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AmandaAnn's Profile

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It's Diwali! Looking for sweets

The Hindu holiday Diwali starts today. When I lived in Minneapolis I sometimes found Indian restaurants or grocery stores that had special sweets on the menu or for sale this week. Any recommendations on where to go for Diwali sweets here in Seattle?

Nov 05, 2010
AmandaAnn in Greater Seattle

Where to watch World Cup with tasty eats?

I've only been in Seattle about 6 months and could use some direction on places to watch a couple World Cup games. For me, the eating and drinks are just as fun as watching the game. So I'm not so much looking for the place with the biggest or most TVs, rather I want recommendations for a good meal. It doesn't have to be fancy or anything, sandwiches and fries and things are fine, I'd just like them to be well made with good ingredients. For example, I've never been to Cafe Presse and was thinking of trying the place out when France plays a game.

(Oh, and I'm not cheering any team in particular so don't worry about that.)


Cafe Presse
1117 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Jun 10, 2010
AmandaAnn in Greater Seattle

Food gifts from Seattle

At Pike place the cheese at Beecher's is a good gift.

Not at Pike Place, but only about 1 mile away (but only open Tues-Fri) is Salumi. A gift of some of their Salami would make many people happy. If you can't get to the actual Salumi store/restaurant, then you can find it at Metropolitan Market as well. Maybe the PCC markets have it too, I'm not sure.

Or poke around at Uwajimaya for Japanese candies, sweets, and trinkets.

A fresh fortune cookie is really something! Not at all like the often stale ones you get at the restaurant. Get a huge sack of Rose brand unfortunate fortune cookies (cookies that didn't fold up properly) at Tsue Chong Co Inc. This is great thing to bring back to coworkers; it's cheap and you can just set the bag out on the lunch table and watch them all disappear by day's end. They're pretty addictive. (Tsue Chong Co. have proper fortune cookies too, of course, and also have other flavors like chocolate, mocha, orange, etc.) 800 S Weller St, Seattle 98104.

If you were bringing something to somebody like me, I'd actually be really excited about the locally made tofu here, which can't be found back in my midwest town. You can buy it at Uwajimaya in fresh, already fried versions, and spiced. Or you could go right to the factory, I think there are tours at certain times. Here's a link to an article about the companies here:

And I know this idea doesn't help the OP at the moment, but if anyone looks at this post during cherry season, taking home a big ol' box of fresh WA sweet cherries can't be beat!

Cooking class at our home

I second NuCulinary! I've never done a party, but I've taken one of the classes, and Naomi is a lot of fun and an excellent teacher.

Jan 31, 2010
AmandaAnn in Greater Seattle

Seattle area cooking classes?

NuCulinary has sushi classes, as well as sushi instruction DVDs and kits.

Other classes include: Dim Sum, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Philippine, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Indian, Asian and Pan-Asian Northwest cuisine.

Great instruction and fun classes and people!

Dec 22, 2009
AmandaAnn in Greater Seattle

Magic Bus Cafe (MSP)

A sign at the Midtown YWCA announced there is a Magic Bus Cafe that parks at the Midtown Farmer's market on Saturdays and sells hot dogs. Looks good, too bad I go to the Y on Sundays!

Charcuterie and more? MSP

Hey thanks everyone! On your advice we've been to 112 Eatery and Craftsman so far. First time we went to either place.

112 Eatery's plate is definitely a steal of a deal at only $9.00! I'm sure I could eat the whole thing myself, but it was fun and plenty to share with another person. We assumed it was going to be a small plate and so also ordered another appetizer, plus we each got entrees, and then (since it was kind of a celebration outing) we piled on dessert, and although it was wonderful and worth it, I overstuffed myself. I would totally go back, for a regular night out, and just get the charcuterie plate to share and wine and dessert. Yum!

Craftsman was also a great time. About a week after we went the article in Citypages came out about their chef who handmakes all the items on the plate. I really liked the cheesy crackers that came with it, which was more interesting for trying out the different flavors than with the usual bread. Since I gather the offerings change, I look forward to going back and trying it again later this summer.

Charcuterie and more? MSP

I just got the idea that I like charcuterie plates. Where are all the places in MSP that I can get this sort of thing? What's your favorite and why?

And actually, don't feel you have to limit to menu items actually called "charcuterie", let me know things to order that could fall into that general idea too. Thanks!

