Let's talk about Renton for a moment. Haven't heard of it? You should at least know where it's at. After all, it's the only city in Washington state with an Ikea. Why wouldn't you want to go to Ikea, eat Swedish meatballs, buy things you never knew you needed prior to seeing them, and fight with you partner in public (we didn't, but I've heard it's common)? I haven't been to Ikea in a while, but my In-laws are coming to town, so we needed to get some additional support legs for our guest bed because it's old and sad. Have any of you noticed that the toilets now flush so violently it's almost like using a bedit? By the way, I didn't know how to spell bidet until this very moment. I had to look it up.
Since we were already in the deep south, we decided to go out to eat. We found a German pub, Berliner Pub. I was so excited, until our bartender told us that something exploded in the kitchen, and they weren't serving food. How did I respond to this tragic news, you ask?
I got a liter of German beer! In hindsight, it seems like a poor choice, but honestly, why would they put it on the menu if I wasn't meant to order it? Then, because my husband was dying for sustenance, we went to a wonderful place called Cedar River Smokehouse. We deliberately ordered different BBQ meats so we could try it all. So, I went with the hot link, smoked chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and hot BBQ sauce. It was bomber!
I know it doesn't look like much, but let's be really open with one another, meat and carbs don't usually make for pretty pictures. They just make your heart happy, and I don't mean literally. We ate so much food it was time to walk. Thankfully this area of Renton has a ton of cool shops.
My hubby bought Red Alarm for his Virtual Boy. I didn't even know we had a Virtual Boy by the way, and the sales guy said he'd throw in the Berenstain Bears game for Sega Genesis (My younger brother is going to be so excited to visit and play Berenstain Bears with me). Be still my heart! I also didn't know we had a Sega in the garage. This all further confirmed for me that my husband is the One. He never ceases to amaze me. If you think this is romantic, we can be friends.
After these amazing finds, we decided to go to 8 Bit Arcade Bar. See the first picture friends. Winter is coming...tomorrow. I feel prepared for season 7 of Game Of Thrones. I ate a ton of meat, and drank copious amount of ale. I think I could sit on the Iron Throne. Also, our bartender from the pub, walked over to his second job and got to watch me play pinball and Tetris.
All in all it was a wonderful night. I even played outdoor, extra large Connect Four, with a stranger named Roz. Apart from Frasier, I didn't know anyone named Roz really existed. She does, and we're now friends. My take away question, please comment below if you know the answer, how do I get my own stein?
I feel slightly guilty writing this, because Nick's Jr. is so close to this restaurant, but I don't feel guilty enough to stop. Here's what you need to do if you don't have plans this weekend.
1. Go to Gyro Shack
2. Buy seriously anything, but make sure to get the Baklava.
4. Drive the 7 minutes to Howarth Park.
5. Grub down!
Seriously friends, that's only 5 steps. You can even do them in your pajamas. Really, it's South Everett, you can wear whatever you want. I lost one of my sandals in quicksand at this beach, and then did the walk of shame back to my car. Did it hurt? Yes. Was I embarrassed? No. I was still one of the best dressed folks there, and let's faced it, I am many things, but polished is not one of them.
Anyway, Gyro Shack made it to Everett in early May this year, so you may have missed it. It was so popular in Idaho, that they expanded to our beautiful city. Gyro Shack makes me a bit sad, because my fave, Nick's Jr. also has gyros. However, I go to Nick's for their awesome burgers. So I'm not really worried for them... Gyro Shack has a Philly Cheese-steak Gyro, and you can get hummus and veggies on the side. My daughter swears their lemonade is the best ever. I reiterate, if you don't have plans this weekend, follow my 5 simple steps.
Do you know what a food trend is? I bet you do. You probably know about lobster rolls, and ice cream cones in front of brick walls, eggs on top, and everything wrapped in bacon. We all see them, regardless of the social media we use. I will confess that Instagram is my fave because we all want to see what each other's last meal was. Ya'll hate that on Facebook. A little over a week ago I discovered the "Cloud Egg." I am always one to jump on the intafood bandwagon. I was prepared to make the dish, but when I got home, lo' and behold! My 12-year-old son was making Cloud Eggs! He had the wrong beaters on the mixer, so I was of assistance, but the rest he did himself.
Basically a Cloud Egg is a meringue with the yolk baked on. It's not a great texture and/or flavor. That said, I'm really impressed my kid took the initiative, and I think it's great we are trying to reinvent food. I have heard that this recipe is from the 17th century, so it may not be new. It is new to me, and I am always grateful to the universal food consciousness that makes these things possible.
