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akq's Profile

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Private Dinning in Belltown Area

Black Bottle and El Gaucho have private rooms that would accomodate your party, as does Blueacre.

Mar 18, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

do you share a gift certificate at a restaurant?

No, I'm in the "not obligated to share" camp. Nothing wrong with sharing, I just wouldn't have assumed or been bent out of shape when the friends didn't "share" the gift card.

Feb 05, 2014
akq in Not About Food

do you share a gift certificate at a restaurant?

If you normally go dutch (or split the bill some other way), I wouldn't have assumed they'd share the gift card. However the bill is split, the way each of you pay your share of the bill is up to you. If your friends have a gift card, they can use the gift card and get credit for the amount of the gift card. If they had a Visa gift card (opposed to the restaurant card), they could use that. If they had a company credit card they're allowed to use, they can use that. Not sure why the gift certificate would be any different. If they used a cash back or mileage rewards credit card, should they share the cash back or miles from the dinner?

Feb 04, 2014
akq in Not About Food

Are expensive/gourmet coffee beans worth it?

I agree with others - it's personal preference, but all aspects can matter. I cold brew my coffee, which helps me get more flavor without acidity (which ruins it for me). I find that I have strong preferences for some beans over others, but it doesn't always strongly correlate to cost.

Feb 03, 2014
akq in General Topics

Tomatillo or ground cherry - what's the difference?

They are also called gooseberries or, in Hawaii, Poha berries. Growing up in HI, Poha berries were a really special treat that we'd come across once in a while when hiking or someone would make poha berry preserves from pohas they harvested from the wild.

Tomatillos are larger and when you remove the husk, they are covered in a very sticky sap.

Feb 03, 2014
akq in Home Cooking
1

Indo Cafe recommendations?

Hope it worked out. Sorry my suggestions weren't helpful enough for ya.

Jan 28, 2014
akq in Greater Seattle

I swore off tip threads but . . . IRS says restaurants can't add gratuity . . .

This article is misleading. Tipped employees have always been required to declare their tips and the employer is required to withhold and pay payroll taxes on the tip amount as if they are wages.

Anyway, there are a couple of technical consequences to the autograt being treated as a service charge vs. as a tip. However, what fun would tax law be if it was easy to understand? Not to mention putting me out of business...Off the top of my head, here are three:

1. For the employer: Only tips count toward the employers' tip tax credit (credit in the amount of social security taxes paid by the employer on tips treated as wages). If it's treated as a service fee, it doesn't qualify for the employer's tip tax credit.

2. For the customer: In some states (like Washington), a service charge is subject to sales tax so the autograt is included in the taxable charges, whereas a tip is not.

3. For employer and employee: In some states, employers can count certain tip income of employees toward the employee's wages for wage & hour purposes (e.g. as long as the employees actual wages + tips are more than the minimum wage amount, the employer isn't in violation of minimum wage laws). Other states prohibit this practice. If a service charge is treated as wages rather than a tip, the employer may be able to use it for credit toward the server's wages to hit the minimum wage threshold, where they might not have been able to count an equivalent tip.

Dec 31, 2013
akq in Not About Food

Indo Cafe recommendations?

Ask the server - they are really helpful. I loved spicy chicken
Dishes and the veggie dish kang kung cah terasi.

Dec 28, 2013
akq in Greater Seattle

Hawaiian Cooks, Need help with preparing Lomi Lomi Salmon

A family member of mine on Maui makes lomi lomi salmon with smoked salmon instead of salted. It's wonderful.

Dec 27, 2013
akq in Home Cooking

food wars, redux- 5 point v. 5 spot

5 spot is better. I like their red flannel hash (corned beef & beet) and pancakes w/ real maple syrup.

Aug 05, 2013
akq in Greater Seattle

Please help a sad girl find some Mexican food in Seattle

I've heard it, too. Some people love Mama's, which I don't understand. At. All.

Jul 30, 2013
akq in Greater Seattle

CSA box item uses

If you haven't done it, try a zucchini and potato Spanish tortilla. So good! Do not skimp on the oil...
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Jul 30, 2013
akq in Home Cooking

CSA box item uses

Totally late to the thread but next time try steaming the turnips and greens and eating with a bit of salt and butter. So good!

I was getting Tokyo Cross turnips in my CSA box. LOVE THEM!

Jul 30, 2013
akq in Home Cooking

Please help a sad girl find some Mexican food in Seattle

I am certainly no expert in Mexican food, but some of my favs are (all were recommended by ppl from Texas, California, etc.):

El Sabor De Oaxaca in Burien

Taquería Tequila Authentic Mexican Food in Greenwood (beans are excellent)

El Camino in Fremont (not el Camion in Ballard & Home Depot)

Ramirez Mexican Store in Olympia

Jul 30, 2013
akq in Greater Seattle

Asian/Chinese Chicken Salad on Oahu

I used to love the zippys CCS. It was always nice and crisp, with wonton strips and tasty dressing. Yum.

