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vanillagorilla's Profile

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Seville (bitter) orange in Seattle?

I've seen them at Uwajimaya when they are in season.

600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA

prime rib in Seattle area

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; the Wedgwood Broiler servers it. I can't vouch for the quality of it though.

Whirlwind tour: Raleigh, Charlotte, Columbia, Wilmington

The only reason I'm thinking of detouring into South Carolina is for a place that has a mustard sauce. I've made it at home, and quite like it, but would like to try it served by someone who knows what they're doing. I'll probably never get this close to SC again, so a 2 hour detour isn't a big deal.

May 25, 2010
vanillagorilla in Southeast

Whirlwind tour: Raleigh, Charlotte, Columbia, Wilmington

I wanted to do Little Pigs, but it doesn't look like they are open on Sunday.

Little Pigs
115 Bountyland Rd, Seneca, SC 29672

May 24, 2010
vanillagorilla in Southeast

Whirlwind tour: Raleigh, Charlotte, Columbia, Wilmington

I'm planning on taking a food trip to this area, mainly to eat BBQ, but to eat other things and relax as well. I still need a couple of restaurant suggestions. I'm trying to eat mainly things that I can't get at home in Seattle. I'd mainly like to stick to BBQ, Southern Food, and East Coast Seafood.

I'm planning on flying into Raleigh from Seattle late on a Thursday night. I want to eat lunch at The Pit in Raleigh on Friday. I'll stay somewhere between Raleigh and Winston-Salem Friday night. That leaves a dinner anywhere in that area for Friday night. Suggestions?

Saturday, I'm going to stop for lunch at Lexington #1, and continue to Charlotte. Any recommendation for a good dinner stop there?

Sunday, I'm going to drive from Charlotte to Wilmington, but detour through South Carolina. I haven't picked a place yet, but I do want to try somewhere with a mustard based sauce. If I have to go all the way to Hudson's Smokehouse near Columbia, I will. If anyone has any recommendations, I'd love to hear them.

From there I would like to spend Sunday and Monday nights in the Wilmington area. The Surf Shop looked like it would be a fun lunch on Monday. But I still need dinners for Monday and Sunday nights.

After this, I drive back to Raleigh on Tuesday morning for my flight back to Seattle.

Thanks for the help in advance.

May 15, 2010
vanillagorilla in Southeast

Dinner in Eugene

I'm going to be in Eugene on Wednesday night, and I'm looking for a place for dinner. I'd originally decided on Belly, but they are closed for 2 weeks. Are there any other places I should check out?

Fish: Where do you buy yours?

What kind of fillet was it? Most fish have pinbones that need to be removed. I guess you could ask the fishmonger to do this, but I never have.

Marshmallow Fluff?

The Safeway on 75th and 35th Ave almost always will have it. So will the Sand Point Metropolitan Market. The QFC in U-Village usually does, but not always.

Metropolitan Market
1908 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA

Duck Sausages?

What kind of duck sausage are you looking for? Sausage is pretty easy to make yourself at home.

Any experience with the Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Chef's Pan?

They must have changed them in the last few years! This is excellent news.

Feb 05, 2010
vanillagorilla in Cookware

New Chef to the area with a question

Bob Tate does a good quick job. Also Epicurean Edge in Kirkland will do it well.

Country Ham in SEA?

I just order off the internet once every year.

Need advice on my new meat grinder

I use a KitchenAid attachment, but most of what I say will probably translate.

When I'm going to make burgers, I also use the find grind. However, I always grind through the coarse plate first, and then the fine plate. This also helps the myosin develop so that the meat sticks together better.

I don't trim the meat much at all, unless there is something super hard inside of it.

I also don't like an all chuck burger. If I have to grind just one piece of meat for a burger, I use brisket. But, for a perfect burger I like 2 or 3 parts chuck, to 1 part brisket and 1 part short rib.

Also, the manual probably says to cut the meat into 1" or 1/2" cubes before grinding. I find that if I make long strips that are about 1/2" square by 3" or 4" long I get better results as the strips get pulled through the plates better.

Finally, I'm guessing your plates (like mine) aren't stainless steel. Usually you don't want to put non stainless metal in the dishwasher.

