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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

Topic: Fun stuff

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July 23, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Kiss my WHAT? A cautionary tale

I tried not to fall off my chair laughing today after reading an e-mail from a disgruntled diner. Disappointed with her lunch at a certain food establishment, and convinced she’d wasted $8 of her hard-earned money, she sent some friendly feedback to the owner. As a cautionary tale, I’m sharing their correspondence, names withheld to protect the not-so-innocent.

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July 8, 2009 at 8:59 AM

Got leftovers? I’ll share mine, if you share yours

“The Question of Leftovers Is Ever Fresh” according to today’s New York Times. I won’t disagree. The story, focusing on our eating habits and collective food collections, is a tale of leftover largess well worth reading. Highlights include a Frenchwoman’s penchant for serving (and serving, and serving) lentils, the custody rights of a neighbor’s gift of Costco-bought cheese, and songstress Patti LaBelle’s cast-iron grip on her Tupperware collection — as well as other leftover-food for thought.

Unlike my best friend, who regularly rummages in her fridge in search of a leftovers-lunch or fixings for what she calls “fuzzy-food night,” I am not big on do-overs — unless it’s Chinese takeout, which I’ll eat hot or cold, sitting down or standing at the sink, chopsticks in hand. But I proudly admit to saving the schmutzy schmaltz from a roast chicken’s roasting pan to use as a “leftover” sauce tossed with pasta, and simmering the bird’s spent carcass to make broth — best eaten with a handful of fresh Chinese egg noodles boiled for the occasion.

OK, I admit it: this “before” (Sunday night) and “after” (Wednesday morning) situation below looks mighty promising. I’m envisioning cold lamb roast, sliced, with a little TJ’s spicy tomato chutney, stuffed in a kaiser roll:

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May 27, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Tikes take toques at Suncadia and say “Gimme S’more!”

When the top toques at Suncadia decided to revamp the children’s menu at their signature restaurant, Portals, they called in the troops — and used fresh ingredients and recipes that would appeal to the 10-and-under set. In their search for hungry kidlets they didn’t have to look far. A clutch of tikes from Cle Elum and other points east showed up on a recent Saturday to weigh-in on whether or not this family-friendly resort’s stuff was up to snuff.

On top of spaghettiiiiiii, all covered with cheese. . .

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May 20, 2009 at 4:21 PM

The Mariners and me — what to eat at an M’s game?

Last night, Nate and I went to Safeco Field to watch the Angels defeat the M’s. Actually, that’s not why we went, nor the outcome we’d hoped for. We went because (booooo! hisssss!) we’d never been to a ball game at Safeco and some very nice friends invited us along.

We root, root, rooted for the home team. They didn’t win. It’s a shame.

Besides, we wanted to be there to see Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist Mike McCready honor “Chron’s and Colitis Foundation Night” at Safeco by playing the national anthem. Plus, it was great fun watching one of Nate’s contemporaries, 10-year-old Elizabeth Smith, throw the first pitch.

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May 13, 2009 at 7:07 AM

Noodle sandwich? You’re kidding, right?

What’s that old saw about x-many-times makes a trend? A couple weeks ago, the kid and I were in Uwajimaya giving the hungry-eyeball to the MREs in the refrigerated case, when what to our wondering eyes should appear? Yakisoba banh mi: a cold noodle sandwich. We bought one for science. Our verdict? “Eh.”

Days later, I heard word that Skillet Street Food was talking about frying pasta and serving it up in a sandwich. And then, I’m sitting at Taka Sushi the other night and after the baby octopus salad, aji with ponzu and fried bitter-melon slices, Taka-san passes this over the counter. “Hot dog,” he said, straight-faced:

“Oh I wish I were a spicy seafood wiener. . . that is what I truly like to be-eee-ee.”

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April 28, 2009 at 7:06 AM

Dining Out For Life — Leson’s restaurant parlor game (play along!)

On Thursday, April 30th, restaurants around town are banding together once again to help in the fight against HIV and AIDS, donating 30 percent of all proceeds to the Lifelong AIDS Alliance. Dine out for life at participating restaurants and you, too, will be donating to the (local) cause. I just had a look at the big, long list — one that includes restaurants I’ve never been to, plenty I haven’t been to in way too long, and others I regularly frequent and never need an excuse to go back to. Which got me thinking: let’s play a parlor game! Grab a pen and paper (in case you forgot, a pen is a writing implement with ink in it, paper is a small portable surface made from dead trees). The rules?

1) Review the Dining Out For Life participants: open this link

2) Make three lists, choosing five restaurants for each for a total of 15 restaurants.

3) Compile your three lists with these thoughts in mind:

“I’ve never been, but hope to change that, soon.”

“I’ve been away too long and meaning to get back.”

“I eat here often”

OK, ready? I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours:

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April 9, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Bacon: it’s not just for breakfast anymore — your favorite?

Jon Stewart’s got nothing on my pal Mark Rahner, whose Seattle Times story about Baconnaise cracked me up this morning. And while that bit of smoky-scented reportage was a kick in the pants, I almost fell out of my seat while watching this:

And I thought I loved bacon!

Perhaps like me, you grew up eating Oscar Mayer’s crispy pork-product, eventually moving up to something more locavoracious — say, bacon from Bavarian Meats or Hempler’s. If you’re really hardcore, you might mail-order from Nueske’s or belong to the Bacon of the Month Club, where they’ll ship an exciting new artisan bacon to your door every month. (I once sent a gift of club-membership to my dad — a real bacon fiend who wasn’t beyond eating bacon for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Dare I mention it was a Big Birthday-gift? Or that he didn’t live to see the next big-birthday milestone?)

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April 1, 2009 at 8:12 AM

Nancy Leson takes the plunge: goes on raw foods diet

After writing yesterday’s post regarding raw foods, reading up on the subject and considering the ill effects of eating last night’s multi-course Szechuan Chinese dinner (to say nothing of such deliriously delicious abominations as the famous Bacon Explosion), I’ve decided to take the plunge. I’m (temporarily) joining the raw foods movement. I…

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March 23, 2009 at 6:25 AM

What food do you “sneak” when no one’s looking?

What do you eat when no one’s looking? For me, it might be a whole package of Carso’s fresh ravioli with way too much browned butter. Or a can of cheap sardines with sliced cucumber. Or cold leftover Chinese food — for breakfast. When it comes to cravings, I always take the savory over the…

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