whatsinmattsbelly

Ballard Burger Bliss – Lil’ Woody’s Burgers

December 28, 2016
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Hello Foodie Friends!

I have missed you. Sometimes you just get in a rut of eating at those same, familiar haunts that you love. There is nothing wrong with that, but every once in a while, you venture out and find a gem of a place that will likely become a new fave when in the area. This one is Lil’ Woody’s Burgers in Ballard.

The little lady wanted a cupcake from Cupcake Royale. If you know where these 5 locations are, you know that it as least a 25 minute drive to obtain this specific sugar rush.(Let it be known that we have driven further than that for a cupcake in the past.) I new that I would need a satisfying lunch to accompany this treat. When we got to the cupcakery (yup, that IS a word, even though my spell check says it is not) in Ballard, we noticed a little hole-in-the-wall next to the shop that we had been hearing about. We heard they made the best burgers around. So, we decided to try Lil’ Woody’s Burgers.

Walking in, the restaurant has the menus on the wall to help you order as you wait in line. You can either choose one of their signature burgers, or build your own. All burgers are about 8 to 10 bucks. They have vintage sodas, milkshakes and the best back-cracking chairs in the world.(You know the ones I’m talking about…the hard, plastic ones you sat in when you were in grade school that you could lean back and hear your back pop from neck to waist)

We Ordered:

The Pendleton

Side of Hand-Cut Fries – $3.00

Salted Caramel Shake (Made with local Full Tilt Ice Cream) – $6.00

After all was said and done, we spend about as much as we would going to Red Robin, but had a much better, and fresher product!  I tasted both burgers and I would order them both again in a heartbeat. These are definitely 3-4 napkin burgers. Don’t be afraid to be that carnivore you were born to be….get after it!

The fries and the shake were also money well spent. If you go to this little place, make sure you get these side dishes and you will not be disappointed.

I would give this new, delicious burger joint 5 out of 5 bellypats!!!

Lil’ Woody’s is a great gathering place for good food and shakes. Hope you all enjoy.

http://lilwoodys.com/

A wise man once said…

“When life throws you a burger, EAT IT!”

Stay hungry my friends!

-Matt : )

 

 

 

 


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Marysville Cash Money ‘Cue – Jeff’s Texas BBQ

July 3, 2016
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Going out exploring on a random Saturday, as the wifey and I often do, we found ourselves close to the outlet mall near the Tulalip. Being a holiday weekend with large crowds told us that blowing money on clearance prices was not in our future that day.

As we exited the lots of crazy shoppers with too much cash to spend on Coach bags, the little lady remembered a new ‘cue joint that had been posted on one of her Facebook Foodie Groups. Being the sleuths of sustenance that we are, we decided to find this place. In a small strip mall on the main drag of Marysville, we found Jeff’s Texas BBQ.

Walking in, you are greeted by a friendly staff at the cutting counter. The aroma of freshly cut and smoked meats filled my nostrils and started me salivating. The meats are chalked up above the counter and are marked off after they run out. There is nothing more telling of a good BBQ joint than once it is gone, it’s gone for the day. There are no microwaves or freezers to make sure all of the product they put out is fresh and of the highest quality.

We ordered:

  • The Big Tray (Hefty portion of brisket and 2 sides of baked beans) 

 

This meal was not cheap, but in my opinion, good bbq depends on the time and love put into it, which makes it well worth paying a little more for better quality.

I was able to pick what cut of brisket I wanted (either the fatty side or the lean side) which I have never been able to do at any restaurant.

The Brisket was melt-in your-mouth amazing. Some of the best I have had…and if you follow my blogs, you know I dig the brisket.

The Beans! Oh my god the beans! I called the owner over to ask him about what he put in the beans. We found out that not only does he use pineapple as one of his natural sweeteners, but he also smokes the beans for 4 hours to give the brisket beans their deep, sweet taste. As someone once described amazing bbq to me, these beans are ,”slap your mama good”. The wifey and I agreed that these are the best baked beans we have had at ANY RESTAURANT! That’s right readers….these are at the top of my chart…so you gotta go and gobble ’em up!

I really appreciated the friendly service and conversation with the owners and the staff. It was not busy at the time, but I have a feeling that Jeff makes an effort to check on his guests and keeps them very happy.

This happy camper gives this small bbq gem 5 out of 5 bellypats!

Only being open for 6 months, I will definitely be returning to this hidden treasure soon so that it can continue to grow and sell more delicious and decadent vittles. If you are in the Marysville area and you want smoked meat, visit Jeff’s Texas BBQ. You will not be disappointed.

http://www.jeffstexasstylebbq.com/

“It ain’t good BBQ unless you get some on you!”

Until next time, stay hungry my friends!

Matt : )

 

 

 

 

 


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Where There’s Smoke, There I Be! Cask and Trotter Barbecue

April 9, 2016
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In mid-February, the wifey informed me of a new barbecue restaurant making it’s way to Lynnwood. To all my readers, you know I have never turned away a chicken wing or brisket that would have me. So, naturally, my interest was peaked. This establishment has been ranked in the top 10 barbecue in the NW for the last few years. It was time that we checked out Cask and Trotter Barbecue in Lynnwood.

This restaurant has had a few names in the past 3 years. It is formerly Maddox Grill and Rivals Sports Bar. It sits in a relatively unseen location on Highway 99 near motorcycle dealers and auto scrap yards. Can’t find it? Just follow your nose!

Walking through the front doors, you are greeted by the friendly staff and the overwhelming aroma of smoked meat. There is full bar, a pool table and a kind of make-shift man cave with leather couches and game systems. On the outer perimeter, you have booths that complete the restaurant. Large TV’s on the wall make this a great spot for your next Hawks get together or March Madness bracket party.

Perusing the menu, I was amazed with the variety of smoked meats, sides and platter options. As we weighed our options,  the owner stopped by and let us know that all meats are smoked in house and that once they are out of something, they are out of it for the day. He also let me know that there was nor freezer in the place, making all food fresh to the day.

They have an amazing happy hour where they will do sliders of each meat for $4 and all sides are between $3-4. It is a great place to have a lot of little plates to try all of their flavorful and mouthwatering meats. They also had large portions in the forms of full sandwiches and platters.

The wifey and I have had:

Pulled pork, brisket and pastrami, yes..smoked pastrami sliders

Smoked chicken wings

hand cut fires

Baked beans with bits of smoked meat.

All 3 homemade BBQ suaces

You know how when you go to a great bbq place that the sauce and the flavor kinda stay on your fingers and linger for a few hours, even after you wash them? This is what makes you crave the deliciousness more after you have left. Cask and Trotter is that place!! You can taste the quality of the food in each bite of meat you consume and each drop of sauce you sop up off of your plate.

I give this smokey and scrumptious establishment 5 Bellypats!

This has, and will continue to be, one of my frequent haunts. Go visit cask and Trotter in Lynnwood. Have a wing for your boy, or if you plan on going, hit up my phone and I’ll come join you 🙂

http://caskandtrotter.com/

 

I want to end this blog with a quote from my favorite BBQ critic:

“Strong the sauce in this one truly is.” – Yoda

 

Stay Hungry My Friends,

Matt : )

 

 


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Pastrami Heaven: Barney’s Pastrami in Everett

December 26, 2015
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Oh my fellow foodies…it is good to be back! Though I have been to a great deal of restaurants since my last post (like forever and a half ago), I felt the need to share this magnificent find that I visited during my holiday break (one of the many perks of the teaching profession).

I heard about this hole in the wall from a travel network program about “Sandwich Heaven”. This sandwich shop is known for their “Original Pastrami Dip”. You have to check out Barney’s Pastrami in Everett.

Thank the food gods that I have GPS on my phone. Without it, I would have missed this place. Barney’s Pastrami is located in a small strip mall on Evergreen Way in Everett. They are only open from 11-4 each day, so it’s hard for a sandwich savant like myself to get a delicious sammich on a weekday. (seeing as how I am molding young minds and all)

I will not lie, this place is the definition of a HOLE IN THE WALL. Disclaimer: This is definitely not the place to take a girl/guy to impress them on a first date. There is a main counter, behind which Barney, the silver haired man himself, greets you with a warm hello. The lobby is lined with small space heaters and plastic, patio furniture lined with green plaid tablecloths. On the wall are pictures of celebrities that have been framed. Below each of the frames is a small name tag to identify celebrity;  each star having their first names swapped out with the first name “Barney” (EX: Barney Sinatra). This made me laugh as I was waiting to order.

Barney’s is a one man operation. After he takes your order, he works and hums happily behind the counter as he fixes your sandwich.

I Ordered:

The Classic – 1/2 pound pastrami on a fresh hoagie roll with mustard and pickles.  (You can add cheese for 50 cents)

I love pastrami. It is my favorite meat to put on a sammich (and yes I know that is not how it is said, but when I talk about an amazing sandwich, I use the word sammich!) Try using in a daily conversation. It always gets a fun reaction.

Anyway, this was one of the top 3 pastrami sammies I have eaten! The meat is peppered and hot when you unwrap the sammich. Barney uses and delicious mustard spread and makes sure the cheese is melted a bit before serving it to you. Lastly, the bread is fresh and it holds up to the meat. What i mean is when I went to eat the other half of the sammich, the bread was not soggy.

This is an amazing lunch jewel in Everett. Barney only takes CASH and he DOES get busy! Make sure you get in early so you can taste some of the best pastrami around.

I would rate this delicious dive 4 out of 5 bellypats!

This aint the “I love you, you love me” Barney. NO WAY! This is a “I love meat, c’mon let’s eat” Barney! Make sure you visit Barney’s Pastrami in Everett.

Until next time, stay hungry my friends!

Matt : )

http://www.yelp.com/biz/barneys-pastrami-everett

 

 

 


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BBQ Bliss – Roro BBQ in Wallingford

March 9, 2014
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Hello my tens of faithful readers!

I know it has been quite some time since I have posted, and I have no excuse. I have been enjoying a cornucopia of cuisine and not posting my recommendations. Fear not…I am back and ready to eat…for my fans!

The day started out like any other Sunday at the Condo; trying to figure a yummy spot for lunch. The little lady and I decided on Pinky’s, which is a food truck permanently parked in a parking lot across from Dick’s Burgers in Wallingford. If you have never been there…you NEED to try their BBQ as well.  When we got there, there was not parking…not cool.

The wifey remembered hearing about a place that was about two miles away, which also has amazing smoked goodness. It was Roro BBQ in Wallingford.

We drove up to a tiny, red shack on the side of the road. I had passed by it a million times before on my way to the Fremont Market, but had never stopped to look at what it was. If you go hunting, be careful…you may miss it. From the outside, it looks like a rundown, old building with a pick-up window and a sandwich board, showing the specials for the day.

We entered to see a fun use of kitschy, western memorabilia (even the bathrooms are labeled “cowgirls” and “cowboys”) covering the walls. The cozy restaurant has 4 tables and 2 counters; for you to belly up to for brisket and a brew.

I perused the menu hanging above the kitchen window, from which magical smells were emanating. I saw a nice variety of BBQ favorites (pulled pork, brisket, hot links, smoked turkey) and even a veggie option of a smoked, pulled portabello mushroom sandwich. What caught my eye, and what I ordered, was something I had never seen done on any other smokehouse menu:

Me and the wifey had the:

BBQ SUNDAE         9.95

Choice of meat (brisket, pork, chicken) and two sides layered parfait style in a huge sundae dish. Topped with colesalw, pickles and BBQ sauce. Served with cornbread.

I ordered the smoked brisket to be layered with BBQ baked beans and Mac n’ Cheese on top.

Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod!!!!! (I typed this out because writing OMG 8 times would not do this justice.)

What an amazing idea! What a delicious result. It was like having a plate of BBQ at any other joint but all blended together. All of the meat and the sides are made in-house and accompanied by 5 scratch made BBQ sauces that sit atop each table.

This was a phenomenal phoooood experience (I think this is my new word for ridiculously good grub…food with a PH. Whaddayathink?) and I will definitely be returning. I give this place 5 Bellypats!!!

Now that you know know, go go get you some finger lickin’ goodness down at Roro BBQ in Wallingford.

As my wife always says, ” It ain’s good barbecue ‘less you get some on ya!” Go get some!

rorobbqseattle.com

Enjoy your next meal and stay hungry my friends!!

Matt : )


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Philly Cheesesteak Back Again: Philly Fever

December 8, 2012
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Ok loyal readers, listen up. There is a delicious secret being kept on the back side of Capital Hill. It is where I get my Philly cheese steak fix. My BFF, who recently visited Philly, says that this place is as authentic as making the trek to city of brotherly love. Let me introduce you to Philly Fevre.

This spot is where my best friend takes me when he needs a break from his girlfriend’s vegetarian lifestyle. This is my first time writing a review that does not include my wife accompanying me on my adventures to Yummtown. Thanks for getting me out of the house Brad! Hahaha!

First of all, you can drive by this place very easily. It is located in an old brick building beneath a white and green striped awning. The outside looks as if this mecca of monstrous meat sammies has been abandoned for years.

Ok, I’m not going to sugar coat this…this place is a hole. The walls are wood panelled, the booths are taped together and the decor is…well…vintage at best. But Philly phanatics know that finding the perfect cheese steak requires some sacrifice. The atmosphere is the sacrifice. The staff is friendly and the food is to die for.

I usually get:

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich (Choice of meat and cheese) I go with the Wiz! You gotta!

Large basket of Crinkle Cut Fries

Soda : All for around  $11.00

NonNomNomness! So delicious! This is true stick-to-your-gut food. This sandwich comes with a free, much needed, nap upon completion.

I give this place 3 Bellypats

Authentic Philly at a great price. Please go down and visit Philly Fevre in Madison Park.

I will leave you with this quote:

“Few people truly understand a good sandwich” – James Beard

http://www.phillysteakshop.com/home.html

P.S. – Anyone who can name the music reference in the title of this post, message me and you will get a free high-5, from your portly purveyor of provisions. : )


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Fresh, Fat Slices – Ballard Pizza Company

November 10, 2012
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The wifey’s former boss told us about a hot new spot to grab a slice and a beer in the Ballard bar area. He swore by these pies and said he would eat pizza nowhere else. These comments, of course, peaked my culinary curiosity. We set out to find the Ballard Pizza Company.

During the day, as you would expect, the bar scene in Ballard is pretty desolate. There is very little foot traffic and many businesses open later to accommodate early drinkers and late night snackers. We set out for a taste of yumminess around lunch time. From the outside, the building looks newer than most of the businesses on the street. At first, however, it was hard to tell if the place was open. The lights inside are kept dim and are spotlighted on the line chefs, preparing all of the scruptious slices being prepared for hungry foodies…like myself.

Since the restaurant has only been open for about six months, all of the decor, wood tables, floors and banquet room are pristine. The lights give this casual eatery an intimate feel, even though there may be a soccer party taking place in the back room.

We ordered at the counter, where we could pick from any of the 5 enormous slices available. (Which change daily) These slices are a steal at only $3 EACH!!! You can also choose to order your own whole food frisbee of flavor for $13-20! (price changes w/ toppings added) A great selection of salads is also available to accompany you on your journey to flavor town. (Yes, I just used one of Guy Fieri’s classic catch phrases…I asked him if I could…he’s cool with it : ) )

All toppings and ingredients are fresh and local. There is a nice selection of beers and wines to go with your saucy slices.

We had:

1 Slice of Pepperoni – $3

1 Slice of  Cheese – $3

1 Slice of Hawaiian (Pineapple and ham) – $3

Taste-sational! Not only was this one of the cheapest meals that I have eaten since I have begun blogging, but it was also one of the tastiest. They crust is thin and crispy and heated up in the oven to perfection when you order by the slice.

Now, I am a die-hard pizza lover….I admit it….not ashamed. There is just something about the cheese mixture they put on this pizza. I don’t know what it is…but I was craving more in about an hour.

I would definitely recommend this purveyor of slices and suds. This budget friendly and chill atmosphere is a must if you are looking for a new place to hang with a group of friends, or if you are just trying to sop up the alcohol from a fun night out. Make sure you visit the Ballard Pizza Company.

I give this delicious spot 4 out of 5 bellypats!

I think I may need to clarify my rating system for my new and growing(hopefully) fan base.

Bellypats:

1 – Don’t go

2 – You can go, but don’t expect too much

3 – Go, I liked it and you might also if you are in the area.

4 – GO! I really liked it and you should go even if you are not in the area

5MUST GO! I love this place and I will frequent it because it is a great price, a  great atmosphere and amazing food for the value

 

Until next time my foodie followers…

If you are going to enjoy delicious food, do so with the ones you love…or else there might be some awkward conversation. : )

http://www.ballardpizzacompany.com/


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Money in the Bank: 13 Coins Restaurant

October 6, 2012
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Ok loyal followers, I have a gem for you today.

The little lady and I had gotten an Amazon coupon deal about a month ago.

Sidebar: Who ever came up with the brilliant idea of Groupon/Livingsocial/EverettHarold Deals/Amazon Deals…I tip my cap to you good sir/sister. Because of you, I have been able to indulge and experiment with food and activities I might not have if I had to pay full price. It is also a great tool for finding hidden gems in this city that I love so much. (If one of these companies would like to sponsor me on my journey to achieve my next chowgasm, I would willingly accept)  : )

Back to the task at hand. The deal was at a place named 13 Coins Restaurant in the South Lake Union area of Seattle.  It apparently has been voted by Food Network as a TOP 5 Restaurant in the nation that is open 24 hours.

When we entered, we were kindly greeted and shown to our seats. I would describe this place as a diner that has been, “schwankified”. (New word for Oxford Dictionary?) The leather upholstered booths have been extended almost up to the ceiling, making your dining experience much more cozy. Even the bar chars look like those rolling, comfy office chairs. There is classic bar seating where you can watch the busy cooks in the open kitchen. There is also a bar area that offers a great array of colorful concoctions and delicious appetizers. It almost reminded me of a small spekeasy…like I wouldn’t have found it if I wasn’t told about it or rollin’ with a certain crowd.

The menu was extensive. 13 Coins is apparently famous for its incredible breakfasts or food that helps sop up alcohol after a night on the town.  appetizers.

We ordered:

 Monte Cristo:

Texas Toast filled with thin sliced turkey, ham and swiss cheese, dipped in cinnamon batter, and griddled golden. Served with fresh strawberry jam. 12.99

Luncheon Chicken Parmesean

Breaded and pan-fried, served with cream sauce, melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese. 13.99

Badda Bing! I had never eaten chicken parmesan with a cream sauce before, but man was it amazing! The monte cristo was also extremely tasty. I would order both dishes again in a heartbeat. However, considering how vast the menu is, I will more than likely sample one of the other enticing entrees on my next visit.

The quality of the food is extremely high and the staff is fantastic. This little gem of a high-class diner has been doing classic comfort food the right way since the 60’s.  13 Coins Restaurant is a great spot for a casual and/or upscale gathering with the family or a late night out with the boys.

I give this “schwanky” spot a 5 out of 5 Bellypats.

I’ll leave you with this quote from one of my favorite comedians:

“Pepperidge Farm bread… that’s fancy bread. You can tell it’s fancy because it’s wrapped twice. You open it, and it still isn’t open. That’s why I don’t buy it. I don’t need another step between me and toast.”
Mitch Hedberg

Happy Eating to All!

http://www.13coins.com/index.php


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So Raise A Pint!! : Atlantic Crossing Neighborhood Pub

August 28, 2012
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As we do, the little lady and I were looking for a new spot near the downtown area to score some good “nom nom” for lunch.

