Monday, February 28, 2011

Eating on the Job: Tata Cuban Cafe

This past year I've had Mexican food in San Diego, an Italian beef sandwich in Chicago, pizza and pastrami sandwiches in New York, BBQ all across Texas and North Carolina, and finally Cuban food in Indianapolis. Cuban food in Indianapolis!?! is probably what most of you are thinking, but it was definitely the best meal I had out in Indy. Might have more to do with what Indy has to offer, but honestly a great meal and one I wanted to share with all of you in case you ever find yourself out there and in need of some good food.

I had a looong night ahead of me for work so needed something that would hit me hard and keep me going. Tata Cuban Cafe had just what I needed Cafe Cubano. Basically it's a Cuban style espresso with sugar, also described as rocket fuel. I think I was up and going past 4am that night.

What Cuban meal isn't complete without a Cuban sandwich. I ordered the Sandwich Habanera con Jamon y Queso - load of ham with Swiss cheese, dill pickle, tomatoes, mayo & mustard mix on pressed bread. Delicious, crunchy, pressed, greasy bread filled with shredded pork. I knew I wouldn't eat again until late, so was happy to have a filling meal.
I never thought I would find myself out in Indianapolis or even the state of Indiana, but was pleasantly surprised and had a good time. If you ever find yourself out there make sure to check out Tata Cuban Cafe.
- Kyle

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Belated Valentine's Day from the Grouchy Chef

Happy Belated Valentine's Day to all of our readers. Emi and I enjoyed a fun meal that will become a future post. Until then we wanted to share a fun little "present" Emi received courtesy of the Grouchy Chef.

Emi dropped off the article she wrote about the Grouchy Chef to Chef Matsumoto. She's definitely won him over because look at the amazing present he gave her, a decadent slice of chocolate raspberry cheesecake! I definitely don't mind taking advantage of the "perks" of her job.

Looking forward to seeing what other little food related presents will come out of the articles Emi's writing for the North American Post.

- Kyle

Monday, February 21, 2011

A French Weekend - Brunch at Maximilien in Pike Place

Emi and I recently joined my parents for a French brunch at Maximilien in Pike Place Market. With our upcoming summer excursion to Paris and the Mediterranean we've been doing "research" for the trip.
It was a perfect Seattle, winter Sunday morning, a little chilly, but clear and bright. We had a great view of the water from our table and even better brunch to start off our Sunday festivities.

We started the meal off with coffee and their croissants, brioche & pains au chocolat basket. The flaky pastries are made with real butter from France and baked fresh every Sunday morning. Amazing. Flaky, moist, chewy (in a good way), delicate, and when paired with raspberry jam and butter, their croissants were near perfection. However, the pains au chocolat was my favorite. The buttery flaky outer pastry was filled with a warm gooey chocolate. It was perfect with my coffee and was like eating dessert for breakfast.

After the amazing French pastries I moved on to eggs Provencal and Merguez - two grilled Merguez (spicy lamb sausages) with scramble eggs, tomato basil, cheese, sauteed with brunch potatoes and served with fruit. The lamb sausages were from Uli's in the Market. Not your typical pork sausage, a little drier, but much more flavorful and spicy. The eggs ended up being amazing. I was a little underwhelmed after being served from the appearance of the eggs, but after my first bite I was hooked. These were good eggs. I make eggs every morning so wasn't sure if they would be bland, but this flavorful dish is still imprinted in my mind weeks later.

My dad decided to skip brunch altogether and jumped straight into their lunch menu and tried their lamb burger. Oregon Andersen Ranch ground lamb, on brioche bread, tomatoes, lettuce, goat cheese and remoulade served with hand cut fries.

Here's a look inside my mom's L'Omelette au Crabe - Dungeness crab omelet with with mushrooms and cheese.

Emi went with the very traditional Croque-Madame - black forest ham, bechamel, and cheese sandwich, topped with two sunny side up eggs and hand cut fries. For sure Emi and I will be eating a few of these when we go to Paris. What an ingenious invention of a dish, toasted bread, salty ham, melted cheese, and runny sunny side up eggs! Basically they through together all of my favorite breakfast foods into one delicious sandwich.

Definitely a fun brunch. Great food, good company, and an awesome view. Eating brunch there reminded me of my old WaMu days. We used to go there for happy hour in the summer out on the deck overlooking the Sound. Highly recommend that as well.

