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Midnight snack?

I don't know... but to me, if you are headed out the hotel door to make it to a 7:30 am restaurant breakfast, I would not be looking at Verti Marte meal past midnight the night before.

Their fare is great for soaking up alcohol before you can crash and sleep in, but I don't think it makes that good a venue for a quick light snack before getting up early for a real breakfast followed by a full work day.

These midnight meal and early breakfast ideas seem like an either/or situation to me.

Feb 13, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

4th NOLA trip End of March

Yes. And Numbers 1, 2 & 4 comprise essential parts of Number 3.

Feb 12, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

4th NOLA trip End of March

My experience is that most of the clubs in New Orleans don't book the acts that many weeks ahead, so I would start checking the calendar at Gambit and WWOZ when you have about two weeks to go, and you should see all of your choices beginning to appear.

The list of "good bands" regularly appearing in NOLA is nothing short of mind-boggling, but folks here can help narrow your options when you/we know who will be playing on the exact nights that you can go out and soak up the music.

You can (and should) stream WWOZ's broadcasts on your computer at home. That will put you in the musical mood for your visit, and also allow to sample the current wide array of music styles on tap by local artists. Heading into Mardi Gras weekend, it will be an especially festive time on that spectacular radio station.

Enjoy the visit.

Feb 12, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

4th NOLA trip End of March

You can also see complete Gambit listings and features online:

http://www.bestofneworleans.com/

Feb 12, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Adieu, Elysian. Thanks for the Sellout

I think you missed the point. The point was this is happening with a company that happily marketed its own products in this way:

https://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Khsu...

Now when you drink a bottle of Elysian, the profits from the sale of that bottle go to a giant foreign corporation called InBev that acquired Anheuser-Busch in 2008, and which has made many controversial cost-cutting moves in the countless brands that it owns worldwide ever since.

You should enjoy your Kraft macaroni and your can of Busch if you wish. You should celebrate "capitalism at its best" in the form of building a strong local brand, and then selling it out to foreign ownership, so that all of the profit will now flow overseas, if that's your definition of a "best" outcome. But ("puh-leeze!") also allow others to note the irony when this is done by a group of owners who marketed a Sub Pop branded beer with the "Corporate Beer Still Sucks" motto.

Good food, but not loud

If you'd like to introduce them to Northwest seafood, I'd suggest Blueacre. The food is great, and the restaurant is big and spacious and the tables are nicely spread apart so it is easy to enjoy quiet conversation.

The chef/owner spent five years as Executive Chef at Arnaud's in the French Quarter, and the menu always includes a couple of dishes with a Creole touches, but the emphasis is on simply prepared fresh fish.

The restaurant is in the heart of downtown and is within a convenient distance of most major hotels. Free (validated) parking is available after 5 pm in a parking garage that is within a block of the restaurant.

https://www.blueacreseafood.com/

Feb 05, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle
1

NorCal Hounds with kids heading to NOLA: Feedback on my proposed plan, please!

As an enthralled regular visitor (rather than a resident) I would never put Commander's Palace in the category of "tourist trap." Rest assured that locals do indeed "actually" eat there. CP's turtle soup, tasso shrimp hennican, and various other dishes, make for a very pleasant trap for any person with functioning taste buds, and the setting and service in the historic space are exquisite and unique. Fixed price lunches in the beautiful room upstairs are a steal.

Likewise the Emeril's properties are no longer the latest "trending" bright and shiny things in the Crescent City, but they continue to operate at a very high level, and I think your well-behaved kids might enjoy the energy in the room at the original Warehouse District location. Certainly they'd enjoy attacking the killer banana cream pie dessert.

Jan 28, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans
1

Recomendations for 3 days in New Orleans

Full disclosure, the following comes to you from a regular visitor, not a resident.

1. Technically in the Irish Channel (which adjoins the Garden District) but an easy stroll away: Atchafalaya: http://www.atchafalayarestaurant.com/

2. Parkway: http://www.parkwaypoorboys.com/

3. I tend to be of the mind that when it gets too creative, it is no longer truly Creole. Commander's Palace comes as close to that definition as any restaurant that comes to mind. Brigtsen's, Emeril's (flagship), Bayona, or Herbsaint would be nice as well.

4. I am going to pass on this one (haven't been to some, like Borgne), but I do think Domenica is very good if you'd like Italian one night, and the Happy Hour pricing is crazy good ( http://domenicarestaurant.com/ ).

