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Brunch At Bar Ferdinand

The last few times W has been in town, she’s always wanted tapas, especially for brunch. We tried to go to Bar Ferdinand for brunch on a saturday once, and found out it was only open for brunch on sundays. So this sunday, we made sure to go. It wasn’t busy, so we got a table outside. It was a perfect day for al fresco dining.

The cafe con leche. Like the ones J got in spain? Kinda sorta. They probably don’t serve it with freakin splenda in spain.

The patatas brava… fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce and topped with aioli. The aioli was a bit too much, but the potatoes and the spicy sauce were great.

They have a brunch special where you get 4 tapas for $15. You get to choose from 3 different 4-tapas combos. In one of them is this egg based tapas – Huevo Escalfodo, which is poached eggs, chorizo, spinach, and toast, with a saffron hollandaise. Everybody dug this. It’s slightly creepy looking though, don’t you think?

The hot tapas that came in one of the combos was chorizo al vino. Behind the chorizo is the pan tosta which came with all the combos. This was just a very crunchy piece of toasted flat baguette. Nothing to write home about. A bit too crunchy if you ask me.

W and I both got the Huevo Verde Y Jamon, which was an egg crepe, filled with serrano ham, green beans, and mahon cheese, with a smoked paprika aioli. This was good, but both the ham and the cheese were salty. And with those together, it was too darn salty. I’m not a salt fan.

One of the croquettes… I totally forget which one.

I got the Granola Con Frutas Secas, of house made granola, dried fruit, nuts, low fat yogurt, drizzled with honey. Oh my word. This granola was unbelievable. Like seriously unbelievable. I’ve never had house made granola, but I can’t ever go back to store bought! So. Damn. Good.
W got the churros. This chocolate sauce is thick and bitter. Super dark chocolate. Not for me. The service was ok. I swear we had a server and she must have just started. I asked if there were any brunch specials. And she said no. Then after a long pause she said except for the brunch special. Then she got us the brunch special menu. My brother asked what was on tap. And she said I do not know. Then she got him the draft menu. Really, it wouldn’t hurt to actually know some of the stuff you’re schlocking. It was still tasty and good though. I need to go back for dinner!
Bar Ferdinand on Urbanspoon

Apamate Brunch

On a glorious saturday morning, we needed some grub. It had already started being warm. O had just gotten home for a break from Iraq. We knew that places like Sabrina’s and Morning Glory and Honey’s and such would have hours-long waits. So we knew there’d be a place nearby that wouldn’t be crowded at all – Cafe Apamate. Boy, were we right. We were the only people there for a bit until 2 more tables showed up.

I love the decor here, especially the brick red painted walls. There were carnations on each table. J and O did not believe they were real, but they were. There was a bit too much a/c action going on there though. They needed to turn it down a notch.
The tostas con pisto. It’s a bunch of stewed veggies and a poached egg on top of bread. I had this the last time I was here. This is so damn good. I could eat a giant bowl of these veggies. It’s hard to eat though. You can’t actually lift it and eat it as an open faced sandwich. It’s definitely a fork and knife dish.
O got the de carne hot sandwich. It had sliced rib eye with aoli. It’s served on an awesome baguette… crusty, chewy, delicious. You get your choice of fries or salad. Damn, those fries look good.
I got a cold sandwich, the serrano ham and machego cheese. It’s also served in the awesome baguette. It’s a lot of bread, and not enough ham and cheese, but still delicious. I got salad, and it’s a good salad, with strawberries, pine nuts, and a light zesty vinaigrette.

The service is good here, but the food takes hella long to come out. Which is annoying, especially because there’s hardly ever any people there. I understand everything is made to order, but for real, it’s a long long wait. Which sort of makes me realize why it’s so empty here all the time. I can’t really say all the time though as I’ve only been here twice for brunch. For all I know, it may be hopping for dinner. But from my experience, it’s always been deserted here, and the food takes way too long to come out. I can see why some people wouldn’t want to put up with the wait. It’s a shame though, because the food is just so damn good. I just wish it would be prepared a bit faster. Oh, and brunch prices are incredibly affordable.

Oh, and I thought our server looked familiar. Then later on saturday night, I saw him at the mogwai show, standing about 3 feet away. Small world! I must have seen him at some other shows before…

Cafe Apamate on Urbanspoon

How To Cook A Wolf

One of my favorite things about flying, and I know this sounds totally dorky, is reading the in-flight magazine. And since I fly US Airways 90% of the time, I’ve gotten to know it well. I look forward to the two different crosswords and the two sudokus. I also look forward to the one food column in there written by John Edge. So I’m reading it, and the January column coincidentally happens to be about How To Cook A Wolf, a restaurant in Seattle. He raved about it, so you know what? I went!

The place is fairly teeny tiny, it can’t possibly sit more than 25-35 people. They don’t take reservations either. Their menu is small. The place was packed when I went, but there was one little spot for me at the counter. Right by the door, of course. But since I didn’t have any other options, I grabbed it! It’s very moody, dark, yet warm. The counter is made of cork and the facade is natural stone. The ceiling is lined with pine. It’s adorable.

I guess you would consider this place a tapas type restaurant. It’s definitely a small plates and sharing place. And a wine bar. Tons of wine. Everybody seemed to be some type of sommelier who worked there. They were very into their wine. The crowd is also rather… older. And fancy. Everyone was dressed up and sophisticated looking. And then I walked in with my t-shirt and jeans, plus I wasn’t 50-years old. Even though I know I wasn’t actually the youngest person in there (since I’m deceptively young looking), I still looked like I was the youngest person there, by far. Like 30 years far. But they were still very nice to me.Onto the food! Since it was only me, I couldn’t order tons of stuff and share it, so I went with one recommendation from the article, and one that I would have picked anyway. So the first dish was soft-boiled eggs with anchovy mayonnaise. Yes folks, hard boiled eggs. Sounds boring, right? You have no idea how amazing these eggs were! I mean the concept is so simple. Soft boiled eggs so the yolks are still a bit soft, cut them in half, squeeze a bit of anchovy flavored mayo on top of the eggs, and throw some little herbs on them while you’re at it. Doesn’t seem particularly exciting or enticing, but these were some of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Seriously.Ok, so then I ordered the scallops. They were seared and served with garbanzos, golden raisins, and hummus with a vinaigrette . Very simple yet perfectly prepared. It doesn’t seem like I ate that much food, but I was definitely full. I wanted some dessert anyway, and the server recommended the homemade sorbet. No pic, as it was just three scoops of sorbet in a bowl. I was surprised it wasn’t decorated at all with a mint leaf or something, but it was quite delicious. Just light enough that it didn’t make me much more full than I was.

Just a few notes… I was sitting next to a raucous party and they were getting tons of food. Among them, the beet salad. They just kept going on and on about it, so as as note to yourself, try the beet salad. I kinda wished I’d had more capacity in my belly and had room for that. But I can only gorge so much. So if you’re in the mood for an amazing and slightly sophisticated meal, stop here, get your name on the list, and eventually get to eat. You will wait! But it’ll all be worth it.
How To Cook a Wolf on Urbanspoon

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