Bar Lolo

I returned to Bar Lolo to check out their Spanish tapas after enjoying them last year.  See the 1.27.13 post.  I started with a glass of the Gran familia rioja which is 90% tempranillo and 10% graciano.  The meat and cheese plate was a nice place to start.

meat and cheese plate

I then moved on to their Potato chips with sea salt and fried herbs.  Each of the small plates that followed had delicious flavor.  I particularly enjoyed the sherry syrup.

Chickpea stew with spinach, saffron, and sweet paprika.

Serrano ham and manchego cheese croquettes with smoked paprika aioli.

Grilled chicken skewers with moorish spices and sherry syrup.

I tried to learn about the various sherries in order to select one that I’d enjoy.  My husband and I traveled to southern Spain a few years ago, however, we didn’t make it to Jerez de la Frontera which is essentially the sherry capital of the world.

What I learned is that the fino or manzanilla sherry are aged the least, the amontillado is a mid level aged sherry, and the oloroso sherry is aged the most.  So, I tried the amontillado.  I enjoyed it, however, I think I need more experience with sherry to really decide.  This Wine Folly post on Sherry: the dry wine that everyone should love is informative.

Unfortunately, this restaurant closed as of May of 2014.

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Spanish quesadilla with chorizo, membrillo (quince paste), and manchego cheese and Rainforest crisps

I’m not particularly a fan of the about.com website and there are typos on this Gourmet Spanish Quesadillas recipe, however, it was easy and delicious!

I found some 12 month aged manchego cheese at Whole Foods.

Manchego cheese

The membrillo (quince paste) is available at many local stores including Fred Meyer.

Membrillo (quince paste)

I couldn’t find the chorizo that I was looking for at Fred Meyer so the closest I could find was Linguica sausage from Portuguese.

Linguica

When I was in Spain, both chorizo and salchichon were sausages found on delicious bocadillos, however, in the U.S. when I ask about chorizo at any grocery store, I get directed to ground sausage from Mexico that is not at all the same thing!  See this blog post on What’s the difference between Mexican and Spanish chorizo? Also, discover more information on the differences between chorizo and salchichon.

To finish out the plate of Spanish quesadillas, I added almonds (a Spanish staple) and some rice.  Marcona almonds are even more delicious than almonds that we typically find in the U.S.!

Spanish quesadilla

I love manchego cheese from Spain and now had more membrillo (quince paste) than I needed for these quesadillas so the next few days they made an excellent breakfast on top of my favorite Rainforest crisps from Vancouver, B.C., Canada! All of the crisps are good, but my favorite are the fig and olive in the purple box. Whole foods and Fred Meyer tend to carry them in their specialty cheese sections.  They are a delicious, healthy, and well balanced breakfast that is easy to do and sticks to my ribs! 🙂

Rainforest crisps

Bollywood theater restaurant

My husband came home one Friday night saying that we needed to eat at Bollywood theater that night.  I’m always up for a food adventure-especially when multiple coworkers rave about it and he got to see the delicious takeout from lunch!

The restaurant is a funky warehouse style building with high ceilings and lots of tables.

It was reasonably priced and allowed for a delightful mix and match of a variety of dishes and flavors.

We ordered the following:

Dahi Papri Chaat: Housemade crackers topped with chickpeas, potatoes, yogurt, cilantro and tamarind chutney.

Samosa Cholle: Two savory pastries filled with spiced potatoes, onions, ginger and peas. Topped with chickpea chole and green chutney.

Chicken Curry: aromatic and creamy curry. Served with saffron rice.

Dal: lentils simmered with spices.

curry
Trio of Chutneys: with pappadum.
chutney and pappadums

It’s like the tapas of Indian street food!

I tend to like curries, but I was surprised that the simplicity and flavor of the chaat and the samosa were my favorites.  At the same time, each plate provided a nice mix of acidity and creaminess and heat and coolness.  It was delightful tasting the trio of chutneys with the pappadums.

