Sunday, August 29, 2010

Eatin' Out 'N' About at Five Guys Burgers and Fries ~ near Northgate Mall in Seattle, WA

311 NE 103rd Street Seattle, WA 98125 (for all locations AND you can order online!)
Check them out on Facebook

My husband had heard about this place from a buddy of his so we popped in after a baseball game to check it out.
Looking at some of the locations, it seems FGBAF doesn't feel the need to eat up real estate with their own lots.  So, because of that, we had to park in a nearby lot.
Below an AMC theater, the inside is similiar to a basement.  In fact, one of the -MANY- posters on the wall promoting itself, said something about the restaurant feeling similar to being in a bathroom.  Taken out of context, that would sound bad but they seem proud of the fact.  It's all tiled in white/red with stainless steel panels on the restroom doors.

Though we came through the front, we have to meander around the drinks dispenser and tables to the back where the order counter is.  Eating somewhere new is always interesting since you don't know what to get.   Dave's buddy said that a Regular Fries (plain or cajun) is enough for three people so since we're STARVING, we order a Large to share, two Regular Drinks (free refills), and since they don't have ANY kids menu, the lady at the counter slipped me a water cup for our 4 year-old's soda.  Dave orders the Hamburger with "the works" but without tomato or mushrooms and I get the Cheeseburger with "the works" but without mayo.  ALL TOPPINGS ARE FREE!!!  Talk about making it how you want it!
After you order, you are given a slip for when they call your order.  It takes longer that I thought so we get our drinks, find seats and use the restroom.  I MUST SAY that my 4 year-old (who was asleep when we got there) declares he does NOT want to be here and refuses to sit with us.  Whatever....the music, sounds of cooking and background noise of the patrons is loud enough that not a single person hears him.
The bathroom, like the rest of the building, are practically wallpapered with laminated signs with every single good review FGBAF has ever had.  Some of these quotes are the highlight of the decorating scheme plastered in large letters around the room.  On their website, it says, "At Five Guys, we don't like to talk about ourselves very much.  We would rather focus on making burgers."  Well, with all the reviews everywhere, FGBAF doesn't HAVE to talk about their own food!  Though, it makes me think of the guy who protested too much???  So here's hoping their food is as good as they are trying to hypnotize you into believing.
Finally they call our number and it comes- no matter if you're dining in or not- in a brown paper bag.  Sure enough, the fries are a VERY generous portion!  Not only is that cup filled, but those fries in the bag is what over-flowed!  I really liked the fries, Dave said they needed salt (we're used to McD) and Corbin wouldn't touch them since they were natural looking.  Oh well, more for us!
I reach in the bag and pull out two over-sized foil bundles.  Little did we know that a Burger is actually a double patty so this is A LOT of meat!  Dave mentioned that the burger itself could be a little more seasoned but you are so focused on how all of the toppings are super crisp, fresh and DE-licious, that you don't notice.
Since I had more toppings than Dave (oh- he soooo misses out not eating all that good stuff!), my cheeseburger is S.U.P.E.R. huge!!!  I -literally- have to take a bite of the top half, then the bottom half since I can't fit my mouth around the dang thing.
As we are almost finished eating, we notice these large bags of peanuts stacked in the middle of the room.  I vaguely remember hearing Dave say something about peanuts and we do see a few people eating them but it's not on the menu....
Of course, it's as we leave that we practically stumble over the low table stacked with boxes of peanuts for people to scoop as they come in (hmmm...with the box being right by the front door, makes me wonder how many homeless people snag some freebies?).  By this time, we are bursting so skip the peanuts.  Guess we'll have to come back! ;)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Eatin' Out 'N' About at Cafe Panini ~ Enumclaw, WA

1537 Cole Street Enumclaw, WA 98022
(360) 802-5132  

No website or Facebook Fan Page

Once a month The Hungry Housewives get together for brunch but with summer being so busy and half of us gone, we decide to leave the little ones at home and spend an afternoon in a neighboring town.
Sorry don't have all the prices or if the food names are incorrect- there was no online menu to go off of!
Just noticed- there's Dawn, Tamie, ME, and Dani in the reflection
In the front is an over-large paying area and a weird space on the right (sorry- no photo of that side).  On the left is a few little bistro chairs but everything is just for people eating for two being chummy with your neighbors.

