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Thanksgiving Dinner - Country Cat, Urban Farmer or other?

My family has never been to Portland, but we've decided to come for Thanksgiving, and I'm having trouble deciding where we will eat the BIG MEAL.

We are two adults and one, very well behaved 7 year old. The kiddo is a bit more adventurous than some, but this being Thanksgiving I want to go somewhere that I know she will really like. At the same time, I want to like the food and the atmosphere myself!

Requirements: The kid wants turkey and mashed potatoes. That's easy.

As for me, I'd like more "grown up" food, really good vegetables with the turkey, maybe a fantastic soup. I definitely can't handle a buffet. I'd like a nice atmosphere, although it doesn't have to be fancy. In fact, casual and comfrotable might be nice. A view would be lovely, but I want a step up from the Saltys-type restaurants, so I don't know that a view is in the cards. I would love a restaurant in a neighborhood that we might want to take a walk through after dinner.

So far I seem to have narrowed it down to Country Cat or Urban Farmer. They both get pretty good reviews overall, and they both have separate kids menus. We're staying at the Nines, so Urban Farmer would be easy, but we'd also like to see more of the city (of course we'll be there for two nights, so we'll have other opportunities to leave downtown).

Is Country Cat in a neighborhood that would be fun for a post-dinner stroll? Is the dining room a nice place to sit for a long meal?

Is there someplace else I should consider?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Nikki

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Urban Farmer
525 SW Morrison St., Portland, OR 97204

Nov 10, 2011
Nikki in Metro Portland

Cooking on Kauai

Thanks for the advice! I keep thinking I need to have more of a plan, but you're right, goofy. I just need to see what I find and ask the locals for advice.

Oh, to have a place on Kauai to keep *my* cookbooks . . .

Apr 03, 2009
Nikki in Hawaii

Cooking on Kauai

I'm heading to Kauai on Sunday - 5 nights in Hanalei and 3 in Poipu. I've searched through and read all the great posts about places to eat and shop for food on the island. Thanks!

I'll have a kitchen at our place in Hanalei and am looking forward to cooking with the great local seafood and produce we'll find there. I'm wondering if anyone has any great advice and (especially) recipes using some of the food items that a mainlander such as myself is not used to.

Alternately, are there any good cookbooks I should pick up before leaving that highlight Hawaiian ingredients?

I'm a pretty competant cook, and rather adventurous. I just want some recipes that will help me do the ingredients justice and incorporate the fruit, vegetables, and seafood of the island. We won't be in Hanalei for the Saturday market, but I plan to make it to the farmers market on Tuesday.

(For the record, I eat / cook seafood and poultry but not pig or cow -- though I would deign to cook some pig for my husband and daughter if it came from a reliable, local source.)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice!

Apr 01, 2009
Nikki in Hawaii

Deleting a post? (my own)

Same problem Can you delete my duplicate post in the Pacific Northwest board entitled "SEA - Familiar Quandry?" Thanks!

Jul 26, 2008
Nikki in Site Talk

SEA - Familiar Quandry

This has been discussed on the boards ad nauseum, I know, but I still don't have a solution!

Guests coming into town for one night only and I need to take them out for a "Seattle" dinner.

Of course, I'd love to be able to offer them great seafood with a great view/seattle-y atmosphere. But, these are family members that I really like -- and who like good food. Rays, Anthony's, Chinook's just don't cut it for me. Beautiful views with OK food, but not "my-one-and-only-night-in-Seattle" good.

I've only been in Seattle for about 2 years, and there are still many good restaurants that I've not been to. Can anyone help??

Is there someplace that is a good compromise? "Better" food with an awesome view or great food with a decent view? A great restaurant with a "Seattle" atmosphere that doesn't rely on a view that I'm not thinking of? What about Flying Fish or Matt's (haven't yet been to either). Been to Etta's with out of town guests, and that might do, but any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Here are a few more specs to complicate things:

* I don't think they will want Asian

* My 4 1/2-year-old daughter will be coming along. She is generally well-behaved in restaurants, but can I bring her to Matt's? She's the main reason I haven't been yet, and I'd probably choose Matt's for this dinner in a heartbeat if it weren't for her.

* The family has offered to buy, but I'd like to be polite and not choose the *most* expensive spot in town.

Thanks for your help!

Jul 26, 2008
Nikki in Pacific Northwest

SEA: Bandits Bar - Tamales?

