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Hokkaido Milk Tea

Hokkaido Milk Tea
This weekend I went to the Boiling Point restaurant in Bellevue, WA for bubble tea. On the menu was "Hokkaido Milk Tea" which I think uses milk imported from Hokkaido, Japan. It was tasty!
#tayloreats #bubbletea

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Tokyo Curry

Soba and curry Soba and curry
I went to Tokyo, Japan in April. My experience is hard to put into words, but I tell people I want to go back so they understand my general impression. When I see photos or videos that feature Tokyo or scenes from Japan, I feel an ache like the loss of a dear friend. My favorite foods from my trip were curry and katsudon. I ate curry every day, I think. Or, at least 5 times. I could not get enough of how fresh and bright the flavor was in combo with the warm and gooey texture. Pure comfort food. My favorite shop was C&C pork katsu curry near Tokyo station! Go! Go! Curry in Akihabara was popular but not my favorite. My favorite Katsudon came from a little shop between Ginza and Asakusa that I walked into at random. I would like to visit Tokyo again soon.
#Tokyo #Japan #TaylorEats #Curry

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The line wraps around the co... The line wraps around the corner of the building $9 lunch special: Giant bowl o... $9 lunch special: Giant bowl of shoyu ramen, 3 gyoza, and a half-cup of rice Beautiful color Beautiful color Unagi nigiri Unagi nigiri Sushi chef is torching the unag... Sushi chef is torching the unagi in this photo! After I finished eating there w... After I finished eating there was still a line of people waiting to get in
Tsukushinbo is a Yelp-famous Japanese restaurant hidden in the center of Seattle's International District. For reasons unknown, Tskushinbo has no signage at all. If you were to walk past the building you would never know a restaurant was there. Except for the line of people, I guess. Aside from intentionally hiding their restaurant, Tsukushinbo customer service lacks care. On both visits, my waiter answered with curt replies and rushed away before I could ask them more than a single question. I felt like the staff was putting on appearances with friendly smiles when they otherwise treated me like I wasn't good enough to be in their restaurant... but, does customer service matter if I think their food is worth the indignation?

My goal to taste the best Japanese food in Seattle compelled me to wait in line for over one hour on a beautiful, but cold, morning in December. You see, the window of opportunity to try the highest-rated ramen in Seattle is as short as their customer service: Tsukushinbo only serves their Tokyo-style shoyu ramen on Fridays from noon to 2 pm. On my visit, the line started with me at 10:20 am and had already wrapped around the building 40 minutes later.

With confidence, I will declare that Tsukushinbo's ramen was the best ramen I have ever tasted in my life thus far. Living in America, I do not have a lot of options. However, of all the restaurants I have tried, Tskushinbo's ramen was just outstanding. After waiting in the cold for a little over an hour, the prize of a piping hot bowl of the best ramen I've ever had made me forgive the grief I endured to obtain it.

The sushi served at Tsukushinbo is expertly prepared with huge pieces of fish, which is another win for them.

If you get the chance, I would recommend Tskushinbo for their high-quality food despite their sub-par manners. Your efforts to get in will be rewarded.
#tayloreats #ramen #Japanese #food #Seattle #WA #Chinatown #InternationalDistrict #downtown #Tsukushinbo #comfortfood #winter #December

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Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery

Peanut butter molten cake with... Peanut butter molten cake with all the fixings + butterbeer in the glass.
I think I found my new favorite dessert place in Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery. I went two days in a row because the food was so delicious. Hot Cakes is perfect for rainy days in Seattle. A warm, gooey meal and rustic ambiance is soothing. The name alone, Hot Cakes, reminds me of cozy winter mornings in front of a fireplace or pancake breakfasts at my grandma's house. Everything on the menu is made to order from local and minimally-processed ingredients. That means the food is as fresh and natural as possible. I ordered the peanut butter and chocolate molten cake which uses my favorite Seattle chocolate, Theo's chocolate, and I couldn't stop gushing over how decadent and rich the flavors turned out. I also appreciated the attention to detail and variety of accompaniments served with the cake such as peanut butter fudge bites, ice cream, chocolate sauce, and roasted nuts. I also ordered the Harry Potter-inspired butterbeer, which was just as rich as my cake and had a delightful buttery flavor I've never tasted in a drink before. I ordered another butterbeer on the second day because it was that good. My friends ordered espresso, chocolate milkshakes, and bread pudding from which I sampled. All were delicious! Before leaving, I ordered cookies and a slice of chocolate whiskey cake to go from the display case to see if the pre-made items tasted as amazing as the made-to-order menu. The whiskey cake blew my mind with its smoky and chocolate-y richness and fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting. I've never considered a smoky flavor in dessert before, but I am happy to have discovered the combination.

