Posts Tagged ‘Painted Hills Natural Beef’
I don’t remember where and when I’ve eaten Taiwanese food. The only dishes I know are oyster omelette (蚵仔煎) and ‘three cup’ chicken (三杯雞), both of which are common in Cantonese style restaurants.
Facing East was recommended by several people and our group of four gathered for a weekday lunch. I paced up and down Bellevue Way between 10th and 12th checking the numbers and had to call for directions. Similar to Tamarind Tree, Facing East is located in a mall with no street frontage.
A small dining room for a popular eatery, the space is modern and bright.
The glossy menu is categorised into snacks and sides, rice and noodles, chef’s specials, and desserts. Service was polite and we let our waiter guide our order.
On a wooden tray, the oolong tea (烏龍茶) was ceremoniously rinsed and poured. A petite ceramic teapot steeped the leaves and a miniature jug was enough for four tiny cups of oolong tea. Hot water refill was in a stainless steel thermos to quench our thirst.
First was Taiwanese pork burger. Reminiscent of the famed Momofuku pork bun, this is a comparable version. A snowy steamed bun was agape with a slab of pork belly, pickles, peanuts and sprigs of coriander. It was a decadent combination of meaty, fatty, sweet and sour.
It was National Fried Chicken Day so we had five spice fried chicken with basil. Lightly battered, the tender morsels were garnished with crisp Thai basil leaves and sliced pickles.
Portions of Painted Hills short rib were tossed in an appetising black pepper sauce. Pickled pearl onions tempered the richness of the succulent beef.
A modest size bowl of spicy pork stew with rice was savoury comfort food.
A mound of green beans sautéed in garlic was crunchy and sweet.
I have added Facing East to my list of quality Asian restaurants in the Seattle area!
Posted Monday 18 June 2012on:
Mark Bitterman is championing the salt renaissance. The owner of The Meadow and author of Salted hosted a dinner class at Lisa Dupar Catering a couple of weeks ago. At home we have small containers of Australian and English finishing salts and a large jar of French salt for brining, pasta water and roasting. I’m a cautious salter but I have learnt to embrace how sodium chloride is transformative in cooking.
Adjacent to Pomegranate Bistro, the catering kitchen is a labyrinth of stainless steel, storage and commercial sized accoutrement.
Catering staff has a view of the restaurant through square panes and vice versa.
A seven course tasting menu paired by Mark Bitterman and Lisa Dupar.
Rimmed with carbonated black takesumi bamboo salt, a spicy Bloody Mary apéritif greeted us.
Rows of tables were orientated to the preparation area where chefs plated our food.
Mark was as charming and engaging as I remembered. He spoke with passion and humour about the history of salt, and the composition and flavour profiles of our samples.
Coral coloured and glistening, the salmon was cured by being pressed between two Himalayan pink salt blocks. The gravlax had a firm texture and was absent of the sliminess that sometimes afflict cured fish.
Soft slices of house made bread were smeared with butter and sprinkled with fleur de sel. The sweetness of the butter accentuated the moist crystals and delicate crunch.
The pretty flake salts were savoured on rice cake with carrot, avocado and black sesame salad. A flat disc with a crispy edge, the plain rice cake was perfect for comparing the salts. I love the elegance of Murray River flake salt, a parochial favourite. The charcoal pyramids of the Black Diamond was bold and earthy. From Anglesey, the current home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the oak smoked salt had an intense aroma.
The highlight of the evening was Juan’s chilli relleno with Molokai red salt. A popular family meal at Pomegranate Bistro and Lisa Dupar Catering, a whole poblano pepper was roasted, stuffed, battered and deep-fried. Garnished with guacamole and tomato sauce, the cheesy filling laced with the heat of the pepper was rustic comfort food. From the volcanic clays of Hawaii, the mineral elements of the Molokai red salt brightened the chilli relleno.
Blushed strips of Painted Hills beef were on a bed of mashed celeriac and topped with threads of sweet potato. The luscious sel gris complimented the meatiness.
A bowl of Kauai guava smoked salt.
Dessert was burnt caramel cheesecake with salted pecan crust adorned with fresh blueberries and a white chocolate curl. Unfortunately this was too salty for me.
