Category Archives: beef

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 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

3

4

5

 

1

6

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


Post-classes: Vacation Day Seven Part Two (Tampa: Columbia Restaurant, St. Petersburg Beach & Samurai Blue)

After the zoo, we headed to Ybor City for lunch at Columbia Restaurant. It was delicious! We decided to go with the tapas platter (3 to split) and order 2 desserts (key lime pie and bread pudding.)

here it is!

sign

front

Here’s the menu, it has so many pages! Sorry if they’re a bit hard to read. =/

menu

one

two

three

four

five

six

seven

eight

nine

ten

First, we were greeted with warm Cuban bread and delicious butter.

warm bread

balcony

Above us was the balcony.

crab

peppers

shrimp

Our three tapas choices (above) were the Devil Crab Croquettes, Stuffed Poquillo Peppers and Shrimp Supreme (I believe? we were between the two shrimp choices.) All were good, but my favorite were the peppers. they were very cheesy and had chorizo inside. We just had water but the sangria pitchers looked great. We followed this with the key lime pie (super refreshing and great) and the bread pudding (which was very large, sweet, and flavorful without tasting too much like rum for my taste.)

pie

bread pudding

Then we went to St. Petersburg Beach. It was quite a drive, but not too far for a nice beach on a warm day. We passed the Don CeSar Beach Hotel and parked a ways away, then walked down to it and back. Such a pretty, big building! It looked like a lovely place to stay.

big!!!

beach

There were lots of shells and some were inhabited.

shells 12

aha

And of course, bread-hungry birds.

birdy

so many

Then we went back into Ybor City for dinner at Samurai Blue, which I would say might’ve been my favorite meal of the whole trip. If this place was around where I lived I would go here often. Everything here was delicious. The prices were also great especially considering the amount and quality of the food.

sign

menu

one

two

three

four

five

six

It has an industrial, old-warehouse kind of feel with brick walls inside, but the interior is also quite modern and nicely done. They have a sushi bar, separate sushi menu, and full bar inside.

walls

tables

We got the calamari and blue crab rangoon hot starters and they were both great but the sauce on the crab was amazing.

starters

sushi bar

We also split the cucumber, seafood salad. I LOVED this salad and I am not a salad kind of girl.

cucumber salad

miso

For main dishes my parents split two sushi rolls and I had the amazing Tokyo Beef Short Ribs. The hibachi rice underneath was possibly the best fried rice I’ve ever had, and I love fried rice.

roll

roll2

RIBS!

so so good

We walked around the square afterward.

theater

We discovered the Tampa Bay Brewing Company and I thought I’d just mention them and their beers.

brewing

I'd tap it

I hope you enjoyed! If you’re in the area and like Japanese food at all, DEFINITELY stop in Samurai Blue (either location is probably great.) I was very impressed and they were very friendly.

Post & photos by: Melissa


Post-classes: Vacation Day Six (Tampa: Oakley’s Grille)

Sorry I’ve been slacking on blog posts! Just been very tired, a little bit under the weather, and busy. But I’m here to finish up the last 4 blog posts from the trip for you now.

On this day we really didn’t accomplish much, as we got up late-ish and had a bit of getting ready to do (and catching up from our previous day of excitement) before we got to driving to Tampa. Today was mostly full of driving, and then having a quick but nice dinner at Oakley’s Grille by our hotel in “New Tampa” and then swimming in the evening, and enjoying the hotel’s promise of free ice cream.

menu title page

page one

page two

page three

page four

I had the bacon cheeseburger, plain, with pepperjack cheese. Sorry it looks so plain, but it was juicy and delicious.

plain like I like it

All burgers come separately from sides, so we split a basket of sweet potato fries.

mmmmmm

My parents also shared a burger and a fish sandwich (the blackened tilapia)

fishy

This was painted on the wall and I liked it.

nice!

Sorry the post is so short! To make up for it you will get WAY more than enough in the next few, so don’t worry. I’m off to make them now!

Post & photos by: Melissa


Post-classes: Vacation Day Three (Atlanta: Aquarium & Silver Skillet & Poor Calvin’s Absolute Fusion)

This morning we got up early and promptly went back to sleep after the alarm woke us up. We headed out to the Silver Skillet, a local diner, for breakfast. Afterward, we went to the Georgia aquarium and we finally ended up eating dinner at Poor Calvin’s Absolute Fusion, which is a Thai/Asian Fusion restaurant.

