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Posts Tagged ‘central district’

Being self advertised as “Asian Fusion… with a twist! Comfort Food… for the masses!” couldn’t be more fitting at Cheeky Cafe. I first got wind of this spot from a good friend that recommended coming here. Located in the Central District of Seattle, off 17th and Jackson, Cheeky Cafe is one of several commercial spaces located on the ground floor of an apartment building. With views of CenturyLink Field and the Puget Sound from it’s front entrance, Cheeky has almost a “fishbowl” feeling with the windows that surround the dining floor. The interior has a very warm and inviting feel with flowers and little chicks accenting throughout, and a wall displaying the art and coloring skills of children who’ve visited. Looking around, you get a real sense of family and comfort – with a collection of family photos and a rack full of board games!

cheeky cafe off 17th & jackson

thursday night specials

a lil’  chick atop our table

back counter

The Food:

cheeky chicken wings: with a spicy, sweet and savor sauce $5.95 ($4 during HH)

 These wings came out hot, crispy and full of flavor. The chicken was fried perfectly with a crunchy golden skin on the outside and moist juicy meat inside. Ladled atop the wings, was their version of a sweet chili sauce. For me, the sweetness was a little overpowering, but there was still a subtle spice that left my taste buds satisfied.

wendy’s fried rice: with Portuguese Sausage, Chinese sausage, red onion, scallions & eggs $7.95

 Cherry opted for the fried rice to go with her wings, which came as a very generous serving. There were thick pieces of sausage throughout and the red onions were nice in providing a subtle sharp flavor to the extremely savory sausages. For anyone not familiar, Porgtuguese sausage has a bolder and smokier flavor that also carries a little spice. Chinese sausage is traditionally more dense and a thinner than sausage you’d find in your local grocery store. It also carries a much richer and fattier flavor.

pasta carbonara:  creamy egg based sauce with bacon, garlic, parmesan cheese and parsley & herbed bread $9.95

The spaghetti noodles were perfectly al dente and I thought they did a good job with their carbonara (which is an egg based sauce cooked in rendered down bacon or pancetta.) It was creamy, savory and blended all the ingredients together nicely. The bacon carried that wonderful savory/salty flavor and wasn’t overcooked. I was also able to get hints of garlic which made the dish that much more pleasant. This was my first time having carbonara outside my home cooked version. However, my friend Pert, has plenty ‘o carbnoara – even in Italy during his backpack through Europe…. and in his opinion, the carbonara at Cheeky Cafe is the best he’s had!

My Conclusion:

From a Kalua Pork Sandwich and Spicy Mac (mac n’ cheese with kim chi)  to Okonomiyaki and Pork Adobo, there’s no mistaking the Asian influences at Cheeky. But even more apparent, is the plethora of comfort foods on the menu like Brian’s Bacon Meatloaf, Cheeky Nachos, and Fish and Chips. Aside from all that, there’s even more on the menu for me to try next time.

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Through strong reccommendations from many of Cherry’s collegues, R&L Home of Good Bar-B-Q is a definite must when it comes to barbeque. Located off 18th and East Yesler, R&L’s has been around for over 40+ years – Cherry’s collegues said they used to go here when they were children! We came around noon for lunch, and walking up and into the restaurant, I was immediately transported back into the early 80’s. All the decorations, tables and menu board look extremely dated – not sure they’ve updated anything since they originally opened. When we got up to the counter, we were warmly greeted by a polite woman and gave our order.

 

entrance from e yesler

aged counter and menu board

 

vingtage pictures, booths and music box

 

 

The Food:

 

rib sandwich $7.85

The best thing about these ribs were how tender the meat was. Gravity alone could have pulled the meat off the bone! Cherry chose the medium sauce which was on the milder side but the sauce had an overpowering bitter aftertaste. All of the tangy, bold and sweet flavors you look for in a barbeque sauce were overshadowed by a bitterness – which is unfortunate. It’s a good thing Cherry asked for the bread on the side because it’d be tough eating this sandwich with all the bones intact.

