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Seattle Trip “Ivar’s Seafood Bar”

Ivar’s is a famous seafood restaurant chain based in Seattle. They are the ones who has been sponsoring the 4th of July fireworks in Seattle every year since 1964.

Ivar’s own a few nice waterfront seafood restaurants in Seattle. They also have about 30 Ivar’s Seafood Bars around Washington state. There was one in Aurora nearby our hotel and decided to check that out for dinner.


We had no idea how their fish and chips is like. I thought that it would be the ones I had in London – big piece about 8″ long. So, we ordered the 3-piece fish and chip. The fish (Pacific Cod) were nowhere the size I thought. The batter was perfectly light and most importantly, not too greasy.


We also ordered the Shrimp and Chips. The shrimps were fresh and springy. Six pieces of shrimps. Very nice — we like it.


We also ordered the Summer Slam. Basically, it is three types of fishes and chips — salmon, halibut and cod.


The quality of the seafood was good. Enjoyed it a lot but the servings were smaller than what we expected. However, they do know how to do it right. The entire bill came up to $25, including drinks.


Ivar’s is an absolute must for tourists. So, if you’re Seattle, you should try one of their restaurants or seafood bar.

Ivar's Seafood Bar on Urbanspoon

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Seattle Trip “Trader Joe’s”

Friends have told us about Trader Joe’s and raved about how different they are from other grocery stores. We don’t have TJ’s in Canada and have always planned to check out TJ’s the next time we’re near Seattle. We found one in Everett on the way to Seattle.

TJ’s products are private labeled. They are known for their low prices and boasted the fact that each and every item in the store are tasted by their own panel. Only items they like are sold to the public. If you don’t like the things you bought, you could always return them, with no questions asked.

Since we’re travelling we just bought a couple of snacks for the trip, although there are so many other stuff we wanted to buy too. We bought a bag of TJ’s Spicy Soy and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips for $1.99.


The tortilla chip is really good. It has a flaxseed (like sesame seed) embedded on the chips which gives it a nutty flavour. The spiciness was just right. We couldn’t stop munching them in the car.


We also bought TJ’s Very Chocolate Mini Meringues. Meringues are made from whipped egg white and sugar.


The meringues are dry and crisp. The chocolate on the insides were really rich. It’s a very light snack and you can take quite a few without feeling too full.


Have you ever been to TJ’s?

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Seattle Trip “The City”

The Space Needle is definitely the most recognizable landmark in Seattle. The Needle was built in 1982 1962 (Helena pointed out that the Needle was built in 1962, not 1982. Amazing, over 40 years old!) as the central showcase of the Expo. We had been up on the Space Needle before and so did not go up there again on this trip.


At the Seattle Centre (where the Space Needle is located), there is a dome shaped fountain called the International Fountain. It was a pretty hot day and there were a lot of people cooling off near the fountain.


No visit to Seattle is complete with making a visit the Pike Place Market. This is the place where the first Starbucks shop was opened. We tried looking for it in the Market but could not find it. We found one across the street but I don’t think it’s the original one. Do you know where that original Starbucks is?


The purple coloured cauliflower caught our attention.


There were all kinds of stalls selling fruits, jam, food, crafts, flowers of all kinds.


Pike Place Market is perhaps most famous for their seafood. The Lobsters below were really big. I think it’s $20 per lb!


The Alaskan King Crab were huge … about two feet long. We have never tried this before but would be fun to try cooking it at home. Anyone has any idea how this is normally eaten? The sign sak=ys that they’re pre-cooked … do you eat it just like that?


One of the major attraction of the Pike Market is the Pike Place Fish located just right in front of the main entrance. This is where the employees throw fishes around instead of pass it by hand. There are a lot of tourists milling around with cameras to catch them in action. There were too many people and I did not get a chance to get a shot of the fish throwing.


Seattle is also a major cruise port serving tours to Alaska. Seattle has been steadily taking more cruise ships than Vancouver over the past few years. Seattle is also known as the Gateway to Alaska.


We got this shot from the Gasworks park. This is about the best view of the city skyline across Lake Union.


The Space Needle again … from Gasworks Park.


Oh yeah, we also went to the Experiment Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum. Gosh, that was a complete waste of money if you ask me. It costs $93 for the entrance and they don’t even have exhibits of the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Sam Hui, Bee Gees, Barry Manilow and all my favourite singers!! If you like Jimi Hendrix, go … otherwise, spend your money else where!


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Seattle Trip “Bite of Seattle”

The Bite of Seattle is an annual affair held at the Seattle Center. The 2006 event is the northwest premier food festival and hosts more than 50 restaurants, 30 food product companies and other food and beverage related events. We were there primarily for the food.

When we got there at about 2 pm, there were already a lot of people. Couple with one of the hottest days, it was quite unbearable really. Our main grouse is that the organizers did not have a proper eating area with tables and chairs. So, most people ended up eating on the lawn under trees.