We order waters (Dani has tea) and a Brushetta Appetizer to start.  Every time you order this, you're never sure what you're going to get- the bread could be toasty-crisp or soft like sourdough.  This time it was soft and tasted VERY good.  YUM.

I always wondered how some places do the apps- it seems sometimes you just get enough for how many is at your table instead of a set dish.  In this case, we got six pieces (ordered before Tamie arrived so we were short everybody getting two).  

The soup of the day: Chicken/Mushroom/Leek comes with mine and Tamie's meal.  Tamie liked it but I thought it was slightly low on the chicken and left an oily impression.

Tamie had ordered the Ham and Cheese 1/2 Panini with Soup Combo for $7.95.  Either that's a HUGE pepper...or a small sandwich.  Well, guess what- it's a small sandwich....almost like a glorified grilled sandwich.  Tamie said the best thing was the fresh tomato.  Yes, the tomato was fresh.  LOL  
Dawn ordered the Seared Salmon Salad with the dressing on the side.  She said, "The salad was pretty good though the salmon was a little underdone than I liked...but I cleaned the plate!"
For about $2 more than the lunch special, I could get an entree WITH a soup or salad choice so I decide to try the Eggplant Parmesan.  The first bite was a bummer because the circle piece on bottom of photo was undercooked (probably due to being thicker cut than the rest).  After I took that part off, the eggplant was cooked nicely.  I was a little disappointed in the noodles- very plain spaghetti.  Plus, it didn't say it was served over noodles and one of the reasons I chose it was because I didn't feel like pasta (and just had paninis the other day).
The highlight of all our food was Dani's Turkey Tuscany Panini.  She ordered the full size w/o soup and It. Was. Huge.  She only ate 1/2 and took the rest home.  She described it as being not too hot but nicely warm.  Her favorite part was the artichokes.  It had a nice sauce- not too overbearing and with a good flavor.  She also said, "The bread was the best part. Perfect."  Wish I had ordered it, too!!!!

We have been here quite a few times but I -for some reason- have never had to use the bathroom before.  Hmmm....let's just say that I'm SO glad I went AFTER I ate- it was a little scary.  Not gross but I would rather not have to think about it while eating.  Wish we had photos of the walk going TOWARDS the bathrooms!

Though there is no privacy for romantic dining or quiet corners to contain your kids, this is THE place to go for a good panini, or when you're with your girlfriends shopping around Enumclaw. 


Friday Flick- The Nanny Diaries (released 2007)

This made from a book movie is about a college grad from Jersey who accidentally gets a job as a live-in nanny when she realizes she doesn't know who she is or what she wants to be now that she's on her own.  Annie (Scarlett Johansson from He's Just Not That Into You and The Other Boleyn Girl) is naive and the relationship between her best friend is unbelievable (Alicia Keys) but she is like-able character.

Her new employer, "Mrs. X", (Laura Linney from Love Actually and The Mothman Prophecies) is an unhappy and bitchy woman who makes Annie's life hell, and her over-weight husband (Paul Gimatti from Sideways and John Adams) is a cheating non-existent husband/father.

Embarrassed by her escape-job, Annie lies to her mom about her new job and living conditions. Unable to even show interest in anybody else besides her new charge, Annie's life gets even more difficult when she meets "Harvard Hottie" that lives upstairs, and her heart breaks watching how the people she now lives with treat each other.

The beginning of this movie is done in an awkward report-style that disappears through out the middle but does close at the end tying it all together.  Maybe could have been done a little smoother...

My favorite part of the movie: the ending with the mom

*************************SPOILER ALERT*********************************

No surprises to speak of so nothing to write... ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shopping- City Perk Home and Garden Enumclaw, WA

1616 Cole St Enumclaw, WA 98022

The Hungry Housewives were out "shopping" yesterday and were able to pop into one of my favorite little stores.  This is a great little shop near the end of all the busy hub-bub on one of the main drags.

