Food Review: North America, Volume One, Part Three. by Ollie
May 17, 2010, 5:06 pm
Filed under: CHAFF

3rd – 4th May, Seattle, Washington

Seattle is our home in the USA; we’ve spent so much time here that we know the city pretty well.  Having a day off meant that we could hit up our favourite haunts.

First off for me was a visit to Top Pot doughnuts.  When we were recording Romance is Boring we stayed in a hotel right next door to Top Pot.  We were therefore in there everyday buying coffee and doughnuts.  We grew to know some of the staff in there, and visit the next day (4th may) we bumped into them.  I would like to thank Brendan Kennedy and everyone at Top Pot for the free coffee and doughnuts, and for being so nice to us, we hope they enjoyed the show.

Now about their doughnuts.  All I can say, is that they are the best doughnuts I’ve ever had.  There are so many flavours and types.  My favourite is the cinnamon sugar ring.  The dough is so light, you feel like you could eat stacks of them.  The feather bower cake is also very good.  Another favourite amongst LC! is the Apple Fritter, which is so big it can keep someone going all day.  The doughnuts are all cooked fresh on the premises and the smell is intoxicating.  Coming back late at night from the studio you would be able to smell them cooking and it would make you really excited for the following morning.  Plus, their coffee is very good as well, making a perfect combination.  If they had a shop in Cardiff, I would grow really fat.

No visit to Seattle is complete without a trip to Bamboo Gardens.  We’ve spoken about this place before and it still is very good.  We went for the tried and tested.  We tried a hotter Mongolian Beef; the sauce wasn’t hotter, it just had hotter chillies in it.  I ate one of these and instantly regretted it; it was very hot and destroyed my sense of taste for the rest of the meal.  Nonetheless, an excellent meal.

For dinner on show night we went to Guaymas Cantina.  A Washington based Mexican chain.  I had a wet steak burrito.  Once again, it was no different from any other burrito I had had.  No one tries to do anything different, but to be honest I quite like that.  It’s cheap and very filling, and always very tasty.  You can’t really complain.

5th May, Portland, Oregon

First stop was Stumptown Coffee.  Unlike when we stayed in the Ace Hotel, which had a Stumptown in the lobby, to reach the nearest one this time required a 10 minute walk.  Top coffee and pastries.

Dinner tonight was at a place called Chop Sticks.  It served Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese dishes.  I had a Pad Thai, and it was probably one of the best Pad Thais I’d had.  The noodles were nice and thin, and still had a bit of bite to them.  The chicken was good breast meat, with a lot of flavour.  There was plenty of crushed peanuts in it, meaning that your mouth didn’t feel like it just had a mouthful of goo when you ate it.  It could have been slightly spicier, but the level was enough that it tickled my senses ever so slightly.

6th May, Walla Walla, Washington

Tonights meal was provided by the venue.  It comprised Tofu with vegetables, a marinara sauce, green beans and salad.

I’m not a big fan of Tofu, I would never order it out of choice.  I always find it bland and it doesn’t have any texture.  You might as well be eating polyfilla.  This had been griddled so it had a good colour to it.  Whats more, it had some texture to it!  You could actually feel your teeth slice through it as you chewed.  The vegetables had also been cooked in the same way and then layered on the top making it look very presentable and giving it a lot more colour.  Having a forkful of tofu and vegetables meant that you had a constant change of texture as you chewed.  A nice experience.  The marinara sauce was good, I’m never entirely sure what is supposed to be in a marinara sauce, is it just a thick sauce of tomatoes?  Or is it supposed to have herbs in it?  Of which, I couldn’t taste any.  The meal made up for the disappointment as we watched the election results come in.

7th May, San Francisco, California

Tonights dinner choice was suggested by the Regency Ballroom stage manager.  He said he would go there 7 out of 10 days.  He pointed us to a restaurant called Modern Thai.  The menu had all your bulk standard Thai dishes, and there were a few that had twists to them, but nothing really different.

I went for a Green Curry, as after Chopsticks in Portland, I was wanting a Green Curry.  The chicken in it was slightly dry and had a bit of flavour.  It’s a shame that restaurants can never really cook like you can at home.  A home cooked curry will have had the chicken cooking in the sauce allowing the flavours to infuse the chicken.  In a restaurant it’s probably cooked separately so whatever meat has been ordered by the customer can be chucked in at the last moment.  It had a lot of vegetables in it including aubergine and peppers.  The sauce was light and you could taste the coconut in it, it could have done with being spicier, perhaps I should ask for dishes to be more spicier on ordering.  The rice was presented in a nice heart shape.

A good meal but I’m not sure if it can label itself as Modern.

Part four, the last part, will be appearing later on in the week.

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love Portland and Stumptown and Ace!

Comment by Joel

that’s a good looking pad thai ollie

Comment by tps

I ate at Cafe Zitouna, down the street from the Regency Ballroom, it was wonderful!

Comment by Casey

It is so sad to see you leaving Los Campesinos! Your music has meant so much to me over the past few years. I am glad I got to see you one last time in San Francisco, and I wish you the best of luck on future endeavors. You’re super legit!

Comment by vanessa

Sorry to hear ollie is leaving!
What is next for him?

Comment by Tina

Experience has taught me that rice served in fancy shape is a good indicator of a crap curry!

Comment by Chay

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