Brunch at The Dish, Seattle, WA

This place seems to have pretty rave reviews on Yelp, but we didn’t quite see the charm. The food was alright at best. Or maybe I’m just not a brunch person. They’re really popular as well, and when you arrive you basically add your name to the clipboard they’ve got hanging by the entrance and when your turn is up someone will call you. Otherwise you’re doomed to wait outside in the cold, even if you wouldn’t mind a seat at the bar and the bar is empty.

The scone comes with most of the omelettes or breakfast sets. Can be swapped out for toast.

I ordered a cup of sausage gravy just to try it with the scone and for future reference. It was a tad starchy and rather underwhelming. I certainly wouldn’t want to try their biscuits and gravy!

The tuna melt was actually quite good. I originally ordered philly cheese steak but they were out of roast beef. The potato salad it came with was a lot less inspiring but the tuna salad was pretty amazing.

Z got a pigs in a garden omelet – italian sausage, basil, mozzarella, tomatoes. Think it would go much better with cremini mushrooms than the italian sausage. You know how when you bite into a chocolate chip cookie and it turns out the chocolate chips are raisins and you feel humongous disappointment? It’s like this, only what you think are nicely sauteed bits of mushroom caps are actually sausage pieces.

I might come back to try their roast beef sandwich with au jus, but probably not the omelettes.


Kidd Valley, Seattle, WA

Kidd Valley is one of our favourite burger places here that’s also a <5 min drive from our place and has a really home-y atmosphere.

We like their garlic fries. They’re definitely a little soggy but so good with all the garlic chips. We’ve also tried their fried mushrooms and onion rings, which are tremendous. Basically there isn’t anything that has come out of that kitchen that I didn’t like. The onion ring batter is perfect.

Their chicken sandwich is also perfect – the chicken breast fillet is tenderized, brined and grilled perfectly. It’s no southern chicken sandwich, more like a chicken club, but better.

They do mini burgers (by which they mean not 1/4lb) for people who don’t have a large appetite. I think Z and I usually share a normal sized burger and a mini burger unless we’re really hungry. Their burgers are also pretty good and are freshly prepared (so you have to wait around awhile).

Their chocolate malt is the best I’ve ever had. It’s really thick and creamy and has a perfect amount of malt. It’s probably really fattening though so we try not to get it too often.

It’s not hard to see how Kidd Valley has been around for such a long time. It’s definitely a well-loved Seattle institution, though somehow not as famous as Dick’s Drive-In.


Five guys

There aren’t any “nearby” Five Guys here, although if we think about it the nearest one is about a 10-15 minute drive away in Ballard/Northgate, which is about the same distance as the Ithaca Five Guys to student housing. So it’s not THAT far away, just that there are many more burger places within walking distance and they don’t have a Drive-Thru :( What’s up with that? I guess the burgers take longer to prepare.

I like the Five Guys burgers because they have so many toppings, especially things like caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms which aren’t usually “complimentary”. They’re “complimentary” here because I bet they’re built into the price – a mini bacon cheeseburger will run you about $5.49 if I’m not wrong.

The best burger here: mini bacon cheese burger all the way.

I remember Z’s first experience with Five Guys – Chris and I were deciding where to eat after church and she suggested “Let’s go to Five Guys”. Ze had never heard of it before so he asked “which five?” and Chris never got over how clueless we were he was back then haha. She thought it was cute.

We also love their cajun fries, although the best cajun fries I’ve had is still from Louie’s (the food truck opposite Risley), these are pretty good too.

The Five Guys in Issaquah actually has service, by which I mean a guy actually brings your order to you and sides of peanuts and ketchup. It’s amazing. I’ve never seen that at any fast food outlet.


Pizza Ragazzi

A large 3-topping (14″)

Only $7.99 if you go there and take it out!
Gave me a stomachache afterwards though.

