Denise and I had a long weekend down in Seattle, spending 4 days and 3 nights in the downtown core. The reason for the trip: Emerald City Comic Con. I’ll have to get into that with another blog post; so much to say and so many pictures. This posting will be about the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to the foods we ate. Yes. This is another food blog posting. Learn to love it.
After a long afternoon and evening at our first day of ECCC, we were a bit peckish and were originally going to go to the restaurant that was attached to our hotel called Dragonfish Asian Café. It serves over-priced (mainly) Japanese dishes. There was a wait to get in though, so we decided to try for something else local. I had mapped out a few pho places within walking distance of the hotel before we left and we decided on one that wasn’t even on the original list, La Lot. The prices were a bit higher than we were used to for a bowl of soup, but it was open and got some good reviews on Yelp. As it turns out, fully justified.
We started off with some Crispy Calamari with a sweet chili dipping sauce. Perfectly done, crispy, golden-fried calamari. Num! Not as spicy as I’ve had it in other places, but that works better for Denise, so I didn’t have a problem with that. I was kind of sorry to see the plate empty. Could have easily had another full serving of that deliciousness. Good thing I didn’t though. I would have been too full for the bowl of soup.
I could smell this soup before the server even put it in front of me. It had a healthy aroma of star anise that got my mouth salivating. It had a rich brown broth with a wonderful taste. Denise ordered her usual rare beef and flank, while I had them throw all the parts of the cow into mine. Holy smokes! Besides bowls of soup I have made myself, I have never had this much meat in a bowl of pho. Right down to the last few spoons of broth, I was still picking up pieces of tendon and tripe. At $10 for the bowl, it was a great, tasty value. The only negative thing I can say about this restaurant is that there’s a small bar in it. They pump the music out so loud that the bar tender has to yell at his customers in order for them to hear him. Makes for a distracting dining experience.
We got an early start Saturday morning and decided to hit up Dragonfish for some Pan Asian breakfast cuisine. Sat down right away and took a look at the breakfast menu. Nothing even remotely looking like dim sum. Your regular restaurant/diner breakfast fare was available: bacon and eggs, omelettes, pancakes, etc. A bit disappointing, but I like eggs and bacon and could have eaten boot leather at that point.
I asked for my eggs the way I like them: over hard. As you can see from the picture, they’ve been flipped over, but not terribly hard. The yolks were still runny. My wheat toast wasn’t buttered either. By the time it got to the table, it wasn’t warm enough to melt the butter. Still, the home fries were a tasty (forbidden potato!) treat. Glad we got the hotel discount for something I could have made at home.
After a day walking around the EMP (more about this on another blog) and a dollhouse show (read about that on Denise’s blog when it gets posted), we decided on a late lunch/early supper at Famous Dave’s BBQ. We ate at a different location the last time we were in Seattle together, and I was hankering for some tender brisket. It did not disappoint.
Just like every time we go get bbq, regardless of where it is, we started with the rib tips. The sauce that comes with them is one they designed for these rib tips, called “Southside BBQ sauce”. Both Denise and I didn’t care for the sauce so much (like last time), much preferring one of the sauces they bring to your table in a basket. The Hellfire pickles on the side were actually quite tasty this time. I didn’t really like them all that much the last time we were at Famous Dave’s.
We ordered the same sandwiches to split as the last time: the Georgia Chopped Pork and the Texas Beef Brisket. This time we smartened up on the sides and stayed away from the corn. We got a side of creamy coleslaw and a side of jalapeno mac and cheese instead.
I can’t tell you how much I love good bbq. As it is, this is a bit too food-porn-y. The Georgia Chopped Pork sandwich was juicy and tender and better than the last time we had it. The bun was sweet and that worked well with the savoury pork and the tang of the bbq sauce. The slaw that came with it is the only coleslaw that I’ve ever had at a bbq joint that actually tasted good to me. Kind of a milder, sweeter version of KFC’s slaw (without all that food coloring).
The Texas Beef Brisket… My words will not do justice to how good this sandwich is. The beef is everything you want in a brisket… beefy, juicy, tasty, and tender. The brisket was firm, yet would pull apart with just your lips with each bite. The next time I go in, I wouldn’t mind getting just a plate of brisket and calling it a meal. The jalapeno mac and cheese was kind of tasty for me (I added a bit of bbq sauce, naturally), but Denise found it a bit too spicy.
This is the dessert equivalent of the Texas Beef Brisket sandwich. Pure Perfection on your plate. Each silky bite a perfect marriage of taste and texture. I’m sooooo glad that Famous Dave’s is so far away. I’d be eating here all the time and in short order would gain back all the weight I’ve lost.
