Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Posts Tagged ‘sandwich

Disclosure: This was a complimentary meal courtesy of Evolution Fresh. This is not a sponsored post.

My favourite Boost Juice is Passion Mango. An icy blend of mango, passionfruit, tropical juice, sorbet and yoghurt, it is my standard order for on-the-go sustenance. I like that they have a store at Sydney airport where it’s economical to pay seven dollars for a smoothie instead of double that for greasy noodles or oily pizza.

The second Evolution Fresh opened in Downtown Seattle last Friday. Located opposite Nordstrom on Pine, the space is subdivided from the adjacent Starbucks, the owner of the Evolution Fresh brand.

I had peeked into the first Evolution Fresh store in Bellevue when I was on the Eastside for lunch at Din Tai Fung. It has a salad bar and seating, whereas the Downtown Seattle one is compact, designed for ‘juice and food good to go’.

Banners line the wall with appetising photos of the signature bowls, a flowchart for cold pressed juices, and a whiteboard for customers to scrawl messages.

The shelves are laden with bottles of juices and pre-packed meals. Sweet treats were in glass cloches and jars.

Wire baskets of fruits, drink bottles, an apron and a chopping board were hooked onto metal rails in a corner of the tiny kitchen.

Six screens panelled the back wall display the beverages menu.

Eight juices are available on tap, including organic apple and organic carrot.

Lemon, ginger and cayenne pepper, the spicy lemonade piqued my interest.

Categorised into easy, balanced and green, a mix of six juices are in cleansing packs.

Breakfast items intermingled with snacks, signature bowls, sauces, sandwiches, salads and wraps. Each has a colourful nutrition label.

I scanned for the keyword, mango! Mango, papaya, pineapple and apple juice were a summery medley, the Smooth Mango was refreshing.

I was a frequent patron of Saladworks in Sydney and the signature bowls are a similar concept. Fast and fresh, each bowl has a healthful serving of vegetables, nuts and seeds. Spinach, julienned carrot, sugar snap peas, roasted red peppers, sautéed shiitake, grilled portabella, scallions, coriander and parsley were layered on top of cold buckwheat noodles.

The buckwheat noodles signature bowl was paired with tamari five spice sauce.

I drizzled the viscous dressing over the spinach leaves and gently tossed it through. It was crunchy and herbaceous, a substantial size for lunch.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner, Evolution Fresh is convenient and nourishing.

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Summer is finally here in Seattle! We celebrate the long days of glorious sunshine by being outdoors from dawn to dusk on weekends, the city thriving with activities. There are festivals day and night, and restaurants have oiled the decks, hosed the patios and swept the courtyards for al fresco dining.

I love city parks, urban oases of fresh air, mowed lawns and pruned trees. Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill is a compact version of this. At its heart is the Seattle Asian Art Museum and at the top edge is the Volunteer Park Conservatory. We strolled through the serene greens to Volunteer Park Café for lunch.

I had sampled chef Erika Burke’s fare at Keren’s book launch party and Foodportunity, and was curious about the controversial eatery. Located a couple of blocks east of the park on a leafy street, Volunteer Park Café is in a century old building. Rusty azure chairs contrasted with the creamy yellow timber.

There are three sets of tables and chairs on the sidewalk, the one in the blazing sun is conspicuously vacant.

A blackboard easel listed daily specials.

Breakfast and lunch items were listed on three walled blackboards. Staff were frantically assembling sandwiches as we queued to order.

Discs of golden cookies in tin buckets, their flavours stamped on placards, were visual lures.

The centrepiece of the cosy space is the communal table. We pirouetted to sit by the window. It was a warm day, and the enclosed room was sweltering and amplified the cacophony of the crowd.

Layers of pastrami and caraway sauerkraut were accessorised with Swiss cheese and thousand island dressing. The thick rye bread was gently toasted. It was a moist and tender café Rueben, the tangy fermented cabbage moderated the savoury meat.