Spicy chicken tinga quesadilla

California pizza kitchen makes a spicy chicken tinga quesadilla appetizer that they call a “small plate” that is nicely crisp with a simplicity of flavor that I wanted to try to make myself.  Click to view the description from the menu on their website:

Lime chicken, Monterey jack, carmelized onions, roasted peppers, black beans and cilantro, baked in our hearth oven. Served with housemade Ranchito sauce.

I didn’t have a recipe, but somewhere on the web I found these ingredients and recipe and I can’t find it again, however, it was my rough process.

2 breasts of shredded chicken cooked with tomatoes, chilis, and spices.

¼ c. mayo

1-1/2 Tbsp. hot sauce-chipotle

½ c. ranch dressing

Heat oil and carmelize onions and peppers.

Add black beans.

Grill and shred chicken and 2 c. fresh diced tomatoes and 1 c. chicken broth and 2 chipotle chilis, chopped.

Heat tortilla and flip-about 1 minute.

Add 1/3 c. monterey jack cheese and 1/3 c. chicken tinga mixture and ranchito sauce-about 2 minutes.

Fold and remove and quarter.

Top with cilantro and squeeze lime.

Add rice on the side.

I didn’t add rice to the side, however, I love every opportunity to include jicama!

quesadilla

Hudson’s bar and grill at Heathman Lodge

Hudson's bar and grill

A friend of ours is one of the managers at Hudson’s bar and grill inside the Heathman lodge and we so enjoy the perfectly prepared, plated, and served food as often as we can!  Unfortunately, it’s typically a quick bite or just on special occasions given the delicious steak and seafood options.  Check out the prior post on their deliciousness!

On this occasion, I indulged in their delicious smoked chicken and corn chowder and starter of the La Pierre Robert cheese from France and San Daniele prosciutto from Italy.  The cheese and prosciutto came with a perfect assortment of flatbread, almonds, and fig.

Hudson's bar and grill

Dragonwell bistro

My husband uncovered this Dragonwell bistro for us to explore as the family of a colleague of his runs it and he’d eaten lunch with coworkers there and thought I’d like it. It’s located downtown by Portland State University. They weren’t too terribly busy the night that we went and my husband’s colleague happened to be serving.

The ambiance was relaxing with interesting, traditional decor.

I’m not much for soup, but I mistakenly agreed to Egg flower soup while ordering and didn’t want to waste it. I did think it was good. We thought we’d try an assortment that sounded good so we ordered the following. It sure adds up quickly, but it was a nice assortment of fresh with good flavor and we were able to take leftovers home.

Champagne orange chicken with the following description:
Lightly battered white chicken tenderloin sautéed with bell peppers & onion, topped with splash of orange juice, champagne, and mandarin oranges.

House combination lo-mein with the following description:
Lo-mein with beef, chicken & shrimp.

Dried Sautéed String Beans

Steamed white rice

Dragonwell bistro

I was trying to decide what to order to drink that would be traditional and appropriately pair with Chinese food and the server said, “Do you want to be adventurous?” I said “sure” and I was delighted with the lychee martini. It was very similar to this lychee martini recipe from the Food network.

 

 

Bar Lolo

Bar Lolo

My husband and I stumbled upon Bar Lolo when shoe shopping one day on Alberta St.  What a great, cozy find!  We are always up for Spanish tapas and this was a funky little place.  It was nicely located on a corner next to a theater and other shops and restaurants.  We liked the ambiance with a rustic stab of wood with wine bottles on it referred to as the wine wall as well as the small tables sprinkled throughout.  We arrived a bit before the rush which provided the opportunity to ask a bit more about the Spanish red wines and the tapas.

Bar Lolo

We started out with the tried, but true tortilla espanola.  The espelette pepper added a nice bite to it.  Of course, you must always have some olives while indulging in tapas.  We followed it with the grilled chicken skewers.  What an amazing combination of flavors!  The moorish spices were a nice contrast with the sweet sherry syrup.  We wrapped up the experience with their potato chips with sea salt and fried herbs (Rosemary, etc.).  It was a nice, simple, crisp finish.

