My favorite day in Seattle

I’d have to say the best day I had in Seattle was the last full day I was there. An honest save the best for last type feeling occurred to me and I was able to get in an amazing amount of fun. My morning started off with breakfast at Toulouse Petit  this lovely eatery is located in Queen Anne, its décor is chic and welcoming. The food is fantastic and southern inspired, I love breakfast when I’m in the mood for it and here I was very happy with the outcome of my meal. I ordered Fried Oyster and Bacon Eggs Benedict. The absolute luxury of this dish was something to recoil at because it was such an early hour but seeing this item on the menu was too tempting to pass up the offer. I had chosen correctly and was happily on my way through three quarters of the platter before second guessing its lavish appeal on my taste buds. The influence of the south was present on my plate, thick cut crispy bacon, perfectly fried corn meal battered oysters flowing with runny egg yolk and Creole hollandaise sauce over a lightly toasted muffin take the cup on one of the best breakfast plates I’ve had in a very long time. Breakfast Happy Hour is an affordable and awesome way to start the day.

After breakfast I took the bus down to the city and took a stroll over to the market and looked into some shops. Later on I made my way back to my hotel and decided to stop at the Experience Music Project I absolutely loved this place, it’s a combination of music and science fiction. They have amazing exhibits on Nirvana, so many guitars, Jimi Hendrix, and also they had a really amazing exhibit on Avatar which is one of my favorite movies. I could have spent an eternity in there looking at all the music pieces and reading about guitars as well as playing in the sound labs. It was really one of my favorite museums I’ve been to.


After that I met up with a new friend I made at Ashley and Bryan’s wedding Lia. We had drinks and happy hour at Toulouse Petit because she said it was one of the best happy hours in town which I’d have to say was correct. We had a plethora of different dishes ranging from amazing mouth watering modern southern flavor to the classic down home fried bar grub. We chatted and made it through the menu, I love meeting new people who love food.

Fried Okra with Remoulade

Wild Mushroom and garlic bruschetta with arugula

Ahi Tuna Tartar with Quail egg and horseradish cream

Golden Beet Salad with haricot vert, blue cheese, kalamata olives, citrus vinaigrette and candied walnuts

Katie Mae pearl vodka, st germain, grapefruit juice, prosecco

After some awesome conversation and lots of good eats, Lia offered to take me the other side of Lake Union to Gas Works Park which had an amazing view of Seattle from across the lake. Before getting to the park we stopped at an awesome Pie Shop in Fremont called Pie. They specialize in all things pie, sweet and savory. I ordered a Raspberry Peach Pie and Lia got Banana Cream we sat in the sunshine and ate pie by the lake, which was delicious light flaky and wonderful. It was such a beautiful afternoon. After that Lia let me off at my hotel. I hope one day we’ll see each other again soon.

After I got situated I decided to take a walk on the waterfront and watch the sun set over the sound. I walked by the water front and along Olympic Sculpture Park.  I sat alongside the sculptures and watched the sun fade into the distance, taking note of the beautiful Washington sunset. Something I knew I wouldn’t see again for at least a little while.

I finished walking by the countless bustling shops and eateries got money for the bus in the morning and turned in looking into the cloud ridden skies at the space needle for the last night.

Cheers
Unrivaledkitch

Bellevue on the way to Seattle

As I return from Washington I have so many beautiful memories to share, beautiful memories of nature, food, friendship, and travel. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Taking this trip to the Bellevue and Seattle area of Washington was so beautiful. The weather was breath taking and as it’s been brought to my attention many times this is not very often the case, I’d like to think I brought the sunshine from California but I hope I haven’t taken it back with me.

The main objective of my travel to Seattle was to attend two amazing friend’s wedding. I’ve known Ashley and Bryan since we worked together at Starbucks about 8 years or longer ago now. They met at Starbucks and have been in a relationship ever since and on 8/6 they were married in beautiful Kirkland, Washington alongside the stunning Lake Washington. I was able to stay close to the wedding services for 4 days of my trip which was nice because it gave me a different perspective of what business/suburban style living in Washington is like.

Lake Washington was filled with people all along the shore line, site seeing and getting ready for Seafair http://www.seafair.com/ weekend. The Blue Angels http://www.blueangels.navy.mil/ were practicing in the sky for their over the weekend aerial shows which was an amazing site to see. While in Bellevue I took it upon myself to do as much as I could within reason which included a little stop at the Bellevue Art Museum, Museum of Doll Art, Bellevue Botanical Gardens, Bellevue Yacht Basin, Meydenbauer Beach Park, Clyde Beach Park, Downtown Park,  Main Street Bellevue, taking peeks and walks at Bellevue’s many malls and other shopping profligacy.

Seeing these places made me realize how much pride people have in their own towns all over Washington which is a beautiful thing. I loved the feeling of Bellevue, which was business driven and suburban with small bits of tasteful art, nature, and other brilliance.