Sunday was a bit disappointing food-wise. We skipped breakfast in order to get to ECCC early enough to pick up Denise’s Sunday pass. After walking around there for awhile, we picked up what I’m assuming were gourmet day-old sandwiches (from the price and the feel of the bread) at one of the food places in the convention. After the convention, I had my heart set on some decent Chinese food. Sadly, that didn’t happen according to plan.
After stowing all of our gear back at the hotel, we walked a few blocks to P.F. Chang’s to have their famous lettuce wrap. I’m a fan of lettuce wrap and I wanted to try the one that supposedly brought it to foodies everywhere.
At $7.95, it sounds like a great deal when you compare it to the $12-$15 we usually pay at the places Denise and I go to. You really do get what you pay for. Instead of having the hoisin sauce on the side, they mix it in to their tiny portion of filling. The largest component in the lettuce wrap filling was water chestnut. Oh, sorry, the largest component were those crispy fried rice noodles that the filling sits on, followed by water chestnut. There was so little chicken that it could have not even been there and we probably wouldn’t have noticed. That half head of lettuce in the picture? Yeah, four leaves. Something positive to say about it… hmmm… it tasted ok if you could get past the distracting crunch of the water chestnuts. Don’t get me wrong, I like water chestnuts as an accompaniment to a dish. Their crunch can be quite satisfying in some dishes. Not as the main ingredient.
The other two dishes we got were Crispy Honey Chicken and the Beef Lo Mein. I didn’t bother taking pictures of them. They were presented nicely, but that’s where it ended for me. The Crispy Honey Chicken? Not crispy. Again, there were more fried rice noodles than you could shake a stick at. Were they supposed to be the “crispy” part of the dish? The chicken itself was soft and tasted like something you would buy in the supermarket in one of those crappy pre-made things in the deli. The Beef Lo Mein had some of the starchiest noodles I’ve had in awhile, with barely any bite to them. the flavor was reminiscent of cheap food court Chinese food at the mall. Actually, I’ve had better at the mall than this. So disappointing.
To rescue our poor food day, we hit up The Cheesecake Factory for a couple of pieces of cheesecake to bring back to our room to split. Thanks to some confusing labeling in the display cooler, I ordered the Dulce de Leche Caramel Cheesecake instead of the Adam’s Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple Cheesecake. Denise got the Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake. Now, I haven’t had cheesecake for a pretty long time. Have they always been this rich and overpoweringly sweet? They were tasty, but thanks to all the sugar, I was buzzing. Thanks to the heavy richness, it was sitting like a rock in my stomach. Weird being lethargic and energetic at the same time. If we ever go again, I’ll get that peanut butter one and maybe limit myself to half a piece (or less). Yikes!
We skipped breakfast again on Monday, opting to sleep in a bit before packing up all of our goodies and checking out of the hotel. We decided to stop at Red Lobster on our way through Lynnwood. Lobsterfest is in full swing right now. Yay!
We started off with the Calamari and veggie plate (topped with shaved parmesan). Wow. Tasty as all get out. Very lightly battered and the ranch dipping sauce was a nice kick. Not usually a big fan of ranch, but it really worked here, especially with the broccoli. The calamari was tender and tasty. Perfectly done.
Denise had the Maine Lobster and Shrimp Trio. It came with a Maine lobster tail, a skewer of garlic-grilled shrimp and some lobster and shrimp mac and cheese. There was literally more shrimp than macaroni in that mac and cheese, but the parmesan crumble on top of it was a bit much. If they were to ease back on that, it would have been a nice dish. The lobster looked nice and the shrimp were rather tasty (she let me have a couple. Not as good as my sister’s grilled garlic shrimp, but still pretty darn yummy.
I had the Lobster Lover’s Dream. That consisted of a Maine lobster tail, a rock lobster tail, some shrimp and lobster linguini alfredo and some roasted veggies. Wow. Everything on this plate was yummy. I had shrimp in every bite of my linguini (the lobster pieces tended to get eaten by themselves). The lobster was perfectly done. Firm, yet not chewy/rubbery. Very tasty – especially when dipped in the melted butter.
We finished off our weekend of inappropriate eating with a Warm Chocolate Chip Lava Cookie. Yes, it tasted as good as it sounds. There was just enough ice cream to go with each warm, chocolaty bite of cookie. There wasn’t a lot of chocolate lava action, but that’s ok. It was a dormant volcano. All the chocolate kind of pooled under the ice cream, waiting for our spoons to set it free.
Now that we’re back home, it’s back to salads for supper. Going away and eating all this tasty food is nice, but it’s kinda expensive and not very good when you’re trying to lose weight.