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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Apple War

posted by on September 10 at 3:20 PM

appleeyes.jpgI say Honeycrisps are the best apple ever, Bethany says they're too sweet. Commenters seem torn between Fuji's and Galas. Instead of fighting, let's make it official (per commenter Julie's suggestion) and have a poll:

I am the best kind of apple ever. I am:

Asteroid Cafe Still In Business...For Now

posted by on September 10 at 1:55 PM

Good news, Asteroid Cafe fans: although the restaurant was scheduled to close several weeks ago, it's still open for business.

From on of our readers:

After reading about the planned closure of our beloved Asteroid Cafe, my husband and I gussied up for one last lovely meal there. Much to our surprise, we found that they have decided not to close after all. (Actually they closed for four days, then re-opened on Friday.)

They will be open now Wed-Sun from 5-10pm. We had a wonderful meal, an impeccable waiter (Aaron), and marvelous food. I just wanted all your
readers to know this Seattle landmark is still up and kicking. Support
good food!


Asteroid Cafe's owner Marlin Hathaway—who just filed for bankruptcy—initially planned to shut down the Asteroid on August 31st, but Hathaway managed to find a buyer for the restaurant and is now involved in a court battle with his landlord over the future of the Asteroid.

In an email, Hathaway claims the Asteroid's landlord, Dan Cawdry, has interfered with the new, as yet unnamed buyer's liquor license application and is making things difficult for the restaurant.

We discover[ed] that the landlord has entered the restaurant at some point during our closure, gone into the bar, into a drawer in the bar, removed a key chain from the drawer and removed the elevator keys from the key chain.

He has also set the computerized lighting system for the building to shut off the lobby lights at 9pm instead of 2am as is the lease agreement. He also locks the external doors to the lobby blocking access to the restaurant from the lobby, and the parking garage. (We still have another external door in the front, so this doesn't completely stop us, though in bad weather this will be an inconvenience.

While the future of the Asteroid will likely be sorted out in court, Hathaway believes he'll be open through at least October 2nd.

Molly Moon Coming to Odd Fellows Hall

posted by on September 10 at 1:22 PM


Urbnlivn, "a Seattle condo blog," has "the scoop" (HAR!!!!!!!!!):

The Pike-Pine corridor is going to be getting a Molly Moon Ice Cream in Odd Fellows Hall a few months from now! This will be their their second location (first is in Wallingford).

In other news, Molly Moon will soon be richer than God.

Re: It Is Officially My Favorite Time of the Year

posted by on September 10 at 1:03 PM

With all due respect to Ms. Seling and Mr. Nelson, the commenters who dissent in the post below are correct: Honeycrisp apples are too sweet. They taste like Starburst Fruit Chews.

It Is Officially My Favorite Time of the Year

posted by on September 10 at 12:23 PM

Apple enthusiast Sean Nelson sent me a text message yesterday afternoon that is, perhaps, even more important than the news about the Crocodile Cafe re-opening...

"Honeycrisp apples sighted at Whole Foods. Repeat. Honeycrisps at Whole Foods. Over."

I had one for breakfast. It was the best apple I've had all year.

(Related: Remember that one time Sean interviewed a Honeycrisp apple? Ha ha!)

Headline of the Year

posted by on September 10 at 10:00 AM

"Burglar Wakes Men with Spice Rub, Sausage Attack"

The victims told deputies they awoke Saturday morning to the stranger applying spices to one of them and striking the other with an 8-inch sausage.

Burrimond said money allegedly stolen in the burglary was recovered. The sausage was tossed away by the fleeing suspect and eaten by a dog.

More details in tomorrow's Last Days.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Please Bring it Back

posted by on September 9 at 11:00 AM

chocolatecherryyum.jpgAnd by "it" I mean Chocolate Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper. I know it sounds like something I should despise as much as I despise pre-made root beer floats, but I promise it's really really good. (Unless you're one of the many who hate any and all diet soda, in which case, you'll hate this just as much.)

It was in stores about, oh, eight or nine months ago. I could only find it in a few local supermarkets and 7-11s, but it was worth the trek to the out-of-the-way store. It was delicious. Because of it, I'll probably get cancer. But it was delicious.

Dr. Pepper people, I knew you said it was a limited edition, but I didn't think you meant it. Don't you companies just say that so people rush out and buy the product? I don't understand. You kept the far inferior Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper on the shelves. Why'd you give chocolate the boot? Please bring it back.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wisdom of the Orient

posted by on September 4 at 2:53 PM

Well, um, thank you, fortune cookie...


But I don't know if I'm ready for that level of commitment. I was just trying to have lunch.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

This Is Jeff

posted by on September 3 at 5:35 PM


Jeff is a waiter at the Eagle Street Grill, which is across the street from the Xcel Center. For the duration of the Republican National Convention, however, the Eagle Street Grill has been transformed into the CNN Grill. The signs outside the restaurant were changed, the waiters are all wearing CNN Grill t-shirts, the freakin' wood platter my burger came on had "CNN Grill" branded on it.

