Seattle: Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que

We had a dinch at Famous Dave’s. Dinch is the meal in between Dinner and Lunch. Sometime, one can refer to this meal as Dunch or even Lunchner.

Lee Ping of Hip Food recommended Famous Dave’s to us. At that point of our trip, we were craving for meat, real meat. We had planned to go to one BBQ place. It was either going to be Famous Dave’s or Dixie’s BBQ. Since we were south of Seattle and Dixie’s is in Bellevue, we opted to go to the nearer place. It was a great choice.


Famous Dave’s is a chain restaurant specializing in Southern Style BBQ. The exterior and interior is all western with stone and pine wood panelings. It has a very bright and upbeat atmosphere. Since it was Dinch time, there were no one there but us. The restaurant we were in were quite big with, oh, something like 30-40 tables or so.


On every table is Famous Dave’s very own sauces. We tried everyone of them. The hottest of them all is the Devil’s Spit … which they warned are for adults only. It’s funny the way they describe this … “A generous slathering will make girls prettier and boys stronger, taller and more handsome-or vice versa.”

I like it too the fact they have a roll of paper towels on the table. Real BBQ is meant to be eaten by hands and is supposed to be messy.


We love the atmosphere and the service was great. We ordered some drinks. It happened many time before … (more…)

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Seattle: The Museum of Flight

The highlight of the day is the Museum of Flight. This is the third time we’re here but we’re never bored of this place. For one, I love museums and can spend an entire day checking the exhibits.


The Museum of Flight is located just south of Seattle. I think this museum will interest just about everyone, whether you have any liking for planes or not. It is just so fascinating and they have a very wide range of exhibits. It is not just technical stuff and so it will definitely appeal to just about anyone.

The entrance is $14 for an adult. We used the Seattle CityPass for the entrance. The Seattle CityPass costs about $44 that includes entrances to four other popular tourist attractions.


We got ourselves each an audio guide. It’s just a few bucks each but is an additional cost. Using this is easy … just punch in the number shown next to the exhibit.


The Museum of Flight is divided into several galleries and exhibits. Some indoors and some outdoors — mostly indoors. The grandest gallery is aptly called The Great Gallery. This is a really spectacular sight — a six story high all glass and steel exhibition area with almost 40 full sized planes from all eras.


One could spend two to three hours just going through all the exhibits here alone. (more…)

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Seattle: Portage Bay Cafe

Day Three. The highlight of the day is the Museum of Flight. Since we are traveling southward that day, we decided to go for breakfast at one of the recommended places.


The Portage Bay Cafe is located in the University District. This is supposed to be one of the most popular breakfast places. Parking is a bit of a problem because their parking lot is so puny. We ended up having to do pay parking along the street.


It was quite early in the morning when we got there. Moreover, it was a weekday and so we were seated very quickly. We were quite worried of the reported long waits (over 1 hour) that we had read. Customer service sucks really or maybe we just got a grumpy impatient waitress — she does not seem too happy with us asking about the all-you-can-eat breakfast bar. *shrugs*

Anyway, they serve all-day breakfast here. They prepare the food in an open kitchen and behind the breakfast bar of fruits, whipped cream, maple syrup and what-nots. Because of the hype and prices of this place, we expected that fruits in particular should be fresh, like being prepared just a hour or so ago — some of them looked sadly soggy and decidedly yesterday’s fruits that’s just taken out from a freezer.


Started with the coffee, the litmus test of a good breakfast. (more…)

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Seattle: The Tamarind Tree

By the time we got back to the hotel, we were all dead tired. I guess it was not because of the places we visited today but the past three days. So we decided to go back to the hotel to have a nap and then go out for a late dinner. It was certainly what we all needed.

We woke up at almost 8PM but Arkensen was still very tired and wanted to continue to sleep. We had bought some fried chicken from Albertson’s and left that for him to eat in the hotel while we took a drive to the Tamarind Tree for dinner.


The Tamarind Tree was one of the highly recommended places from readers of chowtimes. They are located in Little Saigon. If not for the GPS, we would probably have rounded the place a few times because this restaurant is hidden behind a strip mall on 1036 S Jackson St.


We were impressed with the restaurant. This is certainly not like any Vietnamese Pho restaurants we had ever been to. The Tamarind Tree is many class above that. I was wondering if there is a place like this in Vancouver, I can’t think of any. This does not appear to me like a family restaurant maybe because this is an upscale Vietnamese restaurant.

For one, this place does not reek of pho soup. You know what I mean? Everytime I have a meal in Vancouver’s Vietnamese restaurant, I always end of having my clothings and jacket smell like pho. I can’t see anyone having pho here. No siree.


The table setting is very nice but am not sure if this is Vietnamese though. We did not have the ubiquitous plastic Sriracha hot chilli sauce bottle here.


