Category Archives: fish

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

 


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

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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


Shopping in Ballard & Hale’s Ales (+ Cupcake Royale and Majestic Bay Theater)

Near the end of my time visiting home I went to Ballard with my mom. You will have already seen some of the things we did, but here’s the last post from that time period!

Ballard! We parked near here

My mom and I planned on going to The Hobbit at the Majestic Bay Theater in Ballard. This is a small (though 3-story) locally owned theater which has nice, big screens, comfy seats, and no annoying ads at the beginning of the showings (which I appreciated). We had a lot of time (though not too much) before the movie, so we went to a few of the shops around the area and I took pictures at one, which was called Lucca.
They had some really cute things that I thought I would share here, although I can hardly summarize the number of things in the store. This is just a sampling.

Then I thought I would share the two interior nighttime pictures I took of the theater.

And, while we split a cupcake we didn’t eat it right away. But we did buy it before dinner, right next door to the theater at Cupcake Royale which was luckily open till 10 pm!

We split this one:

Then we finished the night at Hale’s Ales.

We ordered the fish & chips to split. The fries are under the fish.

Then we each ordered a beer, my mom got 2 of the 5-oz tasters whereas I just got a pint of one kind. We did each try all 3 beers though. First, the drink menu:

So here are the beers we tried:

El Jefe

El Jefe and Kolsch

And I’m 90% sure that the last one was the “visiting” Double Mountain India Red Ale.

We all preferred the two tasters, but I thought El Jefe was alright as well. Just not my favorite. As far as beer goes, though, I liked all of these and my favorite was the Kolsch. Which isn’t seasonal, so I guess that’s a good thing. Overall we had a good time in Ballard and I’d definitely come back to Hale’s. We sat in the bar and everything was great; it might be fun to come here just for drinks sometime.

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Portage Bay Cafe (Brunch) & Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks

I went to Ballard recently(ish) to get brunch with my mom at Portage Bay Cafe and generally just walk around and see the area, while I was home for the holidays. We’ll start with the brunch (which was amazing) and move onto the Ballard Locks which I don’t recall ever visiting before this.

Portage bay French toast - Grains

Eggs to the end of page one

1/2 of menu back

2/2 of menu back

this is one of the walls

My mom and I both decided on egg dishes, though she was tempted by the French Toast. We wanted the toast and potatoes that came with the egg dishes.

I got the chicken sausage scramble, with sundried tomato + chicken sausage, red pepper pesto, roasted fennel, shiitake mushrooms and manchego cheese. It was so good and full of different flavors. It was a little bit spicy because of the sausage and a little bit salty and sweet because of the pesto, mushrooms, and cheese. So GOOD. i also liked the potatoes, though I did salt and pepper them a bit.

chicken sausage scramble

My mom got the Italian omelette, with fennel-spiked Italian sausage, fresh basil, Ladysmith cheese, tomatoes and sautéed mushrooms. She really liked it also and her potatoes are hiding under her toast.

mom's plate

After brunch we headed to the Ballard locks which were almost literally just around the corner. Just click on the name there for some background information, provided by those who I’m sure would do a better job than I. Essentially the locks modify/regulate water levels to allow ships safe passage between Puget Sound and Lake Union/Lake Washington. There’s also a fish ladder with a viewing area to allow spectators to stare at the fish.

The sign for the Locks

welcome!

Time for some garden shots.

welcome to the nursery

words about the garden (sorry for quality)

nice little garden-y place

the gate

we welcome you

garden plants

cool plant stuff

Back to the fish/locks/ladder/etc.

Going with the flow

the water comes from above

and comes out down below

Hiram himself

and a reproduction

that's quite a pickle

so many fish

now for the fish ladder

but wait, there's art!

the noble salmon must be recognized

and finally a chart of the fish

These last two pictures were taken indoors, in the horrible lighting of the fish ladder area. The last one was even more horrible because it was backlit. Sorry. We did see a few (about 3-4) small Steelhead while in the viewing area, but it wouldn’t have turned out on film. All the more incentive for you to visit in one of the busier months! 🙂

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!

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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.

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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