More Green than Ginger

I’d never eaten Thai food until December 20th, 2010; a mere 8 weeks ago.  Now I’ve just eaten Thai for the 3rd time.  And what’s more, I have finally eaten at Wild Ginger.  Hurrah!  I give total credit to my mate, JC.  Oh & just to clarify…the term “mate” when used by a Brit (or an Aussie) is slang for “friend”.  No need for anyone to get alarmed or start getting worked up into a lather now.

JC had been in Seattle all week long for some Techy gig downtown put on by those lovely folks at Microsoft.  He really lives in Australia somewhere & was heading back there the next day.  I think he still had jet-lag from arriving.  Maybe when he gets back home it will all catch up & he’ll feel like he never went anywhere.  Did I ever tell you that I don’t believe in jet-lag?  That is to say, I’ve never had it, so in my little world it simply doesn’t exist.  When I get on a plane to anywhere I set my watch to the local time of wherever the heck it is I’m headed and then behave like that’s the real time.  When I get off the plane my brain is already thinking locally so I just carry on doing what I *should* be doing at that time of day.  If it’s dinner time I eat dinner.  If it’s bed time I go to bed.  If it’s 11 am I stay up for another 10 or so hours, just like I would at home.  Hey Presto.  No jet-lag.

Anyway, I digress.  My time with JC was really all about the talking rather than the eating.  It didn’t hurt my feelings any that we did that talking over the bar at Wild Ginger.  Wild Ginger has an astounding reputation.   7 pm on a Friday night and the place was packed.  The place is also gigantic.  I am certain that they must regularly lose some diners in there.  There was not an empty table is sight, so we headed for the bar.  Given that I am still almost a Thai virgin I handed over all ordering responsibilities to JC.  Except for the drink.  Grapefruit juice for me.  And boy, let me tell you, I didn’t just get juice, I got half the grapefruit too.  It came with an awful lot of juicy bits.  I’d go so far as to say that Wild Ginger’s grapefruit juice is the juice world’s equivalent of double-stuffed Oreos.  I had my little glass re-filled several times.

JC deliberated over the food for quite a while, I think much to the chagrin of our bartender.  You see, we were just too engaged in the whole talking thing.  We’d last seen each other for about 7 minutes in Atlanta last summer and then for maybe 13 minutes the summer before.  Also in Atlanta.  So all-in-all it was a couple of years since we’d had a really good pie-jaw.  It was long overdue.

Double Beef Satay

Thai Fish Cakes

JC pre-warned me that the fishcakes were going to be chewy.  It helps to have someone who knows Thai food to tell you what you can expect.  Otherwise I would have just put them down as rubbery.  Knowing that they were meant to be that way & that they were good fish cakes was all part of my Thai Education Class.  I might not be *meant* to say this, but I especially enjoyed the pickled cucumbers that came on the side.

We had a little break from eating while JC perused the menu for some more treats.  If only we could just stop talking for a few minutes & let the poor man concentrate.

 Green Curry Chicken – classic Thai curry, rich in green chili and galangal. Finished with a touch of coconut milk.

Now this is where it all started to get rather exciting for my tastebuds.  There was something in that curry that had the exact same flavor as my cherished Tom Ka Gai.  I don’t know what it was.  I know they both have coconut milk in, but I am sure that flavor ain’t coconut.  Not like any coconut I’ve ever tasted if it is!  There must be some spices not listed that are common to both.  And scary as curry is to me (my spice-o-meter starts going clang, clang, clang at even a hint of heat) I could quite easily have devoured the whole plate.  JC, being the utter gent that he is let me eat most of it.  Especially when I thought my mouth was going to spontaneously combust upon eating one of these:

Black Pepper Scallops – fresh hand selected sea scallops are quickly seared with soy sauce and black pepper.

JC laughed at me.  And honestly, who can blame him?  It was after all, just pepper that was causing the fire alarm in my mouth.  The scallops were beautifully cooked & had they been a little less peppery I would’ve eaten more.

 I must admit I don’t feel quite right about this “review”.  We really were doing so much verbal catching up that the food was a means to an end rather than the highlight of the evening.  But, on the other hand, when you’ve recently become a Dad & you have the most adorable baby girl on planet earth, it can be hard to stay focused on grub.

We languished at that bar for over 3 hours before JC walked me to my car.  Ever the gentleman, our JC.  He tells me that next time we’re going to have a bowl of Vietnamese Beef Pho Soup.  There you go stretching my culinary boundaries again.

