Final Seattle Round-up

zeitgeist

Zeitgeist Coffee

As the second week of 2013 gets underway, I find myself possessed of a few odds and ends from Seattle that are not quite big enough to make into a whole post but too good to just forget. So as a way of capping my on-going series from the Pacific Northwest, I present to you this round-up of all the little things worth knowing:

Best Coffee Shop: How do you pick a favorite coffee shop in a part of the world known for them? Take two tired people, add in a lot of walking in the cold, and stir with the fortuitous find of Zeitgeist Coffee. This Pioneer Square coffee shop was spacious, wonderfully noisy, and served up huge cups of strong, creamy coffee that warmed us and got us back up and going when we needed it most.

Mr. D's Gyros

Mr. D’s Gyros

Best Street Food: We ate a lot of good street food, but our hands-down favorite was the gyros wrap from Mr. D’s Greek Delicacies in the Pike Place Market. Tender shaved lamb, tangy tzatziki, and soft pita made this one heck of a sandwich. I’m a little nuts for gyros anyway, so it was a great pleasure for me to eat this messy mass of Mediterranean deliciousness.

Best Food we Bought for Other People but Wound up Eating Ourselves: Chukar Cherries. Not only that but we ate more free samples than was probably polite. Don’t worry, we brought some replacements home for everyone else.

Fish n' Chips

Fish n’ Chips

Biggest Discrepancy: The waterfront was home to both our most expensive meal and our least, with the least being a paper tray of crispy battered cod and a pile of potato wedges served alongside a bowl of clam chowder. While nothing about this little meal was mind-blowing, the fish was hot and tasty, the potatoes nice and mealy, and the chowder was creamy and good. As a quick meal, we certainly could have done worse (and, in fact, probably did).

There were, of course, a few places that just barely rate a mention, including the strange little Mexican place we had nachos and Coronas at on our second night, the odd-ball coffee shop/art gallery where we shook off our celebratory post-election hangovers, and the many pastries and snacks we grabbed on the go. Seattle is a great town for food, and while Jess and I didn’t even begin to scratch the surface, we just take that as a reason to go back. Cheers!

 

Review: Bonefish Grill (Little Rock)

We don’t go in much for reviewing chain restaurants on Arkansas Foodies, because for the most part, we’d rather feature the one-of-a-kind places that are so common in Arkansas.  It’s certainly not because it’s impossible to get a good meal at a chain, but most of you out there have eaten at enough Applebee’s and Red Lobster locations to know exactly what to expect when you pull up in the parking lot.  Bonefish Grill in Little Rock is a really tasty exception to our “no chains” rule, and seeing as there are only two locations in Arkansas, Bonefish might as well be unique.  Jess first tried Bonefish out in Colorado, but it was only recently that we made our way up to the Little Rock location, and after reading several reviews that all recommended the Bang Bang Shrimp, we felt almost obligated to start off with an order.  The shrimp is lightly battered and fried, almost like a tempura batter, and served coated in a rich spicy sauce.  If you like the spicy mayo and sriracha mixture that most sushi places use for their spicy rolls, you’ll love this shrimp.  It was almost too rich for me, but I had to admit that it was a flavorful way to start the meal.

Another good appetizer, and one that suited my taste a little better than the shrimp, was the Ahi Tuna Sashimi, a lightly seared and thinly sliced portion of buttery tuna coated in sesame seeds and served with soy and wasabi.  I will admit that I’m a bit of a raw tuna junky, and I don’t really take kindly to tuna that comes out rubbery and tasteless – this was neither.  Meltingly tender and full of flavor, I really could have kept eating this to the point of embarrassing myself.  If you’ve got someone in your party who is a bit squeamish about raw fish, order this dish – it will make an excellent introduction for them.

One thing I really like about the menu at Bonefish is that they have some really good dishes that are made for sharing.  Our favorite is probably the Mussels Josephine, which I have to say is almost as good as the mussels we make for ourselves.  These mussels are large and tender, and they are swimming in a buttery white wine broth with tomatoes and onions.  Bonefish Grill has really good bread, too – and that bread coupled with this mussel dish is a good meal for two by itself.  Don’t worry about being a bit impolite and soaking up all that sauce with your bread – that’s the only way to eat this dish.

As for an entrée, Jess’ choice was the Snake River Rainbow Trout, a light and flaky fish that I was pleased to see wasn’t overcooked on the grill.  Bonefish has a choice of four topping sauces for your fish, and she picked the chimichurri, a mixture of olive oil, Italian parsley, garlic and red pepper.  She thought it was pretty good, but I felt the sauce was a bit too heavy on the garlic and lacked the real subtlety needed for a fish like trout.  They also offer a mango salsa, lemon butter, and a pan Asian sauce (finished with just a bit of wasabi cream).  On the side, she had some nicely cooked haricots verts and a fresh salad of tomatoes and feta cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  The tomatoes were fresh and good, and the feta was pleasingly creamy without being overbearing with its salt.  It was a pretty plate, and paired with the strawberry martini she was sipping on, brought a nice feeling of perfect cheer.

For my own entrée, I chose one of the specials of the night, a crisp-fried piece of monkfish served with rice and vegetables in a sake sauce – cleverly called The Drunken Monk.  Monkfish is something I’ve read about for years but hadn’t ever had the opportunity to try – and now I can’t wait to try it again.  I understand now why they call this fish the “poor man’s lobster,” as the flesh is creamy white and just slightly sweet to the taste.  The tempura batter was crisp and good, and the rice and vegetables (which often are just an afterthought) were well cooked and tasty.  I’d definitely try this again.

All things considered, Bonefish Grill is worth a try, even if you’re a little wary of eating out at chains.  They have an extensive mixed drink menu, and although their draft beer selection was pretty slim, they did have Diamond Bear’s Pale Ale, so that’s good enough for me.  Service is a bit odd, with multiple people showing up at random times to do things, but we never wanted for anything on either of our trips.  Bonefish Grill is located at 11525 Cantrell Road in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, and they are open from 4:00pm-10:30pm Monday-Thursday, 4:00pm-11:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 4:00pm-10:00pm on Sunday.  Enjoy!

Bonefish Grill on Urbanspoon