I ate well and affordable in Bellevue. I had gastro pub style eating at 520 in downtown Bellevue, Indian cuisine for lunch at Chutneys, and Peruvian food at Amazon Grill.

I took a stroll into a local Asian Market called Uwajimaya that was amazing. They have small counters for prepared foods, large sections of Asian utensils and containers, beautiful sea food counters, sashimi and beautiful fruits and vegetables. I wish I could pluck that market from Bellevue and put it in my neighborhood. The selection of items was remarkable, along with an amazing array of gorgeous sea foods and produce items, two of my very favorite things.
Walked up a gigantic hill to the Bellevue botanical gardens, beautiful lengths of tall trees shaded my face and brought to my attention how much I adore nature. I walked for what seemed like forever but I didn’t mind the beauty of Washington was everywhere. Breathtaking.

520 bar and grill is situated in old town Bellevue. A little street lined with all different types of food and small cafes as well as some bars. The restaurant is a style of gastro pub catering to the masses with American style cuisine. I decided to have a local beer and a burger but changed it up by getting a lamb one instead. It was juicy and served with a nice taziki sauce as well as some steak fries. I sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine sipped pale ale and soaked in the Washington sunshine as most were.

The next day a friend and I started out for lunch we decided to take our chances on an Indian style lunch buffet at Chutneys and we weren’t let down. There was a large array of freshly made choices. I filled my plate with different curries of vegetable, tiki masala, and tandori chicken as well as some lovely saffron rice. We filled up and the service and atmosphere was wonderful. We had a lovely lunch for a very affordable price.

After that we made our way to the museum of doll art. This is one of the most interesting and strange places I’ve ever been in my life. Sorry to say if you’re in the area please check it out because the woman at the front told us that by March the Dolls would no longer be on display. They don’t allow pictures but it’s something to see with your own eyes. In the museum there are dolls from all over the world and their play things and accompanying houses and other crazy items of small delicate detail.

Inside this gorgeous shopping center called The Braven is this lovely little place called Vovito. Vovito is a genius idea of the melding of sweet icy treats such as the lush and delicious Italian style gelatos and sorberttos as well as the accompaniment of booze and a full service cafe. They have everything I love here. I enjoyed a nice glass of Burt Champagne and some blood orange sorbetto. Wonderful!

 

Downtown Park is beautifully situated in the heart of the city. It is dedicated to those who have outdoors in mind with fountains pouring water and paths of dirt for dogs and owners to roam around and stretchy their legs. There were plenty of children about enjoying the sunshine and jungle gyms.

Another day I found myself roaming Clyde Hill but I didn’t know I was on Clyde Hill till I turned up at Clyde Beach Park. I found myself sitting for a length of time on the dock staring deeply into the blue sky over lake Washington, mesmerized by the beauty of such amazing homes and gorgeous morning water front. Sitting on the dock thinking about the next steps of life, I could still feel at ease. I finished my trip by walking back down passing Meydenbauer Beach Park and dipping my toes in the lake, and then after that finished by walking past the large Yachts at Bellevue Yacht Basin.

I had a Peruvian style lunch at Amazon Grill, which was lavishly decorated for the masses. The menu was situated with lots of not only Peruvian style foods but also other Latin American favorites. The restaurant is known for Rodizio style dining which is the carving of various meats table side for your eating pleasure. I decided that Rodizio would be way too much food for my liking for lunch. I was given a appetizer of plantain and various other root chips as well as three dipping sauces of various heat from yellow, orange, and red peppers as well as small corn like dried nuts.

 

I decided to have just an appetizer for lunch which was a sampler platter of Peruvian specialties which included
Chicharron de Camaron- Crunchy Pacific black tiger prawns deep fried in a quinoa batter and served over a bed of glazed yams with creole sauce
Cebiche Clasico de Pescado-Fresh fish of the day, sliced red onions, aji amarillo and celery
Fresh fish marinated in “lech de tigre” (tiger’s milk) made from lemon juice, kion and other herbs prepared in the classical Peruvian style, served with a side of sweet potatoes and inca corn
Causas Tradicional Yellow and purple mash, chicken salad and avocado slices
Causas are classic, elegant and tasty “cakes” of mashed potatoes with a myriad of different toppings.

Everything was very flavorful and the textures were different and pleasing. I thought the shrimp was cooked very well and the cebiche had such nice acid contrast. The Causa was something I’ve never had before and I’d like to explore them more.

Over all it was a very nice lunch something very different and I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

So with all this my time in Bellevue came to and end, this place reminded me much of where close to where I used to live when i was in Ventura county. Still having its mystery and gems but being not far from the city and its adventures. Next the bridal shower and wedding.

