99% Food, 1% Skin

Eating in Curaçao, Dutch Antilles

I wish I could eat in each one of the countries we visited on the cruise!

In reality, I knew it would be difficult to get my hands on local foods for one reason or another.

In the Bahamas, we were dropped off at a secluded part of an island basically ran by the staff of the cruise ship – no local food.

In Aruba, everything near the strip off the port was touristy.

There were quite a few eateries but they were serving sandwiches, pizza and pasta.

Colombia and Costa Rica were challenging because we only have enough time to tour but not enough to eat locally.

A Glimpse of Street Food Life in Cartagena, Colombia  L: fruit vendor -- R Top: sweet cookies snacks -- R bottom: orange juice vendor

A Glimpse of Street Food Life in Cartagena, Colombia
L: fruit vendor — R Top: sweet cookies snacks — R bottom: orange juice vendor

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bottle and bull

Bottle and Bull in Kirkland looked really good on resume.

Head chef is Bryan Casey, whose experience includes working at Michelin Star restaurant in California, plus several famous restaurant including our local gem Canlis.

Bottle and Bull is on the main business street near the waterfront — just a stone throw away from Isarn Thai Soul Kitchen, it has a casual, loud, bar-like vibe with plenty of libation to choose from.

Serving dinner on the weekdays, with the additional brunch on the weekend, I describe the menu as step-up casual with offerings such as truffle fries, corn bisque with Dungeness crab and duck confit flatbread.

The starters and small plate were calling me, so making them into a meal was in full order.

Corn bisque was my first.


It was sweet, creamy and thick; and the addition of Dungeness crab was a fantastic marriage between land and sea.

The soup was very hearty, and there was an interesting tomato salsa with the crab meat, which had the same flavor profile as the black vinegar that Shanghainese use to eat hairy crabs’ with.

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Cold Sweet Treats Around Town

Long time ago when I lived in Wisconsin, I took on the habit of eating mid westerners’ favorite — frozen custard, with 6-ft of snow outside.

When there was heat in the establishment or in the car, there really was no reason why frozen treats could not be enjoyed during winter days.

My favorite is Michael’s Frozen Custard.

They are so good that I thought about mail-ordering them after I moved out here, but the shipping charges is a little crazy to justify.

Weather is certainly turning cold here in the Northwest, but if cold weather did not deter me from good eats then, it will not bother me now!

My number one ice cream place of late is Parfait, but I am always open for trying new things!

One good find is Kurt’s Farm shop.



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WP_20150824_19_05_00_Pro What a good deal!

Volterra in Kirkland offers a four-course dinner for $45.

They were generous for us to share the four-course dinner if the second person ordered an entrée (inclusive of pasta).

It was very quiet when we first arrived on a Monday night, diners did show up later and the place was nearly full.

With many of us in the party, it was a perfect opportunity to sample many dishes.

My favorite was the special sausage, pork jowl and bacon risotto.


I was intrigued by the dish, but at the same time skeptical about it because it had the potential to be completely heavy and greasy.

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The ethnically diverse food scene is always a draw for me to take the three plus-hour road trip down to Portland.

This time, I wanted to try out this highly rated Lebanese and Syrian restaurant called Karam.

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Top L: gyro salad — Top R: kafta

We went with a very big group, and were the only people at the restaurant — that got me worried a bit.

Slowly people trickled in, and next thing we knew, by the midst of our dinner, the restaurant was packed.

It was also a very good sign that most patrons were of arabic decent, we definitely went to the right place.

There were many interesting dishes that I wanted to try.

Appetizers such as Fataya, a pastry dough wrapped beef, tomatoes and onions; Kibbee balls, bulgar wheat with roast beef and pine nuts, and entrée such as goat casserole; Kibbee Saneeyeh, a layer of bulgar wheat, ground beef and spices, similar to the one at Sunset Gyro; and Molohkie, rice and bread with lamb, molohkie plant (jute family) and spinach.

Of course, two other Middle Eastern staples that I always like to try different restaurants’ interpretations: ful mudamas, cooked fava beans with garlic and spices; and kafta, ground beef with onions and spices, and shaped like sausages.

Just as most Mediterranean restaurants, Karam’s portions were amazingly generous.

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Eastside Brunches

I am always at a lost when I have to come up with ideas for breakfast or brunch on the eastside.

If we rule out Asian food, options are few.

I have tried Couzin’s in Kirkland, and Pomegranate in Redmond; some dishes are good but not something wow — so the hunt for eastside brunch continues.

Recently, I tried Lot 3 and Eques.

Lot 3 in Bellevue is physically join with Purple Cafe on NE 6th Street, from the same folks that brings us The Commons in Woodinville.


On the weekend, they serve brunch menu including waffles, sandwiches, eggs, and soups and salads; along with breakfast booze such as Bloody Mary.

Sat at their brown, low leather couch by the window, we watched the place got really busy and filled up on a Sunday.

WP_20150816_10_28_16_ProWe were there for the waffles for my Dad.

A malted waffle with fruit compote, pecan, bourbon syrup and whipped cream, they were unfortunately underperformed as they were quite soggy.

My simple fluffy scramble with goat cheese, mushrooms and spinach was tasty, but the side potatoes was not very crisp.


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