Where to Eat, Drink, and Stay in Downtown Seattle

Pardon The Punctuation…Seattle the “Emerald City” is a rainy foodie paradise. A Valhalla for all things digestible. I just got to spend 5 days in this amazing place and since most blog readers have the attention span of a fruit fly I’ll keep it short.

Stay:
The Kimpton Hotel Vintage. Perfect location. Just a few blocks away from the the Link Light Rail train fro the airport and right in the heart of all the downtown action. Gorgeous remodeled modern rooms and a complimentary wine hour from 5-6pm every night featuring local Washington State wineries. Also they serve complimentary Caffe Vita coffee in the lobby every morning. The staff knows how to treat a guest.

Great room at the Hotel Vintage.

Coffee:
Victrola Coffee serves up freshly roasted java and barista drinks. You’ll want to try everything they make. I wish they had a store from in Los Angeles.

Caffe Vita is a mix of art gallery space and killer coffee shop in the Capitol Hill part of town. Friendly baristas will rock out whatever you want to drink and if you ask you might get a quick tour of the roasting plant behind the shop.

Latte at Caffe Vita

Chow:

Sitka and Spruce in Melrose Market offers up local farm to table delights. Best charcuterie and house made Kombucha I’ve ever had. Get a reservation as they fill up quickly.

Best Charcuterie!

Oddfellows Cafe and Bar serving up yummy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So good I went back twice. They also have a great $5 happy our “Old Fashioned.” For breakfast get the bacon egg and cheese biscuit…stellar. Had the mussels for dinner and they were solid.

Eggs , Bacon, and Biscuit at Oddfellows

Great $5 Old Fashioned

Great mussels at Oddfellows

Skillet Diner in Capitol Hill serves up some yummy breakfast fare. I had the chilaquiles and they were ok. Nothing to write home about. Their Bacon Jam on the other hand is the kind of stuff that wars are fought over. Perfectly sweet and spicy…order it on the side with one of their freshly baked biscuits. One of my friends ordered the pork belly and corn meal waffle. This was a heavy and delicious dish..definitely sharable.

Biscuit and that bacon jam is my jam

Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bars grow the best oysters I’ve ever had on the planet. They will blow you away… joke…get your ass there now.

Taylor Shellfish Oysters…wow

Bar Sajor another farm to table gem. Fresh, fresh, fresh, and the menu changes daily. I had the leg of lamb. YUM!

Leg of Lamb

Lowell’s restaurant in Pikes Place Market serves up good food in a touristy spot. Never expected food this good in a tourist trap. Great egg sandwich.

Molly Moon’s serves up outstanding homemade ice cream. The salted caramel will blow you mind.

Mamnoon has the best middle eastern food I’ve had this side of the atlantic. This place will blow your mind. Try the kibbeh, arnabeit makli, sambusek, shish taouk, and finish it with the turkish coffee dessert. This place has the “wow” factor.

arnabeit makli AKA Cauliflower

shish taouk ..Chicken, garlic, lemon, and olive oil.

To Do:

The Space Needle is an iconic building in the Seattle skyline. Felt like a complete waste of time to me. The view is fine but really not worth the time.

The Seattle Underground tour was fun and entertaining. Funny guides take you under Pioneer Square and keep it entertaining. It runs about 90 min and tons of fun.

If you’ve never been to Seattle I suggest you plan a trip ASAP. Wonderful people, food, coffee, scenery, and just about everything else. Can’t wait to get back there.

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PO Box 1072
Studio City, CA 91614

Coffee Review: Magnolia Coffee Co. “Bali Reserve”

Dylan's Candy Bar

Pardon The Punctuation…There’s a new coffee roaster in town and their name is Magnolia Coffee Co.. By “In Town” I mean Charlotte, N.C.. I love it when great coffee roasters pop up in unexpected places. This morning I had a chance to sample one of their roasts from the Kintamani region of Bali. Hints of orange peel, honeydew melon, and dark chocolate. An outstandingly smooth roast that will make you smile in the morning. You should follow these guys…I think they’re going places.

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PO Box 1072
Studio City, CA 91614

Foodie Friday Featured Dish: Sea Urchin Spaghetti At “Bestia” in DTLA

Pardon The punctuation…In what looks like an old warehouse space in downtown Los Angeles sits Bestia restaurant. On a recent dinner there a particular dish really stood out to me as the star of the meal. The Sea Urchin aka “Uni” spaghetti was outstanding. House made pasta with squid ink bottarga, garlic, calabrian chilies, breadcrumbs, and of course uni. Perfectly al dente with the uni flavor not taking over the dish. This is the perfect dish to introduce someone into the flavor of sea urchin without scaring them away. If you’re ever in DTLA check them out. Get a reservation as they tend to fill up quickly.

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PO Box 1072
Studio City, CA 91614

Wine Review: Hedges Family Estate 2012 Descendants Liegeois Dupont Syrah

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Pardon the Punctuation…I had no idea a wine from Washington could conjure the Rhone Valley. Hedges Family Estate wines do just that. Their 2012 Descendants Liegeois Dupont Syrah is a stunning example of the magical fruit from Washington’s Red Mountain. Aged 100% barrel aged for an average of 12 months in 52% new oak and 48% older oak, this wine is dark, viscus, and spicy. Right away you taste blackberry, and allspice. The wine is ready to drink now or could go a few more years. I’d have trouble aging it because it’s delicious. The only bad thing is I don’t have a case of it in my cellar. Perfect with grilled meats or on it’s own. At under $30 this is a steal of a wine. If it were from Napa you’d expect to pay upwards of $60 for a wine of a similar caliber.

