Azul Restaurant and Lounge – Mill Creek, WA

Azul restaurant frontThe Azul Restaurant & Lounge in Mill Creek Town Center advertises itself as a Latin American Bistro, and that description really fits the place. We went there to try out their brunch offerings, and we were not disappointed in the least. The place is Mill Creek upscale, with solid middle of the road pricing. Plenty of lighting without being too bright, and just the right amount of decorations. The place has a very comfortable feel to it.

The brunch menu includes a good selection without being so overbearing as to cause one to take hours to decide. I went for the Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs. First off, no, I don’t have a picture. I don’t take pictures of my food when it may distract other diners. If you’d like to see a pic of it, please visit google maps or their Facebook page for pics.

The chicken fried steak was out of this world with a very light seasoned breading and fried perfectly. It was served with a chipotle jalapeño and corn gravy that was running on all cylinders. It had some back heat but it wasn’t unbearable by any means. The dish came with two over easy eggs that were perfect, along with black beans, country style potatoes and pico de Gallo. Really well done.

Beth opted for the Chicken Chipotle Cobb Salad and loved it. A massive lunch salad that could easily feed two folks. Or one that happened to be my size. (coughs)

If you happen to be in the Mill Creek Town Center I strongly recommend you stop in. We plan to go back for dinner soon and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Rubber side down and forks full,

Gregor

Chocolate Hummus

Yes, you read that right. Chocolate hummus is at Trader Joe’s. Chickpeas, tahini paste, seat salt, oil, cocoa and a little sugar. It is CRAZY good! I know what you are thinking, ‘Gregor, you’ve been into the martini juice a little early’. I swear, not a drop. Not even a drunk olive.

The taste is like a semi-sweet chocolate mousse. Almost like Nutella, but with sesame seeds instead of hazelnuts. Sounds insane, but man does it work.

For the perfect bite, take a Stroopwafel, spread the chocolate hummus all over it. Then warm the stroopwafel over your mug of coffee in the morning and….boom. You’ve found heaven. Love this stuff!

Gregor

Elliott Bay Pizza & Pub: A Delicious Delivery

Friday nights are usually pizza night at the Gregor household. Neither one of us really feels like going out to dinner and we sure as heck don’t feel like cooking. This past Friday, Beth, who was getting sick of the same ol’ cardboard cookie-cutter pizza, decided to do a little online research. Her search formula was simple but brilliant; “Pizza for Delivery in Mill Creek WA.” We like pizza, but on Fridays we are as lazy as sloths on ‘ludes, so delivery was a must have.

What came up was Elliott Bay Pizza & Pub. Let me say that one more time, because I’m sure I will be writing more about this place. Elliott Bay Pizza & Pub. In a world of rabbit pellet sausage and tomato sauce made in China, this place is a culinary breath of fresh air. Let’s get right to the particulars. Continue reading “Elliott Bay Pizza & Pub: A Delicious Delivery”

Game Day Breakfast Pizza

Beth and I love going downtown to the Sport Restaurant and Bar on football Saturdays. Number one reason is that it’s home to the Seattle Buckeye Alumni Club, and watching the Bucks in a bar full of OSU fans is a total rush. Number two reason is the food; great garlic fries, dips and pizzas. This past Saturday, however, Beth woke up feeling like crap and it was a crappy day to match, so we decided to hunker down and stay in. OSU was on national TV, so we were good to go there, but what to do about food?

I was going to just make us some scrambled eggs, but then I saw we still had some smoked salmon left and the wheels started turning. Capers? Check. Cream Cheese? Check. Pizza dough? Surprisingly enough, check! I had picked up a tube of the ready to go pizza dough a couple of days earlier. I was going to make a “Faux Beef Wellington”, but dammit, this was football man! And just like that, Gregor’s Pub Breakfast Pizza went on the menu.

I’m certainly not going to claim this as an original. I’ve had similar versions many times. In fact, the Sport Bar used to make one. This is just the way I threw it together, using what I had. The real key to this, is to make sure none of the toppings overpower the others.

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Pesto Flat Iron Steak

How many times has this happened to you? You get home after work and remember you have nothing in the fridge. Or maybe you stop at a watering hole for happy hour and end up inviting half the bar over for a party, even though you haven’t been to the grocery for days. It’s happened to all of us at one point or another. So what do you do? You ad-lib baby. Ad-lib your ass off.

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Seattle Skyline Chili

One of the few bummers about living out here in Seattle is that there are no Skyline Chili places. What the hell is a Skyline Chili you ask? Well, I’ll tell you, it’s a chain restaurant serving Cincinnati style chili. What the hell is Cincinnati style chili you wonder? It’s basically a greek style chili. In fact, the Skyline Chili restaurant chain was started by a greek immigrant, one Nicholas Lambrinides. Story goes that he opened a restaurant overlooking the Cincinnati skyline serving greek food. The chili was the hands down favorite and as they say, history was made.

What makes it so good? I really can’t put my finger on it. I’ve had other greek style chili and it’s pretty close to be honest. I think more than anything it’s a taste that sparks fond memories. Hitting a Skyline, getting a 3 way, 2 coneys and a large iced tea to wash away the stink of another Browns loss. Skyline coneys even became a sort of currency for us as well. “I’ll bet you 5 Skyline coneys the Bungles don’t even score Sunday” We’d meet later in the week and divvy up the wins. “Okay, I won 3 from Mike, and 6 from John, but I lost 8 last week to…” Lunches might go on for hours as the complicated math was figured out.

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Grilled Pork Loin with Apples

Okay kids, it’s officially here. GRILL SEASON IS ON BABY!!!!!! Now out here in the great Pacific Northwest it’s the mid 50’s with steady rain, but no reason not to grill though, right? So with grill season in mind, I bring to you a recipe from the good folks at Maker’s Mark bourbon. You guys know I’m a bourbon lover, and that my favorite is Maker’s Mark. There is a quality to this bourbon that is head and tails above the rest. It may be because they use water from an onsite limestone spring fed lake. It could also be the corn and grains. It may also be the fact they use a small number of barrels per batch. Personally, I think it’s just the fact that the company is run by folks who give a damn about producing a quality, uniquely American product and it shows. Now, on with the grilling!

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Cioppino

One of my favorite dishes in the world is Cioppino, Italian style fish stew. As with most dishes, there are probably as many recipes for Cioppino as there are people who love it. Not wanting to be left out, I offer up my take on the classic dish. As always, look at this as a starting point. Take away items you don’t like, add in ones that you do. Have fun!

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Alaskan Cod/Halibut on Pineapple Planks

We love fish, but after a while it all starts to taste the same. Smoked, grilled, grilled on cedar planks, steamed, it all gets boring after a while. Sure, you can make heavy sauces and such but that’s just masking the fish. I wanted something new that would allow me to have a new taste, but still know I was enjoying a good piece of fish. So last night I tried steaming some cod on pineapple, and the results were quite tasty. This is really drop dead simple to make. Give it a try, I really think you’ll like this one.

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Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash has a lot of different variations, usually dependent upon the area. It can range from a creamy brown sauce to a deep red. Some variations don’t even have noodles or haluskis. Just a reminder for folks, we called our dumplings “Haluski”. I know there are dishes out there called Haluski, but what can I say. To my family Haluskis are those dumpling like bits that are almost like very large spatzel. Okay? Feel free to send letters telling me how silly I am. When it comes right down to it, there are only 2 common ingredients that exist in all variations. Chicken and paprika. So with that little intro, I give you the Gregor family version that I grew up with.

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