Sunday, May 1, 2011

Savory Seattle!

Well I'm a day late getting at least one post in April but I was off on another adventure for half the month which brings me to this blog post!
Before jetting off to Hawaii we spent a few days in Seattle and hit as many food spots as our stomach could handle!
We took the Clipper down and luckily we had a lot smoother ride then previous trips, though I'd still never go on it without my trusty Gravol!

View from our hotel!

We arrived just after 9pm and had a great location to explore the city from. Just down the street from us were a few Tom Douglas restaurants which we'd heard many good reviews on so we decided to pick Dahlia Lounge for our first stop.
We were starving so we started out with the Dahlia Bakery Bread with house made butter with fennel salt. The bread was very good and the butter had a great fresh creaminess to it with the fennel salt adding some nice flavour.
For my main I had the Vegetarian Thai Bento Box. I notice that it's not on the menu now so I'll have to try and remember what was in it.

Luckily I had a picture! I was overall let down with this meal, with four different components nothing stood out to me. Everything was ok but for a thai bento box nothing had stand out flavour. The green curry on tofu was bland and had no spice or flavour. The thai style rice was good but nothing special, and the papaya salad was bland.
James luckily took a risk and tried something he doesn't often have, duck, and was not let down!

As we ate out meal we saw waiter after waiter go by with paper bags being shaken and dumped out onto plates at almost every table. We knew what they were having and this was one of the main reason we chose to go here. Tom Douglas is famous for his house made donuts and of course we had to try them!

These did not let me down! Served with vanilla marscarpone and seasonal jam they were perfect little fluffy balls of goodness!

We ended up coming back the next morning as their restaurant across the street Lola had a long wait and they had the same breakfast menu.

This time I was not let down at all! I had read a recommendation for the French Toast on another blog so I decided to go with that. It came with a pistachio ricotta that was amazing! I subed Parmesan potatoes for bacon and those were perfect as well! Very salty but it was a nice contrast to the sweetness of the French Toast. I usually go for savory breakfast dish but this was a perfect balance of the two.

James had the eggs benedict but this time it was his turn to be let down. He said it was ok but overall wasn't blown away and felt that the greens overwhelmed the dish.

That afternoon we explored the city and went on a great Underground Tour which I highly recommend to anyone visiting the city!
We decided to have an early dinner as our friend Perry was joining us that night so we went to P.F. Changs for their happy hour special.
We arrived around 4-5pm and were surprised to find a very busy restaurant and had to wait about 15 minutes to be seated. Our waiter was great, very energetic and friendly without making you feel totally creeped out.
We tried some drink specials, I had the Asian Pear Mojito which was very good. To eat we had to start off with the Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps which we'd had before and were the main reason we came.

These are one of my favourite things and I can never find a vegetarian version so I am always excited when I get a chance to have them again.

Then we tried a variety of Steamed Dumplings and I had the Mahi Mahi Taco and Tuna Tataki Crisps.

They were all very good and we enjoyed being able to try little bites at a great price. Our dishes came out one at a time which worked well for us as we didn't want to be overwhelmed with all the dishes at once. I guess this wasn't ok with the management though as the manager came over to apologize and comped our drinks! Well ok I'll take that! I was very impressed by this as we hadn't every complained and in fact told him we preferred it that way. We were on a limited budget as well so this definitely helped!

We also went down to Pike Place Market that day and had to check out the famous Piroshky Piroshky. The line up was long but moved quickly and we had some coffee from the first Starbucks to keep us going on that very cold day!

We also stopped by french bakery Le Panier and had some amazing macaroons! I have seen pictures of this little treats all over lately it seems to be a new food fad but I'd never tried them. These were amazing, they don't look like much, bright coloured mini sandwiches, but they sure packed a lot of flavour!

That night we met up with Perry and check out Shorty's. Half bar serving hot dogs and nachos from behind the bar and the other half pinball arcade.

The next day we had to stop by Top Pot Doughnuts as it was around the corner and Obama has been there so you know it's good right? The doughnuts were great I tried the apple fritter which was huge and a traditional old fashioned style one with raspberry frosting. Obama didn't let us down, these doughnuts were great!

From there we went to the Experience Music Project so the boys could check it out. The building is very cool but I'd been here before a few times and for the price I was a little let down and bored this time.

That afternoon we decided to check out the other Tom Douglas restaurant on our block Serious Pie for their happy hour.
It wasn't as busy here which is good as it's very small inside and we were told it's communal seating so we may have strangers seated beside us. The tables fit about 8 people so I thought it seemed a little crowded for the communal concept, luckily it never got that busy and we had the table to ourselves. One of the waiters was very snobby about informing us of this and rudely grabbed our menus off our table later, I was not impressed at all. The other server was ok but overall I was very let down with the service here.
Since it was only $5 for the mini pizzas we each tried two different ones. We all ended up getting the Yukon Gold Potato pizza and I also tried the Chantrelle Mushroom pizza.

Both pizzas were very good I really enjoyed the crusts and unique toppings. I wished maybe I'd ordered a different combination though as these two were drier pizzas and I wish I'd had a different flavour combination. The potato pizza was very good not something I had ever tried before. The mushroom pizza was good too but the cheese almost melted to the pizza in a plastic like way and didn't have any creaminess. Comparing it to the Funghi pizza at Pizzeria Primi Strata in Victoria that one wins hands down. Though I think I may like the crust slightly more at Serious Pie as it was a little thicker and chewier.

That night I joined the boys for a screening of Kevin Smith's Red State and a Q&A. My iphone 4 has really impressed me with the photos it's been taking and I really enjoy using Camera+ to edit my photos but it let me down here. When Kevin was on stage we were only a few rows back and no matter what I tried I could not get a good shot that wasn't blown out by the light.
This as good as I could get so you'll just have to take my word it's him!

That's Perry asking his question, very exciting! I really enjoyed the movie and was glad it wasn't as scary and gruesome as I was afraid it would be. :)

That night we finally got into the other Tom Douglas restaurant on the block Lola. We joined up with some of Perry's friends that were also at the show and got to the restaurant just before closing but the staff was very good at accommodating our group. Since we had a large group we decided to share the Lola spreads and the boys had some kebabs. The spreads were great and it was good to get to try a variety, my favourites were the tzatziki, fava skordalia and roasted sweet red pepper. We were kept supplied with grilled pita bread and even when we were all stuffed there was still spread left.
We wanted to let the others experience the doughnuts as well but unfortunately they were sold out so the waitress recommended the Loukoumathes which were different doughnuts with cinnamon, honey and walnuts and they were just as amazing, a great alternative!

It was a perfect end to our gastronomic journey. Seattle has a great restaurant scene and I can't wait to go back and try something new next time!


  1. Man...that's one comprehensive review! Great trip!

  2. The food in Seattle is AMAZING!!!
    I love Cafe Presse (delicious French food), and then the Buenos Aires Grill (authentic Argentinian restaurant with live Tango dancers on the bar), and what about the Cupcake Royale! I recommend ditching Starbucks when there are 2 Stumptown coffee shops in Seattle! The *BEST* coffee :)