Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Seattle's Urbanspoon and Zomato Event at Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room

I recently attended an exclusive event at Seattle's new Starbucks Reserve Roasting and Tasting Room.  The foodie meetup was for Urbanspoon bloggers to meet and greet each other, sample some food, go on a tour of the roastery and to also meet the new Zomato staff.  Zomato has partnered with Urbanspoon to create a bigger platform of reviewing online. 

I was impressed with the size and futuristic look of the store.  At over twenty five thousand square feet I didn't know where to go or look first.  All of the beans made in the Roastery are the ones that are distributed all over the world.  Starbucks Reserve Roasting and Tasting Room is the first of which will be many locations.  Starbucks has also teamed up with Tom Douglas so all the pastries are from his company and there's also a Serious Pie located inside.  At the event we were treated to his pizza's and they tasted delicious.  Wood fired with many unique toppings, they're a winner and its no wonder Starbucks has partnered with one of Seattle's biggest Restaurateurs.

We started off with cocktails and wine while we mingled.  Then after sampling food from Serious Pie we took a tour of the whole space.  To conclude the event we tasted some decaf Starbucks Reserve from Costa Rica, the Bella Vista.  It was rich and bold and blended well with the mini Triple Coconut Cream Pie.  It was a fun evening out in Seattle and I enjoyed meeting other bloggers and getting to experience the new Starbucks.

We started with some Wood Fired Roasted Carrots.

A Chatcuterie Board with Salami Cotto, Country Style Pork Terrine, Panchetta Cotto and house pickles.

I sipped on a Tuca, a Tequilla drink which was strong and flavorful.

The Roasted Seasonal Mushroom Pizza with Truffle Cheese.

The Sweet Fennel Sausage Pizza with Roasted Peppers and Provolone.

The Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza with tomato sauce and fresh basil.

Trying some coffee beans on our guided tour.

Some of the fresh pastries on display at the coffee bar. 

Tom Douglas's famous mini Triple Coconut Cream Pies.

   Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room on Urbanspoon Serious Pie on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 16, 2015

Homemade hot chocolate for a rainy afteroon

Simply a sinful and decadent drink, this hot chocolate hits the spot.  Especially on a rainy, winter day.  This recipe is from Joy the Baker and I found it in her cookbook a couple of years ago.   It uses both white chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate, milk, a pinch of salt and a little bit of instant coffee.  The chocolate went down smooth and was very rich.  It was simple to whip up on the stove and it also makes two cups. 

The Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 heaping tablespoons white chocolate chips
2 cups milk
Pinch of Salt
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder

Melt chocolate either in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted or over two inches of water into a medium saucepan over medium heat.  When the water comes to a simmer, place the bowl or water on top but not touching the water.  Stir until chocolate is melted.  In a small saucepan, heat milk until almost boiling.  Whisk the melted chocolate, coffee powder, and salt into the heating milk and whisk until smooth.  Pour into two cups and serve immediately. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lunch at Geraldine's Counter

I've never seen such a busy lunch spot on a weekday like I did at Geraldine's Counter.  Every table was taken and my family even had to wait a minute.  On a Thursday, no less.  So I was expecting to be blown away by the service and the food.  Turns out it was just standard breakfast and lunch fare, small portions and kind of high prices.  I've heard nice things about the French toast and it was good but I didn't go crazy over it.  I was surprised they chose strawberries in January to top it with.  I would have gone with something seasonal to make it pop.  They did have a nice kid's menu with everything being five bucks and the plates a pretty good size.  My boys had the Kid's Counter with eggs, hash browns and wheat toast.  I got the half order of French toast along with a side of chicken sausage and my husband ate the chicken pot pie.  All in all, kind of a pricey lunch out but we finally got to check it out.  Geraldine's Counter is located in Columbia City and we've driven by it countless time and I've always been curious.  They serve breakfast all day and are family friendly.  I liked how bright and airy the space was and the art gracing the walls. 

Geraldine's Counter on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 8, 2015


I can't think of too many things better than sipping a Margarita at lunchtime, eating chips and salsa and chowing down on a Shrimp Enchilada all while being about ten steps from the mall.  Southcenter Mall just keeps adding these restaurants around its entrance and enticing those of us with kids with its free parking, all those family restrooms and kids menu's, how dare they make it so nice and easy for us?  I'm not complaining, I'm dining and loving it and I'm glad they keep making nice places like Moctezuma's for us. 

This Mexican restaurant and Tequilla Bar is conveniently located right by one of the malls many entrances and the family parking spots.  But all that aside and most importantly the food and service was spot on.  The flavors were fresh and pretty standard for Mexican.  The kids menu was decent with pretty big portions for around six bucks.  My boys shared a chicken burrito and almost finished it.  My twins can eat!  For sixteen months old, they seem to have three legs and our server even commented that most five year olds can barely eat it all.  The hubs and I started with a Cadillac Margarita and being a Thursday, they were two dollars off.  I ate the Shrimp Enchilada with rice and beans.  They portion was large so this girl ate some for dinner, too.  He had the shredded beef Chimichanga which he thought was tasty and that the beef was nice and tender.

We enjoyed the ambiance with the dim lighting, chandeliers and fire places.  It almost felt like a nighttime date but with the kids, too.  Yes, sometimes you can have it all.

The chicken burrito with rice and beans for the kids menu.  Good value and tasty, too.

The shredded beef Chimichanga from the lunch menu- only $9.99.

My Shrimp Enchilada with avocado plus rice and beans on the side. Now that's a good lunch.

Moctezuma's Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar on Urbanspoon