eight_inch_pestle's Profile

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New Yorker looking for quintessential Seattle cheap eats

Was going to mention maono. The rest of the menu is tough at $20 a person, but at $39 the whole fried chicken can probably serve three or four with the rice and whatnot. And at $20 the half-chicken is plenty for two. That gets you a beer and one of the few non-seafood Seattle dishes that people talk about nationally.

You're also right next to the Beer Junction and its wonderful selection of PNW beers.

What's For Dinner #338 - Winter Wonderland Edition [through 12/14/14]

Wonder if there's a cultural difference even within the region. All of my African-American family that grew up in rural Mississippi in the '40s and '50s definitely say biscuits. Also have friends from Athens and Savannah that say biscuits. Very interesting.

What's For Dinner #338 - Winter Wonderland Edition [through 12/14/14]

Last night was a mixed winter squash soup. Sliced leeks, a pear, knob of homemade bacon, cubed squash, and dried ghost chiles sauteed until the leeks softened. Simmered in milk and white wine with fresh bay until the squash softened. Pureed and finished with a little more wine, a glug or two of heavy cream and some diced pear. Croutons and minced chives for the bowls.

ISO: chinese (or other asian) restaurants open on Christmas day

Think we ate at Chiang's Gourmet on Christmas last year 'cause I was too sick to do any cooking or shopping in advance. Hella long wait, and there were large families for whom it was obviously tradition, but we found a decent bar down the street after we put our names in.

looking for Makah Ozette potatoes

If you want to give Olsen Farms a call or drop them an email this week they're about the nicest ever. Have done special orders with them in the past.

Favorite cooking task(s)?

Not so fancy, but working buttermilk into lard and flour, or turning cornbread out of the skillet. And taste-testing anything. And watching a certain someone else make me dinner. Knifework is not something I particularly enjoy anymore.

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

Wonderful post. Glad you found Noble Fir.

looking for Makah Ozette potatoes

Think they're usually at Olsen Farms (and maybe others) at the Ballard farmers' market.

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

This is very doable for folks who enjoy exploring on foot, especially since you're setting aside enough of the day to take your time and stop for a coffee or beer here and there.

I wouldn't stress the weather, Seattle winters are mild with low winds and even when it rains it rarely pours. As others have noted, if the weather does turn or you get tired you'll be on or near frequent bus routes the entire way. Uber is also cheap and usually only a couple minutes away on weekday afternoons in all of these neighborhoods.

I'd head up Post Alley, through Belltown, and up Westlake to Fremont. From there I'd go 36th-Greenwood-Bowdoin-2nd-Baker-45th-Walrus & Carpenter. This last bit is a little route that I've found gets you from Fremont to Ballard while avoiding Leary and most climbing.

From Zig Zag, Spur, and Bambino's to PCC, Ladro, and Brouwer's there are many great options for bevs and little bites along the way.

Happy travels!

Lunch Recommendations in Phinney Ridge or Greenlake?

+1. Naked City and Martino's are both good in their own ways. We've had two good meals and one terrible meal (brunch) at Phinney Market.

Spur Gastropub - Must Try

Love everything about it, although we've only stopped to share small plates and a beer or two. Great craftmanship and ingredients for the price (not that it's exactly cheap). An easygoing sophistication about both the room and the food keeps it atop our list whenever we're knocking about downtown, Belltown, or LQA with time to kill and the munchies.

What's for Dinner #335 - Is Everyone Feeling the Chill? [through Nov. 24, 2014]

After a chilly couple of weeks---by PNW standards---we are back to more seasonally appropriate weather: damp with highs around 50. Couldn't be happier.

Made homemade bacon for the first time in forever, so last night was simple simple breakfast for dinner. Cheddar cheese omelet with tarragon cream beaten into the eggs, toast, and a couple slices of bacon each.

Ballard Traffic--Can the Restos Survive?

Ah, the car seat. #2 and #13 run right there as well, and the #3 or #4 run past Bambino's, Tilikum Place, and that neck of the woods. Easy to time with the One Bus Away app.

Ballard Traffic--Can the Restos Survive?

Fremont and (especially) LQA/Belltown are certainly a breeze from the Ave. Tho we do love to split a Betty burger and a salad.

An uber from Metropolitan Market can often pick you up in just two or three minutes from your request and a trip to Boston can run as little as $3 or $4.

MSG Cooking Tips

That's one person the article cites, one person who also happens to be a professor at the University of Pittsburgh school of medicine. I encourage you to listen to the entire podcast. Anyway, not trying to convince you if you don't want to be convinced, just sharing information for anyone interested in a recent story by a highly respected public radio science program.

In Praise of Dives, or... Another One Bites the Dust

Yeah the news about Streamline came out last winter or in the spring...we've been there probably a little more than is good for our health since finding out. IIRC it's actually a government building of some sort going in there.

Will miss it, but no city is frozen in amber, I suppose. At least we're still walking distance to Targy's.

A & J Meats Closing

Bummer. Hardly ever went in there (although sometimes for seafood next door) even though it's only a few blocks away, but the kind of place that was nice to have around.

I think a few months ago I counted six(!) banks on Queen Anne between McGraw and Galer, so hopefully we're sufficiently saturated.

Ballard Traffic--Can the Restos Survive?

