Re:public Restaurant Seattle

Seattle has no shortage of restaurants offering the freshest, localest (I’m making this a word for today) products that nature has to provide. Which is really the coolest thing and I endorse it 500 billion percent. The problem with it however, is that it makes choosing a restaurant to eat at extremely, almost impossibly difficult. Where do you go? All of the menus are just so enticing. And when you are only in the city for one or two days, staying in EVEN Hotel Seattle or another hotel of your choosing, you want to make each and every meal count. You don’t want any place to be a dud.
So how exactly did I decide on Re:public restaurant? Well the whole process was a bit of a fluke. I picked up the restaurant guide at our hotel and it was the first page I flipped to. I did go through the rest of the pamphlet and cross-checked everything with the according online menu. At the end of it all I came full circle back to Re:public. Perhaps it was meant to be.
Re:public restaurant is actually half restaurant, half bar. The space is very open, basically a giant warehouse. It is loud, but from what I’ve seen, so is every other place in Seattle. The food is very reasonably priced, especially for plates filled with local produce and protein.
We ordered a variety of smaller plates to share, which is always nice because you get to taste a little bit of everything. To start, we went with the cheese plate. My favorite was a toss up between a mild blue and a super oozy, stinky, I’m-not-exactly-sure-what-it-was. The three cheeses were accompanied by sliced nectarines, crackers, Marcona almonds and dried cherry mustarda.
cheese platter at re:public seattle
cheese platter at re:public seattle
Next came a trio of snacks with salted Marcona almonds, marinated olives and pickled beans. The beans were on the sweeter side and not jarringly acidic, so no coughing fits were induced (always a bonus).
Marinated olives, pickled beans and roasted almonds at re:public seattle
Marinated olives, pickled beans and roasted almonds at re:public seattle
I had a chioggia (candy cane) beet salad with fresh cherries and a Spanish goat’s milk cheese (called Garroxta I believe). I loved the concept of the dish but it needed at least one more element. Something extra for crunch or at least more of a vinaigrette for the beets. Sure they tasted great on their own but the kitchen could have done more to make it something I couldn’t have made at home.
Beets
beet and cherry salad
Other dishes included sautéed Swiss Chard with baby turnips and elephant garlic (pleasantly acidic), a burger with bacon and cheddar and not to be forgotten, the French fries. Hand-cut and fried in non-GMO canola oil (from Canada even). I don’t eat fries on principle (I haven’t had one in years and now I can’t bring myself to break the streak) but everyone else at the table gobbled them up.
sauted swiss chard at re:public seattle
We skipped dessert but I’m sure it would have passed the bar too. So I guess the morale of the story here is that when in Seattle (or any other city with a prominent culinary culture), don’t spend too much time stressing out over where to eat. Just pick and place and go with it, you probably can’t go wrong.

re:public Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Portage Bay Cafe

Before leaving Seattle after disembarking the cruise, we stopped for breakfast at a place called Portage Bay Cafe. It was recommended to us by our neighbour and fellow food blogger Carrie, over at Wheat Free Mom (where I also recently did a guest post). I knew I was going to like it the minute I saw their slogan, “eat like you give a damn”. Touché my friends, touché. Whether you are in need of a gluten free, vegan or just the classic bacon and eggs breakfast, Portage Bay has a little something for everyone.
Portage Bay Cafe Menu
I’m not vegan myself but I wanted to try their vegan banana pancakes, and so I did. Made with rice flour, hemp milk and of course, bananas, they were different than your average pancakes but not in a bad way. I think a lot of people go in expecting vegan or gluten free offerings to be an exact replica of whatever it is that normally contains wheat, eggs, dairy, etc. And that’s why they end up disappointed, because there are going to be differences. But if you keep an open mind it’s a lot easier to accept such differences and still appreciate when something tastes good, regardless of what’s in it (or more aptly, not in it).
I especially liked the breakfast bar concept at Portage Bay. If you order any pancakes or french toast, they come plain and you get to add your own toppings (unless otherwise specified on the menu). There was an abundance of fresh berries, whipped cream (not out of a crappy aerosol can) and real maple syrup. Yum!
Vegan Banana Pancakes
My dad tried the hash with corned beef, veggies and scrambled eggs. His only complaint was that the potatoes were a tad al dente.
Corned beef hash

My sister ordered the classic french toast with house-made challah. Hollah for the challah! Apparently we chose opposite colour schemes for our toppings. Red berries for her, blue for me.

Last but not least, a breakfast sandwich for my mom. It was massive! Scrambled eggs, bacon, local Beecher’s cheese, arugula and tomato jam sandwiched between 2 thick, hearty slices of home-made bread (I tasted a piece for quality control, it passed). These potatoes were fully cooked so that was good.
Breakfast Sandwich
I’m not exactly sure if was good to start the trip back home on this full of a stomach…when you are sitting in a car for hours I think food makes you fall asleep more than it gives you energy. But I am glad we stopped! Thanks to Carrie for an awesome recommendation!

