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Bellingham: Dragon River Restaurant

Glad to hear you had a good experience at Chuckanut. The last time we ate there everything was kind of...weird. Haven't been back for a long time.

I still haven't been to Dragon River. Can't decide from these reports whether to try it or not.

Dec 20, 2012
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Bellingham Farmers Market - June 23/Sat

Hm. We've gotten meat from various farms through Andals, Silvana and Del Fox but it's always been wrapped in plastic then butcher paper. I don't know if anyone does the nice commercial packaging for bulk orders, since the cuts are packaged to order. Maybe ask Frances at the market?

Jul 11, 2012
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Bellingham Farmers Market - June 23/Sat

Which butcher are you working with, the one in Mount Vernon or the one further north (Ferndale, maybe)? We've gone through Andal's in MV and the packaging isn't as nice as what the Carstens sell at the market. Still great beef, though.

Jul 11, 2012
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Bellingham Farmers Market - June 23/Sat

Skagit Angus, or Carstens Ranch - I've seen them listed under both names. We buy beef from them by the half-cow and it's some of the best I've ever had. They also have lamb and goat occasionally. Strongly recommend!

Jul 10, 2012
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Laurel Leaves

Regular hedge laurel (prunus) is not edible (my Sunset garden book says it's actively poisonous). Bay laurel (laurus) is a completely different plant with extremely fragrant leaves, hard to mistake for anything else. California bay laurel (umbellularia) is often sold as cooking bay although its flavor is different from true bay laurel. If you're not sure, don't eat it!

Jun 11, 2012
Freida in Greater Seattle

Television-free Bar in Bellingham?

Had lunch at the Bellwether recently. Food was OK, service was glacial. We sat on the patio (lovely) then moved into the bar, which was cozy and pleasant with a great view, but definitely did have a TV. I would go here for drinks and make sure to sit either by the fire or right by a window.

May 12, 2012
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Pandan Leaves?

We've found them at Uwajimaya in the past, in the fresh produce section. We buy a bunch and freeze them.

Feb 28, 2012
Freida in Greater Seattle

Television-free Bar in Bellingham?

We're both the sort of people who are easily distracted by moving pictures, so I feel your pain. The Bayou Oyster Bar (next door to Bayou on Bay) has the best cocktails in Bellingham, an absinthe drip, and no television. The Temple Bar is a fun place for a glass of wine or a cocktail, and while the waitress' clothing can be a little distracting (and the wallpaper is rather loud), also no TV.

Dec 07, 2011
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Anyone Tried the Conway Muse?

Finally got around to trying the food at the Muse, and I suspect it will also be the last time for everyone in our party. Mostly it wasn't terrible, but for the price it wasn't good either. Things we tried:

The Reuben sandwich: this was pretty good, although very skimpy on the fillings.
French Dip sandwich: I didn't try it, but looked like a normal, not-very-meaty french dip.
Caesar salad with chicken: this was disgusting, I think the dressing was made with Miracle Whip. The chicken was very bland and cold, and the croutons were dried-out scraps of white bread.
Mixed greens salad: the dressing was an odd tropical melange of mango and coconut and not sure what else - some folks liked it, but the greens were getting a little wilty. The optional shrimp topping was the little pink kind, not prawns.
Soup of the day: we were pretty sure our waiter said "tomato-vegetable bisque" but what arrived definitely did not have tomato in it. The person who had it liked it well enough but couldn't identify what it was actually made of - it was sort of off-white and creamy.
Appetizers (what the menu refers to as "small meals") were very small indeed and not very good, based heavily on grocery-store style French bread.

Drinks, however, were just fine - they had a short but good draft beer list, some drinkable cheap wine, and the well drinks were reasonably priced.

Our conclusion - the Muse is a fun (and unusual) place to go to hear music, but eat before you go, and stick to booze once you get there.

Sep 22, 2011
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Wenatchee recs?

Also, my father reports that there are some really good taco wagons in Wenatchee, I think clustered near the Staples? We've been meaning to go do a tour of them. And there's a good taqueria in Cashmere, somewhere off of Pioneer Hwy - again, just hearsay, but the reports are glowing. I'll try to get more detailed info.

Jul 14, 2011
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Wenatchee recs?

Our favorite restaurant in Leavenworth is South, a wonderful Mexican place. I can basically recommend everything on their menu, but especially the pork tacos, the roasted green beans with lime, and the mission-style burritos. Oh, and the Stinger cocktail, a personal favorite.

In Wenatchee we usually go to McGlinn's - not new, but they've been working on their menu and their pizza is now quite good. I thought their chicken burger was also unusually nice last time I ate there.

Anjou is doing so well with their cafe and crostini business they no longer reliably have bread to buy, which is disappointing. But the baguette sandwiches are really good.

Jul 14, 2011
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Anacortes WA - Good Eats Before Ferry ?

The fish market often has really excellent fish and shrimp tacos, and now they have Lopez Island Creamery ice cream as well. I haven't seen sandwiches or chowder before, they must be expanding their offerings. It's a great place!

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Lopez Island Creamery
3185 Fisherman Bay Rd, Lopez Island, WA 98261

Jul 11, 2011
Freida in Pacific Northwest

New Cooking / Supper Club, Bellingham and Environs

I love this idea. We're not in Bellingham but we're not far away, would be happy to be involved.

Jul 07, 2011
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Another Bellingham restaurant closes: The Bistro on Magnolia

I never even heard of The Bistro, but I'm sorry to hear yet another restaurant is down. Flats and Tivoli are sorely missed. I love Prospect but can't afford to eat there often. We were delighted to discover Bayou on the Bay and especially its fantastic Oyster Bar - I hope they continue to do well.

