Monthly Archives: March 2010

Crikey! It’s a crocodile!

I’m pretty sure Steve Irwin would not be pleased to hear this though: I had crocodile pizza while in Sydney. I was told I had to have it at the Australian Hotel in the Rocks. So, after I climbed the Harbour Bridge, I walked 100 meters to the right and sat myself at a table in the Australian and watched an old school sporting event. There was random throwing of a football-like object, weird tackles, men hoisting each other up, and other oddities which I can only imagine to be Australian Rules Football. That sport is batsh*t crazy by the way. I had no clue what was going on. The refs are pretty sweet though. When a goal is made, they make these awesome ridiculous hand signals that would give any drill team a run for their money.

The Australian is pretty well known as it’s the oldest pub in Sydney and has a wide variety of beer.

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The Australian Hotel

I ordered a crocodile beer and a James Squire amber ale (hoping it’d taste like Manny’s, sadly it didn’t). They also had a kangaroo and emu pizza on the menu, but didn’t think I could stomach either of those (I have a slight problem with thinking about what I’m eating, and kangaroos are so cute…). Plus I was told kangaroo is really gamey and I’m not a fan of that. The crocodile pizza had a bit of an asian flair as it was “marinated in spicy coconut cream and topped with Asian greens,” which I believe in America we call cilantro and red pepper… But that’s beside the point.

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Crocodile Pizza

Crocodile’s actually not that bad. It has the texture of and tastes like chicken, but with a salt water tang. It’s kind of hard to describe, but once you eat it, you understand that description. My stomach was a bit tense the whole time as I was nervous eating the crocodile (again, all I could imagine while I was eating was the scaly thing staring back at me somewhere in Heaven, Happy Gilmore style). And there was a lot of crocodile on it. There were also noisy Americans who I can only imagine were on an exchange program yelling inside and outside the empty bar. Makes me wonder if my friends and I were that obnoxious while studying abroad in Paris… I’m going to pretend that we weren’t.

If you’re ever going to Sydney, be sure to add this to your agenda: Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, The Australian Hotel, crocodile pizza (or something else of their delicious menu), and enjoy your time being in that beautiful city!

And make sure you drink a lot of water. I didn’t and the night ended with me almost fainting at my hostel…. Oops.

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Australians love their meat…

Pies that is. Especially after a night of drinking. After the Lady Gaga concert my friends and I went out dancing, and I was told I “must have a meat pie!” So at the end of the night, we crowded around a tiny little table at Pie Face and I had my first meat pie, complete with potatoes, gravy and mashie peas.

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The creme de la creme of meat pie

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Meaty pie goodness

Pie Face is all over Australia. And opened very late. It was pretty good, just your average run of the mill mass produced meat pie. The potatoes and gravy were good, but mashie peas? Not so much my thing. It was odd eating green mashed potato-like substance, and it not tasting like mashed potatoes. I could do without it.

After another night of drinking, I was taken to the famous “Harry’s Cafe de Wheels” in Woolloomooloo (Yes, I did spell that correctly. The only place in the world with eight “O”s) by the naval dockyard. Harry Edwards founded this cafe in the 1930s. You can find smaller carts around Sydney that serve their pies, but the original one stands overlooking the water, docks and Russell Crowe’s fatty condo.

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The original Harry's Cafe de Wheels

I got the Harry’s Tiger, which was the meat pie, mashie peas, potatoes, gravy, and also a special curry sauce. It was pretty good. And to be truthful, I don’t remember if there were peas or not… Not going to lie, this was after 8ish beers at the Opera Bar, which sits under the Opera House and is a MUST to have drinks at when you’re in Sydney.

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Thoroughly enjoying my meat pie

From the looks of the picture, I didn’t have any mashie peas, and I was really happy eating it. Harry’s pies were really good as the shell had a nice, thick flaky crust. I could scoop out parts of it and eat it with the crust. Delicious. The curry sauce was a good addition as well.

The best pie I had the whole trip came from the Coolangatta Original Pie Shop on the Gold Coast near Brisbane.

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Coolangatta Original Pie Shop

I ordered a meat and mushroom, but they had all sorts of varieties like chicken and avocado and spinach and feta. I was going to try and be adventurous, but my friend Neil had been talking about these pies the whole trip, that I decided to order the meat one. And it was worth it.

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Meat and Mushroom goodness

The crust was light and flaky, and there was a good amount of meat and chopped mushrooms. My friend Neil ordered the meat and potatoes, he broke eight months of being vegetarian to eat this thing! He was a happy kid while eating it.

