Congratulations to our 2010 James Beard finalists

Congratulations to local chefs for being named finalists for James Beard Foundation awards for 2010.

Finalist again for the Outstanding Restaurateur award is Tom Douglas (Dahlia Bakery, Dahlia Lounge, Etta’s, Lola, Palace Kitchen, Serious Pie).

Seattle boasts two returning finalists for Best Chef Northwest: Ethan Stowell (Anchovies and Olives, How to Cook a Wolf, Tavolata, Union) and Jason Wilson (Crush).

Portland trumped Seattle in the category this year, as rounding out the finalist list are Naomi Pomeroy (Beast), Andy Ricker (Pok Pok), and Cathy Whims (Nostrana). I hope to have a chance to dine at all of these fine Portland restaurants this year, so I can say with confidence that we have five fully deserving nominees representing the Northwest.

Good luck to everyone! The Awards Gala will be held the 3rd of May in New York.


The space is small, the plates are tiny, and the experience 
is the full-meal deal.

Txori (pronounced "CHO-ree") is best staged for a postwork, preprandial flirtation, ample lubed with the poor-man's sangrria pitilin gorri, (wine & orange soda), or something off the fine list of Spanish reds.

Don't Miss the four-course, family-style suppers, held every the first Monday of each month as long-form showcase of the chef's chops.

Don't go and mistake this place for a dinner place. This is strictly interlude food in the EU flare. A breathe of fresh air in a town gone giddy with gastropubs.

(206) 204-9771
2207 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

Txori Bar on Urbanspoon

Zayda Buddy's Pizza

Zayda Buddy's [4sq button added] is Ballard's only Minnesota style pizza joint and classic Midwest bar. Their signature thin crust pizza has an amazingly flavorful sauce, are topped with fresh Wisconsin mozzarella, and cut into squares, staying true to Minnesota tradition.

Zayda Buddy’s features Midwestern cuisine like their tator tot hot dish, deep fried cheese curds plus a full line of sandwiches, burgers and appetizers.

Zayda Buddy’s is also a great place to go for a great cocktail or a nice cold beer from our choice northwest and Midwest beer selection. We are the official Leinenkugel's bar of Ballard and serve up one fine house made margarita. See their website for more information.

Get what's left of a limited number of $50 gift cards for $12.50, here.

(206) 783-7777
5405 Leary Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)

Zayda Buddy's Pizza on Urbanspoon

How To Cook a Wolf

Don't Miss: The seared scallops. Perfect with either doused in a controne bean vinaigrette, or a schmear of artichoke puree.

Best stage set for a midnight nosh: when's it's at its twinkliest, hardly anything else is left open in town, and well fewer bodies are vying for your table.

(206) 838-8090
2208 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

How To Cook a Wolf on Urbanspoon

Herfy's Burgers (#11)

In a hurry with the kiddos? Can't decide what to get and live in the Renton Highlands. About a place that serves Burgers, Teriyaki, Fish & Chips, or even Salads.

Good old fashioned burger joint, 50's-60's feel. Extensive, 30 or so, and well-made milkshake list. Décor is "American Burger Joint" but don't let it put you off. I would also say Good not Great, but always good. You'll get the same thing from visit to visit.

It was also quite when I was here, but business seem to be slow as well.

Don't want to drive all the way to Dick's eat here.

(425) 271-1300
1170 Sunset Blvd NE
Renton, WA 98056

Herfy's Burgers on Urbanspoon

Cedar Grill (Family Restaurant)

This place has good home cooking and is a nice place to go on a weekend night just to unwind. It is quiet enough that you can talk with those that you go here with and is home enough that you wouldn't mind coming back again & again. Check out their website to see all that they have. They serve all 3 meals seven days a week. Next time I go I might try a Home-Style Dinners combo, you can see this on their menu.

This takes me back to when I lived in the UK. Not the food so much but the neighborhood feel to it all. I hope that this place is a part of Maple Valley for a long time to come.

(425) 432-4651
23631 Maple Valley Black Diamond Rd SE
Maple Valley, WA 98038

Cedar Grill Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon Cedar Grill on Urbanspoon

88 Keys Dueling Piano and Sports Bar

Food was not high on the list here, when I went. The entertainment can be good & at other times- well let's just say this is not a place to take Mom, unless she likes dirty lyrics. It is a good place for the young at heart to cut loose a bit and to feel your oats in which case the food is not the item you are going for anyways. The drinks on the other hand might be.

75% off on gift cards, for a limited time.

"You decide"

Buy gift cards HERE for 75% off or better until there gone.

