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Posts Tagged ‘seattle’

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.

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This past Saturday, my family and I were passing through Seattle and decided to stop by the Seattle Street Food Festival. Located on 9th Ave between John and Republican, both sides of the street were lined with food trucks/carts along with local craft booths. With a game plan set, Cherry and I would split everything we order, allowing us to sample more. In this case, we opted for quantity over quality!

 

 

The Food:

 

• People of the Chubbs

 

 

 people of the chubbs

philly cheese flauta $5

philly cheese flauta $5

The People of the Chubbs truck was the first spot we stopped at. The menu was briefly up while they set up and I immediately knew what I wanted! The flauta was crispy and the filling had decent flavor. I enjoyed the Worcestershire pepper aioli as well, which brought a nice vinegary balance to the rich cheeses and meat. I was however, quite disappointed with the serving size. I did notice as they were setting up, a worker changed the price from $8 to $5, which I’m assuming was the price for two. Now you get one flauta for $5 which is overpriced. Being a chubby kid and ordering from a truck with “Chubbs” in the name, I thought I was making the right choice. I was wrong. They should change their name to, “People of the Slims.”

 

 

• Picnic

 

picnic

jamaican meat pie $5

jamaican meat pie $5

The Picnic food truck had a unique looking cart that was decorated like a picnic table and offered a couple different hoagies. They also offered a Jamaican meat pie which was their “$5 dollar item.” This meat pie was filled was filled with “Jamaican” seasoned ground beef and some peppers. The pastry was well made with a firm and flaky crust. With the beef, I tasted more curry than anything and it lacked the spice you’d associate with Jamaican foods. This was more of a curry ground beef empanada. I forgot to ask for a business card and can’t seem to find a website for them. If anyone has their contact info, please pass it along in my comments!

 

 

 

Bomba Fushion

 

bomba truck

bibimbap burrito with beef bulgogi $8.49

bibimbap burrito with beef bulgogi $8.49

I think I have a weakness for fushion foods, with Korean + Mexian fusions are my kryptonite – enter Bomba Fusion. Natrually, I ordered the bibimbap burrito. It was well made with each element (rice, spinach, carrots, bean sprouts, zucchini, gochujang) playing off each other nicely. The bulbogi was perfectly grilled to add that hearty sweetness that you look for. If you wanted to opt out of a meat/tofu filling you could save yourself $1. Personally, I could have used a little more gochujang, which is a fermented spicy chili paste. Bomba fusion is also generous in letting you add a fried egg at no extra charge. Did we add it? Duh!

 

 

• Full Tilt

strawberry bar $3

strawberry bar $3

Here’s Rylie chowin’ down on a strawberry bar before leaving. I thought it was too sweet but Rylie had no complaints.

 

My Conclusion:

We had a great time meandering up and down 9th Ave checking out the different foods and crafts. There was quite a large variety of food trucks/carts there offering foods from many different cultures. It was also nice we got there early eliminating the long lines often associated with food trucks. I was slightly disappointed when our favorite food truck, which shall remain unnamed, wasn’t in attendance on Saturday… They were there on Sunday though 😦

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I was pleasantly surprised when I recently discovered that Seattle has a food cart offering jian bing. Social media is seriously one hell of a global phenomenon! Despite not having the most engaging or even updated website, I was able to confirm via Twitter, that Bing of Fire would be stationed at Westlake Park for lunch on this particular Friday. For anyone too lazy to click the hyperlink posted earlier, jian bing is a Chinese savory crepe that pretty much blows all savory crepes out the water.  You won’t find any deli meat, mayo, cheese or any of that junk like I’ve seen at the local mall crepe station. These come filled with green onions, cilantro, Chinese pickles, egg, chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce and crispy fried wonton crackers… and that’s just the base ingredients. There are a few more free ingredients you can add as well other ingredients that will cost you a little extra including roast duck, pork belly and bbq pork.

 cart in westlake park

cart in westlake park

layin the foundation

layin the foundation

methodically done

methodically done

The Food:

jian bing w/bbq pork $8

jian bing w/bbq pork $8

Coming from a Chinese background, I will say that this jian bing is on point. First off, I was hit with all the flavors that satisfy; the bright kick from the green onions and cilantro, the sour from the pickles, the sweet from the hoisin and the spice from the chili garlic sauce. Texturally, I was really pleased with how the bing and the egg held everything together with the crispy wonton crackers providing a crackling crunch to eat bite.  The jian bing start off at $7 for just the basic ingredients, but I chose to add bbq for an extra dollar. The bbq  pork was decent but not the best I’ve had,  and would have liked just a touch more of it. Nevertheless, the portion size was an adequate lunch meal, even for me.

