Restaurants & Bars

Pacific Northwest

2001 - What restaurant did you try that was new to you?

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2001 - What restaurant did you try that was new to you?

Olympia Jane | Jan 13, 2002 02:40 PM

I liked the post on new openings on 2001, and it made me think about what I tried out last year.If I can remember a new dining experience several months later, it has been memorable enough to stick to one of the precious little scraps of velcro left in my brain.

What did you try out in 2001, what dining experience did you have that still delights you in its memory?
Having joined chowhound just this year, I found myself trying places I had read about, with uneven, but sometimes spectacular results. The Dish for breakfast in Fremont/Ballard was one of those chowhound tips that I will always be grateful for...now there's a shack on the corner of the industrial stretch between Ballard and Fremont that can really turn out a breakfast worthy of a dog's start to her day. I probably drove by that place dozens of times..never noticed it. Who knew that in that little rundown cafe could be a plate of fresh, homemade cornbeef hash seasoned to perfection with cumin, garlic and je ne sais crois? Who knew anyone could scramble up a plate of eggs with lots and lots of garlic, fresh baby spinach, italian sausage, parmesan and mozzarella and make the whole better than the sum of its tasty parts?

Another one, not from chowhound, but just because I was always curious about what replaced Cafe Counter Culture in the market, was Matt's in the Market. Wow. The spectacular quality of the food was in direct inverse proportion to the size of the place. My daughter wanted to change her order at Matt's in the Market from a dinner salad and an entree to just plate after plate of the dinner salad...it was pretty damn perfect. Amazing that something as simple as a dinner salad could be so sublime. Somebody really knows what he or she is doing in the miniscule kitchen in that place. It was one thing to turn out a mind blowing entree, but the dinner salad was really a stop you in your tracks experience. Perfect greens. Perfect dressing. Perfectly dressed, NOT too much as per usual. Perfect temperature. What can I say? It was simplee poifekt. She had been studying for finals all weekend, and from the look on her face one bite of that salad seemed to melt all her troubles away. (Fortunately, her mind is wholly intact, and did NOT melt away, unlike her mama's, and she did well on her exams.)

We plan on making it back to Matt's in the Market more often, not just for a break from finals and not just for the salad. The bread pudding is a whole different story...as was my salad with plump white sardines, arugula, valencia oranges and red onions (it WAS overdressed, unfortunately, but other wise refreshingly fishy and fine.)

As a result of chowhound reading, I have to say that 2001 was a much improved year for this gal, gastronomically speaking. Did I mention nirvana at the Union Bay Cafe? No? Another posting then..

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