We came, we ordered, we ate, we drank. We drank some more. And then I noticed something weird...

When I picked up the menu to look at desert... there were no prices. Not for the aps, not for the entrees, not for the deserts. Huh. I called our waiter over—Jeff, seen above—and relayed my suspicions to him: "Is everything on CNN?" And Jeff told me it was—the burger, the salad, the three beers, the cupcakes, all of it—and nodded and smiled and asked me if I wanted another beer.

"Oh my God, you guys must be getting screwed!" this former waiter said. "Is anyone tipping you guys?"

I had to drag it out of Jeff—they're so polite, these Minnesotans—but he confirmed that very few of CNN's guests (Anderson got me in here) are remembering to tip. Jeff says they're getting a bit more per hour working at the CNN Grill, but... yeah, folks aren't really tipping.

I have to say that I'm appalled—appalled!—that most of the folks eating and drinking on CNN's dime are neglecting to take care of the waiters keeping 'em in free chow and booze. Hey, librul media elite! Estimate what you think your chow would've cost you and TIP THE FREAKING WAITERS! Christ!

Okay, gotta get back to the Xcel Center in time for Sarah Palin's declination speech.

Lunch Date: The James Boys

posted by on September 3 at 12:00 PM


(A few times a week, I take a new book with me to lunch and give it a half an hour or so to grab my attention. Lunch Date is my judgment on that speed-dating experience.)

Who's your date today? For a change, I closed my eyes and picked a book from our bookshelves at random. I wound up with The James Boys by Richard Liebmann-Smith

Where'd you go? Chaco Canyon Cafe, a vegan cafe in the U District.

What'd you eat? A vegan ruben sandwich with a cup of chili ($9.95).

How was the food? I like eating vegan food every now and again—I'm actually fond of field roast, whatever the fuck that is—but Chaco Canyon needs to get a new vegan cheese, because their current vegan cheese tastes like vomit. Once I pulled the offending yellow triangles off, everything was great: the sauerkraut wasn't too wet, the bread was great. The chili was more like a bean soup, but it was pretty good, too. I can totally see myself returning for a sandwich with no cheese and one of their soups, which I'm pretty sure are made fresh onsite every day.

What does your date say about itself? Kirkus Reviews says that this is "a debut novel that imagines two sets of real-life James brothers, novelist Henry and psychologist William, and desperadoes Frank and Jesse, are related..."

Is there a representative quote? "In his later years, after the turn of the century, James would be widely revered as "The Master," with an imposing ouvre comprising dozens of novels, scores of novellas, and hundreds of short stories. But in that centennial summer of 1976, all of this was far ahead of him and by no means assured as his destiny. He was still in the thrall of what he once called "the hungry futurity of youth," and we can only imagine the maelstrom of emotion generated by the fledgling author's realization that this lovely woman was in fact perusing his very own words."

Will you two end up in bed together? Nope. I like Henry James, but I'm not one of those people who thinks he's the be-all end-all. And the writing in this book has flashes of greatness, but it's full of book report-style exposition like in the above quote. I'll pay attention to Richard Liebmann-Smith's next book to be sure, but this one left me cold.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And Would You Like Some Cloned Fries with That?

posted by on September 2 at 2:01 PM

Mmm...delicious clone-burgers!

Food and milk from the offspring of cloned animals may already have entered the U.S. food supply, the Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday, but it would be impossible to know because there is no difference between cloned and conventional products.

The full creepy-juicy story is here.


Sauces from the Other Side!

posted by on September 2 at 12:50 PM

In the current Stranger, page 29, I go on and on about a delightful old woman called Jocelyn Owens. Maybe you read a little of it. Maybe not.

If not, Mrs. Owens was the ingenious pastry chef responsible for everything on the Kingfish Café’s dessert menu, et al, and quite sadly, she passed on not too long ago. She was known around town as The Cake Lady, but she was famous for so much more than cake. Like her incredible sauces. Down home BBQ, African Peanut, Spicy Creole and Cajun… my goodness!

Well, ol’ Mrs. Owens’s daughter Debbie (who runs catering at the University of Washington) has informed me that she and Mrs. Owens’s other children have big plans to duplicate and sell Mrs. Owens’s very best sauces--including those mentioned above--and are working to have them ready for market next year. They hope to give a bit of the magic that was Mrs. Owens back to us. God bless them.

Ol’ Jocely's Ethnic Sauces: Coming soon to a supermarket near you!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Come Back to the QFC, Milky Tuna, Milky Tuna

posted by on August 29 at 2:56 PM

This just in from the FDA:

Quality Food Centers (QFC) said today it is recalling five deli tuna salad items sold at some QFC stores in Washington and Oregon. Salad dressing used to make these items may contain milk not listed on the label. Customers should return the product to stores for a refund or replacement.

