On Top Chef: Seattle a couple of weeks ago one of their guest judges was Tom Douglas. Tom is a legend here in Seattle (and was an awesome and sweet judge), yet I’ve never been to one of his restaurants. How in the world is that possible?
OK, I know how it’s possible. When you live somewhere you just always think you’ll make it there versus when you visit a city you make a point to go. Or I let Su choose whenever she visits me in whatever city I’m living in at the time.
This past weekend I went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday and I was thrilled when she picked Palace Kitchen, a Tom Douglas restaurant for her celebration! It was like her birthday present to me.
What I normally do before I travel or go to a a nice restaurant is do some research. I want to know what the restaurant is famous for and I want to have an idea going in what I’m going to order. If I had the money to eat at these kinds of restaurants on a more regular basis I might not do as much online research but since I don’t, I want to make the most of these meals. Thank goodness for yelp, one of my favorite places for restaurant reviews.
I decided to order 3 appetizers instead of the entree route because I really wanted to try one of the apps and if I got that and the entree I wanted it would cost me a fortune, where I could get 3 apps for almost the price of the steak. I have cheap taste in clothes, not food. See if you can guess what this app was based on the photo. This is what I really wanted to try. They could have worked on the presentation but the taste made up for it.
It was crispy, flavorful and delicious. I will admit, part of the reason I was going to order this was because I knew I would be blogging about it but the other reason was, I was intrigued. These are crispy fried pig tails. You read that right. It was pig tail and it was amazing. Not only is it fried, it’s served with a maple and smoked chili sauce. I would say eating the tail it similar to eating a turkey neck, there are actually a lot of ridges in it. My only complaint, not a lot to chew on:) Oh, one of the other diners has fried pieces of pig ear on their plate, course I had to try, not as good as fried pork skin. For those who are as curious about pig tails as I was, I found a fun blog article and recipe – The Nasty Bits: Deep Fried Pig Tails.
Those of you who know me well know I love fondue and I love cheese, what I don’t love is flower flavored foods so I was a little leery over the goat cheese and lavender fondue but I read so many articles raving about it that I had to try it. They said the lavender was mild and enhanced and didn’t detract so I bit the bullet and ordered it. It was by far everyone’s favorite dish. Yes, I shared everything, it’s how I roll, although I could have licked that hot container clean it was so delicious. My friends had never had the amazing combination of fruit and cheese, I had to educate them on the awesomeness.
I also ordered the grilled chicken wings in coriander sauce. I wasn’t as thrilled by this dish. The portion was really good but I just prefer my chicken wings fried, not grilled, as you can tell, I’m a traditionalist.
Since we were celebrating Bailey’s birthday some of us ordered dessert. I don’t normally order dessert, I prefer my calories to be meat based I had read many amazing things about Tom Douglas’ Triple Cream Coconut Pie. I’ve gone to restaurants before where their signature dessert was a disappointment. I’m thrilled to say, this one did not disappoint and in fact, was probably the best coconut based dessert I’ve ever had. Even those sitting at the table who don’t like coconut thought it was a great dessert (I made everyone try it). It’s so famous that they sell these pies in 12 out of Tom’s 13 restaurants, about 1,000 a month.
I’m actually not a huge cream or meringue pie gal. I love fresh fruit pies, Marie Callendar’s fresh peach or strawberry pies are amazeballs, especially with whipped cream on top but I have to say, this ranks up there. That would be white chocolate and toasted coconut on top of that mound of whipped cream. You can see why I loved it. I found a recipe to share with you for those of you who aren’t in the Seattle area that also includes photos- Judy in her Natural Habitat: The Kitchen. I don’t know when I’ll ever attempt to make this pie myself but in case you’re more ambitious then I am. FYI, that slice cost $9 and a whole pie is $35. A splurge for sure but since I was sharing with Bailey and it was her birthday they comped our slice. Another reason to love Palace Kitchen!
I whole heartedly recommend Palace Kitchen for those of you looking for a wonderful meal. It’s definitely not cheap eats but they’re also famous for their burgers which are $15 so it also won’t break the bank.