Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Posts Tagged ‘Queen Anne

Disclosure: I attended this event as a guest of GreenRubino. This is not a sponsored post.

I had had lunch at Pop Kitchen + Bar prior to going home to Australia in November. I returned yesterday to sample their happy hour fare courtesy of GreenRubino. An afternoon downpour was looming and I was glad to be indoors. Located in the Experienced Music Project Museum, Pop Kitchen + Bar has changed management since it opened and it is now operated by Wolfgang Puck.

A signature textured metallic crumble, the café has a spectacular view of the Frank Gehry designed EMP.

The interior is modern with white benches and lemon chairs.

Screens looped music videos above the bar. A generous glass of Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon was smooth and fruity.

Vases of daisies in vibrant hues decorated the buffet table.

Layered into a plastic container, the Chinese chicken salad was spiked with a pair of chopsticks. Mixed greens were tossed with shredded chicken, pickled ginger, coriander and shards of crispy wonton skins.

My favourite item on the happy hour menu was the spring salad of mixed greens, sliced strawberries, shaved Manchego and candied walnuts. A piquant vinaigrette was tempered by the sweetness of the fruit and nut.

A fluffy flatbread was topped with mandolined potatoes, cubes of pancetta and dotted with ricotta and Pecorino. I also nibbled on a wedge of cheese pizza of molten mozzarella, Gouda, chèvre and Parmesan.

A healthy vegan option, the cute slider was skewered by a cherry tomato and stacked with a white bean and quinoa patty.

Dessert was ginger molasses and chocolate chip cookies. The ginger molasses cookie had a rich caramelised flavour and the chocolate chip cookie was delightfully chewy.

I left with a gift box which I had guessed were cookies but was surprised by half a dozen macarons.

I had one of each flavour for supper!

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After a delicious lunch at emmer&rye we meandered down a block to Café de Lion for sweet treats.

Named after the owners’ son, the logo of a crown and lion’s head was prominent on a textured frame. The café was decorated in an eclectic style with chocolate walls and miniature Eiffel Towers dotted throughout.

Classic French techniques fused with Japanese influenced flavours to create intricate pastries.

On a tiered tray topped with a crown were guimauve (marshmallows), sablé (Earl Grey, sesame and matcha) and jams (peachy peach, and apple cinnamon and milk caramel).

On a crystal stand were glossy apple and banana Danishes streaked with chocolate.

Golden parcels of phyllo were dusted with powdered sugar.

An acrylic case protected the delicate rainbow macarons.

A couple of tables lined the wall and the counter seating had a candid view of the vacuum coffee makers with Lion’s father as the barista.

A vintage cabinet displayed the menu, and a dainty teacup and saucer.

We perused and purchased, the desserts carefully packed in a branded cardboard box.

Clockwise from top: mocha, chocolate and green tea. With a crispy crust and a chewy centre, the perfectly shaped macarons were ethereal.

Layers of coffee soaked sponge cake, ganache, buttercream and chocolate glaze, the opéra gâteau was exquisite.

We’re delighted that Lion’s parents are sharing their lovely pastries with us!

Seattle enjoyed a week of sunshine in late January. The Emerald City shone, and residents and visitors dispersed outdoors to revel in its glorious beauty. I uttered the phrase ‘the mountains are out’ with glee, admiring the snow-capped range reflecting light in the solitary distance.

After a Keren Brown event with authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg in December, I returned to emmer&rye for lunch with Shirley on a spring like day.

At the pinnacle of the Queen Anne Counterbalance, the restaurant is located in an elegantly restored Victorian house.

Upstairs is a private event space and downstairs are connecting dining rooms. We were seated in the front room where natural light filtered in through the bay and stained glass windows.

Shirley recommended the farro fries and, macaroni and cheese. Rectangular planks of golden farro were served with a sage yoghurt dipping sauce. Dense and crispy, the ‘fries’ were well seasoned and a nutty appetiser.

We also shared a beet salad of mixed lettuce, smoked blue cheese and hazelnut vinaigrette. A classic salad, sweet and tender slices of crimson beets contrasted with pungent cheese, crunchy lettuce and piquant dressing.

