Sunday, June 23, 2013

West Coast Comments

When I write about "out of town" activities I get mixed comments. Most who read this are in the Cincinnati area, but I do have a few else where, and I also feel I should explain the time between postings. I am going to break this report into several topics, rather that try to go thru day to day eating.

Hospitality- When I think of hospitality I immidiately refer to Danny Meyer's book "Setting the Table", which stresses the difference between service and hospitality. One of my favorite business philosophys, stressed in the book, is: "The road to success is paved with mistakes well handled. This is all preface to our first night in Seattle.
Eight of us had dinner at the "Boat Street Cafe"( menu was "spring in the Northwest", Salmon, Pork, vegies etc).
The party sitting across from Marilyn spilt her red wine which ended up fully spotting the front of Marilyn's white shirt. Our waitress immediatly offered to take her shirt,( Marilyn had an untouched sweater) spot it, and wash and dry it on the premise, and have it returned by the end of dinner.(They handle all their own linen "in house"). Good to her word the shirt was returned, in spotless condition, during the dessert course. Amazing!!

Slaw- Several places we had unusally good slaw. The first was at our cousins, homemade and rough cut, along with a huge piece of freshly caught and grilled Salomn; another portion came with chicken salad( nothing speicial) at "Greenleaf Restaurant" in Ashland OR. If you happen to go to the "Oregon Shakespeare Festival" in Ashland OR and hit "Greenleaf" get a side of slaw even if it is with breakfast.

Breakfast-  On the subject of Breakfast, Ashland OR has many restaurants but of all the places we have found "Morning Glory" and "Brother's Restaurant" top the list, in this department. "Morning Glory" may have the single best Breakfast menu of any place where we have enjoyed this meal. I had an omlet with fresh spinach, mushrooms, chicken Gouda sausage and Swiss Cheese, while Marilyn chose one with bacon, carmelized onions and chedder. Both platters came with thin, buttermilk pancakes covered with a whipped butter containing granulated sugar and fresh lemon juice. As if this isn't enough there are choices of toast, potatoes, tomato slices, muffins and fruit. At "Brothers" they pride themselves on their excellent "hash browns", righly so, but I chose a personal favorite "Huevous Ranchero's" which turned out to meet my expectations. Luckily I got to taste the "Hash Browns", an extra dividend.
Another good Breakfast was at "Stopsky's Delicatessen" on Mercer Island, across the lake from Seattle. I had a large chopped cornbeef hash but the next time I think I'll switch to the gooey looking Ruben.

Beer- "Standing Stone Brewing Co. 101 Oak St. Ashland OR provided, along with deep fried Brussels Sprouts and Lamb on Pita, a first, "Milk and Honey Ale", a delicious golden light Ale which went perfectly with my meal.
"Thai Pepper", Ashland, featured a "Rouge Hazelnut Brown Ale" somewhat darker in color but very drinkable and a great match for our Korean rack of Lamb. Beer and spiced Lamb, some combination.

Ambiance- In the Potland OR area two places stood out. "Zeppo", Lake Oswego OR has a lovely outside "sidewalk cafe" surrounded by trees, flowers and beautiful hanging baskets of plants( my Green Goddess salad with Shrimp was a good choice) and the bar( "Departure") in the 'Nine" hotel in the Meyer-Frank building downtown is a perfect modern upgrade of an old department stores' top floor. The young, hip Portlanders have found the place and are making it their own.

Side comments- I mentioned earlier that several places had "Spring Northwest" items on thier menus. Nothing, however, topped the English Green Pea soup, served room temperature, at "Tilth", Seattle WA; or the fun Organic fresh sandwiches at "Homegrown" in the Queen Ann District above the University of Washington. My sandwich, a pairing of avacado, Swiss cheese and egg, on an English muffin( read, fancy "egg Mc Muffin") couldn't have been a better interoduction to our 9 day visit to the area.

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