Saturday, July 16, 2011

humphry slocombe

Anyone who creates a scotch ice cream is a winner in my book.  Listen, a good, classic ice cream is good--but every now and then, don't you want something that pushes the envelope?  Something that throws your taste buds in for such a loop that you just want more?

Enter Humphry Slocombe--an unassuming ice cream shop in the Mission in SF.

The setting is cute--very vintage with the red swivel seats and simple patio furniture.  It sets the stage for some crazy, bold flavors for ice cream though.

Not only are the names creative, but the flavors really stand out as well.  The Limoncello Sorbet makes you think of the liquor--hyper sweet, a bit tarte.  I opted for the Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee since it made me think of my youth. 

Though I got a tiny cup, man was it packed with flavor.  It made me think of the cups of coffee my mom drank when I was younger--slow dripped coffee mixed with condensed milk.  It was heavenly!

J had gotten the chocolate--it tasted pretty good as well.

Before we left, I had to get a taste of that Glenlivet Scotch ice cream.  Though they only serve it with the Hot Toddy Sundae, they were happy to give me a little spoonful.  It was amazing--they somehow extracted all of the flavors of a perfectly aged single malt, but it had the texture of a normal ice cream!  My tongue was confused, but happy.

Humphry Slocombe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ciao bella

Oh gelato...why are you so amazing?  Since the weather is getting better, it's only fitting that I blog about gelato.  While in San Francisco, I visited Ciao Bella--they sell their stuff at grocery stores in Seattle with great, unexpected flavors.  So after hitting up The Slanted Door, I figured we might as well continue on our glutton fest and include some gelato.  When in Rome?

Seriously, look at this selection.  How do you not want to stuff your face with some amazing, sweet gelato?

So many different options--I narrowed it down to strawberry.  No regrets here.

Ciao Bella on Urbanspoon


Oddfellows is this great restaurant in Capitol Hill that's part rustic and a whole lot of comfort food.  While we've only been here once before, it's a nice spot to swing by if you want a drink, some food, and time to relax.

It's fairly low key--and I kind of like that.  The table is made out of reclaimed wood--there's a minimalist decor about it that makes you zone in on the food.

J and I started off with an order of fries.

These fries were perfect--hand cut, fried to a perfect shade of golden brown, but not too overcooked.  They were served in a tin can with a side of ketchup and aioli.  Simply amazing.

J ordered the mac and cheese and a side of cod fritters.  The cod fritters were okay.  To be honest, I'm not entirely sure of what would make a great cod fritter.  They were cooked well and the sauce that accompanied it was great--I think it was the texture that just threw me off.

The mac and cheese was ridic though.  While it's a starter size, it's large enough for an entire meal.  Served in its own cast iron skillet, it's comes to your table bubbly and piping hot.  I like it because it's equal parts gooey and not too heavy on the breadcrumb crust.

I had the duck confit--which fancy for "duck leg cooked in its own fatty deliciousness".  The duck was cooked perfectly--nice and moist.  The skin was crispy (which is another amazing part of duck)--I didn't really care for the beans and the seasoning was a bit salty, but overall, it was a pretty spectacular dish.

Oddfellows Cafe & Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 8, 2011

ba bar

I don't know why I am always starving after b-law class. It might be because it's 3.5 hours long, but usually around 3 hours in is when hunger pangs will hit me.

I had read about Eric Banh's third installment in Seattle--Ba Bar. Its sister restaurants (Baguette Box & Monsoon) are so good that I couldn't wait to try Banh's take on Vietnamese street food.

The place was packed when we arrived--word must have gotten out that it was opening night. There were only a few open tables left, so I'm glad that we managed to snag one.

The space is insanely gorgeous. It's large, clean, minimalistic. While the kitchen (you get a glimpse of it when you walk in) is bright and bustling, it juxtaposes against the dining room and the bar--the mood is relaxed, inviting, and alluring.

The bar was this gorgeous display of alcohol. Holy crap were there a lot of bottles of bourbon! I settled on a Moscow Mule to take the edge off me from class. I know, a vodka based drink, but the server recommended it.

While I don't usually comment on drinks, the Moscow Mule was ridic. It's served in this copper cup that keeps the drink chilled throughout the night. The taste was pretty damn good--it was like a Sprite, nice and refreshing.

For food, we got an order of steak frites that were cooked perfectly! A perfect medium rare ribeye--fewer things make me happier. It was well rested because it came sliced and there was no trace of a bloody mess all over the frites. Just nice and juicy. The frites tasted like they were from Dick's--which is a compliment. Not too salty, fried but not overcooked. The ketchup--holy crap. I'm pretty sure that ketchup was mixed in with curry and sriracha. If this place ends up serving brunch, I'm slathering this ketchup over everything. It's spicy, but not overwhelmingly hot. It just makes you keep eating because you have no idea what this flavor combination is--it's just simply delicious.

Steamed clams were up next. I have a love affair with clams, and these were definitely exceptional. The broth was super complex too. Listen, I know it's Vietnamese street food, but this is totally elevated to a new level. Most places just douse their clams with butter, garlic, and call it a day.

Not at Ba Bar.

These guys were in this broth that was perfectly balanced--it wasn't too much of just one thing. I just wish I had a baguette to soak up all that delicious goodness.

The last thing we got was the catfish. The catfish, by far, was the dish that made me the happiest. It brought me back to Mama T's cooking.

Two pieces of catfish lightly dusted in seasonings (I detect turmeric) and cooked to perfection. It's served with dill, mint, pickled carrots, and vermicelli noodles cut into blocks (genius). Wrap it all up in some lettuce and you've got something that's crunchy, savory, acidic, and refreshing all in the same bite.