My mom did both the beluga experience and the whale shark swim. I went around with my dad to ALL the other parts of the Georgia aquarium. But lets start with the breakfast at the Silver Skillet.

Silver skillet

front

menufront

two

three

four

inside

table

I got the sandwich with bacon eggs and cheese, my mom got the ham skillet and my dad got eggs and sausage.

sandwich

ham skillet

egg sausage

We also had biscuits, which were good, and I was SO excited to see this tabletop because it is almost exactly the same as our kitchen counter used to be (our house was built in the 60s.) So I loved it. (those shapes!!)

Next we went to the aquarium.

lionfish

turtle

tanky

seahorse

seahorse 2

jellies

fishes

fin

grouper?

whale shark

penguins

Beluga whales!

beluga

bel

whale

fish

snake

Albino alligator!

albino

two

three

Piranha

fishie

WHALE SHARK!!!!

whaleshark

Behind the scenes: They grow their own coral!

growing coral

more

Sorry Atlanta lovers, as a Seattle fan I’m still a bit upset over the playoffs. 😦

BOO FALCONS

Still a cool dolphin though.

still cool

another

last one

Lastly, we headed over to Poor Calvin’s, and parked by central park.

inside

one

20130502-215652.jpg

Thought I would show the drinks up closer.

drinks

I had the crispy beef, my mom had the unicorn fish, and my dad had the steak. I also ordered the sangria (amazing) and my mom had the “Frankly my dear” cocktail. Both were great, and all the food was too.

We had the calamari as an appetizer.

calamari

steak

fish

beef

sangria

rose cocktail

The staff was really friendly and they also gave us a gift at the end of our meal: a chocolate-covered apple with a 15% off an entree coupon.

dessert

We very much enjoyed our day today and had a much-needed great meal and drink at the end. Glad we didn’t settle for the loud, not-as-great hotel bar. 🙂
If I lived in Atlanta, I think I’d go to Poor Calvin’s to drink as well, seemed like a very nice bar with friendly staff.

Post and photos by: Melissa


Beef stir fry with quinoa

I bought some assorted packages of meat (chicken, pork and beef) at the local grocery store and one of them was a beef package of “stir fry meat.” That’s where I got the inspiration for my meal. I’ve made stir fry many times in the past, and decided to use my hoisin garlic marinade on this meat, since it’s what I had on hand. Keep in mind that this is about 2-4 servings for me, when I am not stuffing myself full, and plan accordingly. This would also be good with fried egg or bacon in it. Here comes the recipe!

Ingredients:

One package of stir fry meat (I used beef that was pre-cut, about 1 pound)
Green onions
Red (or other) bell pepper
1/8 bag frozen peas and carrots
1/2 of an onion
3 cloves of garlic
Any other vegetables as desired
Sesame oil (for cooking)
Marinade (if desired, I used this)
Cooked quinoa (or rice)

Recipe:

1. Cook your quinoa or rice according to package instructions (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water).

mmmm quinoa

2. Chop all ingredients to desired size (meat and vegetables).

peas and carrots already ready

red bell peppers are my favorite

green onions smell so good

regular chopped onion with garic

3. Heat your sesame oil in a pan and add your meat.

sesame oil smells great

look at all that raw meat

4. Flip your meat when the bottom starts to brown, to ensure even cooking.

evenly browning

5. Add your garlic and onions.

garlic-y

6. Add your frozen peas and carrots.

peas and carrots please and thank you

7. Add your chopped bell pepper and top it off with your green onions.

so colorful! like a rainbow of meat and vegetables

8. Cook thoroughly. Be sure not to overcook, or leave the meat too raw! It is a delicate balance. Then serve over your rice or quinoa and enjoy!

enjoyable

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Pike Place: A day in Seattle

My family decided to go downtown Seattle to complete some Christmas shopping and generally do some walking and looking around. It was fun and a nice welcome-back-to-Seattle/Washington activity. Be warned: LONG POST.