Salt and herb potato chips

The service was consistently good throughout.  We will definitely be back to try some other dishes!

Andaluca

Andaluca

No visit to downtown Seattle is complete without visiting Andaluca for tapas or dinner.  The last time I had indulged in Andaluca was 2 years ago.   I was really looking forward to their trio of gazpacho and other Spanish-inspired tapas, but their menu had dramatically changed!  So, we started out with a couple of tapas.

Salumi plate-An assortment of sausage, bread, and olives is always a nice way to start.  It was missing some cheese.  A few slices of Iberico ham would’ve been a nice addition as well.

Salumi plate

Papas frites-This dish had a nice kick to it with potatoes, egg, and mushrooms.

Papas frites

I forgot to take a photo of our Paella, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was a much smaller portion for 2 people to split than typically occurs with Paella.  The hazelnut gelato was a perfect dessert.

Patanegra (Spanish restaurant)

Patanegra (Spanish restaurant)

patanegra

What a delightful, hidden restaurant off the beaten path of NW 23rd! It was a bit tricky to find since it’s not actually on NW 23rd Avenue, but rather NW 23rd Place.  Pata Negra apparently stands for Iberico ham.  Check out this slide show of the Pata Negra (black pigs) as well as the restaurant and food served there.  We were seated at the nice, cozy table pictured in the slide show by the window.  Check out their dinner menu.  This link to the wine list provides a map of Spain and the various regions.  I only drank by the glass which is listed by clicking on the tab “by the glass” on the far right.

Open kitchen at the back

kitchen

Well stocked bar to the side

bar

We passed on the paella this visit and indulged in tapas to try a variety of their dishes. I started out with gazpacho and a glass of mencia (red wine from the Bierzo region). The gazpacho was absolutely refreshing given the warm day with a nice bite at the end.

gazpacho

My husband started out with the classic tortilla espanola. It was delicious and perfectly prepared.

tortilla espanola

I then had the rollitos de berenjena (grilled eggplant). (pictured on the back right)  I recall an amazing deep fried Aubergine when in Spain 2 years ago, but this was not quite the same. I wasn’t a fan of the fuzz that was like eating a peach.

tapas

The grilled asparagus was simple, but delicious!

asparagus

My husband ordered the filete de ternera (grilled beefsteak and fingerlings). The steak melted in your mouth and the fingerlings had great flavor.

steak

I then finished up with the pan con tomate, jamon y queso (bread with Serrano ham (from Spain) with manchego cheese).  (pictured on the front left)  This was delicious with a glass of monastrell (red from the Alicante and Jumilla regions).

tapas

The service was impeccable and we’ll definitely return again!

Greek pizza?

Greek pizza?

Greek pizza?

My husband and I collaborated on dinner tonight.  I don’t know if you’d call it a pizza, but it was delicious!

Turn the oven grill on high (or you could grill this outside).

Ingredients:

Whole wheat pita bread
Cucumber, chopped
Tomatoes (I used Roma), chopped
Feta cheese, crumbled
Taziki sauce
Kalamata olives, pitted, sliced in half
Jar of roasted peppers, chopped
Sea salt
Olive oil, extra virgin

Sprinkle the olive oil on the pita and place it under the grill for 2-3 minutes.

Take it out of the oven and sprinkle the toppings on the pita in the following order:

Chopped cucumber
Chopped tomatoes
Sliced kalamata olives
Feta cheese
Roasted peppers

Grill on high for 6 minutes.  You can keep checking it to ensure that it’s nicely browned and doesn’t burn.

Remove it from the oven.

Sprinkle Taziki sauce and sea salt.

It was perfectly crunchy yet not too crunchy.  What a flavor combination!  I found that it paired nicely with a glass of Chateau Ste. Michelle Sweet Riesling (2011).  It was perfect for a hot evening in Portland, OR!

Greek pizza?

Chateau Ste. Michelle