Archive for the ‘ Washington Restaurants ’ Category


Tantalizing terroir cuisine at T. Maccarone’s

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Over the past decade Walla Walla, Washington has seen a stratospheric surge in its wine industry, going from a couple dozen vineyards, to well over one hundred today.  The growth of high quality vino being produced in the Walla Walla Valley  has spawned a world-class culinary scene.

Located in the heart of Walla Walla, jutted off Main Street is a modern, Italian-influenced American bistro called, T. Maccarone’s I’ve had an opportunity to dine at this intimate and vibrant establishment a couple of times now. My most recent trip included the following menu items:

  • STARTER: Pear salad, mixed greens, shaved Parmigiano, Reggiano cheese, toasted pine nuts and a white truffle vinaigrette.
  • ENTREE: Red chili-rubbed Alaskan halibut with baby vegetables and coconut basmati rice.
  • DESSERT: Pumpkin Crème Brûlée with house-made ginger snap cookies…can you say “oh my!”

With an abundance of locally grown and hand-crafted ingredients, T. Maccarone’s is able to craft dishes that reflect the community which help produce it. The nouveaux “farm-to-table” movement has never been more evident than in Walla Walla. As a matter of fact, earlier this year “BootsnAll” named Walla Walla one of the best foodie small towns in America.  The town was also one of six small towns selected by Rand McNally and USA Today’s, Best of the Road for “Best Food.”

T. Maccarone’s is named for founder and co-owner, Tom Maccarone–whose dedication, presence and watchful eye help assure guests have a wonderful experience.  While I’ve only visited T. Maccarone’s a couple of times, I have noticed that Tom seems to personally know half his patrons at any given time, which adds to the comfort, warmth and vibrancy of the restaurant.

On my previous visit I tried the following culinary creations:

  • Upper Dry Creek Ranch braised lamb spare ribs with honey soy glaze and smoked with Alder wood.
  • Beef Strip Loin with heirloom tomatoes, white anchovies, seasoned with sea salt.
  • For dessert I had the “Cherry Pie” made with local tartlets cherries .

If you find yourself in the charming town of Walla Walla, do yourself a favor and stop by T. Maccarone’s for some terroir cuisine and a dining experience that will make you feel like you’re one of the family. T. Maccarone’s can get quite busy, so reservations are recommended.

If you’ve ever been to T. Maccarone’s, leave a comment below and let my readers and me know what your favorite meal is.

T. Maccarone’s Contact Info:

4 N. Colville Street – Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 522-4776

Jimgermanbar in Waitsburg, WA

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

While I was in Walla Walla, Washington staying at the ever-so-quaint Fat Duck Inn, the proprietor (Alexa) invited to take me to this up-and-coming little town about 20 miles north called, Waitsburg.  Founded in 1859, Waitsburg is a cute town that seems to be reemerging as a hip destination with some quality restaurants, including the jimgermanbar, which is where we dined.

All the buildings in town appear to be of the period and have (or are) undergone a wonderful restoration process to reflect their nineteenth century roots while creating a tasteful modern esthetic.  Each building has its own eclectic feel—you immediately get a sense that this is a community attracting the creative and the artistic.

The menu at jimgermanbar is handwritten on these long sheets of construction paper.  The food is Italian infused American  served tapas style with a mad selection of inspired cocktails.  The atmosphere is casual and almost reminiscent of a sophisticated beatnik club, which may actually be an oxymoron. I don’t even know why that description came to mind as the 60s were way before my time. :-)

Here are the items we enjoyed:

  • Claire’s Cornucopia Antipasto – House cured duck breast prosciutto, Fra Mani salami, a selection of cheeses, bocarones, Mama Lil’s peppers, crostini and crackers made by Colville St. Patisserie.
  • Cumin roasted potatoes with lemon aioli
  • Braised tenderloin with roasted asparagus
  • I can’t recall the name of the cocktails we enjoyed, but they were some sort of lemon-drop martini…very refreshing.

After dinner, something told me it was time to get back on the road…there was a very loud siren that went off in the middle of town—I’m sure it could be heard from miles away (see end of video).

If you’ve ever been to jimgermanbar in Waitsburg, WA before, please leave a comment below and let my readers and me know what you think.

Outstanding Meal at Palm Court

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Last night we enjoyed a spectacular meal at the Palm Court, which is the restaurant located inside the Davenport Hotel.  The first course was a delicious fresh berry and mixed green salad (substituted blue cheese for goat) with a poppy-seed dressing.  I couldn’t believe how full of flavor the berries were for this time of year.

Next up was the main course…a tenderloin with King Crab legs…oh my!  Our meal was enjoyed with a nice glass of Malbec.  To finish things off…a warm apple crisp strudel with rich creamy vanilla ice cream.

The atmosphere, quality of craftsmanship, service, value and of course, the food make the Palm Court Restaurant a Mike’s Road Trip “Best Pick.”

Spud Fish & Chips Restaurant Review – Seattle, WA

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

I was born in the Seattle area and have very fond memories of my Father taking my sister and I to Spud Fish & Chips near Green Lake.  Every time I’m in the Seattle area, I go out of my way to visit the Spud (the one on Alki Beach is my favorite).

I have traveled all over the world and often try the local fish and chips, but nothing has ever compared (except for Point Loma Seafood in San Diego) to the Spud.  I’ve even had fish and chips in London, which is supposed to be the one food item the English can actually do well…no such luck.

The problem is, most restaurants prepare their fish and chips in a beer and/or flour batter, and I think what the Spud and Point Loma Seafood uses is a corn-meal mix, which makes for a thin, crunchy texture that is far superior to the way most everyone else prepares it.

The Spud Fish & Chips has been around so long, that my Father’s Father used to take him to the place when he was a kid—the Spud has been around since 1934.  On a sunny day, be prepared to wait in a long, long line.  However, trust me when I tell you, it’s worth the wait.

I usually order a single with extra fish (that’s two pieces of cod fish with fries) and a chocolate shake.  Note: Be prepared to pay extra for tartar and ketchup (don’t ask me why).  I love getting my order to-go and then eating on the beach in Alki.