Seattle Restaurant Week 2013: Lunch at the Steelhead Diner

Seattle Restaurant Week ran this fall from October 13th-17th and the 20th-24th. I went out twice the first week, once for lunch and once for dinner, and one time for dinner during the second week. If you don’t know, restaurant week gives you the opportunity to have a 3 course lunch or dinner (respectively $15 or $28) at a number of Seattle/Bellevue/etc. area restaurants. It’s a great chance to try a new, high-quality restaurant for a very reasonable price. The last thing that I cannot stress enough about restaurant week is that YOU NEED RESERVATIONS. Even for lunch. There may be certain restaurants where you do not, but if you have your heart set on going somewhere, check it at least a week in advance. Many of them allow you to reserve Via Yelp/OpenTable which I’ve had no problems with and which is my favorite way to reserve.

All 3 that I visited had great options for all the courses and very generous portions. But first, I’m going to talk about the Steelhead Diner. First, the menu. There were 3 options for each of the 3 courses, and I chose the tater tots, the pasta, and the pear crisp bar. I do kind of regret not choosing the sandwich for the second course, because it sounded really interesting and the pasta was such a large portion that, while delicious, it was impossible for me to finish.

The restaurant itself is located right over from the Pike Place Market which makes parking obnoxious, but which makes for a pretty view if you have a window seat.

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We were given bread and herbed butter to start.

herbed butter

 

bread

 

The crab and shrimp tater tots came with a great celery leaf salad garnish and a pretty good sauce, considering I am not an “add sauce to everything” kind of person. Also, note the adorable plates that go with the fly fishing theme.

tater tots

 

The next course for me was the pasta, which was a trenne with mushrooms, cheese, and roasted cauliflower. As I mentioned, the portion was huge so I couldn’t finish it, but it was a very good pasta dish.

pasta

 

The absolute BEST part of this meal was the pear crisp. But while we waited for dessert, I had my friend try to get some sneaky decor pictures of the flies in the glass case next to where we were seated.

fly!\

all the flies

 

And now for the dessert! As I mentioned, it was a pear crisp with hazelnut streusel and vanilla icing. It also had the best whipped cream I’ve ever tried, which was so thick and flavorful that it tasted like vanilla ice cream.

dessert!

 

Overall, I would definitely go back to the Steelhead Diner.

right by the market

 

Restaurant Week returns Spring 2014, and if you have the opportunity, go for it!

Post and photos by: Melissa

 


Hiking in Bellingham

A few weeks ago I went hiking in Bellingham with a friend. We went up to fragrance lake and let me tell you, I was not quite prepared for it. It was a beautifully sunny day but still quite cool in the shade. Parts of the trail were pretty steep but it was definitely worth the view at the top. We also took the side trail to the viewpoint. You can swim in the lake, though I’m not sure I would.

Afterward we went over to Larrabee state park to walk around a bit and warm up in the sun. While we were in Bellingham we also visited Pel Meni, the Russian dumpling restaurant, Mallards for ice cream, and Boomers for milkshakes before heading home.

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Alki Beach and Me-Kwa-Mooks Park (+lunch at Bada Bistro)

After seeing a photo gallery on the Seattle Times website about Me-Kwa-Mooks Park I went there with my mom. We love the area and when I was younger I went to school nearby. it was a beautiful day, not too warm, not too cool, and just right for wearing shorts and a sweater on the beach. We also had lunch at Bada Bistro, across from Alki Beach, which is sandy and very nice on hot days, but can get crowded.

We found a crab at Me-Kwa-Mooks!

mr. crab

 

We also found a sea star (starfish, if you’re not being proper.)

purple

 

And a rock full of fish eggs.

something smells fishy

 

Such a pretty, rocky beach!

 

view of the beach

 

sea creatures

 

We also found Lady Liberty hanging out at Alki, brought to you by the boy scouts.

 

lady liberty at alki

 

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Now onto lunch!

bada happy hour

 

part 2

 

We split some happy hour items and a burger, because we love trying as many things as possible for a good price. We had the gourmet burger, (with bacon. it was amazing), the calamari, the salad and the truffle fries. It was all delicious and very reasonably priced as we split everything and still had calamari to bring home.

burger

 

fries

 

salad

 

calamari

 

Hope you’re enjoying summer, and getting out to the beaches if you’re on the coast or near the water and you enjoy the sort of thing.

