Hidden deliciousness

The first time I went to Tsukushinbo, it was a little hard to find. They have an entrance through a plain door with no sign or anything. There’s a window with curtains. We maybe walked around the block looking lost for a few minutes but eventually found it.

Atmosphere: A pretty small restaurant with a sushi bar and maybe 10 tables. Minimal decor, but you definitely get the vibe that it’s a traditional Japanese restaurant. Go with a party of 4 or less!

Pricing: It really depends on what you order. They serve Japanese dishes as well as sushi with a variety of appetizers and entrees. Appetizers are around $5. Rolls range from $6-$10. Main entrees such as katsu, salmon, chicken teriyaki, noodles ~$10 as an entree.

Service: Quick service for being how busy they were. I thought they did a good job.

Food:

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Tuna avocado salad with fresh tomatoes, sprouts, tofu, and oranges. It was very fresh and I loved all of the colors. Tasty salad and surprisingly filling. I’ve also had their mushroom, green tea soba salad and it is also very good. You can’t really go wrong at this place.

IMG_0029Chicken karrage! This crispy chicken was a delicious side to our meal. I’ve never had it before and I would definitely say it’s worth getting. 
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All of our food! The bottom dish is buckwheat soba, tempura, and green tea soba. It also comes with a dipping sauce for the tempura. I love this combo and it’s a good bang for the buck around ~$12.

Overall: I think this is a local local in the International District that you should try. I would also suggest trying Maneki, another Japanese restaurant that is a block away. Be sure to make reservations or else you may not even get seated. This is a small place! I haven’t tried much of their sushi besides the salmon and it was pretty good. We tried ordering the uni (sea urchin), but it was sold out. Bummer city. I also hear their Friday ramen lunch special is superrrrr good and sells out quickly. If I can get a day off from school, that’s my next item to get from their menu.

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Cafe, bar, and dessert all in one

I’ve driven by this place so many times and it always looked crowded. I put it on my list to try especially since I’m always in the area. They have happy hour from 5-8p and who could pass that up? It’s located on Taylor in lower Queen Anne and is called Citizen (bar and cafe).

Atmosphere: We peeked inside and saw that they also had an upstairs in addition to their ground level seating. It was a little bit dark in there from what I remember. They also have outdoor seating, which we opted for on a nice evening.

Pricing: $6-$9 for most of the entree items that include sandwiches, tacos, salads, and their infamous crepes.

Service: It was busy, but the food came out pretty quick and service was efficient.

Food:

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Pulled pork sandwich – juicy pork with caramelized onions, house aoili, pickled jalepenos,  and cilantro. Nice crunchy bagette with the pork. Quite saucy and messy but delicious!

IMG_4237Korexican tacos with bulgogi, pickled cucumbers, cheese accompanied with spicy mayo, black beans, and salsa verde. Killer combo with all of these in the taco. Beef was nice and tender and as a whole, a really great dish.

Overall:
This place is quite promising and just from these dishes, I can tell it’s more than just a cafe. They have more variety in their dishes than your typical sandwiches and pastries. It was pretty hard deciding what to eat and I love their play in food in mixing different cuisines. I have yet to try their coffee or crepes, but those are next on my list. I looked at their menu again and they also serve breakfast! The real question is.. What do they NOT serve??

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.

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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