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Archive for February, 2012

Ballard Restaurant News Roundup – Mid-February

Work seems to be starting in the space next to the Ballard Loft. The liquor license application in the window says that the Ballard Pizza Company is moving in.

A neon orange stop work order is taped to the window at the Ballard Po’ Dog location. Looks like we’ll be waiting a bit longer for the restaurant/dance club complex to open.

The Stranger makes a visit to Belle Clementine for a communal dinner.

My Ballard reports on Ballard’s growth as the apparent center of Seattle’s brewery universe.

After 27 years, Le Gourmand and Sambar will close this summer. J and I will be dining there sometime before the June 2nd deadline. Eater Seattle breaks the news.  My Ballard has a bit more coverage.  Nosh Pit’s take on the unexpected closing. Finally, Eater Seattle has the scoop on the market price for Le Gourmand’s Market Street location.

The Washington State Farmer’s Market Association names Ballard Farmer’s Market one of the best in the state.

Seattle Weekly’s Voracious has a cocktail at Bitterroot BBQ,  dinner at Jhanjay Vegetarian Thai, and  noodles at Root Table.

Seattle Met’s Sauced blog talks to The Walrus and The Carpenter’s bartender about her signature drink.

Sauced also highlights Urban Family Public House’s long list of rotating beers.

Streetzeria, a pizzia food cart, takes up residence on the corner of 24th and Market.

The Amber Den, on the corner of 17th and 56th is now open. According to the menu posted at their door, they offer a handful of small plates, local beer, and red and white wines on draft.

Finally Ocho, one of our top ten  Ballard restaurants, gets some national attention in Travel & Leisure’s “What to See and Do in Seattle, Washington”. Thanks to Eater Seattle for the head’s up about this article.

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Categories: Ballard, Restaurants, Seattle Tags: ,

Ballard Restaurant News – Febuary (First Half)

The beginning of February has been pretty slow on the Ballard Restaurant news front. The few places that are in the works (Benito’s Chicago Eatery and Po Dogs) seem to be in some sort of limbo.

Very soon J an I will start up the real reviews once again with Bitterroot and Belle Clementine at the top of that list.

Nice article about Café Munir, Loyal Heights’ new Lebanese restaurant, in Seattle Met’s, Nosh Pit and Seattle Weekly’s Voracious blog did a review of them as well.

My Ballard has more information on The Amber Den, the wine bar to open next month on the corner of 17th and 56th.

Bastille, Golden Beetle, and Staple & Fancy are all offering special Valentine’s Day dinners. Nosh Pit gives the details.

Seattle Met’s Sauced blog has the inside scoop on Hillard’s Beer, Ballard’s newest brewery.

Eater Seattle as the information on what looks to be a new dessert place coming soon to Ballard Ave.

And that’s pretty much it for now. Good eatings to you all.

 

The Worst of the Ballard Restaurant Project 2011

Here we go, the five Ballard restaurants that served us our least favorite meals of the Project. Unless these places step up the quality or change hands, we won’t be eating at these places again.

Neither of us enjoy giving a restaurant a bad review. We tried very hard to go into every place with an unbiased mind. Yes,  we had some negative, preconceived opinions of a few places but as we tried each restaurant, we hoped to be pleasantly surprised. Case in point, Ballard Smoke Shop Restaurant. From the outside, it looks like a seedy, greasy spoon but the great service and good, cheap breakfast changed our minds.

In the end, there were four places over the course of the project that were just not good and only one that was truly horrible. J and I aren’t posting this “Worst of” list with the idea of putting these places out of business … although one has already closed. Honestly, we kind of hope these restaurants read our reviews and try harder. That is really the common denominator of our least favorite Ballard restaurants: it seemed like these places just didn’t care about offering good food.

5. Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ

On this list because Smokin’ Pete’s was the biggest disappointment of the Project. J and I have had perfectly good BBQ at Smokin’ Pete’s before doing our “official” review but that day it seemed like they just didn’t care. Dry, tough meat shot through with gristle. Bland BBQ sauce. Mediocre sides that tasted like they came from the deli at Fred Meyer. Honestly, the BBQ warmed up in a microwave at The Viking was better. Considering the recent influx of quality BBQ available in Ballard (Bitterroot, RoRo BBQ, and The Boar’s Nest), Smokin’ Pete’s needs to step up their quality if they don’t want to be left in the dust.

4. Pho Than Brothers

Neither J nor I were fans of pho when we went to Pho Than Brothers for the Project and it did nothing to change our minds. Flavorless broth. Spongy, bland meat that only bore a passing resemblance to beef. We walked out of Pho Than Brothers not understanding, at all, the fascination with pho and remained that way until we had the outstanding pho at Pho Big Bowl.

3. Any Teriyaki Restaurant in Ballard

The teriyaki choices in Ballard range from okay (Anne’s Teriyaki) to just plain bad (Tony’s Teriyaki and Pho and Sunny Teriyaki). Dry, flavorless meat. Bland or overly sweet sauces. Limp salads. Since there are plenty of other cheap Asian food options in Ballard (Pho Big Bowl, Vietnam Cafe, and Uma Thai), J and I see no reason to ever get teriyaki in Ballard again.

2. Zesto’s

Yes, it is now closed but our meal at Zesto’s was one of the worst of the last year. Flavorless, obviously previously frozen beef patties. Lukewarm French fries. A burger that was barely a step-above McDonald’s. Once upon a time, going to Zesto’s was like taking a step back in time to the burger joints of the 1950’s but ever since they took the car off the roof, the quality disappeared. I have high hopes for RoRo BBQ which will be taking over the building and, supposedly, keeping the old Zesto’s charm.

1. Golden City Chinese Restaurant

Not only the worst meal we had in Ballard last year but the worst meal we’ve had in many years. Where to begin? An egg roll so over-fried that we couldn’t identify the ingredients. Two separate entrees that tasted as if they’d been cooked together. Pork fried rice so horrible that J described it thusly, “It tasted like it had been cooked in an old shoe … a week ago.” Golden City made Louie’s seem like the best Chinese food in Seattle. Unbelievably awful.

In retrospect, we didn’t have too many bad meals over the course of the Project. We’re lucky to live in Ballard where there are far more good to great restaurants than bad ones.

Next up with be our choices for “Best” types of food: burgers, fries, Italian, Long Island Iced Teas, etc.