Nov 09, 2009
vanillagorilla in Cookware

Best liquor stores in SEA

Have you been to Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, or Utah?

Walleye? Wherefore art thou, Walleye - in the Great PNW?

I was at mutual fish today, and they had whole wild wall-eye. I believe they were 7.99/lb.

Which meat grinder do you recommend?

I can get the sausage made ok, it's the stuffing that turns out to be a problem. It can be done, but if everything is not set up perfect, and/or you are a little slow, you can really run into issues

Nov 05, 2009
vanillagorilla in Cookware

Best liquor stores in SEA

Don't complain to much. Compared to what I had to put up with in Oklahoma, Washington laws are like heaven.

Which meat grinder do you recommend?

For really course, relatively dry sausages; I find that it works ok. It's a little slow, but I can do a few pounds of sausage without too much issue. However if the sausage is a wetter sausage or an emulsified sausage, I just seem to make a big mess and can't get the links stuffed before things get to warm.

Nov 04, 2009
vanillagorilla in Cookware

Which meat grinder do you recommend?

The KitchenAid attachment works great for me. I rarely grind more than 5lbs or so at a time. If I was going to do big jobs more often, I might move to a dedicated product.

I would not recommend the sausage stuffer attachment though.

Nov 03, 2009
vanillagorilla in Cookware

Where to find rhubarb?

Most of the grocery stores have it frozen year round. Met Market and Whole Foods always do. And I think QFC does as well.

Seattle Cupcakes / Birthday Cakes

Trophy is also now in U-Village and at the Bravern in Bellevue if they are more convenient.

Portland/Willamette Valley Trip

My wife and I just completed a long weekend trip from Seattle to Portland and the Willamette Valley. Here's what we did:

Friday night we got to Portland rather late, and just ate a quick dinner at Whiffie's Fried Pies. We had the chicken pot pie, the bbq beef pie, the cherry pie, and the apple cheddar pie. The pastry on the pies was outstanding, but the fillings only so-so. But for the price we paid, you can't really complain.

Saturday morning we at a quick breakfast at Ken's Artisan Bakery before heading to Clear Creek distillery. I had a sausage quiche there that was extremely good. Very custardy texture, and a perfect crust.

Saturday for lunch we went to Bunk Sandwiches. I have to say that I enjoyed my sandwich here more than any sandwich I've had at either Paseo or the Baguette Box in Seattle. I had the meatball sandwich, and the meatballs were some of the best meatballs I've had anywhere. My wife had a roast beef po'boy that had the most amazing pickled green tomatoes.

Saturday dinner was our big night out and we went to Le Pigeon. My wife started with a lettuce salad that was extremely tasty. I was surprised at how much flavor was in that small simple looking plate. I had the foie gras terrine. It was tasty, and the brioche toast that was with it was the best toast I've ever had. The only complaint I had was that the portion was just too big for one person. For our entrees, I had the beef cheek bourguignon. It was perfectly seasoned and executed and I loved it. If I had to complain about it at all, it would be that it was not the most creative thing I've ever had. My wife's dish on the other hand was easily one of the best things I've ever tasted. She had the lamb neck with macaroni. I'm not sure exactly how the macoroni was prepared (I know it had chanterelles, corn, and Parmesan) but it was heavenly. For dessert we split a corn meal cake with maple syrup, bacon, and maple ice cream. It was a perfect combination of sweet and salty, and the best bacon I've ever had (it tasted almost identical to my home made bacon). To top it off we had a great wine that I've been curious to try ever since the 2007 vintage caused all sorts of problems with the AOC in France. We had the 2008 bottle of L’Ancien, Vieilles Vignes by Jean-Paul Brun , you can read about the troubles here:

Sunday we got an early start because we had to be at our first appointment at a winery at 11:30. We stopped at Pine State Biscuits before we left town. The biscuits were great. I had a country ham, egg and cheese and my wife had the Reggie. We split a plain biscuit with apple butter (the apple butter was out of this world). The ambiance of the place left a little to be desired though. I didn't mind waiting in line, and was more than willing to get the food to go, but the other customers didn't seem to be playing as nice. I'd love to eat their food again, but I think it might be better to arrive early than we did (just after 8 AM).