Hey, I’ll try anything once.

Wild Ginger on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Before the Green Scrubs & Short Wellies

I have eaten at Firenze Ristorante Italiano several times.  OK, many times.  And yet I’ve only eaten 2 things there, and one of those only once.  That once I had Spaghetti Carbonara, which was lovely.  Every other time I have eaten Pollo Boscaiola.  I don’t care if that seems boring.  This dish is fantastic and I *love* to eat it.  It isn’t on the menu, it’s a special, but every time I have been to Firenze, it’s happened to be on the specials list.  Until tonight.  So I smiled a very wide smile, batted my eyelashes a little & pleaded in my {apparently} very cute British accent.  They made it for me anyway.  My request even made Francesco smile.  I don’t think I have ever seen that happen before.  Francesco, in my experience, has always been rather surly, like having to serve customers was a real effort & if only all the customers would stop bugging him, life would be good.  I am not sure if that’s what is really going through Francesco’s mind, but I have never got the feeling that he loves his job.  Still, for this particular plate of food I can overlook even the surliest of servers.  Yep, to me, it’s that good, this Pollo Boscaiola.

Miss Connie was with me for this mid-week impromptu italian moment.  However, since it was before that nice man at Swedish Hospital wearing green scrubs, short wellies & a funny hat dispensed a large amount of general anesthetic into my veins, the details of Miss Connie’s dinner now completely elude me.  (I am, I hate to say it, a little behind in the blog posting department.  Having body parts removed can throw a serious spanner in the works.)

Pollo Boscaiola @ Firenze gives me Super-happy-mouth Syndrome

Pollo Boscaiola – it’s the juiciest of white chicken meat, barely-sauteed mushrooms & tender artichoke hearts all swathed in a glorious creamy white sauce.  I can’t even tell you what the sauce is.  I don’t even care.  It just tastes spectacular: every time.  And those veggies on the side – crisp, bright, fresh & perfectly cooked.

I admit, it was a tad spendy for a not-entirely-enormous plate of sauteed chicken.  I’ve read lots of whining & complaining online about Firenze’s propensity to change prices on a whim or just make up the check, so I suspect that since this wasn’t really on the menu, I got to pay, how shall we say it, a premium for this particular plate of pollo.  And really, I was OK with that this time.  I had a fabulous plate of food with the ever-convivial Miss Connie & that made it all worth while.

Miss Connie, however, did have other plans for our dessert & since she can be a little, um, forthright at times, after the pollo was polished off we toddled into the night.

Ciao e grazie.  To you too, Firenze, to you too.

 Then followed a rather extraordinary tour of the Crossroads Mall Food Court, hosted by my lovely friend.  She felt quite strongly that as I had never experienced it, tonight was the night that I should.  I was not at all disappointed when the tour ended up outside Coldstone Creamery.  I am {very} partial to Coldstone’s Ice Cream.  I also really dig their customer service.  Forget the ice cream, just their people make me want to eat ice cream there.  Since I delved into the world of making-my-own, I haven’t crossed Coldstone’s threshold, but not because I no longer like their ice cream.  Simply because I’ve been a bit ice-creamed-out.  And while Coldstone isn’t my very favoritest ice cream in the world (that would be Mövenpick) they are indeed my favoritest stateside ice cream.  So far.

 I usually have some variation of Cheesecake Ice Cream with fresh berries in.  Tonight was no exception.  Strawberries, raspberries & black cherries.  It was, as always, exceptionally good.  Quite put my mouth in orbit.

The service was also exceptional.  Our super-smiley fresh-faced college-attending server got a nice tip.  He deserved it.  (BTW they had these adorable little ice cream cupcakes in their freezer…so cute.  Must try some.)

Dear Coldstone, I know I don’t come often anymore, but I do still love you.

Firenze Ristorante Italiano on Urbanspoon Cold Stone Creamery (Crossroads) on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Tweets that mention Before the Green Scrubs & Short Wellies » Foodie Footnotes -- - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Foodie Footnotes and Foodie Footnotes, Foodie Footnotes. Foodie Footnotes said: Finally! The blog post: @ColdStone_Corp […]

Baiser Langoureux et Chaud

 There’s been a couple of changes going down at Cafe Presse while I’ve been sleeping.  Both {exceedingly} good ones, I might add.

1. They published a dessert menu.  Oh you tantalizing Tarte au Citron, cooing at me enticingly from the page – I’ll be back.  {Very} soon.

