cscsman's Profile

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Looking for fun, un-stuffy, Italian style Trattoria in SEA

Cafe Vignole might be what you're looking for. It's at the south end of Lake Washington (technically Renton, I think, but in the Rainier Beach neighborhood) and makes a lovely sunset drive down LW Blvd.

We've only eaten there once because it was pricey for us (I think we spent $100 for three courses including wine for two people) but the food was fabulous in a "this guy knows what he's doing" kind of way. The feel of the place was intimate, welcoming and neighborhoody. I don't remember exactly what we ate, but it was immediately on the list for places to go when our parents are paying.

Feb 10, 2010
cscsman in Greater Seattle

How to Find Tolerable Mexican Food?

They get their tamales delivered (and if I remember right - usually on Wednesdays?) by an outside contractor. This was the case when I asked about two years ago, but things might have changed. I don't know my Mexican food, but I love their tamales when I can get them.

Feb 10, 2010
cscsman in Greater Seattle

Bakeries in Northern Seattle

Hiroki is a new favorite bakery (no bagels). It's in Tangletown at 56th and Meridian. Make sure you check his website, the hours are weird.

Sep 03, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

How to Find Tolerable Mexican Food?

PAO - Most of Northwesterners seem to be Californian transplants anyway, so unless you (generally) are from around here you might not recognize the "born in the NW" natives... ("born in the NW" to distinguish us from the original NW natives, of course).

dk - It doesn't make much sense to move to the Olympic Peninsula then criticize the food selection. I'm sure you knew what you were getting into. Take the ferry across and hit a taco truck or two. Take the food and make a picnic out of it somewhere. I can't stomach the sit-down places anymore, either, since I started to pay attention to what I was putting in my mouth. There's got to be one or two good Mexican places that are in actual restaurants around here, but I just can't trust that I'm not going to get those bad beans and warm salad. (Those things actually do hold a place in my heart when I'm abroad, though).

Anyway, good luck.

Aug 29, 2008
cscsman in Greater Seattle

Can you even do this? Preserving Greens

Hi - Our chard and beet greens are out of control in our garden, and I'm wondering if there's a way to preserve them for when the Seattle winter marches in. I've not eaten preserved greens that I can remember, except maybe spinach in some forms.

Is it worth it to do this? Is it possible?

Aug 25, 2008
cscsman in General Topics

Pho in Seattle without MSG

sorry for the double posting - ch was doing something weird.

Aug 24, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

Pho in Seattle without MSG

Little help?

Aug 24, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

Pho in Seattle without MSG

Little help?

Aug 24, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

Gourmet brewpub

Pyramid Brewery (down by Safeco Field) has ok food and good beer. The Ram (University Village) has bad food and good beer, but their burgers are pretty good, including a Kobe one that I like.

Aug 20, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

Kingfish Cafe - questions

1. Prices are fine - my girlf and I usually get an appetizer & a main each. Plus drinks, it usually comes out to around $50 or so. Mains can go from $12-$30, if I remember right. We're always totally in love with the food and leave feeling full.

2. "Dingy" seems like a strange word to use, I don't think I agree, unless you're comparing it to Canlis or something. If you've been in one of the 1920s-era Seattle homes with wood floors and old windows and cornices, that's what it feels like. Casual, but attractive.

Aug 11, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

Best Burger in Tacoma-Seattle?

The Blue Moon on 45th? Do they have food?

I love the sign on their door, "Sorry, we're open"

Jul 29, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

No Reservations: Laos

I agree completely - I was so impressed with that segment, when the man turned the question to AB and asked whether it was hard for him to look at what the US had done. That they captured this genuine, heavy travel moment on film was such a treat.

Overall, I thought the Laos episode was stunning and perfectly done. It joins Indonesia, Sicily and Colombia as my favorites.

Jul 29, 2008
cscsman in Food Media & News

Colombia - Bogota and Medellin recs

I'd be interested in your recs for Cali...

Jul 29, 2008
cscsman in Latin America & Caribbean

Buenos Aires in October for Gluttony

Breakfast - 1816 (that's the name of the cafe) a couple blocks toward the river from the Olleros subte stop. They have a great complete breakfast - media lunas, orange juice, cafe, toast with jam & cream cheese - for about 10 pesos.

Dinner - In Recoleta is Casa Saltshaker, a very cool experience. Look it up online (or search for it on these boards - the owner comments here every once in a while). Set menu, paired wine, reservations required, highly recommended

Dinner - Las Cholas. In the Las Canitas neighborhood, which is constantly jumping at night. It was so darn good we went there a few nights in a row. Argentine parilla, everything is tasty.