The following deli-prepared items are included in the QFC recall:
Tuna Pecan Salad Sell by: Aug. 29-30
Tuna Salad-Stuffed Tomat Sell by: Aug. 29-30
Gourmet Tuna Wrap Sell by: Aug. 27-28
Custom-Prepared Whole Sandwich with Tuna Salt Prepared: Aug. 25-26
Custom-Prepared Half Sandwich with Tuna Salad Prepared: Aug. 25-26

People who are allergic to milk run the risk of a serious or life-threatening reaction if they consume this product. No illnesses have been reported. For most consumers, there is no safety issue with the product. The recall includes 74 QFC stores. QFC has already contacted all customers known to have purchased these items by telephone.

In Praise of Pixifoods

posted by on August 29 at 1:41 PM


As blogger/neologist Joe Posnanski puts it:

Pixifood (PIKZ-ee-food), noun: Any food substance that is highly pleasant to the taste as a child and tastes shockingly unpleasant once you become an adult.

Among Posnanski's key pixifoods:

Tang As a child it tastes like: Fruity drink goodness. As an adult it tastes like: Laundry detergent
Pop Tarts As a child tastes like: Flavor-filled pastry with delightful crunchy coating. As an adult tastes like: Manila folders injected with jelly.
Dinty Moore Beef Stew As a child it tastes like: The absolute best camping food available. As an adult it tastes like: Dog Food

My personal pixi-faves: frozen fish sticks, Salisbury steak TV dinners, and the entire culinary ouvre of Chef Boyardee.

Read Posnanski's full pixifood manifesto here.

You've Gone Too Far, Hershey's (Or, Why the Fuck Do They Keep Ruining Good Candy?)

posted by on August 29 at 10:00 AM


For the most part, I've felt okay about all the new versions of Hershey Kisses that have bombarded the market the past few years. Plain ol' (cheap) milk chocolate wasn't enough for the world, consumers wanted variety. So Hershey's (as you no doubt noticed) started introducing new flavors of Kisses... dark chocolate, mint, cherry, motherfucking NEW YORK CHEESECAKE.

Some were flops (raspberry and strawberry), some are now a permanent part of the Hershey Kisses family (peanut butter and caramel).

But this season, they've gone too far; this season, they've introduced Candy Corn Kisses.

They look like candy corn--layers of white, orange, and yellow white chocolate--and they smell like the artificial vanilla lip gloss I wore in sixth grade. They taste like store-bought Betty Crocker frosting, but instead of being creamy, sugary, and delicious (and on top of a cake) it's in solid, striped form. That's what makes it wrong. It's like eating a big chunk of sweetened chemicals. While I was able to stomach one (for the sake of science) co-worker Anthony Hecht spit it out immediately after it touched his tastebuds.

It's not like this is filling a big hole in the market, either. Candy corn already exists as its own kind of candy. Was it really necessary to make it into a Hershey Kiss? If I wanted to eat candy corn, I'd eat some motherfucking candy corn. This brings nothing new to the table.

They're available at QFC, should you want to try it. You sick bastard, you.

(While we're on the subject of candy, did you know they have Pomegranate flavored Tootsie Pops? The pomegranate trend is officially absurd.)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Hooray! Let's Make Some Bacon!"

posted by on August 28 at 11:20 AM

A helpful tutorial very near and dear and detrimental to my heart:

The Bacon Flowchart.


(Thanks to Leah for the tip.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mmmmm, HOT POCKETS: Now with Foreign Materials!

posted by on August 27 at 12:27 PM

The greatness/grossness of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service email updates is indisputable (remember our old friends Class II Recall of Frozen Cattle Heads That Contain Prohibited Materials and Hot Beef Carcasses?). Now the USDA is being good enough to tell you WHERE the food with E. coli, Listeria, botulism, “undeclared allergens,” mislabeling, and good old “adulteration” is being sold, so if you got some, you might have a clue about it. (Or, if you didn't get some, maybe you still could!)

The latest recall is from Nestlé, involving approximately 215,660 pounds of pepperoni HOT POCKETS® that "may contain [unspecified but presumably undelicious] foreign materials" ("The problem was discovered after the company received consumer complaints").

Where can you get some?

Wal-Mart Stores & Wal-Mart Supercenters, Natiionwide [sic]

Ramey's, Various locations in Mississippi

Easy Way Stores, Memphis TN [love the name!]

Superlo Foods, Memphis TN [ditto; my new band's name]

...and in more convenient Southern locations.

You may sign up for the USDA FSIS emails here. As with HOT POCKETS®, you'll "Get more of what you're hungry for"!