I left feeling happy. Ba Bar revived all of the culinary memories of my childhood. No fuss, no frills, just straightforward food in a great environment.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Ba Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

lumpia world

Portland is no stranger to a good food truck. I get envious of the selection and depth of food that is offered in Portland--their food truck industry is so much more mature than that of Seattle's. Granted, I know the thought of food trucks make some people quesy, but if you can get over it, you'll be in for a huge treat. Where else can you get great food for super cheap?

Enter Lumpia World. Today was their first day in SLU. I actually ventured outside for lunch today and am so glad that I did.

The line wasn't very long, but it seemed to be because the service was speedy. I lined up and tried to get a glimpse of the menu. All I could smell was deliciousness! Fried deliciousness. Oh my god.

The menu is small, but well edited. You really don't need a crazy variety when it comes to lumpia because it's so tasty. The guy at the register recommended that I try two steak and two pork lumpia. Done! Four of those and a side of rice--I was ready to chow down.

Service was fast--I always appreciate that, especially on days where I'm completely slammed, but don't want to resort to eating out of the vending machine. I walked back to my desk to see what today's meal looked like.

The lumpia was a perfect shade of golden brown. Fried and crispy to perfection.

A little dab of sweet chili sauce and I was in heaven. The lumpia were tasty and not too heavy. It was crispy on the outside and the meat was super tender on the inside.

Wednesdays just got a little better. While you can stalk them online, they'll be posted on the corner of Boren and Harrison every Wednesday for lunch (AND accept card...yes!)

Now if only I could find an adobo truck around here.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 3, 2011

the slanted door

Set along the San Francisco pier lies a modern, Vietnamese restaurant called The Slanted Door. Its founder, Charles Phan, supposedly left his job as a software salesman to start a restaurant empire in the Bay Area.

I'm glad he did.

It was the second time J and I have been there. While he's not usually keen on Vietnamese food, the first time we ate there was was such an amazing experience that we knew we had to swing by the next time we would be in San Francisco.

We started off with a gorgeous tray of kumamoto oysters.

There are few things better in life than a small, briny oyster that's just a little sweet and super creamy. If you've never tried an oyster, I would definitely recommend either the kumamotos or the kusshi oysters.

Speaking of kusshi oysters (my personal favorite), we ordered those as well at the Slanted Door. Four tiny kusshi oysters were served on a bed of ice and topped with Chinese black olives and a preserved lemon relish. These were amazing on their own, but they're served with a side of grilled lamb sausage. The mix between the sweetness of the oyster and the savory, smokey lamb sausage was intensely flavorful.

We followed the oysters up with an order of oven-roasted clams that were served in a broth infused with Thai basil and pork belly. The clams were perfect--though it was the flavor of the broth that was really amazing. There was a richness to the broth (most likely due to the fatty pork delish...) that made these clams addicting.

After the appetizers, we focused on our entrees. We ordered the shaking beef, crispy egg noodles, and a side of nettles. Yes, nettles.

I'm really curious to see who (in their right mind) was like "why...nettles sting you, you say? I would LOVE to eat them." Turns out, nettles taste like if spinach and Chinese broccoli had a baby. Despite that, please, if you are going to forage for nettles, wear gloves and boil the heck out of them.

The crispy egg noodles were also pretty good; however, they were pretty standard. The seafood was fresh, the egg noodles were crisp, and the sauce was terrific. Unlike sub-par restaurants, eating this didn't make me feel sluggish.

Finally, the shaking beef.

There's something delightful about filet that has been seared to a perfect medium rare and in a sauce that's complex--salty, sweet, acidic. They actually call it shaking beef because there is a point in creating the dish where you add in the broth and shake the pan--it helps diffuse the flavors throughout the dish.

Mr. Phan, this is an open letter to you--please expand your empire to Seattle. While I almost always crave The Slanted Door, I don't think I have enough airline miles to satisfy my fix.

Slanted Door on Urbanspoon


Potbelly, a new sandwich shop downtown, has opened its doors. I went to check it out the other day with a few coworkers and I was amazed at the line. I'm not sure if it was because we were downtown or because Potbelly's opening has been highly anticipated--only a sandwich could really determine that.

While waiting in line, I noticed that the most popular sandwich for that week was the wreck. A sandwich layered with salami, roast beef, turkey, ham, and Swiss cheese. It seemed pretty intense, but if that many people were ordering it, I knew I had to give it a try.

I was surprised to discover that they allow online ordering. I'll be sure to utilize that feature in the future. Since I did not submit an online order for this particular day, I needed to go through the queue. A friendly employee took down my order as I waited in line. While there were a ton of people, it moved rather quickly. They also made sure to stock the drinks, cookies, and chips at stations throughout the line, which made things operationally efficient.

They had Zapp's chips! I had heard about these--they're huge in the South and Midwest. I passed on the chips since I had been grazing all day, but I'll definitely make sure to pick some up the next time I'm here.

I finally got my sandwich and took the SLUT back to work. By the time I had made it back to my desk, I was disappointed to see that my sandwich had become a soggy mess.

Clearly, Potbelly was not to fault, but I was excited to try this place out due to all of the hype. I felt a little let down.

Despite the condiment soaked bread, the sandwich was pretty good. It was filling and satisfying--what you want from a lunch. The meat was tasty, but there was so much of a variety that it made it difficult to distinguish exactly what you were eating.

I'll probably give Potbelly another try--the food wasn't terrible, but I don't know if I'd necessarily crave it given the experience I had.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Potbelly Sandwich Works on Urbanspoon