POP! Concorn Gourmet Mix-In

Posted in Snacks with tags , on January 4, 2011 by belltowngirl

The title says it all!  Popcorn fans out there rejoice, POP! Concorn Gourmet Mix-In has arrived to Seattle!  I admit I am a major popcorn fan and when I saw their brilliant concoction while strolling in the mall I had to stop and check it out the kiosk.  POP! Gourmet Mix-In has recently moved 3 miles away from Southcenter mall into their own store.  I was a little overwhelmed with the menu as they have over 100 ingriedients to choose from and they all sound bizarrely tasty. 

On the menu there are 5 popcorn base flavors to choose from:  Plain, Caramel, Caramel peanut butter, Rasberry, and Tuxedo.  The Rasberry corn is covered with raspberry sauce and white chocolate.  The Tuxedo is my favorite and has a caramel base with a drizzle of milk and white chocolate.  Then, you can add 3 mix-ins(priced in).  I chose Tuxedo popcorn and added four mix-ins of mini marshmallows, trix, reese’s pieces, and fruity pebbles.  Yum!!  The mix-in categories are anywhere from candies, flavors and seasonings, cereals, fruits and nuts, sugars to delectables.  There is too many toppings to list, but at random they have anything from jalapeno powder, malted milk balls, wasabi peas, candied walnuts to even whipped cream.  I admit I am laughing write now…one of their delectables are whip cream!  I can’t quite visualize the feasibility, but I wouldn’t mind giving it a try one of these days.   They have what they call ‘big’ or ‘bigger’ size and I chose the big as it was a good enough size that lasted me about a week and a half.  Also, a major plus is that the popcorn did not go stale at all. 

Pop! Concorn Gourmet Mix-In kiosk - Southcenter mall

Pop! Concorn Gourmet Mix-In kiosk - Southcenter mall

Pop! Concorn Gourmet mix-in  - Southcenter mall

Pop! Concorn Gourmet mix-in - Southcenter mall

If you can’t decide what to choose they have a small house specialty list that they have concocted themselves ranging from Pizza Pop! to Maui Waui.  On the virtual side of things, there website has an online cart where you can customize your order and have it delivered to your home.  Their website is almost a replicate of their kiosk, but slightly tweaked a bit on a positive note :)  There are some flavors that are not included at the kiosk that I really want to try.  There are four new categories: sweet, classic, savory, and supreme flavors.  Spicy fans read on…..they have a Hot Mama popcorn which is covered in olive oil and jalapeno….Yum!  Their Hazelnut and Macchiato popcorn sounds tasty as well.  Oreo fans out there….they also have a premium caramel popcorn with chunks of Oreo cookie crumbles.  If you want to experiment a little more they also have Coconut Curry popcorn and Maple Bacon popcorn.  The popcornologists at the kiosk are extremely friendly and knowledgable if you are a little undecided.  The closest entrance to the kiosk would be the opposite end of the AMC theatres at the Southcenter mall.  Overall, I highly recommend checking out the Pop! Concorn Gourmet mix-in bar for out of this world popcorn.  Enjoy!

Pop! Concorn Gourmet mix-in website: http://popconcorn.com/about.html

Address:   916 Houser Way South Renton, WA

Hours:  Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 11am-7pm

Contact:  206 682-1550

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Favorite pic of 2010 – Celebrity sighting

Posted in Random Thoughts with tags , , , on December 30, 2010 by belltowngirl
me and Josh Harris - 'Deadliest Catch'
me and Josh Harris – ‘Deadliest Catch’

Me and Josh Harris of Discovery Channel’s ‘Deadliest Catch!’  

