Doughy goodness

The Pike Place Market is a mecca for food lovers. One could explore and discover great produce, seafood, cheese, coffee, and restaurants; the places to see at the market are limitless. Filled with nooks and crannies, Pike Place Market is deserving of exploration, next time you go definitely explore. This is how we stumbled on Michou’s Bomboloni.

Michou is quietly tucked away in the Soames-Dunn Building of the Market; they have this doughy drop of heaven called Bomboloni. Slightly denser than a doughnut but you’ll get the same satisfaction from it. Definitely filling. And the cinnamon sugar dusting is always a crowd-pleaser. We each got one and know that it’ll be something we’ll grab on the run down the road. Skip past the mini-donut place and definitely go here.

The folks at Michou have all sorts of other stuff from baked goods to Mediterranean fare. And a great fresh squeezed lemonade too. The sandwiches are really good, I grabbed the turkey-bacon. As with any good sandwich, it’s defined by its bread, and Michou comes through. Definitely partake in the bomboloni though.

And that sense of discovery? We found it in a little courtyard tucked in the back. It felt like a little oasis in the Market. Down the steps from Post Alley. That little area also houses Sabra’s and Emmett Watson’s Oyster Bar.

Go out and explore your Pike Place Market, you’ll be glad you did.

Michou on Urbanspoon

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àMaurice is aMazing.

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Earlier this year we went to a Winemaker Dinner at The WAC celebrating the wines of àMaurice. A big reason why we went is because one of us knew the winemaker, Anna Schafer. We had a great time getting to know Anna and tasting her wines created a fondness for àMaurice that most of us carry to this day. Imagine my surprise when I found out they were making a table wine.

Based in Walla Walla, àMaurice is creating some exciting stuff or as Stephen Tanzer mentioned at Art of the Table “… àMaurice was a surprising and exciting winery…. ” Very cool. They make awesome wines, ranging from Malbec to Merlot, Viognier to Chardonnay, and more.

So imagine my surprise this week when I went to the Uptown Metropolitan Market and noticed a white table wine from them called “Pour Me”. Table wines are usually a blend of grapes and have a lot of flavor that’s pretty front and center. In this case Pour Me is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Chardonnay. And Pour Me clocks in at under $15. Sold!

We were excited to try it, because we knew Anna’s talent and the quality of vine that àMaurice plays with. When we tasted it, Pour Me exceeded our expectations. A pretty full body with good acidity and evident fruit; this was a really nice wine. And it had a great finish! Creamy and lush: malolactic fermentation perhaps? This is a really fun wine. Definitely as good as some Washington whites at twice its price.

Another cool thing about Pour Me is that it’s a Metropolitan Market exclusive. In other words, once they’re sold out, you’ve missed your chance. You’ve been properly warned; get yours.

Spotlight on Salumi

Of Seattle’s food destinations, Salumi would be on that list. With good reason too. Its modest storefront on the edge Pioneer Square welcomes visitors from all over the world craving good food. Much has been written about Salumi from writers much better than myself, so instead we’ll talk about their sublime Agrumi Salumi,

I discovered Agrumi before a trip to the Upper One of Alaska. I wanted to grab some salumi as a gift, because who doesn’t love cured meats? Even vegetarians break for the right kind. Salumi opens at 11am, and I made my way around 10:45. And yup, the line was already starting. By the time Armandino Batali opened his doors, we were 30 deep. Glad I got their early. If you’re at the back of the line the wait is worth it. Sandwich suggestion? Get the Porchetta and thank me later.

As I rummaged through the cured meats, I asked about one called Agrumi. I was told that it was a new flavor incorporating citrus and cardamon. Citrus? In salumi? I gave it a shot, and I was sprung. The flavor of the citrus is restrained and delicate. Softly touching on your palate with a slight zing. It’s already my favorite of theirs and that’s saying something.

Thankfully you don’t have to wait in the lines to grab some. You can order some through their website and Metropolitan Market also carries Salumi at some of their deli counters.And the folks that I gave it to in Alaska? They were in cured meat heaven as well.

Bacon + Ice Cream = Food heaven

About this time last year, a group of friends were over for a late summer get together. Plenty of wine was poured, much food was served, and for dessert, something that combines the best of both worlds of bacon and ice cream. As one would expect, awesomeness ensues.

I learned about this recipe while watching Gourmet Magazine’s excellent Diary of a Foodie show. In it Ruth Reichl made it and I was memorized. During this episode they even featured Heston Blumenthal’s take on it. After watching the ep, I knew I had to give this recipe a try.