The fresh salad balanced the decadent mac and cheese. A generous portion of creamy yet light pasta was sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs. It was a hearty, wintry dish.

emmer&rye has the motto ‘locally derived, seasonally driven’. On the website each menu item has links to the ingredients’ local producers. For example, the mac and cheese pasta is from Lagana Foods, and cheeses are from Beecher’s and Mt Townsend Creamery. Bravo Chef Seth Caswell for supporting our community!

In a hurry for lunch, I walked briskly to Pop Kitchen + Bar. Located at the Experience Music Project, it  has a dual entrance from the EMP and the street. Leafy shrubs surround a patio with crimson chairs that would be lovely in summer or with outdoor heaters in winter on a clear, still day. It would be entertaining to watch tourists board the Ride the Ducks!

The restaurant has gone through some changes in the short time it’s been opened, including reduced hours. We found this out when we were going to drop in for a quick dinner prior to an event at Key Arena several weeks ago. Dinner should be crossed off the sign!

Branded water bottles, and jars of house made apple butter and marmalade lined the shelves. The menu was displayed on screens, and biscotti and cookies were on the counter.

Bright colours splashed the walls, lamp shades and chairs. Curved white leather lounges with punctures resembled Swiss cheese.

Glowing in orange, the bar was well stocked and televisions played music videos.

The compact menu had sandwiches, salads and soups, and more substantial fare of pizza, pasta and burgers. There were also daily specials. I asked for recommendations and ordered the grilled chicken sandwich.

A bamboo skewer secured each half of the sandwich. Chunks of grilled chicken breast were layered with Gruyère, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelised onions, aioli and baby spinach in crusty ciabatta. The strong flavours of the sun-dried tomatoes were overwhelming but it was a tasty combination. The sandwich was served with a generous mound of house made potato crisps.

I was the only patron at such an early hour so service was speedy!

Autumn has been deceptive. I’ve been struggling to wake up due to the gloomy mornings, the leaden sky casting a shadow over October. I feel sluggish and have a deep desire to cocoon myself in the warmth of home. I’ve been comforting myself with butter melting on toasted Macrina raisin brioche bread and steeping cups of hot tea.

I glance wistfully out the window, hoping for the day to transform into a brilliant afternoon with a splendid sunset. And thankfully Seattle has been generous this month, gifting us days to embrace the outdoors.

In contrast to the Mobile Food Rodeo, the Seattle Center Mobile Feast was free. Held at Fisher Pavilion and South Fountain Lawn, more than twenty food trucks gathered for ‘urban hops and harvest’.

We leisurely strolled the circular lawn at mid afternoon for a late lunch. Surrounded by leafy trees and with the Space Needle as guardian, it was a spectacular setting for an outdoor event.

Painted a royal blue, Damiana’s Blue Truck Special was plain compared to the other food trucks.

I ordered the curried chicken salad sandwich with apple coleslaw. The roll was overflowing with chunks of curried chicken, crisp apples and slivered almonds.

Next was Snout & Co., a black food truck with a distinctive red logo.

Mr S selected the barbecue pork sandwich. Tender pulled pork and coleslaw were wedged in a soft bun and drizzled with habanero honey.

Adjacent to Snout & Co. was the crimson coloured Charlie’s Buns N’ Stuff.

The Mutt was a teetering stack of beef patty, grilled onions, mushrooms and balsamic mayonnaise in a brioche bun.

I meandered over to the gleaming Skillet Street Food for poutine and luckily got the last serving.

A Québec specialty, poutine is French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. In the Skillet version, crunchy French fries were covered with salty gravy and molten cheddar, and freshened with a scattering of chopped parsley.

Most of the items on the Street Treats menu had been crossed out and I was happy to find salted brown butter krispy last on the list and not struckthrough.

The salted brown butter krispy was a cube of sticky, chewy sweetness with a hint of nuttiness.

In search of a beverage, we joined the queue at Boyd’s Coffee.

We shared an apple cider. A little tart and fragrant with spices, it was a warming conclusion to the Mobile Feast.

It was a well organised event benefiting the Seattle Center Foundation.

I love noodles. Pasta, udon, ramen, rice, vermicelli, soba, glass, egg – I prefer starchy carbohydrates over grains. Wok fried, steeped in soup, tossed in sauce or dry style, I eat noodles several times a week! Versatile and comforting, the key is to follow the cooking time.

