Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Archive for the ‘Fremont’ Category

Savoury and sweet pastizzis at The Original Maltese Café in Surry Hills Sydney.

Coffee art at Strand Arcade in Sydney.

Sardinian cooking class with Pilu at Freshwater‘s Giovanni Pilu at Accoutrement in Sydney.

Bacon and egg breakfast sandwich at Mr Stuzzichini in Hunters Hill Sydney.

Burrata and beet salad at Pendolino in Sydney.

Spectacular vista at Café Harbour View at Taronga Zoo in Mosman Sydney.

A country lunch at Grazing in Gundaroo.

Milanese cuisine at Balla by Stefano Manfredi in Pyrmont Sydney.

Pastries at Bécasse Bakery in Westfield Sydney.

Malaysian hawker food at Sassy’s Red by Chinta Ria in Westfield Sydney.

Regional Chinese fare at Spice Temple by Neil Perry in Sydney.

Scones at The Old Bakery Tea Rooms in Berrima.

Vegetarian cooking class with Poppy‘s Jerry Traunfeld at PCC West Seattle.

Lunch at Vessel in Downtown Seattle.

Dungeness crab, seaweed noodle, spicy red curry and crème fraîche at Revel in Fremont.

Chocolate tasting at Northwest Chocolate Festival.

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We dined at El Camino with expats during our first week in Seattle. It felt shockingly cold transitioning from a sweltering southern hemisphere summer. I shivered in the dim enclosed patio, a wattage that I have since learnt is standard in Pacific Northwest restaurants. We returned to El Camino during daylight a couple of weekends ago. Painted a powdered blue, the Mexican eatery is located in the heart of Fremont.

The eclectic interior is decorated with paintings, posters, poppy chairs, and tangerine and lime walls.

Wrought iron gates sectioned off the spacious dining room from the bar and patio.

We were seated by the window in a near empty restaurant. A string of festive lanterns dangled above.

An ominous bottle of habanero sauce was at every table with a salt bowl.

A beverage of sparkling wine and pomegranate juice was appetisingly sour.

In a lotus shape, saffron coloured plantain chips were on a mound of salsa fresca and guacamole. The tostones de platano macho con guacamole was a starchy alternative to corn chips.

On a bed of black beans were white corn tortillas sautéed in tomatillo cream and topped with shredded chicken, queso fresco, diced onion and a dollop of sour cream. Described as cooked nachos, the chilaquiles de chile verde was a balanced lunch.

Two tacos were grilled steak parcels double wrapped in white corn tortillas. Garnished with diced onions and coriander, the tacos de carne asada were served with a pot of tomatillo salsa, and a generous scoop of rice and beans.

It would be a lovely summer evening on the El Camino patio!

I missed the Seattle Foodies First Friday Lunch Club in November as I was home in Australia. The food lovers sampled every dish on the Revel menu and then some! This whetted my appetite and I was keen to return to Revel for Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi‘s fusion of Korean, French and American flavours.

The metal clad facade of the restaurant was a welcomed sight after a windy walk to Fremont on another bleak day.

A modern design and minimally furnished, Revel is stylish and spacious. At its heart is the kitchen and a long, wide counter. Our huddle of three sat at a table for cosy conversations. The low overhead lights were a hazard for those seated on the bench!

I had a prime view of the open plan, stainless steel kitchen where salads are tossed, pancakes flipped, dumplings seared, noodles stir fried, rice bowls assembled and cookies sandwiched. The chefs shuffled quietly around each other and efficiently between stations.

A tray with four glass containers of condiments was presented at each table after ordering.

We shared two appetisers. The first was pork belly, kimchi and bean sprout pancake. Cut into quarters, each piece had a thin slice of marbled pork and a crispy edge.

The short rib dumplings were pressed together in a row and served with a mound of shallots and scallions. A spoon separated the dumplings easily. Each morsel was dense and firm, and in a scrumptious sticky sauce.

My dining companions both had the short rib rice bowl with sambal daikon, mustard green and a raw egg yolk.

I also had a rice bowl. Blackened tofu, king oyster mushroom confit, Chinese broccoli and a raw egg yolk were piled on top of a large serving of rice. It was a delicious combination of crunchy greens, pillowy tofu and meaty mushrooms.

The restaurant was lively and full for weekday lunch, and we left warmed by the heat of the kitchen!

In the Fremont Avenue North hub near Uneeda Burger and across from Paseo, and two doors up from the soon to be opened Book Larder, is Dot’s Delicatessen. On a temperamental autumn day, I met Myra and Shirley for lunch.

Two bay windows display butcher accoutrement and frame the entrance. Dot’s Delicatessen is etched in gold and an amber banner of keywords skirt the bottom of the glass panes.

A basic chalkboard on the sidewalk lists lunch and dinner items in cursive script.

The interior is clean and well lit. On the left is the counter and open plan kitchen. On the right is a narrow bench with stools and at the back are a handful of tables.

A refrigerated cabinet has platters of house made sausages and charcuterie.

Dot’s also stocks a variety of local meats.

Shelves are neatly lined with produce.

The menu is divided into sausages, sandwiches, charcuterie and sides. There’s also a happy hour section and daily specials.

A sausage drawing parodying the cow cuts is next to the register.

We pushed two tables together and settled in. The small dining room has a view into the open plan kitchen cladded in stainless steel.

We shared the large frites. Served in a take-away container, the thick batons of hand cut potatoes were crunchy.

