I recently started a new job and went to a business dinner with my colleagues for the first time. We went to Mamnoon, an upscale restaurant serving modern takes on Middle Eastern cuisines. We ordered a several dishes to share. I was most excited about the samkeh harra, a whole roasted branzino.
When our server brought the fish to the table, I asked if anyone else wanted the head. My co-workers demurred and then looked on (possibly in horror) as I happily dismantled the fish head and ate it–including the fish eyes. (The best part!)
I’m sure it was not a pretty sight, and maybe I should have chosen something I could have consumed more elegantly, but that fish head was good! Cheek meat is some of the best on a fish.
The next night, I had dinner at the Thai-Laotian restaurant Viengthong. This time I was with friends, and we also ordered a whole fish. It was fried and topped with chilis. I think I may have had to fight my friend Mahnaz for the head.
…and had a chicken strip/peanut butter and bacon waffle baby!
(It had to be done.)
The only way to make Off the Rez’s veggie fry bread taco even better was to pair it with a cucumber margarita.
What kind of sandwich should I have expected from a food truck with this badass logo?
A sandwich with THREE different kinds of pork–pulled pork, ham and bacon–topped with apple jalapeño slaw. It was appropriately named, “The Bad Lieutenant,” and it was my favorite dish at the Mobile Food Rodeo.
I love many things about the multitude of food truck events that have become a regular part of Seattle’s culinary calendar. I love the laid back, family-friendly vibe. I love the thrill of discovering that perfect bite. I love how people turn out in a big way to support small business.
What I don’t love? The lines. The incredibly long, interminable, soul-crushing lines.
So it was an easy decision for me to buy a VIF ticket to Seattle’s biggest street food event, the Mobile Food Rodeo on May 5.
For just $25, I’ll get the chance to get in an hour early to the event and skip the lines with all-day priority line access.
For those who like swag, you can pay $45 to get the VIF treatment along with an urban picnic tote bag, a commemorative patch, a 2013 Fremont Outdoor Movie season pass for two, and a Mobile Food Rodeo T-shirt.
On Sunday, I’ll make a beeline to these three trucks making their big-time debut: Ezell’s Express, Barking Frog Mobile Kitchen and How Pickle Got Out of a Jam.
I’m also excited about the Taco Libre Taco Truck Showdown. My money will be on the barbecue pulled pork Indian taco from Off the Rez, with a possible upset by the Fish Basket’s crispy cod taco. Of course, you can’t count out Marination Mobile and its “Holy Mole!” taco.
What are you looking forward to at the Mobile Food Rodeo?
It’s the day before Valentine’s Day, and if you don’t have plans, you’re either scrambling for something to do, or hoping that February 14 will come and go as quickly as possible.
Instead of feeling stressed out or sad, celebrate National Food Truck Date Day instead!
The alternative celebration is the brainchild of Jeanna Barrett, the woman behind 50 Food Truck Dates. She wrote, “Valentine’s Day leaves couples and singles feeling broke, bored and bummed! So I thought to myself – why not motivate everyone to change this negative Valentine’s Day sentiment around?”
So RSVP yes to the National Food Truck Date Day Facebook invite, and take your spouse, best friend, child, grandpa, baby’s mama—whoever is special to you—on a food truck date on February 14.
Here are 5 food truck date ideas for Seattle:
- Not in love with meat? Get some sexy tofu tacos at Marination Mobile (2401 Utah Ave S., Starbucks HQ, 11am – 2pm.)
- Do you like it hot? Try one of Diablo Food Truckz’s three spicy sauces on your noodle sandwich. (1741 4th Ave S. , 12:15pm – 3pm.)
- Craving something sweet? Make your own ice cream sandwich at Street Treats. (Roundabout North of Big Fish Games & F5 on Elliott, noon – 12:30 pm. And 300 3rd Ave W., 12:45pm – 1:15pm.)
- Passionate about grilled cheese sandwiches and sci-fi fantasy? (And really, who isn’t?) Feel the magic with Cheese Wizards. (1406 Northwest 53rd Street, Reuben’s Brews, 4pm – 8:30pm.)
- Longing for a taste of Cuba? Visit Snout & Company at Town Hall Seattle. (1119 Eighth Avenue, 8-10pm)
None of these tickle your fancy? SeattleFoodTruck.com has a complete list of all food trucks open on Thursday.
If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, share a pic while you’re on your date and use the #NtlFTDDay hashtag and be sure to tag @the50dates.
Enjoy National Food Truck Date Day!
If you have lived in Seattle for any significant amount of time, it can be easy to be blasé about chef Tom Douglas. The man is everywhere. He’s frying doughnuts at the Bite of Seattle, selling his Rubs With Love at Costco, joking around with Thierry Rautureau on their radio show, judging dishes on “Top Chef,” and expanding his restaurant empire.
No matter what you think of Douglas, you have to respect his hustle and ambition. He currently operates 13 restaurants with more on the way, including the re-imagining of his Tibetan dumpling house, Ting Momo, as a food truck. In recognition of his incredible culinary career, the James Beard Foundation named Douglas “Outstanding Restaurateur” in May 2012.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a cooking demo with Douglas at Macy’s in downtown Seattle. He is a member of Macy’s Culinary Council and was at the store to share recipes from his new Dahlia Bakery Cookbook for holiday entertaining.
A large audience gathered for the event, obviously eager to see the chef in action. In addition to the excellent service and food at his restaurants, what makes Tom Douglas successful? Here are 4 things I observed.
I’m one of those people who like to channel surf. While I’m flipping through channels, I’ll inevitably wind up watching something on PBS. I love that at any given moment, PBS will be showing something compelling and thought-provoking (“Run to the East”), shamelessly geeky (“History Detectives”) or just weirdly watchable (“Antiques Roadshow”).
In addition, KCTS 9, Seattle’s PBS station, produces great local programming. Last year it introduced a new show called “Check, Please! Northwest.”
The show brings three strangers together to talk about their favorite restaurants. Each person recommends a restaurant, everyone goes to the three places, and then they discuss the food and their experiences.
While watching the trailer for the upcoming “Top Chef: Seattle,” I was delighted to see footage of chefs struggling to dig for shellfish on a rocky Washington beach. Yes! Back in July, this is one of the 5 Pacific Northwest-challenges I listed as wanting to watch on the show.
I’m super excited for “Top Chef: Seattle,” but every time I see the promo shot pictured above, I cringe. Besides the generic Seattle landscape background that looks like it was salvaged from a high school dance, there’s nothing about the photo that represents my fair city. Did the art director think that produce in wicker baskets would evoke the spirit of Pike Place Market? (It doesn’t.) And is Padma Lakshmi wearing an electric blue bed skirt? (Perhaps.) At least they could have made it green to represent the Emerald City. (No, that wouldn’t help. Barf.)
Season 10 of “Top Chef” premieres November 7 on Bravo. Will you be tuning in? And how would you caption the awful promo pic?
I don’t usually go into dimly lit bars in search of baked goods. However, last week, I found myself at the Twilight Exit in Seattle’s Central District looking for a man called “Uncle Peaches” and some cake.
Anybody who has lived in Seattle for even a short period knows that it is not usually 70 degrees and sunny in October.
However, it appears that Seattleites will get a few more days of extended-play summer, and I can think of no better way to celebrate by visiting the new Marination Ma Kai.