Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘local’

Last Saturday evening, my family and I were on our way to Green Lake and decided to grab a bite at Uneeda Burger. For years, I’ve always seen this place brought up in “best burger” discussions, and finally decided to check it out for myself. Located on Fremont Ave N, Uneeda Burger is a casual restaurant with a nice sized patio and open walls, that make it a perfect spot for a summertime meal. It was a packed house when we arrived and as we  stood in line, the warm and welcoming vibes were palpable. We were fortunate to have a party finish their meals as we were scanning for a table and gladly took theirs. It is a self-seating establishment so during rush hours, expect a short wait for a table, or to share one with a friendly stranger.

 

off fremont ave n. & 43rd

off fremont ave n. & 43rd

place your orders

place your orders

 

The Food:

 

 

#6: monsieur $9 & onion rings $3.25

#6: monsieur $9 & onion rings $3.25

Note: All their burgers are listed as 1/3+ lb. beef patties made with all-natural painted hills beef. I decided to order the Monsieur, which included black forest ham, dijon-mayo, gruyere and truffled shoestring potatoes. To my surprise, this burger was served between two slices of potato bread. It almost looked like a patty melt upon first glance with a perfectly buttered & golden-brown crust atop each piece. The burger patty was well seasoned, juicy, and cooked to a perfect medium. The ham added an additional savory element to each bite. I also really enjoyed their dijon-mayo which provided a subtle enough kick to let you know it’s there, but did not overpower. Unfortunately, the shoestring potatoes didn’t add anything for me – they were lost in the burger and I could have done without them. Also, the gruyere wasn’t as melted as I would have preferred – maybe if it would have gone onto the burger sooner? I did love their onion rings though, which were thick-cut, generously battered and fried to perfection. The first time Cherry saw them, she asked, “You got donuts?!” The onions also did a great job holding fast after each bite. They didn’t all come out  with the first like some lesser quality onion rings.

 

My Conclusion:

 We had an excellent meal. The food was delicious and despite being a busy Saturday evening, they were able to push the food out quickly. The staff were all extremely friendly and did an awesome job making sure tables were cleaned and dirty dish bins were clear (you bus your own table). Uneeda Burger is a great family restaurant as well, with plenty of strollers and kids throughout. My only regret is not having a big enough appetite to sample more food but we will definitely be back! I’ll update this post as I add more of their offerings into my belly.

Read Full Post »

The other night Cherry and I went to pick up our finished pieces from a “blow your own glass” spot in downtown Renton. As we were walking back to the car we were hungry and spotted this newer looking building standing out against the much older buildings nearby. Sitting on 4th Ave S between Williams and Wells, Whistle Stop Ale House is a locally owned and operated neighborhood pub serving American style foods accompanied with a nice selection of European beers and local microbrews. The first thing I noticed walking in, were the vintage bicycles hanging from the ceiling and the large old-fashioned wooden bar. There’s also a little wall separating the bar from the rest of the restaurant lined with old bar taps across the top. We were greeted when we entered and immediately seated. Before you read any further, I apologize for some quality of the pictures, I had to work with my cell phone camera which couldn’t handle the dim lighting too well.

whistlestop.entrance

entrance from 4th ave s.

whistlestop.bike

decor

whistlestop.bar

bar

The Food:

whistlestop.pestobread

toasted pesto bread: baguette topped with basil-pesto, tomato, red onion and melted provolone $6.99

Very simple but tasty appetizer. The 6 slices of baguette, which had a nice crunch, were stacked upright on a huge bed of mixed greens – like how you stack logs before a bonfire. The cheese was nicely melted and the pesto wasn’t overpowering. The onion and tomato added nice countering flavors each bite. The amount of greens they used under the bread was enough to be a full dinner salad! I should’ve asked for a side of dressing 😉

whistlestop.burgerdejuor

burger de jour: 1/3 lb. misty isle natural angus beef, roasted red peppers, crispy onion fries, provolone lettuce, tomato $10.99

The open-faced presentation was appealing in that it allows you to see everything inside the burger. The burger tasted fresh and clean but lacked seasoning. The seasoning it lacked however, was compensated by the onion fries which were crispy and salty and roasted red peppers which had some spice. The burger didn’t need ketchup or any sauce for that matter because of how moist the red peppers were. The provolone was also perfectly melted and blended everything together nicely. Aside from having a nice crunch, the fries were average.

whistlestop.windorstation

windsor station: 1/3 misty isle natural angus beef, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion, *honey smoke bacon $ 10.49

The Windsor Station is your quintessential cheeseburger. It normally costs $7.99, but I splurged and paid an extra $2.50 to make it a bacon cheeseburger. The honey smoked bacon was thick cut, very flavorful and the burger was cooked to a perfect medium rare.  The cheddar cheese was nicely melted and everything else came together like a solid burger should. Normally a good thing, the burger buns were a little too soft for my liking for both Cherry and my burger. The mere lifting of the burger in my hands caused major imprints in the buns and I worried they’d begin to fall apart. I was able to finish the burger without the bun falling apart but it did require a the delicate handling of a professional.

My conclusion:

The Whistle Stop Ale House is a fun and family friendly pub that offers good local food and a beer selection that will please the masses. The best part of this visit was actually on our way out. I struck up a conversation with the restaurant owner, Jeff, who happens to be an awesome guy! He gave us a little background of how he got started and even offered a handful of recommendations for other mom & pop restaurants in the downtown Renton area. It’s always a gratifying feeling for me, when supporting the local businesses – us lil’ people gotta stick together! If you’re at all interested in finding out where else to eat in Renton (aside from Whistle Stop), then come by and ask Jeff yourself!