Steadied by a bamboo toothpick, the prosciutto and mozzarella baguette was a chewy delight. Peppery arugula, sweet fig balsamic, buttery prosciutto and milky mozzarella were a splendid combination.

We exited quickly and took our parcel of chocolate chip cookie and cinnamon swirl coffee cake back to the park, and shared dessert in quiet contentment.

I have a vivid mental image of poutine. Mr S had queued patiently for forty minutes at Skillet Street Food and sent me a photo of his lunch. The poutine was a gloopy mess. Brown food is ugly and being doused in gravy makes it difficult. Appearance can be deceptive and the Quebec specialty is a classic example.

The pioneering food truck has since expanded to a bricks and mortar eatery opposite the recently relocated Restaurant Zoë in Capitol Hill. On a leafy corner, the eponymous skillets are on the Skillet Diner sign.

Mint seating and lemon walls, the interior is reminiscent of a classic American diner.

Stainless steel tables and an exposed loft ceiling render an industrial feel.

The all day menu is categorised into breakfast, greens, burgers, sandwiches and sides.

A creamy blend in a mason jar, the seasonal shake was flecked with desiccated coconut. The beverage evoked tropical memories!

Shirley and I split two sandwiches. The daily special was a meatloaf sandwich with chipotle caramelised onion and cheese. A stout bun supported a thick slab of well seasoned meatloaf, a respectable homage to American cuisine. A generous mound of French fries were crunchy batons of starch.

The second was the fried chicken sandwich. Two squares of pillowy potato bread contrasted with the crispy fennel seed crusted chicken. Tender and herbaceous, the poultry was paired harmoniously with tangy jalapeño aioli and healthful kale. A salad of mixed greens was tossed with a vibrant vinaigrette.

Skillet Counter is under construction in the Seattle Center Armory, adding culinary gravitas to the ‘food court’.

I had a sandwich for lunch every day during secondary school. It was a utilitarian meal of chicken or tuna with mayonnaise, Kraft Singles, tomato slices and iceberg lettuce. Weary of soggy bread, limp lettuce and mealy tomatoes, I avoided sandwiches in my university years and I still rarely them.

A recent highlight was Fusion on the Run‘s coconut ginger chicken bánh mì at last year’s Mobile Food Rodeo. Naomi suggested Sub-Sand (潛水艇) for a weekday lunch. Located next to Fuji Bakery, Sub-Sand specialises in bánh mì style sandwiches.

Coral walls and a black menu with orange print was the backdrop for the sandwich counter. An illuminated light box displayed photos of dishes.

A shark motif decorated the dining room. Shark shaped lamp shades were on the ceiling and a hammerhead sharks mural was painted by the owner.

We ordered two sandwiches to share. The ingredients were layered in crusty baguettes and pinned by a toothpick. Both were garnished with batons of pickled carrot and cucumber, slivers of red onion, shredded lettuce, sprigs of coriander and jalapeño.

Aromatic and succulent, the lemongrass chicken was a delicious contrast of meaty, crunchy and chewy textures.

I had expected the salt and pepper tofu sandwich to be stuffed with cubes of deep fried bean curd, instead they were marinated slabs smeared with mustard. A curious combination in a sandwich, the silky tofu was pleasingly savoury.

I had spotted egg waffles (雞蛋仔) displayed in the window and was delighted that they made my favourite traditional Cantonese street food. I devour a bag a day when I’m in Hong Kong!

A thick batter was poured into a pockmarked waffle iron and rotated for even cooking. The sweet scent perfumed the air, so much so that a guy asked us what we were eating as we exited the restaurant! Crispy edged and spongy inside, the bubble wrap lattice was a light dessert.

Priced between four and six dollars, the generous portions were excellent value!

I love the rhythm of weekend meals. They can be spontaneous or researched and made with intention. We were vacillating about brunch when we serendipitously stopped outside Henry and Oscar’s. Owned by the Big Picture, Henry and Oscar’s is located next to Boulangerie Nantaise in Belltown.