Portage Bay Café & Catering on Urbanspoon

Dahlia Bakery

Dahlia Bakery Brownie
Dahlia Bakery breakfast sandwich
Dahlia Bakery Breakfast Sandwich
Dahlia Bakery breakfast sandwich
Dahlia Bakery brownie

Anytime I can have a brownie for breakfast, a toasted pecan brownie nonetheless, I am a very happy camper. Thanks to Dahlia Bakery, this opportunity was made available. This is an experience I wish I had experienced much sooner. If only they were easier to find online, it might be time for them to pay a visit to localseoaudits.com. Sure the rest of my family may have opted for more breakfast appropriate options, like homemade English muffin sandwiches with an array of toppings including bacon, egg, cheese and veggies, but I had to see if Dahlia Bakery was competent in their production of a bakery staple, the brownie. Truth be told, I ordered it because we arrived for a late breakfast and they had already run out of my other option, pain au chocolat. But I guess it turned out ok. Fudgy, dense, totally over-the-top rich; just the way I like them. The only way a brownie should be in my opinion.I know what you are thinking, breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day and I started off with the absolute picture of health (ha), a brownie. Sometimes though, you just have to go with it. 99% of the time I have toast with almond butter and an apple to begin my day. And I’ll be the first to admit that brownies won’t become a breakfast staple anytime soon. But when life gives you oozy-gooey brownies in a city you are only visiting for a day, at a bakery that is renowned across the country, you eat them. Because the last thing you want is to leave regretting that you didn’t. We also got chatting to the owners who were telling us about the bakery and their own love of baking. One of the owners first loved baking when they were a child, they then took some short term bakery courses in delhi and hasn’t looked back ever since. In the vein of bakeries, I was talking to my friend who recently opened a bakery and she was telling me about how important it was for her business to make sure she had the right energy bills for her establishment. She did some price comparison through Usave and is really glad she did. If you are a small business it might be a good idea to do some research to make sure you’re maximizing your business. read this if you’re interested.

Dahlia Bakery on Urbanspoon

Serious Pie

For our first night in Seattle, we fittingly ate at a Tom Douglas restaurant (THE restauranteur in Seattle); Serious Pie. As the name suggests, they specialize in one thing – pizza.
It was a bit of a wait to get in (the place was packed and for good reason), and luckily it didn’t let us down. I had to go for the roasted chanterelle mushroom pie. Instead of the usual truffle oil, it was actually topped with truffle-infused cheese, imported from Italy. A subtle truffle flavour came through without over-powering the gorgeous chanterelles.  The top was sprinkled with tarragon, a nice touch I thought. Also, the crust was definitely up-to-par. Not the best I have ever had, that honour still goes to the Neapolitan pizza we ate in Naples (surprise, surprise), but it passed with flying colours. Crunchy, chewy, the way a good Neapolitan style pizza should be.

chanterelle mushroom pizza with truffle cheese

Roasted Chanterelle Mushrooms with Truffle Cheese
chanterelle mushroom pizza with truffle cheesepizza at Serious Pie, Seattle

We also ordered a fennel sausage pie and a margherita, both of which were thoroughly enjoyed. I’m a sucker for mushroom pizza though so I stuck with that.

chanterelle mushroom pizza with truffle cheese
margherita pizza at Serious Pie, Seattle
Buffalo Mozzarella, Red Sauce, Basil

Dessert is not the first thing you think of when you are at a place renowned for its pizza, but they were the perfect finish to the meal.

Panna cotta can be scary if too much gelatin is used and it sets up super firm. Think of leftover gravy. The cornstarch causes it to harden in the fridge, yet it still wobbles ever so slightly. Scary stuff. However, this panna cotta had a texture similar to chocolate pudding, soft and creamy. Paired with a ganache that reminded me of the fudge sauce at DQ (and I mean this in the best of ways), it satisfied my constant chocolate craving without sitting in the pit of my stomach for the rest of the night.

chocolate panna cotta
Chocolate Panna Cotta

We also had to try Dahlia Bakery’s famous coconut cream pie. Good crust, coconut-y filling and a not to sweet mound of whipped cream on top. My favourite part though had to be the fresh toasted shredded coconut on top. No store-bought, sweetened, tiny shreds here. Just give me a hand full of those to chew on and I would be happy.

Dahlia Bakery Coconut Cream Pie
Dahlia Bakery’s Famous Coconut Cream Pie

If all of our meals in Seattle are this good, I will be a happy camper. What a great start to our super short visit to the city!

Serious Pie on Urbanspoon