Seattle Trip Report

I spent a few days in Seattle eating at some far flung destinations. Only one downtown, one South, two North and one East in Bellevue.

In downtown Seattle, ate at Bangrak Market, set up to approximate the look of a night market in Thailand. Open until 2am on Friday and Saturday. This s a colorful place serving enormous portions of gorgeous food, family style. It’s almost a shame to come here as only a table for two.

We ordered three items, one of which was hugely successful. The som tom mua is a green papaya salad with baby crabs, fermented fish, crispy anchovy, bean sprouts, tomatoes, fresh herbs, rice vermicelli, lime. This was the ideal of a Thai salad, with chopped red onion and thai eggplant that were far more ‘rough-cut’ than I normally see. The crispy anchovy were like a super crunchy snack that provided an exciting texture. Ordered at level 3 spiciness, which was just enough to give it some zip without being overwhelming. This alone was enough to feed two hungry people.

We were not as successful with the other items. The goay teaw nam sai is a clear ‘comforting’ noodle soup with BBQ pork, fish balls, bean sprouts, and roasted garlic oil. Maybe too clear! I was hoping for some flavor.

The kao soi chiang mai here is served as a big bowl of gravy, not as the soup that I normally think of. It was beautifully presented with an imposing tower of crunchy noodles on top., but was not nearly as potent/flavorful as I can get close to home.

In the north, I tried Friendship BBQ for Xinjiang food. Ordered mostly skewers. The fish tofu was my favorite. Others were mostly good. Large menu which we did not explore.

I was curious about ordering the Nancheng banfen at Cafe Rain. I’ve never seen this on a menu before. It is from the Jiangxi province. Consists of thick round rice noodles, peanuts, bok choy, preserved egg, roasted cork kernels, and chili oil. Unfortunately the noodles had no texture and come out like bad spaghetti. There is a choice of other proteins.

Out East, I went to the oldest Hunan restaurant in Bellevue, Little Garden. The only Hunan place in the DC area closed down years ago, and I remember having some sublime dishes featuring smoky preserved pork and also pickled vegetables.

Armed with a rec of cured duck with dried daikon from Eater.com, I ordered that plus I ordered, from the specials menu on the wall, a pickled fried rice.

I have to say that dried daikon is maybe the weirdest ingredient ever. It is like eating rubber bullets. The cured duck was okay, but nothing thrilling. The fried rice, made with pickled peppers, was way too oily and was otherwise flavorless.

South of Seattle, I stopped in at the Stone House Cafe near Seward Park, serving mostly breakfast items and salads until 3 pm. Great care went into the chorizo hash and the chicken caesar. A perfect stop. Seward Park is totally gorgeous, a peninsula sticking out into Lake Washington with a magnificent , rocky forest and dazzling shoreline. Went there twice.

Finally, hit the Seattle Chocolate Factory Store near the airport. Very fun, and they make an array of superb chocolate bars.

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