Seafood in all its glory

This place has been on my list for the longest time and I’m so happy to have tried it for my Birthday. (Sorry this is a delayed post, my birthday was in September). It is Walrus and the Carpenter nestled in Ballard. Last time I went here was for happy hour. The wait was 1.5 hrs and by the time I got in, it would have been over. Sadly, I hadn’t been back since.. but here I am now!

Atmosphere: The restaurant is located in the heart of Ballard and the entrance is through this door next to another restaurant and you walk all the way to the back of the building and the main entrance is there. It’s a little hidden and I wouldn’t have known if it weren’t for my first visit with someone who’s been before. There’s a large bar where a most of the seating is. There’s also some patio seating outside. We still had to wait about 30 minutes or so for the two of us.

Pricing: Plates range from $8-$12 and oysters were market price $3-$4.

Service: The food came out pretty quick and our service was pretty good. I had a great time sitting at the bar and watching the guys behind the kitchen shuck oysters.

Food:
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Our flight of oysters. 2 barron points, 2 glaciers, and 2 baywaters. Such fresh oysters! I tried going to their happy hour with discounted oysters but the line is pretty ridiculous.

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Shaved baby squash, sesame, yogurt, and pumpkin oil. The acidic flavor was pretty light and it felt like a refreshing dish.

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Steak tartare with egg yolk and rye toast. This is definitely one of their staple dishes and now I know why! Every. single. bite. was. delicious.

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Fried oysters with cilantro aioli. Holy crap these suckers are huge! A way bigger portion than I expected, not that I’m complaining. I was a very happy camper.

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Grilled sardines with walnuts, parsley, and shallot. Interesting dish, probably not one of my favorites, but I’m glad I tried it. It felt a little heavy with the sauce.

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Steamed manila clams with basil, tomato, garlic, and grilled bread. Another generous serving worth of food. I was pretty happy with this and I loved loved the broth.
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We ended the night with a shebang of this bread pudding with espresso butter sauce and a dollop of whipped cream. Yum yum yum.

Overall: This was a very very delectable meal at one of Seattle’s must try restaurants. I’m glad I finally had the opportunity to try this. If you love seafood, then this is definitely a place you should not miss! They rotate their menu with various items, but keep their staples so you don’t have to worry about losing out on trying these dishes.

The Walrus and the Carpenter on Urbanspoon

BBQ like you mean it

I’ve been meaning to try this restaurant for a while and I finally got the chance. Bitterroot is a BBQ joint located in the heart of Ballard. It was a busy Friday night so definitely expect a wait! I am not sure if they take reservations or not, but I want to say no. We went next door to a bar to grab a drink while we waited for our table. PS. Sorry my pictures aren’t top quality, they’re from my iPhone!

Atmosphere: I didn’t really get a chance to explore the restaurant, but we were seated near the front where there were probably about 5 tables. I am sure there were more in the back, but from what I can tell it was a smaller restaurant. I would suggest going with a party of 4 or less.

Pricing: Starters were about $5-$9. Main dishes ranged from $12-$50 ($50 for a HUGE combo plate that could probably feed a party of 6). Sides were $4.

Service: Our server was nice and took our order in a timely matter. It was pretty busy so I thought she did a good job of managing her tables.

Food:
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All meat dishes included two sides. Brussel sprouts, collard greens, and BBQ beef brisket. $17. HUGE portion. The beef is quite tender and cooked to perfection. Nice crisp edges. The sides didn’t wow me but it was nice to get some veggies in my belly to balance the meat.

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Homemade beans, cornbread, and pork belly. $15. Our friend recommended this to us and WOW. The pork belly was soooo good. The beans were surprisingly really good. I’m not a huge fan of beans, but it was yummy! The corn bread was also pretty good but I think I’ve had better. This also wasn’t as moist as I would like it to be.

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Mac and cheese with sausage and onions. $12. You get to make your own mac with two other ingredients. We shared this between the 4 of us and still couldn’t finish it. They have probably 7 different things to choose from to add to the mac. I think it’s a pretty neat idea.

Overall: If you’re looking to satisfy your BBQ cravings, this is the place. I had a lot of food leftover and it was still delicious the next day. So many different meat choices that you can guarantee I will be back! Ribs are next up on my list. Their happy hour menu looks pretty promising! $5 or less for most of their appetizers. Looks like I’ll have to try that too!

Bitterroot BBQ on Urbanspoon

Get your grub on!

Grub in upper Queen Anne is a great place for brunch AND dinner! This blog post will be a combination of both my visits. It’s located right off of Queen Anne Ave at one of the busiest intersections in the area.

Atmosphere: They have some outdoor seating as well as a community table (it’s actually a pool table if I’m not mistaken). Casual decor with some antiques here and there. Not an extremely large restaurant, but a pretty good size. They also have a small bar area.

Pricing: Average brunch prices of $10-$15 for main entrees. Dinner ranges from as low as $10 to as pricy as $25.

Service: Pretty standard service. They were attentive and nice to us.

Food:

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House made biscuit! Probably one of the biggest biscuits I’ve ever had. This was a side order btw.

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BLAT – Bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato! The bacon was cooked to the right amount of crispiness without being like a potato chip. It also came with a light salad. It was nice that it wasn’t overdressed.

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This is called the “Grubbin,” with three mini pancakes, crispy fried pork belly, and 2 eggs over easy. The pork belly was probably one of the best I’ve had. I’ve had quite a lot of pork belly in my life and this has to be top 5.

And… here’s dinner!

IMG_26931/2 Buttermilk chicken with skillet mac and cheese and sauteed kale. I definitely had leftovers of this dish. Everything about this was so great!