In addition to a range of classic American desserts, Hot Cakes also makes grilled cheese sandwiches and egg breakfast sandwiches. They also have something called a grilled chocolate sandwich that piqued my interest. Oh, and they have alcoholic shakes and desserts as well. Basically, the entire menu sounds amazing and it makes me want to go back!

They have a vegan menu, too, which means everyone can enjoy.

Hot Cakes sells chocolates, sauces, and at-home baking kits so you can make sweets at home. The most interesting of their items is the cold-smoked bag of chocolate chips. I imagine they would go great with s'mores or even basic chocolate chip or hot chocolate recipes.

I spent too much money and ate too many calories, but I do not regret my choices one bit. That means this place is pretty great.
#tayloreats #hotcakes #seattle #dessert #favorite #wa #local #rustic #comfortfood

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Ishoni Yakiniku

Oishii! Oishii!
Last night I got to try yakiniku for the first time! Ishoni is the only true Japanese yakiniku restaurant in the area. In order to get a seat you must make a reservation because they only have a few tables. Each table is also given a 1 1/2 hour time limit so more people have a chance to get in. I've never tried Japanese pudding, plum wine, cuttlefish, beef tongue, karubi or other cuts of beef before, so I got to try a bunch of new experiences during my visit. Of the red meat, beef karubi with BBQ sauce was my favorite. I primarily ate from the seafood platter and enjoyed the scallops and shrimp the most. The shrimp were big and juicy! I overcooked a few pieces of the spicy miso cuttlefish, but they had a good amount of heat and a pleasant texture otherwise. We ordered cucumber and Korean kimchi for sides and I liked them, too. The biggest surprise and treat of the night for me was trying Choya plum wine. I've never had plum wine before, but now I am determined to find and sample more. The sweet flavor was striking.

Ishoni is a great place to experience if you get the chance.
#tayloreats #yakiniku #Bellevue #WA #Ishoni #Japanese #BBQ #plumwine #Choya

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Le Pichet oeufs, jambon et fromage

Simple elegance from Le Pichet... Simple elegance from Le Pichet in Seattle, WA
We had perfect weather this weekend in Seattle. The sunny skies and changing trees were breathtaking. I went to Le Pichet on Sunday morning and enjoyed a lovely French breakfast. Oeufs, jambon et fromage translates to eggs, ham and cheese. I was served a broiled-to-perfection slice of ham topped with two eggs and gruyere cheese, salt, and pepper. Baguettes are complimentary so I dipped the fresh bread into my egg yolks. So good! The coffee we ordered came from a local roastery called Caffe Vita, which was a good dark roast. My chef friend describes Le Pichet as "simple elegance," which definitely described our breakfast experience.

After breakfast I walked down to Seattle's famous Pike Place Market: browsing the variety of shops and colors on a picture perfect day is a treat in and of itself. We bought honey-covered pecans from Chukar Cherries as a holiday treat for my family back home. I also picked up some fresh salsa verde and spices from Market Spice and World Spice for my burrito bowls this week. Breakfast at Le Pichet inspired me to find a baguette to take home and I've enjoyed baguettes from Le Panier and Three Girls Bakery at Pike Place before. However, since it was so nice out, I went ahead and made a trip to one of my favorite bakeries in Seattle, Columbia City Bakery, for a sourdough baguette. The baguette elevated the soup I made for lunch and my egg breakfast this morning! I love Seattle because it has such high-quality foods and ingredients.
#tayloreats #lepichet #ham #eggs #gruyere #cheese #french #breakfast #PikePlace #Seattle #ColumbiaCity #WA #bakery #baguette #chuckarcherries

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New Halo Top Flavors

Halo Top is a low-calorie, hig... Halo Top is a low-calorie, high-protein ice cream with the texture and flavor of traditional ice cream
Ten new flavors of Halo Top were officially released this past Monday, October 10. I called a bunch of local stores to try and get my hands on them. Before the new flavors were released, my favorite flavor was birthday cake and my second favorite was mint chip.