Another reason you should check out Maximilien's soon is to sign up for the Celebrated Chefs program. After you sign up for the program every time you eat at an affiliated restaurant 5% of your total bill goes to a charity of your choice. There are a ton of awesome restaurants participating and you get a really cool cookbook for free! The cookbook has recipes from all of the participating restaurants (Barking Frog, Cafe Juanita, Palisade, Maximilien). Even if you only go to one restaurant it's worth signing up for so you can get the cookbook.

- Kyle and Emi

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Katz Deli Remix

Last year I blogged about the wonderful gift my family received from our dear friends, Fred and Michele, who live in the Capital city for all Food Lovers, New York City. Fred and Michele sent us an array of delicious eats from Katz Deli (home of Harry and Sally's first date). We toasted up the delicious rye bread and slathered on some raspberry mustard, and then topped the pile of yummy salami with heaps of Katz cheese, lettuce and tomato. On the side, we had some Tim's Cascade potato chips. You can read about that experience by clicking here.

When Michele sent us the treats again this year, she said that real New Yorkers do not eat Tim's Cascade potato chips on the side (that is definitely a Seattle favorite!), they often eat a big knish instead. What is a knish you may ask (especially if you are from the West side of the country!)? 

Knish (pronounced kin-nish) was made popular in America by Jewish immigrants and has roots in Eastern Europe. It has a dense and flavorful dough that is stuffed with various fillings, most often mashed potato, meats or cheese. I love eating mashed potatoes that are finished in the oven, leaving a slightly crisp, hearty textured crust at the top. That is sort of what this tasted like.

And it paired perfectly with our salami sandwiches, which I decided this year to eat in a purist fashion with only the meat and delicious fresh bread.

Thank you to the Schwarzbach family for the delectable food! I hope to visit NYC in the near future as I travel for work.

Happy Eating,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Fred Hutch Gala 2010

As we've talked about in previous posts, Kyle and I are a part of the amazing Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Innovators Network, which is for those under the age of 45 who want to support the Hutch. Supporting cancer research alone is a great reason to be a part of the group, but for Kyle and I, we also love the opportunity to attend fun events and indulge in fabulous food.

This year, we were once again invited to attend the Hutch Holiday Gala as guests representing the Innovators Network Council.

Shout out to one of my best friends and wedding/events Queen, Carmen: these centerpieces were classy and a simple statement with uplighting and fragrant gardenias adding to the ambiance of the evening.


Often times, the food at these types of "rubber chicken" events is bland and boring. Not the Hutch Holiday Gala! Each of the five courses were interesting and flowed into one another like a well composed song.

My favorite part of this salad was the smoked blue cheese. 

Ahhh, the intermezzo. I wish more meals had intermezzos. First, it truly does cleanse the pallet. Second, I love a good sorbet, and this one did not disappoint with its fresh, slightly tart cranberry flavor with a little vodka kick. Third, I just love saying the word intermezzo. 

Kyle and I made sure to get different entrees so we could taste each dish. I got the bass, which was the better choice as the fish was rich, buttery, and melted in your mouth. I also loved the farro, which added a good bite to contrast with the moist and tender fish. I heard that the Sheraton (which is where the event was held) recently hired a new Executive Chef who is implementing a healthier menu. I am not sure that I come to these events for health food, but happily licked my plate clean and while doing so, enjoyed telling myself I was being healthy.

Kyle's filet mignon. The herbed butter on the side makes me think that I was wrongly informed about this chef being into healthy eating...although, according to our crossfit paleo diet, fats and butter (that is clarified) is good for you. 

My favorite part of the meal every year is the coffee service at the end of the evening which comes with a buffet of toppings like fresh whip cream, Mexican chocolate sticks, raw sugar, and cinnamon sticks.

I loved the dessert which was a play on neopolitan ice cream, very creative!

The banana delight with layered rum soaked banana cake and chocolate ganache was topped off with a caramel swirl ice cream. It was rich and absoutely sinful. Plus, Kyle is allergic to bananas, so I ate it all myself, and had his vanilla portion of the neopolitan which also contained bananas.

The event was bound to be a success as Kyle and I had a blast cheering the Huskies onto a victory over the Cougars before the dinner started. We, along with several hundred others, gathered in the hotel bar (tux and dress on, beers in hand!) to watch until the last second in the nail-biting 2010 Apple Cup.