The first shop we stopped in was Cicada, which was so pretty. It’s a bridal store in downtown Seattle. We noticed the dresses and had to pop in and look around. Although we made it clear we were just looking, the salespeople were very friendly and told us that the prices listed on the tags (tucked inside the dress) include alterations, which prices at bridal shops typically do not. Also, FYI, they’re having a 40% off sale on their 2012 sample dresses for December. Here’s one of my favorite dresses…

gorgeous wedding dress

After that we headed down to the market and a few of our favorite standard shops with their own separate storefronts. I thought I’d add in a few of the stores and restaurants we didn’t stop in as well, just to give a general picture of the area. One of these is Crepe de France, which looked delicious…

Crepe de France

crepe de france menu

One of the places I always recall when I think about Pike Place Market is The Great Wind-Up. For some reason I can’t open the website on Google Chrome when I try… but maybe you’ll have better luck. Essentially it’s a shop full of wind-up toys & gag gifts and it’s completely adorable. The space is small, but not an inch is wasted. They even have a testing area for kids (or really anyone) to try out the toys.

View from across the hall

Tah-dah! Such a cute shop

Mr. Bacon toy

Stick-on Mood Mustaches

toy testing area

toys to test!

Me with the Christmas pig and my rain jacket

Friendly flying squid

Here’s the Mt. Townsend Creamery. We didn’t go in but it looked great!

20121215-192742.jpg

Of course we had to stop and watch the Pike Place Fish Co. guys toss around some crabs.

Pike Place Fish Co

delicious fresh seafood

I didn’t catch the sign fully (it was a blurry picture) BUT apparently Pike Place Fish Co. has the only 100% sustainable seafood in the Market. Here’s Don and Joe’s Meats.

20121215-192720.jpg

We stopped by Market Galbee at the market and I got a skewer of sausage and my parents got an assorted skewer of food. I wish I had been hungrier so we could’ve gotten some good Korean food and bubble tea! Maybe next time.

Market Galbee

festive menu

food case

Lowell’s Restaurant advertised cocktails and looked like a fun place to get a drink. I liked their slogan: Almost Classy Since 1957.

Lowell's

We also saw the Pike Place Bakery.

pike place bakery

looks good

yum

Also, a cute shirt! And a crab apron!

Cute shirt

apron!

And a lavender goat. 🙂

and a lavender goat

Some sad social-commentary-type graffiti.

clever graffiti

We managed to get a glimpse of the Ferris wheel from a park, even though it was a cloudy day. We also saw it later at night, all lit up! Sorry about the quality especially of the nighttime pictures. We were trying to get home after a long day of being cold.

Victor Steinbrueck Park

the Ferris wheel!

and a bit closer

woo

Ferris wheel

side view

We stopped into Bavarian Meats, a German specialty shop. So many good things in this place.
Especially sausage samples.

Bavarian Meats

marzipan pigs and pretzels

We picked out a Christmas Soda for me, and my mom got one of those from the top row, which
we think is a German lemonade.

special drinks

Meats and cheeses! We picked up some of each.

lots of meat

sausages

cheeses

and desserts!

Then we headed into Piroshky Piroshky, a Russian bakery. The only place we went with a line out the door! It smelled amazing as we walked by, so we couldn’t pass it up.

Piroshky Piroshky

yum!

so amazing

piroshky~

We had to go to Le Panier (French Bakery) as well. We picked up some macarons, bread, and pastries. But no pictures! Sorry!

Le Panier French Bakery

We went around the market a bit more after and came across Pike Place Pigs. Pigs are kind of a big deal around Seattle but for the life of me I can’t remember why. Anyway, they’re everywhere.

pike place pigs

pigs!

We also went to Free People to pick up some things (yay I love them) but there are no pictures of that. Then we went to Japanese Gourmet Restaurant, and at this point my fingers were freezing so it was a good reprieve from the cold, and gave me a chance to warm my fingers up so I could take a few more pictures after we got out. We were there for Happy Hour, so we ordered a variety of food.

menu front

happy hour menu

gyoza

tempura plate

garlic beef short ribs

sesame scallops

While walking back to the car (yay parking garages) I had to stop and take a few pictures of the market all lit up.

Christmas tree~

Public Market~

I hope you enjoyed reading about my family Christmastime outing and thanks for sticking with me!

Photos by: Melissa
Post by: Melissa


Orlando Adventure Day 2: Shopping, Thai food, & going out

On Saturday, we headed to an outlet mall for some shopping and picked up a few things, then to the Florida Mall which I can say is the best mall I’ve ever been to despite the fact that there were SO many people. But it was Veteran’s Day weekend and I guess I can understand that. My favorite store we went to was H&M (Id been missing that.) In between the shopping trips we stopped at Sea Thai for lunch. The SEA in SEA Thai stands for South East Asia, in case you were wondering.