Jul 29, 2008
cscsman in Latin America & Caribbean

Best Thai in Seattle

My favorite is Thai Tom on the Ave, and I'm not sure why it's so polarizing. It just tastes like good food to me. The peanut sauce is unbeatable.

My girlf's favorite is Jamjuree on 15th (Capitol Hill).

Go to Rom Mai Thai on the North end of Broadway for Green Papaya Salad (you kinda have to demand the most spicy to get any heat at all) and Mango Sticky Rice, though the main courses are kinda sub par.

Jul 29, 2008
cscsman in Greater Seattle

Kingfish in Seattle?

I've eaten there with a group of 12 or so - a friend's birthday. I imagine they reserved the table. It was at the back of the bar.

Kingfish is a favorite of ours - we savor every bite. Just a warning, though: everyone gets their mojitos, but in my opinion they're way overpriced and pretty average. All the chow is top notch, though.

Jul 29, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

Best of Seattle - Help

Where/when is the formal poll?

Jul 29, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

Acai, Papaya Salad, Chicken Sandwich

These are the best things I've put in my mouth lately:

Acai Vida - acai smoothie
South Broadway
After getting back from Brazil I was happy to discover this place above the QFC on Broadway (near Seattle U). Trust me, it's there. It's hidden behind the T-Mobile store near the elevator.
Anyway, the frozen acai smoothies are exactly like the stuff they were selling on the beach in Ipanema, which was a pleasant surprise. Who says there's no X in Seattle? It's got that rich, antioxidanty flavor that makes up for the cup of sugar that's probably in it, you can get the granola topping on it, and she will even slice up some fruit for you. Way good, anyway. They also have Guarana syrup there, of which I bought a liter so I can mix my own. I don't know how business is doing with such a rough location, so get it while you can and while the weather is hot. It's a perfect "instead of lunch" option for when you're about to go to the beach and don't want to stuff your gut with the following:

Zizo Market - garlic chicken sandwich
Downtown Bellevue
I went to Main Street in Bellevue looking for the Persian Grocery, but all I could find was Zizo Market, so I assumed it was just the same place with a different name (not the case... but anyway). The Zizo girl made for me this intense, succulent, perfect garlic chicken sandwich. It was really tender chicken pieces with some kind of sauce, wrapped in a couple flatbreads and grilled. When she handed it to me I blacked out. When I came to the sandwich was gone and I was smiling. Don't know what happened.
They also have a little salad bar with 6 or 7 side dishes (tabouleh, hummus, babaganouj, med salad, etc) and the "market" part of it sells all sorts of pan-Middle Eastern packaged foods that I don't know anything about because I haven't been there yet. I would suggest getting one of these babies to go and eating it in the park or something. Somewhere you can lay down.

Rom Mai Thai - green papaya salad
North Broadway
The service is a little suffocating, like the waiter asking us how the meal is going three times during the same course, but it's worth going here for the best papaya salad we've had in Seattle. Last night we finally had to emphasize that "really, no really, we really do actually want it spicy, 4 stars, it's ok, please" because in the past they've taken us for some kind of wimps, I guess. So they made it 4 stars and our mouths burned good for the next 20 minutes and it was just like the ones I remember from Thailand that tore my intestines apart. The staff was looking on waiting for us to send it back, but it was exactly what we were looking for. Endorphin rush.
The main dishes we've had here aren't great - I had peanut sauce that was pretty awful and my girlf had ginger tofu, which was ok as well (Jamjuree is the better Capitol Hill choice for both of these, and I prefer Thai Tom's peanut sauce), but they do have mango sticky rice, and who am I to argue with that? Maybe the best option is takeout.

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Acai Vida
1412 Harvard Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Zizo Market
10204 Main St, Bellevue, WA

Rom Mai Thai Restaurant
613 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102

Jul 15, 2008
cscsman in Greater Seattle

Seattle's Best Sandwiches

I went to Bellevue looking for this but only found "Zizo's Market," which I assumed was a new incarnation of the same place. I had their Garlic Chicken sandwich - two flatbreads kinda wrapped around each other, then toasted with the most succulent chicken meat inside. It was unbelievable. I've been thinking about it non-stop for the last two weeks.

Does anyone know if the Persian Grocery is the same as the Zizo Market I ended up at? Because if not, then there are more sandwiches to find.