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PO Box 1072
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Quick Review: “Dirty Habit” at the Hotel Palomar in San Francisco

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Pardon the punctuation…How many times have you stayed at a hotel where the restaurant on property is subpar? In my experience it happens a shit ton. Thats definitely not the situation at the Hotel Palomar in San Francisco. “Dirty Habit” is their lounge/restaurant. It kicks ass across the board. Juliet was my server and here’s what she suggested we have in her total awesomeness.

Cocktails

Manhattan: They hit it out of the park with this solid interpretation of the classic cocktail.

Honey Bee: Hendrick’s Gin, Honey-Lavender Shrub, Pomme de Normandie, lavender flowers, orange oil, rosemary, and roasted apples. Just refreshing and delicious.

Food:

SF Halibut Tiradito: with passion fruit, ginger, and plantain. Fresh halibut…the passion fruit was so bright on the palate and it helped bring out all the flavors. A work of culinary art.

Steamed Bun: Fried lamb belly and peanuts. Did someone say lamb belly? Done and done. Delicious!

Chicken Wings: Sweet soy and chili vinaigrette. Korean style with a little sweet and heat. A must if you go there. Very generous portion…perfection.

Early Girl Tomato Salad: Goats milk curd and chermoula. Perfect recommendation from out server. The perfect salad to compliment the meal.

Sisig fried Rice: with pork belly, calamansi, and soy. The rice had a little pit of crunch and with the fatty pork belly this is a dish you could easily eat for breakfast with a friend egg on top. My mouth is watering right now.

The three desserts I had were all yummy. Jackfruit panna cotta, ginger churros, and the figs & sourdough. I’m going into a sugar coma just thinking about it. When you’re in SF and want a drink, food, or both, check them out.

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PO Box 1072
Studio City, CA 91614

Halibut

Chicken wings

Steamed buns

Early girl salad

Fried Rice

dessert

Great outdoor courtyard

Wine Wednesday Review of “Spring Mountain Vineyards” 2002 Estate Cabernet

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Pardon The Punctuation…Here’s a quick review on a great library wine from Spring Mountain Vineyards in Napa, California. Spring Mountain is one of my favorite regions in Napa and the wine from there seems to never disappoint. This 2002 Cabernet has all the great characteristics of a Napa Cabernet with the smoothness of a Bordeaux wine. To use one of the terms I’ve learned here in Cali..it’s “Hella good.” It drinks really well now. Blackberries punch you right in the nose with hints of dark chocolate on the palate. I wouldn’t hold on to this one for more than another 3 or 4 years. It’s perfect right now.

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PO Box 1072
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Ritual Coffee Organic Los Anonos, My New Main Squeeze

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Pardon The Punctuation…If you’re a fan of coffee then you have to become a fan of Ritual Coffee Roasters from San Francisco. Their “Organic Los Anonos” roast has become the latest coffee to make it’s way into my pantry and it’s in contention for being a permanent fixture there. You have to take a sniff of it to understand the amazingly inviting aroma of this roast. It brings a smile to my face the second the bedroom door opens and the aroma hits me. It’s so damn good I go to bed thinking about it. A fresh cut grass mixed with molasses bouquet will spark the curiosity of your senses. The finish is smooth with a hint of citrus on the palate. The only thing I can hope for is that they open a store front in Los Angeles soon…like in my neighborhood.

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Whiskey Review: Orphan Barrel Distillery’s Barterhouse 20 year Bourbon…Wow

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Pardon The Punctuation…I love me some good whiskey and when I saw a 20 year whiskey at the store for under $100 bucks I had to get me some. Right off the nose it hits you with hints of vanilla and cake batter. Caramel on the palate and the sweetness of the corn really comes through. The dominant flavor has to be the vanilla which envelopes your mouth in whiskey goodness. It’s a limited release so I suggest you go and get some ASAP. In my top 20 bourbons of all time.

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Coffee Review: Rocks & Gravel “Til Brooklyn” Full City Roast

Pardon The Punctuation… Just got my hands of some of Rocks & Gravel’s lovely full city roast. Made it in the aeropress so I could extract as much flavor as possible. If I could describe a coffee as chewy this would be it. Chocolatey and full bodied. This one will definitely light a fire under your ass in the morning. At about $13 a bag it’s a no brainer.

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Nothing says “Te Amo” like some Te Amo Ice Cream in The Fridge

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Pardon the punctuation…I recently discovered “Te Amo” ice cream while attending the last LA Underground Market about a month ago. It’s a tough job but I decided I need to sample more of their amazing product and get the word out there. They make small batch artisan ice cream and boy can they do it well. Best part is if you live in Los Angeles you can have it delivered to your door. I love the opportunity to introduce new and amazing products that I think you guys will enjoy. Here’s what I had.

Strawberry Balsamic: With balsamic reduction and pink peppercorns. Just a delicious and elegant blend of flavors. The balsamic reduction gives just enough sweet and tart to entice the palate.

Pistachio: With chopped pistachio. If you’re a fan of pistachio ice cream this may the best one you’ve ever had. Yummy chunks for pistachio made me smile with every bite.

Butter Pecan: With clusters of candied pecans. The are huge chunks of yummy and crunchy pecans in every bite. Could have eaten a gallon of this stuff.

Toasted Coconut: With toasted coconut flakes. You can taste the freshness of the coconut in every bite of it. By far my favorite of the bunch. This was a touch one to share but I managed.

If you live in Los Angeles and you want to order some for yourself contact Andrea@teamoicecream.com and order some. I think Whole Foods needs to get their butt together and put “Te Amo” on the shelves ASAP. The only bad part about writing this is that I have no more of it in my freezer to eat right now. When Oprah finds out about them they’ll be on her “Favorite Things” list.

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I wonder what’s in this bag?

Choices

Yummy

Oh pistachio how I love thee

Look at all those candied pecans.

My Favorite