(206) 839-1300
315 2nd Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

88 Keys Dueling Piano and Sports Bar on Urbanspoon

The Breakfast Club

This place seems to always be busy and after eating here I know why. Even the choices off the menu that you think aren't going to be that healthy are done up in a way the is both healthier and leaving your tummy happy. The portions are not that large, but are large enough that you know you had a good meal. Just about everything on my visit was about perfect. I wish we had one of these next to my place of employment (different state) has I'd have to go once or twice every week.

480.222.CLUB (2582)
- Call for Take-Out -

4400 N Scottsdale Rd
(Northwest corner of Scottsdale & Stetson)
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Monday - Friday 6 am - 3 pm
Saturday & Sunday 8 am - 3 pm

Breakfast Club on Urbanspoon

La Fuente

Don't waste your time or money. I stood around waiting so I could wait some more while the employee took a non-work related call on their cell phone. Had many tables open and could not get sat. Then when the food did come after being there for longer than I should have waited it was not that good and left me feeling like I had a brick in my tummy. I will not go here again unless I need to feel sick and want to be treated badly. I know the place seems to have a high rating on Urbanspoon, but I just don't see it. I will only go back kicking or with a fat check.

(425) 228-7757
3221 Sunset Blvd NE
Renton, WA 98056

La Fuente on Urbanspoon

Hacienda Del Mar Mexican

This is a great family place close to those who live out in Maple Valley and Black Diamond areas. I have seen the Margaritas here at really good prices and at some just so/so prices, but always fair and have not figured this one out but the drinks are always very good. This night my company & I shared the Steak Fajitas for one and each had a Margarita on the rocks, the way we like it. We got plenty to eat. I will be back and will tell friends in the area to check it out some week night. I have no idea what the weekend crowd is like, but if I had to guess I'd say it is more of the same; family or young couples.

(425) 413-5838
27433 Maple Vly Black Diamond
Maple Valley, WA 98038

Hacienda Del Mar Mexican on Urbanspoon

Touchdowns Sports Bar & Grill

Good old American Sport Pub. No other place has made a good run of this location, but this might be the brightest star this location has had. Good place to go during the week after work to unwind some. Prices seem to be pretty good too, but you'll not find anything really special here. It will be just want they tell you good old American grub!

Half off on gift cards, for a limited time.

"You decide"

Buy gift cards HERE for 50% off or better on gift cards until there are all gone.

(425) 228-7500
423 Airport Way
Renton, WA 98057

Touchdowns Sports Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Tapatio's Mexican Restaurant (Newcastle)

Great Decor & use of colors. Chips and Salsa just room temp, not great. The real WOW was when the food came. After the let down of sub-standard chips and seeing the slightly higher prices, I was shocked by the great grub. I had the Sizzling Steak Fajitas (right) which I could tell the steak had been marinated in yummy red wine. The food was great and my company for this meal had got the Camarones A la Diabla (left): Prawns marinated in garlic & fresh herbs. Sauteed in white wine & butter... Yummy (center).

(425) 747-0477
6920 Coal Creek Pkwy SE
Newcastle, WA 98059

Tapatio's Mexican Restaurant (Newcastle) on Urbanspoon

Wild Ginger

Save yourself $3,000 on airfare by not buying plane tickets. You don't need to fly to Asian to feast on the best food from this part of the world. Why you maybe asking yourself? Because it has come to you herein Seattle.

Since opening on July 29, 1989, Wild Ginger has set a new standard for Asian cuisine in the Northwest. They offer authentic recipes from the Pacific Rim countries lying between India and Japan: Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, South China and Vietnam. Signature offerings such as Fragrant Duck, Seven Flavor Beef, Ginger Martinis and Mango Daiquiris have marked Wild Ginger's indelible presence as a Pacific Northwest dining destination. Local and national food critics and Northwest residents have consistently rated Wild Ginger as among the very finest Northwest restaurants. The New York Times wrote: "...this is perhaps the most provocative, and fun, restaurant in Seattle."

After years of travel and research into traditional Asian cooking, owners Rick and Ann Yoder conceived the founding principles of Wild Ginger: fresh quality products, cooked to order and served professionally in a casual, warm atmosphere. It is a concept that is deceptively simple, but involves a complex balance of Asian cooking, stylish decor and professional Western service standards. Executed with panache, these principles have made Wild Ginger what the Puget Sound Business Journal has called: "A rare and wonderful bird."

"Wild Ginger is widely viewed as one of the highest-quality dining experiences in Seattle, yet despite the widespread popularity of our food, we are far from the highest priced restaurant in Seattle", said Rick Yoder. "We've tried to keep our prices moderate so everyone can enjoy the best in Asian cooking and keep Wild Ginger a place to go when you want good value."