This was in the middle of midterm week where we had no time to cook so I routinely dispatched Z out for takeaway. This is probably the cheapest pizza I’ve ever had and gives great value for money but Z and I will probably try more pizzas around the area and report back. I think Pagliacci is much better than this and possibly the only draw here (in addition to affordability) is the fact that it’s open (and delivers) into the wee hours, till around 3am.

I read on Yelp that the business itself is pretty shady (maybe a combination of location and other factors) so delivery is probably your best option.


Morsel, U District, Seattle

This is a tiny little hole in the wall on the northern parts of The Ave nearer to Ravenna/Cowen park. It has a really well designed menu and a nice website, and does some really good biscuits. I liked the gravy too but z thinks Frank’s Oyster House does better (a meatier gravy).

This is the chef’s table. It’s a really, really tiny place and seating is extremely limited. I think definitely no more than 20 people. Most people take their sandwiches to go.

They put their salt and pepper shakers in jars of coffee beans which I thought was cute.

I tried the cheddar chive biscuit with sausage gravy – they usually have 2-3 biscuit specials every day and the one today was cheddar chive. It was really nice although I thought the cheddar flavour wasn’t too pronounced under all that gravy. The gravy itself was excellent, lots of spices that made it that much more complex than a gravy that’s just made with sausage and cream. This is one of my favourite gravies in Seattle.

They also do biscuit sandwiches which I think are quite popular. We tried the spanish fly – prosciutto, a fried egg, manchego, and arugula – a great combination of savory things sandwiched with their classic buttermilk biscuit. While the prosciutto was lower grade than prosciutto di parma, it was nice that they even introduced a non-standard breakfast meat (for americans anyway) into their sandwich. I haven’t seen any other prosciutto sandwiches here so far.


Happy Hour at Pair

This is a chic little French restaurant near our place that does Happy Hour. Their happy hour options are pretty good, but a lot of them are carb based and I think their actual dinner entrees are probably better.

They start you off with a hunk of baguette and some good French butter

Z loved the olives. I don’t like olives, so I don’t know how good these are.

I do know however that their gougeres were absolutely smashing. Buttery, cheesy choux puffs with herbs that just melt in your mouth.

One of my favourite things here were their beef brisket sliders with horseradish sauce. Not a big fan of horseradish but I do know it is a big flavour enhancer. The beef brisket was very tender and went pretty nicely with the chopped shallots and sauce.

The salt cod croquettes were very good and so prettily plated. Perhaps a smidge more tartar and it would be perfect.

The mac and cheese was better than average but not mindblowing or anything. I liked the type of pasta they used though

Their flourless chocolate cake with amareno cherries was a little dense. I wasn’t too impressed (am under the impression that french desserts should strive to be light and airy). It’s really heavy and even a little grainy, so make sure you have space (we didn’t really). Point of note: the Palisade flourless chocolate cake is better. If you like dense chocolate cakes (as apparently a lot of people do) this is the cake for you.

The chocolate coffee pot de creme was much lighter and tastier I felt, even if coffee and chocolate is not a new combination, they’ve really optimized it in this dessert!


Dick’s Drive-In

So we finally had a chance to try Dick’s Drive-In, one of Seattle’s iconic burger places that serves Mcdonald’s style burgers (but better) in terms of size. We found that a typical cheeseburger is usually not quite filling enough – they don’t do the 5 guys type burgers with everything on it- caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, etc. Dick’s does burgers more simply, with just their special relish sauce/ketchup, pickles, and mustard.

We usually get their deluxe cheeseburger. Sometimes if Z is buying it back home I’ll fry two sunny side ups at home to put in the burger. The burgers are really small by any standard, which explains why we get the “fanciest” burger on their menu.

Their fries also come in a pretty minuscule packet, by my (asian) standards, I have no idea what americans do when they want to fill up. They are pretty good though, think they are made there with the skin on. At any other fast food outlet z and I usually only order one serving of fries to share because that’s more than enough, but we’ve started ordering 2 servings of fries here. Their “one-size-fits-all” fries are about the same size or smaller than the small fries at McDs.

I like this place. I like how everyone sits in the parking lots and eats. It’s such a weird tradition but so iconic.