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Race Street Seafood Kitchen

27 Dec

When in California and staying with our families, we don’t have the need to eat out as is usually the case for most people when visiting families and relatives.  The only time eating out is entailed while on family visits is when we’re out and about.  Sometimes we forget to pack snacks while on a day trip, and sometimes we deliberately do not, like on the day The Hubby, Kara (my SIL), and I went to Ice Center Cupertino.

Each of us haven’t ice skated for years and it’s enough to say that made it all the more fun.  There were kids who probably could barely walk but were ice skating as if they’re “Stars on Ice“.  Here’s a video of how our skating day went.

After a good workout of trying not to butt-plant or face-plant on ice, Kara and I headed to Race St. Seafood Kitchen as planned, while The Hubby went off to run errands.  We were hungry and we knew that we’ve earned our fried food.

Race Street Seafood Kitchen

San Jose is part of the Bay Area but more inland, leaving me pretty doubtful that any seafood place in SanJo would be any good.  The Hubby and I are both seafood fanatics and so are many of our family members.  The last time Kara and I went out together was before we were in-laws at another seafood joint, but then it was at Alki Beach in West Seattle – I know she’s a seafood fan too so I searched online for a seafood place and found Race St. Seafood Kitchen.

Race St. Seafood San Jose

Kara ordered a combo plate of Crab Cake & Fish with a side of Fried Zucchini.  I first ordered Squid & Fish, but much to my chagrin they were out of squid.  I felt like saying “Dammit!” out loud but I didn’t.  Instead, my mental gears played the much-loved but melodramatic “Christmas Time is Here“.  I’ve been wanting tentacles for weeks and I expected a seafood place to have it available.  But noooo.  Dammit.  Anyhow, I was more hungry than miffed so I made a hasty decision and ordered Panko Calamari & Fish.  Calamari is squid.  Squid is calamari.  Same thing but different end result.  For my side order, I couldn’t pass up onion rings.  By the way, the fish part of the combo menu is Alaska Pollock.

Race St. Seafood

Happily, Race St. Seafood Kitchen did not disappoint.  Kara and I both enjoyed our fried seafood choices and we liked that the eatery is casual and family-friendly.  We got there late afternoon and saw the place fill up as dinner time rolled.  Seeing a restaurant fill up and buzz during meal hours is enough validity of its following.

Next time The Hubby and I are back in San Jose (yes, we know the way), we’ll make an excuse to return.  I’ll probably want squid then too.

Race Street Seafood Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Pajo’s Fish and Chips

1 Jun

For a quick getaway, The Hubby and I took off for the border and visited our northern North American neighbor the day after the Skagit River Bridge along I-5 collapsed.  But technology and web mapping services helped us out in finding a new route.  The main reason for the trip is to experience Richmond’s Summer Night Market.  My first summer night market should have taken place in Asia, but nooooo, it happened in North America.

It was way past lunchtime when we arrived at our destination in Steveston.  My primary reason for visiting Steveston was because it’s known for great seafood places, and the secondary reason being that I wanted to see Shady Island.  Two growling stomachs lead us to the Steveston Village where at least twenty places serve seafood.  Out of many, we decided on Pajo’s.

Pajo's at Steveston Wharf

According to Pajo’s site, the Pajo’s at Steveston Wharf is Pajo’s original location since 1985.  What else happened in 1985?  The first mobile phone call in the UK was made… only 12 years after inventor, Martin Cooper made the first mobile call in the US.

Pajo's at Steveston Wharf

On the main page of Pajo’s website is how its story came about.  I have a beef (I wish I could say, I have a fish) with its claim of “serving the finest fish and chips in the West“.  Whoever wrote the claim forgets that “the West” could mean the Pacific West, which includes the US Pacific Coast, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, a teeny bit of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.  I don’t know about you Pajo’s, but I think being the “finest in the West” is a bit over the top.  You could specify that it’s the finest in the Pacific Northwest but you’ll be in hot competition with seafood restaurants in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.  Let’s adjust the bar for “finest in the West” to “finest in Western Canada”, shall we?

Pajos_website

My tiny tirade makes a relevant segue for what I think of Pajo’s…  Pajo’s is not the finest.  It’s good, but definitely not the finest.

One of each fish and chips

All the fish pieces in our order of “One of Each Fish & Chips” had crispy batter and tender fish, however, the other half of “fish and chips”, which is to say the chips, were limpy and mealy.  Thankfully, at least the important half was pretty good.

We plan on returning again to Steveston Wharf, but probably not to Pajo’s.

Pajo's Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon

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

Seafood Guides

21 Mar

Frank, a good dude friend who’s currently working on his chiropractic doctorate, and a fellow seafood lover, recommended two seafood guides.  The program he’s undertaking require nutrition courses and he felt compelled to share a couple of useful resources.  Thanks for being thoughtful, Frank!

The guides are from the Environmental Defense Fund whose mission is “to preserve the natural systems on which all life depends” using science and economics as models to “find practical and lasting solutions to the most serious environmental problems”.  Many fish species are in trouble around the globe due to the collapse of their habitats or destroyed due to manmade disasters, like the BP oil spill.  The least we can do, for the sake of our oceans and our health, is to refer to guides that help in choosing safe seafood.

One of the guides that Frank passed along is a sushi pocket guide; very helpful when in Japanese restaurants or in sushi bars.  Click on the “Sushi Selector” image below for the complete guide.

EDF sushi selector

For those who enjoy cooking and eating seafood, the “Complete List of Seafood and Eco-Ratings” guide is useful.  From abalone to wreckfish (my image stops at crawfish though), the list will help you figure out which fish are best or worst for you and the oceans.  To see the complete guide, click on the image.

EDF Seafood Eco-Ratings

Our environment needs all the help we can give especially since we’ve taken so much from it, so give these guides a try.  Here’s to our environment and our health!

Tides Tavern

3 Feb

Aaahhh, Gig Harbor…

Gig Harbor, WA

Ooohhh, Tides Tavern

Tides Tavern

Dear reader, for my review, I’m going to get cheesy by using a popular 1970s song whose lyrics I freely revised as an ode to my love for seafood.  If you don’t know how the Theme from Love Story goes, play the video, listen, and then read “A Seafood Love Story” below.  If you want to sing along, start at 0:32.  Humor me.

A Seafood Love Story

Where do I begin,
to tell the story of how great seafood can be?
The tasty food story that is older than the sea.
The simple truth about what fish and chips brings to me.
Where do I start?

fish and chips - Arctic cod and chips

 With my first big bite  
It gave a meaning to this empty world of mine
There’d never be another love, another time
Seafood came into my life and made the living fine
It fills my heart

 It fills my heart with very special things
With angels’ songs, with wild imaginings
It fills my soul with so much love
That anywhere I go, I’m never lonely
With calamari along, who could be lonely?
I reach for a tentacle, it’s always there

calamari

 How long does it last?
Can love be measured by the hours in a day?
I have no answers now, but this much I can say
I know I’ll need it till the stars all burn away
And it’ll be there, it’ll be there
(So long as we support seafood sustainability)

And that’s the end of my Tides Tavern review.  Let’s just say that their seafood dishes are so outstanding that I sang home about it.  To the Seattlelites and Eastsiders out there, make the drive… it’s worth it.

Tides Tavern on Urbanspoon