But the place is really dark. It was so dark that it’s impossible to read the menu even after moving the menu next to the candle cup … any nearer the menu will probably combust. We had to ask for a torch light and I am amazed that they had to scour for one for us. I was thinking that this place is so dark I was quite sure many customers would have asked for one too. Maybe we’re getting old and our eyesight is failing! Time for us to get one of the credit sized magnifying glass cum lights.

Because of the poor light, many of the pictures ended up fuzzy — I wanted you to know that. I cranked the ISO to 1600 on the camera and yet there was not enough light.


We decided to order their “7 Courses of Beef”. I think it’s their specialty and was recommended by the waiter. The first course was the Beef Salad which came with some kind of fish sauce (above). We were told to pour it over the Beef Salad (below).


Nanzaro had never been one to like vegetables, let alone salad but he absolutely loved this. (more…)

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Seattle: Cedars Restaurant on Brooklyn

After the Boeing Tour which took a good part of the morning, we headed south towards Seattle and decided to have lunch in Cedar’s. Cedar was one of the most recommended from Chowtimes readers on my list. I guess I won’t go wrong going for lunch here since also that the family loves spicy Indian cooking.


Cedars or more accurately Cedars on Brooklyn Restaurant is located, well, on Brooklyn Ave (St? Dr?) in the University District. From outside one would never have thought that this is an East Indian restaurant. Moreover, the name Cedar has no absolutely no connection to anything Indian, at least not to my knowledge.

We were a bit wary about this place as we went in. We wanted only authentic Indian food and seeing also the customers there who are mostly whites, I thought their food might have been watered down to suit the local palate. I was sooo wrong.


The lunchroom was packed but we got seated quite promptly. Maybe it’s just me … but the customers do seems like they are either students or university professors. After all we are in Seattle’s University District.


Mango Relish. I guess it must be something like a chutney that one uses as a condiment. What do you eat this with anyway?

As far the Iguana XXX Habanero sauce I am quite sure this is not Indian. Ooooh, this I like. There is a real kick to this and loves the fact that the burn comes on slowly. Try a dip and for the first few seconds, it was just like nothing and then the burn will set in to such an intense level I had to reach for the glass of water. Nice, wickedly nice! I put some on the dishes that came afterwards.


Oh wow … the naan was heavenly. (more…)

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Seattle: Boeing Tour and Future of Flight Aviation Center

Day two in Seattle. The highlight of the day is the Future of Flight and Boeing Factory Tour. This place is located somewhere north west of Seattle. We had always wanted to visit the world famous Boeing but did not managed to do that because Nanzaro did not meet the minimum height requirement for the tour.


The Future of Flight is a Aviation Museum but more importantly it is the starting point of the Boeing Tour. We bought the entrance tickets online before the Seattle trip to make sure we have the time secured. You can try to walk in and get the tickets but on some days they are so popular that there are no tours available.


Security is tight and they are really serious about it. You cannot bring your bags in, not even cameras, cell phones and believe it or not, not even an iPod! Since we had already pre-purchased the ticket we just had to go pick up the ticket.

We visited on a Monday morning and so there were hardly anyone there. Also, we booked the first tour of the day which is kind of early for a lot of people too. We enjoyed it this way because we get a lot of space at the exhibits.

The Boeing Factory tour started with a video presentation on the history of Boeing planes.


It is too bad that we did not managed to get any pictures at all of the Boeing Factory Tour. (more…)

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Seattle: The First Starbucks Store

Suanne and I must have a cuppa every morning. For some reason, we had never really liked the coffee from Starbucks. If we wanted coffee, we would head to Tim Horton’s.

While we were still in the Pike Place Market, we thought we make a visit to the first Starbucks outlet. This is (almost) where the it all began, where the first of trillions of cups were served. For coffee lovers, I guess visiting the first Starbucks is like a pilgrimage.


I said this is “almost” the first Starbucks. The actual first Starbucks is located just 500 ft from this shop. In many ways, this outlet can be considered as the first Starbucks. You see, when Starbucks were first opened in the earlier location, they only sold coffee beans and equipment for about 11 years. It was only after they moved to this location that the first cup coffee was brewed.

It goes without saying that Starbucks is now the biggest coffeehouse on the planet. But guess you would not have guessed it was started by three teachers.


The Starbucks logo is a green circular logo with a kind of a mermaid on it. This store sports the original all brown logo. (more…)

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Seattle: Piroshky, Piroshky in Pike Place Market

There is never a lack of eating places in the Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Everywhere you turn, you will come across food from every corner of the world and all of them seems so authentic.


We came across this small little dank looking shop and had a long queue of customers. The queue was so long that it spilled out to the sidewalk. Well, with a line that long, this place would certainly be something.


The name of the place is called Piroshky, Piroshky. It sounds a lot like a Russian — I wasn’t particularly sure. I had expected to see Russian looking people running the place but the person who attended to us looked very much like Chinese. But other than that, the place does look authentic Russian.


The line moved quite fast. We could see them making whatever they call it from the outside window. They do look very delicious. (more…)

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