I think of this as a gift shop first (love the bird logo!) and a coffee shop second but apparently, their main focus is coffee judging by their web-site (which I really don't like the layout of).  There are TWO City Perks- one in Enumclaw and another in Maple Valley (that one has a drive-thru stand) which I didn't know about before.

I've had coffee here once but since I can't remember what it is like- it must have been a decent cup.  I love how the front of the store has these cute little bistro tables for customers to enjoy their drinks.  So cute in fact, one of THH with me tries to find a price tag to buy a set.

Oh- I would just love to have any of those clocks ;)
They have darling little baby clothes and items

Adore these!
oooh....those French signs on the left would look great in my house...

These little cupcakes would make good thank-you gifts

So if you are in the area, make sure to pop in also!  Tell them The Hungry Housewives sent you :D

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eatin' Out 'N' About at Sorci ~ Sumner, WA

Weekday summer afternoon
1012 Ryan Avenue, Sumner, WA 98390

I always call this "MY Italian Restaurant".  It is a little off the Main Road with nothing but a sandwich sign on the corner so it seems that nobody knows about it!  Can't remember when I first came here- sure it was with the girlfriends out shopping. I've been here for birthdays, lunches with friends, and even during a quiet-argument-filled-anniversary-lunch with my hubby!

The place is definetly small but cozy- I can see big groups eating here (in fact- check their website about cooking classes and movie nights).  Since it's such a nice day, my friend Dawn and I opt to sit outside though it's crowded (we're happy as long as there is an umbrella seat available!).
The outdoor seating is tiny, tiny, but perfect for dining in small groups.  They have attempted charm with a couple of statues....but it could use a  touch of polish.  The inside, though, is exactly what you would expect from a quaint Italian cafe- lots of greenery and structure style designs on the walls.

The last few times here I have eaten the Caprese (my FAV thing- order it!) but I wanted to try something new so I ordered the Spinach, Feta & Sun Dried Tomatoes Panini (which came with a regular tomato mistake?).  It's regularly $6.95 but I got the Lunch Special of 1/2 a Panini with a small cup of Asparagus Soup for $7.00 (side choices were the soup, Caesar salad or Misto).  The sandwich was really good- though at first I was afraid there was no feta (was placed mostly in the center), and I enjoyed the Asparagus Soup after I added salt.
Dawn decided on a beer and the Tuscano Panini but she opted for the side Misto Salad.  The Tuscano is not normally a part of the Lunch Special but the waitress made an exception (cause Dawn is cool like that).  When her lunch came, she was a little dismayed by the portion sizes since she was starving but she said, "The salad had just the right amount of dressing (usually orders that on the side, but forgot), and it was zesty- but not too spicy.  My sandwich was also delicious.  I love Italian Sausage so it definitely hit the spot.  Once I was finished, I'd realized the portion was actually just the right size.  Filling me up but leaving just enough room ice cream later.  I was satisfied, but not over full."
Usually their food case is filled on one side with food items you can take home like prosciutto wrapped asparagus and on the other little desserts but it was sparse today.  Also, the gelato case was completely empty, too...hmmm.  But since we weren't taking anything home, it didn't seem to matter to us- we hit McDonald's for an inexpensive Snack Size McFlurry instead!

Overall we had a great lunch date. Dawn summed it up the best:  "All in all, good food and fun with a great friend!  Definitely recommend to friends and would go there again- even if just to have a drink with appy and enjoy the ambiance".  Thanks Dawn for lunching with me!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Flick- definitely, maybe (released 2008)

It's Friday and here's my input on a movie I watched this week:

From the makers of Notting Hill and Love Actually, this romantic drama/comedy is about a young girl (Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine) who- just hearing the sex talk at school- wants to know all of the details on how her dad Will met her mom (they are currently divorcing) and his relationships leading up to getting married.  The dad (Ryan Reynolds from The Proposal) reluctantly tells her but changes the names of the three women and says that his daughter has to guess which one is her mom in the story.

The woman -of course- are a blond (Elizabeth Banks from the TV show Scrubs and the Spiderman movies), a redhead (Isla Fisher from Confessions Of A Shopaholic) and a brunette (Rachel Weisz from The Lovely Bones and The Mummy movies).  Beginning in the early nineties when Will has just graduated college and is off to help Clinton get elected, the movie goes through all of the years of life-before-marriage while his daughter crosses off her list which one she thinks is her mom.  

At first, it was a little odd because he does talk lightly to his daughter about having sex (including a hint at a girl-on-girl love affair) but after you ignore that, it's a really sweet story of how much we change over the years, and the effect people have on us.  I am a sucker for love stories but what I really liked about this movie is how it isn't just a man and a woman but about lots of relationships.  During the "behind the scenes", lead actor Ryan sums it up by saying that in most movies/books, you know the love interest on page three, while in this movie, you don't know who he's going to end up with.  Also, it reminds us that our parents are people, too, and actually had a history before children.  I also thought it was interesting how the political scandal timeline follows the mood of the movie.  People were so excited to have Clinton in office to "change the world"- they were full of hope and dreams (just like Will is when he graduates college).  Then we had to deal with the disappointment of his affairs while in the oval office (which is mirrored when Will goes through a tough heartache in his life).

I did adore all of the cast.  It says Dane Cook was up for the lead role (whom I might have enjoyed more- he's SO hot) but Ryan is really good in this.  And of course, the daughter is everybody's darling.  What's not promoted on the box is that brilliant Kevin Kline plays a small- but important role- in one of the relationships.

My MOST FAVORITE part of the movie: one of the female characters collects Jane Eyre books because her dad gave her one with an inscription (which she lost) so she's always on the lookout for it :D  

I liked this movie and would watch it again!

**************************SPOILER ALERT*********************************

Well, even though you don't KNOW who he's going to end up with in the end of the movie, you really just like one character (the redhead) so you kinda guess they live happily-ever-after.  It is odd that he signs off on this divorce papers without ever stating what the marital discord was about.  We all want Happy Endings but in this movie, the ending is better than if he had stayed with his wife.

While watching the "behind the scenes", they talk more about his future career plans but I'm glad they left it out....I don't like politicians!  It is weird they barely touched on what he does for a would have been better if they had at least shown him happy with where he's working in the final scenes.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shopping- Paper Muse in Sumner, WA

1002 Main St Sumner, WA 98390 253-891-4021
No website or Facebook Fan Page available for this store that I could find!
While out lunching with fellow Hungry Housewife Dawn, we went to my ABSOLUTE favorite store!!!  Not because of the prices (though they are not bad) but because this store emulates everything that I adore and think is cool.
Though it is a small boutique, there is so much to look at and enjoy.  Every time I have ever been in, the owner has been the only person working there (super nice).  Occasionally I tell a friend that I just want to breeze in real quick and look but we end up always spending a little bit of time checking out all of the clever designs.  I am surprised this time that there is Halloween stuff out....already???  It's August!
This store also has one of the biggest line of 7 gypsies that I've seen in one spot which is the company I most lust after- everything is FABulous!
This book (shown below- The Compendium Of Curiosities) had great step-by-step instructions on how to do all those cool things you see like how to take a cardboard shape and make it into an antiqued key-hole piece.
I don't know why but I just can't get enough of the little letters, BINGO cards, and such.  If only I knew what to DO with all of it!  LOL  By the way- make sure to check out the small table in the back of the store- that's where all the clearance stuff is.
OH. MY. GOSH.  I am a paper whore!!!  Look at all of those beautiful large pieces (the MAP!)...I have paper lust.
So do you all understand that I LOVE this store???  There should be no problems buying me presents.  Ever. ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eatin' Out 'N' About at Johnny Rockets - Kent Station, WA

A Friday afternoon 
418 Ramsey Way Kent Station Kent, WA 98032 
We headed to Kent Station to do a little school shopping before Dave's baseball game but ended up just having enough time to grab something to eat.  Normally we go to my FAVorite Zao Noodle Bar (for some reason it's closed at this location?) so we had to find another alternative.  Kent is a GREAT date night place- lots of good restaurants...but not much as far as fast-food or saving-money with a family of four.  Luckily there was a Johnny Rocket's right there which we haven't been to in awhile.  
For some reason, it was one of those so-glad-we're-out-in-public kind of meals where the 4yr old is ticked about going to somewhere new to him and the 16yr old....not sure what her issue was but there's nothing like squabbling while ordering!  

Dave and I both got The Original which came with shredded lettuce, fresh tomato (Dave gave me his), chopped onions, relish, pickle, mustard and mayo (both of us ordered NO mayo).  The bread had been grilled on the inside so it was YUMmy.  Dave thought it could have done without the relish but other than that- he thought it was good.  My only issue was that it seemed kinda...messy.  Nothing was soggy but it was kinda hard to eat.  

I LOVE that I got to order a "shot" of vanilla into my Diet Coke
Burger of The Day- Single Special w/fries and drink

Jordan had the Rocket Single Special which was the same as ours but came with special sauce and cheese.  She had even a harder time eating her burger since it was leaking all over (Dave said it was probably wet lettuce).  Her fries were good and she shared them with little Corbin.  They weren't salty and when you tried to self-salt, it wouldn't stick.  Which I guess it means they weren't overly greasy!

During past visits, the wait staff would sing and perform but they probably save that for when there are more than three families dining. My only complaint would be the bathroom.  It looked like they have issues keeping the toilet unclogged...wouldn't flush right (I didn't go in there until we were leaving).  ewwww.

Eatin' Out 'N' About at Sizzler ~ Tukwila, WA

After 8pm on a Saturday night
16615 Southcenter Parkway Tukwila, WA 98188 know you can't say Sizzler without saying "Sizzzzzzzzler" just like from the commercials!!!!  Do they even play those commercials anymore?  My 16 year old daughter didn't know what it was so while we were driving on our way home from a baseball game one night and wanted to avoid fast food, we thought we'd try it out.
It has been QUITE awhile since I've eaten here and I don't remember the ordering being Country Buffet Style.  You stand in line with a single menu on the wall and have to order EVERYthing right there before you go in.  Was odd and left us feeling like we weren't sure what we got!

So you order your food then a waiter takes you to your choice of a booth or table (we do booths), brings your drinks, and free Texas Toast.  It had been raining at our baseball game so we were all damp so we thought of asking for new seats away from the air conditioning blowing right on us but the waiter said it was no big deal- he just turned it down.

4 year old Corbin got his standard Chicken Strips and Fries but it also came with a buffet-looking Jello that -rightfully so- scared him (it was watery but Dave ate it anyway).  Fries were nice and crisp which Corbin liked but he wouldn't touch the strips....probably because they weren't McD round!
I ordered the 6oz Steak with Giant Shrimp and for my side- a baked potato.  The steak was good though it didn't have much "bite" to it....I had to add A1 Sauce :(  The rest was good...nothing spectacular.  Since I usually order fish (my hubby won't let seafood in our house), red meat was a nice treat!
Jordan got the 10oz Steak with fries.  She ordered it medium-rare but it was over-cooked.  The waiter was sweet about it but I did notice a "chef" kinda guy was the one to re-take her order and bring out her new steak.  It was nice, though, because they told us to take home the first steak for our dog (we gave it to our 12 yr old who wasn't with us).  When she got the right steak, it was perfect- very good!  Makes me wish I had ordered that instead.
Now Dave's Malibu Chicken Platter looked a little scary but was actually good....kinda like a cordon blue.  As we were finishing off, and it was close to closing, our waiter came back to tell us we could have free ice cream from the buffet but by the time we got over there, just two brownies and one bowl of ice cream were left.  Since two HUGE groups came in while we were there, I'm nut surprised it was all gone.  It got me to thinking that Sizzler is a better choice than pizza for a sports end-of-the-year-party!
In the end, you got mints, a survey card with a chance to win a $50 gift card, and a flyer with a two coupons good for 2 Steak Dinners for $11.98.  Guess that means we'll be coming back!