Guay Tiow Tom Yum at Pestle Rock

I'm dog-sitting my daughter's dog while she and my wife are in California for my wife's father's birthday. One of the benefits of doing this is that I have the vast domain of Ballard's restaurants to choose from for five days, all within walking distance. I won't do this for all three squares; I'll likely... Continue Reading →

Mutual Fish Company’s Kasuzuké Gindara

One of the tastiest preparations in Japanese cooking is grilled seafood that has been marinated in sakékasu, or saké lees, the yeasty rice solids and precipitates that get left behind after the saké gets pressed out. The kasu is combined with other ingredients to make a paste, which is applied as a marinade on seafood, meat... Continue Reading →

Breakfast at Serious Biscuit (Seattle)

The buzz has been good. Our friends who raved about The Reggie at Pine State Biscuits in Portland gave a thumbs-up to The Zach, as the biscuit topped with fried chicken, gravy, bacon and fried egg is called at Serious Biscuit. The creations are similar at both Northwest diners, the only difference being the inclusion of cheese... Continue Reading →

A Day in Capitol Hill (Seattle)

As if driven by some unseen force, my wife and I felt compelled again not to let a rainless day in Seattle go by without our doing something outdoors. After a deluge of a month in September, October has been extremely dry. In the last week, it has been foggy, lingering well into the afternoon,... Continue Reading →

No End in Sight: New Zealand’s Astronomical Cost-of-Living

I've thought long about whether I should do this post. The subject has bothered me for some time since it affects me—or, I should say, members of my family—personally. The astronomically high cost-of-living in New Zealand. How do the Kiwis do it? It's been getting more expensive to live there year by year. Wages haven't... Continue Reading →

October in the Washington Park Arboretum

Almost lost in the bounty of beautiful gardens in Seattle is the Washington Park Arboretum, jointly operated by the University of Washington and the city of Seattle. It is a showcase for botanical specimens that do well in our climate. Plants and trees are spread out over some 250 acres, the landscaping not as concentrated... Continue Reading →

Saigon Cafe & Deli: Another Bánh Mì Surprise on the Eastside

On the Eastside, finding a place that sells good bánh mì is a challenge. The choices are much better in Seattle where the concentration of Vietnamese communities and businesses makes it more likely you'd find very good examples of the classic Vietnamese sandwiches. Not too long ago, a friend and I ate at Yeh Yeh... Continue Reading →

Pinckney Cookie Café at the Issaquah Farmers Market

Last week, I did a post on a farmer who grows unusual crops for sale at the Issaquah Farmers Market (Darrell Westover of Westover Farms). Another vendor whom my wife and I have been visiting regularly since we discovered his stand is Michael Pinckney (of Pinckney Cookie Café) who makes some of the best cookies we've... Continue Reading →

Black Cat Cantina (Portland, OR)—CLOSED

"What are your favorite things on the menu?" my wife asked. The waitress quickly glanced at her, then me, as if gauging what might appeal to us. "I would recommend the ceviché de camaron, shrimp mixed with mango and strawberry, chile and chopped cilantro. There are also lemon and lime juices in it. You will love it.... Continue Reading →

Thrill of Multnomah Falls (Troutdale, OR)

There are few things more thrilling than standing near a stupendous waterfall. The feeling is almost visceral, mesmerizing. Some people claim that they feel better when standing next to a waterfall, maybe having something to do with the production of enormous amounts of negative ions (oxygen molecules with an extra electron) that research has shown... Continue Reading →

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