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Seattle take on 13 dishes for 2024   Go to last post Go to last unread
#1 Posted : Thursday, January 18, 2024 7:33:32 PM(UTC)

Yes, this is local newspaper article on restaurant food but I thought it was rather thought provoking regarding what our metro area cooks and eats.

1. rockfish banh mi
2. Normie Macdonald pizza (capicola, aged mozzarella, Grana Padano, burrata, hot honey)
3. focaccia from a fantastic small-town baker
4. Seattle dog mususbi (frankfurter, cream cheese, pickled Fresno pepper, caramelized onion, furikake)
5. anago (sea eel) nigiri and tamago
6. pak mor - filled rice-flour crepe-noodles
7. pork tamale
8. Lao beef jerky (tamari, ginger, lemongrass seasoned)
9. tempura prawns
10. roasted Brussels sprouts in mustard cream sauce
11. kinki nigiri (broadbanded thornyhead with pomelo, yuzu, shiso)
12. breakfast sandwich (bacon, cheese, egg ... yes we do do classics)
13. carrot soup (coconut milk, sweet potato, ginger, redcurry ....)

Note how far away this is from a European-centric cooking. There is a reason why our cooks rarely do well on cooking contests where they are constantly dinged for under seasoning - that's the way we like it. Why ruin a perfect taste with excess salt? We are definitely Pacific Rim cooking as are many of our top restaurants.
#2 Posted : Friday, January 19, 2024 12:35:28 PM(UTC)

I live a bit west of Portland, Oregon and agree wholeheartedly with this post. Most of our fast casual restaurants over the past 40 years or so have tended to be Asian, Indian or Hispanic. My husband’s big complaint is that it is difficult to find the old Chinese American restaurants that made his old favorites. Most Asian restaurants are very authentic Chinese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, etc. Their food is delicious but don’t meet his nostalgia tastes. In our grocery stores you can now find a multitude of Asian, Indian and Hispanic ingredients which makes cooking the fun recipes in my cookbooks much easier than it is for cooks in other areas of the country. Some of this is undoubtedly due to our Pacific Rim location but I think the high numbers of high tech firms like Intel, shoe companies like Nike and others who bring in lots of employees from those countries also contribute to our Pacific Rim tilt to our cuisine.

#3 Posted : Saturday, January 20, 2024 2:15:03 PM(UTC)

I definitely understand about the nostalgia of combination plates of Chinese restaurants, small red and white table cloth Italian restaurants, and other small independent restaurants of past.  I tend to find them when we are driving travel back East or smaller towns in out of way western states.  Love them. 

I like the idea of smaller, even hall in the wall, independent restaurants so I am not too sad some of these big restaurants are going in that direction now with the closing since pandemic. 

#4 Posted : Saturday, January 20, 2024 3:13:06 PM(UTC)
When my Mother was growing up in a Central Washington College town (think born 1915), they had no refrigerator and hence no cold meat storage. So, Sunday dinner, with meat, was always at the New York Cafe, which despite its name was a Chinese restaurant. As regulars, they were not limited to the menu but rather ate a mix of American-Chinese and Cantonese Chinese food. When I think of childhood Chinese, that is what I think of - the best of American-Chinese and authentic Chinese. Although the restaurant changed its name in the 1980's to reflect its cuisine, the restaurant is still in business. On the other hand, about a decade ago, I was a guest at a Maryland Chinese-American restaurant and found their mu shu pork unrecognizable.

What seems to be a growing source of good ethnic food here are small order-at-the-counter specialty restaurants and, of course, food trucks.
#5 Posted : Saturday, January 20, 2024 3:20:49 PM(UTC)

The return of pull food carts even before the motorized.  They were very much near all the train stations outside metro Tokyo stations growng up. The last time I saw one was about 1995.  now too many Stabahs all over Tokyo.  

#6 Posted : Sunday, January 21, 2024 12:05:24 PM(UTC)

I live in the Seattle area and we are blessed with a diversity of food. Within 5 miles of my house I have an excellent Asian and Indian grocery stores. I love shopping in these stores and frequently stop there as their selection and quality of fresh herbs can’t be beat and you get 4 or 5 times the amount of those tiny packages at the grocery store for the same price. As restaurant prices have skyrocketed there are so many excellent ethnic restaurants that are great values. We have favorite dim sum spots, a dumpling spot and our favorite Thai restaurant in Northern Thai. We are lucky!

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