(Belltown area – Dec 2010)

Delicatus – Pioneer Square

Posted in Gourmet Sandwiches with tags , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2010 by belltowngirl

Hooray! I have finally found an excellent sandwich place that I enjoy soo very much! If you are familiar with the Pioneer Square area, they replaced the old Longhorn Barbeque on 1st Ave. Delicatus in Pioneer Square opened its doors in March of 2010 by Derek Shankland and Mike Klotz and I am soo glad they did. They have over 20 different types of sandwiches from what they call “traditionalists” to the “progressives” on their menu. They source their meats from Zoe’s meats and locally made Bavarian meats in Pike Place Market. Also, they make their pull pork, lamb, meatballs in house daily. I love their bread they use and they source it locally from Essential Baking Company.

Delicatus - Pioneer Square

Delicatus - Pioneer Square

It’s hard not to have a couple of favorite sandwiches at Delicatus as all that I have tried(12+) are very tasty. The ones I have tried recently is the Olivetto(8.50)…on a crisp Italian roll is smoked Black Forest ham, sharp provolone,  Tuscan salami, Coppa, red onion, lettuce, and tomato.  Yum! Coppa, or Capocollo is similar to that of a prosciutto.  It is an Italian cold cut that is dry-cured.  I love anything Charcuterie and Delicatus does have coppa, prosciutto, and duck confit immersed in quite a bit of their sandwiches. 

One of my initial favorite that I had maybe 5x in a row(no joke) is the Duwamish sandwich(7.75)….tender pulled pork, swiss emmental cheese, shaved ham, pickled cucumber, pickled red onions, jalapeno-lime aioli…all one a toasted Italian roll.  “Pickled” fans out there as I am one of them….you have to to try this!  The nutty flavor of emmental, pickled ingredients, pulled pork, etc makes the Duwamish a burst of complex flavor. Yum!  What I love most about Delicatus is that they customize their sandwiches with the perfect type of bread where it holds in the flavor of the sauce and it never makes the bread soggy and tear in half.  All sandwiches come with chips, but I prefer to have cole slaw as a side. 

Duwamish sandwich w/ side of slaw - Delicatus Pioneer Square

Duwamish sandwich w/ side of slaw - Delicatus Pioneer Square

Delicatus - Pioneer Square

Delicatus - Pioneer Square

Next on my list would the Mudd Honey(8.25) that has turkey, roast beef, Zoe’s slab bacon, horseradish aioli, white chedder, and their house bbq on a crisp Italian roll.  Also, the Seattle Cure(8.75) sounds tasty….it has salmon lox, cured albacore tuna bresaola, red onions, sweet peppers, and lemon-caper aioli immersed on a toasted panino roll…Yum! 

I would suggest not going exactly at noon on weekdays as I didnt realize how much people filled up the place to full capacity and a long line leading to the door so now I go at around 1pm or on weekends.  They also have a full bar with a decent selection of microbrews in the lower level corner that has about eight seats.  If you want to sit somewhere cozy and more spacious I would recommend sitting upstairs.  Also, if you have a sweet tooth afterwards, check out Rocky Mountain chocolate factory next door…I only go there for the marshmallow sticks and caramel apples.  My favorite is the oreo crumbled marshmallow sticks and the dutch apple pie caramel apples.  Overall, I enjoyed the sandwiches at Delicatus and extremely friendly and informative employees there.  They are always so nice…Enjoy everyone!

Delicatus website:  http://www.delicatusseattle.com/

Address:  103 1st Ave S Seattle, WA  98104

Hours:  Mon-Thurs 11:30am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-10pm, Sunday-closed

Contact:  206 623-3780

The Oyster Bar – Chuckanut Drive

Posted in Seafood, Wine with tags , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2010 by belltowngirl

