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Archive for May, 2013

I apologize for how long it’s been since my last post, I’ve been extremely busy with work and school… I know, that’s no excuse… But as a result, I’ll share a post that’s been just marinating in my queue for several months, waiting to be shared. Enjoy!!

**Note: We went to Palace Kitchen back in December, and since the menus change like the seasons, the Flat Iron Steak isn’t currently offered.

 

1. The Bravehorse Tavern:

bravehorse.shuffle

 

bravehorse.pretzelbasket

bravehorse.pretzel

brick oven pretzel with pimento  cheddar dip $6

The pretzels alone are $4.50, which is  kinda steep for a pretzel, but the moment you bite into them, they’re worth it! The soft inner and lightly salted and firm outer provide a nice bite. The pimento cheddar (additional $1.5) had creamy and cheesy balance with a very subtle heat from the peppers. Even with generous dipping of the pretzel, we had enough dip for another preztel… so we ordered another 😉

bravehorse.porkschnitz

pork schnitzel on a pretzel bun: fried pork cutlet, cabbage apple slaw, swiss $9.5

This sandwich was excellent. The cutlet was fried to perfection – crispy on the outside and juicy tender meat underneath. The cabbage apple slaw was refreshingly crunchy and sweet, while the melted swiss added some creaminess to the party. The sandwich was served with a side of stone ground mustard that provided an awesome sharp and bold flavor.

bravehorse.doubler

double “r” ranch chuck house: dahlia workshop bun with smoky burger sauce,
iceberg, dill pickle, mayo, cheese $7.5

Cherry went with the double “r”, which was clean and juicy. The cheddar cheese (extra $1), which was melted perfectly, added an additional layer of flavor to an already great burger. The rest of the ingredients all came together wonderfully.

palacekitchen.entrance

2. Palace Kitchen:

palace.porktail

fried pork tail: maple, smoked chili, fresh crunchy vegetables  11.

I always  like to try something outside our comfort zone… well I do more so than Cherry. This was my first time having fried pork tail and I’m glad I did! The skin was crispy and the maple glaze made it taste like candied bacon. Beneath, was a small amount but extremely tender amount of meat cartilage. The pigtail was countered nicely by the bright flavors of the pickled carrots and daikons and the subtle heat from the smoke chili. Oh yeah… did I forget to mention, candied bacon!?

palace.bread

dahlia baker bread: olive ciabatta, dark rye $2

Nice little bread basket featuring foods from Dahlia Bakery. There was a dark rye and a seasonal type with olives baked inside the bread. Both selections were fresh and smelled great. The olives that were baked into the ciabatta had a pleasant flavor that didn’t overpower. It was served with a balsamic/olive oil sauce which had a pleasantly sweet undertone.

palace.royalburger

palace burger royale: 1/2 pound of hand ground chuck, dahlia bakery onion bun, fries  $15

Cherry went with the burger again. One thing is for sure, she sticks with what she likes! Like the burger at the Bravehorse, chuck is the meat of choice. With minimal toppings, the meat was the focal point of this burger. Cherry’s favorite part however, was the cheese! Go figure… The fries were plentiful and well seasoned, One thing I would have liked, is to have the bun toasted

palace.flatironsteak

flat iron steak, greens, mashed potatoes, aged parmesan, portobello mushroom, balsamic reduction $28

Off the bat, this plate was very appealing to the eye. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare, extremely tender and juicy- the rest of the ingredients all added layer upon layer of flavors. The balsamic  reduction and mashed potatoes nearly outshined the flank steak with the deep and rich flavors. The mushroom added a firm texture that countered the sautéed greens nicely and the parmesan provided a very subtle umami to each bite. Cherry took a bite with all of the ingredients and before she even finished her bite, she proclaimed, “Ooh man, this is bomb!” I’d concur.

palace.triplecoconut

dahlia triple coconut cream pie: white chocolate, toasted coconut $9

By this time, Cherry and I were already pretty full and didn’t have much room left. But hey, it was my birthday and  if the server offers a dessert as a treat, who I am to argue?!  The pie was delicious – not too sweet and not too heavy. The toasted coconut added nice texture to the otherwise very light cream.

 

3. Etta’s:

ettas.entrance

3. Etta’s:

ettas.oysters

oysters on the half shell:  kushi, sister point, penn cove, stellar bay

My favorite were the sister point oysters. They were extremely clean and had a sweet flavor. The kushi and stellar bay carried a more briny flavor and the penn cove were right in the middle – clean and fresh.

ettas.bread

dahlia bakery bread: olive ciabatta, french $2

Same olive ciabatta as earlier, but this time it was paired with french bread and with butter. The breads were fresh and aromatic.

ettas.fishandchips

ettas.slaw

true cod fish & chips, green cabbage slaw $14

These cod fish and chips were delicious. Each had a very crispy crunch outside and a perfectly cooked center with the meat maintaining a tender, flaky and almost buttery texture. As I’ve stated before, my ideal fish and chips have a batter/breading that maintains its crunch even with a drizzling malt vinegar or lemon juice – they did here. The hand cut shoe french fries were well seasoned with a good crunch.  I was pleasantly surprised by the green cabbage slaw that was also served. At Etta’s they toss the slaw in a simple malt vinegar dressing that brought a wonderfully balanced sweet and salty flavor – non of that overly sweetened mayo sauce you find at picnics.

 

ettas.combo

combo: 1 pc cod, 2 shrimp, 2 oysters, fries, green cabbage slaw $17

This plate was a fried food lover’s dream. The cod was cooked equally well as Cherry’s plate however it came with two jumbo shrimp and two large oysters. Even with the shrimp butterflied, each half was bigger than a whole shrimp you would find at other spots. The crispy shrimp were delicious on their own, but there was also a side of a rich, sharp and smoky cocktail sauce. Our server also included that there was a secret ingredient to their cocktail sauce – espresso. The oysters were also fried nicely and maintained good texture and bite.

 

My Conclusion:

If I could describe my experiences dining just three (of a plethora) of Tom Douglas’s restaurants, it would be: memorable. Each restaurant offering very different foods, yet all surrounding the common theme of having fresh and local ingredients  – executed perfectly… and will blow your taste buds outta this World! Tom Douglas currently has 10 restaurants in the Seattle-Metropolitan area, and having been to four of them (Serious Pie), I can whole-heartedly say that, his James Beard awards and many nominations are no fluke – this man can burn.  Don’t believe me? Ask Iron Chef  Masaharu Morimoto (season 2, episode 10… secret ingredient: salmon).

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