Now Accepting Intern Applications

posted by on August 27 at 10:22 AM

A three-metre (10ft) python has killed a student zookeeper who let the snake out of its enclosure in Venezuela while working a night shift at the zoo.

Horrified colleagues at the Caracas zoo had to beat the snake to make it release the body of Erick Arrieta, whose head it was swallowing, local media reported.

Marks on the biology student's wrist suggested the snake had bitten him before crushing him to death.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chicken-Fried Love

posted by on August 26 at 4:18 PM

People love chicken-fried steak. In this week's paper, Joan Hiller ("Chicken-Fried Vision Quest") loves it:


As a kid growing up in Katy, Texas, chicken-fried steak day in the lunchroom came twice a week, and I reminisce more than is probably healthy about using a doughy roll to sop up the final globs of country gravy that clung to my hard plastic tray.... I still thoroughly relish each bite of Banquet's $3 TV-dinner version of the dish, which speaks to the sophistication of my palate, sure, but I know a good—or a cruddy—chicken-fried steak when I meet one. I'm Texan. A certain percentage of my blood is gravy, so if CFS is on a menu, dang if I ain't gettin' it. Gotta keep the levels up.

She especially loves it at the 5-Point, the Mecca, Cyndy's House of Pancakes (pictured, gloriously, above; photo by Jennifer Richard), Julia's, and Blue Onion Bistro.

Y'all love it, too. From the mailbag:

My father was born near Chickasaw, Oklahoma, and due to this fact I also have a gravy-positive blood type. Chicken-fried steak was a meal that was often requested, though infrequently delivered due to the labor of cooking it for a family of nine. To this day, it is still the meal that my brothers and I request for our birthdays. Joan's article brought back greasy, aromatic memories of my chicken-fried childhood.

Finding a good CFS in the Northwest is not an easy task. Most have been passable; some have been Lovecraftian creations of pure fucking terror.

The single best CFS I have had in the Pacific Northwest is from a little restaurant in Centralia called the Country Cousin. I stopped there on my way to Portland last year and I cannot recommend it enough. If you decide to stop there, I would advise you to skip the dining room and head straight to the lounge.

Thanks for the memories.

—Ryan Ellis

Alrighty. If you can eat more chicken-fried steak, then go to Tommy's in Renton. You'll find it to be better than the rest.

Here's how I order: CFS, eggs over hard, hash browns and biscuit instead of toast. When it comes to the table, cut the steak and eggs, then mix together with the gravy and hash browns and top it with a few drops of Tabasco... (a lot of drops if you're using smoked chipotle Tabasco if you can find it someplace else and bring it in).

Please do thank me later.

—Lava Rock

Beth's has the best CFS ever. Will check out Cyndy's. —c.
I am in love with the chicken-fried steak at Geraldine's Counter in Columbia City. I will be going to Cyndy's House of Pancakes very soon to try their chicken-fried steak. Thanks for the article. —Nicky
About the best (and best deal) I've had on a chicken-fried steak was about ten years ago at the Cozy Diner in Chico, California, a place where you were considered a regular if you had three breakfasts in a row. The CFS was $5.99 and included soup AND salad and dessert (tapioca or ice cream). It's a bit of a drive, though.

You should really check out the Austin Cantina. Jefe Berkner, the owner and chef, lived for several years in Austin, and he is offering a Tex-Mex menu that includes a real tasty version of chicken-fried steak, with some good sides, too.

The collection of music posters in the restroom is worth the trip all on its own.

Bon appetit!

—John Watt

Mmmmm, gravy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lunch Date: Mike's Election Guide 2008

posted by on August 25 at 12:07 PM


(A few times a week, I take a new book with me to lunch and give it a half an hour or so to grab my attention. Lunch Date is my judgment on that speed-dating experience.)

Who's your date today? Mike's Election Guide 2008, by Michael Moore.

Where'd you go? Guanacos Tacos, on Brooklyn Ave in the U District.

What'd you eat? I had a sampler with a pupusa, an empanada, and a fried yuca ($6.50).

How was the food? It was really good. Guanaco's does Salvadoran food, and I believe they're the only pupuseria in the greater Seattle area the northern Seattle area. I had the pork carnita pupusa, and it was terrific, a fried pocket of dough wrapped around spiced, but not spicy, meat. The meal came with a bunch of different salsas, too. The fried yuca didn't have a whole lot of flavor, but the texture was just about perfect and it was perfectly fried—crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. The empanada was dessert, filled with sweet cream and covered in cinnamon. It was all lovely. The horchata ($1.50) was not as good as the horchata at other Mexican places in the area, mostly due to a crippling lack of cinnamon.