I love going for great scenic drives all over Washington state especially during the summertime…whether it be Hwy 20 to Winthrop or driving through Whidbey Island to Deception Pass.  One of my FAVorites for many years is called Chuckanut Drive in Skagit County.  Chuckanut Drive is along a cliffhanger road with spectacular views of Samish Bay and the San Juans.  While I was driving I noticed a restaurant called The Oyster bar and I love oysters so I must go inside :)  A great romantic lodge style restaurant and an excellent patio where you are surrounded by fir trees and surreal sea views.  They have a cozy indoor dining area with two floors, but it was a nice sunny day out so I dined on their patio.  They have a great list of Oysters on a half shell so I tried the Baker’s dozen($30) that included the Samish Bay Pacific, Penn Cove Select, Fanny Bay, and Kumamoto.  I am purist when it comes to eating raw oysters so a squeeze of lemon or a just a splash of mignonette is ideal.  All were great along with my favorites, the Kumamoto…plump, mildly sweet, and succulent. 

Top clockwise: Fanny Bay, Samish Bay Pacific, Kumamoto, Penn Cove Select

Top clockwise: Fanny Bay, Samish Bay Pacific, Kumamoto, Penn Cove Select

I always order either Champagne or a crisp, dry white wine with my oysters and tried the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Kim Crawford from New Zealand.  Light and crisp with tropical hints of fruit.  I also love my oysters baked in many ways…I remember making my very first Oysters Rockefeller at home and it was suprisingly yummy!  I tried their Baked Oysters($15)…four Samish Bay Oysters with Boar bacon, spinach, tomatoes, dry sherry, and chives…Very tasty indeed! 

Samish Bay Baked Oysters - Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive

Samish Bay Baked Oysters - Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive

Next on my list that I definitely want to try is their California Red Abalone, thin slices flash sauteed with hazelnut lime butter. This sounds great as I never had Abalone before.  Also, the Maine Lobster Tails sounds soo good…butter poached and grilled with gremolata garni and Yuzu honey butter sauce.  Yum!  Gremolata is an Italian mix of minced parsley, lemon peel and garlic.  I highly recommend dining on their patio as it has excellent views of Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands.  They even bring out comfy blankets as the night draws near.  Overall, I immensely enjoyed The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive for their fresh oysters, great bay views, and not to be forgotten…an excellent drive!

The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive

The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive

The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive website: http://www.theoysterbaronchuckanutdrive.com/

Address: 2578 Chuckanut Drive  Bow, WA  98232

Hours: Lunch daily 11:30am-4pm, Dinner daily 4pm-10pm

Contact:  360 766-6185

Barolo – Downtown Seattle

Posted in Fine Dining, Italian, Wine with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2010 by belltowngirl

I’ve been meaning try this Italian restaurant right below the Metropolitan Tower bordering Belltown and I am soo glad I finally did.  When you walk inside Barolo Ristorante, it has a sleek and seductive look with large Italian glass chandeliers and flickering melted wax candles that adorns this place.  Barolo has a large list of over 300 wines ranging from Barbaresco to Barolo Italian reds and a good selection of domestic reds.  I decided on the Allegrini La Grola red wine and it was an excellent choice by the staff.  A great full bodied and fruity wine to compliment my pasta dishes coming ahead.  As for the appetizers I tend try a couple, but with heavy pasta dishes coming up I limited it to either Foie Gras or Carpaccio.  I love Foie Gras so go figure!  I probably said this before, but I am so glad I don’t live in California or Chicago.   The Fegato Grasso e Fagioli $16 (Foie Gras with cannellini beans, thyme, and candied wild black cherries) was delectable.  Typically, foie gras is paired with fruit and the cherries added a nice tart and slightly fruity taste. The foie gras was seared perfectly…lightly crispt on the outside.

Foie Gras with cannellini beans, candied wild black cherries - Barolo

Foie Gras with cannellini beans, candied wild black cherries - Barolo

Now for the pasta dishes, the truffle-leek sauce ingredient caught my eye so I tried the Tortelloni alla Piemontese  $19 (Fresh homemade pasta filled with porcini mushrooms with truffle-leek sauce)….My FAVorite!  Excellent aroma and a great earthy taste!