 

 

My Conclusion:

I’m really pleased with Bing of Fire’s representation of a common street food found in China. With the rise in food truck/cart popularity, it’s refreshing see one that isn’t selling tacos, bbq, or gyros. And while their menu really only consists of one thing, they do it right and they do it well. I look forward to trying their other variations.

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Hey everyone! As you can obviously tell (and what I try not to let happen), my activity on this blog has taken quite a big dip this past year. Priorities in life take a change in the world of parenthood. Nevertheless, Cherry and I planned this past weekend to get out and try new spots. So let’s get to it!

Peaceful Restaurant

We spent Saturday north of Washington State’s U.S. border in Canada. After seeing Peaceful Restaurant featured on DDD, it quickly topped my “must eat list” for Vancouver. We visited their W. Broadway and Cambie location around 3pm and it was extremely busy. Despite being small and narrow, Peaceful Restaurant was bustling and full of life. Regrettably we only ordered a couple of dishes, but that only means we’ll be back!

 

peacefulrest.entrance

entrance off w. broadway

peacefulrest.kitchen

the heart of this establishment

peacefulrest.narrow

narrow quarters

The Food:

 

peacefulrest.beefroll

peaceful beef roll $7.95 ca

This was the first time I’ve had a Chinese beef roll and it was wonderful. It consists of braised beef shank wrapped in a green onion pancake with hoisin sauce. This type of beef happens to be one of Cherry’s favorite, and for good reason. It’s braised in a mix of soy sauce, star anise, and five spice until tender and packed full of flavor. The green onion pancakes are savory and crispy to provide a nice bite. The hoisin sauce adds a terrific sweetness to balance everything out.

 

peacefulrest.zhajiang 1

peacefulrest.zhajiang 2

beijing zha jiang mian $7.95 ca

If you’ve been following my blog or even glanced at my “who the heck!?” page, you probably have read that zha jiang mian is my favorite noodle dish. Peaceful Restaurant does a decent job with their take on this very popular Chinese noodle dish. The menu reads as “savoury dark pork sauce,’ which is really a black bean sauce/paste. Pork combined with the sauce is placed on top of the noodles alongside shredded cucumbers, bean sprouts and carrots. The sauce was on the bland side and needed more salt. The veggies added a bright note and also gave each bite some nice texture. The star of all noodle dishes here  is their hand pulled noodles, which have a fantastic textu that you can never get with boxed noodles.

 

Nosh

On Sunday, we went to the Fremont Farmers Market with one thing in mind, fish and chips! After getting many good recommendations and even a personal invitation from the owner himself, Nosh was the obvious choice. Walking up towards the truck, the verbal invitations from owner Harvey Wolff could be clearly heard from down the street. His method of attracting customers was quite simple, offer a “money back guarantee if his fish and chips aren’t the best you’ve had!” The British accent didn’t hurt either.

nosh_bone harvey

follow the crowd

nosh_bone menu

zagat don’t lie

The Food:

nosh_bone marrow

roasted bone marrow $7

This was the first time I’ve had bone marrow and I now understand why I’ve always heard it to be delicious. The marrow itself is salty and quite flavorful. It is also very gelatinous so if you’re an unfortunate individual that has trouble with those kind of textures, I’m sorry for you. What set this dish over the top was the salad and crostini served with it. The salad consisted of shaved red onion, carrots, celery leaf, capers and parsley.  The crostini was toasted and salted. The rich savory marrow, the bright and pickled salad and the crunch of the salted crostini came together as one of the best bites I’ve ever had.