The below is Alligator Meat. It tastes a lot like chicken to me and do wonder if they really are alligator meat. A skewer costs $5 … it better had to be alligator meat for that kind of money!


The Louisiana Crab Cake costs $5 and is served over dirty rice and lemon garlic and tomato wine sauce. We’ve never tried this before but frankly, this does not stand up to Chinese style dish of the same sort. I guess we’re not used to having so much sauce drowning the rice.


The Salmon and Cream Cheese Piroshky is a Russian food very much described as a pocket pastry. It appears deep fried. It is crusty on the outside and has a pillowy pastry just under it.


The salmon and cream cheese went very well together. Each piece costs $5. Nice and warm.


We also bought some short churros. They always looks good but the normal length ones are simply too much for us. The two short churros was $2.


The Brats Special n Fries is a German specialty. Bratwurst is basically sausage with pork and beef. We like the real meat in the brats and the BBQ sauce is tangy and a little spicy. The fries was nothing to shout about … too soggy too. This one costs $6.


The elephant ears costs $4 each. Nice soft dough and is covered with cinnamon sugar. Always a favourite in any fair. We also gets sugar smuttered all over the face.


Our two boys absolutely must have noodles. This plate is from a Thai stall and costs $4. Nothing special really but it has too much vegetables and not enough noodles.


This is the best of all the food we tried. We went for two helpings of ribs. Each bone costs $1 only and we think it’s a good deal. The line-up for this was long as they could not keep up with the demand. They were moist and have the right bits of fat. Super yummy!


We also got a bag of freebies from some of the stalls.


There’s also a stall which happen to celebrate their 100th year anniversary with a 100 feet long hotdog.


So, what do you think of the food in the Bite of Seattle event? You know, I am pretty disapointed with the selection. I think it’ll be great if they have a more international selection of cuisines. Also, they should have put together proper places so that people can enjoy their food in comfort. Although the scale of the event is larger than the Richmond Nibbles-n-Bites and Vancouver’s EAT!, I think the local events were better organized and had wider selection.

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Seattle Trip “McDonald’s Breakfast”

We just made a two-day trip over the weekend last week. This time was to Seattle to check out the Bite of Seattle event. We have never been to the Bite of Seattle and was really captivated by the scale of the event on the website. They appear to be much bigger than the EAT! Vancouver event here. So, here we go again … another series of blog on food and of our short visit.

Since we had to leave early, Suanne wanted to have breakfast out instead of getting up way too early to prepare breakfast, not to mention the time needed to clean-up. We went to the McD outlet in the Ironwood Mall.


The things we do for a blog these days! What we ordered was different sets of Extra Value Meals — McGriddles, McMuffins and Bagels. Besides the sandwich, the Extra Value Meal includes coffee/hot chocolate and Hash Browns.


We like their hashbrowns very much — made to perfection, if you ask me. Total calories 150


The first sandwich is the Breakfast BLT (that’s Bacon Lettuce Tomato) Bagel. Looks pretty but seems very dry … need to wash it down with lots of coffee. That’s 430 calories.


Next on the list is the Sausage McMuffin with Eggs. The sausage (in the form of a patty) looked juicy. We liked the melted cheese look on the bun — does makes it look more appealing, doesn’t it? The bun looked dry. This has a bit more calories: 440.


Now, this is my type of breakfast! I had the Sausage, Egg and Cheese McGriddles. This one looked the best … juicy and moist all round and it is even stacked as high as the pictures we see in the restaurant. A perfect artery clogger at 530 calories. Hmmm … eat four of these and I would have enough calories for the day.


This one is not as bad … the Bacon, Cheese and Egg McGriddles has only 400 calories.


Hey, BTW, did any of you ever watched “Super Size Me”? That show did put me off McD for some time but hey, we still like McDonalds. Total costs $15 … no tips necessary!

Enough about food … here’s the picture of the western most border crossing between Canada and the US. Did you know that Canada and the US shares the longest undefended border in the world? I hope they keep it that way forever. This crossing is called the Peace Arch border crossing.

Traffic was light this morning and took us only about 10 mins to get through. We normally get through with minimal of questions but this time, the border officer seem to have typed quite a bit on their computer. Anyone of you know how their computer system works — I mean, when I cross over to the US, would the Canadian side know when I have crossed over?


As always, we stop by outlet stores to shop, mainly for (relatively) cheap clothings. We stopped at the Seattle Premium Outlets located in Tulalip off Exit 202 on I5. We have not found better outlet stores than this one in Washington state. Is there anyone better than this in terms of variety?


We made it to the Seattle Centre just before 2pm. Despite the heavy breakfast, we were quite hungry … just in time to hit the food stalls in Bite of Seattle.


Stay tuned. We’ll write more about the food we tried in the event tomorrow.

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