In addition to expanding the calorie range from a new high of 360 per pint (as opposed to 280), Halo Top reduced the fiber to 12g per new pint instead of 20g in the original flavors. Here are my thoughts on all of the new flavors (except black cherry).


Verdict: Tasted good, but not like s'mores. Other Halo Top flavors taste better so I am unlikely to recommend this one.

The first two bites had a fake chemical/sugar alcohol taste similar to Quest protein bars that I didn't notice on subsequent bites. If the pint wasn't labeled s'mores I don't think I would be able to tell its flavor. I didn't taste any marshmallow and struggled to taste any cinnamon or graham cracker. The ice cream had chocolate chips and crunchy bits mixed in for good texture, however, and I tasted a hint of toffee/caramel. Of the three flavors this one seemed sweetest, which may have been overpowering any s'more flavor the ice cream was supposed to have. With the variety of other flavors I don't think I'll be buying this one again.

Chocolate Almond Crunch

Verdict: Chocolate Almond Crunch is one of my new favorites. The ice cream had an addicting, sweet almond and cherry flavor.

I expected Chocolate Almond Crunch to have the same chocolate flavor as their plain chocolate and chocolate mocha chip, but what I tasted was much better! This ice cream was honey-sweet with a lighter color than the regular chocolate. Flavor-wise it had a strong almond and cherry flavor that was simply delicious. It reminded me of the almond cookies served around the holidays. I actually didn't taste much chocolate, but that's OK since I prefer the almond. For the "crunch," almond pieces are mixed into the ice cream. I wish I had another pint of this right now.

Red Velvet Cake

Verdict: The red velvet cake flavor is spot-on and the chocolate dough bites took this up a notch above the likes of S'mores. I would definitely recommend this flavor.

Red velvet cake had an advantage over the others since the packaging and deep burgundy color of the ice cream makes it look extra rich. Thankfully, the flavor is right on target! If you crave red velvet cake, this ice cream will hit the spot. My favorite part was the chocolate dough bites mixed into the ice cream to add a cake-like texture with every other bite.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Verdict: What's not to like about creamy ice cream and cookie dough bites? Tastes more like butterscotch or cream and it doesn't include any chocolate chips, but it's definitely delicious.

I expected chocolate chip cookie dough to be my favorite flavor of the bunch, and it is definitely one of the better ones, but I wouldn't call it chocolate chip. In fact, there isn't any chocolate in the dough bites or ice cream. However, the ice cream has a sweet butterscotch-like flavor and the dough bites are excellent.

Cookies & Creme

Verdict: Excellent. With bits of oreo-like cookies, this flavor is great.

Cookies and cream tastes as good as you would expect! I don't have much to add. Thumbs up.

Oatmeal Cookie

Verdict: Wow! I think this one is my favorite new flavor. The oatmeal adds great texture and the cinnamon-oatmeal flavor is on point.

Oatmeal cookie might be my new all-time favorite flavor. The texture is awesome thanks to the quick/rolled oats blended in and the flavor is perfect with cinnamon sweetness. I don't really like oatmeal cookies, but I love this flavor.

Peanut Butter Cup

Verdict: Tastes like Reese's! I like the chunky swirls of peanut butter. Perfectly savory, salty, and sweet.

As expected, peanut butter cup tastes great. For peanut butter and chocolate fans there is no doubt that this will be one of your favorite flavors. What I like about this pint is the large swirls and chunks of peanut butter vs. the more bite-size chunks in other flavors.


Verdict: Thumbs down. Pistachio disappointed me. It tastes like vanilla with the most subtle hint of fake pistachio flavoring.

Pistachio was a flavor I was looking forward to and consequently the most disappointed in. Flavor-wise this is pretty bland. You're better off with straight-up vanilla.

Sea Salt Caramel

Verdict: Neutral. This is vanilla ice cream with caramel swirls. I didn't taste the sea salt. Other flavors tasted better.

Sea salt caramel is OK. It's basically some flavor of vanilla with caramel swirls. I like that they used caramel swirls, but I would have liked a caramel-flavored ice cream or more caramel and sea salt flavor so that it lives up to its name.

After a week of tasting each of the flavors multiple times, I have to hand it to these six: Oatmeal cookie, chocolate almond crunch, peanut butter, cookies & creme, red velvet cake, and chocolate chip cookie dough. Yep, six of the ten new flavors are must-haves.

