As I mentioned in Part 1, Savor Seattle definitely set a good food precedent for the trip. After all that good food, our culinary palettes were wet, the bar for good food was set, so the rest of our meals had to be pretty damn good to keep the trend going. Seattle, in the form of Tom Douglas, really did deliver the good the majority of the time.
Actually the Dahlia Lounge was our first meal of the trip. We had read that if you were going to try one Tom Douglas restaurant, this was it. So who are we to argue. The wait was not that long and we offered a seat in the bar to enjoy our drinks. Dinner was good.
Tuscan Grilled Bread Salad – This was very tasty. I always forget how good bread salads are. Given they are basically croutons with dressing, coupled with creative additions, but they always seem to be good and this one didn’t disappoint.
Corn and Black Pepper Soup, truffled zucchini, and fried egg - The fried egg had us at hello and we had to try this soup. We even almost got two bowls, which is a foodie faux pas in my book. Thank goodness we didn’t because I was not at all impressed. We even left food behind which is never a good sign.
Lemon ~ scallion Dungeoness Crab Cakes with picnic fries – Jill is a crab cake connoisseur, she really likes crab cakes and was excited by the prospects because this was a signature dish for Tom Douglas. Alas they were just “meh”. They tasted like crab with potato chips on the side. Nothing to call home about.
Rotisserie roasted five spice Peking Duck with Udon Salad – Now here I was impressed. The duck was so good and flavorful. The skin was crispy and well seasoned. The Udon Salad was also a nice accompaniment. The surprise of the dish was the pickled plum which I couldn’t get enough. I was kind of scared of the pickled plum as I have so many memories of the slightly weird salty, sweet plums you get in Chinese markets. But these were fresh and oh so good.
Triple coconut cream pie – Hello Mama!! This was to DIE FOR! In fact, we had this pie twice during our trip. And were it not for fear of hours at the gym we would have eaten it every meal. The pie was custard based with whipped cream and toasted coconut shavings. The crust was flakey and buttery. This is definitely a dessert to be shared as it was quite big and super sinful.
Dahlia Bakery is yet another Tom Douglas restaurant. We arrived at the Dahlia Bakery for an early lunch, skipping breakfast due to our late start. Jill had a corn scone and cupcake. I was advised that the corn scone was better than the cupcake. The scone had large granules of salt on top which was a clever addition.
I had a B.L.A.T. (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato) sandwich on bread with corn in it. The “A” in my B.L.A.T was actually an avocado mayo. The ingredients were fresh, but the sandwich was dry. and the bread with all its creativity was just dry and a bit too dense for the sandwich. I can’t say I was very impressed with the Dahlia Bakery
Our last night in Seattle we ate at Lola which has a Greek-inspired menu. Once again the wait here was not terrible and we were sat at the bar to wait. The menu is family style with wonderful variety.
Watermelon Salad, Feta, Basil Oil - This salad was chalked full of flavorful surprises. Cardamom on the watermelon, the peppery bite of the arugula, and topped off my the basil oil which really summed up the summer undertones of this salad. Very good and as refreshing as salads should be.
Suckling Pig, harissa-peaches, cilantro, crispy cracklin’ – Pig and peaches…yum yum yum. This dish was very good. There was a mystery spicy, almost hot, green that I assume was the cilantro that I really liked, Jill not so much. I was the only one who partook of the cracklin’ but I loved the crunch and flavor that it brought to the dish after I crumbled it into the dish. One drawback was that the dish was pretty salty. You could only eat so much before you had to cry uncle.
Smashed garlic fried potatoes – At first was I completely unimpressed with this side. The first one I go was overcooked and far too crunchy. I had to just pick it up and eat it which resulted in the roof of my mouth being scratched to bits. But thank goodness I tried another because all the rest had a nice moist inside which was a nice play against the crispy salty outside. I was hoping for these to have a more pronounced garlic flavor but it either wasn’t there or drowned out by the juicy pork.
Pickled beets, skordalia - No thank you. These were just all wrong to me. Salty, too tart, just kinda weird all around. After the first two tastes these were left on the table with no further picking. It just didn’t meld with the food at all.
Apricot crostada, blueberry ice cream – This was supposed to be Huckleberry crostada with huckleberry ice cream but our late night dining left us with the waiter substituting the apricot version. It was just okay for me, in the effort of full disclosure, I really am not an apricot lover but wanted to see if Lola could make me a believer. Well, I definitely believe in the crust and the ice cream. Too bad they didn’t have huckleberry.
I already gave this restaurant a mini review in Part 1 but lets get into some more detail. The restaurant is pretty small and the dining is at tall family style tables. Don’t come too hungry because although the wait for us was manageable at 30-40 minutes this place can get packed.
Roasted Mushroom, Truffle Cheese Pizza – Good googly moogly. You have got to eat this pizza. The pieces at the food tour were sizable, enough to give you the full flavor and a bite or two to reinforce the amazement but was only a palette teaser. There was no argument from me when Jill wanted to return after the food tour to get a whole one to share.
Triple coconut cream pie- Yup, the second time. We were going to try the cannoli with lemon ricotta and blueberries but once again we arrived too late. Given, neither of use was heart broken in having to indulge in another piece of pie and gladly shared yet another heart stopping piece.
Despite my rave reviews of Serious Pie. There is one drawback. They don’t sell the shirts!!! What is up with that! The cute little running guy is way too tempting. Please Mr. Douglas start selling the shirt so your devotees can give your free advertising!
So during our trip we sampled 4 out of 6 of Tom Douglas’ restaurants. Based on this visit I would have to reorder the Tom Douglas’ must eat list and put Serious Pie. squarely at the top with Lola a close second.
Now I just need to get back to Seattle to try other three and get me some more pie!