The thought of combining ingredients that are so polar to each other could be a head scratcher. On one hand you have the smoky, salty, savory perfection of bacon. On the other is the cool, creamy, sweet, decadence of ice cream. Distinct flavors indeed. But if you take a step back, you can see how they go well together. It’s the salty, sweet balance that so many people love. It’s why so many people like kettle corn.

At the party, some of my friends were skeptical of the melding of breakfast and dessert, but everyone gave it a shot. It wasn’t for everyone, but what I loved most is that everyone at least tried it. That’s one of the things that I love about food and would like for most people to do; to experiment, stepping outside your comfort zone. I’d qualify having bacon ice cream as pretty adventurous eating.

Photos By Ricky Carioti — The Washington Post

A taste of the Caribbean in the land of the Scandinavian

As mentioned on the excellent MyBallard blog, Paseo has recently opened along Shilshole. If you’re familiar with the Paseo location in Fremont you know how popular this place can be. It’s great to know that there is a second location in Seattle to get your fill on Paseo’s sublime Midnight Cuban sandwich, and other goodies like their chicken and prawns.

Go now! You’ll love it! Couple of tips; grab lots of napkins, things can get messy. And bring cash. The prices are great, so twenty or thirty bucks should be good for two. Also, don’t be disappointed if down the road, they’ll be closed when they’d normally be open. The folks at Paseo Fremont like to take vacations. And they close early when they run out of food. Which is often.

Paseo on Urbanspoon

Comfort Food Science Fair

In Ballard along 15th is a food spot that brings some of the most decadent and tasty burgers and comfort food in the city. The spot is Lunchbox Laboratory. And we are thankful to Scott Simpson and Allegra Waggener for bringing it to us. Our tastebuds appreciate it.

The main draw at Lunchbox Laboratory is burgers; from making it your way or trying their ‘daily experiments’ the options are limitless. There is an array of meats, cheese, extras, sauces, and more to choose from. Scott’s Daily Experiments are not to be missed. They are combinations that the chef has concocted that go well together; the names are rad too. Definitely try the Dork! It’s ground pork and duck and the two distinct flavors work really well together. The veggie could either be a falafel/quinoa blend or a portabello mushroom. Just go and try it; you’ll love the burgers.

The Lab also has great dinner and brunch options. Because comfort food is Chef Simpson’s specialty you’ll find one of the better Mac ‘n Cheese in town. And the biscuits and gravy for brunch are awesome. And we can’t forget the shakes and drinks. The flavors for the shakes are so, so good; nutella, Boston cream pie, and green tea sit next to the standards. And the sodas are stuff you wouldn’t find at any burger place. Dublin Dr. Pepper and Mexican coke are available.

Lunchbox Laboratory is a very unique place that is an assault on all your senses! In a good way of course. From the food to the decor to the sassy service, the experience at the Lab is something else. And bring your appetite, you’ll be full in no time. You’ll love every minute of it.

Lunchbox Laboratory on Urbanspoon

Wining and dining with Stephen Tanzer


Last weekend, my friend Julie invited me to this really cool event a wine dude from Microsoft organized. It was an evening eating and drinking with acclaimed wine writer, Stephen Tanzer. The event was to taste 10 of the best Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah that Washington could produce. I knew I had to attend; how often do opportunities where you can drink great wine and learn a ton happen?

David Hamilton was the guy that organized this event, and it was awesome. It was located at the wonderful Art of the Table restaurant in Wallingford. I could go on and on about how great the food was, but I’ll save that for another time, as Chef Dustin Ronspies has some great themes ahead for dinner. I’m looking forward to going back for the Julia Childs’ dinner. Chef Dustin is a really cool guy and all the praise Art of the Table is getting is well deserved.

But yes, the wine and Steve. Every summer, Steve visits Washington to do some tastings and check out the pulse of the industry as he preps for his renowned wine articles. He tries a ton of stuff from all sorts of different producers. He wanted to have an event to taste the absolute best that Washington can produce, which brought us to that evening. Five Cabs and five Syrahs. All were excellent and with Steve’s expertise, we were able to understand the unique differences of these wines and the future of the Washington wine industry.

In tasting, Steve looks for two main things; aromatic complexity and definition of flavor. I thought this was cool. It’s easy to drink wine, but with tasting having a game plan helps out in appreciating wine. He also mentioned some exciting producers that he was surprised by. From Gramercy to Long Shadows, Trust to Va Piano, even our friends at aMaurice, these were all wineries to keep an eye on.