Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Belltown Billiards

Belltown Billiards makes surprisingly good pizza. I was recently there on a stormy week night when the place was nearly empty aside from me and my pool shark friends. We ordered a bunch of pizzas through out the evening, including a tasty vegetarian pizza with fresh tomatoes and basil. There is a pizza oven and the back, and the thin chewy crusted beauties came out piping hot and surprisingly delicious. I had really low expectations, but am glad that I saved my appetite and indulged it here.

Belltown Billiards also has some good Happy Hour drink specials, including a $5 margaritas and Jack and Gingers.

Belltown Billiards & Calozzi's Italian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 7, 2011

King of Pho

I have some very excited news about the King of Pho in Auburn: They have a full new vegetarian menu!! I wrote about The King of Pho a couple of months ago, but in the meantime they've had a complete shift in vegetarian priorities. What fantastic news!

I was temped by many of the items on the vegetarian menu, but decided upon the lemongrass tofu vermicelli bowl, and oh my god, it was a good choice.

Their rendition of this dish (one of my Vietnamese favorites) rivaled any other I've ever eaten. The tofu was freshly fried and coated in a spicy, richly flavored lemongrass chili paste and tossed with stir fried onions. Half the bowl was full of vermicelli noodles, the other half was packed with lettuce, shredded cabbage, cucumbers, carrots and fresh herbs. The whole thing was covered in a generous blanket of dark roasted peanuts, and the small cup of sauce (meant to be poured over the bowl) was savory and unsweet, just how I like it.

I am so excited about this new development and will definitely be stopping here anytime I'm coming through Auburn hungry. Sitting here right now, looking at the picture of the dish, my mouth is watering so much I'd almost be tempted to drive to Auburn just for this meal.

(On a meat note, my meat eating dining companion said that his dish was outstanding.)

How wonderful! South side vegans and vegetarians (and heck, your meat eating friends too) go check it out!

(I posted a picture of the vegetarian menu on urbanspoon... you can find it by clicking below).

King of Pho on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Beloved Mexico

Beloved Mexico is a taco truck in West Seattle that stands immediately apart in both appearance and conscience. The truck itself (more like a trailer) is shiny black with glossy cursive writing, and the family (owners) working inside pride themselves on quality ingredients and healthy preparations.

There are many vegetarian options, including a satisfying veggie taco with large, fresh corn tortillas, refried beans, and a big pile of grilled peppers and onions. They also have multiple cheese and potato dishes, burritos, tortas, etc. The salsa are freshly made, spicy and delicious. The pickled jalapeno that came with my taco tasted home-pickled with subtle hints of delicious spices.
My meat eating dining companion is especially thrilled to be getting his taco truck favorites from a place that uses good locally sourced meat, and as a vegetarian, I am happy to support businesses that make those sorts of choices too.

The prices are all taco truck cheap.

Stopping at Beloved Mexico used to be an occasional treat, but after hearing a KUOW radio show about people living "without a net" that featured Beloved Mexico's Guerrero brothers, we tend to stop every time we pass by, hungry or not. You can listen to the feature here:

I get complicated feelings around this... part of me wants to support the heck out of small, local restaurants making good food with good ethics. The other part of me feels like it's futile... that there are too many restaurants to each get enough of our city's collective "eating out" budget to survive. But then I think: But what the F about all the money spent at Applebees? And the Olive Garden? And the Cheesecake Factory?? These places aren't cheap, and every time I've ever had anything to do with them they've been packed with people complacently stuffing their pieholes.There is PLENTY of eating out budget, it's just being used in the wrong (IMHO) places.

It makes me angry that Beloved Mexico, with healthy, artful, delicious, reasonably priced food and carefully selected meat is just barely surviving (possibly headed to extinction soon unless business kicks up) while people will plunk down $13 at an Azteca for a mediocre cooperate meal without a flinch.

What the hell is wrong with us?? Go get some Beloved Mexico tacos before it's too late.

Beloved Mexico on Urbanspoon