Read Full Post »

Located on the corner of 1st and Bell in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, Local 360 is a very nice spot for a fresh and hearty meal. The unique thing about this restaurant is that all of their food is sustainable and the majority of it is sourced locally, within 360-miles of Seattle. The interior is quaintly decorated with the wood tables, seats and walls providing a farmhouse sense for guests.

 

anyone speak french?

 

a little wax

 

menu

 

 

The Food:

 

raw oysters $3/each

Only three words to describe these; fresh, clean, delicious! Raw oysters fit perfectly in my foodie philosophy: simplicity is key. The vinaigrette was slightly overpowering for my taste, but still delicious nonetheless.

 

wood grilled pork chop, potato hash, apple gastrique $18

When this dish was served on our table, an immediate smile grew across my face. 360 serves two full chops  that looked like a club Fred Flintstone would swing in his day. These chops were perfectly cooked with a good char and extremely tender. I especially enjoyed the chopped green apples that they cooked with the potato hash, which provided a countering tartness to the savory potatoes. The gastrique sauce, which is a caramelized sugar deglazed with vinegar, had a very rich and sweet flavor – almost like an apple cider glaze. One major critique I did have with this dish was that the pork was way too salty. I love savory flavors, but the saltiness of the meat overpowered this dish and I found myself trying to scrape every last drop of the gastrique sauce on each piece of pork to cut through it. 

 

butcher’s grindhouse burger with cheese & bacon $15

I find myself in an oxymoronic state describing the flavors of the burger as, clean yet full of flavor. Flavorful burgers tend to be associated with a greasy and/or patties with a higher fat contect. Local 360 proves that notion wrong with their grindhouse burger. The meat tastes extremely clean but at the same time you don’t forget you’re eating a burger… if that makes any sense. The rest of the ingredients all contributed to provide one of the better burgers I’ve ever tasted. The bacon was thick, crispy and carried smoky flavor while the cheese contributed a nice richness. The french fries were well cooked and perfectly seasoned with salt. There’s a certain comfort knowing that everything you’re eating is fresh, local and hormone free. Having tasted such an awesome burger here, it will be extremely tough to ever go back to a fast-food burger chain… It’d be like having the best steak you’ve ever had for lunch, then having a frozen dinner steak for dinner.

My Conclusion:

In my book, Local 360’s stock just made a significant jump. The food is prepared well, locally and sustainably sourced, and the prices are very reasonable. Cherry and I are going to add this restaurants to our list of places to revisit and rightly so, since her job is literally across the street! On a related note,  Seattle Restaurant Week is currently in full effect and Local 360 happens to be one of the participating restaurants. You can find their Restaurant Week Menu here.

Read Full Post »

Cherry has had a craving for shrimp for the longest time and being the considerate husband that I am, I decided to help her fulfill her craving. But we’re not talking about the regular shrimp you can find at any supermarket or seafood restaurant… we’re talking the shrimp you find at Sweet D’s Shrimp Shack. I’ve only been here one other time in my life and that was many years ago… so this was a good refresher. If you’ve never heard of Sweet D’s, that’s not too surprising – it’s located in the middle of nowhere off Highway 20 in Anacortes. It’s literally a large white shack on the side of the road with a handful of parking spots and a large covered area with a few picnic style tables. They specialize in their local shrimp, but they have a surprisingly large menu offering adventurous items; from elk burgers and gator-wiches to blue crab sandwiches and oyster burgers. All the food they serve in is Washingtonian style – fresh and local!

sweet d’s shrimp shack 

daily specials

The Food:

pound ‘o shrimp

 beer-battered fish and chips

breaded humboldt squid steak strips & fried oysters

My Review:

The shrimp is served cold (cocktail style) with its head and shell on and scooped into a brown paper bag. I was a little surprised because the shrimp were so small, but that didn’t take away from experience – if anything, it added to it! Getting down and dirty peeling each and every shrimp before you devour them is somewhat barbaric – very gratifying. Each shrimp had great natural flavor – perfect combination of sweet and salty. No cocktail sauce or additional flavors were needed to finish the entire bag. We were definitely rookies buying 3-lbs… most everyone bought the 5-pounder and there were even several people with coolers buying 10+ lbs. of shrimp!

I’m a huge fan of fish and chips and these definitely filled the “greasy fried foods” hole in my stomach. Two adjectives I wouldn’t normally pair together when describing something I was to put in my mouth are; big and thick… however when it comes to fish and chips those two words are what you look for! Small and skinny fish and chips wouldn’t be very appetizing. I was a little torn on how I felt about these fish and chips. Some parts of the batter was fried perfectly – with the bites being very crunchy. But then there were some parts of that weren’t as crispy – almost like a thin layer of corn bread. The fish was cooked well but the inconsistent texture of the batter on the outside threw off the experience. The fries were good – nothing special or out of the ordinary.

The breading on the calamari strips had nice overall flavor, but slightly overpowered the natural flavor of the squid. They were fried a little too long for my liking as well – past the golden brown that you look for more into a clay-brown color. The two oysters were breaded nicely and did a good job accenting the flavor of the oysters. These local oysters are larger than your average oyster which makes them ideal for frying.

My Conclusion:

When I think of Anacortes, diversity isn’t the first thought that comes to mind, however I was very surprised to find the exact opposite when I ate there. It was like I stepped into the seafood isle of SeafoodCity! Nonetheless, the portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. Don’t come up expecting the best seafood in town because you’ll get the lowly sidekick. Anyone that makes the drive up here is definitely coming for the  main attraction, the superhero, the shrimp.

Read Full Post »