Mark recommended flake salt, fleur de sel and sel gris as the foundation set for the pantry. Which salt to use? Consider if the intent is chemical, seasoning or visual. The final advice was ‘don’t grind salt’!
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!
I’ve walked by Li’l Woody’s many times and I’ve seen their posters on light posts. Shirley and I finally went there for a weekday lunch on a wintry day. It was mostly cloudy and welcomed sunshine shimmered through the grey clouds intermittently. The snowstorm forecast provoked a sense of impending doom across Seattle but a meal at Li’l Woody’s will cheer up any hypochondriac!
I had to read this sign twice to appreciate the humour!
Is the cute mascot a baby Sasquatch wearing a pair of stone washed overalls?
The counter greeted patrons at the entrance. An open plan kitchen and several bar tables were downstairs, and additional seating were on the mezzanine level of the loft. Li’l Woody’s branded t-shirts were pegged a string for sale.
Framed by rustic wooden planks, the menu was stencilled a little high on the tangerine wall. I squinted and shuffled backwards to read it.
A burger decal next to the menu whetted our appetite.
A practical mix of wooden slats, tiles and stainless steel decorated the open plan kitchen. As we waited for our number to be called, we watched the chefs deftly assemble burgers.
I selected the eponymous Li’l Woody burger. Served in a traditional diner style basket lined with red chequered parchment, the burger had a quarter pound of Painted Hills beef patty with Tillamook cheddar, diced onions, pickles, ketchup and mayonnaise. It was a scrumptious combination and the sturdy bun absorbed the flavours of the fresh ingredients.
Coated in a golden batter, the onion rings were crunchy and the allium translucent on the inside. There was a variety of sauces to pair with.
Shirley chose the Pendleton which had a third of a pound of Painted Hills beef patty, Tillamook cheddar, onion ring, mayonnaise and house made barbecue sauce. Lettuce, tomato and other extras, including peanut butter (!), were priced at fifty cents or a dollar. The side of hand cut French fries were well cooked.
We perched on the stools and chatted for a while, reluctant to exit into the blustery chill.
After a fun afternoon tenpin bowling at Garage Billiards, we sought reprieve from the darkness that was the end of daylight saving. The sister restaurant of the soon-to-be relocated Restaurant Zoë, Quinn’s gastropub is at the busy corner of Pike and 10th.
I love the architecture of Capitol Hill. Single or double story buildings are converted into spacious gathering places with floor to ceiling windows and mezzanine levels.
The entrance curtain parted to reveal a moodily lit loft. The bar is at the front and there are tables on the ground floor and upstairs.
We were seated by the window upstairs with a view of neon signs and street traffic. The wall was decorated with animal themed artwork, including these drawings of a plump pig and cow.
A majestic sheep grace the cover of the menu.
Water was served in recycled liquor bottles of varying shapes and sizes. Ours was Sazerac rye whiskey.
We chose a cider each. In a salvaged jar was a draught apple cider blended with apricot. In a flute was a pear cider made in the style of Champagne.
Topped with a pink cow shaped pin etched with ‘M rare’, the burger of Painted Hills beef, bacon, cheddar and mayonnaise was served with a bowl of French fries. The thick beef patty was juicy and the sturdy bun held the burger contents together without getting soggy.
Two generous portions of battered fish fillets rested on French fries, and were plated with pots of tomato sauce and tartare sauce. The batter was light and crispy, coating the succulent and flaky fish evenly. It was the best fish and chips I’ve had in Seattle!
The dessert items were priced at three dollars each and were perfect tasting size. I paired the chocolate ho ho with coffee ice cream. Studded with roasted hazelnuts and a round wafer, the ice cream was smooth and creamy but light on caffeine.
The chocolate ho ho was a cream log encased in chocolate ganache. It was pleasantly sweet with the texture of sponge cake.
We look forward to the re-opening of Restaurant Zoë in January 2012!
I suffered from a cold last week and my appetite was low. Drowsy from medication and hibernating at home, I craved for congee. Without the requisite Chinese ingredients of dried scallop, salted duck egg and preserved egg, I comforted myself with cups of tea instead. I knew congee is sometimes on the menu at Ba Bar so we walked up to Capitol Hill for a weekend lunch.
