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Scenes from the 2014 Bite of Seattle

Dancing Man/Woman

The 2014 Bite of Seattle is upon us, and yesterday, we walked over to the festivities to check it out.

It was crowded, a little too crowded at times, but fun nonetheless. I ate more stuff than I care to remember, about twenty percent of which was actually edible.

The real draw, as usual, was the music, which, although I never happened to be present when the band names were announced, was really good.

Fortunately, the temperatures cooled off a bit, sparing me from both food poisoning and a nose full of B.O. Fine, I wasn’t really “spared” from either,

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The Dahlia Lounge & $1 Donut Holes

Salmon & Filet Mignon

Dahlia Lounge Exterior

I’m probably not what you would call a “foodie”.  In fact, back when I was but a wee lad, I would get punished for not eating.  Even today, I generally only eat when my blood sugar gets low enough to be a hinderance.  I eat to live instead of the other way around.

That said, I definitely like some foods more than others, and as I grow older, I’ve made an effort to appreciate some of the finer foods in life.  I’ve also endeavored to eat in every, single, solitary inner-Seattle restaurant.

Why?

There are a couple

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The Pike Grocery Grand Opening (and a Pissed-Off Rant About Nothing in Particular)

Pike Grocery at Pike and Boren

Pike Grocery at Pike and Boren

Yesterday was an exciting day for yours truly. It’s a day I had been eagerly awaiting for months.

Yesterday, Pike Grocery finally opened its doors, and as soon as my ferry docked, I beat a hasty path to its doors. What I found left me quite pleased.

A grocery, a convenience store, a deli, oh my.

Beer, wine, salty snacks, milk, produce … Pike Grocery has everything an aging hipster could possibly want, and then some … such as 3, count ‘em, three different types of creme soda. It’s nirvana for the perpetually-21,

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Capitol Hill Cuisine

City Market Deli

City Market.

Home of the highest prices, rudest service, and most expiredest food in all of Capitol Hill.

Despite it all, however, I love the place. It’s like the abusive stepfather with a heart of gold that I never had. Sure, it slaps me around, calls me a worthless sonofabitch, and makes me scrub the toilet with a toothbrush … but it always makes up for it by giving me the last piece of cake, a new toy, or a pat on the head.

Today, I decided to visit my stepfather. I stopped by City Market for lunch, which

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My Bambaloni Has a First Name …

Michou - Zeppole and Bambaloni

Sunday morning usually means brunch at Pike Place Market, and yesterday was no exception.

Shortly after 10, I headed over to Piroshky Piroshky, and this time, I decided to try something different. While I usually get Oscar’s Star or some kind of breakfast concoction, on this day, I decided to broaden my horizons.

Mozzarella, Broccoli, and Mushroom Piroshky

After eyeing the menu for a few moments, I decided on the mozzarella, broccoli, and mushroom piroshky, only because it sounded kind of weird, and after taking a bite, I realized that it tasted like it sounded. Weird. It wasn’t bad

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Moon Over Mike’s Tavern

Full Moon of Seattle Skyline from Magnolia

Last night, to “celebrate” the completion of a certain project, we headed up to Ballard for a bowl of Mike’s chili.

Some people celebrate with champagne, others with cocaine, but that high-brow, pretentious stuff doesn’t fly with me. If ground beef and kidney beans are good enough for cowboys and hobos, then it’s good enough for me dammit.

On the way up 15th Ave, en-route to the Ballard Bridge, I looked back and spotted a full moon hanging over the Seattle skyline.

“I need to make a quick detour!”, I exclaimed before veering on to the Magnolia Bridge and

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Pepperoni to the People!

Pagliacci's Pepperoni Pizza

I’m a creature of intermittent habits. Once I get into a routine that works for me, I tend to stick with it until it either becomes a hassle, or until something better comes along.

Take, for instance, lunch.

For most of February, I’ve been getting two slices of pepperoni pizza from Pagliacci daily. For the most part, they have pretty decent pizza, and the price is right.

Yesterday, however, I broke the habit.

Why?

I did so because, for three days in a row, each time I stopped at the Queen Anne Pagliacci, they always had 3 pies ready,

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Tonight, I Bought a Nickel Bag

Mini Donuts Stand in Westlake Park

Of delicious donuts!

