Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers

8 Oct

I’m not much for giving food vendors a second chance, but this past weekend while at the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival, The Hubby and I decided to give Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers another try.  Actually for me, it was a matter of being too swayed by the numerous food booths, and also feeling the dangerous mix of famishment and capriciousness.  Bad decisions happen that way.

To think that there was a good number of food booths at the Salmon Days Festival…

Last time we were at Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers (in Ballard not at the Salmon Days Festival), I ordered Popcorn Shrimps and Fries, and so I ordered it again this time around.  I still remember how I  didn’t like the fish and chips more than the shrimps, so I didn’t care to order it again.  The Hubby chose the Blackened Salmon Burger.

The verdict: The fries weren’t bad, the popcorn shrimps were still harder than they should be, and the blackened salmon was seasoned nicely but the texture was too mushy for me.  The Hubby feels differently than I do, which is to say, he’s less critical about it.

Although we won’t go out of our way to go to Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers in Ballard, we’re fine, or at least I won’t find it objectionable, going to its food booth out of convenience.

Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers on Urbanspoon

Brouwer’s Cafe

3 Oct

We unexpectedly celebrated Oktoberfest when we found ourselves in Brouwer’s Café in Fremont, one of the more fun neighborhoods of Seattle.  I like Portland and I don’t think Portlandians would take any offense if I were to describe Fremont as “Little Portland”, and Portland as “Big Fremont”, with both places having a laid-back and indie atmosphere, in a nutshell.  And if any Portlandians do take any offense, they have my apologies… and my surprise. Green Lake Trail - Seattle Back to Oktoberfest and accidentally celebrating it… we ended up choosing Brouwer’s Café from a long list of eateries.  It’s nice to have options but sometimes, it’s just overwhelming.  We filtered down our choices when we realized that we both wanted pub foods.

Hankering for fries, but not for any meats, I went with the easy choice of Mussels and Frites and with another order of Frites on the side, which I dipped with gusto in the Mussels’ creamy sauce.  I’ve eaten plenty of molluscs (cephalopods and bivalves), and even cook them occasionally, so it was nice to come across one that made me go, “Ooh, very nice soft mussels.”  Despite the sauce being on the salty side, it was still lovely.  The Hubby went with Roast Beef ‘n Cheddar and Falafel Fries, washed down with Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest and No-Li Rise and Grind Stout.  The buns used for the sandwich were pillowy soft and the roast beef was tender.  I’d dare say that it was a rather dreamy sandwich, while the falafel fries were hearty.

With The Hubby’s Deutsche heritage on his maternal side, we ought to take advantage of Oktoberfest’s two-week plus celebration of good brews and traditional German eats.  Regrettably, we didn’t have any type of German foods while at Brouwer’s (maybe the Roast Beef ‘n Cheddar comes the closest), so it gives us an excuse to return and make up for it.  Although, even without any excuse, Brouwer’s Café, where it feels like Oktoberfest any day thanks to its daily “Power Hour” and friendly staff, is worth the trip for us.  It also helps that it’s right next to the Theo Chocolate Factory Retail Store.  (My name is Michelle.  I’m a chocoholic.)

Brouwer's Café on Urbanspoon

*Thanks to The Hubby for taking some of the photos on my behalf.

Cooking with The Sims 4

22 Sep

Hey there non-Simmers and fellow Simmers, The Sims 4 was released on September 2, and many Simmers have been cooking, partying, and doing what Sims (and their Simmers) do best in Willow Creek and Oasis Springs.  My play time didn’t begin until last Monday so I had a later start than I’d like. Sims intro The Sims 4 mood features makes the interactions between the Sims more amusing, and the build features make creating a house, or any building, faster and more intuitive.  Unfortunately, The Sims 4 received thousands of complaints from Simmers because of the new gameplay and features that are enjoyed in TS3 that won’t be available, or may never be available, or may only be available for a cost in TS4.

If you’re a loyal Simmer, you’re going to give TS4 a chance.  There are positive aspects to its newness, with one being that there’s less crashing.  I remember being frustrated with TS3’s many bugs during its first several weeks of release, while TS4 has a very smooth play.  After creating my first character in TS4, the first thing I had her do is cook.  Her cooking skill is at Level 10 already, and while it’s really entertaining to watch her cook, it’s more fun to watch Sims with lower skill levels show off their moves.  For a cooking demo, watch the awesome “Pancake Bob” make pancakes.

Level 10 Cooking Options in The Sims 4 A Sim can raise its skill level up to Level 10, and as its skill increases, so does its cooking repertoire.  At Level 1 cooking, a Sim can make Mac and Cheese, Chocolate Cake, Hamburger Cake, Garden Salad, Grilled Cheese, White Cake, and Scrambled Eggs.  Try that at Level 1 in real life.  Interesting results, I’m sure.

Here are the recipes that become available to Sims as they level up:

Level 2-BLT, Fish Tacos, Eggs and Toast, and Chips and Salsa
Level 3- Pan Fried Tilapia, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Taco Casserole, and Pancakes
Level 4- Black and White Cookies, Spaghetti, and Strawberry Cake
Level 5- Fish and Chips, and French Toast Level
6- Chili, and Blue Confetti Cake
Level 7- Omelet, and Blackened Bass
Level 8- Apple Pie
Level 9- Chicken Stir Fry, and Cioppino
Level 10- Tuna Casserole and Roast Chicken, and Apple Pie *

What’s different in The Sims 4 is that there’s no grocery to go to for ingredients shopping.  However, just like in TS3, the price of making the meal is automatically subtracted when you select the recipe from the recipe options pop-up.  Also, like in TS3, gardening and producing your own ingredients results in higher quality meals, and the price of the meal creation gets lowered too. Cooking Level 1- The Sims 4 There are also special recipes that show up depending on the Sim’s mood.  When the Sim is playful, the recipe for Silly Gummy Bear Pancakes shows up.  When the Sim is flirty, the option for Flirty Heart Cookies appear in the cooking activity.  As for how to get the Sim to change its mood, I’m keeping mum on that one.  It’s fun poking around the game to figure things out. There’s also a grilling option, which is tied to the cooking skill.  Two new skill levels under the culinary umbrella are available in The Sims 4: Mixology and Gourmet Cooking.  Stay tuned for my reviews on those skills.

Go forth and play The Sims 4!

*Removed 9/23/14 – Thanks for the catch, Ryan!

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