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22 Nov

Cold weather? Check.  Shorter daylight hours? Check.  November? Check.  Comfort food munchies? Check, check, check.

There’s something about the fall and winter seasons that psychologically prods some of us to want and maybe even need comfort foods.  While I’m a noodle fiend, The Hubby loves sandwiches and wraps (Do wraps fall under the sandwiches category? Just wondering…), and he likes gyros with the same zeal as I have for two bowls of tonkotsu ramen.

Shawarmaniac in Kirkland was an accidental find.  Continue reading

Tipsy Cow Burger Bar

12 Jul

The Hubby has been cooing (or should I say, mooing) about Tipsy Cow since it opened in 2013.  I already have Five Guys and Lunchbox Lab in my list of tried and true burger bars, I wasn’t about to add another but el hubbo was convincing so… off we went to Downtown Redmond’s new burger bar.

Tipsy Cow Burger Bar

There was one burger combo that caught my attention and it was The Arsonist – composed of “Custom Ground LVR Beef, Beecher’s No Woman Cheese, Fire Roasted Jalapenos and Serranos, Bibb Lettuce, Tomato, Harissa Pepper Aioli” – it was a burger that took no prisoners.  Everything was going all right until I popped the habanero bun garnish thinking that they were yellow sweet mini bell peppers.  I thought of spitting the peppers into my napkin but too late… I swallowed them faster than when the thought crossed my mind.  My ears were on fire and I got uncontrollably teary.  I’m no stranger to hot peppers but because I was caught by surprise, I automatically gave in to the power of habanero’s Scoville heat units.  Posing as a mini sweet bell pepper… damn you, habanero.

The Arsonist - Tipsy Cow Burger Bar

The Brewmaster, chosen by the The Hubby, was made with “Custom Ground LVR Beef, Brew Battered Onion Ring, Beecher’s Just Jack Cheese, Bibb Lettuce, Tomato, Boar’s Nest Sweet n’ Tangy BBQ Sauce“.  It was excellent with the brewski he ordered.

The Brewmaster - Tipsy Cow Burger Bar

When your mouth’s on fire and your ears are in flame, who you gonna call?  In my case, our really nice server to order a shake.  Tipsy Cow probably makes most of its shake earnings from customers who dared to get close to the fire of The Arsonist.  Damn you, habanero.

Chocolate Shake - Tipsy Cow Burger Bar

Tipsy Cow’s friendly atmosphere and good burgers would make me want to return.  My only complaint is that the fries could be crisper.  We’ll amble back in again and I’d like to meet with the Notorious P.I.G. next.

*Burger and shake photos are courtesy of The Hubby and his trusty Nokia Lumia 920.

Tipsy Cow Burger Bar on Urbanspoon


23 May

In the Pacific Northwest, hiking season is any time despite our often dreary weather and discounting any harsh meteorological conditions.  I won’t put it pass some daredevils out there to actually make a go of it even with severe weather alerts.  Nature abounds in PacNW and hiking trails are gorgeous, so who can blame a free spirit.

Snoqualmie Falls

With spring in full and summer just around the corner, hiking has really ramped up, and with hikers come their favorite minimalist portable snacks.  Apples are my favorite after a good hike (and a heavy shake or smoothie to sate me on the ride home) but during the hike itself, I like something nutrient dense, preferably protein dense.  In comes EPIC, which are meat bars we found while in Whole Foods Redmond.  Yes, meat bars.

EPIC protein bars

We also saw EPIC’s turkey bars but there were so many that we decided not to get one; we thought there’d still be a lot left available on our next grocery outing.  Surprise!  There weren’t any more EPIC bars the following week.  At $2.99 each, they’re pricier than other protein bars (e.g. Go Lean Kashi bars at $1.09 each, Clif Mojo bars at $0.99 each), so we didn’t want to buy any more than enough for a taste test.

EPIC lamb bar
The EPIC lamb bar is made of organic lamb, organic currants, sea salt, lactic acid (not from milk), celery powder, spices (basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, red pepper, black pepper), sesame seeds, dehydrated spearmint leaves, and dehydrated lemon peel.  If you’re wondering what the white blot you’re seeing on the photo is, it’s fat.

The bar’s texture is unsurprisingly moist for a meat bar, but then again it’s almost like a meat loaf slice, so if it’s any drier, you might as well have a jerky.  Both The Hubby and I were not keen on the taste.  It tasted strongly sour for us.  I understand that lactic acid is used as a preservative, but the lactic acid with the dehydrated lemon peel pushed what’s supposed to be tangy to the sour end.  It’s enough to say that we’ll pass on this one if we come by it again.
EPIC beef bar

The ingredients for the EPIC beef bar is as follows: organic beef, walnuts, dried cherries, lactic acid (not from milk), salt, celery powder, fine black pepper, and crushed habanero.  The beef bar has more fat content than the lamb bar, but the taste is beefy and not overwhelmed by the seasonings.  The texture is similar to meatball but slightly mushy.