Jul 26, 2013
akq in Hawaii

No call-in orders after x time?

Maybe the deli sends staff home early when they are slow and end up with only enough staff to deal with in person customers close to closing time?

Feb 27, 2013
akq in Not About Food

Are you a better cook than your Mother?

+1

Feb 05, 2013
akq in General Topics

Need advice -- am overwhelmed

Marche (formerly Campagne) and Cafe Campagne are right out your front door (Marche shares a courtyard with the Inn) and are both great.

Feb 04, 2013
akq in Greater Seattle

Conchs, speak up on key limes, please.

Yup. Maybe not everyone feels the numbing sensation? What a shame! I get the sensation from key lime juice just like from calamansi.
I meant Asian calamansi, popular in the Philippines. We had a tree in our backyard in Hawaii. Tasty little things! I read that key limes are decended from calamansi brought from southeast Asia.

Jan 25, 2013
akq in General Topics

Conchs, speak up on key limes, please.

I was so excited to try key limes in Florida, but when I did, I realized that they are basically the same thing as calamansi limes (my favorite!) that I grew up with! Both have a complex flavor and a subtle numbing effect that I adore. YUM. You can purchase calamansi limes fresh and frozen (frozen 100% calamansi juice is excellent) in lots of Asian stores.

Jan 23, 2013
akq in General Topics

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor (no mix-ins)

Papaya ice cream sounds fantastic. I got a fresh papaya milk shake in FL a few months ago - very tasty.

Jan 23, 2013
akq in General Topics

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor (no mix-ins)

I prefer vanilla ice cream. I like Hagen Daz for easy supermarket vanilla ice cream. I do sometimes mix in malted milk, so if they sold vanilla malted ice cream, I'd buy that.

Jan 21, 2013
akq in General Topics

Is it ever acceptable to give service instruction to a server?

No. There are differences in Continental and American dining ettiquette but this is not one of them. Crossed silverware isn't the "finished" position in American dining ettiquette, it is the "rest" position in Continental dining ettiquette. The "finished" position in both American and Continental dining ettiquette is fork and knife parallel. If you really want to get into it, the angle of the fork and knife on the plate and the fork tines up or down may differ between the two, but that's it.

Jan 21, 2013
akq in Not About Food

Is it ever acceptable to give service instruction to a server?

That is backward - knife and fork crossed is the "rest" position indicating you are not done and the plate should not be cleared. Knife and fork parallel means you are done.

Jan 20, 2013
akq in Not About Food

Yet another stupid question about plate splitting fees ...

The charge might have been automatically entered when the server entered the "split plate" instruction on the ticket so the kitchen would know to do it.

I understand the rationale behind plate splitting fees to be the extra cost to make both "half portions" look good, which includes different platting, often a larger portion so that each half looks reasonable, extra sides/garnish, etc. If that's what the fee is for, I guess it makes sense for any split plate, even if you're ordering entrees as well. For pasta, they might have made a larger portion of pasta or put extra pieces of whatever is with the pasta so the portions don't look skimpy (i.e. if a regular portion would have had 3 shrimp, they might have put an extra shrimp on so each plate has two, rather than cutting one in half).

Jan 20, 2013
akq in Not About Food
1

What, exactly, am I supposed to do with those rice papers?

They don't need to soak in the water, just wet them down. Often the bowl isn't big enough to dunk the entire wrapper, so you can just put the edge in and spin it around to get the entire thing wet. They will still feel stiff, but will continue to soften as you fill them. If you keep them in the water until they feel soft, they will continue to soften after you remove them and be too soft.

Jan 15, 2013
akq in General Topics

first time to Seattle

The sandwich would be messy no matter what kind of bread it's on. In any event, that's the only bread you can get at Paseo, so the choice is: (1) sandwich on that bread, or (2) no sandwich. I'd go for the sandwich because whole is greater than the sum of its parts. :)

Jan 15, 2013
akq in Greater Seattle

first time to Seattle

Agreed. I love the pork sandwich with onions and aioli on the bread. I also love the smoking thighs dinner.

Jan 14, 2013
akq in Greater Seattle

Splurge Birthday meal? Prefer a tasting menu.

The food at Copperleaf is quite good, but the ambiance is strange. It feels like you are eating in a hotel lobby bar...

Jan 11, 2013
akq in Greater Seattle

Maui - walking from Four Seasons

I don't think the Four Seasons is really walking distance to anything other than resort food. I think the Four Seasons has a shuttle to the little mall in Wailea, but other than that and the resort food, you'll have to take a car.

Jan 10, 2013
akq in Hawaii