5. I am going to pass on this one too. Go Seahawks.

Jan 27, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Drinking on valentines day

The little bar in Il Bistro would be perfect. Cozy, romantic, and strong for both cocktails and wine.

Jan 27, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

New Olrean's Hole-in-the-Walls

It is Dooky Chase, not "Dorky."

http://www.dookychaserestaurant.com/

Enjoy your visit.

Adieu, Elysian. Thanks for the Sellout

Precisely!

Thunderous applause to Kaleo for pointing out the curiously specific and complete irony in this particular corporate sell-out.

Jan 26, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Antoine's, Galatoire's or Arnaud's

Galatoire's, hands down. Visit the other two for drinks and bites.

Settle in at Galatoire's, "bond" with, and trust, your waiter, relax, slow down, and enjoy.

Jan 26, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

My Review of Canlis during Chef Jason Franey's Last Days

With respect to the "growing affluent," as a member of the unwashed proletariat, I shall be the reverse Marie Antoinette and say:

"Let them eat steak."

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Jan 14, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Kingfish Cafe closing

The owners appear to have a new location/concept in the works:

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/allyouc...

Jan 14, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Paseo reopened?

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/allyouc...

Note the comments below the review as well as the review itself.

Jan 12, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Solo Business Travel to Seattle - Looking for Seafood

I am sorry to know that you had one bad experience at Blueacre. I have eaten there many times and have always had excellent meals and service.

Taylor is great for a casual space to eat shellfish.

Reasons why one might opt for Blueacre instead include its more comprehensive selection of seafood, sides, and desserts, the full service restaurant experience, wine list, and full bar.

Jan 08, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Solo Business Travel to Seattle - Looking for Seafood

To be clear, the M&S "small regional chain" has locations in D.C., Georgia, New Jersey. Minnesota, Ohio, and on and on (http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/l...). It is owned by the giant restaurant conglomerate Landry's ( http://www.landrysinc.com ), which operates dozens of national and regional chains, as well as casinos and nightclubs. The small and regional days of the M&S brand are long past.

Having said that, and although it would not be my first choice, I agree that the Fourth Avenue M&S location seems to be treated as a kind of "flagship" location by the corporation, and that the fresh sheet selections there remain reliably solid.

Jan 06, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Solo Business Travel to Seattle - Looking for Seafood

I agree with bighound that Blueacre is a perfect choice.

https://www.blueacreseafood.com/

Jan 06, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

where to buy, and recommendations on, good locally roasted coffee

A favorite of mine is Blue Star, which is located in Twisp. They do mail orders and their web site will give you locations of their Seattle retailers:

http://www.bluestarcoffeeroasters.com/

Velton's (in Everett) also puts out some great coffee. Once again the website will give you retail locations and mail order options:

http://www.veltonscoffee.com/

I received a Christmas gift of coffee beans ("Molly's Blend") from Ballard Coffee Works (aka Seattle Coffee Works) and although it is only the first product of theirs that I have enjoyed, I am quite impressed:

http://www.seattlecoffeeworks.com/

Safe travels back to NC....

Jan 06, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Best place for a good quality steak?

Steakhouses are something I only rarely do myself, but every once in a great while it makes a comforting "retro" sort of experience, so I understand and respect mcmullek's husband's craving.

As for the pricing, note that Melrose Grill will serve you an aged 16 oz. Rib Eye for $29, which includes a salad and a side. I personally haven't encountered too many "extraordinary" tasting menus at that price point, and it is an apples-and-oranges set of experiences anyway.

Good luck, mcmullek, let is know where you end up for the birthday dinner.

Jan 05, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Best place for a good quality steak?

Melrose Grill in Renton puts out nice steaks at fair prices.

http://www.melrosegrill.com/

Jan 04, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Muffaletta from somewhere other than Central

Cochon Butcher's Muff is not served hot, and it is excellent.

Jan 01, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans
1

Higher-end Seattle restaurant with good wine list and service

Yes, it is often overlooked. Just a few minutes up the freeway in the north end of town, if you don't mind a brief excursion and the chance to experience a Seattle neighborhood outside the downtown corridor, Nell's is a very solid and reliable choice.

Dec 11, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Higher-end Seattle restaurant with good wine list and service

http://www.nellsrestaurant.com/

Nell's is not downtown, but is not far away.

Dec 11, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Seeking Mince Pie in Seattle

Nov 25, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

turkey parts

I am doing stock for gravy today using nice fresh turkey "drumlettes" from QFC. My local Safeway has drumsticks, but they were frozen solid.

Nov 25, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle