Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Seattle Restaurant biz-temperature falling?

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

While Seattle seems to be going through a huge boom in construction, it is not clear that all this growth is benefiting existing restaurants. Recently, one of my favorite restaurants majorly annoyed me with a desperation move, that turned out to have not matter, the shop having shuttered in the last week anyways. Today, I get an email from another local restaurant bemoaning a significant loss in visitors, and offering an apology for a recent menu change, and a promise to return to the old ways, so “please come back”….weird to see such candor from a business.

But more curiously, I wonder at just how things are for the average restaurant in Seattle these days. I suspect that while the number of potential new customers has gone up, so has the number of new alternatives to be tried, leading to several places finding themselves ignored for prior success, while the crowds move from new to newer.


Friday, November 8th, 2013

The poor young woman behind the counter at Starbucks this morning, managed to at one point ring up my drink & pastry, for the staggering amount of $12,543.71.  She started to get panicked, then paused, said, “I’m not going to get flustered”, and slowly worked us back to a more reasonable figure, which of course is when my phone crashes, and we have to wait for me to reboot this time.

I’ll give it a few minutes before I check the balance on my card =p

As I walked home, the whole thing seems more and more like a software failure.  There should be a reasonable upper limit on sales that a normal employee can even attempt in a single transaction.  There should be obvious and intuitive ways to undo a transaction step before finalization.  A well designed system should guide you through the steps you need to take, for any reasonably foreseeable use-case.  But that takes time, and time is money, sometimes 13 grand.

Pate a choux, attempt 1

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Having recently watched and been inspired by Julie and Julia, I watched an episode of Martha Bakes on PBS, when I saw she was going to be covering “a simple pastry, pate a choux. In retrospect, I’d seen my mother make this every christmas, but never heard it called this. Technically, the pate (or is it the choux? =p ) aren’t cream puffs until they’ve been filled, but up to that point, it is all the same.

Something went wrong though, and my puffs had fallen, and browned, well before the recipe said they’d be ready to come out. We shall just have to attempt again, some other time. I will probably make something I know I can do first. I haven’t made snickerdoodles in a while…

Rock Salt down

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

I was caught by surprise last month, when I stopped by for dinner, only to find a note saying they were closed for remodeling. Now the sign just says closed for good 🙁

Spiteful success

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

There are some people who seem to manage to find success despite their best efforts to the contrary.  Like running a food truck, with a website that only says the name of a neighborhood for your current location, and doesn’t have any links to your twitter feed, where you actually give a navigable street address.  And yet this guy is consistently busy, when I have managed to find him.

I hope he manages to maintain the level of fanaticism required for his business model, I’d really like for him to last long enough for me to try his food out, someday.

If you don’t get off that phone…

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

I was at the bakery for breakfast this morning, and when I arrive, one of my pet-peever’s is in line ahead of me.  He is on his phone, and just standing in the middle of the store, instead of standing in an actual line, by the pastry case.  When it’s his turn, he’s still talking on the phone, and still standing way back from the counter, so the woman behind the counter asks me what I want, and serves me first.  I can overhear the guy, whining to his phone-companion, “I guess I have to get off the phone to get service here”…that and fracking standing at the counter, not in the middle of the floor.

Sometimes rude people do get what they deserve, it seems.  I should try to hold onto that attitude more often, both when I’m frustrated with others, and when I’m being frustrating myself =p



Order through chaos

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Re-organizing a house means a lot of transitory chaos, in the pursuit of final order.  This weekend, the folks came for a working visit, and completely revamped my house.  Dad fixed the handle on one toilet, but managed to put the kitchen faucet out of commission.  It’s hard to complain when he also bought me a new couch and gazillion shelves, not to mention all the heavy lifting in bringing it home and putting it together.

We certainly earned all the tasty food we ate; finally checked out the Swedish Center’s sunday breakfast, and lucky timing, turns out they don’t do them in the summer, so next one isn’t till september.

VegFest Volunteer patience

Monday, March 25th, 2013

I stopped by VegFest over the weekend.  Was very easy to score way more than my admission price, in free Odwalla’s alone, so already totally worth going before I walked past booth one.  And there were lots of booths, and people.   Some of the freebies on offer were tasty, some were not.  The most amusing feature of the weekend was watching/listening, and coming to the realization that there wasn’t a single product there that someone couldn’t find some reason to pooh-pooh.

“yeah, but are the bees raised under organic sunshine?”

“I heard you used to have casein in this, and sure the person who invented it is in the booth, telling me No, never, it’s made from soy, casein wouldn’t serve any purpose, but I still assume the worst of everyone, so I’m going to assume you are a liar, or don’t know how you make your own product, based on something I think I ‘heard’ 5 years ago.”

It was funny for me, standing in line behind these people, always finding some reason to disapprove of a food item.  I can only imagine how annoying it would be to be volunteering to give away free food, and listening to such constant whining.  And none of it was coming from people with medical related worries, it was all philosophical better-than-thou-isms.

That said, the experience was worthwhile.  I picked up a ton of samples, plus the aforementioned juices, and more than covered the price of admission and membership, without counting the prices for things I won’t eat, like the peanut butter replacement spread, made from biscotti.

Eggs into Dildos

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Someone has finally gotten around to making a machine that turns eggs, into steaming warm dildos.  Just what the world has been waiting for.

Surely a bar in the Castro will step up to the plate, and make a Sunday brunch special out of these….



Not THAT quiet, surely

Friday, March 15th, 2013

I tried to order a cookie today, a little after-lunch desert as I walked back to work.  For some reason, the woman behind the counter made me repeat my order literally 5 times.  It was almost to the point where I was going to ask if she was having a medical emergency or something.  I know I can be a little quiet sometimes, but she gave no indication that the issue was a lack of volume; it just seemed like she didn’t give a shit about paying attention to the world around her.

Impressively, the corporate feedback system has already responded once, for clarification, with the promise of a second call “soon” from the correct manager.  I really don’t understand why, or what they hope to accomplish.