Jul 15, 2008
cscsman in Greater Seattle

Basic question about pork rubs

(not that kind of pork rub)

I tried searching the boards for this but - like the fourth son - I couldn't figure out how to phrase the search. What does a rub do? How does it work? I'm grilling a pork tenderloin tomorrow night and in the past I've just marinated it, but the guy sold me on a rub, so now I'm trying to figure out how to use it. Do you marinate then rub? Marinate in the rub? How should I prep it differently than just marinating and throwing it on the grill?

Thanks!

Jun 03, 2008
cscsman in Home Cooking

Lonely Planet World Food

Does anyone know if this series was axed or something? I have 7 of the books and love every single one of them... what's the story?

Jun 02, 2008
cscsman in Food Media & News

European Breakfast near Greenlake

I can handle it. That's actually about 2 minutes walk from my house, I just haven't popped in yet. Walked by today but they're closed, I'll check back Wednesday. Thanks for the recommendation!

Jun 02, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

Media Lunas vs Croissants

Yes they were - like some vanilla glaze or something. So good. I guess I'm wondering whether that's a specifically Argentine version of a croissant or if a media luna is actually a different animal than a croissant.

Jun 01, 2008
cscsman in General Topics

Fresh sage

Hello - Where can I find some good fresh sage for not ridiculously expensive in the Seattle area? I know it grows in Eastern Washington, but is that the variety that one would use in pasta, for example? Would it be at Pike Place for a reasonable price?

Also, I've never really used it before - are there any warnings I should know about? Can you overcook it?... can you undercook it? I'm using it in pasta with prosciuto and criminis and did a trial run tonight, but the sage came out weak. It was excellent when I got a big bite, but I'd like its flavor to be ubiquitous in the dish - does this mean using it harder or using it smarter?

Thank you!

Jun 01, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

European Breakfast near Greenlake

Wow, what a reply! I'll have to get over to Cafe Javasti - that sounds like the kind of place we're looking for. Thanks for the great recs.

Jun 01, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

European Breakfast near Greenlake

Continental, I should specify. My girlf and I are looking for a place we can walk to around 10am, get a nice espresso and some croissants & jam, maybe fresh OJ.... you know. Is there a place that's especially good near Greenlake? Is there a place that's especially good that we just MUST visit in Seattle? I'm not so into big American breakfasts of eggs & potatoes, so that's not a concern.

ready.... go!

Jun 01, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

Media Lunas vs Croissants

Is there a difference or is it the same thing in another language?

In Buenos Aires we got media lunas all over the place and loved, especially, the ones at 1816 (Olleros subte) but I felt in general Argentine media lunas were different than French croissants... more buttery & wet whereas my French (Parisian) croissant experiences tended to be more about the fluffiness.

Jun 01, 2008
cscsman in General Topics

Best mango sticky rice in Seattle?

This is horrible, but I don't know the name of the place we had the best one - it's the Thai place on the left as you're going North on Broadway just before it does that weird jog. It's in the middle of the block, next to Aoki Sushi (which is pretty darn good itself) and a Mexican place. They also have young coconut ice cream!

May 26, 2008
cscsman in Pacific Northwest

Elegantly eating economically - at home or at a restaurant

I don't know if these count or not, but when we go out to a nice dinner, we've started to do this thing where we only order one course at a time. It feels really luxurious. We're big fans of the European pace of life where dinner is a 3-hour affair, so we leave a lot of time between courses for conversation and we even end up ordering less food because we're aware of what our bodies are telling us as the night goes on. The only drawback to this strategy is that wine goes really, really well with it. Any chowaccountants should bring their own. (for the curious: we do tell the servers before that that's how we're ordering. They're usually uncomfortably hovering after the appetizers, then they get into it and spend more time at our table just talking. And we won't do it on busy nights.)

Another way to save money is by simply eating less and sharing courses. When my girlfriend and I are traveling, we'll often split both an appetizer and a main. It works out for our health, wallets and almost always appetites. (and even if it doesn't completely satisfy the appetite, it means we can go taste a dessert at that other place we were thinking about going).

This last thing is about finding simple luxuries more than anything else, but if you can create a good variety of tastes, textures and presentations, then pass the dishes around the table after a bite or two, it feels like you're living like a king. It's the perfect combo of anticipation and satisfaction. Over and over and over again.

May 26, 2008
cscsman in General Topics

Elegantly eating economically - at home or at a restaurant

Excellent reply.

May 26, 2008
cscsman in General Topics