If you hate cancer, love food and good company, and are under the age of 45, please consider joining the Innovator's Network! We have a free happy hour at the Hutch on April 21 at 5:30PM. There are always amazing appetizers, great wine and beer, and wonderful short talks on the ground-breaking research that the Hutch is doing. Leave a comment if interested and I will send you the invite!

Happy Eating,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Emi's Eats: Behind the Scenes with the Grouchy Chef

I first stepped into this establishment with my tail between my legs, ready to roll onto my back at any moment. I had been warned about the long list of rules to follow; that there are legends engraved by the Mayans that speak of the consequences of not adhering to the etiquette. I was also told that it was the best value in town and the food would be incredible. We went with friends last summer and I was blown away by the fact that for $15, I was able to get a wonderful gourmet 3 course meal. Turns out there was no real need to be fearful, and my imaginary tail quickly began more of a solid wag once I tasted the food.

I watched as this well oiled machine of a man worked with such innate precision, serving as a one-man show in this 10 table restaurant. I found myself hypnotized by his ability to prep and cook our meal, seat incoming parties, answer the phone, clear tables, wash dishes, serve the next was like watching a super hero movie where the star operates in warp speed mode, accomplishing whole days' tasks in mere seconds. Who is this man, and how did he become "The Grouchy Chef"?

Our gym, Crossfit Mukilteo, is located next to The Grouchy Chef. When they first opened the gym they decided to be neighborly and dropped in to get a good meal after a tough workout. They were gruffly turned away for violating multiple rules: reservations only, NO workout clothes...Meanwhile, our summer time meal stuck with me and rather than reminiscing about the food as I usually do, I kept thinking about the Chef. And everyday as I pulled into the gym parking lot, I would peek in the restaurant to make sure he had customers and was doing OK; secretly assessing what level of grouchiness the Chef was that day. I thought, "this guy just needs a hug."

I am excited to have an outlet and excuse to discover the stories behind restaurants and Chefs like The Grouchy Chef with my column. I first approached Chef Takayuki Masumoto (he has a real name!) on a snowy evening when he was shaking out his rugs in the parking lot. A small winter storm had passed through the NW, and my clumsy introduction was framed with clouds as my quick words hit the cold air. I let him know about my column and asked if I could interview him. As a certified Chatty Cathy, I mistook his silence for my cue to fill it with awkward and over-the-top compliments about my appreciation of his food and his business. He finally cut me off and said he didn't know if he would be a good subject. He told me, sincerely, "I am no one special." Taking a couple steps back (both literally and figuratively) I told him that I would just make reservations to eat at his restaurant the following week and we could see what progressed. What made me think that practically attacking the poor guy in a dark, cold parking lot, wearing a crappy old sorority sweatshirt and dog hair encrusted work out pants would inspire him to be a part of my story??

When I showed up the next week at the restaurant, I dressed up; I didn't want to risk breaking one of his cardinal rules (no dirty jeans, workout clothes, sweatpants). I also wanted to prove I wasn't just "a bum in a suit" (random Wanda Sykes reference Kyle and I throw out sometimes). Mollie was my guinea pig guest this time and we dutifully sat on the wooden benches in the entry until Chef Masumoto noticed us and pointed to a table that was pre-set with menus, crystal glasses, and silverware. We read through the menu, and after deciding what we wanted, I approached the counter and ordered our food, paying with cash. I asked for the Chef's suggestion for which starch to have with my seared ahi. He said, "I don't know, that is why I call it 'YOUR CHOICE'!" I had to smile at that. He paused for a second, appraising whether or not to say what was on his mind. I raised my eyebrows, hoping he would open up to me. Be careful what you wish for.

"Can I give you some advice?" he stated, rather than asked. Oh boy. "If you want to be a real Restaurant Critic, you should not tell me when you are going to come to the restaurant. If you tell me, then I might act different, maybe kiss your butt because you tell me you will review my restaurant." Fair point. He went on to tell me that he does not want any positive review that is not well-earned. How can you be objective if you are getting special treatment?

I smiled and nodded, agreeing with him. I told him if I wanted to be a Restaurant Critic, then I would follow his advice. However, I plead, face beginning to blush, that this was not my goal. It is true, a real critic should be objective and fair-balanced. I have recently become enthralled with Ruth Reichl, former NY Times Restaurant Critic. Her memoir, Garlic and Sapphires, documents her adventures as a critic in the Food Capital and her quest to remain objective which involved elaborate disguises to elude the New York Restaurant scene.

