Archive for the tag “Seattle”

Ant Ordered What? (Guest post!)

What’s happenin’ everyone? No, I’m not Ker Kilbourne. I’m Ant Pruitt. I hope you’re doing well. I’m unbelievable as always. This is “She Ordered What?”. A site I enjoy reading because the li’l lady pops into restaurants around the world, and tasks her server with ordering her meals on her behalf. It’s totally off the cuff, and leads to her being served interesting and tasty dishes. I give her credit on this because she has been able to discover some dishes that may be off the beaten path. Not just a standard “grilled salmon over rice.” I’m going to take this opportunity and guest post, if she’ll have me. (grins)

(Kerri here: I LOVE that Ant surprised me with a guest post, and he knows full well that I will absolutely post anything he writes!  Ant is one of my dear and beloved friends – with great talent online, be it photography, podcasts, or writing.  I’m thrilled to post his article about his experience!)

Recently, I’ve been fortunate enough to have some amazing blessings in my professional life and in my hobby world. By day, I’m an IT analyst that stares at SQL and application code all day. By night and all times in between, my hobbies include online technology commentary as well as smartphone photography commentary and podcasting. On the week of October 21st, I was able to make a trip out to Seattle and Bellevue, Washington. I was blessed with a contract to create content on a new website (sponsored by HTC), which includes my smartphone photography commentary. I looked forward to this (my first) trip to Seattle to see the area, HTC campus, and to eat some damn good food.  Not to mention, tasting the local brews.

Upon getting to my hotel, I had to get in a quick workout, then load up on some protein and local brew. The very attractive Nine O Bar and Grill is inside the Silver Cloud hotel. I sat at the bar and asked my waiter for a glass of milk, (Kerri here again – Only Ant would order milk at a bar and probably garner a flirty grin from the bartender!)  and when I was done, I’d like to try a local brew she suggests.  She suggested African Amber by Mac and Jack’s Brewing in Redmond, WA. Good call, Karina. Good call.

 As I enjoyed the brew, I took a snapshot to work on my photography skills. No. It’s not food porn, sorry.

 

Photo credit: Ant Pruitt

Image credit: Ant Pruitt

So launch day arrives. After a night of tossing and turning in my bed, I was driven over to the HTC campus in Bellevue. I met some great people, put in some work before we hit the “launch” button, and discussed more plans with my colleagues of “aNewDomain”. Launch day of the site BreakingModern was a great success! Everyone was thrilled. And the end of the day meant some celebrating with colleagues, food, and brew.

Our driver, Zola, was an Ethiopian college student. When the topic of dinner came up, he was all over us with the an Ethiopian venue he loves. Sure! Why not? Our ride to downtown Seattle landed us at Wonder Sports Bar.

Ok, I had my trepidation as it was called a “sports bar.” But I found that it was a move of marketing genius on the owner’s part. Interest in Wonder was slow originally. Really slow. So it rebranded itself into Wonder Sports Bar. Nothing really changed, other than putting burgers on the menu. Since then, the restaurant has been doing much better with increased traffic and local enjoying authentic Ethiopian cuisine. (Ker here:  LOVE this!  Way to generate foot traffic and keep the place going.)

I looked at the menu and immediately knew I wanted lamb, but our server (the owner) said she’d like to treat us family-style. So as we waited on our food, we all check our phone messages for the day since we were so focused with the launch. (Ker: Nerd alert! 😉 )

 

Image credit: Dan

Image credit: Dan Patterson

(Ker: That’s Ant in the upper right corner.  He refers to himself as the “large, angry black man”. So completely not true!)

We were handed a piping hot platter of food which included Kay Watt (spicy lamb), Yemisir Watt (green lentils), Kitfo (Ethiopian Steak), Yesiga Alicha (mild lamb) and Injera (Ethiopian bread).  I washed the AMAZING food down with another local brew called Men’s Room by Elysian Brewing. Another fine brew from the state of Washington. There’s something about sitting on a comfy couch with a brew, a big platter of grub and eating it WITH YOUR HANDS. Nope. No forks or knives.  Great experience.  (Ker here: This immediately reminded me of my fantastic experience at a Southeast Indian restaurant in Singapore – eating off of banana leaves – such a cool experience!).

 

Image credit: Ant Pruitt

Image credit: Ant Pruitt

I hope I didn’t embarrass Ker with my post quality. I’m not as eloquent as she is, and it shows in my writing sometimes. At any rate, I enjoyed my visit to Seattle and enjoyed sharing my grubbing/brew experience with her readers.

Thanks for reading and here comes the shameless self-promotion. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and check out aNewDomain for tech news and commentary, then check out BreakingModern for your random commentary about day-to-day life topics. Thanks again. – Ant

(Kerri: Thank you so much, Ant.  I really enjoyed reading about your experiences in Washington!  I can’t believe you are the man who just a year ago had NEVER BEEN ON A PLANE!! You are making the most of your experiences, and I’m truly happy for you!  Cheers – to more glorious travel and exciting experiences! – Ker)

The Marathon Business Trip – CA, WA, and PA

Some of you may recall my first business trip with my current company.  I still owe y’all a post on the other dining adventures in New Orleans, but this post is about a few meals I had on my second set of business trips.

This particular trip saw me visit six different airports, three different customers, three different time zones, travel 6,200+ miles – in four days.  (the kicker… last leg of the journey had a four-hour delay!  But…I got home, and that’s the important part!)

