Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Posts Tagged ‘Macrina Bakery

La Bête has the lowest visibility of all the restaurants I’ve dined at in Seattle. Thankfully it was an early impromptu dinner and there was still plenty of natural light with daylight saving. Dark tones and dim chandeliers absorbed the dusk hues. The L shaped dining room had an intimate ambience.

A spectacular wooden counter was lacquered and contrasted with the stainless steel of the open kitchen.

The bread plate was ornate and the silverware beautiful.

We shared an appetiser of coppa and Parmesan. A glistening mound of cured pork shoulder was topped with Parmesan shavings. We happily nibbled on the thin slices of lightly spiced coppa.

Mr S ordered the La Bête deluxe burger with a side of Caesar salad. A thick Painted Hills beef patty was stacked with bacon, sautéed mushrooms, caramelised onion, lettuce and remoulade in a Macrina sesame brioche bun. It was declared the best burger in Seattle!

I selected the beet salad. The root vegetable is at the end of the season, and the chunks of red and gold beets were still tender and sweet. Paired with orange segments, croutons, pistachios, Parmesan and greens, it was drizzled with a piquant vinaigrette. The leftover portion was refrigerated overnight which intensified the flavours for lunch the next day.

It was a pleasantly shadowy evening!

Preceding All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, Halloween isn’t observed in Australia. Some family neighbourhoods would have trick-or-treat for children but it’s not as commercialised as in America.

Pumpkins, candy and costumes. Decorative and carving pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and varieties were piled high into grocery stores, bags of candy and chocolate stacked the shelves of supermarkets, and feathers, sequins, glitter and taffeta were fashionable for one night only.

On All Hallow’s Eve, we avoided the ghoulish crowds by enjoying a civilised dinner at Pintxo. Pintxo, toothpick or skewer snacks, are a northern Spanish specialty.

The narrow street frontage has a view into the kitchen through the window. Although there is an exhaust extractor, the restaurant was a little smoky from the exposed kitchen. A blackboard divided the liquor bottles from the pantry items.

Modern art cluttered the walls and an ornate mirror enlarged the dining room.

We shared a carafe of sangria that was devoid of fruit except for a wedge of lemon as garnish. The wine punch was a refreshing accompaniment to the meal.

The first pintxo was bacon wrapped dates. Three morsels of medjool dates were stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon. It was an appetising sweet saltiness.

Three slices of toast were scattered with jamón serrano and topped with sunny side up quail eggs. It was a decadent combination of buttery ham and creamy yolk.

The second pintxo style dish was Moorish chicken skewers. Marinated in an almond and garlic spice rub and grilled, the skewers were served with Tunisian couscous, cherry tomatoes and tzatziki.

Macrina baguette was dipped in olive oil and a tangy salsa.

Cauliflower florets and halved cherry tomatoes were sautéed in garlic infused oil.

Beige in appearance, patatas and chorizo were braised in gravy until tender.

Speared by a bamboo stick, three citrus cinnamon braised pork sliders were smothered in chimichurri and doused in a balsamic reduction.

Similar to a crème brûlée, the crema Catalana had a caramelised sugar crust, and the custard was perfumed by cinnamon and lemon.

And lastly, the charred bread pudding with dulche de leche had the consistency of a dense cake.

Howls and sirens echoed through the night as I pondered why the dishes were in sets of threes.

Marination Station. I love that the name rhymes. After our failed attempt a couple of months ago, we knew exactly where to find the permanent location of Marination Mobile. Above the QFC on the corner of Broadway and Pike, Marination Station is concealed from the busy thoroughfare.

Outside is a patio with a narrow communal bench. A laminated menu is tacked on the glass door and inside is a small space with additional seating and the ordering counter.

‘Aloha served daily’, the cuisine is a fusion of Korean and Hawaiian influences.

Customer feedback quotes, photos and drawings decorate the stainless steel fridge. Pithy comments are scrawled on by staff.

Mr S quenched his thirst with a Hawaiian Sun tropical iced tea which was non-carbonated and refreshingly sweet.

We shared a miso ginger chicken taco as an appetiser. Tender pieces of marinated chicken are topped with their signature nunya sauce and coleslaw, and wrapped in two warm tortillas. A squeeze of lime and the taco was devoured quickly.

Mr S selected the spicy pork torta. Slices of spicy pork drizzled with their signature nunya sauce, pickled peppers and onions, and coleslaw are stuffed into a Macrina demi baguette with a thick spread of guacamole. The crusty bread soaked up the condiments and the torta was pleasantly crunchy.

I opted for the kimchi rice bowl with kalbi beef served with a sunny side up fried egg, green onions and furikake (Japanese seasoning). There was a generous amount of marinated beef short ribs. The sweet saltiness contrasted with the fiery kimchi fried rice. The creamy yolk tempered the heat of the chilli momentarily!

I recall eating an omelette with diced spam when I was a child, an easy meal cooked by my grandmother while babysitting me. I pondered the spam slider as we left.

When we considered living in South Lake Union (or Paul Allenville) the few people we knew in Seattle were apprehensive about the neighbourhood and described it as sterile. I walk through the area most days and have observed its transformation into a dining hub. There is a cluster of restaurants along the Westlake arterial – I’ve already waxed lyrical about Tom Douglas’s restaurants, and it’s the new home of the relocated Flying Fish and Lunchbox Laboratory, next to Tesla is re:public and there’s a branch of Portage Bay Café. All this is bookended by the restaurants along the Lake Union waterfront and above Whole Foods.

Hidden next to Uptown Espresso on Republican Street is Blue Moon Burgers. It is quiet on Memorial Day, so much so that we had the place to ourselves. Posters are neatly tacked on the walls and the ceiling and air ducts are painted an azure colour. Above the counter is an extensive chalkboard menu – there is a burger of the month, you can build your own or select one of their signature burgers, and a variety of sides (frickles!), salads, shakes and soda floats.

Mr S opted for the blue Hawaiian and I decided to build my own. We ordered the half and half fries and onion rings to share. Crumbed and fried, the batter is crunchy and the onion sweet. I don’t mind soggy fries but these were extremely salty and could not be tempered by the baconnaise.

I had a craving for a simple cheeseburger, so I built my own by choosing the bun, protein, cheese, additions and sauces. I like a good burger but I’m adverse to mess. My burger had a thick Long Valley Ranch beef patty, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickled gherkin and Blue Moon sauce. While it did not drip, the well cooked beef patty was under seasoned but moist. The brioche bun from Macrina Bakery was firm and held the burger together.

In contrast, the blue Hawaiian was soaking in a puddle juice. Mr S deftly lifted burger out of the pool and bit into the overstuffed burger. The blue Hawaiian consists of a beef patty covered in a teriyaki glaze, pepper jack cheese, grilled pineapple ring, lettuce, tomato, red onions, picked gherkin and Blue Moon sauce wedged between a sourdough roll. I love beetroot and pineapple in burgers as the acidity cuts through the fattiness of the meat and cheese.

At nearly twenty three dollars for two burgers, half fries, half onion rings and two soft drinks, it is on the expensive end of the fast food spectrum. But, it is gourmet and fresh, and as Mr S exclaimed, they serve beer!


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