Archive for the restaurants Category

Band-Aid addiction and a scary mannequin

Posted in band-aids, restaurants on August 11, 2008 by poojaland

Hello. My name is Pooja and I’m an addict … a Band-Aid addict.

Yes, it’s true. I think it’s largely due to the germophobia I’ve developed over the past couple years.. anytime I get a cut or scrape, I have to put a Band-Aid on it immediately — with Neosporin, of course. So partly, I don’t want germs to get in there, but another factor is my clumsiness and forgetfulness; a Band-Aid helps me from absentmindedly scratching a paper cut (those things itch nearly as bad as mosquito bites) or getting hand-soap suds into an open wound. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to find Band-Aid variety packs at Costco a couple months back. Each pack had large Band-Aids, waterproof Band-Aids, medicated Band-Aids… I was in Band-Aid-addict heaven!!

BTW, the pic was taken earlier today; I got a papercut while rifling through some papers on my desk, so I immediately hit up the First Aid kit in the kitchen for one of their dingy band-aids and some antibiotic ointment.

On a completely different topic — I was going through some recent pictures on my phone and came across one I took in the waiting area of Cafe Veloce last month. CV is a great little pizza/pasta place in Kirkland, but they have this car-racer lady mannequin thing by the waiter-station that freaks me out every time I go. I keep forgetting she’s not real, so every time I see her in my peripheral vision, I snap my head around to see who’s staring at me. Every time!!


30 is the new 24

Posted in restaurants on June 20, 2008 by poojaland

Last week, I turned the big 3-0. It was definitely daunting; I felt like it was sort of a milepost marker, prompting me to review my life up until that point, and compare it to where/what I thought I’d be as recently as five years ago. Instead of wallowing in thoughts of what I feel my life is “missing,” I’m trying to focus on the good things, because on paper, I really do feel proud of what I’ve accomplished so far in my life, and the type of person I am.

Aaaanyway, I took a couple days off from work, which was nice — especially since the weather cooperated. Anuja came over on my actual birthday, and we bused down to the U District to get my birthday bubble tea at my favorite BT spot (it’s kind of silly, though; for your “gift,” you buy a BT and then get a coupon for a free one on your next visit). I went there last year, and asked the owner (who knows me by name) how old he thought I was. His response? 22. I still chuckle over the memory of the look on his face when I said “Actually…I’m 29” I gave him a little leeway as I was wearing a ballcap, had my hair in a ponytail, and was wearing glasses. This year, though, I didn’t have any of those things going on. And his reply to my “How old do you think I am?” query? “24”!! He was completely shocked — again — when I revealed my true, advanced age. Hilarious.

Saturday night, some girlfriends and I met up at the Zig Zag Cafe in downtown Seattle to celebrate. It was a really fun time, as you can see.. I never met a camera for which I didn’t ham ;o) A friend was nice enough to give me a ride to and from ZZ, so I didn’t have to turn down any of the three martinis I was urged to drink. I didn’t get drunk, but I definitely had a good buzz going. I highly recommend the ZZ for anyone looking for a chill, funky place to do an outing like this — or even just drinks/light dinner — though the setup was a bit weird, as they only have round tables, so our “table” for 12 was four round tables shoved into a chain-bubble line. Oh, and as far as parking — there’s a parking garage on the right as you go down Western behind the market that only charges $3 if you park after 5 p.m. ZZ is about another blog down Western, off the Pike Place Hill Climb stairs. Originally, my outing was going to be at the Purple Cafe downtown, but by the time we called to make a reservation mid-week last week, the only one we could get would’ve been for 10:30 (yawn); apparently they were overrun with reservations due to UW’s graduation being earlier that same day. I was bummed to miss out on Purple — always a great time — but still had a fabulous time at Zig Zag. Here’s to a new, exciting decade of life!