My coworker, Jeff, and I (bless his heart for having to travel with me from 6AM Monday to 7AM Wednesday!) first went to California to visit my old stomping grounds in Orange County.  It’s amazing how much I had forgotten about getting around the OC.  I was not the best navigation guide!  However, we did have a nice, healthy lunch in Irvine, and then after meeting with our customer, we had a fantastic dinner out in Newport that evening before heading out to Seattle the following morning.

In Newport, our customer led us to Newport Landing – a great location right on the water.  It was a lovely view, and the food was pretty darned fabulous too!  We started with the oysters on ice and calamari strips (friends…that calamari was some of THE BEST I’ve ever had – really meaty, with a light tempura breading).  Shame on me for not snapping a picture of our apps, because they were worth selling y’all on having them!

For dinner, I handed our server my trusty little card. She was quite receptive, and decided to bring me a dish from the downstairs kitchen.  I was delivered the “Hawaiian Nut Opakapaka”, macadamia nut crusted, and served with mango salsa, roasted tomato with cheese, and fantastically delicious wild rice.  Seriously, the flavors on the fish were tremendous, and the wild rice was amazing – red peppers, onions, celery, cheese, spice, etc.

Newport

image

The wild rice – YUM! And, the mango-pineapple salsa – so good!

This filet was quite thick in the middle, and for me, it was a bit undercooked in the center. There was plenty enough food on the plate for me, so I simply picked around the center of the filet.  I was rather impressed when our server came by and asked if she could have the chef further cook the fish to make it more palatable for me because she had noticed that I was picking around the edges.  I politely declined, because I was already full, and there was no reason to send the dish back. However, I did admit that the center was a bit undercooked, IMO, so she could provide feedback to the chef.

All in all, the service, the apps, and the dinner (despite a slight misstep) were fantastic at Newport Landing!  Not to mention that the atmosphere was casual and beautiful – who doesn’t enjoy looking out on Newport Bay?

Jeff and I then continued on to Seattle to visit with another customer.  We were delayed out of LA and into Seattle, but we got there in time to have a good business discussion.  Following our meeting, we headed over to Salty’s for a pre-dinner cocktail.  That one cocktail turned into another and eventually turned into dinner as we waited out a thunderstorm.  Again, we were sitting right on the water, so we had a cool view – even during the storm.

2013-06-25 16.54.56A bit reluctantly, Jeff and I tried the calamari appetizer at Salty’s, and as expected, it simply did not live up to the calamari from the night before.  It wasn’t “bad” calamari; we simply had extremely high expectations after the appetizer at Newport Landing!

2013-06-25 17.14.49We had the blackened fish taco appetizer as well.  I couldn’t really taste the “blackened” flavor, but it was still tasty – if a bit messy!

For my entrée, our server, Chloe, enthusiastically chose the Grilled Copper River Salmon – because it was in season and had been a really popular choice of late.  The salmon was served over sticky rice and with an Asian salad consisting of green papaya, radish, daikon sprout, Oregon baby shrimp, and finished off with a creamy red wine vinaigrette chili sauce and toasted sesame seeds.

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Chloe had asked to have the fish prepared “medium”, and it was cooked absolutely perfectly!  It was a really nice choice, and I love that Chloe chose the dish because she really felt it was the best entree and the right time of year to serve it.  She and I talked for quite a bit at the end of the evening, and this woman knows her stuff!  She’s also going to school to become a dentist and volunteers time helping folks who cannot afford dental care (helping prepare them for job interviews and such) – just a really cool woman!

I have to admit that I think the food is a bit overpriced at Salty’s.  It was good, but $50 an entree is more than I would generally spend.  There are lower-priced options, but the four of us still managed to rack up a rather hefty bill.  I’m glad Jeff took that one to expense!  🙂

It was still raining a bit when we left Salty’s (I know, raining in Seattle – shocker!), and one of the guys mentioned that there was “liquid sunshine” above us.  I’d never heard that phrase, but I quite like it!

2013-06-25 22.59.35The next morning, Jeff and I headed to the airport and then headed in different directions (sort of). He headed home to Milwaukee and I headed further east to Philadelphia for another customer meeting.  The evening that I arrived, another coworker took me to dinner at a charming haunt that is a fave of our business contact.  We went to dinner at The Saloon Cucina Italia on 7th Street in downtown Philadelphia.  It’s now one of my recent favorites as well.  Everything from the exterior door, to the interior decor, to the service – and THE FOOD!

I was actually able to decide what I wanted for dinner, so this doesn’t truly warrant a “She Ordered What?” post, but the food and atmosphere were too fantastic not to mention!

We started off with a hot appetizer plate of two each of the: Grilled Langostino, Poblano Peppers (yum!), Clams Pavorotti, and Clams Casino.  The Langostinos lacked flavor, but everything else was divine!

I ordered a half order of a salad special that evening. Spinach, mozzarella, apricots, & toasted walnuts wrapped in prosciutto, and topped with fresh black pepper.  It was such an interesting spin on a salad, and it was spectacular!

2013-06-26 20.35.48For dinner, I chose the Fettuccine Lobster Amatriciana.  It just jumped off the page and sounded exactly like what I wanted that evening.  Folks, I made a good choice!  The dish was made of homemade fettuccine with lobster, bacon, onion, fresh tomato, leeks and sharp provolone cheese in tomato sauce.

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I’ll just leave you with this, friends.  If you’re in Philadelphia and want good Italian food, friendly service, and a cool atmosphere, please check out The Saloon.

And…when you see me and I’m fat and happy – you know why!  My new job has me eating a very well thus far!  🙂

Cheers!

Ker

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