Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dahlia Bakery

Dahlia Bakery
2001 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 441-4540

On our trip to Seattle, we went to check out Dahlia Bakery, another one of restaurant mongol Tom Douglas’ spots, after reading about it on Serious Eats.

It wasn’t what I was expecting. The place was absolutely tiny. There was barely any room to step in and place an order. Luckily, there were some tables outside for us to sit down and enjoy our food.

The Serious Eats article I had read about raved about the breakfast sandwich, so I had to order one.

The bread was fresh and soft. Inside, there was just enough bacon, egg and cheese to make this sandwich quite tasty. It was a pleasant sandwich, perhaps not as good as the reviews had made it out to be, but it was good.

We also got a slice of coconut cream pie, another item that had been heavily hyped and is available at most of the Tom Douglas’ restaurant locations.  An entire pie is actually quite pricey, but luckily we were able to get it by the slice.

I enjoyed the pie. It was creamy, light, not too thick. I liked it, but again, I didn’t think it was as great as the reviews I had read.

We also got a truffle cookie. It was rich, chocolatey, but also tasted similar to cookies I’ve made before.

Finally, we ordered monkey bread. This monkey bread is non-traditional and is instead made with brioche dough.  The bread wasn’t as soft as I wanted it to be and didn’t have enough cinnamon crumble. This was probably my least favorite item.

Overall, I enjoyed my breakfast here. But it’s mainly for getting food to go since they don’t have anywhere to sit down inside. It offers a lot of the famous Tom Douglas items like his donuts and the coconut cream pie.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin muffins

In searching for new pumpkin recipes to try, I came across a pumpkin muffin recipe from Cooking with my Kid, declaring it the “best ever pumpkin muffins.” So of course, I had to check out the recipe.

This recipe calls for a lot more pumpkin puree than the other pumpkin muffin recipes I’ve tried. These were tasty, but they are definitely more dense, moist and pumpkin-y compared to other recipes. As a result, my muffins also didn’t puff up much. They puffed up initially, but then sank back down because of all the moisture.

I enjoyed the taste and I would make these again. They remind me of the sweet potato muffins I’ve made before.

Pumpkin muffins (adapted from Cooking with my Kid)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp  salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fat free milk

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl whisk together pumpkin, eggs, oil, yogurt and milk. Combine wet and dry ingredients until just blended.

4. Spoon batter into muffin tins, about 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mister Sushi

Mister Sushi
111 N El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 944-2800

We celebrated Little Bro’s birthday this weekend. He wanted all you can eat sushi. Last year, he wanted the same thing and we went to Tadashi.  I thought we should try another place this time and I had heard good things about Mister Sushi (spelled Mr Sushi on yelp and most reviews).

I’m not a big fan of all you can eat sushi because the sushi quality tends to be mediocre and they make you eat a ton of sushi rice, which I hate doing.

There were a couple of things I liked about Mister Sushi. First, they take reservations, which Tadashi does not. Second, they have a huge space including a large sushi bar area and tables and you aren’t limited to the sushi bar area for the all you can eat. This is a big plus when you have a large group of people. Finally, I thought that the all you can eat menu was pretty expansive, including many appetizers and many nigiri options.

I didn’t do the all you can eat because I didn’t want to be stuck eating so much rice. Three people in our group did the AYCE. It costs $28 per person for dinner. Here is the all you can eat menu:

The regular menu is here:

They were doing a 50% off specialty rolls and cut rolls, but the prices on them were so inflated that it ended up just reducing it to normal prices.

I originally was going to order a chirashi bowl, but after seeing the picture, it didn’t look like there was much variety. I found an entry for Mister Sushi special which listed many different kinds of fish and shrimp tempura. There was no picture, but I thought because it costs more than the chirashi bowl it was like a better version of the chirashi bowl.

So when my order arrived, and it was just six pieces of nigiri and a shrimp tempura roll, I was pretty disappointed.

Here are some of the rolls other people ordered.

Finally, the all you can eat. The AYCE people stuck mainly to nigiri. There are a couple of items that are limited two orders per person. Interestingly, inari was one of the limited ones.  Inari is beancurd tofu skin stuffed with rice, so I’m not sure why there is a limit on the orders.

Since we had a birthday, Little Bro was given this tempura ice cream shaped like a sushi roll. I thought it looked pretty cool.

Overall, the service was better than our previous all you can eat experiences: Yoshi Sushi and Tadashi. The food came out really fast and they didn’t “mess up” the number of orders on the all you can eat like Yoshi Sushi kept doing.  They did mess up my order, but they were very apologetic and fixed it right away.

Out of the three places we’ve tried, I think this is the best one for all you can eat sushi.

Mr Sushi on Urbanspoon