We spent most of the day Sunday driving through the Willamette valley hitting wineries. We tasted at Brooks, Panther Creek, Eyrie, Winter's Hill, Anne Amie, and White Rose. There were some hits and misses, but in general the quality of the wine was quite high.

We had originally planned at eating lunch at Nick's Italian Cafe, but after our Saturday night dinner, the heavy biscuit breakfast, and all the wine; neither of us thought like eating such a big meal. We ended up eating some quick taco's at Muchas Gracias. Not great, but nothing bad either.

Sunday dinner and Monday morning breakfast were both provided at the Hotel Oregon as part of our package stay there. If you've ever eaten at a McMenamins, you know how the food is. At least the beer was good, and the biscuits and gravy in the morning were surprisingly good.

Most Overrated Restaurant in Seattle

I have to agree. I don't think you can get better delivery pizza here. I've also found that if you specify the crust well done the quality of Pagliacci approves quite a bit.

Octopus in Seattle

I've had good octopus at Tavolata (but Ethan was there that day) and at Sitka and Spruce (Matt Dillon was still cooking there when I had it). I can't say it would be the same when others are doing the work.

Saturday Lunch in Portland

I didn't even know that Ken's had a Bakery that served meals. It's much more convenient to our hotel and Clear Creek.

Bunk looks intriguing. It looks like it might take the best of Paseo, Salumi, and the Baguette Box from Seattle.

Sep 01, 2009
vanillagorilla in Metro Portland

Saturday Lunch in Portland

Clear Creek at 9AM is a little early, but their tours are at 9AM, 11AM, and 1PM; and the latter two would make lunch plans more difficult. I've loved the Clear Creek products I've had (Apple Brandy and Kirsch) and I'm excited to try the rest. We recently went to Okanagan Spirits in Canada, and had a great time there and I'm excited to see how Clear Creek compares.

Sep 01, 2009
vanillagorilla in Metro Portland

Saturday Lunch in Portland

My wife and I are taking a weekend trip from Seattle to Portland and the Willamette Valley. I've got most of our meals planned, but am stuck trying to find somewhere to go Saturday for lunch. I was pretty bummed to see that my top two choices (Pok Pok and Nostrana) don't offer lunch on Saturday. To give you an idea of what else we're doing

Friday Night - Nel Centro (we're getting to town pretty late, and the restaurant is in our hotel)
Saturday Breakfast - Fleur De Lis (I may change this, but I want something light and open early because we're hitting Clear Creek Distillery at 9AM)
Saturday Dinner - Le Pigeon (our reservation is at 8PM)
Sunday Breakfast - Moody's Donuts
Sunday Lunch - Nick's Italian Cafe
Sunday Dinner - Hotel Oregon (McMenamins food is only ok, but it comes free with our room at the hotel)
Monday Breakfast - Hotel Oregon (Again, it's free)
Monday Lunch - We usually hit the Burgerville in Centralia on the way home

I'd like to have something for lunch Saturday that is pretty uniquely Portland, with out it being so heavy that it kills our dinner at Le Pigeon. Thing's I'm considering are The BrunchBox, Stanich's, and Ned Ludd. Does anyone have any other ideas?

Sep 01, 2009
vanillagorilla in Metro Portland

Looking for the ultimate eating in Seattle

I've been to all of Ethan's restaurants and I like them all. The only downside I'd give to them is that they are all quite similar. You'll find quite a few dishes that are the same or very similar at all of them. That being said, they are all great and you can probably eat pretty well at any of them for under $50 (depending on how much you drink). The main difference is that Anchovies and Olives and How to Cook a Wolf are both fairly casual, with no reservations taken. Travolta is slightly more upscale, and Union is the most upscale (though still fairly casual by other cities standards).

Best Thai in Seattle

Why should Thai be cheap? Quality ingredients cost money no matter what kind of cuisine you are serving. Just because something is traditionally cheap, doesn't mean it has to stay that way. Arun's in Chicago has certainly proved you can take Thai food upscale.

Please note, I'm not defending Racha, as I've never been there.

Where to get a malt in Seattle?

Is there anywhere that still makes malts? I can think of tons of places that make shakes, but I really have a desire for a Malt. And right now my blender is broken, so I can't make it myself.