Black Bottle and Wallace Falls: Two thumbs up

Posted in hiking, restaurants on June 3, 2008 by poojaland

So I have a new bar/restaurant recommendation for other Seattleites: Black Bottle. They call themselves a “gastro-tavern,” and they serve mainly tapas/small-plates type of food, though their portions are definitely “shareable,” as their Web site also claims. A bunch of us met up there for Marivic’s surprise 30th-birthday party. They accept reservations, so we had a table for about 20 set aside for us in the back/side room. Though the room got super loud as the night went on (mostly due to its high ceilings), I really liked the place. I had this flatbread dish with cheese, roasted chicken and dried cherries that was really delish. I ordered an apple martini, and they served it to me in a slightly small martini glass, but gave me the shaker that contained the leftover alcohol (initially, I was really excited about this, but I tend to sip at drinks, so by the time I got to that extra bit, it was pretty watered down by the ice that was also in the shaker). Price-wise, I think the mixed drinks were all around $8, and the dishes seemed to range from $8 to $11. Even better — BB is located on the corner of 1st and Vine, so it’s on the outskirts of the super busy Belltown area, and parking was pretty easy. They’re online at

Sunday was a hike at Wallace Falls with Chrissy and Matt and Nicole and their adorable 10-month-old boys. It was a perfect day for this sort of outing — clear, but damp with threatening skies (it never did rain). We all hiked together for a couple hours to the Middle Falls:

From left: me, Chrissy, Nicole, Teagan (in carrier), Matt and Korbin (in carrier).

Then Nicole, et al, had to head back down as they didn’t want to tire the boys out. Chrissy and I continued on up. I think we had to go about another mile up, and it was all switchbacks (fun). Though I definitely was slow going up them, I’m proud to say I didn’t stop once! So the lungs are getting in better shape, slowly but surely.

Here’s the view we enjoyed once we got to the top of the falls:

We put a couple plastic bags on a damp log and sat down for some quick lunch. I say quick because about seven minutes in, Chrissy saw a large (10-12-person?) group on a log below us start packing up, and she was worried we’d get stuck behind them on the way down (she had a bit of a time constraint to meet her family for her brother’s birthday outing). So I crammed everything back into my pack, and finished up my cherries as we trekked down, spitting out seeds on either side of the path along the way. Our shoes and pants’ hems were pretty muddy by the time we got to the car, but all in all, another great outing.

Gettin’ my eatin’ and dancin’ on

Posted in restaurants on May 19, 2008 by poojaland

Well, it’s been a busy but good weekend. Friday, in the early evening, I met up with some folks from work and their spouses for happy hour at Kate’s pub in Wallingford. I’d never been there before, or even heard of it, but I really liked it. Mainly because all their food is half off — not just the appetizers. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any specials on mixed drinks, but I really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. Very laid back with friendly servers, and parking was a breeze.

That night, it was off to Capitol Hill to try another new place, Chez Gaudy, in honor of Lara’s 30th birthday. It’s very hidden — the entrance is an alley and not really marked either by the street or in the alley. Inside, the decor is very eclectic and ragtag — draperies, funky mirrors, old suitcases. The menu is described as “rustic Italian.” I had a funky appetizer — toast with wasabi and cheese on top, with a wasabi/miso/garlic dipping sauce. Plus some greens with a balsamic reduction and a second dipping sauce of this strawberry-jam stuff. The toast was a little chewy, but I really liked the flavor. For dessert, we shared chocolate cake, fruit trifle and a rhubarb pie tart. The rhubarb pie was gone by the time it came around the table to me, but I really loved the trifle. It had the perfect balance of fruit and cream. Oh, and our server guy was really hilarious. He came by every 15 minutes or so, and if a seat was empty because someone had left or was in the restroom, he’d plop down to chat with us or sing along to the music. So, all things considered, I’d give it a thumbs up.

Saturday was all about a good friend of mine who’s getting married in July. Her shower was in the a.m., then we all met up again in the evening for drinks, food and dancing at Ibiza. I’d been hesitant about the festivities since I’m sort of past the age of enjoying clubbing — and I never went through that phase in my early/mid 20s — but I actually had a really good time. Once 10:30 rolled around, the place got loud and cramped. It was super, super hot — I was sweating in my tank top and jeans — and the other folks there were all much younger. I only had one drink towards the beginning of the night, but as the night went on, well, I couldn’t help getting bitten by the dancing bug. I have a good sense of rhythm, but I’m short on moves, so I’m sure I made a bit of a fool of myself, but it was still fun. Though.. I was definitely tempted to take a shower when I got home around 1:30. Yew!