What does your date say about itself? 'Welcome to Mike's Election Guide, my effort to make sense of this fall's race for the White House and Congress. Herein I answer the nation's most pressing questions: "Why is John McCain so angry?" "Do the Democrats Still Drink from a Sippy Cup and Sleep with the Light On?" "Can I Get into the Electoral College with Only a 2.0 GPA?" and "How Many Democrats Does It Take to Lose the Most Winnable Election in American History?"'

Is there a representative quote? "The important thing to remember here is that the terrorists have lost! OUR WAY OF LIFE has won! Yes, we will gladly strip naked at the airport if we have to. Yes, we will pay whatever the pump tells us to pay. Yes, you can listen in on my phone calls and read my private emails—hell, you can put a friggin' drill in my head and insert a thought-control chip on my frontal lobe—just as long as you promise me that I will be safe and the terrorists will be defeated! Wait, wait—is that a 100-inch plasma screen TV I see over there in the window? I have to have it! I must protect America and kill more terrorists!! Oh, God, you take Discover?"

Will you two end up in bed together? Not a snowball's chance in hell. You know, I've never read a Michael Moore book before: Are they all this stupid? I know he's got his everyman schtick, but this bullshit 'satire' is so 2004. Also, when he's talking about gay marriage, he suggests that, because the image of two men kissing is gross, we should imagine two hot girls making out instead, because everybody likes two hot girls making out. And then he runs a picture of two bottle blonds touching tongues, to get the point across. Also: he goes after fat people for being fat. I wish Michael Moore would just go away. He was doing an important job at a time when nobody else was doing it on a national level, but now that the job's been done, and he's just embarrassing us all.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dear Cafe Septieme. It's Over!

posted by on August 24 at 5:10 PM

Today, I came back to you, Café Septieme. You knew I would, you wretched bitch. I always do.

You know how desperately I want to love you.

And, hooray! I wasn’t moved to vomit at the sight of your new bright yellow walls! What a pleasant surprise. And you even got rid of that God awful organ for me! Hallelujah! And I was in a good mood, so I even decided to think that the, um, pastel colored paper lanterns that you’ve hung everywhere were quite jocular. Jocular!

But oh, Septieme. How you do disappoint.

Only after 15 solid minutes of sitting in, please note, a totally empty restaurant did our waiter finally deign to materialize. He was all smiles! Indeed, maybe a little too all smiles, frankly, for he fucked up our order good and proper. Where, for example, did that huge plate of strawberries and orange rounds come from? I demand an answer!

And then? Well, he left us to die.

Do you know what it feels like to be ignored, Café Septieme? To be completely invisible? To sit for eternity with an empty coffee cup and a bone-dry water glass and a big pile of strawberries that you didn’t order? To feel trapped? Neglected?

No. I didn’t think so.

Your entire staff, Septieme, seemed to have scampered into the walls. This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened, either, you know. And we were so very alone, my friend and I (and the strawberries). It was like Night of the fucking Comet.

We finally got up to leave because a potential dine-n’-dash seemed the best-if-not-only way to summon the neglectful waiter’s attention. It did, praise Allah, and we were finally able to pay and get the hell out, but let me tell you this, Septieme, and please take it most seriously:

In over one hour, my coffee cup was never refilled. Not. Even. The fuck. Once.

I can forgive many things, Café Septieme. And I have. But this? To leave my poor cold cup hanging there at the end of the table--a promise never to be fulfilled, a pipe-dream, a lie, mocking me!--for an hour?

No, Septieme. No, damn you! This I cannot forgive. This I refuse to forgive.

I am so totally sick of your shit.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Headline of the Day

posted by on August 23 at 12:44 PM

N. Korea Develops a Noodle Which Can Delay Feelings of Hunger


The headline is funny, but the story is extremely sad: The people of North Korea are starving, and the government won't allow adequate foreign aid. The magic noodle—made of corn and soybean—leaves one feeling fuller for longer. It's got twice as much protein and five times the fat of an average noodle (making it probably five times as delicious).

Photo by Annie Mole/Creative Commons

Friday, August 22, 2008

Where the Hell's Eat & Tell?

posted by on August 22 at 11:54 AM

Sad news: Due to stupid space restrictions, this week brings the final installment of Angela Garbes' beloved column Eat & Tell. Due to even stupider space restrictions, the final installment of Eat & Tell was bumped from this week's print edition. As usual, it's a goodie, and here it is:

Pork & Grief

Two weeks ago, a beloved family friend passed away. Feeling a little sad all the time is, well, sad. And, in moments, crippling and overwhelming. At the funeral last week, easels holding photos collages celebrating our friend Rudy’s life were set up in the church lobby. I looked at the collages—“Friends,” “Church Activities,” “Family,” “Travels,” “Knights of Columbus”—and had to laugh when I noticed that, in every single display, there was at least one photo of Rudy hovering over a lechon, a Filipino whole roasted pig. “Oh yeah,” my dad smiled when I pointed this out to him, “Rudy loved lechon. There’s going to be one at the reception afterwards.”

