señor taco: the best fish tacos

33120 Pacific Highway South, Federal Way, WA 98003
(253) 661-9915

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I have learned that you simply can’t sandwich a fish in a tortilla and call it a fish taco. I have had my share of delicious, different versions of this humble taco. I have tried them grilled and fried. Thin batter, thick batter… you name it. Prior to going to this establishment, my favorite place to get fish tacos was at Agua Verde, on Lake Washington.

It was one fine evening of discussing Mexican eateries in the Federal Way area when a friend of ours was shocked that we had never been or heard of Señor Taco. What did they serve? Where was it? If it was amazing, why haven’t we heard about it before? Curious, a group of our friends decided to meet at Señor Taco for dinner.

When I walked into the restaurant, I couldn’t help but notice the décor. It was basic, a picture of the Virgin Mary hung on the wall. The floor was a little grimy and seats/table stained with food. It wasn’t what I’d call the cleanest place I’d ever eaten. We sat at a table and waited for the rest of our group to arrive. This gave me a chance to look at the menu.

The menu is limited; they serve: tacos, burritos and tortas. No tortilla chips and salsa. I clearly wasn’t in Chipotle. Each fish taco was about $2.50. I decided to order just one to start.

This order forever changed my life regarding what a real fish taco should taste like. It was fresh, satisfying and included: a red cabbage slaw, tomatoes, fresh cilantro and a mildly spicy sauce. The fish was fried and crispy. Everything, from the tortilla to the crunchy cabbage, the sauce, the crispy fish and the cool flavor of the tomatoes helped to balance the contrast of flavors and textures. This taco was it. It was the stuff that fish taco legends were made of. I quickly ordered 2 more. The cook/server was very friendly. We stayed and closed the place down.

Señor Taco, you are my new favorite place!

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art restaurant: late night cheese & antipasto counter

Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, 99 Union Street, Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 749-7070

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the large cheese & antipasto buffet

Where in Seattle does a cheese lover go after 9:00 p.m.? To ART Restaurant/Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel, of course!

The ART Restaurant/Lounge has a late night cheese, wine and antipasto counter daily, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

You can choose cocktails and wines by the glass. From 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., you can dine at the Lounge and enjoy all-you-can-eat cheese and antipasto for $8 per person.

The cheese and antipasto buffet is expansive; you will not leave hungry.

Since my husband’s palate for cheese is more adventurous than mine, this buffet was perfect for him to sample new cheese with an assortment of fresh/dried fruits, grilled vegetables, cured meats, crackers and bread. It’s a steal for $8 per person in the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel.

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my husband at the cheese & antipasto counter

where to park: parking after 8 p.m. in Seattle is free. Look for street parking at this time around the hotel.

getting there: walk into the main entrance of the hotel and head towards the right of the fireplace in the lobby. the ART Lounge is on the right of the glass wine case.

how to enjoy this amazing buffet: seat yourself in the lounge. A server will hand you the menu. Let your server know that you want to do the buffet. The buffet is all-you-can-eat. You can go back as many times as you’d like. If the buffet runs out of something, let your server know, they will happily refill it.

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where is the bathroom: bathrooms are located to the right of the fireplace in the lobby in an alcove.

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service: each time I have visited ART Restaurant, I have always been met with knowledgeable and friendly service.

*ART restaurant has closed as of 4/15/15*

making the most of intermission at the PNB’s Nutcracker

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11 years of going to McCaw Hall to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker has taught me a few things. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that The Nutcracker’s intermission is only 25 minutes long. How does one make the most of this precious time?

A few years ago, PNB started to offer this thing called, “The Nutcracker Suites” sponsored by Trophy Cupcakes. More information regarding the suite was always difficult for me to find on their website.

When you purchase your tickets to The Nutcracker, there will be a prompt for you to purchase the suite. The suite is only available during the evening shows and sells out quickly.

The cost is $25.00 per person. Print your suite tickets and take them with you to the ballet.

When the show breaks for intermission, head to the 4th floor and give them your ticket.

10268415_10103668737188168_5287742179062761810_nQuickly grab a cupcake on your way in and find a table first. Set your things down to mark that the table has been taken.

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the bartender with all the champagne

Champagne, hot chocolate, cupcakes and heavy appetizers are also available to you until the end of the 25 minute intermission.

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a guide to the salish lodge holiday tea

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Image from the Salish Lodge website: http://www.salishlodge.com/lodge.php

If you are ever on the hunt for a relaxing activity during the busy Christmas season, look no further! It’s the Salish Lodge Holiday Tea to the rescue!