Splendid Table-NPR

Well this reminder is a little last minute, but don't forget to listen to the Splendid Table's Thanksgiving show tomorrow, Turkey Confidential:

Nov 26, 2008
AmandaAnn in Food Media & News

Bombay 2 Deli - MSP

Nooooooo! I specifically got online today to ask you folks if anyone knew if B2D was going to have a Diwali celebration again this year. I’ve been looking forward all year to getting more burfi! Instead I find out it’s closed. It's gonna to take me a minute to recover here...

[MSP] All foods at the State Fair (more or less)

The dairy salesroom on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota sells a honey sunflower seed ice cream called Minnesota Sundae. The store is open only on Wednesday afternoons though.


My best weekend place is Moose and Sadies on the northwest edge of downtown Mpls. Fresh, bright, breakfast food is how I think of it. Stuff you know but with a little bit extra, french toast served with a bit of mascarpone instead of butter for instance. My usual dining companion goes there for the huevos rancheros. The ginger limeaid is my favorite drink in town.


In regards to "anything they make especially good?" I think Midori's gives the most thought of restaurants around here to their vegetarian rolls. I always order one even though I'm not a 100% veggie. And I don't know if their mochi ice cream is something they make themselves but I just love the stuff.

MSP - Uphill (?) Alert: The Wienery

Hey this is good to hear! I think 2006 was when my trips there really dropped off after too many greasy sog on the outside/raw on the inside fries. Will check it out again soon.

MSP - got a car this Wkend, where should I go?

Satay2Go turned out to be the perfect tip. The whole reason for having the car involved a quick trip down to Iowa and S2G was right on the way for getting some take out for dinner. I was originally going to get the okonomiyaki (often described as Japanese pizza, but I've always thought that gives the wrong impression) but they warned us it would take extra long to make and we were in a bit of a hurry to get the Iowa thing over with, so I got the Hokkien Mee. It was good, a kind of gravylicious thick udon noodle dish, but now I'm wishing I'd been more patient because I really want to try that okonomiyaki and it's just not going to happen until I get a car again.

That was Friday. On the way back on Saturday we stopped at Brianno's deli for the eggplant parmigiana sandwiches that are so big they almost feel like you're walking out the door with a newborn cradled in your arms. But it's amazing, when you actually eat the darn things the bread is light and fluffy and the eggplant is all melty, it's not heavy at all. Special rules of physics apply at Brianno's apparently.

Sunday, we were actually going to go try those pupusas at Mañana, but somehow we ended up driving past the Nook, and after seeing it recommended so often here I decided it was destiny and we made a stop. Ok, the wait, it's no joke. An hour and a half after walking in the door I got to finally take my first bite. The fries were the medium thickness kind with skins, lots of salt, and nothing limp and soggy. Perfect for that style. (My friend likes shoelace style so he wasn't so impressed, but whatever.) I got the lodge burger which had two slices of bacon, onion, cheddar cheese, mayo, lettuce, and it all sort of melded together by the last few bites which hit the spot for me. But still, I don't don't know if it was soooo good that I could make waiting over an hour for it a regular habit. Despite being stuffed we were in the mood for malts and we stopped at Izzy's on the way home. Cherries jubilee malt for me, yum!

This report is getting longer than I intended, but I should also mention that while in Waterloo Iowa we went to a diner called Morg's for breakfast. Just your basic diner food. Pancakes are humongous and they have a walnut version which is tasty. Nice diner atmosphere and a friendly crowd. It's nothing I would drive out of the way for, but Waterloo doesn't have a lot of options and so I recommend it if you're there.

Anyway, next time I'm driving I look forward to Tea House II and those pupusas you guys so helpfully pointed out. Thanks everyone!

MSP - got a car this Wkend, where should I go?

I've been without a car for over the last year, but this weekend I'll have one and I'm trying to decide how to make the most of it. There are a lot of parts of town I don't get to much because I don't feel like taking 3 buses or the weather (until now, ahh spring!) has not been something I want to mess around biking in. So I'm thumbing through my mind for places to go to that are south of Minnehaha creek, west of the lakes, north of northeast Mpls, and aren't on University Ave in St. Paul.

I just can't decide! Anyone want to help me make up my mind? Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack and any cuisine is fine. I'm sort of steering away from $$$, birthday dinner type places, but maybe the right recommendation will sway me.

