Patxi’s Pizza

Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood has a stellar group of pizzerias, several of which opened only recently. Delancy, Veraci, Ballard Pizza, Stoneburner and Pagliacci come to mind. The latest entry is Patxi’s Pizza serving a Chicago-style, thick crust pie. It originates from the San Francisco Bay Area, where the chain has nine outlets.

There is great effort to use quality ingredients. The recent introduction of a thin-crust option, for example, boasts an imported Italian flour best for making pizza, the double zero (“00”) finest ground, lower gluten classification that yields the ideal elasticity. Patxi’s also uses four kinds of mozzarella and house-made tomato sauce. Charcuterie items are supplied by two Bay Area companies that don’t add preservatives to their meats, Zoe’s Meats and Fra’ Mani, whose soppressata wins my vote for the best ever. Admirable as these practices are, they likely are matched by other fine pizzerias, including the ones in Ballard that I listed. So, in the end quality still boils down to taste.

Besides a bacon and pineapple pizza (which I didn’t sample because Hawaiian-style doesn’t appeal to me), the other one our party ordered was Tre Porcellini on a thin crust. Topped with Fra’ Mani salami, garlic-fennel sausage, Zoe’s pepperoni, mozzarella and tomato sauce, it is an outstanding pizza (☆☆☆☆) with exquisite savoriness, sausages that even my two-year-old granddaughter kept liberating from me, fresh-tasting tomato sauce and outer crust that puffed up gloriously with perfect chew. I would order this pizza again in a heartbeat, except that there are others on the menu that are obviously worth trying.

porcellini pizza

I am not a fan of Chicago-style pizza. There is too much dough for my liking. But my daughter, who is also not a fan, tells me that Patxi’s crust, reinforced with cornmeal, was surprisingly good. The deep dish pizza menu is different from that of the thin crust.

Patxi’s can hold its own against the home-grown pizzerias in Seattle.

Patxi’s Pizza
5323 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 946-1512



It was the second time in less than a week that I’d seen meerkats, the first at the Los Angeles Zoo. The image above was taken at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. At first, they looked like taxidermed specimens until, bodies perfectly still, their heads swiveled one at a time in the way that meerkats do.


Meerkats at the Los Angeles Zoo


Rooster Sriracha Popcorn

It had to happen. Likely the fastest growing condiment in the U.S. had to find its way into a popular snack. POP! Gourmet Popcorn, manufactured in Kent, Washington, near where I live, now offers popcorn flavored with Huy Fong Foods’ ubiquitous sriracha sauce. I found the bag at an Asian supermarket in San Gabriel, CA. The bag has the familiar green and roasted chile red colors that identify the bottle. At least one other sriracha popcorn has been made before, but none using ‘rooster sauce,’ as Huy Fong’s product is familiarly called.

The popcorn doesn’t suggest the famous sauce. It has very little vinegary tartness or garlickiness, though it does have a four-alarm spicy kick. I would be hard-pressed to identify rooster sauce if I tasted the snack blind. For me, the popcorn fails to capture the essence of the sauce, though it’ll appeal to chileheads as a spicy munch.

California Praying Mantis

There was a lot of excitement outside among family members. They discovered a praying mantis (Stagmomantis californiica) working its way along the driveway. One of us managed to relocate it to a shrub in the backyard where it would have a better opportunity to be the beneficial predator that it’s meant to be.