It’s good to be home, but I’m very tired and need some rest! I got screwed over by United Airlines and had to spend an extra day in Sydney (which would’ve been ok, except I was already at the airport when I found out because I had just flown in from Brisbane, and had to wait at the airport for three hours to get my backpack I had checked in, so I wasted pretty much my whole day. I have lots of stories to tell though! Especially about all the delicious food I had.

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Girl Scout cookies?

As I’m sure most of you know, that glorious time of year has come upon us. It’s Girl Scout Cookie time! I don’t understand why they do it every year during Lent though. It’s a mean tease… And then the boxes of cookies just stare at me as I count down the days. I wasn’t able to get any thing year, and as I’m out of town this weekend, I thought I’d be cookie-less! Though luckily, my friend Lauren came to my rescue so I’m good to go! $20 later, I will come home to 2 boxes of Thin Mints, 2 boxes of Samoas, and a box of Trefoils. This reminds me of my childhood and trying to force my cookies onto everyone I saw….

Yahoo had a great post today about what your favorite flavor says about you.

My Thin Mints and Samoas describe me as this: Your brisk, outgoing attitude and whip-smart sense of humor ensure that you’re never without plans on a Friday night — but you’re also confident enough to roll solo. You’re a natural born epicure who gravitates towards the finer things in life. Never one to shy away from excess, you’re a freewheeling bon vivant with a large network of loyal friends and admirers. Thoughtful, creative, and discerning, you may err on the side of snobby, but luckily you’re charming enough to get away with it.

I’d like to think and hope it’s true! Grab your favorite box and figure out what kind of person you are!

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Some ideas for St. Paddy’s day…

Hi all! This may be my last post for awhile as there’s a Sounders game tomorrow night, I fly out to Austin/San Antonio, Friday morning, back Sunday night, then off to Australia Monday after work!!! I will most likely have time to blog about all the delicious food I will have eaten in Texas on Sunday as I’m running around doing laundry and packing. But in case I don’t, I’ll be back on the 28th of March! I’m sure I’ll try some interesting new food in Australia and have stories to tell when I get back.

In honor of St. Patrick’s day, I found this article on Yahoo of green food to celebrate our favorite Irish holiday with: 11 green foods for St. Patrick’s Day

I am intrigued by this “Frozen grasshopper on a stick”:

Mmm.. Chocolate, Ice cream and mint. What else do you need in life?

My friend Brenna came over for dinner the other night and we had the most amazing thing. On Sunday, she had gone to the West Seattle Farmers’ market and walked out with a loaf of fresh, organic, whole grain wheat bread and some delicious cheese from the Mt. Townsend Creamery. She bought the Tommette. It was glorious and creamy. We added some organic apples and our dinner was set! I had bought some red wine as well, but that was quickly forgotten as bread and apples were being cut. Apparently this means bread, cheese and apples are more important to me than wine… Which I guess is true, SOMETIMES. Apparently Mt. Townsend Creamery comes to the Ballard Farmers’ market. I’ve been meaning to check that out. Definitely on my “to-do” list when I get back from Australia!

Hope I get the chance to blog before I leave, but if not, g’day Mates!

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Au revoir Eastlake Red Robin

I went to the Eastlake Red Robin one last time yesterday with my cousin who is visiting from Korea. I wanted to show him a delicious burger and fries, and also introduce him to a bit of UW. Red Robin has always been a college staple – it was where I went for my going away dinner before I went to Paris for a semester, I celebrated my 21st and 25th birthday there, as well as other friends birthdays, sorority dinners, and it was the perfect place for a summer date on the patio, even if your date was a d-bag. But I digress. Even though 3/5 times the service was terrible, I continued to go back. Something about the gorgeous view of UW as well as the kooky, high bird painted on the wall was addicting.

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You cannot tell me this bird is not on SOMETHING

You can read about the restaurant closing and a quick blurb about the history here. Red Robin began as a Sam’s Tavern (because really, UW could never have enough bars/taverns) in the 1940s. The owner Sam was a member of a barber shop quartet and loved to sing “when a red robin goes bob bob bobbin’ along…” Hence where “Red Robin” comes from. In 1973 Red Robin expanded to more than just a tavern, introducing the Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger, the Red Robin Bacon Cheeseburger and the Royal Red Robin Burger™, which is crowned with fresh fried egg. And the magic is made. You can read further into their history here.