(206) 623-4450
1401 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

Wild Ginger on Urbanspoon

Jimmy Mac's Roadhouse (Renton)

Fresh-Hot-Out-Of-The-Oven Yeast Roll served with whipped honey butter alone are worth the trip. As if that wasn't all then you get as many peanuts as you want and you must throw the shells on the floor- it's a rule. It is fun to see peanut fights break out from time to time. Can you throw a peanut into somebody else's water glass at your own table, when they are not looking? You'll start to fill full if you let your self before you even order your food, but don't do it. Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse has a superb selection of lunch and dinner appetizers, fresh salads, tasty soups, some of the best steaks, chicken, and seafood around, and don't forget to save room for our homemade desserts! The steaks are fire-seared. Only Nebraska corn-fed choice beef, aged for tenderness, always fresh (never frozen). Better yet is you may not expect great seafood at a steak joint, but at Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse you won't be disappointed. After all, they are in the Pacific Northwest! Try the great Crabcakes, Salmon, and Shrimp.

(425) 227-6881
225 SW 7th St
Renton, WA 98055

Dinner Menu [pdf]

Jimmy Mac's Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

Click map to enlarge.

El Encanto Mexican

Great Food and better Margaritas. This place is like a Disney Land for foodies. Pictures below show more than a thousands word could ever tell but still don't give the whole story. I loved the way the inside of this place looked and would have never guess by what I could see from the outside. The food was really very good. The Margaritas had great flavor not like a sweet tart and you can get them by the pitcher.

So what to get? The Sea Bass Vera Cruz and the Chicken Mole. Mole is a sauce from Puebla, in South Central Mexico, a state where they make a lot of chocolate, an ingredient prevalent in Mole. Both sauces were developed originally in the kitchen by Alfredo. They have modified them over the years, adding the freshest ingredients, but always maintaining their authenticity. Mole is an acquired taste, but thiers is very authentic and delicious. And, I always thought that if anyone would try the Vera Cruz, they would be tasting the real flavors of Mexico.

(480) 488-1752
6248 E Cave Creek Rd
Cave Creek, AZ 85331

El Encanto Mexican on Urbanspoon

Pei Wei Asian Diner (Fountain Hills)

Pei Wei is said as "Pay Way", not as "Pea Wee". This break off of P. F. Chang's China Bistro is a less costly way of getting their great food. Kind of a cross between P. F. Chang's China Bistro & Panda Express. With all of the up side of both and none of the down side of each. I feel the food here is much healthier than at Panda Express but then again I'm not the one to be handing out the health advice, at least not to anybody the doesn't know better. Only one regret. The closest one to my home in Seattle, WA is in Salt Lake City, UT. A bit far for a walk-up ordered meal. I hope that next time I'm in Phoenix which I go a few times a year I'll make it back here, unless there is some other new place to check out.

(480) 837-0926
14835 E Shea Blvd
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

Pei Wei Asian Diner on Urbanspoon

Billy McHale's Restaurant (Renton)

Steak & the Bacon Wrapped or Coconut Prawns although among the most pricey on the menu seemed to be a normal order for me at this place. This place has cool stuff all over the place to look at & even more so for the kids. Not as good as in it's hay day when they all were owned by one man, but still a good visit. Great deals for the early dinner crowd. Each one is nor owned by different owners with the old manager buying up half the stores. Over half the stores closed up upon the founder of Billy's selling off. The founder of these place also started the Jimmy Macs Steakhouse which I enjoy even more, but not as kid friendly as Billy's.

(425) 271-7427
241 SW 7th St
Renton, WA 98055

Billy McHale's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

* click on menu for larger size.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro

My first time to a P.F. Chang's China Bistro was here. It was awesome. P.F. Chang's China Bistro take Chinese food to a new level. You might pay a little bit more here but it is worth every penny for a special event. This would be a great place to take a date or just some friends who really enjoy their Chinese food. I'm lucky that they have these on the West Coast to so that I can be going back again and again.

(609) 348-4600
2801 Pacific Ave
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon

Pizzeria Fondi

A different kind of Pizza. In a world where everybody try's to stand out this place has done it almost as it seems without trying. Enjoy Authentic Neapolitan Style Pizza fresh and hot from traditional brick oven as well as an amazing array of salads and appetizers. Compliment your meal with a selection from our list of Italian and domestic wines. Plus you can bring your pizza with you into the Kent Station AMC movie house.

(253) 850-3111
504 Ramsay Way
Kent, WA 98032

Pizzeria Fondi on Urbanspoon