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Restaurants & Bars 9

Seattle Trip Report

CW415 | May 25, 2011 12:50 PM

Lucky enough to catch five days of good weather in Portland/Seattle last week as well as sample a bunch of food. Thank you everyone on the board for providing tons of suggestions and info. My rating is on a +/-10 scale (so a zero isn't "bad", but not something I'd order again). See separate post for Portland if interested.

The Summary:
Highlights: Almond Croissants from Nouveau Bakery
Disappointments: Seven Star Crab, Paseo Sandwich

The Details:

Nouveau Bakery, West Seattle
Vanilla Blueberry Pastry. +1. Flaky crust, filling was creamy and not too sweet. Blueberries were fresh and tasty. But they put big sugar sprinkle things around the outside that made it unnecessarily sweet.
Roasted Duck Sandwich -2. Bread had nice crust but too dense and rubbery. Duck had no flavor..almost fishy. One layer of lettuce, nothing else worth mentioning.
Spicy Pork Pizza -1. Bottom was crisp but dough almost undercooked. Tomato sauce very ordinary...jalapenos were supposed to provide the heat. Bleh.
Twice Baked Almond Croissant. +10. Not sure if its truly deserving of a +10 rating but its definitely the best almond croissant I've had by far (and I've had a LOT). Dense inside, flaky outside. Lots of almond flavor and perfect amount of marzipan...from end to end. Only the tiniest little bite at the very end would be without some marzipan. So good we ended up making three trips there, eating six, and taking a box of 10 home. Yum. Our favorite thing on the entire trip. Hoping they would consider sending some down...or if there are any Chowhounders from Seattle coming to the SF Bay and willing to carry down a box full of 'em...well, lets barter!

Seven Star Pepper, Seattle Chinatown
Dry Fried String Beans +5. One of the best I've had. Crunchy and fresh, perfect amounts of garlic, chili and salt.
Spicy Pepper Crab -1. Chowhounders raved about this crab. Looked absolutely delicious...fresh and large (2.5lbs) crab served with mounds of chili and peanuts. But extremely salty and spiced with a very strange seasoning that left my mouth and tongue kind of numb and fizzy/tingly. Could it be Sichuan pepper?? Hmm...dunno, but the fear of OD'ing on MSG or going into some kind of convulsions while walking the streets of Seattle Chinatown kept me from enjoying the dish. (note: did not, however, keep me from finishing the dish.)

Paseo Caribbean Takeout
Cuban Roast Sandwich +1. Highly regarded sandwich. Got recognition on National TV. Pretty tasty pork but a little fatty. Not much else going on with the sandwich, except for WAY too much maybe 5x too much. Okay, so I don't like a lot of mayo normally but this was total overkill. Should take a page from Roli Roti (SF Food truck) which just rubs the bread with the juice from the roasted pork.
Smokin' Thigh Dinner +1. Side salad was actually pretty good. Beans and rice were good, nothing special. Chicken was a little dry, outside was crisp. I thought it would be more garlicky/savory but was actually more sweet. Not bad, but not as good as Sol Food.

Tolouse Petit, Late Night Happy Hour. Very cool place, great service. Hip but laid back and not overly trendy.
Catfish Bites +0. Batter was pretty good...not too thick. Crunch outside. Tartar sauce average.
Crispy Pork Cheek Confit. +0. Sounded good, but nondescript. Not crispy, not porky. Just kinda...there.
Beef Sliders. +1. Fries were good. Sliders were pretty tasty but a little overdone.
Moscow Mule cocktail +3. Vodka, Ginger Beer, Fresh Lime. Nice amount of fizz and lime. Perfect sweetness. Strong.

Lowell's at Pike Market
Corned Beef Hash +4. Nicely cooked over easy eggs. Corned Beef Hash with real corned beef?? Nice!! Not too salty either. Very tasty.
Breakfast Tacos +4. Tortillas were very good...chewy and tender and almost translucent. Chorizo tasty but not too greasy. Avocado salsa was very good, eggs were fresh...excellent recommendation!

Mini-Donuts +0. Fresh, but a little too greasy for me...when you can taste the oil over the sugar its a little too much. Not sure if its because the surface/inside ratio is too high or they needed to change the oil. Bonus point for the extra donut (7 instead of 6) but minus points for the tipping sign that said "GOD KNOWS IF YOU TIP" or something like that.

Din Tai Fung, Bellevue, WA
<Plane was delayed so got another meal in just before leaving>
Sauteed Green Beans +2. Nicely cooked, simple seasoning
Juicy Pork Dumpling +3. What they are famous for. Handmade dumplings with soup inside. Pretty good, but not better than what I've had at dim sum here or at San Tung.
Singapore Rice Cake with Chicken +4. Love the super chewy rice cakes. Remind me of Korean dok-bok-ki. Nicely cooked - not too much sauce, not too salty.

Paseo Caribbean Restaurant
4225 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Green Bean
210 N 85th St, Seattle, WA 98103

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