2. Chocolat Chaud

 The real deal.  Hot chocolate so thick your spoon almost stands up in it, unaided.  Served Parisian-style with 2 cups of fresh whipped cream on the side to spoon in as the mood takes you.  Yes, you read that right: 2 cups of fresh whipped cream on the side.

With the whipped cream slowly melting into the dark, delicious, thicker-than-custard chocolatey-ness, it’s like drinking molten chocolate mousse.

Is this stuff even legal??

It must be.  When Trevor brought it over to me I could even hear an angel singing.  Just that one demi-tasse made up for at least 7 months of really bad hot chocolate.  At least.   Hands down – sorry, oh beloved Cafe Campagne – the best Chocolat Chaud I’ve had since the last time I was in Paris.  Or Bruges.

And then, there was the Oeufs Plats.  Those sexy baked eggs craddled in jambon with shaved Gruyere sizzling all over the top. Better than ever, if that were even possible.

Truly, I just wanted to schlep to breakfast in sweats with my hair in a ponytail.  So that’s exactly what I did.  You can do that at Cafe Presse & they just love you anyway.

It was, for me, the perfect breakfast.

As I pointed out to Trevor when he stopped by to ask me if there was anything else that he could bring me – “I don’t think there is anything in the whole world that could make my mouth happier than it is right at this very moment”.

“Have a beautiful rest of the day”, chirped Trevor.  How could I not, Trevor?

“So,” I hear my non-French-speaking readers cry, “What’s with that crazy French post title & what does it mean?”  Long, warm kiss.  Yeah, my mouth was that happy.

Café Presse on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

bob - one day I’m gonna buy a plane ticket and go to this place !!!!
the photos (and the food) seem to get better every time you go there.

cb - I’ll pick you up from the airport :-)

Oh For the Love of Lettuce » Foodie Footnotes - […] Baiser Langoureux et Chaud […]

She Left the Building

After the removal of a body part and 16 days in bed (Eeeek!  Sixteen days?  Where did they GO??), it was time.  I left the building.  Not surprisingly I determined that my re-introduction to the outside of my house needed to involve, amongst other things, {great} food.

It involved my BFF & driving for the first time in 17 days.  And sweat pants.

It involved copious amounts of Hot Chocolate.  And whipped cream.  Of course.

It involved croissanterie.  A Ham & Cheese Croissant, in fact.

And a Cheddar Chive scone.

It involved 2.5 hours.

It involved 2 kinds of quiche: Mushroom, Shallot & Gruyere and Bacon, Leek & Cheddar.

And it involved large quantities of pastries.

It involved spontaneous bursts of barely controlled ooohing & aaaahing.  Especially when the Chocolate Mousse with Cherry Crémeux got involved.

It was exhausting…but SO worth leaving the building for.

Honore Artisan Bakery, I think you got better while I was sleeping.

Honore Artisan Bakery on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Deeply, and in key » Foodie Footnotes - […] She Left the Building […]

The French Bakery » Foodie Footnotes - […] shop on the Eastside for those times when I just didn’t have time to haul all the way up to Honore in North Ballard and back.  I was on a bit of a […]

Simply, Because It Wasn’t Raining » Foodie Footnotes - […] au Chocolat home from Le Rêve.  I knew just by looking at it that it wasn’t going to knock Honore Bakery from top spot on the Seattle Croissanterie ladder, but you still have to eat it for the final […]

The Big Breakfast Adventure | Taste

(In case you missed how the Big Breakfast Adventure got started, you can read it  here:  How it all began)

Adorable Server:  “Where would you like to sit?”

The Girls:  “Can we sit anywhere?”

Adorable Server:  “You pick and I’ll follow”.

And so began the Big Breakfast Adventure to Taste @ SAM (Seattle Art Museum).  Clearly, this was going to be a good adventure.  We just didn’t have a clue quite how good it was going to get, but with a welcome like that it was sure headed in the right direction.  Our Adorable Server also laughed at all of my silly attempts at humor, left us languishing as long as we wanted & brought us everything that our hearts desired – including allowing me to bring the dessert menu home since I had gotten so attached to it.

I have decided to do this post a little differently 1. Because I feel like it  2.  Because I don’t think there are enough descriptive words to cover all of the {fabulous} food that we ate (which was a lot) and  3. Because I couldn’t stop shooting images, it was all so beautiful.  If I wrote as much for each image as I normally do this would take me 10 days to write & you 2 days to read, neither of which I think either of us are up for.