Every year, during one Saturday in the month of December, my girlfriends and I drive over to the beautiful Salish Lodge for an afternoon of tea. It gives us the time to check-in and catch up on how we’re all handling the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

Here’s a guide on how to navigate holiday tea at the Salish Lodge:

The holiday tea is available every Saturday and Sunday in the month of December.

You must make a reservation. They will not seat you without a reservation.

If you can, request a seat by the window overlooking Snoqualmie Falls — it’s a breathtaking view.

The cost is $39.00 per person.

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20141220_140652Once you’re seated, the server will hand you the menu and then ask you which tea you would like.

You choose 1 tea from a selection of 2 teas they offer. 20141220_141319You will get 1 of each item on the menu in a tiered server. They are happy to box up any of the items you don’t eat.

20141220_141834After your meal, head over to their gift shop next door, take a picture by the decorated Christmas tree in the lobby or if the weather is nice, take a stroll outside and see the waterfall.

You can get to the Salish Lodge website here.

the old spaghetti factory

17100 Southcenter Pkwy #160, Southcenter Square, Tukwila, WA 98188
(206) 664-6800

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There are days when I’d rather have a simple spaghetti with meat sauce somewhere else than at home; where someone else has done all the work.

One of the things I like about The Old Spaghetti Factory is that they serve their entrées as a complete meal. This means that when you order an entrée, you also get: hot fresh baked sourdough bread + butter, the soup of the day or your choice of green salad + dressing and finally, vanilla or spumoni ice-cream for dessert (the spumoni is yummy!).

The prices are SUPER reasonable.

service: I have never had poor service at The Old Spaghetti Factory. The restaurant at Southcenter is spacious and I have never had to wait very long to get my food.

food/what I ate:  I enjoyed a spaghetti with meat sauce for $ 11.25. Not bad considering that price includes bread, salad and dessert!

favorite dishes here are:  The Mizithra Cheese and Browned Butter. You must try this!

parking: free!

where is the bathroom: Go up the grand staircase, on the second floor.

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thai bistro

34817 Enchanted Parkway South, Federal Way, WA 98003
(253) 874-8800

20141211_190029This is one of my favorite places to get Thai food. The restaurant is nicely decorated, clean and not too crowded. There is not an obvious hostess stand; in fact, there is not a hostess by the door. Simply walk in the front door and wait to be seated. Someone will seat you within a few seconds.

Service: I have been to this restaurant more than once and have had only one instance of mediocre service. Typically, the staff is attentive, nice and prompt.

Food/what I ate:  the prices are pretty reasonable/fair. If you have never had Thai food, this is a wonderful restaurant to start. The flavors are a little mild compared to other Thai places and not as overwhelming. The food is not too salty or too sweet. The portions are large. I recommend ordering food and sharing them around the table, family-style.

My favorite dishes here are:  Pad Thai, Pad See Ew, Panang Curry and Thai Iced Tea.

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Image of fried tofu pad thai. Yum!

Parking: free!

Where is the bathroom: On the left side of the restaurant, to the left of the bar.

a dining secret society

20141116_173229~2I’ll admit it. I’m a part of a secret society of foodies. I won’t tell you anymore about this secret society but I will tell you about the amazing food I ate during one of the dining events I recently went to.

The location was at a barber shop. A real life, operating barber shop. All the food was cooked on hot plates and griddles… each bite was incredible.

20141116_173130~2[1]The menu operated on a theme. The theme was, “Old Fashioned.” This involved taking old fashioned staples and breathing new life into them. We had 8 courses of small bites in a span of 4 hours. I thoroughly enjoyed the company of others who loved discussing food.

The food was marvelous, creative and stunningly plated.

Here is what I had:

The bartender served up old fashioned and mint juleps. They were stiff drinks!

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first course
iced cucumber soup
tequila salmon tartare, cilantro, dill, lime

 

 

 

second course
baked potato
potato waffle, bourbon pork belly, scallion, caviar, crème fraîche

20141116_182701~2third course
casesar salad
duck fat crouton, anchovy, fennel dressing, gremolata

20141116_184528~2fourth course
shrimp cocktail
brown butter poached prawn, cocktail, wasabi avocado mousse

20141116_185627~2 fifth course
mirepoix elevated
seared scallop, spiced carrot, braised onion, rutabaga yogurt, celery salad

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duck a l’orange
coriander rubbed duck breast, edamame purée, orange chili reduction

20141116_194404~2seventh course
filet mignon
wrapped in bacon, tart cherry demi glacé, parsnip purée, asparagus and arugula salad

20141116_200205~2~2eighth course
sundae
chocolate, buttermilk, fresh flowers

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