Sydney suburbs have clear boundaries defined by the government. Your address has your suburb and postcode. In Seattle there are neighbourhoods. Areas are referred to as Queen Anne and Ravenna but only Seattle is in your address. We thought Ba Bar is in Capitol Hill. We strolled to the intersection of 12th Avenue and Madison St, and checked the map. It was another five blocks south!
Located near the Seattle University campus, Ba Bar is in a converted building with floor to ceiling windows. In the entrance foyer, a bakery counter is on the right and adjacent is an open plan kitchen. Produce and spices line the ornate shelves and wooden benches.
A ladder leans against the liquor cabinet, copper mugs hang on hooks and a chalkboard displays an extensive beverages list.
A tumbler contained a pair of chopsticks and a serviette stamped with the Ba Bar logo, ‘street food, cold drinks’.
The lunch menu is categorised into salad and small plate, noodles in broth (phở), vermicelli bowl, rotisserie and Saigon French.
We shared a plate of Huế dumplings (bánh bột lọc chay). Made with tapioca flour, the slippery wrapper was thick and translucent. A curious mung bean paste was gritty and dry, remedied by spooning the spicy soy vinaigrette over the morsels.
Mr S ordered the special of Painted Hills beef stew. A steaming bowl of tender beef and carrots was served with bean sprouts and Thai basil. Egg noodles soaked in the aromatic broth and were gleefully slurped. It was a soothing dish and reminiscent of Chinese herbal soups.
Much to my disappointment, there was no congee on the menu. I consoled myself with a bowl of grilled chicken vermicelli. Piled on cold vermicelli were crispy imperial roll, grilled Draper Valley chicken, shredded lettuce, sliced cucumber, caramelised shallot and peanuts. A cup of chilli fish sauce (nước mắm) balanced precariously on the vermicelli and added a salty heat to the salad.
A bargain at ninety cents each, we nibbled on coconut chocolate macarons with an espresso and a cup of tea.
The return trip is always quicker when we know how far we’re going!
On a glorious weekend, we walked to Fremont in search of lunch. With the temperature above 80°F for the first time this summer, we loved wearing sunglasses and being out and about with sunshine warming our skin. A clear sky and cool breeze accompanied us as we strolled along leafy Fremont Avenue.
‘Are we there yet?’ There seemed to be no end to the gentle slope and I was worried we’d be eating at Woodland Park Zoo! We looked left and right for Paseo as Andie had recommended their Caribbean sandwiches. When we finally spotted the shambolic shack, we were dismayed to see a long queue.
We were hungry and parched so we hedged our bet and continued onto Uneeda Burger.
I had a light bulb moment as we approached Uneeda Burger. I leaned over to Mr S and whispered, ‘I get it, you-need-a-burger’! I can be slow sometimes.
Previously an auto repair business, garage doors separated the large covered patio from indoor seating.
The focal point inside was the counter and kitchen. Etched on a large chalkboard was an extensive menu numbered one to fourteen for ease of ordering. Bottles of wine and beer were displayed on a shelf, and shakes and sodas were also available. A wall cut-out framed a frantic kitchen where a handful of chefs flipped patties and assembled burgers.
Above the table for self-serve cutlery, condiments and water jugs was a chalked outline of a cow with sections labelled either ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
Mr S picked burger number four, the BBQ Smash. Balanced precariously on the crusty bun was a beef patty, charred onions, bacon and cheddar with barbecue sauce. The sweetness of the caramelised onions contrasted with the salty bacon and smoky sauce - it was a ‘smashing’ burger indeed!
We shared a side of hand cut fries. The golden batons were a little limp but were a generous serving.
My chosen burger was number three, the Philly Smash. I added a fried egg to the beef patty, charred peppers and onions, and Gruyère with special sauce. Unfortunately my tastebuds couldn’t identify the special sauce.
I cut the burger in half and the molten cheese oozed over the juicy patty. Slightly spicy, the grilled peppers were extra seasoning for the tasty burger.
You need a burger? Get thee to Uneeda Burger!