nosh_fish

british fish ‘n chips $10

Now for the Pièce de résistance. Does Zagat’s assessment hold true? In short, yes.  I’ve had my fair share of fish and chips in and around the Northwest and also in my travels around the country, and I can confidently say that these are the top. First off, you get an entire filet! Not only is the cod daily fresh, it is also sustainably caught. The batter is well seasoned and the fish is perfectly fried. The batter provided a nice crunch yet was incredibly light as well. The fries were awesome – thick cut, and ideally cooked and seasoned. The minty mushy peas were also a first for me, and I dug ’em! With all the deep fried deliciousness going on, the peas balanced everything out with a nice bright and minty freshness. As Harvey would say, “If you’re ready for grown up food, come to Nosh!”

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Cherry and I decided to have breakfast at Voula’s Offshore Café, yesterday, and walked out quite pleased and very full. Located on NE Northlake Way, Voula’s is a family owned diner offering hearty meals with touch of their Greek heritage. I didn’t even realize until after we walked in, that Voula’s was also featured on Foodnetwork’s, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives! Flavortown, here we come!

voulas.entrance

entrance off  ne northlake

voulas.grill

front-row seating

    The Food:

voulas.bigone 

voula’s big one $10.8

Cherry opted for Voula’s Big One, which came with three eggs (scrambled), two pieces of bacon, two pieces of sausage, hash browns and toast (rye). This is your standard, but bigger than average breakfast plate, offering all the morning necessities. The bacon was crunchy and thickly cut, while their Greek sausage was very savory and rich with the herbs and spices they use. Their Greek sausage is made with beef rather than pork – and it works wonderfully. The scrambled eggs were cooked well and the crispy hash browns  succeeded in finishing the plate off.

20140929_103654

the oddinator $11.3

Voula’s menu is full of uniquely name dishes, but the oddinator resonated with me. Seeing as how it is also an omelette, made it the logical choice. This three egg omelette came stuffed with their in-house smoked pork, mushrooms, green onions, Swiss cheese and topped with BBQ sauce. Hash browns and toast (English muffin) also came with this dish. I first tasted their BBQ sauce which was sweeter than I’d prefer, but it did carry a pleasant underlying spice.. This was a very well made omelette. I almost felt bad cutting into the pillowy-soft egg that delicately wrapped everything together – like a warm fleece blanket wrapping up a newborn baby. The flavors of the smoked pork were highlighted by the creamy Swiss cheese, while the mushrooms added earthiness and the green onions added a bright pop to each bite. They did provide some house-made hot sauce that provided that missing bite I always look for. Everything came together excellently.

My Conclusion: Voula’s is a friendly spot offering deliciously hearty breakfasts. No fancy or frilly plates here… but lets be honest, a little extra butter always soothes the soul.

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Cherry and I were driving past UW and decided to get a bite to eat. She had a fixin’ for some teriyaki, so we stopped at Itadakimasu. The exterior is a very unassuming building located between NE 50th and NE 47th in the U-District. As we parked and walked toward the entrance, there was also a small sandwich board with a “Grand Opening” sign, but more on that later. The interior was dark with black tables and chairs and pink accents throughout. There was a nice bright mural painted on the wall of large cherry blossom trees. It did have a modern izakaya feel, just with a smaller bar. We were greeted, seated and given our menus. Right before our server left, I curiously asked, “So how long have you been open?” to which she replied which a grin , “…a year and a half…” Clever. Very clever 😉

 

itadakimasu_entrance

entrance off brooklyn ave

 itadakimasu_cherryblossom

cherry blossom trees

 itadakimasu_bar

the bar

 

The Food:

 

itadakimasu_chickengyoza

chicken teriyaki / gyoza combo special $8.5

 

Cherry’s go-to at any teriyaki joint is the chicken. She originally was just going to order the regular chicken teriyaki, but our server informed us of the daily special – which had a little less chicken but was also cheaper. The unique thing about Itadakimasu is that the teriyaki doesn’t automatically come with rice. “Teriyaki that doesn’t come with rice?! What is this treachery?!” No. Each dish comes with either one or two sides and you can opt for rice or try something else. Cherry went with the white rice and a fried egg. The chicken was well cooked and had a flavorful glaze. The marinade they use for the chicken was also rich and well balanced. The gyozas were your standard fare that you can find in the frozen section of a grocery store, but that didn’t make them any less satisfying.