The lovely Marilyn recommended Pho Viet Anh in Lower Queen Anne. The weather was mild enough for the Vietnamese noodle soup, phở.

Located on a quiet street corner in an old weatherboard house, the interior was decorated with kitsch lanterns, and the walls were painted red with bamboo panels. I had noticed a patio shaded by rainbow umbrellas. On a clear day with a gentle breeze, I was happy to dine al fresco.

Milky white and translucent, the rice paper roll was tautly wrapped. A sweet peanut sauce seasoned the prawns, romaine lettuce, rice vermicelli noodles and Thai basil with each dip. The combination was fresh and light.

Phở dominated the menu with stock and protein options. I ordered a small bowl with traditional beef stock and brisket. The phở was served with a side plate of bean sprouts, Thai basil and a wedge of lime. I tore leaves off the stalk of Thai basil and submerged them into the broth.

Cilantro, green onions and thin slices of brisket floated in a steaming broth of ginger, cloves, star anise and cinnamon. Aromatic and soothing, I relished slurping the thin rice noodles spoonfuls of soup. There was a generous amount of noodles and brisket and the beef was tender.

A popular Vietnamese sandwich with meat, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro, peppers, pâté and mayonnaise, bánh mì is on the take-away lunch menu.

As I exited, Santa and two snowmen wished me happy holidays – it’s Christmas in July!

In the four months I’ve lived in Seattle, I’ve visited Kerry Park thrice and walked up the Counterbalance each time. I huff and puff over the three humps for the exhilarating view of Downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay and Mount Rainier. On a clear day it takes your breath away, literally and figuratively!

After reading the map, I decided it was more sensible to catch a bus than to walk up to the Queen Anne Farmers Market. The bus wound its way up Queen Anne and the bus driver kindly let me know the stop for the farmers market.

Queen Anne is a lovely neighbourhood, leafy and suburban. The farmers market had a row of stalls on a closed street and a separate area for fast food. Each week features a chef demonstration and musical entertainment.

It was a warm day and after a couple of laps of the stalls, I was ready for a cold treat.

I ordered a vanilla bean ice cream cone from Parfait Organic Artisan Ice Cream. Speckled with vanilla bean, the ice cream was served in a beautifully patterned waffle cone. The ice cream was fragrant, but a little icy.

I was just in time for the demo with Chef Vuong Loc of Portage and June restaurants.

Chef Voc made a spicy strawberry salad with rhubarb and Dijon vinaigrette, and Mt Townsend Seastack cheese. Interestingly the salad had both raw rhubarb and parsnip, ingredients that are usually stewed and roasted respectively.

Chef Voc shared the anecdote that as a child he ate raw stalks of rhubarb sprinkled with salt.

I’m fascinated by Chef Voc’s knife skills. I’m a slow and clumsy cutter and I find it the most tedious part of cooking.

It was a generous sample of the spicy strawberry salad with a lovely balance of flavours – sweet strawberries and parsnip, creamy cheese, spicy mustard greens and tart dressing.

All the ingredients used in the chef demo were locally sourced and available at the stalls.

Appetite whetted, I wandered over to the fast food stalls and snacked on a Maria Luisa empanada.

There is a communal table with an emerald chequered tablecloth and a variety of cuisines available. The Palermo chicken empanada was a tasty parcel of shredded chicken, red bell pepper, sautéed onions and a special mixture of herbs and spices.

I resisted the beignets from Where Ya At Matt and was captivated by the Veraci Pizza wood fire oven trailer.

Columbia City Bakery had a tantalising array of breads and baked goods.

I bought a bread roll and the sourdough was soft and dense, with a chewy crust.

I didn’t know there were different types of bacon until I moved here. Proper British Bacon sold both British and American bacon!

The bee display at Island Apiaries was a star attraction for children where the game ‘spot the queen bee’ was played. To my alarm several children tapped the glass case enthusiastically.

There were many fresh produce stalls stocked with seasonal fruits and vegetables. I bought a bunch of organic asparagus, to be grilled and served with quinoa this week.

Each stall had vibrant hues of reds and greens.

It was a pleasant downhill stroll home!


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