The bar is at the front and the separate dining room is at the back.

A cosy lounge connected the bar to the dining room.

Their signature cocktails were enticing. Mr S selected the Bogart, muddled sage, lime, Tanqueray, Cointreau and lemon were shaken into a sea foam beverage poured into a martini glass.

My mojito was garnished with a vibrant sprig of mint and was appetisingly tangy.

Complimentary scones were warm flat discs served with generous scoops of marmalade and berry conserve.

The chicken Parmesan sandwich was messy to eat but satiating. Chicken breast, molten cheese and rich tomato sauce melded together in a crusty baguette. A little limp, the rusty fries were hand cut and starchy.

The last time I had a hot dog was at a New York baseball local derby a couple of years ago. A quintessential American sports experience, the hot dog was gobbled with a beer.

In a narrow poppy seed bun was a Vienna beef frank, neon relish, tomato slices, dill pickle, sport peppers, a squiggle of mustard and a sprinkle of celery salt. The Chicago style Oscar dog was a meaty and piquant combination of ingredients.

Henry and Oscar’s is open until late for supper and cocktails!

I check the Tom Douglas website regularly for new events. They’re only advertised online and sometimes tweeted. I noticed the chaats from Bombay pop up dinner by Devarshi Patel listed a couple of days after I returned from Australia. I made a purchase immediately as the first one, Thrilla in Manila pop up dinner by Herschell Taghap, was popular.

In a moment of jet lag induced silliness, I panicked when the event sold out in less than a day and I thought I would be having dinner by myself. Thankfully I realised I had sensibly paid for two tickets and invited Shirley to join me in the frivolity.

I love that Seattle is lit by twinkling fairy lights twisted around the branches of deciduous trees during the festive season. I paused to appreciate this multi-coloured beauty in the Terry Avenue Building courtyard.

Chaats are traditional Indian street food and the specialties of Chef Dev’s pop up dinner were from Bombay (Mumbai).

An artfully blurred photo of Chef Dev, courtesy of the dimly lit dining room at Ting Momo. A genial and humble man, Chef Dev explained the composition of each of the dishes and spoke with the diners.

We were welcomed with a glass of masala chai, a soothing blend of herbs and spices brewed with tea.

Masala papad, pappadums topped with red onions, cucumber and cilantro, were shared appetisers. Thin and crispy, the sturdy pappadums were broken into shards to scoop up the tangy diced mix.

Curiously plain in appearance, the panni puri were three puffed crackers with a quenelle of masala potato. Gently tap the puffed crackers with your fingers or the back of a spoon to deflate, fill with a glob of masala potato and a squirt of tamarind water or herb water. These were fun to eat by hand!

Chaas, a savoury version of lassi, was our second beverage. The iced cumin and green chilli yoghurt drink had a peculiar aroma and tasted like a diluted tzatziki.

In a floral rimmed bowl was dahi wada. A ground daal fritter was seasoned with yoghurt, paprika, toasted cumin and chutney.

All the courses thus far have been eaten with a spoon. Next was wada paav, a potato sandwich flavoured with chutneys and wrapped in a page from a magazine.

Chef Dev detailed how he tried several times to learn how to make the bun at a bakery in India. The Dahlia Bakery staff assisted with the recipe and the bun was fresh and soft. A combination of three chutneys were spread on the potato patty. The spicy sandwich was the highlight of the meal.

Next was ragda patties. A mound of chickpeas and white beans, and a dollop of chutney hid a potato cake.

The last savoury item was misol paav. A square of toast soaked in the legume sprout stew.

And finally, dessert was gaja ka halva. A distinctly orange mass of shredded carrot and cardamom pudding was fragrant and mildly sweet. 

Sincere thanks to Chef Dev for introducing us to chaats! A meat version of the chaats pop up dinner was mentioned for spring.

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!


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