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Cherry and I woke up early last Sunday to grab breakfast in Ballard before Church. Deciding on a place to eat in Ballard can be a difficult task, seeing as how there are so many awesome spots. It’s like you’re a kid in a candy store and being told, “You can only pick one piece!” We decided on Hattie’s Hat, which is located in heart of the Ballard, off Ballard Ave NW and NW Vernon Pl. The interior was dimly and is what I would picture a dive would have looked like in the 80’s.

hattieshat_front

entrance off ballard ave nw

hattieshat_back

parking in the back

 

The Food:

 

hattieshat_pancakes

hot cakes and two eggs $8

Cherry with the hot cakes which are $6 alone but added 2-scambled eggs for $2. The hot cakes were huge and had a tasty buttery sweetness. Cherry claims she could have eaten them without any syrup and enjoyed them the same! The scrambled eggs were your standard fare and completed the meal.

 

hattieshat_countrybreakfast

aunt harriet’s country breakfast $11

The country breakfast featured a fresh-baked buttermilk biscuit, sausage gravy, two eggs, hashbrowns and your choice of pig. I went with eggs over easy and bacon. The biscuit was good, the eggs were well prepared, the bacon was crispy and the hash browns were your basic diner hash browns. The best part of this dish was the sausage gravy. Their sausage gravy is among the best I’ve had – having big chunks of sausage, thick and hearty, and extremely flavorful. If I would have known better, I would have asked for the entire plate to be smothered in it… however my arteries thank me not doing as such.

 

My Conclusion:

Hattie’s Hat is a very reasonably priced diner serving American favorites, which will fill you up. I would recommend getting there earlier than later, because by the time we left, there was a line out the door!

 

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Paseo has been on my “must try” list for quite some time, and being the living embodiment of punctuality that people strive to be,  Cherry and I finally made it…. one-year later!  Located on Fremont Ave N and Motor Pl, Paseo offers up Caribbean inspired dishes that are sure to satisfy anyone’s appetite and palate. Initially, the first thing I noticed was the size of the establishment – it’s a tin shack. The only indicator that we were at the right place was the huge line out the door, the mob of people eagerly and hungrily waiting for their order and the sweet aroma of deliciousness in the air. Paseo offers quite a large menu, but on this visit, we opted for their famous sandwiches – all of which are served on toasted baguette, topped with aoili, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, romaine lettuce and caramelized onions.

paseo.entrance

 off fremont ave n (this is 3pm on a weekday)

paseo.counter

order/pick-up counter

The Food:

paseo.caribbeanroast

caribbean roast: pork shoulder slow roasted in paseo marinade 8.5

I went with the caribbean roast, which is also their most popular. The pork, for the most part was very tender. Despite how it looks in the picture, it was also very plentiful and carried rich and savory flavors of their marinade. There were a few pieces toward the end of my sandwich that were too dry.  All of the other elements combined excellently to provide great textures and countering flavors. The baguette had a crispy outside and soft inside while the romaine lettuce provided a clean crunch in every bite. The cilantro gives a bright note while the pickled jalapeno gives off just enough heat to satisfy. My favorite element to this sandwich was the onion. The flavor profile of this sandwich came full circle with the sweet flavors of the thick cut caramelized onions. They were perfectly cooked providing a tender texture – not the mushy stuff you see at hot dog stands. I found myself picking up each and every piece of onion that fell onto my deli paper aka table mat, and gluttonously eating them like a chubby kid eating Funions… or like how I usually eat Funions.

paseo.chickenthigh

smokin’ thighs: 2 marinated thighs flash grilled and roasted 8.5

The chicken alone was cooked perfectly – extremely flavorful, tender and juicy… everything one could ask for when describing what they’re putting in their mouth. One thing to keep in mind is these sandwiches can get messy. It takes some dexterity and fortitude to keep everything between the buns and not all over the table. Cherry happens to be someone who is turned off by “messy looking” meals or dishes – ask her how she feels about typical Mexian entrees next time you see her! The entire time we were eating, all I was thinking was, “Ohh man, it’s messy… she’s gonna hate it!” She didn’t say much as she proceeded to finish her sandwich. When she was done she said, much to my surprise, “That was really good! The chicken was hella flavorful!

My Conclusion:

You could say this post has been a year in the making… and it was definitely worth it. Paseo undoubtedly gets my stamp of approval!  Shoot, I walked out already telling Cherry what I wanted to try next time.  There is also another location in Ballard of Seaview Ave. for those lucky enough to live in these two Hipster neighborhoods of Seattle.

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