Fresh homemade pasta, porcini mushrooms, truffle-leek sauce - Barolo

Fresh homemade pasta, porcini mushrooms, truffle-leek sauce - Barolo

Lastly, I tried the Gnocchi in Tegamino con Mozzarella Fresca $16 (House-made Gnocchi with fresh mozzarella, fresh tomato sauce, and Copper River Salmon)…the texture of the gnocchi was soo tender, smooth, and full of flavor.

Housemade Gnocchi, Copper River king salmon - Barolo

Housemade Gnocchi, Copper River king salmon - Barolo

Barolo - Westlake

Barolo - Westlake

I will definitely be back to try their other dishes especially their baby Octopus, wine reduction, and garbanzo beans…and the Tuna Tartare, ginger glaze with organic copper mountain honey, and french sea salt!  I highly recommend reserving a booth for dinner as the seats are very cozy and spacious.  Overall, I highly recommend Barolo for a perfect ambiance and great homemade organic pasta dishes!

Barolo Ristorante website:  http://www.baroloseattle.com/

Address: 1940 Westlake Avenue Seattle, WA  98101 (Below the Metropolitan Towers)

Hours:  Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-3pm, Dinner Sun-Thurs 4:30pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 4:30pm-11pm, Happy Hour Everyday 3-6pm and again on 10pm-midnite

Contact:  206 770-9000

Seastar – South Lake Union

Posted in Fine Dining, Seafood, Wine with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2010 by belltowngirl

One of my FAVorite seafood restaurants over the bridge has finally opened another in South Lake Union….Seastar!  I have been a major fan of Seastar in Bellevue for many years and I am very excited that they settled with South Lake Union.  The menu is almost exactly the same as the one in Bellevue.  The only slight difference is the raw bar has a lot more selections!  The raw bar has a great range of “raw” food so to speak…..oysters, ceviche, and sushi served maki style. 

I was invited to a family celebration and I was so excited that I wanted to order all my fav dishes, but alas I wanted to save my appetite for my ultimate FAVorite entree that only comes 2 months out of the year ;)  I decided to try my usual favorite, the Sesame-Peppercorn Crusted Ahi($14.5)….crusted with white and black sesame seeds and black peppcorns that is seared rare, served on top is daikon-carrot salad with ginger-soy reduction and wasabi cream.  Loved the textures and the suttle spices on the Ahi. 

Sesame-Peppercorn Crusted Ahi - Seastar South Lake Union

Sesame-Peppercorn Crusted Ahi - Seastar South Lake Union

For dinner I never had steak before at Seastar hence seafood restaurant so I decided to try the USDA Prime Top Sirloin($29) that was grilled a perfect juicy medium rare…my favorite…with herb roasted red potatoes, grilled red onion, garlic portabella mushroom, and Maytag blue cheese….Yum!  I complimented my steak with a bottle of 2000 Henri Bonneau Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve des Celestins wine($525) from the Southern Rhone Valley of France.  Henri Bonneau’s wines consist of a Rhone blend of at least 90% Grenache and the rest Mourvedre, Counoise, and Vaccarese.  A phenomenal wine!
 USDA Prime Top Sirloin - Seastar South Lake Union

USDA Prime Top Sirloin - Seastar South Lake Union

Henri Bonneau Réserve des Célestins, Châteauneuf du Pape, 2000 - Seastar

Henri Bonneau Réserve des Célestins, Châteauneuf du Pape, 2000 - Seastar

Lastly, my all time FAVorite entree that I saved the best for last is the Applewood Grilled Copper River King Salmon(market price)….it is grilled over Applewood with butter, vermouth, and lemon and served with truffle-tomatoes and rosemary fingerling potatoes.  It was excellent…as always! I loved the hint of fruity and mild flavors of the apple with the salmon.  They also have the salmon roasted over Cedar plank which I had in the past.  A very subtle and smoky flavor, but I love a mild and fruity flavor to my salmon and grilling over Applewood was the best!  Also, one key thing to remember is that Copper River salmon is only available May to June.  Of course every Seattleite like me knows this so I definitely came to Seastar just in time…