Check out the full range of products on Halo Top's website:
#tayloreats #halotop #icecream #new #newflavors #redvelvetcake #smores #chocolatealmondcrunch

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The Butcher's Table

The most expensive steak in t... The most expensive steak in the restaurant is the wagyu ultra-grade ribeye cap aka "steak butter" pictured above
To celebrate a special occasion my friend and I went to a new restaurant in Seattle called The Butcher's Table. Dinner comes with a story as they raise their own cattle at the Mishima Reserve and they even have a showcase where you can purchase a steak to cook at home. The Butcher's Table has beautiful and contemporary decor via a mix of glossy surfaces, soft leather, wood textures, and shiny brass to wow you upon walking in. It looks upscale, but feels comfortable instead of stuffy. Our waitress filled me with confidence as she expertly explained the different cuts and grading scale for wagyu steaks. Service was excellent from start to finish. As for the steak, well, it is true to it's nickname of "steak butter" because it melts in your mouth. It came prepared to specification with a perfect amount of smoky salt rubbed in.

Other than steak, we ordered "fries" cooked in beef fat that were more like large tater tots in texture: fluffy on the inside and extra-crispy on the outside. They tasted good. The best side was their homemade biscuits that came with their beef marrow bones. I would like to try the poblano pepper and lime corn next time I get to visit!

Pricewise, steaks appear to be higher quality than more famous restaurants while being a little cheaper in cost! Steaks are cheaper here than at more established Seattle steakhouses like The Met and El Guacho. The Butcher's Table also serves a variety of affordable sandwiches, again sourced from their own farm, during lunch.

For a special occasion I would recommend adding dinner at The Butcher's Table to your list.
#tayloreats #wagyu #beef #steak #thebutcherstable #Seattle #WA #ribeye

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Blue Ginger Korean BBQ

Korean stone rice bowl: A fea... Korean stone rice bowl: A feast for the eyes and stomach!
My boss took me to Blue Ginger Korean BBQ in Bellevue, WA and this bibimbap or stone rice bowl blew me away. I've eaten kimchi for years and I've sampled beef, pork, and chicken bulgogi at a work-catered lunch once, but I've never before visited a Korean restaurant. The dish description is unassuming: "Stone rice bowl with beef, vegetables, and rice." What you get is a true sensory treat with an oversized and hefty stone bowl, rapid steam, patches of fresh color and the sound and smell of sizzling food. On the side is a sweet and spicy miso-soybean paste/sauce that you add before mixing everything together. I appreciated that each bite tasted a little different. The best part was how a little oil in the bottom of the stone dish fried the rice for a crunchy texture and nutty flavor. I cannot wait to go back.
#tayloreats #delsot #bibimbap #rice #korean #bellevue #WA

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Tat's Deli (Tat's Truck)

Two messy, mouthwatering hal... Two messy, mouthwatering halves of one authentic Philly Cheesesteak from Tat's Truck
Tat's Delicatessen is often listed as a "must-try" spot in Seattle for east coast sandwiches, so when I saw their food truck stationed near work I had to try their famous Philly Cheesesteak. I grew up eating cheesesteaks on the east coast along the New Jersey-Philadelphia border. My dad requests cheesesteaks when he visits so I've been looking for good places to take him, too. Tat's Truck's standard cheesesteak is a blend of cheese, peppers, onions, and thinly sliced rib-eye. You can ask them for cheez whiz or extra toppings like mushrooms and banana peppers instead. I went with the standard. My order was ready before I finished paying for my food, making Tat's the most efficient food truck experience I've had thus far. A few moments after I arrived a big line started to form, so maybe I lucked out!

My order smelled so good. The wonderful pepper and onion aroma saturated the car on my drive to back to the office. As for the sandwich was still nice and hot after the drive back to the office lunch room! So far, so good. Once unwrapped, the first thing I noticed was how much meat was piled onto the bread! And yeah, the bread was fresh and soft and still held together even though it was piled high. Each bite was everything I remember about authentic Philly Cheesesteaks. My only critique is the sandwich could have used a little something extra, flavor-wise... so I added ketchup like a Philly native to the half I saved for dinner and then the sandwich really hit the spot.

Bottom line? It reminds me of home. I'll be back with dad.
#tayloreats #cheesesteak #tatsdeli #Philly #cheesesteaks #foodtruck #bellevue #seattle

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