Indeed, after the funeral, a whole pig served in the church social hall fed the hundreds of people who came to say goodbye. “It’s perfect,” Rudy’s daughter said to me, “that guy just loved to eat.” Last week, on the ninth night of mourning his death, before and after saying the rosary, friends and family devoured yet another whole pig, chopped impressively (with a cleaver and rubber mallet) by his daughter. I like to think that Rudy is quite pleased by all of this.

Of course, roasted pig is appropriate for all celebrations. It can even be the cause of one, as it will be this Saturday at Ballard’s Old Pequliar, when they roast two 120-pound pigs. Go and eat in honor of someone you love.

Pig and Pipes, with music by the Seattle Firefighters Pipes and Drums Corps, Saturday, August 23, 12:00 pm, the Old Pequliar, 1722 NW Market Street. Tickets $15; 782-8886.

If it's any consolation, and it is, the divine Ms. Garbes will continue to share her eloquent, one-of-a-kind food lust with Stranger readers in reviews and profiles and what-have-you for The Stranger's Chow section.

But for now, a moment's silence for Eat & Tell.

Really, Truly Disgusting

posted by on August 22 at 9:33 AM

rsz_salmon1.jpgLocal (and national) seafood-hero Jon Rowley writes on about the dangers of eating raw salmon—namely, the possibility of ending up with a 9-foot tapeworm.

Salmon for sushi, as Rowley notes, is almost always frozen first, which kills the tapeworm larvae.

More on the fish tapeworm here, including a neat life-cycle diagram from the CDC.

Photo by evil robot 6 from The Stranger's Flickr pool

Pagliacci Gets Pranked

posted by on August 22 at 9:16 AM


Monica Guzman has the story at the Seattle P-I's Big Blog:

Pizzerias all over Seattle got some unusual—and somewhat offensive—postcards in the mail this week.

Addressed to "stupid competitor," the postcards appear to be from Pagliacci Pizza.

But they're not, said Pagliacci co-owner Matt Galvin. At least, the familiar Seattle pizza chain didn't send them. They're apparently part of some anonymous joke. And Pagliacci is left to do damage control.

Full story here. (And anyone with guesses re: the identity/motive of the postcard prankster, feel free to share 'em in the comments. I smell a disgruntled employee, but there's also a light performance-art scent wafting through...)

Postcard scan from the P-I/Suzuki + Chou Communimedia.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Just Saved Your Relationship, Boys

posted by on August 21 at 11:55 AM

mammastill.jpgLast night, I went to The Big Picture for the first time. I was there to see Mamma Mia! As much as I enjoy Lindy West's review of Mamma Mia!:

Mamma Mia! is pure entertainment. Sparkling and earnest, hammy beyond all acceptable boundaries of ham, full of slow-motion leaping and young love—it's the movie equivalent of, well, ABBA. The cast rules: Meryl Streep is adorable; Pierce Brosnan sings (TERRIBLY) and stands on a cliff looking windswept in front of an Aegean sunset. Mamma Mia! entertained the shit out of me.

I do have to say that she neglected to mention something: If you are a heterosexual man, you will find the movie embarrassing to watch. And I say this as a heterosexual man who unabashedly loves movie musicals. Luckily, here's where the Big Picture, with its lush bar lined with bottles of welcoming booze, comes in to save the day.

At the beginning of the movie, I was wincing every half-minute or so, as every single character, regardless of age or gender, seemed to be channeling a 13-year-old Japanese girl on speed. The middle-aged women in the audience ate it up, a-hootin' and a-hollerin' every time somebody's hips swiveled—the movie might as well have been directed by a pint of pure estrogen.

But by the time I got to my second beer, I had stopped wincing. It was enjoyable. And the third beer made the whole thing a hee-larious laugh riot. For a moment, when I drank too much too fast, I actually thought that Pierce Brosnan was a decent singer. I expect that if I was drinking a comparable amount of whiskey instead of beer, I probably would have wept at the sheer glory of love and life and song. People who are allergic to this kind of giddy overacting, but who have significant others who desperately want to see the movie, should totally see Mamma Mia! at the Big Picture, preferably under the influence of a liter of some sort of brown liquid, possibly on ice.

Dept. of Substantiated Restaurant Rumors

posted by on August 21 at 11:15 AM

andysdiner.jpgFrom Slog tipper Dan (who heard it from "literally some guy" behind the construction fence): Andy's Diner—the beloved train-car restaurant in SODO that closed in January—is reopening as an "Asian-and-railroad-themed restaurant sometime next month."