Post and photos by: Melissa


Citrus-marinated chicken thighs (via Bon Appétit magazine)

I recently got an issue of Bon Appétit mazagine from my mom and was immediately drawn to a delicious picture of chicken. I flipped a few pages and found the recipe, then decided I was making it for dinner. In two days. Here are the results! The recipe can be found on their website, where you can view the ingredients and recipe.

However, I wanted to share this with all of you through step by step pictures. I find they can be helpful when cooking. The only change I made from the original recipe was that I used green onions instead of scallions, but let’s be honest… I don’t see a difference. Sorry if I’m not enough of a food snob to care. Still delicious. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

Recipe

  • Set aside 1/4 cup sliced scallions. Pulse cilantro, garlic, citrus zests, citrus juices, soy sauce, oil, salt, and remaining scallions in a food processor or blender until a coarse purée forms. Set aside 1/4 cup marinade; place remaining marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill at least 20 minutes. (I did ~2 hours)

before pulsing

pulsed

in bag

  • Preheat broiler. Remove chicken from marinade and place, skin side down, on a foil-lined broilerproof baking sheet; discard marinade. Broil chicken until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn; continue to broil until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 12–15 minutes longer. Serve chicken with reserved marinade and scallions.

skin down

skin up

skin up cooked well

one portion

This is wonderful, especially in the summer! My mom pointed out that it could also be grilled, if you’re not into using the broiler. They also go well with popsicles for dessert, like these blueberry-banana-yogurt pops I made recently, using this popsicle mold, which is awesome. I was inspired to buy it after seeing this post about 33 popsicle recipes on Buzzfeed.

blueberry popsicles

Hope you enjoyed the chicken recipe, and try it yourself! It’s easy, fairly quick, and tastes amazing. Also, go ahead and check out Bon Appétit magazine or their website if you’d like, because they have plenty of recipes that I know I’ll be checking out from time to time.

Post and photos by: Melissa


Bite of Seattle 2013 & Olympic Sculpture Park, plus some Chihuly

This weekend is the bite of Seattle. Naturally this means I’m quite excited and had to partake in the festivities. Twice. Once on Friday and once on Saturday. I highly recommend going to the Bite of Seattle, or any other “bite” type activity you have in your area, as it’s a great way to enjoy a variety of foods from the area at a reasonable price. In my case I went to “the alley“, which is the event’s largest fundraiser, donating the money to Food Lifeline, a local charity. The menu is different on all 3 days, so I posted a link to it above (“the alley” link) but I’ll explain as I show you the food below. But first, the Space Needle. You can also see the fountain spraying water below the Space Needle, which is a fun attraction especially for children as they try to run away before they get wet.

needle and fountain

Friday:

friday food

From the yellow rice, clockwise, and then the middle:

Far-Eats: Tender chicken morsels simmered in an aromatic sauce with herbs & spices then slowly baked with basmati rice until flavors blend
Dahlia Lounge: Ginger pork salad with blueberries, mint and chilies
O’Asian Kitchen and Lounge: Baked Barbecue Pork Pastry
Purple Cafe: Summer Quinoa Salad
Din Tai Fung: Veggie & pork wonton with spicy sauce
Yippie-Pie-Yay: Peach-Bourbon Hand Pie
Belltown Pub: Chicken & Seafood Gumbo

I really liked everything, except for the Belltown Pub’s gumbo. However, if you like extremely smoky flavors, you might have liked it. My favorite was the Dahlia Lounge’s ginger pork – it was amazing. Another favorite was the wonton from Din Tai Fung. Fortunately, the wonton was served on both days that I visited.