Bag of Mini Donuts from Westlake Park

Although I’ve greatly reduced my intake of refined sugar products, tonight, I gave into temptation. I dropped $5 at the Westlake mini-donut stand, and I’m glad I did. Each bag of donuts contains roughly 15 sugar-covered donuts, they are handed to you fresh and warm, and they taste quite good.

If you have yet to try the stand, I encourage you to do so. One bag is enough to satisfy the sweet cravings of two to three adults, and the price is hard to beat.

BTW, if you walk

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The World’s Best Hamburger

My Van's Burger

Olympia, Washington. Without a doubt, home to the best burgers in the USA.

Big Tom’s, Eagan’s … if you like hamburgers, this is where you should be.

Almost.

In Thurston County, south of Olympia, literally in the middle of nowhere … sits a small shack that serves the best hamburgers in the world.

Van's Burger in Olympia

Van's Burger in Olympia

Not the best hamburgers in the county.

Not the best hamburgers in the state.

Not the best hamburgers in the country.

The best hamburgers IN THE WORLD.

I am not exaggerating.

Van’s Burgers are good.

How

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Red Mill Burgers

Blue Cheese Bacon Burger

For some bizarre reason, Western Washington has the greatest hamburgers in the USA.

The best hamburger I have ever eaten in my life was in Thurston County (which reminds me, I need to write a post about that place), and when it comes to decent burgers, this area of the country is about as good as it gets.

Why this is, I do not know. You would think that a green, vegetarian place like the PNW would frown on the eating of dead cows, but hey, this is the same place that has some of the worst traffic in the

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Cheap Eats: A New Favorite, and a Couple of Old Ones

Big Mario's Pepperoni Pizza

My never-ending quest for the best, cheap food in and around Downtown Seattle has caused me to stumble upon a new reigning champion. Something only a local could discover.

Now, when I reveal the source of my new culinary delight, some of you will laugh … but before pretentiously dismissing it out of hand, I urge you to try it before you scoff.

Yesterday, I went grocery shopping at Kress at 3rd & Pike Street. I split my grocery shopping trips between this store and the QFC on Broadway & Pike (I live equidistant between the two), and yesterday Kress

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Live from Bite of Seattle

Food Tents

The Space Needle

Big Turnout on First Day

Food Tents and Attendees

The Seattle Center

Vendors and Attendees

Big Crowd

Concert and Stage Area

Enjoying the Event

Attendees

Big Turnout

Food Tents

First Day Crowd

Enjoying the Festival

Relaxing and Enjoying the Concert

Laying on the Lawn

Food Vendors and Attendees

No Firearms Allowed Sign

Continue reading Live from Bite of Seattle

Molly Moon’s at Pine and 1st

Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream

Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream

Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream

Is now open. Free ice cream for kids until 5pm.

I wrote a post about my visit to their grand opening here: http://www.downtownseattlenews.com/2011/molly-moons-grand-opening/

The Breakfast of Champions

My Fried Salmon Sticks with Fries

You know, if they wanted to, local news stations could really mess with me.

They could send me out on one wild goose chase after another, and keep me chasing my tail indefinitely. Take this morning for instance. Q13 Fox, terrorist fighters extraordinaire, mentioned that Disney had a promo running. The studio was going to take to the streets of Downtown Seattle in cartoon vehicles (modelled after the “Cars” movie), and they were going to randomly pay for people’s parking.

Wanting to see this for myself, I rode up and down 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Avenues … twice …

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Potbelly Sandwich Shop

My Pizza Sandwich

About an hour ago, I was walking through Westlake Park when I noticed a crowd gathered near the corner of 4th & Pike.

I walked toward the group, and when I arrived, I found that a brand-spanking-new eatery had opened up on 4th Avenue. It’s called “Potbelly Sandwich Shop”.

Downtown Seattle – 4th and Pike

Potbelly Sandwich Shop

I entered the store, surveyed the scene, and even though I was not hungry, I realized that I had a quasi-journalistic responsibility to sample the new eatery. At least that was my excuse for negating the “healthy” chicken breast I

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Copper River Salmon

Copper River Salmon at Pike Place Market

A few weeks ago, I flipped on the television to watch Lisa Van Cise gripe about the weather (“I wanna kill myself cause it’s sooo clowww deeee!”) when something unexpected happened.