So here, Lovely Viewers, are the images for your visual pleasure.  If the food looks awesome to you, trust us, it tasted even better.  See…even the salt was beautiful.

Breakfast breads: sweet muffin, savory scone, butter & jam

Adorable little muffins & scones

Once perfect Blueberry Muffin & salted butter

Planked Benney: grilled walnut bread, poached eggs, jambon, bloody mary hollandaise + skagit river ranch smoked bacon (hiding behind the lettuce)

Chicken & Biscuit: stokesberry chicken confit, big herb biscuit, sausage gravy, braised greens

TASTE Potato Gratin: rogue blue & local cheddar


Inside Out Sassafras Float: sassafras ice cream, vanilla soda, vanilla cookies

Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream Sandwich: apricots, chocolate egg cream, candied bacon

Theo Chocolate Orbit Cake: honey yogurt, raspberry preserves, cocoa nib toffee

Outrageously good: honey yogurt, raspberry preserves, cocoa nib toffee

Just a few notes on our Taste highlights:

Adorable Server, Makoto – humble, jolly, efficient, adorable.

Menus – fun, adventurous, unusual & we pretty much wanted to eat everything.

Grapefruit Juice – took the roof of my mouth off.  Love that.

Skagit River Ranch Smoked Bacon – amazing flavor, probably the best bacon I have had in America.  (They were awarded with Best Bacon in Seattle.  I concur.)

Jam – rhubarb & wonderful, like rhubarb apple sauce.

Blueberry Muffin – small & perfectly formed.  And bursting with blueberries.

Chicken – unbelievably moist & delicious.

Biscuit – great texture, tasty, probably the first biscuit in America I have really enjoyed eating.

Potato Gratin – ridiculous.

Vanilla Cookies – no clue how they got such an intense (and delicious) flavor into such a tiny cookie.

Honey Yogurt Ice Cream – really ridiculous.

Raspberry Preserves – speechless, literally.

Lucy Damkoehler (the Pastry Chef) – clearly LOVES her job.  Incredibly inventive desserts.

The Girls – incredible friends who gladly dragged their a** out of bed just because they knew today was important to me.  Thank you.

If I have to find some small ‘fault’ with Taste it would be that their website & all their literature, their front door & their receipts all say that they open at 9 am.  They don’t.  They open at 10 am.  Luckily we booked, otherwise we would have had a {very} cold hour before brunch this morning.  Oh and I went to Taste to eat the Best Northwest Chicken & Waffles in Seattle but they are no longer on the menu.  Rats.

Parting comment

One of The Girls:  “Shall we go?  Are you ready?”

cb:  “Actually, I think I’ll just sit here & wait until it’s time for dinner”.

TASTE Restaurant on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

bob - I saw the chicken and biscuit on the menu and really fancied it. Thanks for choosing it!
Now I’ve seen the great photo on the blog post and it looks delicious.
Thanks for taking it!
The only problem now is that I am 8000km away and can’t EAT IT!
So thanks for eating it for me!!!!
Keep up the good work (can we call this work?).

cb - Oh Bob, you have no idea. This is darned hard work :-) :-)

Tweets that mention The Big Breakfast Adventure | Taste » Foodie Footnotes -- - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LA Times Food, Seven Seas Travel and Foodie Footnotes, Foodie Footnotes. Foodie Footnotes said: Simply stunning. THANK YOU @tastesam […]

Tracy Reynolds - Wow!
Everything looks so picture perfect! Well I guess it is because your pictures are perfect :)
What a spread of wonderful looking food, wow!
Nice find!

Isey Vangel - Everything in here is awesome! What a great blog. Or photoblog. Whatever, your words are as amazing as your pictures. Judging from how perfect everything is in here. Now if only more and more people knew such a wonderful site existed! Anyways, bless you and keep going!

Warm, with no ice » Foodie Footnotes - […] The Big Breakfast Adventure | Taste […]

The Big Breakfast Adventure | Pete’s Egg Nest » Foodie Footnotes - […] was at Pete’s to eat The Best Bacon in Seattle, a title shared with Taste.  That meant that I could have whatever I wanted on the menu as long as I added bacon to it.  […]

The Same, But Different - Foodie Footnotes - […] on Sunday you can be sure I’ll be going somewhere”.  We had planned on going to Taste at the SAM, but their new hours don’t have them serving up food until 11 am, and there is no way I can […]