NFT Feature: Road Dog’s Brewery Tour

Where we’re going, we need roads.

Seattle recently came in at number 19 on the Drunkest American Cities scale. Frankly, I’m surprised we didn’t rank higher. Maybe it’s just the crowd I run with, but I seem to know a lot of people who are pretty serious about their booze and consume it rather steadily. I’m not the champion I once was, but I can still put away a few microbrews. Luckily for me (and you!), Seattle is home to twenty-odd breweries and most of them are more than willing to let you freely sample their wares, so long as you visit them as part of the Road Dog’s Brewery Tour…

Read the rest at Not For Tourists.


NFT Radar: Holy Cannoli

You may not have been aware of this, but for many years now, there has been a tube-shaped hole in the Seattle pastry scene. Fortunately, Detroit transplant, Adrienne Bandlow, has just the cylindrical pastries to fill it. Namely: Four varieties of cannoli (traditional Detroit custard, mocha, chocolate and rum raisin) and three different Stromboli (hog, chicken and vegetarian). They’re pretty small, so you’re going to need to buy a couple of each. Fortunately, they’re also crazy cheap (plus, you get price breaks for half and whole dozens). Let’s face it, Seattle is so hurting for cannoli, that they don’t even have to be that good to make me happy. But they are good. They are excellent, in fact. A word of warning for Sicilians: Bandlow does her cannoli Motor City Style. That means custard instead of ricotta and marscapone. But don’t worry. They will still hit your Italian spot. There are also a couple of salads and sammies on the menu if, for some insane reason, you’re not there for the star attraction. All this, plus extremely friendly service will make you a loyal customer after one visit. Bandlow should be canonized for ending the Seattle Cannoli Famine. Holy Cannoli indeed.

2720 3rd Ave

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NFT Radar: Nook

All For The Nookie!

Seattle was once known as a granola hippie town. Now, it’s all about flour and butter. Following the heels of the pie renaissance, an apprentice of Top Chef’s Richard Blais and former Mad Woman/self-taught baker opened up a cafe that specializes in biscuits; REALLY AWESOME biscuits. They’re buttery as hell without leaving you feeling like you’ve just taken a dip in a deep fryer. You can eat them plain, with a variety of gourmet toppings, or in breakfast sandwich form. For lunch, they offer creative warm sandwiches on Grand Central Bakery bread, rotating soup, and customizable grilled cheese with twelve options. Weekends, they do a biscuit brunch. The selection includes poutine biscuits and strawberry shortcake. I’ll let that sink in… Nook is as cozy and adorable as the name suggests. Owls and Mason jars abound. Small booths line the left wall and there are smaller booths by the window. It’s like eating in your hipster grandma’s kitchen. The downside is the limited hours (Tue-Fri 8 am-5 pm; Sat 8 am-2 pm, Sun 10 am-3 pm). Fortunately, they have plans to extend them through dinner. They’ve also applied for a liquor license. Good thinking. Maybe all this extra fat will help us get through the endless winter.

4525 University Way NE

Cross-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: the Piecycle

This is the tale of the young pie maker named Max. Max baked the finest dessert pies in all the land. He made fruit pies and chocolate pies, lemon meringue and coconut cream. Once he turned a whole other dessert (S’mores) into a pie. Somehow he could even make a butter crust without any butter at all! Folks speculated about how somebody so young could craft a pie better than the most seasoned of grandmothers. Was it a deal at the crossroads? Sorcery? Whatever magic was at play, it was not black magic, as Max always used his power for good. Every weekend, after nightfall, he would mount his bicycle and deliver his incredible pies to the U District and surrounding areas until the wee hours. Though his pies were as deep as the ocean and worth their weight in gold, he commanded only $3/slice and $20/pie, a paltry sum for pastry perfection. All who tasted his wares were left in satiated bliss. Guess what, kids! This is no fairy tale. Max the Piecycle Man is real. He even has a Facebook page. And, if you’re lucky, he’ll come to your town real soon. Now shut up and go to sleep.

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Savatdee Thai

Look, I know there are about a million Thai restaurants in the Seattle metropolitan area. So when Savatdee opened in the old Blue Onion space, I too was skeptical. But they’re right up the road so I tried them anyway. It changed my life. Their food is incredible. They make all the pads and curries you’d find anywhere. However, every one of those usual suspects is the best version of that dish I’ve ever tasted. They also have some interesting chef’s specials and more unusual fare. I’d never heard of Pad Opp Woonsen (silver noodles and napa cabbage) but now I must order it every single time. For the more adventurous eaters, they offer a separate Lao menu. Perhaps this is closer to what it would be like to actually eat IN Thailand. If so, I’m booking a plane ticket immediately. If the service were terrible, Savatdee would still be worth patronizing, but it’s not. It’s excellent. They also deliver. The next time you crave Thai food, forsake all others and head to Savatdee. If these guys go out of business, I will be devastated. If you don’t want to do it for me, do it for yourself.

5801 Roosevelt Way NE

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Gainsbourg

I’m not crazy about authentic French cooking. I find it heavy and uninteresting. Apparently, all it needed was a Seattle twist! Gainsbourg is among Seatown’s best restaurants. We were lucky enough to dine when mac and cheese was the special. Not too oily, perfectly bread crumbed and Gruyere laden, it was unequivocally the best I’ve ever tasted. Gruyere. Other menu highlights include the Croque Monsieur, the French Dip, and Poutine. They season most dishes with pig, but will make vegetarian versions of practically everything. (Beware. They mustn’t clean the pans. A little chunk of ham was hiding in our Roasted Brussels Sprouts.) Their drink menu is as elaborate as the food, with an entire page devoted to Absinthe. The Lavender Lemonade (spiked with vodka) is as refreshing as it is dangerous. Naturally, they also offer a large list of French wines. The decor is dark and interesting. Real candelabras sit on each table, making you feel like characters in a gothic romance novel. But you might want to move it away from yourself after a few drinks. Francophiles might take issue. But for people on the fence about French cooking, Gainsbourg is a revelation.

8550 Greenwood Ave N

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Curtsy Bella

These days, you can pretty much buy anything on line. But Curtsy Bella remembers when customer service meant something. If you’re in the market for a cute and quirky gift for your engaged friend, your pregnant friend or your girlfriend, 10 minutes of browsing the cleverly arranged displays will yield more viable options than you ever thought possible. Their fanciful inventory includes socks, hats, bags, jewelry, clothing, and plenty of knickknacks you can’t live without. They also have a delightfully snarky greeting card selection to help express your sentiments. It’s like an upscale Archie McPhee’s you’re your recipients will actually use the things you buy them. The easily overwhelmed can take advantage of their shopping service. Call or email with a little information and they’ll work with you until they find the perfect gift to meet your needs. They’ll even gift wrap it (in leopard print paper!) and ship next day or same day by courier. You’ll look thoughtful, whimsical and timely. I’d say that you couldn’t buy service like that. But you could. At Curtsy Bella.

2920 NE Blakeley St

X-posted from Not For Tourists.