I dunno...We frequently walk to Ballard on Sunday from upper Queen Anne. If we're not feeling that bridge we often look for a Car2Go around Nickerson and Emerson and then leave it somewhere around Walt's Organic. The D line---if not true BRT---has still been a good option, and the buses from Fremont to Ballard serve us fine as well.

We've been down on Old Ballard Ave. multiple nights since the bridge closed and everything seems as bustling as usual.

Magnolia transit, tho. That's a whole other thing.

MSG Cooking Tips

What's for Dinner #333 - The end of Daylight Savings Time Edition [through Nov. 10, 2014]

Last night was pot roast with sichuan flavors. Thinned a really nice pixian chile-bean paste with enough shaoxing rice wine to make it easily spreadable, then spiked it with toasted ground sichuan peppercorns and freshly ground star anise. Rubbed that all over a bit of chuck roast (leftover from sloppy joe chilaquiles), and braised the meat in low oven for five or six hours with a handful of garlic cloves and some dried lobster mushrooms. Pureed the resulting braising liquid for a sauce, and browned the meat under the broiler before sitting down.

Ate with little oven-roasted creamer potatoes; celery and halved carrots slow poached in butter, hard cider, and lime juice; and some simply dressed beet greens.

What's for dinner #329 - The Colorful Leaves Edition! [Through October 9, 2014]

Last night was pan-roasted lamb shoulder chops finished with a fig balsamic glaze. Side of FM romanesco cauliflower and tiny purple potatoes, roasted with minced garlic, butter, and some surprisingly potent Indian chile flakes.

Veggies were great. Shoulder chops are a skill I seem to have lost through lack of practice or something. There's a magic moment where the fat has lost that gristly chewiness but the meat is still slightly pink and fairly tender. Always seem to miss it now days. Might just start braising them and leave the higher heat for the pricey cuts.

What's for Dinner #327-The Scotland Votes Edition! [through September 25, 2014]

Last night was pan-roasted chicken thighs, cooked with some leftover roasted tomatillo salsa, beer, and a mess of minced white onion and roughly chopped garlic. Finished with lots of cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Was planning on just serving over dressed arugula, but GF came home a little overserved from a much-deserved girls' night, so threw together some little Mexican-inspired corncakes (cilantro, lime zest, cayenne, touch of cinnamon and good honey) to give things a little heft.

What's for Dinner #322 - the pre-Labor Day Weekend Edition [through August 30th, 2014]

Been cooking embarrassingly little this summer. But yesterday I came across a perfectly cylindrical lobster mushroom that checked in at just under half a pound---the thing looked like the fat end of an orange Louisville slugger. That kinda motivated me.

Quartered the mushroom on the longitudinal, into fat wedges, and seared with plenty of butter and minced shallot. Finished with a few glugs of cream, calvados, and plenty of fresh rosemary and tarragon. Served over tournedos of grass-fed beef tenderloin seared rare and a pile of arugula. Good eats.

Is the CCK Small Cleaver still a good deal?

Thanks to you both. I figured if it had a known competitor I'd have read about it from one of you two already. I'll probably still snag it. That price change just moves it from "Why the heck not?" to "Hmmm, I don't really *need* a Chinese cleaver."

Aug 20, 2014
eight_inch_pestle in Cookware

Ideas needed: beets for someone who hates beets

Yum. Will be making that in the very near future.

Ideas needed: beets for someone who hates beets

That's what I was suggesting above. So darn good. Thanks for linking to an actual recipe. Now that I think about it, I believe mine actually comes from one of Bittman's books.

Ideas needed: beets for someone who hates beets

Grated, with minced fresh rosemary and/or other herbs, salt, and a little flour to bind. Press into delicate beet pancakes and saute with a little butter. Gets lots of sweet caramelization. I like to serve them on dressed greens with a little goat cheese as a first course. Delish. You could any spices that sound nice, too.

Is the CCK Small Cleaver still a good deal?

Was thinking about ordering this cleaver based on the strong recommendations from chowhounds over the years. However, I noticed that when it was first recommended as a great deal it was $35 at Chef Knives to Go. By the time I started researching the price was $45, and when I went back to actually order it a few weeks later they were charging $60.

Just wondering, now that the price has nearly doubled, if people still consider it a great deal. $60 still ain't a ton of money for a knife, but maybe there are other cleavers to consider at this new price.


Aug 15, 2014
eight_inch_pestle in Cookware

Meat Grinder Recs?

Just wanted to circle back around and report that I did indeed eventually go with the Tasin TS 108 (purchased from One Stop Jerky Shop). Only took me four years to pull the trigger!

Have only done a few 5-pound batches of loose sausauge (chorizo, spicy Italian, and two batches of a spicy maple-sage breakfast sausage), but am very happy thus far.

Will report back once I give it some heavier duty use, stuff some sausauges, and grind up bones for cat food.

Thanks again for all the great feedback on this topic.


Aug 15, 2014
eight_inch_pestle in Cookware

Rain Shadow Meats - first experience not stellar

Kinda surprised you were disappointed in the case, although can't say we've delved much into their steaks. Always been very happy with their pork (brisket, tenderloin, shoulder, belly, bacon), lamb, poultry, and organ meats.

I've just come to accept aloof service as part of the Seattle food scene. Rain Shadow seems typically hit or miss, depending on the employee and whether he knows your face. I will the say the owner here---Russell, I think---has always been really nice and has thrown in the odd handful of free livers or kidneys.