This was such a cute little restaurant, and looked really nice inside as well. You can get a glimpse of the restaurant here:

And here’s a look at the menu:

We both ordered the Thai iced tea, and it was so good! Very sweet.

I also ordered an appetizer: spring rolls! I always love these. It came with 3 spring rolls, but I was so excited I couldn’t help myself and forgot to take a picture first. 😦
Note the cute little shot glass full of a sweet dipping sauce.

I went for the Thai fried rice with chicken (naturally…)

My friend got the beef pad Thai.

The food was very good, and my only complaint was that we weren’t asked how spicy we wanted our dishes, so it ended up being a little too mild. I tried to fix this with hot sauce. My friend would have liked more noodles with her pad Thai, (as it was a little low on the noodle: beef ratio) but overall it was a great, affordable lunch.

After lunch, we headed downtown to walk around. We stopped by Lake Eola and it was such a nice, large lake and park for downtown.

We also had to visit the library, because of course I’m trying to be a librarian and it’s the largest public library in Florida!

There were some interesting displays in glass cases, here is my favorite (probably because of the white rabbit):

We also stopped into the library’s bookstore, where I found a book by one of my favorite authors for only $1. As a bonus, I haven’t read this one yet:

For dinner, we had some leftovers and food at home, before going out for drinks downtown. There was a $5 cover for an area with multiple bars and we started our night at the Other Bar with a late night stop at Jimmy John’s (where I had never been, though now I’ve tasted their bread.) One of the bars we stopped into offered a large variety of craft beers, and I took a very dark picture of the wall menu:

You can so almost read that, right? Thought so. Here’s a blurry beer to cheer you up and put into perspective how dark it was:

Overall a very nice day with some great shopping finds and a fun Saturday night out. Next, Day 3:Disney World!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Orlando Adventure Day One: 4 Rivers and French macarons

I went to Orlando over Veteran’s Day weekend to visit a friend and we went out to eat a couple of times and to Disneyworld, among other things. I’ll tell you about a couple of them below. 🙂

I think I’ll split these posts up  a bit to keep it to a readable level.

On Friday, after I arrived, we went to 4 Rivers Smokehouse and had some delicious piles of meat, accompanied by bread.

I opted for the Brisket Sandwich and my two sides, BBQ beans and bread pudding.

We also took a look at the Sweet Shop in the back of 4 Rivers, and it turns out that they carry a dorito and mountain dew cupcake, but none of us wanted to try it that badly. That’s the green/orange one on the top tier below, surrounded by much more normal options.

That night we also headed to the Wine Bar, which was a fun experience and reaffirmed in my mind that my favorite type of wine is an Italian Moscato. Hope I got that right. I didn’t try any red wines, because that’s not generally what I like.

That night we also walked around Park Avenue (where the wine bar was located) and stopped at Le Macaron.

I picked out 2 delicious macarons (which I didn’t end up eating till Saturday night, but they were still very good.)

 

After that, we went out to visit Universal CityWalk (not sure about the spacing there) and to Dave & Buster’s. It was my first time there and it was really fun! I won a bunch of tickets on the Wheel of Fortune game (which I thought I didn’t get to keep unless I solved the puzzle but I GOT THEM ALL ANYWAY.)

We also spotted this Doodle Jump game, which I was happy to see because I love playing it on my phone. We ended up leaving with a pint glass and a stick of candy each.

Next, I’ll post everything about day 2 (and may combine day 3, depends on how many pictures I decide to keep in there.)  🙂

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Tallahassee: Wells Brothers (Monks) Restaurant

I took my mom here while she was visiting in order to have her try the sweet potato fries. She agreed it was a great idea, as we both loved them. She said they were the best ones she had ever tried! We were there during happy hour which was great, because it was $2 off appetizers so we got the pita pizza and there was some sort of beer special, but we were not drinking.

Here’s our appetizer: the pita pizza! Delicious.

I got the Panhandle burger, but with the bbq sauce on the side. AMAZING, just like last time. We could also each only finish about half our burgers so we had substantial portions to bring home, along with some of the fries and pasta salad.

I’m almost positive my mom got the “Gator Hater” but I really have no idea at this point. It looked delicious too.

However, beware, if you order your burgers “medium” they will be this pink. I would’ve done “medium well” if I had known, but I’m not one to complain about good food. 🙂

post by: Melissa
photos by: Melissa