I am not interested in reviewing food. I think I love food too much to be critical of it. I am interested in sharing the stories behind the food we eat; whether it be about the chefs, farmers, restaurateurs, traditions/rituals...I tried to convey this to him. He still looked skeptical and I think he tried EXTRA hard that evening to make sure I knew that I, too, am no one special. He was never outright rude, or really even grouchy. I think it was his way of showing me respect and demonstrating his style in action. He does not discriminate, he is gruff with everyone. At the same time, he will not just "kiss your butt" because you think you are someone special.

I really didn't have a story after that meal. I knew I had to go back, but honestly was a little nervous about what his next lesson for me would be! I brought my parents as reinforcement this time. I noticed this time that he had a sign saying "No pictures in the restaurant." My original angle for the story was that this "Grouchy" Chef was also very generous; and while he is gruff, he does not lack heart. He does not accept tips, but has a jar where you can donate to cancer research. He also offers free meals to wounded Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans to honor their sacrifices. When I approach the counter to order for my family, I asked if it would be OK to include photos of his "tip" jar for my story. He winces. Uh-oh. He tells me that the donations he makes is separate from his business. He is a for-profit business, and does not want to exploit a charitable cause to gain more customers. I tell him he is a man of strong principles, and he replies that he is just an old stubborn Japanese man. I point to my father and tell him, I have a couple of those in my life.

When he comes to serve our soup, he shakes my parents hands and thanks us for our business. I start to see a flicker of warmth, and like a puppy, practically start barking with excitement, pulling a classic Emi move by starting to talk too much. He quickly retreats to the safety of his kitchen.

As he comes back to clear our table and serve the next course, he begins to open up about his business and his philosophy behind his restaurant, which you will read about in my article. He speaks with such conviction and heart. We are all fascinated by both his words and his food at that moment.

As we finish dessert, the last guests start to trickle out. We all smile and practically high five one another for being in on the secret, knowing about the best restaurant in Mukilteo. Chef Masumoto comes back out and as he clears our plates, we pick up on our last conversation. We speak for almost an hour about his life, his career, politics, Japanese American history...I am surprised that this man I thought I would have to hold down and torture in order to get more than a single word out, is now opening up so freely. He leaves for a second and comes back with the ultimate trophy: Grouchy Chef apparel for each of us. I look over to the shelf where he keeps his merchandise and notice the sign that says "Merchandise Not For Sale." I realize that while he wanted to earn my respect through his food and work ethic, the whole time I was earning his in return. And while he may think he is no one special, I find him and his story incredibly unique. It is so cliche, but when I go home to write the article, it truly writes itself.

I hope you all enjoy it--if you can stand reading through my mini-novel of a lead in!

Emi's Eats: Grouchy Chef

While most associate February with a pricey meal with your special Valentine, I am exploring a less expensive fine dining experience in Mulkilteo: The Grouchy Chef, a hidden gem located within a grey warehouse building off the Mukilteo Speedway.  Here you can feast on refined European influenced meals served on fine china with crystal glasses in a warm bistro-like atmosphere, all for no more than $20/person for dinner and $10 for lunch including tax (no tips accepted!). The catch is this: you must follow “the rules” and put up with--The Grouchy Chef.

Chef/Owner Takayuki Masumoto runs a tight ship, as he is the captain and crew all in one.  Since he alone serves as the host, waiter, bus boy, sous-chef and executive chef, he simplifies both his gourmet food and his restaurant processes in order to pass savings on to the customer.  Growing up in Nagasaki, Chef Masumoto told me his family did not have much money; he wants “ordinary” people to be able to enjoy a fine dining experience.  Thus, he forgoes many of the luxuries of typical restaurants, like extra help and fancy food presentations, in order to provide his loyal customers with an elegant, yet affordable dining experience.  And, there are many rules upon entering his establishment: reservations only, cash only, no tipping, dress appropriately with no dirty jeans or flip flops, the list goes on. The rules and his undiscriminating gruffness are not an act but are necessary to be efficient in the kitchen and provide elegant dining at prices affordable for all, which is noteworthy in our difficult economic times.