That’s me on the left. FIERCE!

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Restaurant review: Sonrisa

Posted in Food, restaurants on May 4, 2008 by poojaland

Thursday night, Ritu, Marivic and I met up at a new “modern Mexican” restaurant in U Village called Sonrisa. (As an aside, we all thought that meant “sunrise,” but thanks to Marivic’s boyfriend, who speaks Spanish, we discovered it actually means “smile.”) The place was hopping — Happy Hour had recently ended — and the environment was pretty casual but nice. But.. in the end, I must say it was a bit of a disappointment. They started us out with free chips and salsa. But the salsa wasn’t the traditional kind — it was sort of a salsa verde thing, so it was really runny and not as tasty as your usual red-tomato-based offering. They didn’t really have many vegetarian options, so I ended up getting the veg version of one of their burritos. Good thing I specifically said “vegetarian” — apparently their usual refried beans have some sort of meat or seafood mixed in (I think either chorizo or ceviche or something??). So I asked for a simple burrito — beans, cheese and “just a few vegetables.” They were pretty good about going light on the veggies, but there was hardly any cheese, and one of the few veggies was zucchini, which just tastes really weird to me in a burrito. Maybe that’s just my pickiness coming out again. However, the little sides of guacamole and a corn-cake thing were pretty good.

Sonrisa had a definite chance to redeem itself with dessert; I’d read online that the tres leches (sp?) cake was highly recommended, but when it came out.. we were all a little thrown off from the start. Rather than being a stout cake in a little “juice” or something, it was this tall tower with a little bit of white cream as a frosting and some sliced strawberries. In my experience, tres leches cake is supposed to be super moist, but this thing was basically three flat pieces of pound- or shortcake on top of each other — extremely dry and dense. Normally, between the three of us, we can make quick work of one dessert, but we just couldn’t get through this one. If you want a fantastic tres leches, I highly recommend the pastel de tres leches at Senor Moose in Ballard — deelish.

Anyway, the final sign that I wasn’t too impressed with Sonrisa: I took home half of my burrito (mostly out of politeness than an excitement to finish it later), and totally forgot about it until two days later. Usually, I eat any leftovers as my very next meal, so this was quite telling. Sonrisa does have a happy hour — while I was waiting for the girls, I actually ran into some family friends who were just leaving after enjoying the HH — so I’d be curious to check that out sometime. I think it’d be a fun place if you just went for drinks and appetizers, and a dessert other than the tres leches. Plus, they have outdoor seating, so it’d be more motivating to go back once the temps heat up.

For those who want to check it out, the restaurant is located on the Blue C Sushi side of U. Village. It’s across the intersection from Blue C, next to the Bank of America.

Favorite restaurant dishes in Seattle

Posted in Food, restaurants on March 28, 2008 by poojaland

I would have a bear of a time trying to narrow this down to 10 items (I love to eat!); and besides, listing whatever pops into my head may help spread the word about restaurants you all, my two readers, haven’t yet tried..

  • Coconut or pear gelato at Tutta Bella (seasonal flavors)
  • French fries from McDonald’s
  • Mongolian tofu with brown rice from Snappy Dragon
  • The deep-fried-bread appetizer at Joule (the dish is unfortunately not on the menu)
  • Tiramisu at either Buca di Beppo or Tutta Bella
  • Grilled chocolate marshmallow brioche sandwich at Oliver’s Twist
  • My own creation of 1/2 spaghetti with mizithra and 1/2 spaghetti with alfredo sauce at The Old Spaghetti Factory
  • A petite guacamole bacon burger with onion straws instead of raw onions at Red Robin
  • Crème brûlée at Sambar (no Web site of their own — crazy!)
  • Chicken teriyaki at Nasai Teriyaki (I swear I ate here once a week during my four years at UW …)
  • Sweetcream ice cream with strawberries and Heath bar at Cold Stone
  • Chicken lettuce wraps at P.F. Chang’s
  • Tortellini at Santorini (though I can only eat about 10 tortellinis before I’m full! It’s so rich)