IMG_2696Grilled portobello mushroom with creamy polenta, tomato basil sauce, smoked chili oil, and roasted vegetables. I’m a HUGE mushroom fan and this was spectacular. I wish there was a little bit more to this to make it a little more filling though.

Overall: Both brunch and dinner were solid meals. They do some plays on traditional American dishes and make it their own. I don’t think they rotate their menu every week, but it seems seasonal. Everything tasted pretty delightful and I was certainly very full after both meals. I would say this is a very safe restaurant to go to if you’re in the area! Everything looked great on the menu. I am sure you can’t go wrong with anything you order. :)

Grub on Urbanspoon

Seattle Restaurant Week at Pomerol

Pomerol is a cute French restaurant located in Fremont. On summer days, you can go out on their patio and enjoy the sun and enjoy their food. It just recently opened a few months ago and I was excited to see they were on the SRW list!

Atmosphere: I went on a Wednesday night and it was bustling with people! Glad we made reservations. They have a small bar in the front with a bunch of tables on the other side. It looked like they could accommodate large parties. Another bonus. From where I was sitting, you could see the meats just hanging near the kitchen for aging.

Pricing: 3 courses for $30.

Service: Our server was pretty nice and gave good suggestions. Nothing really stood out for me with the service though. I don’t think he went out of his way or anything but it was still pleasant.

Food:
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Appetizer – frissee, pork belly, and apple vinaigrette. The fried pork belly was delicious!!! The frissee definitely made me feel better about eating something fried.

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Appetizer – castelfranco, roasted squash, pistachio, feta, and caramel vinaigrette. Overall, I thought this was okay. The pistachio was definitely a great addition to the salad.

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Entree – pork flank, wilted greens, brussel sprouts, and whole seed mustard. I thought the mustard seed was a unique addition to the dish to give it a nice flavor as well as a texture. The pork was cooked on the rare side, which is what I usually trend towards. IMG_2195

Entree – Pan roasted chicken, golden raisin, larden and sherry.  I personally liked the pan chicken at crow better than this, but this was still good. Maybe a little too salty though.

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Dessert – pumpkin chocolate bread pudding with bourbon anglaise. Quite a small helping. I could probably have eaten this in 4 bites! It was good, but I didn’t salivate or die over this. I definitely preferred the cake over this bread pudding though.

IMG_2199Dessert – flourless chocolate cake with dulce de leche ice cream. Rich, but oh so good with the ice cream. I wish there was more ice cream though… That’s always an issue for me.

Overall: Overall I thought this experience was okay. Some dishes were good but it didn’t really wow me. All the dishes were also on the smaller side. I think it would be fair if it was really delicious and then it mind blowing good, but the food I had didn’t. I know SRW has a sample menu on their site for each restaurant and that it’s always subject to change. We picked this restaurant based on that menu and then dishes were different, which was actually kind of disappointing. Despite that, we still had a hard time picking 2 desserts. Everything sounded good. I think I’d come back and give them another try. Their short ribs seemed really popular and looked delicious from pictures!

Pomerol on Urbanspoon

Seattle Restaurant Week at Crow

Being around upper Queen Anne a lot, my boyfriend and I decided to try many of the restaurants nearby before we aren’t in the area anymore and Crow was on our list to try. We actually haven’t been to Betty yet either, their sister restaurant. Crow happened to be having SRW and thought it would be a great chance to try a variety of dishes for a good deal. Crow is located down the hill down the street from QFC.

Atmosphere: Overall, the restaurant is pretty dark with a light above each table. I thought this was a nice way to create privacy between tables since they light drops off between tables. There’s a bar on one side of the restaurant and the kitchen is in the back. It’s a pretty spacious restaurant with lots of seating for small parties and larger ones. It was definitely pretty busy even on a Monday night. Glad we made reservations!

Pricing: SRW offers dinner for 3 courses for $30.

Service: Upon walking in, we were greeted by the hostess. Not the friendliest greeting I’ve ever gotten, but our server was pretty nice. She made some great suggestions for us. I’d say service was pretty average.

Food:

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Appetizer – sautéed prawns with shrimp chorizo over creamy grits. I thought this was a really great concept, but the bottom of the dish was pretty oily. The shrimp was delicious! I thought it was going to have a hint of spiciness, but it wasn’t actually.

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Appetizer – marinated cauliflower salad with fennel, sultanas, pine nuts, and machengo. Let me just say this was a really huge portion! This picture does not do it any justice. Great combo of flavors especially with the sultanas (seedless grades). Lots of different plays on texture. I don’t really like cauliflower in general, but this was great. Nice light dressing.

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Entree – brown butter gnocchi with roasted squash, wild mushrooms, sautéed kale, and parmesan cheese. I love gnocchi and this was great!! Nice crispness to the edges. I love the squash, mushrooms, and kale as well. Huge portion leaving me with leftovers for lunch the next day (which was still delicious).

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Entree – pan roasted chicken wrapped in prosciutto with kale and carrots. I was really impressed with this chicken! There is so much flavor and taste to it. The inside was tender and juicy.

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Dessert – oatmeal cookies with stout ice cream and chocolate sauce on the bottom. The cookies were nice and thin and didn’t overpower the ice cream. Again, great combination with the ice cream to balance out the rich chocolate.

IMG_2055Dessert – Apple bread cake with raspberry sauce. This was a tasty dessert, but it wasn’t my favorite that I’ve tried. Not that memorable in my opinion. It was really hard to choose 2 desserts from their list of four because everything sounded really good. 

Overall: I was really impressed with Crow overall. I thought it was just going to be okay, but it was actually very tasty and I had a pleasant experience. The food was tasty, but nothing extremely unique. They do a great job of new American food. I feel like it’s kind of a hidden gem in the corner and a slick sign. It’s kind of easy to miss. I’m really glad I got to try this :)

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