Over at the Liquor Control Board website, we find a new application for the address under the name "Orient Express Restaurant & Lounge." The Orient Express! This is a beautiful idea. Let us all wish really hard that it will be beautifully (and deliciously) realized.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who's Eating Your Lunch?

posted by on August 19 at 1:00 PM

bbqmeatball.jpgHoly Taco has actual photos of actual school lunches that were posted onto the website of a Harrisonburg, VA school system. These photos are supposed to be advertisements in favor of the lunches.

This reminded me of one of my most disgusting freelance assignments for this paper, when I reviewed Seattle-area school lunches. It turns out, the most disgusting thing that I ate for the assignment was something that the students would bring to school in lieu of eating the school lunches:

Jane wisely didn't eat the school lunch. Ordinarily, she'd eat a sandwich that her mom made, but, due to a late start this morning, she'd brought a meal that's de rigueur with today's students: an Oscar Mayer Lunchables Mess With Your Mouth Tacos dinner with Free Sour Tongue Teasing Fizz ($3.19 at most QFCs). The distinguishing feature of the Mess With Your Mouth line of Lunchables is that the entrée (in this case, three small tortillas that the consumer fills with room-temperature ground beef in taco sauce that's squeezed from a toothpaste-like tube) is supposed to be covered with crushed Pop Rocks, which are sour and explode in your mouth as you eat the lukewarm mini-taco. Also, you get a bag of Capri Sun Fruit Punch and, in case the sugar you sprinkled on your taco wasn't enough, a box of cherry Nerds.

In conclusion: I'm so glad I'm not a kid.

Monday, August 18, 2008

We're Firmly in "Pop" Country

posted by on August 18 at 2:54 PM


Strange Maps has a map of the United States divided up by the name people commonly use as a generic term for soda.

I was born in soda country, but Seattle's definitely pop-centric. Alaska has counties in all three camps, including the Southern tendency to refer to any soda as coke. When I lived in Colorado, I got used to people calling soda "pop," but I never, ever got used to people who call lollipops "suckers" or bags "sacks." Those two are just wrong.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Last Bit of Slog Happy-Related Business From Me Today

posted by on August 15 at 1:00 PM

Abby brought a whole bunch of these Choice Whole Leaf Organics teas to Slog Happy last night. Being a compulsive tea drinker, I've already had three different types.


They are motherfucking delicious teas. I started with the Darjeeling, which was nice, although a little too fruity for my morning tastes—I should've waited until after lunch for it. Next, I had the Earl Grey, which was really quite a fine Earl Grey, and I just had a cup of the Jasmine Green, which was my favorite of the bunch.

Apparently, there are also some decaf types of tea, too, but decaf is a crime against God and man, and so I haven't tried those, although I'm feeling a wee bit jittery now. I think that these are probably about as close to buying loose-leaf tea as you can get in a package. Thank you, Abby, for bringing them along. They're really good.

Eating for Cheap

posted by on August 15 at 12:05 PM


From this week's Chow section:

Fact number one: Times is tight. Fact number two: Tight times need not restrict your dining life to tap water and Top Ramen. The proof you hold in your hands—Cheap Eats, a less-than-attractive phrase that sums up a most attractive concept: availing yourself of the life-affirming pleasures of dining out without succumbing to a soul-crushing state of poverty.

Specific delights: Bethany Jean Clement on lower-price offerings at Seattle's upscale eateries, Lindy West's tour of duty on the battlegrounds of fast-food dollar menus, Angela Garbes on the International District's over-the-counter cuisine, Ari Spool's experiment in keeping herself well-fed on $20 a day, Marti Jonjak's night-by-night guide to the week's best happy-hour food deals, and Steven Blum on the cheapest food of all: free food.

And here's tidbit that got cut for space from Angela's I.D. food-counter tour, but is definitely worth sharing:

For $2.50, you can buy yourself one of the most wonderful cheap-eats experiences in Seattle: eating elote, roasted sweet corn coated in butter, salty cheese, and chili powder while standing in the parking lot of MacPherson’s Food and Produce (4500 15th Ave S, 762-0115). Besides being able to re-create summer any time you choose (the elote stand is open year-round), you can also take advantage of the unbelievably low prices of produce at this sprawling Beacon Hill market. (On a recent trip, fresh parsley was selling for 79 cents a bunch, organic cherries were $2.99 a pound, and Brussels sprouts an incomprehensible 10 cents (WTF?) a pound.)

Got a thrifty-dining secret to share and/or dispel? Weigh in at The Stranger's reader-review-powered restaurant guide.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Now (Maybe) in Your Neighborhood: Paseo, Via Tribunali

posted by on August 13 at 2:50 PM

Slog tipper kid icarus writes:

The undisputed king of Cuban sandwiches opened a new satellite in Ballard today. And there was much rejoicing.

Indeed, Fremont sandwich mecca Paseo has a new branch at 6226 Seaview Ave. N.W. (at 67th Street)—more from here.