We saw a place driving through the Roosevelt area called the Atlantic Crossing Neighborhood Pub and stopped to give it a go.

Walking in, we were greeted with a friendly hello from the bubbly waitress/bartender. The Atlantic Crossing is a modestly sized bar with booths for dining and a stage for live music. They have a few dart boards place is decorated with soccer memorabilia wall-to-wall. There are about 4 large screen TV’s for local sports games, and of course, soccer matches. (Official MLS Soccer Pub)

Yes, we were hungry….just keep that in mind.  We ordered:

Guinness Beef Stew

Beer Battered Fish & Chips

Flatbread 5 cheese (BBQ Chicken)

Homemade Tortilla Chips and Salsa

Hail to the Queen!  All of the food was fantastic because all of the ingredients were fresh and well treated.  This is among the top 3 fish and chips I have had in my life! The wifey and I were both impressed by the beef stew. It had the homey feeling of coming in out of the snow to a hot bowl of soup that mom had just set down. (I was totally the kid in the Campbell’s Christmas commercial.)

The flat bread was amazing and the chips…well, as you can imagine from my 12 pack of a gut, I am a sucker for chips.

With 2 drinks, our total was around 30 bucks. For what we got, it was an amazing bargain. We found out later that it was voted “Best in Western Washington” Neighborhood Bar.

If you are in the mood for high quality pub grub, please check out the Atlantic Crossing Neighborhood Pub. Great prices and a large selection of appetizers and brews make this neighborhood hangout a hot spot for soccer fans and foodies alike.

I give this watering hole 4 1/2 out of 5 Bellypats

GOAL!!!

I leave you with this quote: Fun-sized Snickers? Who’s this fun for? Not me. I need six or seven of these babies in a row to start having fun.
Jeff Carlin

http://www.theatlanticcrossing.com/

 

 

 


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Stand Up and Salute: Americana Cafe on Capitol Hill

July 28, 2012
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Hello all. I am sorry I have not written for quite a while and rmy eaders have been hungry for new restaurants to try. Well here we go…

I visited this definition of a “hole in the wall” on the 4th of July. (Ok…its been a really long time since I have blogged, but this one was worth waiting for.) The wifey and I always look for something to do on the 4th during the day. We got a groupon for the Americana Cafe on Capitol Hill and we decided nothing would be more patriotic on our day of independence.

When trying to find the place, we passed by it twice because the sign was small…I guess to match the cafe. We went for brunch and the place was bustling with business. We sat outside to enjoy the sun.

Being the 4th of July, 2 of the waitresses had called in sick (I assume to enjoy the weather and the festivities). Our waiter, Justin, was amazing!! He was the only one serving that day and he still took incredible care of us, even though the cafe was incredibly understaffed. I had to mention his name because he made our experience wonderful.

I perused the menu and decided exactly what I wanted after reading 2 items. We had:

MAPLE GLAZED PORK BELLY (Me)
with corn and mozzarella pancake and scallion scrambled eggs.

THE EAST COAST (The Better Half)
grilled bread spread with cream cheese and topped with dill scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, red onions and capers. served with potatoes.

I licked my plate clean! They took a classic dish like bacon, eggs and pancakes and transformed it into a high quality brunch item. HANDS DOWN the BEST BREAKFAST I HAVE EVER HAD!

With affordable prices, all dishes made from scratch and using local ingredients, the Americana Cafe on Capitol Hill makes me want to stand up and salute for foodies everywhere. I did not think that a small eatery like this could reinvent a comfort food classic and surprise this guy, but as a well-known politician might say: YES THEY CAN!!! Thank you Americana Cafe for filling my belly with pork belly, and I hope you fill more for many years to come!

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

I will leave you with a favorite quote of mine:  “Diet is just ‘die’ with a ‘t’.”

http://www.americanaseattle.com/


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