No matter the chef’s mood of the day, his three-course meals of soup, salad, and entrée are a palate pleaser day in and day out.  On one visit the soup du jour was simply called, “chicken;” but it was so much more than just chicken. Tiny morsels of tender chicken are definitely there, but they are accompanied by a medley of perfectly diced vegetables and a broth immersed in spices with hints of curry, providing the perfect bath. When Chef Masumoto comes to clear our soup bowls, I ask him what spices he used to give the soup such a wonderfully complex flavor. He simply replies, “many.”  The next time I eat at his restaurant, a new soup du jour is called “porcini chicken consommé.”  The description is more detailed and the broth is less complex, but it still eludes me with its mysterious underlying spices and lovely layered flavors.

In addition to soup, every meal comes with a choice of the house or Caesar salad. I highly recommend the house salad, which is accented with oranges, grapes, watermelon, and mozzarella, tossed in a creamy vinaigrette dressing. You must also choose a starch to go with your entrée. While there are many choices, know that any you make will be delicious. Somehow, Chef Masumoto is able to blend the flavors of my seared rare ahi with a creamy coconut sauce and my shrimp mashed potatoes into a perfect marriage. Another time, we order leg of lamb with a mustard crust and risotto cake, NY strip steak with a cabernet reduction and shrimp mashed potatoes, and seared duck breast with a slightly sweet cinnamon glaze and cheese spaetzle. No matter what the combination, they all seem to make sense and leave you with the satisfying feeling that you made the right choice.  Be sure to save room for the $3.50 cheesecake, which is light and drizzled in bright basil and sweet blueberry sauces, which counter balance the rich creaminess of the cake.

Chef Masumoto works with precision in pacing our meal, perfectly timing each course to arrive promptly, yet not pressuring us to finish without fully enjoying the meal.  When the other customers begin to leave and he finally has a moment to speak with me, I discover that he is of the old guard that whole-heartedly believes in earning one’s respect through hard work and continually strives to improve his craft.  I am particularly impressed with his knowledge of Japanese American history and his sincerity when he emphasizes how he would not be in business without the sacrifices and foundation laid by the Japanese American pioneers who came before him.

Without sugar coating things or ruining the infamous reputation of the Grouchy Chef, I walk away with a deeper understanding of the man behind the madness.  The Grouchy Chef is open on Valentine’s Day, reservations only.

What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Share them with me at or

The Grouchy Chef is located at 4433 Russell Road, Suite 113, Mukilteo, WA 98275, 425-493-9754. Reservations Only.

Happy Eating,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Christmas Cookie Exchange

Don't look so down Buster, Christmas isn't completely over yet, lucky for you I still need to catch up on some Holiday Blog Posts!

Right before we kicked off our family progressive brunch, we held our annual Christmas Cookie Exchange. Everyone (as in my Mom, two aunts, Emi, and cousin's husband) brought three dozen cookies of various assortments.

The cookie exchange is one of my favorite annual holiday events. This one event most likely attributes to a few of my additional holiday pounds of Christmas chub. With the great assortment of cookies I can't help myself because I want to try them all. Every year everyone makes awesome cookies, but my aunt always goes above and beyond. She is a very talented baker and cook. For example one year she made this amazing gingerbread house and for those of you who remember she also made our wedding cake.

Look at the details! How can anyone compete with that?

What a spread! We had everything from pecan tarts to peanut butter cups, Russian teacakes, cupcakes, fudge and more!

My aunt made these amazing cookies. They were definitely the highlight of the spread. Not only did they look delicious and festive, but they tasted great as well. We each went through and selected cookies for ourselves, since it was an exchange after all. Holiday cookies can be a very valuable commodity, they can compliment your morning coffee, be a nice finishing touch to a heavy meal, used to bribe co-workers, as a gift for that friend you like, but don't want to spend money on, or a gift for that neighbor Buster and Mia bark at every morning, to helping one plump up for winter hibernation. See many uses.

Back to more pictures of the goodies.

Emi made her unique, sweet, and comforting sweet potato cupcakes with a cinnamon cream cheese topping. Definitely the perfect cupcake for a Holiday cookie exchange. Emi has been baking a lot recently so hopefully will do a blog post about these cupcakes soon.

My favorite of the exchange were my Mom's lemon bars. Probably the only "cookie" of the bunch that actually gets better with time. The crust crystalizes and hardens a little so that the bars have a crunchy sweet, frosted sugary shell that quickly gives way to the gooey sweet tartness of the lemon insides and the buttery flaky dough. Best cookie/bar ever. I'll be making these for the rest of my life.