I’m really disappointed the company doesn’t do SOMETHING to keep their original store open. Maybe this is what happens when a company goes public. Remind me if I ever own a cafe, to not get large and go public. No offense to everyone, but I don’t want the public to dictate whether I stay open or not! Unless my food is just THAT terrible. It’s a shame though, when we went yesterday the restaurant was crowded and there was a constant wait for tables. It was so delicious though, and the server was great. It was a good memory to go out on!

As always, I ordered a basket of fries to munch on while we waited for our burgers, it was definitely a good call as we had to wait awhile for our burgers.

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The wait was worth it

I went with the turkey burger and added jalapenos, mushrooms, red onion, and minus the mayo. I usually get the 5 Alarm burger with turkey no mayo and salsa. And of course, I had to do ranch with the fries. I don’t think there’s any other way to go. Ketchup and honey mustard are good.. But ranch is FTW! I’m really glad I made it in before it closed. I overheard a gentleman speaking to the manager about what they were going to do with it after, and he was interested in turning it into a bar. I hope it stays a bar/restaurant. It has the most gorgeous view and is in a great location. Besides Red Robin, Ivars and Aqua Verde, there’s not much else on the Lake Union/Washington connection! Hopefully whatever it turns into, it will continue to have the same enthusiasm and fun as Red Robin. Thanks for all the memories, Dirty Bird!

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You will be missed!

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I love the Oscars

Though I’m sad that the award show season is over. Congratulations to Sandra Bullock!! I’m so excited she finally got an Oscar. I’ve always loved her, no matter how ridiculous her movies might be…

I did a lot of eating over the past few days, ok let’s be honest. When am I not eating a lot? But I definitely have a lot to write about over the next week! Which is good since I’ll be busy getting ready for San Antonio and Australia this weekend!

This past Thursday I did dinner and a movie with my friend Mariko. ‘Casablanca’ and Italian! We followed Giada De Laurentiis’ Whole-wheat spaghetti with lemon, basil and salmon. We did a lot of chopping, grating, squeezing, washing and spin-drying….

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Mmm, fresh basil

Though I might have burned a cookie sheet in the process (Ooops, I didn’t realize I turned on the wrong burner…) This was the final outcome:

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Best dinner to go with Humphrey Bogart

We used Trader Joe’s spring mix instead of spinach and twice as much as lemon juice and it was amazing. Lemony-basil goodness. It mixed really well with the salmon. Mariko and I both didn’t want the plate to go away. You know what also helped the dinner taste delicious?

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Taiwan Beer

It was a nice, light beer to go with our pasta and salmon! And of course, watching one of the greatest love stories ever. Perfect Thursday night with the Lil’ if you ask me!

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My love affair with cheese….

I met up with my friend Jenny for lunch today. And when I say we met up for lunch I mean – we had both eaten or was going to eat after our meeting, and we just sit and talk. This time though, we got some household chores done by grocery shopping while catching up. We randomly walked around the Bellevue Safeway and ended up at the cheese counter so we could try some. They had samples of gouda and a pepper jack cheese. The gouda was heavenly. It took me back to when I studied abroad in Paris and was introduced to gouda by my host family. It soon became the love of my life. And the cause of my 10lb weight gain in Paris. Well, maybe that and the baguettes, paninis, crepes, pain aux raisins…. Anyways. I forgot how good gouda is. I almost bought a chunk of it, but then I realized that I’m going to Australia in 12 days, the last thing I need is a large chunk of gouda as I’m attempting to drop the LAST couple of pounds I can.

The friendly woman behind the counter talked with Jenny and I a bit about cheese. She let us try this proscuitto, tomato and mozzarella wrap, as well as goat cheddar cheese. The goat cheddar cheese was really good. It had the sharpness of chevre, but also a nice cheddar taste. I could’ve sat there all day and ate cheese samples. When I get back from Australia, I’m definitely going to have a wine and cheese party, Paris style. Well, maybe after lent so I can enjoy it on a baguette!

Also, in case you didn’t know. The original Red Robin on Eastlake Ave is closing down! Even though I’ve constantly experienced the worst service EVER there, I still love the place. It has a gorgeous outlook of Lake Washington, UW and Fremont, and the outdoor patio is nice. I spent both my 21st and 25th birthdays there and had good memories. Minus the fact that they cut me off on my 21st because I stood on a chair and tried to make the whole restaurant sing happy birthday to me. I wasn’t even drunk! I was disappointed, but the googly-eyed bird painted on the wall always makes up for it. My hope is to try and make it in before it closes, and take a picture of the bird and the restaurant. This requires time I don’t have! I’ll figure something out!

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