Huge and delicious meringues at The Whale Wins in the Fremont district of Seattle. These. were. terrific!
Maybe we should stop telling people they’re eating insects…stop saying ‘worm.’ If we use the Latin names, say it’s a ‘Tenebrio’ quiche, it sounds much more fancy…Another option is to cover the bugs in chocolate, because people will eat anything covered in chocolate.
Marcel Dicke, Entomophagy-pushing entomologist
Guilty. Then there’s frying, too. I always say you could fry a cockroach and it would taste good.
Plastic ware is getting pretty good at looking like silverware. But it still doesn’t work as well.
The inviting space of Hi Lo. It might be less inviting if filled to the brim, but for the first Sunday brunch it was calm and casual.
Hello Hi Lo
Hi Lo, which opened about a year ago, decided to start serving Sunday brunch. Today was the first day, and we decided to risk being guinea pigs. It wasn’t too risky a venture; Hi Lo shares its Executive Chef with Hogs and Rocks, already a favorite.
Neat space. The wood paneling has been charred (or so it seems) and painted black—fitting decor for a barbecue joint. It has a texture reminiscent of alligator or crocodile, too.
The menu was enticing. I had a hard time deciding between lemon ricotta pancakes and eggs benedicte. In the end, the pancakes won out.
They were really light yet had a nice chewy consistency. Also, some parts were crisply browned and those bites were super tasty. Topped with a pear compote and cream. Paired well with the bacon.
Yes, this was the bacon. Super rich with great smoky flavor. The carmelized fat on top was just what my Chinese upbringing taught me to love.
The chicken-fried steak and eggs was a real steak, not chopped beef, with an indescribably delicious crust. A chunk of that plus a bit of runny egg yolk atop a pull-apart roll was insanely good.
The cocktails were good too. Until about two months ago they didn’t have a bar. They had cocktails, but they were made in the back. What’s the fun of that? Of course, we sat at the bar.
My favorite cocktail was a Smoked Strawberry Mescal Mimosa. The strawberries are smoked, pureed and then concentrated. Wow.
They make a bloody mary using a rye that’s been infused with smoked pork fat. I love the way they pull all the elements of BBQ together in everything they do. Yet you don’t feel like all you get to eat is meat—the menu is well-balanced. Definitely coming back for dinner some day!
Almost forgot the foie gras!
The other night I was lucky enough to go to Alder in NYC’s East Village. I considered myself lucky just to be in NYC, but on top of that, we scored spots at the bar of this restaurant just recently named one of the best new NYC restaurants of 2013 AND they let the 8-yr old kid sit with us there AND she loved the food!
The NYT review of Alder describes it aptly. Wylie Dufresne deconstructs and reconstructs to provide a dining experience that’s exactly that—an experience.
Pub cheese with pistachio and white fig, served with “potato chips.” The pistachio/fig stuff was like peanut brittle only with just the slightest sweetness and crunch to complement the “cheese” so nicely.
(I’m putting all these things in quotes because I’m not exactly certain if what we were eating was actually what the items were named!)
Alder’s version of Scotch eggs are not like the traditional—no whole egg inside. I’m partial to Martins West’s, but this version was still tasty, and pretty, too.
The “French Onion Soup Rings” were scrumptuous. The bartender described them as similar to poutine (after which we immediately knew we had to order them) and he was right. The onion soup part was nice thick gravy that coated the rings but didn’t make them soggy.
The clam chowder was perhaps my favorite. A very smooth cream soup—no sign of clams anywhere other than the flavor—with some chunks of ham, celery and thinly sliced new potato. The star was the accompanying oyster crackers, which were nothing like traditional oyster crackers. Instead, they were like cheese puffs in texture (as observed by the 8-yr old!), but had an intense flavor of oyster. Turns out they were made with powdered dried oysters. Incredible!
The cocktails were good too, and I love that they serve half sizes! Just in case you want to try different ones, or maybe have a drink and a half!
I had Dr. Dave’s ‘Scrip Pad’ which had rye, yuzu, amaro and smoked maple. I liked it enough to have two halves. Actually I liked it enough to have more than that but that was plenty for the night.
Would definitely return. If only I could on a regular basis!
More reasons to love NYC
As if I needed more…
1. A minor is allowed to sit at a bar where alcohol is served, (presumably) as long as with parent(s). My friend’s child seemed to survive just fine sitting at the bar for dinner.
2. Some theaters have adult sippy cups that you can take to your seat—so you don’t have to down your drink in 5 minutes. Great for slow sippers like me.
3. It’s not illegal to serve foie gras, like this delicious one at Alder.
This is where we ate dinner in NYC on Saturday night. We tried to go to Uncle Boons but they were packed shortly after opening time, and we had a show to get to. But hey, it does say they are the World’s Best Hot Dogs, so we kept to our quality standards!
Along the Turquoise Trail
We stopped at this great little cafe called San Marcos Cafe on the Turquoise Trail while heading up to Santa Fe.
The food was perfect—homey and delicious.
Pork Posole with a bonus tamale!
I was glad we stopped for lunch here, rather than waiting for Santa Fe. It was a real slice of New Mexican food.
Only in Japan.
Food is Love
Cute story about the art of making Japanese kids’ bento boxes.
Reminded me of when I worked for Sanrio. Our boss used to come in with bento boxes prepared by his wife. It looked like she must have been chained to the kitchen, based on the delicate details of each lunch. Carrots cut into flower shapes, carefully crafted rolls and rice balls…we always wanted to check out his lunch each day! We were a design studio, after all.
One day when we asked him what he had for lunch, he replied, Oh, just a sandwich, rather sheepishly. We took a look at the sandwich…perfectly cut lettuce, cucumbers, tomato, etc. Not a thing out of place. Definitely the most fussed-over sandwich I’d ever seen!
I’d like to have a wife like that at home!
Nice artwork from Giacomo Bagnara.