Do Me a Fava, Pass Me the Falafel—and More

I ignored it in Egypt for the first few days, not so much that I don't like falafel (I do), but I can get it in Seattle where I live. How many ways can it be made, I figured. That's before I knew there was a distinctive Egyptian version. How is it different? Instead of... Continue Reading →

COA, Great Mexican Dining in the Skagit Valley

Fire burn, and caldron bubble. The Bard came to mind because the broth bubbled non-stop in a fiercely hot molcajete, like a fire underneath that didn't extinguish until dinner was almost done. This wasn't a witches' brew but a tasty stew of grilled chicken, carne asada, shrimp, nopal, tomatoes, pico de gallo, pickled red onions and queso asadero... Continue Reading →

Golden Deli Holds Court in San Gabriel Valley

Jonathan Gold knows a thing or two about Southern California food. (He no longer is with us, though his legacy and influence remain.) The Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer once named Golden Deli one of L.A. area’s 99 essential restaurants.  Located in a strip mall in the food mecca of San Gabriel Valley (SGV), doing business... Continue Reading →

A Weighty Question—Does Windy City Pie Have Seattle’s Best Deep Dish Pizza?

Do I like Chicago deep dish pizza? At one time, the answer would've been an emphatic 'no,' not because I tried it (I hadn't) but any pizza thicker than a half inch and crust not made with "00" flour with its low gluten and crackly edges was not my preference for a great pie. That was... Continue Reading →

Shanghai Cafe Continues to Surprise—Beef with Black Bean Sauce

Shanghai Cafe remains my go-to Chinese restaurant even as new ones open in the Seattle area. My wife and I tend to order the same things every time, menu items that have stood the test of time over the 20 years we’ve been customers. (You can read about our favorites here.) Years ago, one of... Continue Reading →

There’s Something Shrimpy About Fresno’s Don Pepe Taqueria

I had my doubts that I could find a shrimp dish to equal the ones from Fumi's Shrimp Truck in Kahuku. Their shrimp is reason enough to trek out to the North Shore of Oahu. My favored combination of garlic, butter and sriracha (optional) sauce is a heaven-sent recipe. That was before I found Don Pepe... Continue Reading →

Shizuku, Portland’s Significant Japanese Restaurant

Four years ago, I lunched at Chef Naoko Bento Café, a Japanese restaurant on the edge of Portland's downtown district. The storefront was unremarkable like the surroundings. Interstate 405 was practically its western border. On my visit, a semi-truck parked just outside blocked sunlight from lighting the interior. The atmosphere inside was a lot more pleasant,... Continue Reading →

Nue: The World’s Street Food

It’s the thing nowadays to have street food at restaurants. Many of us have gone traveling abroad that noshing on things foreign is not the hesitation it once was. International food is now within easy reach, a cookbook, restaurant or food truck away. These are exciting times if your palate runs far and wide.  In Seattle,... Continue Reading →

What Is a Berber Pizza?

“You want to eat something different?” This is a thorny question that depends on who’s asking and why. Mustapha, who’d been driving us throughout Morocco, found out early that my wife and I were willing eaters. Maybe not willing so much as open to trying local food. To a point. We're not Andrew Zimmern after... Continue Reading →

Brilliant Cooking at Riad Boussa and How It Made Me Re-imagine Fruit Ingredients

It consisted of simply orange juice and shredded cucumbers. This unlikely pairing, a combination I’d ordinarily skip over in a cookbook, made a sublime cold soup, the beginning of a superb three-course dinner at Riad Boussa in Marrakech. In keeping with Moroccan tradition of having it on Fridays, the next course was a couscous. The... Continue Reading →

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