Cheers
Unrivaledkitch

Chicago-Saturday John Hancock, Signature Bar, The Field Museum, Taste of Chicago, Ditkas

Saturday. My ending in the windy city

Saturday we woke up and prepared to get out on the town to see as much as we could on my last day in the city.

We took a walk and took pictures at Millennium Park with all the people lining up on the streets. Also Chicago was booming with people that day because it was the opening day of the Taste of Chicago. After our pictures we walked around to find a good spot to enter the food fare. Like anything some things were good and something not so much. here’s what we had


loukaneko Greek Sausage

Pegasus


pulled bbq chicken

Smoke Daddy


Samosa

Arya Bhavan

 

Bourbon Chicken

Oak street beach cafe

Mustard fried catfish

Bj’s Market

Red Beans and Rice with Grilled Jerk Chicken

Vee Vee African Restaurant

 

Chicken Enchilada

 

la justicia


plain cheesecake

Eli’s Cheesecake

Cherry Italian Ice

Reggio’s

Oreo Parfait

Chicago Sweet Connection Bakery

After eating ourselves in a coma we had to head back to museum park so we could go to The Field Museum of natural history. They had a really amazing exhibit on whales and the biggest put together T-Rex in the country or maybe even the world I forget. We mused about there till it closed and finally I said my last good byes to grant park, museum park, and millennium park taking a couple pictures along the way.

 
 

 

 

We went back to our hotel and had a couple of drinks in the room determined not to spend too much money which we did anyway. And after that we went to the Signature Bar in the John Hancock Observatory. It was really beautiful to see the sky lit up at night so high up. We had a drink and then went to our final dinner suggested by the door man at Ditka’s a steak house.

 

Ditkas we had

seafood platter

king crab, oysters, big eye tuna, shrimp

Mikes Salad pecans, apples, cranberries, goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette

Fillet three ways Horseradish, Oscar (béarnaise and asparagus) style, Blue Cheese
broccoli and mashed potatoes

We also had drinks which were ginger and peach vodka and ginger and vodka

The meal was satisfying and really filling but a wonderful way to end the evening, nothing too out of the ordinary just a good steak house dinner.

And with that my travels in Chicago ended

A early train ride into O’hare and I was back in LA in no time. I can’t wait till my next trip. I’ll be headed to Seattle August 3-9th

Thank you guys so much for coming along on my memories :)

Cheers
Unrivaledkitch
Twitter and Foodbuzz and  Facebook

Chicago The rest of Tuesday Art & Architecture , Indian at Hema’s Kitchen, Beer at Lincoln Station

After eating a lush meal of my favorites the rest of the day was mine to seize and seize I did. It followed with a quick trip around the streets following my senses back to where I started and getting in a peek at Museum Contemporary Art Chicago , Right outside was a small fading farmers market but it made me smile to see that even in industry can we find awesome growers everywhere. Free on Tuesday which was a nice surprise, I walked through the exciting art and was reminded that I should be doing this all the time. Art museums are amongst the top 10 things I love to do when I’m out and about. There were really crazy things at the museum so here are some of my favorite ideas. Also on exhibit was a Los Angeles artist by the name of Mark Bradford he did some really amazing work with maps. I hope you enjoy

After that I walked along lake shore to see the waters of Lake Michigan and found myself at the tip of millennium park one of the biggest most awesome places for public havoc I’ve ever been. But it was amazing. I saw kids playing in these large pillars of water(Crown Fountain ), a spaceship looking concert hall (Jay Pritzker Pavilion) and the bean (Cloud Gate) as well as a shooting fountain (Wrigley Square and Millennium Monument). So much for a pair of eyes to see but it was so awesome to see such art and such community in one place.

 

 

I followed my feet to the Chicago Institute of Art where iI paid a 1/2 price admission because I was there about an hour 1/2 before they closed it was worth it to go in there. I would of loved to go back and pay more attention because they really had some amazing pieces of art, culture and heritage. But here are some of my favorite paintings I saw.

After that i found my way back to Lincoln park and down to Lincoln Station which is a little bar and grill place where I got a Matilda from Goose Island nice darker amber rich ale and a 2.50 great lakes which was more IPA and extremely drinkable. Michelle met me there and we had beers and hung out till a crazy thunder storm passed through and the whole block when pitch black. We were drinking by candle light paid out tab in cash and were off running through the storm.

It was about 10 by then and i wanted to eat something so we stopped for Indian at Hemas Kitchen  on Clark street. The decor was of traditional Indian flare and the food was very good. Warm and hot and the way a rain soaked person prefers. We had vegetables curry and the flavor of the chicken masala was different not as sweet, the spices  seemed bolder but still well rounded. Over all we liked it. The Garlic Nan was amazing.

 

 

Then we managed our way back to our hotel got out of rain soaked clothes and I got ready planning my next adventure.

Cheers

Unrivaledkitch