Applewood Grilled Copper River King Salmon - Seastar South Lake Union

Applewood Grilled Copper River King Salmon - Seastar South Lake Union

Seastar will most definitely be a great addition to South Lake Union.  In terms of parking it is free at lunch with validation and $2 during dinner.  Seastar is quite easy to find as it is located right above Whole Foods and right next to Pan Pacific Hotel in South Lake Union.  Overall, I immensely enjoyed the Applewood Copper River King salmon, excellent Chateauneuf du Pape wine, and always the best customer service at Seastar…always!

Seastar restaurant and Raw bar website:  http://www.seastarrestaurant.com/seattle.php?page=Home

Address:  2121 Terry Ave, Suite 108 Seattle, WA  98121 (South Lake Union)

Hours:  Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm (Lunch), Mon-Sat 5pm-10pm, Sun 5pm-9pm (Dinner), Mon-Fri 4-6pm, Sun 5-10pm (Happy Hour)

Contact:  206 462-4364

Michou Fresca – Pike Place Market

Posted in Dessert and Pastries, Gourmet Sandwiches with tags , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by belltowngirl

I am always on the lookout for new and tasty gourmet sandwiches and salads in the Seattle area.   Well, last year I discovered Michou Fresca in the Pike Place Market area and I am soo glad I did!   It definitely has a cult following as there are long lines everyday during lunch….and yes, I am one of those cult following as well…lol   Michou Fresca has a huge and excellent selection of unique salads, pastas, and panini-style sandwiches.  It ranges from French, Italian, and Mediterranean-themed food.  I have a couple favorite sandwiches that I really like and today I decided to get the Tuscan Chicken sandwich($5.50)…..grilled chicken, pesto, fresh greens, bacon, smoked gouda, tomatoes, and chipotle mayo…yum!  I love my sandwiches toasted so be sure to request that when you order. 

Tuscan Chicken sandwich - Michou Fresca

Tuscan Chicken sandwich - Michou Fresca

My most FAVorite sandwich though that I always yearn for is the Crispy chicken($5.50) with caramelized tomatoes, provolone, pesto, and greens.  A great balance of sweetness in the tomatoes with the rest of the ingredients in the sandwich.  It’s quite addicting if you like anything caramelized as this brings out the sweet and deep flavors inherent in the food.  There so many interesting soups, salads, and even desserts to choose from and another plus is they seem to add new dishes regularly.  I definitely want to try the Ratatouille and goat cheese baked potato and their Butternut Squash and Carmelized Pear soup next time.  I am a major salad fan and I am quite suprised I haven’t ordered any yet, but the Quinoa eggplant, Yam and Cranberry, and Roasted Cauliflower with Blue Cheese salads sound amazing among others!  Also, other random foods that sounds great are the Corn and Zucchini fritters, Shepards pie, Manicotti, etc.  Their dessert section ranges from a simple, but very tasty Stawberry Shortcake to Zeppoles.  Zeppoles is an Italian dessert that is fried ricotta doughnuts and dusted with sugar and served warm!  There is a small seating area (6 chairs) in the corner overlooking Pike Place Market.  Given a nice day out, I would highly recommend getting to go boxes and head to the Sculpture Park on the waterfront as the park has excellent views of the Olympic Peninsula and the Cascades.  If you are pretty familiar with the Pike Place Market area, Michou Fresca is between the first Starbucks location and my favorite Le Panier Bakery.  Overall, I definitely recommend Michou Fresca for their unique and tasty sandwiches, salads, and desserts!  Enjoy!

Michou Fresca - Pike Place Market area

Michou Fresca - Pike Place Market area

Address:  1904 Pike Place Seattle, WA  98101

Hours:  9am-5pm daily

Contact:  206 448-4758