Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

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Chutneys’ Bistro

March 7, 2007

Earlier today, I had some of the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten.

I’ve probably went by Chutneys’ a couple of hundred times since I moved here and probably half of those times I’ve thought to myself, “I should eat there sometime.”

Well, I finally went and it was delicious.

I went ahead and had the Lunch Buffet for $9.95. I started out with a Caesar Salad. I don’t normally get a Caesar at a buffet because you run the risk of soggy croutons if it’s sat there too long. No problem here. The salad had a nice light dressing with nice crunchy croutons. The romaine didn’t look as fresh as it could have but it tasted fine.

Once I finished my salad, I grabbed my lunch plate and got to work. I sampled the Tandoori Chicken, Coco Chicken, Roasted Peppers and Onions, Basmati Rice, Meatballs Masala (yup, meatballs) and some kind of potato dish, accompanied by hot Nan Bread.

Both the Tandoori and Coco Chicken were excellent. The Coco chicken was cooked in a nice Yellow Curry Sauce with Coconut that may make me change my mind about dishes with Coconut. The Tandoori chicken was large, whole pieces of chicken, perfectly done so with little grease yet the meat almost fell off the bone it was so tender and juicy. I only tried a couple of the meatballs and while they were good, it was the Masala Sauce that really defined that dish. I used it for a dipping sauce for the bread and it was such a great combo, I could probably have an entire meal of Nan Bread and Masala Sauce.

As for the bread, it was fantastic. Much better than the typical dry, tasteless bread you get at your typical Indian Buffet/Restaurant.

The rice and pepper/onion combo were good. Nothing special, just good, light tasting, solid dishes. I was less enamored of the potatoes which seemed to be suffering from a long stay at the buffet. The flavor was OK but they were a little too mushy.

I topped all of this off with an Indian Beer, Taj Mahal. As good as the food was, this beer was bad. Just another typical Asian Lager.

Beyond the food, the service was a prompt and attentive but then again, it was a buffet so it’s hard to really say. The atmosphere was great, with a nice, subdued Indian motif.

I definitely recommend Chutneys’. We will be back soon.

Chutneys’ Bistro
1815 N 45th Street
Seattle WA 98103
(Right across from the Wallingford QFC in the Wallingford Center)

206.634.1000

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Disturbance at Tacquerias Guaymus

March 4, 2007

Last night, Michele, Manny and I drove down to Fremont for dinner. We went to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, Taqueria Guaymas.

We were enjoying our dinner when this guy came into the restaurant, walked up to our table and asked us for some spare change. Shocked, the three of us all shook our heads and mumbled, ‘No’. He moved on, stopping at each table, hitting everyone up for some cash.

He was a white guy, maybe forty years old . If I’d seen him on the street, I probably would not have thought him homeless but that may have more to do with the overall fashion sense in Seattle than it did his look. Weirdly enough, he had a really nice black leather jacket.

All of us eating in the restaurant stared back and forth at one another as the guy walked over to a table that hadn’t been cleaned off yet. He gathered up the leftover food, went over to another table, sat down and started eating. He must have forgotten the Salsa for ‘his’ chips because a second later he went back to the table and started inspecting the Salsa dishes.

Everyone in the place (with the exception of the oblivious staff) stared as he leaned over the table and pawed through the dishes. That’s when his pants fell down. Yep, right there in the middle of el restaurante. He shot everyone in the place a great big Luna.

He didn’t even seem phased. He grabbed his pants, pulled them back up and continued his quest for Salsa. Finding nothing, he stunned us all with one more trick. He actually went over to the Salsa bar and filled up a couple of bowls with various Salsa, calmly walked back over to his table and continued his meal. He finished, made one more quick round of panhandling anyone he may have missed the first time and walked out the door.

I’m usually able to ignore the Seattle weirdness for the most part but this was too much. I completely lost my appetite, wasting a delicious plate of Chile Verde. Manny on the other hand, was facing the other way and missed everything but the initial round of begging. He was able to sit there and eat his Tamales, unaware of the drama unfolding behind him. It wasn’t until we got home that he heard the whole story.

I’ve only been in Seattle for five years so I don’t have a lot of historical perspective but it seems to me that the homeless problem has gotten worse over the past year or so. There are people asking for money everywhere. It’s to the point where some of my coworkers walk several blocks out of their way, to and from work, to avoid some of the worse areas.

Has anyone else in Seattle noticed this? What about other cities? What are the solutions? I support one of the local Missions because I know that my money will go for food and shelter instead of meth and alcohol but I don’t know how successful they are at getting people off of the streets.

I certainly don’t know the answer.