I am in search of good (or even great) tamales in Seattle that I can order in bulk for a party. I found numerous references to Bandits Bar (on Denny Way) online and have a couple of questions:

1) Anyone been there and can report on the tamales?

2) Anyone know whether they would do a big order (of course I can make a call if no one knows anything here)?

3) Any other suggestions for tamales? I will need some meaty and some vegetarian tamales. I've read on this board about Mexican Grocery in Pike Place, but it seems all the references mention only meat-filled tamales. Anyone know whether they have other options (and whether they are any good)?

Thanks for your help!

Aug 14, 2007
Nikki in Pacific Northwest

Whistler, BC - Birthday Cake

Hello. I will be in Whistler for my daughter's 3rd birthday in a few weeks. Ive' never been. Where can I order a decent birthday cake for her? It doesn't need to be too big, and, I don't want to break the bank since, well, it's for a 3-year-old.

That said, I want something slightly better than the typical, cheapo grocery store cake. Do the grocery stores in Whistler have bakeries/ do customized birthday cakes? Are they decent? Any other recommendations for a bakery that would make something tasty?

I searched and found an earlier post asking something similar, but the poster never got a response.

Thanks for the help,

Nikki

Jan 24, 2007
Nikki in Western Canada Archives

Seattle Eats: Need one more rec...

I took a group of visiting family, along with my 2-yr-old, to Ettas not long ago and had a great experience. Everyone loved the food, and the staff was great, patient, etc., with the kiddo. I think it would be a great choice!

Sep 11, 2006
Nikki in Pacific Northwest

Rockshrimp in Seattle

Will give it a try when I have a chance. I don't speak fluent Spanish, but certainly enough to hunt for cheese. Thanks!

Aug 15, 2006
Nikki in Pacific Northwest

Rockshrimp in Seattle

Hmmm ... It is fairly easy, and I make it up as I go along, but here are the basics:

For the filling, Yukon Gold potatoes (or similar) diced rather small and boiled just a bit; chopped, roasted poblano pepper; chopped shrimp (best with rock shrimp); diced onion; garlic; crumbled queso enchilado. With the right cheese and the right shrimp, you don't need much of either to get a really great flavor. You want the filling to be pretty dry, though it won't really be too tight.

For the sauce, I cheat completely! (Giving away my best secret here, but since I don't know anyone in Seattle, yet, I guess it will be OK.) I make a chiptle cream sauce by warming a good amount of heavy cream, then whisking in some "Arriba!" brand "Fire Roasted Mexican Chipotle Salsa." I was thrilled when I found that this sauce is so easy to find here.

To assemble, heat some vegetable oil in a small skillet, oil a baking dish, and spoon a little bit of the sauce into the bottom. With tongs, dip corn tortillas one at a time in the hot oil, frying just until soft. Transfer the tortilla to the prepared baking dish, spoon in some filling, and roll up. (You WILL burn your fingers putting these together -- but it's worth it.) Continue with the rest of your tortillas, packing them into the pan fairly closely, but not too tight. Sometimes I spoon a bit of the sauce over the enchiladas before baking, but this can make them a little soggy. You could also sprinke a bit more cheese if you like.

Cover and bake them in a moderate oven until the cheese is a little bubbly (queso enchilado is a hard cheese that doesn't really get "gooey" ) and the shrimp are cooked -- doesn't take all that long.

I usually serve the enchiladas on a generous bed of shredded spinach, with a really big spoonful of the sauce on top, along with some more crumbled cheese.

Make some really good rice with carrots, peas, and lime to serve alongside and you have a pretty delicious meal.

Hope this all makes sense.

Aug 11, 2006
Nikki in Pacific Northwest

Rockshrimp in Seattle

The cheese I use is queso enchilado, which is a hard, fairly salty cheese that's been covered with a spicy paprika blend. It's very common in Texas, where I'm from, but I haven't tried looking for it here, yet. I'll just have to start doing some hunting!

Aug 11, 2006
Nikki in Pacific Northwest

Rockshrimp in Seattle

Hello. I am new to town and need some advice. One of my "signature dishes" is potato and rock shrimp enchiladas. I've got a craving and want to make it! Is rock shrimp readily available in Seattle? What market would be my best bet for finding some?

What about a good selection of Mexican cheeses?

Thanks for the help!

Aug 10, 2006
Nikki in Pacific Northwest