Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pre-Thanksgiving Eating En Masse

We spent the last ten days with my family and did some serious eating. Here are the highlights.

Thaiku (11/18/06) - swanky Thai on Old Ballard Ave. - this place has great atmosphere and decent food. The special cocktails are weird, probably best to stay away from them, since, despite the warnings in the menu, the ancient herb added to them does not make you hallucinate. I felt cheated and stuck with a less than tasty drink. The appetizers were delicious, good satay and spring rolls, though some of the peanut sauce connoisseurs were less than impressed, feeling the sauce was on the thin side. The best thing on the menu is the pad see ew noodles: sweet but not too sweet, salty but not too salty, in a word, delicious. Paul ordered fresh egg noodles but got something resembling top ramen. The curry eaters seemed pleased. My sister even got some of hers wrapped up and ate it for breakfast the next day. The service was problematic, but what do you expect when you're with 8 people and a baby. To the server's credit, after she spilled dirty chopsticks down my cousin's back, she did come back with a stain remover pen and take care of the problem. We might go back and try it on our own, but probably not for a while.

Ivar's Salmon House (11/19/06) - we came here for Sunday Brunch and liked it so much that we returned later in the week for dinner. Unfortunately, dinner is not so fabulous as brunch and costs a lot more. We know that Ivar's is for tourists. But when your family is in town, do them a favor and take them for Brunch. You will not be disappointed. Salmon in every hot and cold form imaginable is smoked to perfection, the breakfast standards are all there with crepes and omelets made to order, and the dessert display overfloweth. Plus mimosas are $1. Need I say more?

The Pike Brewery (11/21/06) - this was a special family edition of our usual Tuesdays with Market series. We learned that there are very few places in the Market to take a group of 14, in fact, this may be the only place. I suppose you could also go to Lowell's, but we'd already been there. Although everything I ate and drank was pretty tasty, I feel compelled to give this place a poor review because they spilled beer on my mother. It was my dad's beer, so he wasn't too happy either. Actually, the service was generally pretty crappy. The place was dead, but it still took ages for someone to come and take our drink orders and then after our server spilled beer on mom, he proceeded to bring everyone's dinner but hers (and she ordered a salad!! not exactly a slow cook item). She also claims there was sand in her salad, but she may have been exaggerating for effect. All of this brought me to the inevitable conclusion that the Pike hates my mom and it's hard to like a place that hates your mother. Plus, they didn't offer to make amends or give us any free stuff (would free beer for my dad been too much to ask for?!) and slapped an automatic big party gratuity on the bill. Despite the crappy service, the place has a good atmosphere and great menu, most of the items are local (penn cove mussels, WA artisan cheese, and sausage from a nearby market vendor) , and the beer is brewed on the premises. If you decide to check it out for yourself, here are my suggestions.

1) Don't go on Tuesday night - the place is dead and they are clearly not bringing their A game
2) Don't come with a big party unless you don't care about crappy service.
3) Orders these - they are delicious: start with the sampler of 6 house brewed beers progressing from lightest to darkest, share the veggie nachos, get the fish and chips (it was unusually light and crispy and maybe the best I've had so far in Seattle).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was there in that family party and can attest to the bad service. However, I was sitting at the opposite end of the table and did not know Grandma had Grandpa's beer spilled on her. How rude! I had the mussels - loved them.


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