O Limequat, limequat, wherefore art thou limequat? (MSP)

I thought I was I going to get be helpful and tell you to head over to Seward, but I see that's where the whole thing started. And now I'm really disapointed because I kept putting off buying a couple to try and missed my chance. I hope Seward doesn't consider this a lesson learned and will still try them again next year.

[MSP] Bandbox Diner

This thread has got me thinking because of a post I just made over in the thread re the out of towner looking for Lebanese, Ethiopian, and Japanese places. Over there people were recommending Emily’s Lebanese Deli with caveat that it’s not really a destination place for someone visiting. I replied that it shouldn’t be discounted as a destination because some people (well, me anyway) like to go places that encourage exploring into neighborhoods. But I left it with the requirement that the food does of course have to be really good to make it worthwhile.

Now for Bandbox I’m stumped. The food here is nothing special. The fries especially are kind of pitiful and soggy, and I think if you’re a diner you should have unquestionable fries. But, it’s a neat little building. It’s not a neighborhood out of towners are likely to discover on their own. I think the laid back atmosphere is relaxing. And they usually seem to be listening to community radio. So despite the food not being great, it is the kind of place I’d tell a visitor to go.

I guess my internal check list of what makes a destination is more complicated than I thought.

MSP -- Lebanese/Ethiopian/Japanese

It's funny - to me Emily's is the perfect recommendation as a destination for an out of town person. At least, it's the kind of place I'd enjoy being directed to. I love being sent to restaurant in a part of town I might otherwise not have gone to, and just exploring around the area. I like to see where people actually live - not just the streets where they go shopping. Emily's is the kind of place where I can imagine what it would be like if I actually lived in the city I'm visiting. Of course, the food does have to be really good to make this fun, but Emily's does it.

"The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry"

I thought it was entertaining, but quick. Good for reading when traveling and there's no scenery to look at. The cooking descriptions were good because they didn't feel like I was just reading a recipe. Overall it's great for anyone needing a little push to go make a try at that thing they've always dreamed of doing. Only thing that struck an odd nerve with me was that it seemed like anyone she met and liked was described as good looking, while those she didn't like were unattractive.

Mar 06, 2008
AmandaAnn in Food Media & News

MSP - Local Food Hero - radio show

I got to listen today and recommend people tune in. The interview with the grower trying to restore chestnut trees was very nice. I hadn’t known the story about the devastation of chestnut trees in the US, but now I do. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some local chestnut flour soon. The community of inspiring sustainable, local, organic, etc initiatives grows everyday in Minnesota – it’s hard to keep up! I’m glad to see more media dedicated to letting the public know these options exist. (Wish the show was archived though, I’m not often near a radio Saturday afternoon.)

Feb 23, 2008
AmandaAnn in Food Media & News

Looking for US food blogs about agriculture, farming

Here's a sample:
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy:

All of these link to other like-minded blogs so you should have lots to explore starting here.

Feb 14, 2008
AmandaAnn in Food Media & News

Food Related Legal Internships

There are lots of NGOs working on food related issues like local food access, sustainable food and farming, emergency food shelves, U.S. farm bill. Take a look at the few I've listed and then explore who they link to and I'm sure you'll find something.

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy:
Sustainable Table:
Local Harvest:
Slow Food International:
Second Harvest Heartland:
Animal Welfare Institute: (A stretch maybe on how it relates to food - I'm thinking farm animals.
)State and Local Food Policy Councils:
Community Food Security Coalition:

And let us know if you get set up somewhere!

Feb 12, 2008
AmandaAnn in Not About Food

You Are What You Read

I'm half way through Delizia! The Epic History of the Italians and their Food, by John Dickie. Like any good food book it makes me hungry while I learn. An engrossing history of how Italians came to eat what they do. (And sorts out a bunch of myths: Italian food we know today is city food not country; the French did not learn to cook from the Italians when a Medici was married to Henry II; Marco Polo has nothing to do with pasta but a lot to do with spices.)

Feb 12, 2008
AmandaAnn in Food Media & News

MSP - Local Food Hero - radio show

Just heard about this radio show - anybody listened to it before?