And Via Tribunali—now on Capitol Hill, on upper Queen Anne, and in Georgetown—has applied for a liquor license for 4303 Fremont Ave. N. (thank you, Slog tipper Herschell!).

This Exists and It's Delicious

posted by on August 13 at 11:40 AM


Dark chocolate, caramel, almonds, and marshmallow... It's basically my dream candy bar. The ratio of marshmallow to caramel is perfect (too little marshmallow and the much heavier caramel would destroy it). And using almonds instead of peanuts was a great choice.

Introducing this rocky road version is the best thing Snickers has done in awhile--the last two bars they released included that Snickers Charged thing with caffeine and taurine (???) and the Adventure Bar with the weirdo spices in it. Ew and yuck.

Best of all, it's way better than that crappy S'mores bar that Hersheys makes. That shit's a disaster. That's not marshmallow they use, that's sand-flavored goo.

Good job, Snickers. Way to not suck this time around.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"A Clam-Eating Event"

posted by on August 11 at 12:05 PM

According to an advertisement on the radio, Atlas Foods in University Village (which Stranger reader-reviewers hate on here) is having "a clam-eating event." Chow Foods, owner of Atlas Foods (and this place, and this one, and this, and a couple more) is usually better with the verbiage than this. "A clam-eating event" does not sound fun—it sounds like something that'd land you in the hospital. How about "contest"? More details via their website:

Eat 100 Clams, Win 100 Clams

August 23rd at 3pm outside Atlas you can prove your clam eating prowess. To sign up email Or join as a spectator. There will a cooking demo and samples.

Now There's Finally Something That Looks Even More Unappetizing Than KFC's "Famous Bowls"

posted by on August 11 at 10:15 AM

Jack in the Box just announced via press release that they're introducing Breakfast Bowls to their menu:


Available now, Jack's new Breakfast Bowls offer a complete breakfast served in two delicious styles:

Denver Breakfast Bowl – features scrambled eggs, hash brown sticks, sliced ham, and red and green bell peppers topped with a white cheddar cheese sauce and shredded cheddar cheese.

Hearty Breakfast Bowl – features scrambled eggs, hash brown sticks, bacon, and sausage topped with a white cheddar cheese sauce and shredded cheddar cheese.

What's a hash brown stick?

Patton Oswalt's gonna have fun with this...

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Eating Planet

posted by on August 8 at 11:16 AM

The subject of Peter Menzel's photographs is the amount and types of food consumed by people in different parts of the world and class situations:

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23
Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat


United States: The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week: $341.98
Favorite foods: spaghetti, potatoes, sesame chicken

Bon appetit!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Couple Notes on Slog Happy

posted by on August 7 at 1:14 PM

I'm excited for Slog Happy. I also love the Hideout, and I don't go there nearly enough.

But I know that some of you have been complaining about the lack of sit-down meals, and I'd like to suggest that, before, during, or after Slog Happy, you stop by Thai Star, just next door to the Hideout. It's really great, cheap Thai food, although the ambiance leaves something to be desired. I recommend all the soups and the curries. You won't regret it.

Also of note for some of you: In an effort to class up Slog happy with some old-fashioned book-learnin', I'll be bringing some advance reader's copies for anyone who's interested. They're not for resale, but they're perfectly good for reading. I'll try to bring a mixture of genres and interests.

Actually, now that I've written this, I can't tell if the free books will bring new people out or inspire more people to stay home. I guess we'll find out.

Road Food

posted by on August 7 at 11:07 AM

If you're driving between Seattle and Portland, I recommend timing your trip so that you hit Kalama, Washington, roughly around lunch time. Right off I-5 in downtown Kalama you'll find the Antique Deli & Pastry Shoppe.


The sandwiches are huge, delicious, and cheap. And the cookies—one comes with your sandwich—are awesome. The frosted almond cookies are my favorite.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's Hot Out!

posted by on August 6 at 11:29 AM


And I couldn't be happier about that. In anticipation of today's predicted 91-degree high, please go read food nerd extraordinaire Harold McGee's NYT treatise on/celebration of cold food, where you'll learn how to make ice cream using nothing but sweetened cream and milk, ice cubes, salt, and a freezer bag.

(Photo by Darren Hester, licensed under Creative Commons license).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Re: Lost Dogs

posted by on August 5 at 3:20 PM

Dan, I called the Seattle Art Museum for you. It seems to be a case of underperforming dogs. They didn't make enough money down there (I bet the people who protested the penis-sculpture fountain have something to say about why nobody wants to eat hot dogs in front of exposed penises), so the dogs had to take it on the road.

The cart is called Dante's Inferno Dogs. You can find it "around town." It might return to the park when crowds are expected (ie, for Hempfest).

This information is courtesy SAM spokeswoman Cara Egan.