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.
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.
Ishoni is a great place to experience if you get the chance.
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.
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.
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: www.halotop.com.
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.
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 itself...it 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.