Flats was doing fine until the original owner/chef moved on - I was sorry to see that the new owner changed all of the most popular dishes for no apparent reason. But Tivoli always seemed quiet when we went in, as did The Vines the one time we ate there. Not sure what the problem is with nice dining options in Bellingham. Although if you think you have it bad, trust me - Mount Vernon is much worse. If it's not a brewpub, forget it - it won't last.

Jul 05, 2011
Freida in Pacific Northwest

The Nimbus [Bellingham]

Tivoli's gone? Crud. And Flats has closed, too, I hear. What's Bellingham coming to?

Apr 19, 2011
Freida in Pacific Northwest

The Longhorn in Edison

Same goes for the Old Edison Inn just down the block. Great fried oysters, burgers and sweet potato fries (and shuffleboard!) Haven't had fresh oysters there, as we usually just buy those by the bag up the road at Taylor and take them home.

Jan 02, 2011
Freida in Pacific Northwest

eating out on Thanksgiving - Bellingham area

Chuckanut Manor does do a Thanksgiving buffet. I don't love their food but it's a nice setting. Or the Oyster Bar, just up the road, is serving their dinner menu all day on Thanksgiving - similar setting but nicer restaurant. http://www.theoysterbaronchuckanutdri...

Nov 05, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Jacci's Fish & Chips in Bellingham, WA?

That's the place in the double decker bus? We've never actually eaten there, as we're always on our way to Flats (www.flatstapas.com), less than a block away. The fish and chips smell good, but when it's raining (as it so often is) I don't really feel like sitting outside to eat.

Besides Flats, our other B'ham go-to is La Fiamma pizza on Railroad, or Boundary Bay Brewery if we can get in.

Oct 16, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Mt. Vernon, WA

No, haven't been to the bowling alley, but I'm willing to try it if you think it's worth it :)

Oct 12, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Need Great Bar Recommendation

As much as I love ZigZag, the last time we went we (both under 40) were the oldest people there except for the bartender.

Our favorite cocktail place is Liberty Bar on Capitol Hill. Loud and only serves sushi, but fantastic drinks and cute bar staff. And Licorous might be a great place to check out, it seems like less of a hipster scene - and there are lots of other places to walk to if you want to bar-hop.

Oct 12, 2010
Freida in Greater Seattle

Mt. Vernon, WA

You're probably thinking of Bamboo Garden next to the Value Village. It is a big intersection, but thankfully that is not our downtown, which is a mile south and much much nicer.

I have never had good Chinese food in Mount Vernon, but we do have some excellent Thai places, not to mention taco trucks.

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Bamboo Gardens
907 6th St, Clarkston, WA 99403

Oct 05, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Good Mid-Priced Restaurants with Trained, Professional Waitstaff

Sounds like my last experience at Tilth as well. Our server was snotty and brusque and did not do a good job answering questions about the food. There's a reason I haven't been back.

Oct 03, 2010
Freida in Greater Seattle

Lunch in Ellensberg

We usually go to the Valley Cafe, which has a pretty solid menu of pastas, bistro dishes, salads, that sort of thing, plus a nice wine list. They've been there forever. Not sure what else has opened since we moved - the Tav is a popular pub, but fried food is their specialty. And sadly, Mama's Cookin' Cajun went out of business. Do stop at the Winegar's Dairy drive-thru for a milkshake, they're incredible.

Sep 24, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest

LAKE CHELAN DINING

Another vote for Local Myth. It's amazing pizza.

Sep 03, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest

The Table in Bellingham

Not yet, but their pasta is amazing so I have high hopes. Would love to hear a report.

Sep 03, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Best Indie Dive-ey Roadhouse Food in Skagit?

Been to the Train Wreck? Also, Porterhouse is fine, but we prefer the Empire most days for our beer needs.

Jul 19, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest

any cool spots on way to chelan from seattle? Burgers/Winery/Taco Truck?

I always like to make a plug for Old School BBQ. It's in the same parking lot as the Reptile Zoo near Sultan on Hwy 2, and they do very fine meat and beans AND you get to sit in an old school bus. We usually stop there or at the Sultan Bakery on our way over Steven's Pass, and then hit the Espresso Chalet in Index for coffee.

Anjou Bakery is definitely a good rec, or stop at South in Leavenworth for amazing Oaxacan food.

Or, if you're heading over on 90 and don't mind detouring through Ellensburg, the Valley Cafe has been a favorite of our family for something like 20 years. And don't forget milkshakes at the Winegar's drive-through.

Jun 03, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Beef I can feel good about eating: Canadian border south to Everett

I'm not sure. The Slow Food group for Bellingham is called Fourth Corner, but they don't seem to have a webpage. There's an email contact listed here: http://www.slowfoodskagit.org/Slow_Fo... or you could go to the Bellingham Farmer's Market and talk to local producers there.

Apr 24, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Beef I can feel good about eating: Canadian border south to Everett

Excellent beef can be found in this area. Skagit River Ranch is a popular source, and I can recommend Martiny Suffolks in Birdsview for both lamb and beef. Slow Food Skagit has a list of local meat producers here: http://www.slowfoodskagit.org/Slow_Fo...

Apr 22, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest

Rhododendron Cafe

Slough Food is a fabulous shop right next door to the Breadfarm, with excellent cheeses and cured meats. They have a few tables and can make simple sandwiches and salads. Also, just down the street is the Farm to Market Bakery. I highly recommend whatever sandwiches Jim is making that day. Or if you're in a burger mood, go to the Old Edison Inn. Edison is where it's at these days!

And, of course, the Rhody is very good too :)

Apr 05, 2010
Freida in Pacific Northwest