Over the past month, a few of us have been up at Vij’s, the Indian restaurant in Vancouver BC. There were rumors about Vikram Vij scouting out locations in Seattle, so Tami Parr asked him about it. “Vij said that he felt that the market was ready and he found some great locations, but he didn’t feel he could find the Indian people to do the cooking – he said they all are too wealthy and work at Microsoft and don’t want to work in a kitchen. Vij said he talked to the guy who owns Wild Ginger and apparently that guy has the same problem with hiring cooks, he has to have his sauces made elsewhere and sent (flown?) in. Interesting. So no Vij’s in Seattle for awhile.”
I also went to Rare, also in BC, not long ago. They have an interesting menu specializing in rare wines, rare cooking techniques and rare cuts of steaks, fish, oysters and seafood; using only sustainable and wild stocks. They have several selections sous vide – (pronounced sue veed, French for “under vacuum”; also called cryopacking or cuisine en papillote sous vide) is a method of cooking that is intended to maintain the integrity of ingredients by heating them for an extended period of time at relatively low temperatures. Food is cooked, in some cases for well over 24 hours, in airtight plastic bags placed in hot water that is well below boiling point (approximately 60°C or 140°F). Anyway, this is the hot new place in Vancouver right now. My experience there was mixed. I think it has potential, but still has a way to go.
If you haven’t been recently, Vancouver is a fun food escape, and just 5 1/2 hours drive.
Rachael Ray’s piece on Portland was entertaining, but more for the strange choices they chose to feature, and the forced delivery by Mrs. Ray. It drives me crazy when she puts something in her mouth and immediately says how good it is. No one can taste that fast!
Some of the things they covered:
Oldtown Pizza – This is the best pizza they could come up with in Pdx? I think they picked it as a segue to the underground tour, but still… geeze.
Anna Bananas Coffee -ok, a fun place.
World Cup in the Ecotrust bldg. – I’ve never been to this branch, but it looks cool.
Valentine’s – never even heard of it. Brie sandwiches. Hmm :)
Hobo’s Restaurant – I’ve always heard that was a gay place with mediocre food. Not that there is anything wrong with that; just a strange choice.
Peanut Butter & Ellies – famous with families
Ripe Family Supper – now gone
The Blue Monk – new to me
Pearl Bakery – hmm
Grolla – (the gluten-free place) has anyone been here?
Doug Fir – I like Doug Fir, but for the music; the food is pretty mediocre
Mentioned in passing: Thien Hong, Superdog, Jakes Grill.
Changes in the Pearl District
Nina’s Place has closed and subleased to a new restaurant to be called Graze. It is a cool space; it will be interesting to check out the new place.
Sweet Masterpiece (chocolate cafe) will be opening next to Sushiland.
Another Noodles franchise is going into the 10th street market space.
Kevin Ludwig, bartender extraordinaire at Park Kitchen, has come up with a homemade tonic water. I tasted it during the development stage and was very impressed. When compared with standard bottle tonic, you’ll never go back. Highly recommended.