The newscast cut to a live feed of an airplane landing, and I assumed that a VIP was arriving. Was it Barack? Was it Sarah? Was it Anthony Weiner coming to do damage with his massive johnson?

No. It was not any of the above.

The airplane taxied, the door flipped open, and the pilot emerged from the cockpit carrying a gigantic fish. Yes, a fish. The crowd

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Pagliacci Pizza on Capitol Hill

Pagliacci's Pepperoni Pizza

I grew up eating pizza. A lot of pizza. Tons of pizza.

I also grew up on two distinct styles of the food.

Not a lot of people realize this, but “DC-style Pizza” does exist. It can be found in places like Trio Pizza at 18th Street & Columbia Road. DC-style pizza is pizza which has little or no uncovered crust at the edges, has a thin-yet-firm crust underneath, and is generally heavier on tomato sauce and toppings than other pies.

The other pizza I grew up on is NY-style pizza. We all know this one. Paper-thin, chewy crust, greasy,

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Clam Chowder at the Market Grill

Market Grill Clam Chowder

Because I am so fond of Pike Place Chowder’s clam chowder and seafood bisque, I often don’t bother to try other soup offerings in the Pike Market environs. Yesterday, however, I decided to expand my horizons a bit.

Market Grill in Pike Place Market

Market Grill in Pike Place Market

Market Grill in Pike Place Market

While walking through the market, I decided to get a 16oz cup of clam chowder ($6.50) at the Market Grill, and I am certainly glad that I did.

Like most Seattle offerings, the Grill’s chowder is New England-style (creamy white), and

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2011 Opening Day of Broadway Farmers Market on Capitol Hill

Shopping at Broadway Farmer's Market

First Day at the Broadway Farmer's Market on Capitol Hill

First Day at the Broadway Farmer's Market on Capitol Hill

Shopping at Broadway Farmer's Market

Located on the grounds of the Seattle Central Community College at Broadway and Pine Streets, the Broadway Farmer’s Market will run between 11am – 3pm every Sunday from today until December 18th.

True to my word, I arrived at the market this morning, and I was even there for the ringing of the opening bell which officially launched the 2011 season. As you can see, I was not alone.

I hung

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Mee Sum Pastry: A New Favorite Dish

My Gigantic Pork Stick

On Saturday afternoon, I decided to head down to Pike Place Market to eat lunch at a favorite stand … Mee Sum Pastry.

Mee Sum Pastry in Pike Place Market

Mee Sum Pastry Menu

Mee Sum Pastry Hom Bow (Buns)

Usually when I go to Mee Sum, I order the corn and ham bun or the BBQ pork bun, but this time something else caught my eye.

On the counter and to the left of the pastries sat a large container full of meat sticks, and at only $2.97/each, I had to try one.

Mee Sum

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Hot Mama’s Pizza

Hot Mama’s Pizza in Pike/Pine

Late Saturday morning, before heading up to Cal Anderson Park, I decided to snag a couple of slices of pizza.

Since it had been a long time since my last visit (I think the last time I ate here was sometime in the 90’s), I decided to re-acquaint myself with Hot Mama’s Pizza on Pine Street. I tried to have lunch here a couple of weeks ago, but when I walked through the door at 11am, the man behind the counter told me that they had just opened and that the pizza would take awhile.

Eh?

Come on, fellas, rise

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Z Pizza and Yogurtland on Capitol Hill

My Yogurtland Yogurt Creation

For lunch yesterday, I decided to patronize two businesses on Broadway … one of them new, one of them brand new.

Z Pizza opened up on Capitol Hill last August, and I finally got around to checking out the joint myself.

zpizza on Capitol Hill

zpizza on Capitol Hill

zpizza Lunch Special

I ordered the lunch special consisting of two slices and a fountain drink for $6.26. My first slice was a pepperoni, and my second slice was a tomato basil creation. If you care, my beverage was root beer.

Z Pizza is mostly self-serve. You go

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Top Pot Doughnuts vs. Mighty-O Donuts: And The Winner is …

Top Pot Doughnuts vs. Mighty-O Donuts

Over the past two days, I have consumed the best donuts I have ever eaten in my life. I say this without an ounce of hyperbole. I like Krispy Kreme, and Dunkin’ Donuts are just fine, but both Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts and Mighty-O Donuts are true “gourmet” doughnuts that stand head and shoulders above the national chains.

