Tres Bien – Un Bien

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J. Lo and wife have never had the legendary Paseo Cuban despite being tourists here multiple times over. Even though the original Paseo is now in name only, the recipe for the sandwich is at Un Bien, and we needed to endocrine him and his wife to this legend!

Un bien - the press

The Press – the one and only Cuban; loaded with tender meat, smothered in onions and peppers, and then held together with cheese. This is one runny mess that will require a fork if you don’t eat it within 5 minutes of receiving it. While I wish the bread would hold up better to the juices in this sandwich, it’s a small sacrifice for the goodness within.

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Sweet Spot – Suika

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When I was in Vancouver, I had an amazing dinner at Kingyo and they said they had a sister restaurant in Seattle, so naturally, I had to give it a try.  It was Nutkin’s birthday – so it was the perfect excuse to try.  It’s not quite as good as the one in Vancouver, but they do get my respects for their take on Japanese Korean fusion.

suika - uni shooter

uni shooter – sea urchin with seaweed, raw quail’s egg, topiko, and rice; similar to the uni shooter at miyabi’s, but with rice, which makes it a little more difficult to shoot, but it’s tasty none the less. Maybe a little too much rice though – it gets stuck at the bottom long after you’ve devoured the uni

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Song of the Sea – Manolin

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t0e and I catch up from time to time, to hear about each other’s lives, ruminate on working out, and talk about food over good food. We have history, but it’s always nice to chat about things that make us happy. Manolin had come with high recommendations from Salumi and given that they were part of the same team on The Whale Wins, it seemed like a good candidate.

manolin - potato croquettes

Potato croquettes – expertly fried with just a thin crispy crust on the outside and creamy potato and parmesan on the inside; garnished with dill, paprika, and a subtle garlic aioli – a perfect starter

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Guilty Pleasures – Guilt Trip

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The Black Knight, my BFF and I were going to Cirque du Soleil show in Redmond and need a place for dinner before the show. Now, Remond is a bit of a culinary wasteland, despite the fact that it’s full of foodie loving Microsofties.  It’s getting a little better with places like Tipsy Cow Burger and Homegrown sandwiches, and I’d add Guilt Trip to this list. Guilt Trip is an Indian fusion restaurant – with dishes like cheese sticks and bacon butter chicken. It appeals because it is so different and so hard to fathom what some of these combinations would taste like without trying them. Now, what to try between three people?

Guilt trip - lamb kabob

lamb kabob – crispy on the outside of the patty with full flavored minced lamb; these aren’t what I was expecting as I was thinking about kebobs on a stick, but these were still pretty tasty. They are a little on the dry side, but that’s what the dal on the side is for!

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Divine – Harvest Vine

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Harvest Vine is without doubt, my favorite restaurant in Seattle. From the very first time I came here, on a whim to try something different, to all the times I’ve come here for my birthday and to celebrate a host of other occasions, it has never disappointed.  I remember the first time, sitting at the kitchen bar watching the Joey work his magic and Jose strolling in and just playing with ingredients for fun and serving them to the lucky few at the bar.  I was spellbound by the way the flavors come together, the inventiveness of each plate, and the parade of dishes we would try and hope that we had room for more. Though the kitchen has evolved over the years with brunch and a new chef, Harvest Vine is what made me fall in love with tapas.  On this night, my birthday night, my Black Knight dined here and I fell in love all over again.

harvest vine - beet carpaccio

beet carpaccio – paper thin slices of pickled beets sprinkled with salt, garlic, and floating in olive oil; they were a little heavy handed with the olive oil and a little inconsistent with the salt as it was in clumps causing some slices to be much too salty

harvest vine - jamon iberico bellota

jamon iberico bellota – the nutty fat just melts in your mouth with the richness of the pork – this is one special jamon that makes you want to lick the bits of melted fat off the plate; we only ordered 1 oz., but I was originally thinking we needed 2 or 3, but we seriously thought about ordering it for dessert as well. Note, it’s $20/oz.

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The Sweet Life – A Seattle Cupcake Crawl

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Everyone knows that cupcakes are wonderful and should probably be called Happy Cakes instead of cupcakes – it seems more appropriate, given the fact that they are personalized smiles in dessert form. The question is, with all the flavors and the shops out there, which one is the best? Nofrodelius and I decided to try to find the answer on Memorial Day – stopping at cupcake shops all across town.  I started at New York Cupcake on the eastside, met up with Nofrodelius in Seattle, dropped by Yellowleaf in Belltown, headed over to Trophy in Wallingford, and made our last stop at Cupcake Royale before going next door to Ballard Coffee to do the actual taste test.  We had 8 cupcakes, two from each store – and couldn’t have been happier!

Cupcake Crawl - the Haul

Cupcake crawl – we went to Trophy, Yellowleaf, New York Cupcake, and Cupcake Royale to see who had the best cupcakes. We tried a variety of flavors ranging from normal chocolate to off the wall Elvis.

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Mega love! – Omega Ouzeri

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I love tapas because they offer you the opportunity to try a variety of dishes at the table without getting too full. It’s family style, with 7 more dishes, with the advantage of still being able to go by yourself. Tapas are Spanish small plates, dim sum is Chinese small plates, and mezethes are greek small plates. The only reason I even know about mezethes are because of Jose Andres, who opened Zaytinya’s, in D.C., and t0e used to rave about the restaurant. I’ve never even had mezes small plates before, until I went to Omega Ouzeri.

omega ouzeri - SPANAKOPITA

SPANAKOPITA – the standard spinach and feta with crème fraiche and dill; this isn’t how I imagined spanakopita, this was closer to an empanada, but it’s more delicate and oh sooo delicious; the dill gives it an extra zing and the olive oil it’s resting on is lovely

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