I split the BLT and Rueben sandwiches with Shirley. House smoked bacon, lettuce and tomatoes were wedged in lightly toasted sourdough spread with aioli. Slices of juicy and sweet heirloom tomatoes were refreshing and the salty shards of bacon were delightfully crispy.

Generous layers of pastrami and mild sauerkraut were sandwiched together by molten Gruyère on rye. The Rueben sandwich was delicious with a distinctive house dressing.

We lingered for a while before relinquishing our table. Dot’s was doing brisk business during the lunch service!

A short walk to Uneeda Burger and we happily sipped on extra thick chocolate shakes for desserts. A lovely afternoon concluded with a brief visit to the Book Larder, scheduled to open on 12 October. I smiled when I spotted a shelf tagged ‘Aussie’.

Bibimbap, bulgogi and kimchi are the only words in my Korean cuisine vocabulary. With the exception of Korean barbecues, I haven’t eaten much Korean food as I’m averse to fermented vegetables and have a low tolerance for spiciness.

I had read about the interesting backgrounds of the owners of Joule – a combination of classic French techniques, Korean heritage and American flavours is a formula for modern, creative dishes.

With a willing driver in Luuvu, it was a quick trip (compared to walking!) to Joule’s sister restaurant, Revel, for a weekday lunch. On a leafy suburban street, rusty sheets of metal cladded the corner of the building with the restaurant name stamped in.

Fairy lights were strung over at the entrance, and inside was a sleek, clean space with minimalistic design. The room was well lit and the open kitchen featured a long communal bench. The bar, Quoin, is at the back and there’s also a patio for al fresco dining.

We sat at the counter and watched the chefs in action. It was a quiet lunch service and a man spent the entire time we were there zesting limes! The chefs moved with speed and precision, stirring, flipping and plating with style and purpose.

Each table were presented with a tray of condiments. Three appeared to be fiery and the dark syrup was soy based. Our waitress detailed the ingredients in each and warned us about the chilli oil. I stared at each with suspicion.

Our waitress recommended three dishes to share and after much polite toing and froing we selected one each from the dumpling, noodle and rice sections. It was a compact menu and the other options were salad, pancake and sweet sandwich for dessert.

The dumplings were stuck together in a row. Both sides were seared, then covered and steamed with a splash of broth. A bite into the firm but silky dough revealed a lump of minced short rib which was rich and moist. The scattering of shallot and scallion freshened up the meaty parcel.

An alarmingly bright tangerine colour, the slippery rice noodles were stir-fried in a sweet chilli sauce with a generous amount of smoked pork belly. The just-enough-for-me spiciness cut through the fatty cubes of porcine delicacy. I could have greedily devoured the whole bowl myself! I didn’t eat any of the pale slices of sauerkraut though.

The rice was scooped into bowls with a large plastic paddle fork and the thick tines were used to fluff the plump grains. Our rice bowl consisted of albacore tuna, fennel kimchi and escarole.

A river of golden egg yolk swirled through the protein and vegetables. The mild sourness of the fennel kimchi and slight bitterness of the escarole balanced with the sweet and succulent tuna. The bean paste condiment paired well with the flavours of the rice bowl.

We forewent an ice cream sandwich for a gelato at D’Ambrosio for dessert but my curiosity is piqued and I shall return for a fusion brunch!

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’.

Uneeda uses Painted Hills beef patties on their burgers and Mr S noticed you can substitute Gleason Ranch for an additional cost.

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.

We washed down the burgers with a creamy chocolate Empire Ice Cream hand dipped shake and a refreshing lemongrass DRY Soda.

You need a burger? Get thee to Uneeda Burger!

Showers were forecasted yesterday but Seattle defied it and it was sunny with a gentle breeze – ideal walking weather! We strolled along Lake Union to Fremont and it was time for pie!

Pie has a huge variety of pies on its menu – breakfast, savoury, vegetarian and sweet. My eyes widened when I saw the English meat pie was available and Mr S ordered the chicken pot pie. At our local bakery in Sydney, the steak and mushroom pie was a favourite comfort food. The Pie version is a good substitute. It is made with minced beef, mushrooms and onions, and encased in a shortcrust pastry. In Australia, pies are traditionally made with flaky pastry and are disc shaped, like a hockey puck, which I find easier to eat by hand but the shortcrust pastry is sturdier and less soggy.

There were chairs and tables on the sidewalk and we dined al fresco for the first time in Seattle. My pie was fresh from the oven and the filling was juicy with the onion finely chopped and slices of mushrooms are visible. I had a couple of bites of the chicken pot pie and they were mouthfuls of chicken and vegetable chunks.

I was in charge of choosing dessert and I returned with five mini mini pies. On top is peanut butter chocolate cookie, and from top right – mixed berry, key lime, lemon custard and classic apple. After sampling each, I realised we should have eaten them in reverse order. The creamy ones first, then the fruits and finally the chocolate. The key lime and lemon custard are subtle flavours, the classic apple and mixed berry are delicious and we would have happily split a full-sized one of each, and the peanut butter chocolate cookie is rich and crumbly.

I noticed there was a mac and cheese pie on the board when I was perusing the sweet ones. I was intrigued and will be returning to try that one and the other mini mini pies. I also think it’s an ingenious business idea to have a late night window open on Friday and Saturday nights for the party crowds.

Get thee to Pie in Fremont!


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