After having taken several short trips to the Seattle, Washington area, I’d like to share with you the most memorable things I ate in the past year in no particular order:
1. Cream Puffs with Mango Filling – Crumble & Flake Patisserie, Seattle, WA
Let me preface this by saying that I usually hate line ups and long waits. There have been numerous occasions in my travels where I’ve willingly waited for a long time for food because I wanted to experience the food from a particular famous establishment. On some occasions, I’ve been disappointed as I’ve found that the food doesn’t actually live up to the hype and that it wasn’t worth the crazy long wait. In the case of Crumble & Flake, on my first visit I waited in line for 45 minutes to try these cream puffs along with their other baked goods. These Filled-to-Order Cream Puffs are usually filled with your choice of three or four flavors of creamy fillings. On the day when we went, the choice of fillings were vanilla, chocolate, and mango. Since I’m a huge fan of all things mango, I, of course, chose the mango filling. The mango filling was creamy and luscious without being overly rich. And I loved the light and delicate texture of the pastry. The cream puff had a really unique topping similar to the topping of a Chinese pineapple bun. These cream puffs were so memorable that we actually went back again the very next day to get more. And the line up the very next day was just as bad if not worse. We ended up lining up for almost an hour before it was our turn. But to us, it was totally worth it because without a doubt, these were the best cream puffs I’ve ever had to date.
2. Crimini Pizza – Delancey Pizza, Seattle, WA
This pie was well-executed on all levels. The crust had nice leoparding on the bottom. The cornicione had some nice blistering and charring. Since Delancey’s pies are not true Neapolitan-style, the center was not soft and floppy. Instead, the crust was thin, airy, and light. It was crisp but not so crisp to be cracker-like. It was more of a delicate eggshell-like crispness and had just the right amount of chewiness. I really enjoyed the fresh thyme on the pizza as it paired nicely with the mushroom. This pie was definitely one of most memorable ones that I had in 2012. I’ve tried other famous pizzerias in the Seattle area such as Serious Pie, but for me, Delancey’s crust is more my style.
3. Short Rib Rice Bowl – Revel, Seattle, WA
I wish there would be more places that serve fusion style breakfast dishes instead of the typical bacon & eggs or omelets. This Short Rib Rice Bowl at Revel came with fried eggs, a chili chimichurri, and arugula. This was a contemporary twist the traditional Korean bibimbap. I was really impressed at how tender and flavourful the slices of short rib were. They were really juicy and had a nice BBQ flavour. Together with the peppery arugula, the silky egg yolks, and the spicy chimichurri, all the components complemented each other well to make it a perfect dish.
4. American Wagyu Sirloin Steak Sliders – John Howie Steak, Bellevue, WA
Having grown up in Alberta, I would say that I have high standards when it comes to beef and burgers. These American Wagyu Sirloin Steak Sliders were topped with mesquite grilled sweet red onions and roasted garlic-peppercorn aioli on house baked buns. The sliders were served with a few cornichons on the side. These sliders were delicious! I was really impressed at how juicy, flavourful, and beefy the Wagyu patties were. This was a stark contrast to John Howie’s signature USDA Prime Beef Bacon Cheeseburger that we had tried previously, which really didn’t have much beef flavour at all. It’s actually harder than one might imagine to actually find burgers that are really flavourful and beefy. Most burgers that I’ve tasted usually can be quite juicy but typically lack the beefy flavour. To me, these Wagyu sliders were definitely a winner!
5. Tamarind Tree Crepe (Bánh xèo Cây Me) – Tamarind Tree Restaurant, Seattle, WA
This crepe consisted of scallops, prawns, pork slices, shiitake mushroom, bean sprouts, and mung beans in fried rice batter, topped with coconut milk and was served with various Vietnamese herbs and pieces of lettuce. The crepe was delicious! It was really crispy and light. To eat it, we would wrap bite size pieces of crepe with lettuce and then top it with some of the herbs. We then dunked it into the accompanying nuoc cham dipping sauce. I really enjoyed the contrasting textures and flavours. Since trying this style of crepe at Tamarind Tree, I’ve tried Vietnamese crepes elsewhere but I still think that this one from Tamarind Tree was the most memorable.
Crumble & Flake Patisserie
1500 E Olive Way
1415 NW 70th St
403 N 36th St. (North 36th St. & Phinney Ave.)
John Howie Steak
The Shops at The Bravern
11111 NE 8th St, Suite 125
(between N 111th Ave & N 112th Ave)
Tamarind Tree Restaurant
Suite A, 1036 S Jackson St