 

pulled pork sandwich with potato salad $8.80

I went with the pulled pork sandwich which looked promising, but that promise fell short. Yes, the pork was extremely tender, there’s no question there. But the biggest let down for me, was the sauce! I chose the hot barbeque sauce and can look past the barely there heat… but like the rib sandwich, the sauce had a bitterness that didn’t sit well with me. I am no barbeque expert by any means, but I am confident in saying barbeque should not be bitter! If you ask Cherry, she’d probably say I had a scowl on my face through the meal. The only solice I had was from the mediocre potato salad that helped cleanse away the sauce.

 

 

My Conclusion:

For being open for so long, R&L must being something right, but we must have missed the mark on this vist… by a mile. The woman (I’m assuming one of the owners) was extremely warm, polite and reminded me of a cold glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, the food literally left a bitter taste in my mouth…  Maybe I came on an off day? No matter what, even the most tender and perfectly cooked barbeque with bad sauce is like working on a 1000-piece puzzle until the very end, only to find a missing piece – incomplete.

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On the never-ending quest to find the best barbeque, a friend of ours highly recommended a local spot just a few minutes away from my job. The Barbeque Pit is located smack in the middle of a residential street, on 26th and E Cherry in the Central District. My initial impression walking towards this small brick building, was hole in the wall. There’s a huge black sign with flames decorating the exterior and some hand carved wood tables and stools on the outside. Stepping in, I was immediately hit by the pungent aroma of the sweet barbeque. Word on the street is that the Barbeque Pit is the only spot in Seattle to use real cherry wood in their smoker. The next thing I noticed inside – soul. Hanging on the walls are old pictures and posters of Mohammed Ali, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix. There aren’t many seats inside – literally a long narrow hallway with a few tables in the back and about 8 stools along the wall.

the barbeque pit

menu & counter

 

classics

pookie’s truth about barbeque

 

 

 The Food:

 

1 lb. of pork rib tips $8

mt. ribtips

As I picked up my food to go, the man behind the counter (I regret not getting his name) said, “I upgraded your tips for ya!” It took me a minute to process what that meant, but once we sat down and opened our meal, it all made sense. Our 1-pound of rib tips magically transformed into almost 3-pounds of meaty delight! There was a mountainous pile of rib tips that could easily satisfy a family of four. Each piece was large, full of smoky flavor and nice texture from the charred outer layer. The sauce they used has a nice rich balance of sweet and tangy flavors with a deceptively spicy kick that creeps up on you.

 

beef brisket dinner with greens & potato salad $12.50

The brisket dinner was equally filling and just as delicious. You get your choice of two sides with a dinner meal – I opted for the greens and potato salad. This was my first time having greens, whichI thoroughly enjoyed. They were cooked enough to take out the bitterness and had some nice heat from the chili peppers they were cooked with. The texture reminded me of blanched spinach. The potato salad had a creamy yet light texture – it wasn’t too salty which works well with the rest of the plate. Now, on to the meat of the dish, the brisket. It was covered in their delicious barbeque sauce so I couldn’t see what was going on until I scraped open a chunk of brisket, and once I did was pleased. The brisket was smoked to perfection and extremely, it looked like pulled beef. (I’m almost certain this is what they use for their pulled beef sandwiches.) Like the rib tips, these carried a bold smoky flavor that you could taste through the rich barbeque sauce. I’m a big guy who can put down my share of food, but this dinner was even too much for me to handle!

My Conclusion:

Good barbeque is hard to find in Seattle, let alone great barbeque. Cherry is always after the perfect Black People’s barbeque and we may have found it here at the Barbeque Pit. On my way out, I told the guy at the counter to, “Keep doing what you’re doing, this is some delicious barbeque!” He graciously thanked me and I was on my way… only to plan out my next meal there!

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