Buddakan

This year for my mom’s birthday, she actually didn’t pick sushi! It was a mom’s birthday miracle! Not that I would have minded, but I was excited to mix it up for once. She got to pick, and this time she decided on Buddakan. Can you believe that I’ve never been? So we were all excited to check it out. I was quite surprised at how large the restaurant was inside. When all you get to see from the outside is a big door, you can’t really see what’s happening on the other side. There are a lot of tables here, and several levels. image_2 - CopyWe tried the spicy rock shrimp bao buns. These were like the pork ones, but without the oink, and included pickled slaw and jalapenos. These were nice and spicy and zesty with a sour and sweet crunch. Let’s face it, I love anything with crunchy slaw on it. For those of you non-pork eaters, this is a great way to enjoy a bao experience.image_5 - CopyThese are the General Tso’s Dumplings, which were filled with chicken and a hot & sour broth. M really liked these, and ate most of them, but I only thought they were ok. If I want dumplings, I’ll stick to dim sum garden!image_6 - CopyI’m a sucker for Mao Po Tofu, so I got that as my main entree.  Oh this was really great guys, one of the best mao po tofu dishes I’ve ever had. I have no idea if this is genuine or authentic or whatever, all I know is that I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the way Buddakan made their’s. I would come back here just for this dish in a heartbeat.image_7 - CopyThe birthday lady got the miso black cod served with bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, and a unagi sauce.  I tend to think that ordering miso cod in an asian restaurant is always a safe bet, and this one was no different. It was also a good sized portion, not too small, not too big, perfect for my mom.
image_8 - CopyM is a sucker for seared tuna. If it’s on a menu, any menu, he’s bound to order it. And of course he did here. This is the wasabi tuna tataki with ginger somen noodles. First of all, look how beautiful the tuna is. It was like looking at stained glass or something. Second of all, M said this is the best tuna he has ever eaten. EVER. IN HIS LIFE. He’s not one for such hyperbole, so for him to say such a thing, he meant it.
image_9 - CopyEven though we were all beyond stuffed, we had to get some dessert, specifically the dip sum doughnuts, which were five spice doughnuts with blackberry jam, chocolate sauce, gingered cream cheese dipping sauces. Oh my word. And the best part was that they’re served in a typical chinese takeout container, so it was super easy to take home, which we definitely did! All in all, this was a delicious and fun meal. I’ve been to a number of Stephen Starr restaurants and had positive experiences at all of them, so far. I’d have to say Buddakan is now my favorite! 
Buddakan on Urbanspoon

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Random Seattle Coffee Roundup

I go to Seattle maybe once or twice a year for work. My company is based in a Seattle suburb, so the opportunity comes up somewhat regularly. Seattle is famous for coffee, or maybe infamous for coffee. But despite the big brand name that was born out of that fair city, there are plenty of independent shops that serve some fine coffee. One thing that you see regularly is drive-thru coffee spots. We just do not have these around here. And no, Dunkin Donuts drive-thrus do not count. Mercurys was a drive-thru spot that I stopped at every morning before work. Service was friendly, quick, and the coffee was great. I did not, however, see any of those bikini drive-thru spots. 
A wonderful coffee shop in Fremont is Milstead & Co. It’s fairly roomy and stark, but that doesn’t mean it’s cold. It’s still warm and inviting. And their coffee is amazing. 
Their pastries too. It was a cold and drizzly day when we visited, and it felt like the most perfect place to be at that time.
We also stopped by Citizen for the most beautiful latte art I’ve ever received. Behold the swan! 
This spot is in an adorable house type of building. They have a bunch of food too, including crepes! This simple buckwheat crepe was perfect.

Caffe Zingaro is another quiet spot we visited one morning before we left Seattle. This drink here is the shop’s namesake, . sdfa
Caffe Ladro runs a number of shops in the Seattle area, and I stopped at a couple. They not only have good coffee, but I had an amazing hot chocolate. We we stopped at one downtown, the proprietor took a very long time to make it, and it was worth every bit of the wait. It was full of hot chocolate love. And for cold and dreary Seattle days, it was even better than a coffee. 
One last stop worth mentioning on this random post is Caffe Fiore. They are an organic coffee house with several locations. I remember this particular shop in Fremont being very very busy. So you see, just like every other big city in the US, there are plenty of local independent coffee shop options, even in Seattle. 

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The Best Thai Dish I’ve Ever Had

As I write this post, it is making me sad. Why? When I was in Syracuse for a business trip awhile back, we ended up eating at Erawan Thai Restaurant. It was a random pick, but a good one. My colleague ended up ordering the Nam Prig Ong, and by golly, it’s the best thai dish I’ve ever eaten in my life. Ever. In my life. Yes, I said it. And I’ll say it again. It’s the best thai dish I’ve ever had in my life. However, there is no thai restaurant near me that serves this dish. WHY THE HECK NOT? I have no idea. But it saddens me to think about it, because I know I can’t order it. IMG_3296Yes, I can attempt to make it, and some day I will, but it nevertheless disappoints me that it’s not possible for me to walk into a thai joint around here and order this dish. Oh, the sadness. It was sweet, savory, spicy, and when eaten with rice, it was the greatest thing in the world. Both of us couldn’t stop eating it. And ever since, we can’t stop talking about it. Seriously though, we talk about that dish all the time. It’s like a sickness. Yet I get sad knowing I can’t have it anytime soon. Does anybody know somewhere in the tri-state area I can find this? If so, I will be your greatest fan forever.
Erawan Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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