Top Pot Doughnuts vs. Mighty-O Donuts

After eating both, I realized that they do have a subtle difference. Top Pot is more fatty and “filling”, while Mighty-O is more sweet and “lean”. I’m not sure if this makes any sense, but

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Mighty-O Donuts

Mighty-O Donuts

Another day, another donut shop.

Today, my goal was to complete the shootout for best donut in Seattle … and by proxy, best donut in the solar system.

After yesterday’s trip to Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts, it was time to go to the Food Channel’s winner for Best Donut Shop in the USA … Mighty-O Donuts.

At around noon, I hopped on my Humvee and headed north to Wallingford.

I like Wallingford. It’s peaceful, tranquil, and overwhelmingly caucasian. As urban neighborhoods go, it’s very “pretty” … for lack of a better word. It’s also home of the formerly-great Food Giant,

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Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts

Top Pot's Chocolate Maple and Bavarian Cream Doughnuts

Not long ago, two donut shops in Seattle were in the running for Food Network’s “Best Donut Shop in the Nation”.

Those two shops were Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts and Mighty-O Donuts.

Mighty-O prevailed.

Story: http://www.q13fox.com/news/kcpq-mighty-o-donut-duel-20110411,0,4776001.story

Now, personally, I don’t eat a lot of sweets. At least not anymore. It’s hard to consume large amounts of sugar while still keeping my girlish figure. I realized long ago that if I ever wanted to land that exclusive Vogue cover, I would have to watch what I eat. Still, two donut shops in one city vying for a national championship?

I was

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Seattle’s Street Vendor Proposal

Dog Japon in Downtown Seattle this past Saturday

Even though Seattle is the greatest city in the country, it does have some peculiarities that make it lacking in some areas. One of these areas is a vibrant street food culture.

Dog Japon in Downtown Seattle this past Saturday

In most large cities, street vendors are part of the landscape; a landscape that really helps add to the “energy” of the streets. Seattle, however, only has a few street vendors (such as Dog Japon), and they are rarely bustling with customers.

A new proposal aims to change that:

“A proposal aims to make Seattle more street food friendly.

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Dog Japon

Dog Japon - Chili Maru Cheese + Bacon

I’m not a big hot dog fan.

I’m not sure why, I just never developed a taste for tube steak, but there was one exception.

When I used to go to Toronto back in the 90′s, there was a hot dog cart downtown that made what I thought were the best hot dogs on earth. They put a dog in a pretzel bun, smothered it in sauerkraut, and laced it with crack cocaine. At least this is what I assumed they did because I kept going back for more. It was that good.

These days, there is a hot

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Happy Starbucks Day

The Original Starbucks at Pike Place Market

Yes, Seattle, there is such a thing.

At least there will be when the proclamation is made in a couple of hours.

Today, at noon, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will make the “Starbucks Day” proclamation to Howard Schultz at a Greater Seattle Chamber’s “Legends & Leaders” event at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

Will this proclamation be silly?

Of course, but most of them are.

In order to “celebrate” this momentous event, I decided to get my morning crack where it all started: The Original Starbucks at Pike Place Market.

The Original Starbucks at Pike Place Market

The Original Starbucks

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First Taste: MOD Pizza on Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill MOD Pizza - Pizza #2 Mad Dog and Pizza #5 Lucy Sunshine

At about 9am this morning, I left home with my family en-route to Broadway Market for a little pre-weekend grocery shopping. Weekday mornings are prime if you hate standing in line, and standing in line is something that I detest more than anything.

As we were climbing Mount Pine Street, led by two sherpas, I checked my Android to see if anything interesting was going down. Unlike in my more “controversial” writing days, I actually check my own email now a few times per day.

While flipping through a few messages, one in particular caught my attention. Apparently, the new

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The Salmon Cooker

The Salmon Cooker

With the exception of Subway, I greatly dislike fast food. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell … it’s all kind of gross to me. The last time I ate fast food was at a Taco Bell in SoDo, and they didn’t bother to cook the beans in my burrito. They were still powdered, and it was so nasty that I vowed to never again darken the doorstep of a national fast food franchise. Regulation of these publicly-traded places is a joke, and eating at the joints is culinary Russian roulette.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’m not big into fine

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