 

 

itadakimasu_katsu

chicken katsu $9

 I ordered my go-to as well, chicken katsu – also with white rice and fried egg. The katsu was fried nicely, providing a nice crunch on the outside and a tender bite underneath. The sauce added a savory component that was a little on the tart side. I often add a fried egg to many dishes I cook at home, so having it as an option here, gave it a comfort food quality for me. Oh, and if you couldn’t tell by the pictures above, the portions here are extremely generous!

 

 My Conclusion:

Itadakimasu is a very nice spot providing well made teriyaki. They also do a great job catering to the college neighborhood offering large portions at a very reasonable price. In addition to all this, they also offer Korean influenced dishes that I am eager to come back and try!

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Cherry and I were in the mood for some noodles and turned to the ever prevalent tool that is, social media. On this particular day, the spot that had the most positive reviews in our area was, Fu Man Dumpling House. Located on Greenwood Ave N between 143rd and 144th, the dumpling house sits between a beer/wine supply store and a marijuana dispensary – ingenious location if you ask me. When we entered, we were immediately greeted and seated. Our server then came by with menus and tea. The interior  of this very small restaurant, was decorated in your standard Chinese-American theme: faded Chinese art and fortunes, Seahawks banners, lanterns, and you can’t forget the Christmas lights above the front door.

 

fuman_outside wm

entrance from greenwood ave n.

fuman_inside

dining floor

fuman_xiaocai

xiao cai (aka chinese pickled veggies)

 

The Food:

 

fuman_everythingnoodle

a little bit of everything noodles $8.75

 When this dish came out, it looked exactly how it read – a bunch of various ingredients atop a bowl of noodles. My initial thought was, “That’s some bland looking soup!” There’s more color in vegetable broth. I scooped a small portion into the small bowl each of us had and took a sip of the soup and my taste buds agreed with what my eyes presumed – flavorless. Then I took a bite of the other ingredients (veggies, meat and egg) which concurred with all of the above. I believe they literally steamed the veggies and shrimp without any seasoning and scrambled some eggs, then dumped everything atop some flavorless broth and noodles.

 

fuman_housespecialnoodle

house special shredded pork noodle $9.25

 The soup in the broth had a darker color which I hoped would bring something to the flavor party. It did, but just a little. I could taste a meaty undertone and ginger was very prevalent as part of the base. But the flavor levels still can’t compete with say, a Taiwanese beef noodle soup or even phở. The veggies in this dish worked fine but I would have liked for the pork to be more flavorful. In both dishes, the noodles were fine, holding a nice balance between a firm and soft texture – but by the end, they were closer to the soft/mushy side.

fuman_dumplings

steamed pork dumplings 12 for $8.35

 The one saving grace of this entire meal was the homemade dumplings. If you grow up in an Asian family, the best dumplings you will ever have, are usually homemade by your grandma, aunts, or mother. Much to my surprise, these were pretty fantastic. As soon as I bit in, I could taste the flavors of pork, ginger, garlic and seasonings. The wrapper had a nice thickness that maintained integrity even during tug-of-war with your chopsticks, dumpling and gravity. For me, dipping dumplings in a chili paste/soy sauce mixture is like combining peanut butter and jelly. However much to my chagrin, I knew from my experiences earlier, that their chili paste lacked any pep. I still doused chili paste atop each dumpling but I found they didn’t need it. I finished the rest without anything and was pleasantly satisfied. My da gu (oldest aunt on my dad’s side and considered best cook of our family) even concurred that these dumplings are delicious!

 

My conclusion:

All I can say is, a little salt never hurt nobody… For making and serving such great dumplings, I’m baffled as to why their noodles were so lackluster. I would definitely come back again… but only for the dumplings. Maybe other people know something I don’t, because as soon as we were leaving, the small restaurant quickly filled and became a packed house.

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