Sunday, January 4, 2015

Seattle Food: Part 3/3...and Austin, Texas

I am officially moved out of my downtown Seattle apartment and into a cute little house in East Renton Highlands area. I finally have a kitchen, however my stuff is still on its way here. I currently sit in an empty house with an air mattress and a cat. So to kill time I have been exploring the area hunting for restaurants. I also spent a week eating and drinking my way through Austin, Texas with family. So I have added a few places from Texas to the list just for funsies.

Seattle, Washington
The Pike Brewery Company
I just love this place. This is where I had my first scotch ale. A wonderful beer called Kilt Lifter (great name). I have loved scotch ales ever since, but this one is still my favorite. A solid smoky flavor but not overwhelming. However, I did't have one this time around because they had a wide range of holiday beers, so I went for a flight of those. Starting from the top left: Pike FSB Finkel's Special Bitter, Pike Wolf in the Woods Hopflower Ale, guest tap from Schooner Exact 3 Grid IPA, Pike Space Needle Golden IPA, Pike Auld Acquaintance Holiday Ale, and Pike Doubble Hopulus Double IPA.

At this point I realized I was drinking a lot of beer on an empty stomach which is not the best idea, so I ordered me up some Pacific Steamer Clams in herbs and white wine with garlic bread and melted butter. This is one of those dishes that takes a bit of work but it is worth it. I am sucker for steamed clams and these were good. You can taste the wine, garlic, and herbs. Simple. Delicious.

On top of the good beer and good food, staring at the decor of the place will keep you entertained.

Copperworks Distillery
After I enjoyed Pike's Brewery, I thought it would be a good idea to test out the distillery just down the street. Copperworks makes gin, vodka, with whiskey on the way for 2016.

Everything in the distillery was handcrafted and sent over from Scotland.

Their gin is made with juniper and it tastes like you are drinking a bouquet of flowers. I have never tasted anything like it. I am not even a gin fan but I liked this stuff. That same gin they age in a new barrel for 3 months and it tastes like Christmas. Flowers and cinnamon.

This is some good stuff. Copperworks has only been open for a year and half but they are doing some good things. I highly recommend giving this place a try even if you are not a gin fan.

Hitchcock Deli
Hitchcock is located in Georgetown which is just south of the city close to Boeing field. I love these types of places. All of their meats are grass fed with no antibiotics. They smoke/cure everything in house. Below is their pastrami.

This place is a few minutes drive from my work so I have already been here a couple times. Their meat is killer. I haven't had a bad thing yet and I am still making my way through the menu.

All City Coffee
This little coffee place is right across the street from Hitchcock Deli in Georgetown. Nothing special really. Cute. Quiet. Good cup of espresso. If you needed a little place to get away, this is the place.

See's Candy
Being originally from California, I grew up on See's. Then living in Florida for a few years, I discovered Russell Stover was much more dominate on the east coast. Most Florida people didn't even know what See's was. So when I accidentally came across a See's Candy Store walking downtown, I am pretty sure I squealed I was so happy. Years since I had a See's so I had to go in.

Vanilla buttercream is my favorite. But all of their chocolates are good.

Also these stores love to give out samples. Be prepared to eat some chocolate when you go in even if you don't buy anything.

Virginia Inn
Come Christmas Eve I was still in Seattle. I wasn't visiting my family till that following weekend so I set out to find a good Christmas Eve dinner. Virginia Inn I could see from my apartment window and walked by it countless times. So I decided to give this place a try. It was established in 1903 and you can tell. All of the wood in the place looks old. Got a simple, nice vibe.

I wanted to go for a nicer dinner since it was Christmas Eve. I went for their roasted duck breast in barigoule sauce with roasted veggies. This was delicious. Other than the sauce, there was just salt and pepper on the duck. Simple. Cooked perfectly. Definitely would go back for this one.

Austin Area, Texas

The Salt Lick -- Driftwood, TX
Ah yes. The world famous Salt Lick. This is one of those places where it doesn't matter what you order, it will be good. From a small sample to a pile of BBQ, this place is delicious. Great garlic potatoes salad and a coleslaw I actually like. And the meat. My personal favorites are the sausage and turkey with the ribs and brisket a close second. 

Did I mention this place is BYOB (bring your own booze)? And the best pecan pie I have ever had.

The Draught House Pub and Brewery-- Austin, TX
In south Austin, this German style bar has one of the most beautiful counters I have ever seen. Brass taps all the way across with 40 or so taps. They occasionally have a food truck out front. What makes this place kinda neat is the wide range of people. Young. Old. Doctors (hospital is just down the road). Hipsters. Nerds. Punk. You name it, that type of person was there. Anyone and everyone fits in here.

Casa Garcias -- Kyle, TX
Austin is known for its tacos. A trip is not complete unless you get some sort of breakfast taco. Garcias makes their tortillas from scratch to order. My personal favorite is potatoes, eggs with chorizo. Two of these will hold you over well past lunch...and...they're cheap. What could be better?

Twisted X Brewing Company -- Dripping Springs, TX
Twisted X is a Tex-Mex brewery in Dripping Springs, Texas...sort of in the middle of nowhere. These guys make fairly straight forward beer. All of them taste pretty good. They have a jalapeƱo ale that is actually tasty. Warms up your mouth just a bit. I can see it pairing great with a burger or some nachos.

Great logos and a great slogan.

Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q -- Austin, TX
Rudy's is one of my favorite BBQ places in Texas. I always have to stop here at least once when I visit. Fantastic sausage with a casing that pops when you cut it. They serve different types of brisket ranging from lean to extra-moist. And the best creamed corn.

Seriously this creamed corn is so thick you can turn the cup upside down and it will stay in the cup.

Well, that is my last restaurant post. My stuff should be arriving in the next few days. It will nice to have a kitchen and looking forward to cooking and posting once again.

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