When Sunday rolled around, it was time to pack up our bags and bid farewell to Seattle.
Since The Astronomer and I had enjoyed such a stellar meal at The Corson Building on Friday night, we decided to brunch at another of Chef Matt Dillon’s restaurants before leaving town: Sitka & Spruce. I loved that our #2DaysinSeattle stay was bookended by thoughtful, Pacific Northwest-inflected meals, with a winning mix of booze and biscuits in between.
Chef Dillon opened the original Sitka & Spruce in a nondescript Eastlake storefront in 2006. The restaurant relocated to spiffier digs inside Capitol Hill’s Melrose Market in 2010. While I can’t speak to the ambiance of the first spot, the current one is absolutely gorgeous, with tons of natural light streaming in.
Brunch, which is served on Saturdays (10 AM to 2 PM) and Sundays (10 AM to 3 PM), is a beautiful affair. The menu features a selection of small and large plates that encourage family-style sharing, and the offerings go far beyond basics like French toast and eggs Benedict. It’s the kind of interesting and delicious fare that I would gladly sacrifice sleeping in to experience.
I wanted to order the entire menu, of course, but our party of four could only handle so much, especially after last night’s never-ending feast at Staple & Fancy.
Continue reading ‘Sitka & Spruce – Seattle’
The Astronomer and I have visited Seattle four times in past three years, which is really something considering that we don’t have any family in the area. On each of these jaunts, we’ve made a concerted effort to explore the city’s sites beyond the hectic fun of Pike’s Place Market.
We’ve spent time at the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum (I liked the Sir Mix-A-Lot exhibit best), toured the Ballard Locks, witnessed the art of glass blowing, quacked aboard the “Ride the Ducks” spectacle, and hiked to Kerry Park for the best view of the city.
On this latest #2DaysinSeattle trip, The Astronomer and I took it super-easy, filling our time with long stretches of walking, a little shopping, and much eating. Following breakfast at Dahlia Bakery, we strolled to South Lake Union to explore two of Chef Tom Douglas’ newest ventures, Dahlia Workshop and Serious Biscuit. Both entities are housed in the same lovely industrial space, along with a second outlet of Serious Pie.
Our seats on the second floor provided excellent views of Dahlia Workshop, which bakes bread and prepares pastries for the entire Tom Douglas restaurant empire.
We saw pie crusts being formed for the famous Triple Coconut Cream Pie and rhubarb being chopped for jam. Spying on the worker bees was an excellent way to pass the time while waiting for our food to arrive.
Continue reading ‘Serious Biscuit – Seattle’
While we’re on the topic of doughnuts and “Best of…” lists, any roundup of Los Angeles’ best would be remiss to exclude Primo’s Westdale Donuts. Celia and Ralph Primo purchased this failing doughnut shop on a whim for $2,000 back in 1956. The impulsive decision turned out to be a perfect fit for the couple, who nursed the shop back to health and transformed it into a doughnut destination.
Today, deep-fried dough seekers, like me and my girl Stassi, descend upon this homey mom and pop shop to fill up on the city’s best buttermilk bars and cake doughnuts. Thank goodness for serendipitous business ventures!
Though Primo’s hours aren’t as limited as those of Chicago’s Doughnut Vault, it’s important to show up on the early side to avoid any disappointment. Doughnuts are only made once a day—once they’re gone, you’re out of luck.
When The Astronomer, Stassi, and I arrived at the shop sometime before noon, the selection was still intact. Whew! Cake Donuts are priced at $0.80 each, while “Fancy” doughnuts go for $0.95.
After a lot of hemming and hawing, we finally settled on a crumb-dusted cinnamon roll (The Astronomer’s pick), a maple bar (my pick), a maple-glazed cake doughnut (a unanimous must), and an old-fashioned buttermilk bar (another unanimous must). While the yeast-risen specimens weren’t light and airy enough for our liking and were a touch too oily, the cake doughnut and buttermilk bar really kicked some serious butt.
Continue reading ‘Primo’s Westdale Donuts – Los Angeles (Westdale)’
Even though I hardly ever agree with “Best of…” round-ups, I must admit that I cannot resist reading each and every one that comes across my radar. What can I say? Lists are fun!
Take for instance the list of America’s 50 Best Donuts that appeared in last month’s Saveur magazine. The authors’ omission of deep-fried paradises Dough in Brooklyn and Frost in Washington state caused me to question the soundness of the research and the overall validity, but I still couldn’t help devouring the entire issue. Twice.
Los Angeles made an excellent showing with a total of four shops making the cut. Joining well-known doughnut powerhouses Stan’s Doughnuts in Westwood Village and The Donut Man in Glendora were Doughnut Hut in Burbank and Earl’s Donuts in Chatsworth. The Astronomer and I hit up both dark horse contenders one Saturday afternoon when family commitments took us to Thousand Oaks. Both shops were on the way, sort of…
Due to its close proximity to home, we swung by Doughnut Hut first. According to the list, the shop’s orange glaze with “bits of zest” was a real treat, as was the “eggy Frenchie” (a.k.a. cruller).
Continue reading ‘Doughnut Hut – Los Angeles (Burbank)’
If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably emailing or texting your friends at this very moment to firm up weekend brunching plans. If you haven’t yet figured out the “where” variable in your dining equation, allow me to make the case for Venice’s Sunny Spot.
After a winter-long hiatus, Chef Roy Choi is reintroducing brunch in brilliant fashion. He’s jammed the new menu with big, bold flavors, as well as portions large enough to share—hallmarks of his style of cooking and feeding.
Natural light pours into Sunny Spot’s main dining room and patio, while rap music, particularly of the West Coast variety, blares from the speakers. This space was made for hosting laid back daytime fetes.
Continue reading ‘Weekend Brunch at Sunny Spot – Los Angeles (Venice)’