For what would be a long and tiring hike, I’d be happy to have an EPIC beef bar as my lembas.  For the meat-haters out there, these bars are obviously not for you.  Luckily, many protein bars out there are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.  For those of you who’d like a really filling bar for your energy draining activities, EPIC bars are worth a try.

Wombat Meatball Soup

1 Apr

If you want an exotic addition for a special dinner, give wombat meat a try.  It’s delicious.  Don’t know what a wombat is?  Go here to see wombats.  Cute, aren’t they?  Feisty too, making them difficult to catch.  So if you actually find a grocery that carries wombat meat and if you get blown away by the price, you’ll know why.  It wasn’t easy getting that wombat.

How should wombat meat be cooked?  Good question.  Try one of my favorite recipes.

Vegetable and Meat Ball Soup

Vegetable and Meatball Soup

2 quarts vegetable or meat broth
1 quart water
1 lb ground meat, formed into 1 inch balls
5 small potatoes, cut in quarters
2 large carrots, sliced in chunks
1 package frozen peas (optional)
1 onion, rough chopped

2 tbs chopped parsley (optional)
olive oil, vegetable oil, or butter for sautéing
salt and pepper, to season 

 In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté and soften onions with oil or butter.  Add the water and broth.  Bring the mixture to a quick boil  then allow to simmer.  Add the meatballs.  Let the meatballs cook for 5 minutes then add the vegetables.  Allow to cook until vegetables are tender but not soft.  Season the soup with salt and pepper.  Garnish with chopped parsley.

Smile and serve.

For the meatballs, you can use beef, pork, or turkey.  Or wombat meat, if you really want to.

Happy April Fools’ Day!

Issaquah Brewhouse

12 May

Almost in the heart of downtown Issaquah, along Sunset Way, just several hundred feet from the Issaquah State Salmon Hatchery, you’ll find Issaquah Brewhouse, one of Rogue Ales’ meeting halls and acquired by Rogue in 2000.  The Hubby and I have been to Issaquah Brewhouse three times, and it isn’t until this third time that I’ve decided to opine about the restaurant.

Issaquah BrewhouseBecause it was a Saturday evening when we went and during dinner hour to boot, the main dining hall was packed, and so we were seated in what seems to be an extension.

inside Issaquah BrewhouseThere were already a couple of groups in the extension room so we were in good company.  The noise level was pretty active but we still were able to speak and hear one another, so it wasn’t too bad.  Until a baby decided to wail, and at that point we communicated by making faces.  Sorry mystery baby, no excuses for you… lovely and loud little thing that you are.

Issaquah Brewhouse’s menu shows off a long list of pub food options.  I was on a seafood mood (more like “see food” mood) and ended up ordering too much.

Fried Frog Legs

Our first visit to Issaquah Brewhouse included an order of fried frog legs, and because it has been a couple of years since my last batch of fried frog legs, I decided to make a go for it.  I find that I order frog legs more to the fact that I’m reliving my Mom’s memory of eating frog legs as a kid, rather than ordering it because I like it.  I suppose if I were to see turtle soup, I’d order it to relive my Dad’s memory.  For those of you who’ve never had frog legs and interested in trying them, here’s a spoiler: frog legs taste like chicken… fishy chicken.  There.  Enjoy.  Though I can’t say if all of the amphibian class taste like fishy chicken, since I don’t plan on trying newt or salamander, fried or otherwise.

Popcorn Shrimps A menu item worth ordering is the popcorn shrimp.  Nice and crunchy.  You can’t go wrong.

halibut and chips

I have a habit of ordering a couple of appetizers and calling them my entrée, but because I was famished, I ended up ordering halibut and chips also.  I guess I must have said my order so fast that The Hubby didn’t realize that I probably over-ordered.  And of course, I didn’t realize that I did over-order until I was halfway done with the fish and chips (that I ended up soaking in malt vinegar, just because I like malt vinegar).

Kurobuta ham sandwich

The Hubby ordered a very tasty Kurobuta ham sandwich which I had a few bites of.  He ended up saving the other half to take home so he could help me finish up the fish and chips.  If I didn’t have the fried frog legs, I’d definitely have demolished the fish and chips without help.

I can speak about the food, but I can’t really speak all that much about the brew since I only took sips of the Imperial IPA and the “Big Ass Strong” ale that The Hubby ordered.  I know I won’t do the drinks any justice by saying that the IPA was bitter but not bad, and the “Big Ass Strong” was stouty but not all that strong.

Issaquah Brewhouse on Urbanspoon