Local Food Hero, Saturdays 1:00-2:00pm on AM 950 KTNF in the Twin Cities
or streaming online at

Local Food Hero is a show for the self proclaimed gourmets, the undercover foodies, those who just like to cook, those who grow their own food and those who simply enjoying eating. Maybe you watch TV cooking shows, listen to radio food programs, read restaurant reviews but wonder what is actually going on with food AND sustainability here in Minnesota ? Your co-hosts, Brett Olson and Lindsay Rebhan, explore the greener side of culinary worlds within Minnesota and nationally, hear directly from local chefs and farmers, interview national policy makers and researchers and discuss how we can further relish in the joys of good food.

Segments include:
What's in the Pot - interviews with local and national chefs (This week's interview with Brenda Langton
)National Spotlight - interviews with those working with food issues on a national level (This week's interview with Rob Marqusee)
Outstanding in Their Field - interviews with local and national sustainable farmers (This week's interview with Dave Minar, Cedar Summit Dairy)

Feb 12, 2008
AmandaAnn in Food Media & News

Nominate: Best Pizza in Minneapolis-StPaul (if you say Dominos, you are banned from chowhound 4 good)

My favorite is the Plapo from Fast Freddie's/Brynmawr Deli: red sauce with goat cheese, walnuts, and sun dried tomatoes. The crust is a bit puffy, not super thin, and ever so slightly sweet. Leftovers are excellent if you have any! I always have a little fight going on in my brain trying to get myself to think long term and stop eating so I have something left to enjoy the next day.

Chinese New Year - MSP

The Star Tribune article is a good description and lists some of my favorites:

Other stuff: I think of tofu chow fun as one of my comfort foods and they do a really good version, keeping it very light and clean tasting. Some other places I feel weigh it down with too heavy a sauce. One of the Malaysian dishes I like also uses chow fun noodles but has mussels and bits of scrambled eggs and is much drier. Make sure to get a ginger tea (hot or cold) if you go. I think Nina is now selling bottles of the ginger syrup she makes for the drink - although I need to double check that for sure.

In the ambiance arena: I think the waves of spice smells coming from the open kitchen are heavenly. And, the owners also remembered who I was after only one visit. I'm pretty quiet in person so it's unusual for any type of store clerks to take notice of me. If you usually get to know your restaurant owners this won't be so exciting for you of course.

(Oh, and in my original post, formally = formerly.)

Michael Pollan's Twelve Commandments for Serious Eaters

I admit I haven't read the book yet (my number hasn't come up on the library hold list) but I suspect that part of what #5 about shopping grocery store perimeters is about is to get folks to realize that grocery stores aren't set up willy-nilly.

Stores make the most money on selling heavily processed foods in packaging, and these things are given the best and most visually enticing display space on purpose. Basic ingredients like flour, carrots, spices, a pork chop, rice, etc, often aren't highlighted. At my Cub foods for instance there is usually an elaborate tower of cartons of pop that you have to take extra steps to walk around as you go into the store. I find it's really hard to only get the things on my list. Since I realized the whole store psychology thing it's been a lot easier for me to push past the overflowing bin of Oreos and choose to get ingredients to make my own cookies instead. Stores are always rearranging to find the best way to get you to buy more so the perimeter thing may not be the rule to follow everywhere. Stores even rearrange simply to throw off the shopper with an established route who had been missing their display of the !!newest low sodium-heart healthy-high fiber-Coco Puffs!!.

This is partly why I like going to the farmers market. Not that they also aren’t trying to perfect their displays in the competition between stands, but it’s a lot easier for me to cut out the noise and only get the things I actually want.

Feb 08, 2008
AmandaAnn in Food Media & News

Splendid Table-NPR

Oh, and don't forget that you can listen to the live streaming of other public radio stations if they air Splendid Table at a more convenient time for you. Sometimes I do this anyway because I like hearing the weather report this time of year for, you know, Miami, instead of Minnesota.

Feb 08, 2008
AmandaAnn in Food Media & News

Splendid Table-NPR

She's on twice in MSP: Saturday at 2:00p and Sunday at 6:00a.

My favorite is that she also does a special show on Thanksgiving day called Turkey Confidential. The Sterns, Christopher Kimball, Mario Batali, and a famous wine guy I should remember the name of but can't, were the guests this year. But the best part are the regular folks calling in because the turkey fell off the grill and rolled down a hill or some such other disaster (runny pecan pie) and need help NOW! It's a lot of fun and to me it wouldn't be Thanksgiving if I wasn't doing the cooking with Lynne on the radio. It usually airs on numerous public radio stations around the country.

Feb 08, 2008
AmandaAnn in Food Media & News