Saturday:

saturday foods

From the bun, clockwise:

Local 360: Root beer glazed pork belly
Palace Kitchen: Slow cooked brisket, blueberry BBQ, sweet corn pudding & blueberry pickles
O’Asian Kitchen and Lounge: Baked Barbecue Pork Pastry
PinkaBella Cupcakes: Root beer float cupcake
Din Tai Fung: Veggie & pork wonton with spicy sauce
Shanik: Roasted spiced eggplant, squash & tomatoes with crispy wheat flatbread
Salty’s on Alki: Fresh Oregon BayShrimp Cocktail with marinated local vegetable slaw finished with a house-made cocktail

The brisket was amazing, (and of course blueberries are my favorite food) and the shrimp cocktail and spiced veggies on flatbread were respectively fresh and nicely seasoned. The root beer float cupcake was delicious, though very heavy on the frosting, to the point that it fell over in my corn. But it was still good!

After we left the bite we walked around the area, and ended up at the Olympic sculpture park where there were a few interesting pieces that I hadn’t seen before, and a few I think I just haven’t taken a close look at before. We also wandered by a new Chihuly piece which was visible from the walkway. They reminded me of Dr. Suess flowers.

Metal tree!

metal tree!

Eyeball chair! As demonstrated by lady with stroller.

eyeball chair

The infamous naked fountain, though the other figure is obscured by water.

fountain

I’m told that this sculpture is fashioned after an old-timey eraser with a brush on the end. I thought it was some kind of sea creature…

eraser art

Temporary art installation:

the roofroofing

And the flowers.

dr suess

fun times in suessland

Post and photos by: Melissa


Post-classes: Vacation Day Nine (Tallahassee: Edward Ball Wakulla Springs Park)

I decided to take my parents to Wakulla Springs on their last day here, because it was a sunny day and the last time I had attempted to take it in it had started pouring rain as soon as we got on the trail. It turned out to be a great decision because we saw plenty of turtles, alligators, and even got a chance to see manatees in the wild! This is what I’d been hoping to show my parents all along, so I’m glad we all got a chance to experience it together. If you go to Wakulla Springs, I STRONGLY recommend taking the river boat tour. It’s reasonably priced and without it you most likely will have a very difficult time spotting anything. the glass bottom boat tour wasn’t running when we went, because of “dark water” but we still saw plenty. I highly recommend visiting this park. Also, you will get to see the untouched “real” Florida if you take the tour (from the boat), at the end of the stretch of spring where people are allowed to go, and where they only visit a few times a year. The first and third movies in The Creature of the Black Lagoon series were filmed here, as well as Tarzan. If you’re going to take the trail anytime in the spring/summer, wear bug spray! I got many mosquito bites. We did see some lizards though.

main sign

We even got to see a turtle on our way into the park, crossing the street! The car you see in the sign above contained people that also stopped to admire the turtle.

turtleeeee

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five

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nine

ten

beautiful

so nice

There is also a swimming area, a beach-y place to lay about in the sun, and a lodge with a soda shop (for milkshakes, hot dogs, etc.) and a real restaurant where we chose to eat lunch.

lodge

outside

ceiling

picture

Here’s the menu:

menu one

menu two

We got the Chicken Caesar salad, Po Boy shrimp sandwich, and the grilled shrimp salad.

caesar

shrimp salad

sandwich

Everything was great! My parents agreed the shrimp was very fresh and I thought my salad was great too. The lodge also offers lodging (imagine that) and beer/wine. Anyway, highly recommended, and a great way to end my parent’s visit.

lizard!

Post & photos by: Melissa


Post-classes: Vacation Day Eight Part Two (Traveling & Tallahassee: Dade Historic Battlefield State Park & Momo’s pizza)

On our way up through central Florida to Tallahassee we came across Dade Historic Battlefield State Park. Not knowing that this had nothing to do with the civil war, an interest of my dad’s, we stopped in. We quickly learned that this park was focused on the history of the battle that started the Second Seminole War. Having just graduated from Florida State University, (for which the mascot is the Seminoles) I figured this was a great opportunity to learn a bit about this event.

greeting sign

first sign

1800

texty

first seminole war

the beginning

florida territory

treaty

settlers

the reservation

another treaty

date of the battle

artifact

micanopy

afterward

survivors

survive

the second war

afterward

face

Seminoles today

locations

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4

5

 

1

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AND! After a long drive back to Tallahassee we ended up at Momo’s pizza, where I got a huge slice with pepperoni, sausage and bacon. Gosh I love pizza.

pizza!

Post & photos by: Melissa


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