Vacation from Seattle: Leavenworth

I recently went to Leavenworth with Ryan and my big Golden Retriever, Rinzler. The two hour journey from Seattle was well worth time, even when we were sitting in traffic for 20 minutes. I just wanted to point out 2 restaurants that I thought are worth going to. So here are the reviews:

South Restaurant:

 http://www.southrestaurants.com/menu/#south-fresh-modern-latin-food-and-drink-1-1-1

We were wandering around looking for somewhere that wasn’t completely packed on a Friday evening in July. We stumbled across South and were so glad we did. We were seated right away. The meal prices were moderate ranging from 8 – 17 dollars. The server asked if we wanted chips and salsa, so of course we ordered it. Who is going to turn down homemade chips? We did not realize those chips would cost us 7 dollars later as the server did not mention this.

I ordered a Cubano Burrito. It had all the normal fixing of a burrito with the addition of fried banana for $11.95. Fried bananas in burritos is like grilled cheese dipped in tomato soup, amazing. It came with a cabbage salad side, which was pretty bland but edible. It also came with more homemade chips, so we probably didn’t need the initial basket we ordered.

I also ordered an Icicle Brewing amber brew. Surprisingly, it was very good with a nice light malty taste and not too dark, perfect for the 80 degree weather we were hanging out in.

The server was very young and seemed unfocused. She barely checked on our table and was pushy to give us our check. I was only halfway done when she gave the bill to us. Although, I believe other servers were on their game as the restaurant was bustling. I wouldn’t let this one incident deter you from trying South.

Ratings (1-5):

Overall: 4 – Recommended

Atmosphere: 3.5 – Slightly noisy due to the place being crammed. We sat in the aisle where lots of people were walking back and forth.

Food Quality: 5 – Yum!

Services: 3 – The server was distant and not very communicative.

Bikeability: n/a

Dog Friendly – Dogs are not allowed

Watershed Café:

http://www.watershedleavenworth.com/#about

We passed by the Watershed Café for dinner, but decided it was a bit too pricey for us. We did notice a brunch that is only served on Sunday that was reasonably priced. Brunch is our thing! We were sat immediately outside on the deck on a warm Sunday morning and drank our delicious coffee. Our server was prompt and very informed of the menu.

Ryan decided to go healthy and order the egg white omelet (right above). I went the other direction and ordered the biscuits and gravy. Both meals were made from fresh local ingredients and sure tasted like it. My sausage gravy was thick and delicious. The spices in it were perfect. My homemade biscuits were fluffy and fit well with the gravy.  It also came with melon, home fries, and a side of eggs. I wish I could have the recipe for all of it, but I know I would never be able to make it like they did.

Ratings (1-5):

Overall: 4.5 – Recommended for brunch, dinner is very pricey.

Atmosphere: 5 – Nice deck with shade to relax on.

Food Quality: 5 – Yum!

Services: 5 – The server was knowledgeable and available.

Bikeability: n/a

Dog Friendly – Dogs are not allowed.

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JOULE (FREMONT)

Happy Friday!IMG_20160213_112719.jpg

Joule… you have won my heart. I recently took my parents (from MI) and Ryan to Joule. We had read reviews that brunch was good and was worth trying. So, we did just that.

Located in Fremont, Joule has a nice modern, hip feel to the restaurant. Right off the bat it was welcoming. We made reservations for 4 people on Saturday at 10:30AM. If you are planning on brunch on the weekend, I would recommend making reservations as this place will be packed.

Now to the food – Joule is unique in that they have a buffet; the buffet’s theme changes every month. On top of the buffet, you also get to choose a meal. This is all for $19.00. Our buffet was Asian themed which included a noodle salad, tofu bites, red bean cookies, and other veggie and fruit dishes. It was amazing; A + .

For my meal, I chose French Toast made with Green Curry and topped with Apple Chutney. I wanted to try something unique, but not too crazy. The presentation of the dish was very appetizing, and I did not wait for others to dig in because it looked so good. The unique flavor of the Green Curry batter of the French Toast was delicious. It was not spicy and overall worked well the Apple Chutney.

 

I was able to sneak a piece of Ryan’s Chicken Fried Steak and Waffles. The Chicken Fried Steak was cooked and cut perfectly. This is the best I have ever had. The portion size was large, so come hungry for this dish.

I also need to point out that our server was amazing! She knew the menu so well that when she explained the items I wanted one of everything. She was very attentive and did a great job. I wish I got her name, because I would request her next time.

Joule also had really good looking Bloody Mary’s and other cocktails, but I did not indulge. Next time I will! I cannot wait to go back 🙂 Anyone want to join me for Sunday Brunch?

 

Ratings (1-5):

Overall: 5 – Highly recommend it

Atmosphere: 4.5 Slightly noisy due to the place being so popular. over very hip, cool setting.

Food Quality: 5 – I can’t wait to come back next month and see what is on the menu!

Services: 5 – The hostess sat us right away and our server was great!

Bikeability: 5 – there is a bike rack right outside the front door

Dog Friendly – Dogs are not allowed.

Macrina Bakery (Sodo)

Hi All! 

Sorry for the long gap in my posts, hopefully I can be better in 2016. This post is about Macrina Bakery. Check out their about page, they have a cool background on getting started.

Located on 1st avenue near the Starbuck headquarters, I had driven past this place many times and finally decided to stop for brunch when my parents were in town from Michigan. It was a Saturday morning around 10:30am.

There are 2 entrances when you walk in and it can be confusing on where to order. We were there when it was bit busy and it was pretty tight. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Luckily, we were able to snag a table for the 4 of us (Ryan included).

I ordered the Market Special, which can change often. Mine was “Omelet of roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and fontina garnished with roasted tomato-caper purée. Served with herb-roasted potatoes, fresh fruit and Fresh Herb toast.” Please note this description is from http://macrinabakery.com/brunch-menu.php . This is also where you can see all of their offerings. The omelet was delicious. I like ordering things I could never make at home and this was one of those items. If you love veggies, you will like this choose.

My dad ordered the Housemade Granola Parfait. I had a taste and was pleasantly surprised at the flavor and additives offered for the yogurt. If you are looking for a smaller meal this would be a good choice.

If you are looking for larger meal I would recommend the French Toast. Just take a look at the picture posted with this post and you will see why. How it looks, is how it tastes. Thick pieces of French toast, topped with real whipped cream and berries; with a side of sausage. Ryan loved it and so did I, although he did not want to share very much with me.

Overall I would recommend Macrina Bakery. It is a unique bakery local to Seattle, with only one other location in Belltown. The Sodo location can get quite busy, so I would recommend going early or later after the brunch hour. The service time is reasonable given the amount of business and the staff was friendly.  The place can be hard to navigate with ordering and finding a place to sit and it was quite loud in the bakery, but the food makes up for all that. I will be back!

Ratings (1-5):

Overall: 4.5 – Highly recommend it

Atmosphere: 3 (during peak hours) – Hard to navigate ordering and find a place to sit

Food Quality: 5 – I can’t wait to come back and try the breads and sweets

Services: 5 – Very friendly helpful employees

Bikeability: 5 – there is a bike rack right outside the front door

Dog Friendly – Dogs are not allowed inside, but in the summer there is small patio seating right out front.