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Category archives: Specialty Stores

Eating on the Eastside – Sofra Turkish and Boba Express

We had been living on the eastside of Greater Seattle for over 15 years now, and it was amazing to watch the changes in Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland — the primary cities that made up of the growing eastside.

There were many more Asian shops and restaurants around (particularly some major ones opened up such as Din Tai Fung and Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot opened on the eastside before their branches on the west side).

Recent addition had been Turkish, Mediterranean and Persian grocery store (where I was able to purchase and try Persian dessert such as pashmak and Faloudeh) and restaurants.

In Bellevue alone, the 2010 census had shown that almost 41% of the population were minority or ethnic, compare to that figure was about 25% in 2000.

I believed that explained the proliferation of minority and ethnic small businesses, which of course was fantastic for foodies!

I loved Turkish Kofte and the fairly new Turkish restaurant, Sofra, opened in my neighborhood.

The version of kofte I had in Turkey was formed like little sausages –super tender meat with fantastic flavors of garlic and strong in cumin.

The menu at Sofra was on the small side, but as long as the food were good, it would be great as so many fantastic restaurants in Asia were “specialty store” that only served a handful of items.

The day of my visit, I thought Sofra did not have Kofte.

It was translated as Turkish burger, and I did not read Turkish carefully and completely missed it!

I had to go back and try my favorite Turkish dish!

Doner was next on my list.


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Jin Ya and Ellenos

New ramen place at Crossroads Mall!

I had been waiting for Jin Ya to open since the day I saw “coming soon” sign outside the store front.

Jin Ya is a chain ramen bar with stores in Vancouver BC, CA, NY and TX (yes sis, in Houston!).

The store in Bellevue was not very big, and since it opened couple weeks back, I had heard that they had lines outside the door frequently.


I went on a weekday for lunch right when they opened at 11am, so no wait necessary.

Jin Ya offered mostly rich pork soup, tonkotsu, with chicken and veggie broth options as well.

Some combinations already had egg, and others did not.

If ramen egg was an object of desire, read the description on the menu carefully.

Toppings could be added – extra vegetables, meat, eggs and seaweed etc.

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Am I glad that Morsel exists!


Really great biscuits and flavor combinations!

We went there very first time after lunch to try out their dessert biscuits.

They were so superb that we went back the next day to sample more flavors!

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Tutta Bella and Sunrise Donuts

It was probably 10 years ago when I first heard about Tutta Bella from a co-worker of mine.

Since I was not crazy over pizza in general, I had not been back since.

Tutta Bella was the first restaurant in the Pacific Northwest to receive the highly regarded VPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) certificate from Italy.

The VPN has strict rules on the ingredients of pizza dough, the process of dough-making, including the dough characteristics, fermentation, and cooking temperature.

Any restaurant wanting to get VPN certified has to apply, and to be assessed and inspected by the association in addition to rigorous amount of pizza-making training.

Recently, Tutta Bella opened an outfit on the eastside, and my Dad likes pizza, we went to check it out!

When we got there, it was Happy Hour.

We got an extremely delicious bruschetta with plump cherry tomatoes.

They were garlicky, a little on the greasy side but tasty.

I was very hungry, started eating them and had completely forgotten about picture!

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Taylor Shell Fish and Dairy Free Leek Quiche

Made this dairy free quiche and loved it!

With a dash of tabasco, it was zesty and delicious!



2 leeks, cut out leaves and roots, slice vertically in half and slice finely

3 eggs, whisk

1/2 cup of soy milk

1/2 cup of coconut milk

1/2 lb of soft tofu, mashed to very small lumps and drained

1 pre-made Pie Crust (I use Trader Joe’s)

1/2 + 1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp thyme

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