Fun event with the family and something I hope to join in on in the future. Now I have to learn how to bake... Anyone have any favorite cookie recipes?

- Kyle

Monday, February 7, 2011

Progressive Birthday Brunch

For my Mom's birthday this year, she said she wanted to do a progressive brunch. Obviously food is a primary focus of each and every one of our family events and this event was no different. What is a progressive brunch? Basically it's an all day gluttonous affair. Think "I wash myself with a rag on a stick" gluttonous, yet obviously delicious.

Each family is responsible for hosting the group at their home for a different course of the brunch. Think all you can eat breakfast buffet, but four of them in a row with maybe 30 minute breaks in between....

We started at our house and Emi made Amy Dang's famous savory pancetta waffles served with toasted almonds and authentic Midwest maple syrup. Unfortunately we didn't get any photos of the meal, but the carbfest had begun! Next we went to my aunt and uncle's and she served us shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon with cream cheese and bagels and croissants.

What Seattle brunch isn't complete without smoked salmon!

After stuffing ourselves at aunt and uncle #1's house (which in hindsite, was probably not very smart because of what lay ahead) we went to aunt and uncle #2 to enjoy their great food as well! This course included creamy eggs, fruit salad and the specialty dish below.

Little German pancakes, served with raspberry jam, Nutella, and powdered sugar. Delicious, light, puffy, rolled up pancake balls. My aunt recently got a cool little pan to cook them in. We also found them at Williams and Sonoma. We were stuffed, but not done yet...

Finally at my Mom's we had prime rib sandwiches to end the day! What started as brunch quickly blended into blinner! My Mom set out artisan rolls and my favorite, potato rolls to enjoy with the thinly sliced prime rib which we dipped into the salty, smoky au jus. Served on the side to probably help promote digestion was a sweet, tender pear salad.

All in all a great first progressive meal experience. I could see this catching on for future celebrations. Next time I'll make sure to pace myself a little more so that I don't feel like passing out afterwards or I'll make sure the last stop is at our house so I can excuse myself for my bed.

- Kyle

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Din Tai Fung

As soon as this place opened, my Facebook Newsfeed was invaded by posts about this Taiwanese restaurant. I know I'm a little late to the game (we did eat there before Xmas, I'm just late with the post), but better late than never. If you've never had xiao long bao (steamed soup pork dumplings), then you've never lived. Honestly one of the most unique dishes I've ever had and when done right amazing. However 99 out of 100 places eff it up.

We waited in line on a Thursday afternoon for 45 minutes to get into the place. While waiting we could see in the window to see the workers in action. Wait a second, they don't look Chinese?!

The place was setup like an assembly line, but I guess when you make people stand in line for an hour, they better get their food fast.

Let's be honest, skip everything that isn't a steamed dumpling. The rest of the food was OK at best and really just filler and a great way for Din Tai Fung to run up your bill because the food is not cheap.

These were decent and came out steamed and hot. They were more like potstickers and not the famous xiao long bao.

Here they are, the little sacs of deliciousness. What makes these dumplings so amazing and unique are the insides.

The inside of the dumpling is filled with pork, shrimp and hot soup. Seriously when you bite into them you better be holding them in a soup spoon because the soup will gush out. The first time I ever had these was when I was traveling for work to New York and someone took me to an authentic restaurant in Chinatown. Best thing ever and was probably the meal that opened my eyes to enjoying local cuisines whenever I travel. Three years later, I still hadn't found anything that compared, until now.

Still being hungry we ordered their fried pork chops. Again, decent, but not worth the price.

I made sure to tear every last bit of meat off of those pork chops. For those of you who haven't eaten with me in person, this is a common occurrence, I'm not afraid to get my hands a little greasy.

Thanks Pert and Calvin for legitimizing my Chinese meal by being Chinese and by being there.

For next time, if I go back I'm going to do a few things differently, first I'll only order one order at a time, they are only good when they are piping hot, otherwise the dumpling skin hardens a little and the soup isn't as flavorful. Second I won't waste my time with any of the other food, I'll just order the dumplings. Third, I might want to eat a little before or after because I'm not about to spend $50 on dumplings alone...

Great flavor and a unique dish that if you've never tried before, make sure to get out to Lincoln Square in Bellevue to try this culinary treat.

- Kyle