Over Memorial weekend my husband and I went on a much needed date. We saw "Alien: Covenant," which was delightfully gross and disturbing. Afterwards, because we didn't have the boy child with us, I thought it would be super fun to make my husband slightly uncomfortable and have him try a Korean restaurant. A true sport, he agreed to Sam Oh Jong in Lynnwood. I had been there once before, and got the Kimchi Stew, because as you know, I love kimchi.
This time I got the Bimimbap, because I knew it was a sure fire win. Plus, it's served sizzling in a hot stone bowl. The only downfall is that it does come with shiitake mushrooms. I gagged them down. I'm really, really trying. My hubby somehow had tunnel vision and could only see soups and stews, so he jumped on the first dish he thought might be hearty. He found a $30 dish of spicy "marine products" and bean sprouts. He was shocked at the price, but I'm a food enabler, so I told him to do it!
This looks great, right!?! Here's the problem, we were only given chopsticks and a spoon. I can eat mussels with chopsticks. I can peel shrimp with my hands, but how exactly does one eat shelled crab legs with these two tools? The third time my husband asked for napkins was his last. After that he sat there angrily regretting his order, and vowing to never eat Korean food again. I laughed... a lot. Thankfully we've been married for 14 years and he knew I was laughing to release tension. My favorite part of the meal was when he asked the server to box up our food. She handed me containers, bags, and tongs. My husband eyeballed the tongs and said, "Do they have any other kitchen tools back there? What is happening?"
*We had awesome leftovers at home, with all the tools we needed. Note: bean sprouts turn into grass in the microwave.
I know, I know! As my husband lovingly said, "It looks like Etsy and Pinterest had a party and threw-up on each other." I actually cam here this past Saturday to spend some time with a long time friend. We've had multiple life changes that led to the distance, but I knew she loved this coffee house and I had never been. So, it was a date.
The sun-bleached wonder above is the pastry/sandwich mecca. I brought the kids and husband, because I'm a terrible friend and probably slightly co-dependent. This post is still about food, right? Anyway, my friend showed. She was beautiful, and draped in LuLaRoe. She confessed to only 32 pieces of LuLaRoe. I'll admit to 12. I have hamburger leggings. Photo shoot to follow.
My kids ordered a Carmel Latte, and a Lavender Lemonade. They loved both. No pics, deal, go there IRL.
While I listened to my friend's work and home-life stories I ate a pretty tasty grilled burrito. The Hubs got a breakfast burrito that he described as, "a wet, green tortilla, filled with plain white rice, and unseasoned microwaved eggs." Not the best review. That said, The Living Room is a supporting non-profit, to a local church.
Please set my husband's comment aside. My family is rude, crude, inappropriate, and loving beyond compare. We didn't like the food. The coffee is Stumptown, which is amazing. The staff are all volunteers. The coffee shop benefits the Hillside Church.
This magic gem hosts a music night every 4th Friday. My little dude plays the drums. It's cozy, volunteers run it, and a small business supports. Despite my husband's breakfast, I'll be back.
*Warning - This post will contain more words of curse than usual. This dumb shit has struck a chord with me.*
Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 will live in infamy, as the day that Starbucks released the surprisingly controversial Unicorn Frappucino. I, of course, saw that it was available and went and got one for myself and my employee. The colors were great, the idea fun, and the flavor was tolerable. Would I order it again? No. Was it worth the Instagram and novelty? Yes. Was it worth the annoying Facebook comments, and angry blogs and articles that followed? I guess that's not up to me to answer. Those of you that are feeling angry, irritated, and annoyed, is that exciting for you? Do you enjoy getting worked into a red hot lather? If so, Starbucks succeeded this week. You gave them a lot of PR. Here are my thoughts on the haters. We're going to break this down like Spicy does with his box of dollies for all you girls and boys.
Also, we're not judging you for this trend. Well, maybe a little...
2. You're concerned about our health. "It has so much SUGAR!" Well, no fucking duh! It's a rainbow colored milkshake. Where were you last month? I didn't see any of you coming for the Shamrock Shake, and that shake was shook!
You all wannabe nutritionists fall into two categories.
A) You eat like crap sometimes, maybe even every day. Some of you I've seen sucking down up to 3 Caramel Macchiatos on a particularly shit-filled Monday. Or did you forget those have sugar, fat, and chemicals as well? Back the fuck off! Let's not kid ourselves. Starbucks is the McDonald's of coffee. It's mostly junk food in liquid form.
I drank the Grande Unicorn Frap at a whooping 410 calories. I did get a wicked sugar rush, but it passed, and I worked out that evening, which negated the calories. My health and the health of those around you is not your business to comment upon, unless specifically asked. My doctor happens to think my diet is healthy (mostly). My vitals, and blood tests are rocking on all points, and I have the pulse of a runner. So said my doctor. Now, I realize some people can't handle sugar for a variety of health reasons, much like my husband can't handle salt. He's had high blood pressure since he was 24, but again, any advice he needs can come from a licensed professional. I, on the other hand, frequently indulge in MSG, and I've never had a migraine. It boils down to genetic.
B) I love you guys. God bless you for eating whole foods you organically grew in your own yard, fertilized with your family's feces. Thank you for making tasty desserts out of avocados and bananas. You're healthy. Your skin glows, and you never forget to remind us of your dietary restrictions. I'm genuinely proud of you for living according to your values and convictions. That said, you don't need to tell the rest of us assholes how unhealthy something is. We know, and you know, that we're going to die first. But... we get to eat bacon, Nutella, and cheese. Glorious cheese!
By the way, as far as food goes, cheese is the number one killer. Look it up. That bastard is stopping hearts on the daily.
3. Those of you hating because it's popular, and you're so much cooler than that, "Starbucks is stealing your money," blah, blah, blah.
Nope, I knew I bought that drink for the picture I would take. Please tell me you have never purchased something after seeing an advertisement, and I will go home. Life is incredibly boring, and repetitive sometimes, and trends create excitement about something that isn't personal and/or stressful. Remember Pokemon Go? Some people joined the bandwagon, and some people hated on it. It's ok to not join, but do you have to jump on the wagon going the opposite direction? You could just watch from the sidelines. See, our wagon is a unicorn drawn carriage that showers rainbows and butterflies as it drives by, and it's fueled by fairy laughter. You chose to hop on the sad, gray, dripping wagon. It's fueled by CostCo hot dog burps (comment if you know what I'm talking about), and this is your driver.
In summary, don't be a hater! My mom taught me that hate is a waste of time. It's as strong an emotion as love, so why would you give anything you dislike that much of your time and energy? Try being indifferent. It could be fun...
It's no secret I love to eat, or that I sometimes eat a meal more suited for a family of four, getting ready to plow their fields by hand and tend to their livestock. I once ate a burger called "The Farm," so maybe in some small way I'm supporting that family with my gluttony. I've had several meal companions tell me that they love to eat with me, because then they don't feel badly about themselves. I'm here to help. Where am I going with this? A few months ago, a good friend of mine posted to Facebook that she had found a way for me to make a lot of money. With this post, she attached a link to the Wikipedia on Mukbang. You're all capable of researching it yourself, but briefly, a Mukbang is a Korean eating show, posted to the internet. Viewers typically eat while watching the video so they feel like they are having a meal with someone, and yes, the people eating typically eat a lot of food, and some get paid (think YouTube).
I will confess, I had already heard of Mukbang, but had never taken the time to watch a video, until my friend planted the seed. I tried watching some videos on AfreecaTV, which is the primary site for these, but sadly I don't speak Korean, so even thought the food looked good, I didn't really understand why I would want to watch an hour long video. I took to YouTube, and of course, because this is America, we have already started trying to copy this strange phenomenon.
I must warn you that this is not for everyone, and if you already are turning your nose up at the idea of watching some 20-something-year-old talk and eat for an hour, then you should read one of my other posts, or go elsewhere. Come back later.
My favorite, and most authentic, Mukbang star on YouTube is Keemi. She was born in South Korea, but wanted to bring Mukbang to the English speaking community. You also get to watch her cook before she eats, so I love that there is a pseudo cooking show element to her videos. If you're interested, watch below. There is a whole series of videos using Sriracha. Yum!
These video will get progressively worse. There is still time to quit reading/watching.
Next up, we have YouTube star Trisha Paytas. Trisha has 2.7 million subscribers, so you can judge all you want, but she's laughing her way to the bank. I appreciate watching Trisha eat, because it doesn't feel like a lie. She self-identifies as "thick" and even has a song by the same name. Trisha taught me about the joy of Postmates, which I can only indulge in from work, because I don't live in a major city. She is non-traditional in the sense that she's white and doesn't finish her food. If you enjoy listening to the fast-talking ramblings of a former stripper while she licks her fingers, then Trisha is for you.
Lastly, I'd like to share with you my favorite YouTuber. I confessed this to someone the other day, and they looked at me sideways, and said "isn't he really raunchy?" and I said, "Yes, he is, and I love it!"
Warning: The video below is inappropriate for all ages. If you are sensitive in anyway, are adverse to loud noises, have a strong gag-reflex, or have recently been diagnosed as not having a sense-of-humor, then this video is not for you.
Shane has been on YouTube forever, and has gone through multiple recreations of himself throughout. At 9.3 million subscribers, I'm not the only one that loves him. He makes me laugh, and his eating videos, although not at all a proper Mukbang, are weird, offensive, and occasionally genius. He's my favorite trashcan. The video below was sponsored by Jack In The Box, the fast food burger I turn to when I've given up on life that day. Nothing beats a Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger with curly fries and a side of ranch. Oh, and a diet coke, because I'm watching my weight.
As the YouTubers say, If you liked this post please let me know, subscribe, like below, and please let me know what you want me to write about next. Byyyeeee!!!
I refuse to apologize for the pun in this title. If Mr. Takei can get away with it... Nay, if he can get people to love puns, then I am certainly not above them. Anyhoo, I know I'm late reporting on the newest sushi restaurant in downtown Everett. In my defense I work in Seattle now. So, I only get to hang out around this magical food hub once a week at most. I would write about the restaurants I've been eating at in Columbia City, but in all reality I've only gone to two regularly. Seriously, my new workplace lunch buddy is a creature of habit. He's killing my Instagram feed. Thankfully, this past Friday night I was able to convince my son that he wanted Chicken Teriyaki. He doesn't eat sushi. This way the rest of my sushi loving family could enjoy themselves, and we three agreed on the relatively new and exciting Kai Sushi. They opened in October of 2016, and I have had no less than 5 close friends highly recommend that I try the place. No worries Katana, I still love you!
I'm not going to mess around. Let's start with the reason for all of this. Look at those gems! If you don't love sushi, no worries. There are pictures below that you may enjoy. Keep scrolling. For those of you that do love the buttery softness of raw fish, allow me to introduce you to the Nigiri Sushi Omakase. I am so grateful right now that I blog, because I would have butchered that pronunciation. Everything about this sampler was perfect, even the octopus, and octopus requires a lot of chewing. Confession time, I'm a lazy eater. I prefer foods with minimum chewing required, mashed potatoes, and mac n' cheese to name a few. That said, I still loved those octopus suckers. I shared this sampler with my husband, and did wish they had two of each so it was easier to share, but we also both agreed that would be too much sushi. My advice, share with someone you really like.
I have recently discovered that I love unfiltered sake. I was surprised, because I typically drink dry red wine. That said, I like to be adventurous. I tried a sake flight at Blue C Sushi, and realized that unfiltered sake tends to be sweet and delicious. I love it! It's certainly not something I would drink on the regular, but it is a special treat. Plus it goes well with the salty/spiciness that my sushi tends to become, because you better believe I put generous quantities of wasabi in my soy sauce for dipping.
For an appetizer, we shared the Chicken Karaage, which is basically popcorn chicken served with two dipping sauces: sweet chili and spicy mayo. It was exactly what you'd expect, nothing too impressive, but definitely satisfying.
As stated previously, my son ordered the Chicken Teriyaki. Any surprises here? No, but I want you sushi lovers to know that you can go out to eat with your squeamish family and friends. Don't let picky eaters bully you into not enjoying the foods you love. Not every meal can be Taco Bell! Moving on...
In thanks for my son's compromise, and in celebration of my daughter's own adventurous eating, I decided the kiddos needed dessert. Also, I was buying time so I could continue savoring my sake. We weren't sure whether we'd be excited by the dessert menu or not, but lo' and behold, they had Tempura Fried Ice Cream. "What?" you ask. It's fried ice cream. You don't need to ask questions. Have you been to a State Fair? Have you eaten fried foods? Then you get it. It was wonderful, and everyone left satisfied. Thank you Kai Sushi. We will be back.
For longer than I'd care to admit, I've complained about food delivery. In much of the US, delivery is limited to chain pizza, and maybe some inauthentic Chinese food if you're lucky. Good for you if you live in NY or somewhere similarly urban. I never have. The closest I've come to quality and variety in food delivery was in college, where local food joints are banking on students that are either studying too hard to leave their rooms, or partying too hard to walk out the door. I've also long lamented on lazy nights, that no one will bring me beer or wine on command. I'm lazy, you don't have to say it. Obviously I'm a lazy glutton. The only other kind of people with food blogs are vegans, and that I am not.
My kids watch a lot of YouTube, and a lot of YouTubers live in LA, so my son and I were super excited when we heard about Postmates. Which my friends in LA are all too familiar with and casual about. Postmates is an app you use to have anything from books, clothes, to food delivered to your door. The delivery fee is only $2.99, and you have the option to tip through the app when the delivery is done. The unique thing is that they will deliver food to you from places that would never ordinarily deliver, like Chili's, or your local burger shack. We tried using it one night only to realize that because we live outside of Seattle we aren't good enough for their fancy services. Last week, while stuck at an airport hotel in LA I realized I was in. I had access! I went on the app looking for food, and I found so much more.
Clearly I was very excited, and trying not to be too loud. The hotel walls were surprisingly thin. The delivery guy was lovely, although he had never delivered alcohol before, and it took him a bit to figure out how to record my ID. Yes, you do have to verify your age at the time of delivery. He also seemed miffed that I only ordered one bottle. *Shrug*
This week the boy kid and I discovered UberEATs, which doesn't deliver the wide variety of items that Postmates does, but they do deliver food to our neck of the woods, and they deliver food that we've never had access via delivery to before. It's still not as exciting as ordering Indian food for breakfast in LA, but we can have the following delivered: Indian, Thai, Teriyaki, two different Mexican restaurants, a variety of coffee shops, and classic Pub food. We also found a ton of promo codes online, so we got an immediate discount. Taxes do apply, but there is not delivery fee, and you'd have to tip the driver in person. There is no in-app option.
Both Postmates and UberEATs mark up the food items to make business possible I suppose, but the mark ups do seem to vary depending on the restaurant, so I'm guessing it's up to the individual businesses. At any rate, I loved them both in their own rights, and am hoping this trend continues. I think we may have to order again for Super Bowl Sunday, just for funzies and the sheer gluttony of it all.
I realize the grocery store is an odd thing to write about, but it's genuinely one of my favorite places to go. For many, going to the grocery store is a chore, something they plan out once or twice a month, and rush through, carefully following their well made lists. I make shopping lists of things we need, but I also love to go for 1 item, and then impulse buy 15 more. I'm not a big shopper, and food feels like a guilt-free choice, because you have to eat, right? Thankfully, my husband also enjoys the grocery store. This past weekend we dropped our kids and their friends at the roller-skating rink, and we went to not just 1, but 2 different groceries, and we purchased from both. In fact, we went to a totally different store on Sunday. We may have a problem, but look at what we found!
Do you love Mexican food? Do you love cooking shows? You probably love Rick Bayless! Did you know he has his own line of pre-packaged slow-cook sauces? I sure didn't, but I'm really excited, because I think I have a grasp on Mexican cooking, but I obviously still don't, because I had never even heard of Barbacoa growing up in New Mexico. Was this due to isolation, or a genuine lack of this style of meat. Comments encouraged...
Speaking of New Mexico, I think I've mentioned before that I never have to move back. Sure I want to visit, and you can never replace the blue skies, and beautiful balloons. That said, I don't need to return for the food. Hatch Green Chile is now being grown in my area, and roasted at our farmer's market. Also, I can buy Bueno Green Chile at the Marysville Albertsons. We even have the Autumn Roast! Recently, in an effort to reduce our waste, the Hubby and I looked at our local bulk food options, and found the above gem. It was delicious, but not overtly Green Chile flavored. I recommend to anyone looking for tasty cashews, but if you're looking for more, stop!
My favorite find this past weekend was the above pictured oatmeal. I love oatmeal. My kids love oatmeal. I respect that you may not. My mother-in-law hates oatmeal, and that's okay. That said, seeing that there were new flavor profiles was exciting, and I was super pumped about the sweet/savory Apple Cheddar Rosemary flavor. I never understood the whole American apple pie with cheese thing, and then one of my high school teachers posted about pear and cheddar pie. I had to try, because I always try everything once, and I was hooked. It's a great oatmeal flavor. I highly recommend stretching outside your usually oatmeal box.
I can count on one hand the foods I dislike, and I'll typically even eat those. Typically frugal, but I'll pay top dollar for an amazing/unique dining experience. Never passed up a free meal, which has led me to become the #36 ranked eater in Major League Eating. July 4th, 2020 will be my third time competing in the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest at Coney Island. I've been on ESPN. That's right people, I'm an athlete.