Eat. Portland. Sen Yai Noodles.

Sen Yai Sign

Sen Yai Noodles is the newest addition to Chef Andy Ricker’s growing empire of Thai eateries. It’s all about street-vendor inspired Thai noodles. And they are addictive.

Eat. Boston. Winter Squash Soup.

Sel de la Terre:  Native Squash Soup

Have you ever set out to eat your way across a city, focusing on a single seasonal dish?

Well, I didn’t intend to go on a winter squash soup kick while in Boston in October, but one thing led to another, as the saying goes, and there I was at Sorellina on our last night in Boston eating my 5th winter squash soup.

And here’s the thing. I could have continued this lovely madness for another week at least. It is highly instructive to see how top notch culinary artists across a major culinary mecca treat the same basic core ingredients and menu item, in this case, winter squash and a handful of flavor complements crafted into a smooth and silky soup.

Creamy Romaine Soup with Summer Herb Butter & Garlic Croutons

Creamy Romaine Soup with Herb Butter & Garlic Croutons

When we are in Portland, Oregon and heading out on foot to dinner in town, Wildwood in the Northwest district is always at the top of our list of fave destinations. It’s a lovely mile walk, or if we are feeling exceptionally lazy, we can hop the streetcar almost to the front door. (You might have seen my earlier article on Wildwood titled, Sweet Briar Farms Pork Chop with Bodacious Corn Hush Puppies. Just looking at the photo of that amazing dish makes me go weak at the knees.)

Eat. Seattle. Mistral Kitchen.

Mistral Kitchen, Seattle: Kurobuta Pork Belly, Re Curry Vinaigrette, Baby Coconuts, Cilantro Sprouts, Cashews

You are looking at perhaps the most delectable pork belly in the world. No, the universe. According to one of the amiable chefs behind the kitchen bar from which MauiJim and I were watching the action, it was cooked sous-vide at 145 degrees–for TWO DAYS.

You won’t, however, find this mentioned on the menu. I only suspected it after the fatty portion of the pork belly melted on my palate like warm butter. Then I asked. If I had been paying better attention, the plastic pouch from which the chef removed the portion of pork belly would have been an immediate give-away.

Mac & Cheese Round Two: Portland. Seattle. Boston. Scottsdale.

23 Hoyt, Mac & Cheese, Portland Oregon

When I posted our first Quintessential Mac & Cheese Roundup in 2008, I was certain we would soon run out of restaurants that served Mac & Cheese, and then the idea of a yearly roundup would be a thing of the past. Well, either I was way wrong about the number of restaurants that serve Mac & Cheese or an increasing number of restaurants have recently added the divine macaroni to their menus. Either way, there now seems to be no danger of running out of stellar renditions of this most delicious dish. My ooey-gooey-cheesy cup runneth over!

Eat. Boston. Clio.

Boston, Clio, Heirloom Tomato Salad

We’re in Boston this week, and the first restaurant we head to when we’re in Boston is Clio. I’ll share more of the food pics we’ve taken at Clio over the past few visits in an upcoming Boston Fresh post, but for now, let’s focus on the experience we had in the restaurant last night. Oh. My. God.

Eat. Seattle. Smith.

Sign in Front of Smith Gastro Pub

Gastro pubs are all the rage in Seattle these days. I’m somewhat guarded in my enthusiasm. I love the casual atmosphere, as I am often dressed in running shoes, leggings, and one of my vast collection of wacky Hawaiian shirts. Not restaurant worthy, in other words. But hungry nonetheless.

I’m guarded, because although I love the general vibe of these latter day taverns with their rustic slap dash look, open beam ceilings, picnic tables, and second-hand lighting, the food can be ill conceived or even an afterthought. Good idea. Poor execution.

However, I assure you that this is not the case with Smith on Capitol Hill in Seattle. As I walked by a street-side diner at the restaurant this evening, I did a double take on a plate of something rich, brown, gooey and highly aromatic. It turned out to be Poutine Fries with Cheese Curds and Gravy. I must have been drooling, because the lovely woman eating the dish actually offered me a bite. You have to LOVE Seattle, folks!

Arizona Sweet

arcadia-dessert-scottsdale-az

A whirlwind tour of Phoenix/Scottsdale restaurant desserts, complete with fabulous photos.

The Paley’s Place Cookbook

book-cover

I have a lot of cookbooks: hundreds, many hundreds, many many hundreds, who knows how many hundreds? I read them–voraciously and compulsively–like mystery novels, looking for clues. Clues to the artistic intention, vision, and personality behind the recipes and the rhetoric. A Voice with something unique to say–or if not unique, then honest, sincere, compelling, […]

Eat. Seattle. Crave. Shiitake Mac & Cheese.

Crave Mac & Cheese

This just in folks. The first restaurant macaroni and cheese we sampled since posting Quintessential Mac & Cheese, Part 1 on September 6th easily sailed into the Give Me More collection for next year’s Quintessential Mac & Cheese roundup.

Eat. Portland. Wildwood.

Fall fave!

Exceptional Fall dish at Portland’s Wildwood restaurant: House-Cured Sweet Briar Farms Double Pork Chop with Bodacious Corn Hush Puppies, Brown Butter Harissa, Lobster Mushrooms and Green Tomato Pickles.