Category Archives: lunch

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

 

IMG_4814

 

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

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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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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 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

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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

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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 Five (Tallahassee: Graduation, El Tapatio & Kool Beanz)

I graduated! PROOF:

class of 2013

ME

I am now a master of science.

None of us really ate breakfast this morning (as we frantically raced toward the civic center instead), but we did have lunch at El Tapatio, which I enjoyed. Both times I’ve been there I got the carne asada and was not disappointed.

asada

I also tried to show my parents around Lake Ella, but it started raining. We got in a look at some food trucks that happened to be there, as well as the rose garden by the church.

pizza

tacoooos

menu

flowers

The main attraction of the day for me was a well-deserved graduation dinner at Kool Beanz, my favorite Tallahassee spot. My hints: get there early and be prepared to wait. Fortunately we spent time at a local boutique, Cole Couture, while we waited for our table. I also forgot that Kool Beanz always gives you delicious bread and butter before your meal. The bread is so crusty and the butter is so creamy, I could eat the whole basket.

menu

My mom and I each also had a glass of wine.

wine1

wine2

We had the clam appetizer, the spring salad, and the two pasta dishes at the bottom (the crawfish and the scallops/shrimp.) It was ALL amazing but we couldn’t pass up dessert.

clams

le salad

cheesy

mine

Lastly, the dessert menu and our chosen dessert (the smoky bacon brownie!)

desserts

Sorry the picture is dark, it was getting late! This was wonderfully unique and smoky and delicious.

ours

Post & photos by: Melissa


Vegetarian burger patty (quinoa, panko and garlic)

Although for one summer I was a pescatarian (which wasn’t horrible, although it lacked variety and did get very tricky to go out to eat/side note, wordpress tells me that pescatarian isn’t a word which seems awfully silly) I have never before attempted to make my own vegetarian burger patties, and have instead opted for the beefy variety. In case you’re unaware, a pescatarian is a vegetarian who eats seafood products (fish, scallops, crab, etc.) but not other meat (chicken, beef, pork, etc.)

But back on topic. I came across these burgers on one of my favorite food blogs, which I’ve previously mentioned in posts, How Sweet It Is. I happened to already possess most of the ingredients, and I was sold on the idea of a veggie burger with garlic and red bell pepper in it, as those are two of my favorite ingredients to cook in just about anything. So, without further babbling or praise for my favorite food blog, I’ll share the recipe because these turned out delicious and were rather easy to put together.

Ingredients (for 4 patties):

1 can (15 oz.) white cannellini beans
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped red peppers (the recipe calls for roasted, but I didn’t have time for that. I’m sure it would add to the flavor.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon flour
Olive oil (for cooking)
Other desired toppings (lettuce, tomato, whatever. I like my burgers plain. Cheese or bacon would be a good addition though, in my opinion. Unless you’re actually a vegetarian. Also optional: buns)

Recipe:

1. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper.

mmmm

2. In another bowl, roughly mash beans with a fork until smooth. This is not going to look pretty.

appetizing right?

3. In large(ish) bowl, combine beans, quinoa, garlic, and red peppers. Stir to combine. Add the bread crumb mixture and your beaten egg, and combine again. Finally, add the flour (I almost forgot!) as this is an important step to ensure your patty doesn’t crumble and fall apart when you cook it.

combine that stuff

ready for patty-cake

4. Form 4 roughly equal-size balls of…veggie patty. It’s ok if not all your beans are smashed.

play ball

5. Coat a medium-large pan with olive oil and heat to medium-high (about 7 on my stovetop.) Add your patties and flatten, making sure you press the sides with a spatula so it sticks together rather than crumbling at the edges. You may cook them all at once, but I did choose to do it separately, as it was my first time trying this and I didn’t want to ruin all of them at the same time.

patty

After about 5 minutes (depending on temperature) flip, and it should be golden-brown and crispy. Cook the other side to the same crispness and then remove from heat. Repeat for all patties.

crispy~

6. Enjoy!

mmm crispy patties for me!

Post & photos by: Melissa


Black bean and guacamole tostadas(?)

I’m not sure exactly what to call these, but I got my idea from this recipe so I’m going to call them tostadas. This recipe makes a really easy snack, lunch, or dinner (and I suppose breakfast, but I think that would be a little weird.) Here’s my version:

Ingredients:

3 large tortillas (your choice)
6 Tablespoons grated cheddar cheese (or more if you’d like!)
1 can black beans, drained
1 Tablespoon of taco seasoning (from a packet)
Cilantro (shredded, to taste, I used about 2 Tablespoons)
3 large spoonfuls of guacamole (I made mine with a powder mix+avocados)

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the drained black beans in a small saucepan and heat over medium. Add taco seasoning and stir, then add cilantro and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes, until heated through.

all stirred in

 

2. Spoon some of your black bean mixture onto a tortilla, and top with guacamole.

toppings

 

3. Fold your tortilla as desired, and top with cheese.

topped with cheese

 

4. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then, raise heat to “broil” for about 3 minutes, with oven cracked open, or until cheese has slightly browned. Remove from oven (carefully!)

crispy cheese

 

5. Enjoy!

so cheesy! :D

 

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa