whatsinmattsbelly

Awesome Brunch…In a Bar? – Burgundian Bar in Wallingford

June 29, 2013
Leave a Comment

Before the Mariner game last week, the little lady and I wanted to take in a killer brunch. Since she works in the city now, she told me about a little spot that caught her eye as she was driving home one night. The Burgundian is a hidden gem that was completely worth the trip down to the Wallingford neighborhood.

You could pass by this bar and not even know it was there if you weren’t looking. Walking in, the walls are filled with a fantastic selection of bourbon, tequila and rums. Low lighting and dark wood tables gives the dining room a warm feel. All of the servers were very knowledgeable about the menu and were extremely pleasant.

If you had a crazy Saturday night (you know what I mean) and need some good scratch cooking to sop up that alcohol, this is a place you need to visit. They have numerous varieties of the bloody mary and all of their food is fresh, seasonal and local. Let me clarify…this is a bar, not a bar and grill. You must be 21 and over.

We Ordered:

Bonney’s Biscuit Sandwich
Your choice of fried chicken, ham, or house made sausage on a bacon white cheddar biscuit topped with two organic eggs and cream cheese Hollandaise.  Served with seasoned red skin potatoes.

Biscuits & Gravy
Bacon cheddar biscuit stuffed with house-made breakfast sausage, topped with country gravy and two organic eggs. Served with seasoned red skin potatoes.

 

If you haven’t read my previous blogs or you just don’t know me, I am kind of a biscuit snob. When I am cravin’ a biscuit, Pillsbury just don’t cut it. These were BISCUITS! And, even better, they had bacon and cheese baked in. (Seriously, drooling now thinking about them) I could tell that they take a lot of pride in the food they put out. Though the kitchen is small and we had to wait a little while longer than in a typical restaurant, but it was well worth it.

We just had the breakfast. I’m guessing since we enjoyed breakfast so much, we would also enjoy their elevated pub fare as well. Some of the dishes include: poutine, scratch-made gnocchi, house cured meats and giant burgers.

This is a place that I would definitely visit again; for breakfast or during the typical Friday night rush. This is a great place to get a drink with the boys or recover after a night of getting drinks with the boys. The Burgundian in Wallingford is a fun and casual spot to get specialty coctails and share some awesome food.

I give this bar a 4 out of 5 bellypats!

I will leave you with this joke: Two fat guys walk into a bar.

One says to the other, “Your round.”

The other says, “So are you you fat  %#$@#$!”

Thanks for reading and stay hungry my friends : )

 

http://burgundianbar.com/

 

 


Posted in Restaurants

Dude…Where’s My Fork? : Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

April 21, 2013
1 Comment

Loyal readers…lend me your palates!

It has been many months since I have blogged about my adventures in eating, but this place was so amazing that I had to share.

A few months ago, the little lady and I saw a large line forming near Lucky Strike Lanes in Lincoln Square, located in downtown Bellevue. We got closer to find a window looking in on 20 chefs making individual dumplings by hand. This immediately caught our attention.

Might this place be the next hip spot in the upscale neighborhood of Bellevue? Well, just after admiring the intricate work being put into the making of the delectable dumplings, we saw no other than Dan Wilson, former catcher of the Seattle Mariners, stroll out. That was when we knew that Din Tai Fung in Bellevue would be a great dining experience.

We thought today would be a good day to go early. The wifey and I had just completed a 5K in Renton and were craving carbs! Who eats dumplings at 10:45 in the morning on a Sunday? Apparently, a ton of people in Bellevue enjoy these tiny temptations as early as 10AM. (WARNING: Call ahead or show up early. There is always a wait!)

We were shown to our seat and greeted by a waitress who showed us the how to mix soy sauce and vinegar correctly to create the perfect dumpling dipping sauce. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and very gracious with newbies like us. All dishes ranged from $7-10 each.

Also, just as a heads up, don’t ask of a fork…you won’t get one. Soup spoons and chopsticks are provided as the only utensils. Be prepared to bring your dexterity along with your appetite.

We Ordered:

Pork Dumplings

Chicken Dumplings

Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken and Veggie Wonton Soup ….yeah…it was a lot for lunch, but we just did a 5K. We earned that feast.

First of all, I cannot stress how fresh these little pockets of joy are. The cooks make the dumplings on the spot, they go into the steamer then are served to you. Our meal was fantastic!!! I have eaten all of the items listed above at other restaurants. None of them compare to the food we sampled today. Authentic flavors in a modern environment make this establishment a great venue for a small plate and a drink after work or a night on the town with your honey.

I give this restaurant 5 out of 5 Bellypats!!!

 

Din Tai Fung Dumpling House in Bellevue is a MUST GO for anyone looking for authentic dumplings!

Was it amazing? Yes.

Was I hungry an hour  later. Yes.

Would I go back 2 hours after I ate for another round of dumplings? YES!!!

 

I will leave you with this quote:

“I am the emperor, and I want dumplings.” Emperor Ferdinand I

 

http://www.dintaifungusa.com/

 

 

 

 


Posted in Restaurants

Turkey Day Everyday: Gobble Restaurant in Woodinville

January 12, 2013
Leave a Comment

While Christmas shopping a few weeks back, the little lady and I spotted a sign on a strip mall display in Woodinville. This sign intrigued us, seeing as how it was one word: “GOBBLE“. After pointing out the sign, I raised one eyebrow and glanced at my wife….just in time to see her giving me the exact same look. Our curiosity took us to the door to puruse the menu. We found that the focus of the restaurant was…you guessed it….everything turkey on a plate.

Gobble restaurant was opened 3 months ago. The whole point of this little spot is to make you feel as if you have come home to your childhood kitchen table to enjoy your mother’s home cooked vittles. As you enter, you see kitchen tables with white legs and matching chairs. There are 4 communal tables to encourage guests to meet new people and engage in warm conversation over come cooked comfort food. There are also kitchen cabinets that have been put in the back of the restaurant, along with a bar with seating, to complete the kitchen experience.

The only protein on the menu is turkey. There is an amazing selection of tantalizing turkey treats to choose from including: the classic turkey platter with all the fixins, sandwiches, salads and soups. They even have turkey italian sausage sammies and turkey bacon on their BLT’s. They also serve giant turkey legs for all your inner cavemen OR current King Felix fans.

We enjoyed:

Carved Roasted Turkey Platter (comes with stuffing, gravy, 2 sides and cranberry sauce)

Turkey Meatloaf Plate (Mashed Potatoes, gravy and 2 sides)

How do I describe this…hmmm.  I don’t know if you culinary carnivores out there have seen Disney film Ratatouille. When the evil food critic (whom I am nothing like ….I swear….no way I have ever been that thin….heheh) finds himself flashing back to his mother’s kitchen after sampling a favorite and satisfying  dish…that is what this plate of food felt like to me.

All of the turkey is roasted fresh daily. All soups and dishes are made from scratch and are done the right well. The owner himself came by to ask about our experience and how we like the food. He said that his mission is to serve good food with healthy options and never let a customer leave hungry. We certainly did not leave hungry….we left with a doggy bag of deliciousness.

This is a local, one-of-a-kind business that depends on repeat customers. If you find yourself in April looking for a good Thanksgiving plate but have no desire to make a turkey to get it, this place will hit the spot. We will most certainly be back to sample more varieties of this amazing bird. Gobble Restaurant, I give thanks for you…what an awesome and unique concept.

I give this delightful little place 3 1/2 bellypats!!

I will leave you with this quote: I can’t cook a Thanksgiving dinner. All I can make is cold cereal and maybe toast – Charlie Brown

Snack Responsibly Everyone!!

http://gobblerestaurant.com/#

 

 


Posted in Restaurants

Lovin’ Sammiches: Tom Douglas’ Rub with Love Shack

January 3, 2013
Leave a Comment

Date night in downtown Seattle is always fun for me and the Mrs. I stumbled upon this new sandwich shop wandering around Pike Place in the evening. It was closed at the time because it keeps lunch hours of 11-6. I am so glad we went back, because I have been raving about the Rub with Love Shack ever since.

The Rub with Love Shack is located past the tourist attractions by Pike Place Market. You know what I mean. Everyone, tourist or not, seems to gather around Beecher’s Cheese. A little further down the road, the tourists crowd in to get their fix at the original Starbucks. Walk 2 blocks past these landmarks and you will hit this tiny, (it is, in the title, a shack) yet delicious, establishment.

Outside the storefront are tables and chairs for outside seating. The only seating in the shack itself is a counter that faces out toward the patio sitting area. Though it is small, the counter and the patio provide premium views for ferry/people watching.

When you enter, you are welcomed by the friendly staff and a heavenly aroma of spice mixtures. Tom Douglas has a line of dry marinades known as “Rub with Love”. (You usually see them in small tubs in the grocery store…or in my case, in the Christmas presents of some of my friends…hope you are enjoying them M&S : ))

The shack is also a store where over 20 of these spice rubs are sold. In order to taste some of them before you buy them, however, you can order an enormous (about 8 inches) sandwich cooked with these scrumptious spices at an amazingly reasonable price.

The Wifey and I Ordered:

Peri Peri Turkey Sandwich  $7.50

Ancho Molasses BBQ Chicken Sandwich  $7.50

You have to understand…all this place does is roast different cuts of meat with spice blends. They have a small menu, which ensures fantastic quality with these yummy bundles of meat. You are also able to order their roasted meat by the pound for banquets and parties (Yeah, I’m thinking bout ordering catering from this spot….don’t have any events to order it for…..but I really don’t care.)

I would eat one of these sandwiches each day for lunch if I could. (I don’t think my wallet would object to that statement as much as my doctor would) If you are down by the market and prefer a sub to the fresh seafood, strut on down to the Rub with Love Shack. You’ll thank me when you do.

What a fantastic product for a great value. Tom Douglas…you brilliant bastard and savvy sammich shop owner…I tip my cap to you yet again.

I give this restaurant 4 out of 5 bellypats!

I’ll leave you with a thought…depending on which one you get, a Subway sandwich can be up to 10 dollars. Just sayin’.

 

http://tomdouglas.com/index.php?page=take-away-2


Posted in Restaurants

Lights, Camera, Action!! The Majestic Cafe

June 29, 2012
Leave a Comment

The little lady and I took a journey north and ended up strolling through the streets of downtown Everett. We saw the large, inviting sign of the Majestic Cafe and knew it was the place that would hit the spot with a “home cooked favorite”.

We entered the fairly modern establishment and asked for a menu. The manager assured us that all of the comfort food favorites featured on their menu were made from scratch and any substitutions could be made to accommodate allergies or certain dietary needs. Though I had no need to alter any of the food preparation, I loved having that offered as I walked in the door. It made me feel like they really wanted us to enjoy our experience.

Entering the dining room, you see a gorgeous bar that reminded me of an old ticket booth at a classic matinée house. The restaurant has a mix of modern decor and vintage movie posters.

The menu included classic comfort foods such as Beef Stroganoff, Pork Tenderloin, Fried Chicken and Mac and Cheese.

__________________________________________________________

We ordered:

Majestic Pot Roast

Tender, slow-cooked roast beef roasted with a base of carrots, onions & celery.

Served with roasted garlic smashed potatoes, herbed beef gravy & vegetable.

Roast Chicken Dinner

Half of a de-boned herb roasted chicken with a mushroom marsala sauce.

Served with roasted garlic smashed potatoes & vegetable.

_________________________________________________________

I rarely see any restaurant that offers pot roast because I know how long it takes to do pot roast justice. Let me tell you….usually I wait about a day after I eat at a new spot before I blog, but I was so impressed with the quality of the meal that I had to come home and write while I was still in my food coma.

The portions were enormous and the meat was so tender that it fell apart off my fork before I could get it to my mouth. (Seriously, it was embarrassing) The meal was a little more than I usually would like to pay, but the quality of the food and the familiar flavors brought me right back to the memory of my mom’s home cooked goodness. This is stick-to-your-gut food! I will be full for 2 days! Well…..maybe until lunch tomorrow for me : )

The Majestic Cafe in Everett is a SMASH at my box office in flavor town. The yummness factor was through the roof and I will definitely be going back to sample more of their home cooked favorites. Blockbuster of a Gutbuster!  Bravo!!

I leave you with yet another one of my favorite quotes:

“ I really don’t think I need buns of steel.  I’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.”    ~  Ellen DeGeneres

http://www.themajesticcafe.com/about.php


Posted in Restaurants

I See Skies of Blue: Indigo Kitchen and Alehouse

May 26, 2012
Leave a Comment

Starting a food blog has its perks. Aside from my overwhelming following of about 20 people and my escalating fame in the northern Seattle area, I often have a fan suggest a new restaurant where I should “get my eat on”.

I owe my latest excursion into the restaurant world to my summer boss, Courtney. He and his wife had recently dined at Indigo Kitchen and Alehouse in Lynnwood and raved about the yumm factor.

The wifey and I entered this small but stylin’ establishment yesterday afternoon for a late lunch. There were plenty of tables for family dining but a substantial bar for late night snackin’ ad sippin’. The waitresses were very friendly and helpful when we had trouble making our final decision about our meal.

The menu includes many comfort food classics like meatloaf, jambalaya, fish and chips, roasted chicken and a modern mac and cheese. There are also daily drink specials and nicely priced appetizers.

We ordered:

Meatloaf Sandwich* – House meatloaf topped with haystack onions, BBQ mayo and
cheddar cheese $9.99

Southern Fried Chicken – Buttermilk battered crispy breast of chicken topped with jalapeno chorizo cream gravy. Served with red jacket garlic mashed potatoes and veggies. $11.99

Both dishes were fantastic. Everything was made from scratch and the presentation was very nice. The nice this is that even though we went for lunch, the dinner prices, which include bigger portions of the same lunches, are not very much more expensive.

The little lady (my foodie accomplice) and I will most definitely be heading back to try more of this trendy comfort food. Indigo Kitchen and Alehouse is definitely a hidden pot of gold at the end of an blue colored rainbow.

I give this place 5 Bellypats!

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes:  “Eat every meal as though it was your last.”

Take care : )

http://www.indigowa.com/


Omlette a-go-go! Voula’s Offshore Cafe

May 16, 2012
Leave a Comment

A few weeks back.The little lady and I were out taking family pics at the UW campus on a Sunday.  My mom hitched a ride with us. On the way home, we were starving. The wifey suggested we visit Voula’s Offshore Cafe, which is a short distance from the Ballard Bridge.

We have tried to visit this diner a few times on various weekends, but we  have always struck out because of the 45 min. to 1 hour wait for the brunch crowd. Also, it became incredibly popular after being visited by the Food Network hit show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

This place is the essence of an adorable greasy spoon diner: open kitchen in front, small bar counter and seating for probably no more than 50 or so.

The Mrs. and I went to order and asked the waitress what she recommended. Her preferences sounded so spectacular that we just went with them.

We ordered:

THE ODDINATOR…………………………………………………..10.25

Our in-house smoked pork, mushrooms, green onions, and Swiss cheese

topped with BBQ sauce.

SMOKEY THE SALMON………………………………………..10.75

Three eggs scrambled with our in-house smoked Alaskan King salmon,

cream cheese and green onions. Served with hashbrowns and toast.

BOOOYAAA VOOOOUUULAAAAA!    Yup, I just said it. That was an omlette. I had the Oddinator and I could only finish about half. If y’all know me and know how much I love my pulled pork, that is definitely noteworthy when considering the size of this dish.

My momma also enjoyed her breakfast….though hers was not nearly as adventurous as a dish as ours. Love ya ma!

I give this place 4 1/2 out of 5 Bellypats!!!

This little establishment has been in it’s spot, pretty much under the ship canal bridge, for many many years. They know breakfast and they do it well. If you are in the mood for good breakfast fare and a classic dive feel, hit up Voula’s Offshore Cafe for breakfast or brunch. You’ll email me to thank me later. : )

http://voulasoffshore.com/

This is Matt signing off:  Remember…you are what you eat my friends….so avoid the fruits and the nuts.  : )


Brick Walls and Bar Food: Vintage Cafe in Everett

April 8, 2012
Leave a Comment

The lady and I ended up in downtown Everett today around lunchtime. We drove around near the Comcast Arena area when we spotted a cute little diner/bar called the Vintage Cafe.

As you enter, you are greeted by each member of the staff and welcomed by warm, all-brick walls. Stained glass window accents and Tiffany lamps help bring you back to what feels like the prohibition era.

Sitting down to order, there was a great selection of happy hour (3-6pm) appetizers and drink specials. We gathered that this is where the restaurant makes its money…before and after Silvertip games and events at the arena. There was a fair variety of entrée items on the menu as well; mostly sandwiches and a few breakfast choices. All of the items for meals were below $10…which made my wallet happy : ).

We ordered:

Monte Christo Sandwich w/ fries

Chicken Dip w/ Swiss and Mushrooms w/ fries

Though this place would be considered, in my eyes, the definition of a “hole in the wall”, the food was pretty darn good. The chicken was moist and well prepared. The sandwich was topped with carved, fresh turkey and the fries were flavorful without being greasy. You also get quite the generous portion for what you pay for. I took half of my sandwich home and, for those of you who know me, know that I do not leave food on my plate.

I would highly recommend this little place if you are looking to have a few libations and some hearty bar fare before/after your next hockey game. (Located 3 blocks from Comcast Arena) As for dinner, there are probably better options in the Everett downtown area.

Overall, a positive experience.

I give this establishment 3 1/2 Bellypats.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/vintage-cafe-everett


Posted in Restaurants

Well Butter My Biscuits!!! : Serious Biscuit

March 25, 2012
Leave a Comment

Yesterday, The little lady and I heard about a relatively new restaurant in South Lake Union owned by Tom Douglas. Tom Douglas owns a variety of successful eateries in the area and is known for his creative dishes and local ingredients.

This modern spot, called Serious Biscuit,  uses the kitchen of Serious Pie (same location) to prepare whimsical interpretations of breakfast standard sandwiches.

When you walk in the door, the feeling of home takes a tight hold on your senses. The aroma a fresh biscuits and jams fills the split-level restaurant as you step to the counter to order.

The menu includes many combinations of superior, local ingredients such as: Beecher’s cheeses, Hill’s Farm bacon and freshly prepared, sandwich sized biscuits. (excessive salivation break………)

The wifey and I sampled:

*Homemade ham, egg, beecher’s cheddar, apple mustard biscuit $8

*Fried chicken, tabasco black pepper gravy biscuit – $8

*Side of Kentucky bourbon & bacon baked beans – $3

Let me tell you something;  if you think a breakfast sandwich with your morning coffee from McDonald’s hits the spot, you will never be the same once you eat at this biscuit bar. Serious biscuit serves Texas style biscuits, which are tender, flakey and full of butter. Butter equals flavor and I got smacked in the face by flavor this morning.

The  one negative I found: There is a counter downstairs to order breakfast sandwiches and a few sides. The top floor, which had a hostess sand at the bottom of the stairs, seemed vacant and closed. Because of this, we assumed that the top-level was only open during the dinner service of Serious Pie. Since the top floor seemed deserted, we ordered our sammies downstairs and grabbed a small table. We were then told that there was an expanded menu upstairs and we would also be waited on. We headed up after ordering and asked the hostess if we could have a seat. We were abruptly told that, “Since you ordered downstairs, you need to stay downstairs.” I found this comment to be extremely rude, considering Serious Biscuit is a small business and we were first time diners.

This confusion of upstairs/downstairs ordering causes awkward conversations and large groups of people gathering in the entryway, where people are trying to order/eat. I would suggest that the management makes a better effort to resolve the chaos that might ensue during a breakfast rush.

Overall, the food was delicious and freshly prepared. The service, aside from the negative comments from the hostess, was very fun and energetic.

I would give this restaurant 4 out of 5 bellypats.  Bravo Tom Douglas….you  baited your line with a breakfast fare fit for a king at a modest price. Thanks to your bountiful biscuts, you have landed me hook, line and sinker!

http://seriouspiewestlake.com/index.php?page=dahllia-workshop


Posted in Restaurants

Southern Yummm-fort: Toulouse Petit

March 24, 2012
Leave a Comment

Last Sunday, the little lady and I were in downtown Seattle during the dinner rush. Using fantastic smart-phone technology, we stumbled upon a restaurant that specialized in creole cooking and supposedly, an incredible happy hour.

We arrived at Toulouse Petit, located at the bottom of Queen Anne Hill. From the outside, you would have no idea this place was a place to eat. Below a small sign on the building is what appears to be an abandoned doorway. The walls of this tiny establishment were lined with hundreds of illuminated tealights.

The wifey and I sat in the dining room to peruse the menu. There was a vast selection of meals, including many southern staples: Jambalaya, Seafood Gumbo, Shrimp and Grits and Duck Con Fit (all entrees priced between $15-$22)

Though the dinner prices were fair, we migrated toward the bar for the daily happy hour, which peaked our initial interest in the restaurant. After a $3 minimum drink order, we were able to pick from 50 tapas (appetizers) portions of the  dinner menu selections. All of these tapas were only $5-$7 each.

We sampled:  Spicy Lamb Sliders, Cajun Meatloaf Sliders, Potato Frites with Olive Oil Aeoli, Pork Cheeks, Chicken Gumbo and Buttermilk Fried Chicken Bites.

Well spank me and call me Susan! This was by far some of the best food I had ever eaten. The multiple layers of flavor and freshness of the ingredients came through in every bite.

Last, but certainly no least…..Butterscotch Banana Cream Pie. I do not like banana cream pie, but my other half loves it. I assumed I would take my usual spot picking off the whipped cream and eating the remainder of the crust when she was done. WROOONGOOO! This pie was effin’ amazing! Every bite I took earned me a furious glare from the little lady….but I just kept right on partaking. (insert maniacal laugh here)

Toulouse Petit is a loud, fun and casual spot where you can kick back with the boys, or enjoy an upscale meal with the whole family. Given the extensive selection of food and alcohol and on-point pricing, we will definitely be frequenting this haunt again.

I give this establishment 5 out of 5 bellypats!

Bon Appetit! Southern Yummmfort lives on in Downtown Seattle!

http://toulousepetit.com/


Posted in Restaurants