Monday, September 26, 2011

Ba Bar

There is a certain pleasure in dressing up a little bit and walking into a restaurant where the other patrons are also looking good, and for a frugal Seattle-ite such as myself, this experience comes rarely. For this reason I enjoyed with my general experience recently at Ba Bar, the new Vietnamese restaurant with a pleasingly hip ambiance located on 12th ave in the old Watertown location.

The menu is somewhat limited, and we started with the most substantial vegetarian small plate: Mung Bean dumplings (there are also a couple of salads).

These dumplings were unlike any other I've had: the dough had the slimey, gummy texture of wet mochi, and the insides were the texture of somewhat dry mashed potatoes. Was this the mung bean? I am totally ignorant about what a mung bean dumpling is supposed to be like, so it is hard for me to criticize these. That said, I found the textures to be hard to bite/chew/swallow. The sauce, however, with fried shallots, was fantastic.

There were just a few vegetarian entrees (including make your own spring rolls), and I chose the tofu vermicelli bowl.

Now, there is no shortage of fantastic, inexpensive, vegetarian tofu vermacelli bowls in this city, so I found myself with really high expectations for this $11 primadonna. I am dissapointed to say that it just wasn't very impressive. Granted, I am not a mushroom fan and the bulk of this bowl was savory, delicious (so I was told by my dining companion) shitakes, but apart from that detail, the bowl was too light on my favorite parts of the bun bowl: browned peanuts, fried shallots, fresh herbs, and shredded veggies. The sauce was delicious (it was the same sauce that came with the dumplings), but everything else was sort of ho-hum. Even the distinguishing feature, some strange little smashed burrito type garnish made with tofu skins, was sort of cold, greasy and bland.

I so enjoyed sitting in the warm crowd of lovely patrons, and the ambiance was perfect on a recent cool evening, but still it's hard for me to imagine going back and paying slightly more upscale prices for the dishes I got.

Ba Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 19, 2011

La Medusa

Ok, the picture is sort of lame, but this is an announcement that La Medusa, the lovely, somewhat higher priced (eh, by my frugal standards) Columbia City Sicilian Soul Food restaurant is experimenting with a happy hour. I went recently and split a couple of reasonably priced happy hour snacks (ratatouille and polenta fritters) with some friends and drank and a most delicious elderflower/aperol cocktail.
The happy hour was a nice opportunity to have a taste of what makes La Medusa so wonderful without having to shell out the money for a full dinner. Especially as the weather turns more to fall, I look forward to more afternoons sampling the delicious offerings!

La Medusa on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beloved Mexico

I have raved about Beloved Mexico before here, but wanted to post a little update with another tantalizing picture. As a quick review, Beloved Mexico is a very special taco truck in West Seattle that takes care to use good quality ingredients and makes healthy and satisfying food for both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.

I recently had the pleasure of eating a full meal at the truck, and was thrilled with what I got. I ordered a vegetarian enchilada meal (with the special request of filling them with pinto beans and veggies instead of the standard vegetarian filling of potatoes and cheese), which came with my choice of two sides.

The enchiladas were delicious... warm corn tortillas filled with tasty fillings and covered in a fresh green enchilada sauce, a little sour cream and a sprinkle of queso and cilantro. I chose sauteed onions and peppers as one side (well seasoned), and a house salad with lime dressing as my second.

I left, as always after a visit to Beloved Mexico, feeling full, healthy and happy!

Beloved Mexico on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rudloof's Pizza

Rudloof's Pizza is one of a couple pizza options in the Bavarian themed tourist/outdoors Mecca Leavenworth. Stopping to eat here was a debate... there was a hunch among us that the pizza was going to be the lamest kind, but a peek through the fence at the plates of fellow diners inspired some confidence and we gave it a shot. It was the wrong choice.

The best part of the meal (it's all relative!) was the family sized house salad with ranch dressing. It was reasonably large (though two of us easily polished it off), and included some dried carrot/cabbage shreds, mozzarella, a few tomatoes, cheap croutons, and a mix of fresh and old lettuce.

The pizza was, unfortunately, one of my least favorite kinds. The crust, which seemed pre-baked, was a sort of greasy, pillow-y texture with no chew or character. The toppings (we chose fresh tomato and bell pepper) were finely diced and lost in a repulsively deep layer of un-browned cheese.

The whole experience made me sort of sorry. I felt sorry for the restaurant for wasting so much money on excess mozzarella. I felt sorry for the cows who made the milk in the cheese that I wasted. I felt sorry about wasting our precious dollars on this dinner. I felt sorry for myself for the vast number of unenjoyed calories I put into my body during this meal.

Rudloof's Pizza on Urbanspoon