Tag Archives: poulsbo

Restaurant Reviewer Adds Agate Pass Cafe in Suquamish to the Local Best List

I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the Agate Pass Café in Suquamish, and it seems the Kitsap Sun’s restaurant reviewer Bernard Jacobson is among them. In his review, which will come out in our A&E section on Friday, he says:

“Her offerings combine with co-owner Stacy Grega’s warmly welcoming front-of-house direction, service by the equally pleasant and efficient Rachael, attractive decor featuring red lamp-shades and some intriguing light-boxes, and unusually elegant menu cards to confirm a place among the top half-dozen fine-dining spots within an hour’s drive of Bremerton.”

It seems the North end has become an apparent epicenter of good eating in Kitsap. Poulsbo has Burrata Bistro. Bainbridge Island has its Four Swallows, which recieved very good to excellent ratings in the latest Zagat’s Seattle survey (25 for food, 21 for decor, 23 for service on a 0 to 30 scale, and managed to be the only place in Kitsap listed in the guide .) I’m also partial to Sawatdy’s Thai on Bainbridge, but that could be because I had one of my first real dates with my now-husband there. Also in Poulsbo-ish, Molly Ward Gardens, but again, I’m biased. I was married there.

I’m drooling. Just about a pool forming at the keyboard. It’s definitely time for dinner. I’ll be back later this week with some info on some food that’s not quite fine dining: the humble dog.

Alaskan Seafood Available at Poulsbo, Port Orchard docks

If you’re looking pretty fresh seafood (frozen at sea), Sound Food reports that Troller Point Fisheries is offering their sustainably harvested seafood today through Friday in Poulsbo and in Port Orchard this weekend.

They’ll be in Poulsbo today and Friday and at Port Orchard marina Saturday through Monday.

Local Cooks Inspire Public TV Pledge

About two hocooksPledgeurs of my weekend so far has been woefully unproductively but deliciously sucked into watching KCTS 9‘s membership drive. I stole glances while cleaning and procrastinated while working and watched during a visit with the in-laws.

They compiled holiday recipes from viewers around the state (including a dozen or more Kitsap cooks) and invited some of them on to cook, including Kim Berto of Poulsbo who made Halibut Cakes with Tarragon Sauce and Bill Osowski of Poulsbo, who mad a Baked Stuffed Shrimp.

Most of the recipes they’ve been showing are from home cooks, and look fairly easy to make. Mostly the programming has made me jealous of George Ray, whose only job, it seems, is to taste the food and exclaim how wonderful it is. I. Want. That. Job.

It inspired a few “why didn’t I think of that” moments and a wholde lot of hungry stares.

And yes, it drove me to make a pledge.

For a $65 or more membership, you can get the book and the warm fuzzies for supporting public television.

Now that’s some tasty marketing.

Highlighting Restaurants that Serve Locally Grown Food

I was catching up on even more of my food reading, when I ran across a great I-shoulda-thought-of-that post from Bainbridge Island-based Sound Food blog.

They’re putting together information on local restaurants that serve locally grown foods, such as Mor Mor in Poulsbo  or Shima Sushi on Bainbridge Island. You’ll have to read their post for the rest.

Do you know of other Kitsap restaurants that serve locally grown foods? Please share.

Food Competition and Festival Goodness This Weekend in Bremerton and Poulsbo

One of my favorite things about local festivals is the food. (Big surprise, huh?) In addition to all those fantastically awful-for-you goodies like Elephant Ears, cotton candy and the like, many of them have food-centric events.

This weekend’s Armed Forces Day festival in Bremerton and Viking Fest in Poulsbo won’t disappoint.

On Saturday in Bremerton, as part of the city’s celebration of the armed forces, food service specialists stationed in the Northwest will engage in a culinary competition in the Bremer Center of Olympic College.

And we’re not talking about some assembly-line fare here. The competition (really multiple competitions) are split into hor d’oeuvres, sugar art display, chili cook-off, decorated cake, ribs and corn bread as well as a main “Iron Chef”-style event.

Food displays from portions of the competition will be set up Saturday morning, and doors open to the public at 10:30. No word on taste-tests. The Iron Chef competition runs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., though people won’t be able to watch them cook because of space limitations. You can, however watch them judge the “Iron Chef” results and award presentations that follow, starting at 1 p.m..

More importantly (to me), however, will be the public tastings starting at 2 p.m.

One sad note to report is that the Iron Chef competitions for Viking Fest were canceled. But Viking Fest isn’t without its food allure. For a taste of Scandinavian fare, the Sons of Norway Lodge host a luncheon and offers baked goods and pea soup.

And of course, there’s lutefisk eating. I dusted Derek Sheppard’s photo slideshow of the lutefisk eating contest. If you’re interested in gorging on lutefisk, this year’s it’s at 2:15 p.m. Sunday.

On Restaurant Reviewing and a Review: Burrata Bistro in Poulsbo

Local restaurant reviewer Bernard Jacobson recently gave high ratings to Burrata Bistro, an Italian-focused restaurant on Front Street in Poulsbo.

I tend to leave much of the local food reviewing to him or to you readers because as I’ve said before, I’m still learning about food and taking you along for the ride. It might be a little presumptuous of me for now. Plus, I’ve recently been reading a lot about restaurant reviewing ethics.

There’s rules to this thing, and recently a group of bloggers have set up — what else? — a blog about food reviewing ethics. Many newspaper and magazine restaurant reviewers, food journalists,” have adhered to most of these rules for a long time, both to be fair to the restaurants and fair to the readers.

The guidelines suggest that reviewers give new establishments at least a month (sometimes six months the Kitsap Sun and some other papers used to require six months) to refine their recipes, atmosphere and service before being judged. They also say reviewers should eat there several times and sample all or at least multiple items from the menu, which also can make the job a pretty expensive one.

Knowing some of Bernard Jacbson’s background and from the reviews I’ve read, I consider him to be a fairly knowledgeable and ethical source of food reviews for our local restaurants.

Who are some of your favorite food reviewers? Do you prefer sites with regular eater reviews, such as Yelp or UrbanSpoon?

The ULTIMATE Thanksgiving Cooking De-Stresser

you can go out and battle the lines this weekend at the grocery stores, but if you really, really want to take the stress out of shopping AND cooking on turkey day, but don’t mind putting down a little cash, area grocers offer some take-home solutions. Actually, some of them look cheaper than making it yourself, though you may have to fill in a few sides.

I checked in with the stores and got some info on prices and content for you. I didn’t call every single store, so you should probably check ahead

DEADLINE ALERT: If you’re in Poulsbo or just want a Central Market meal, you have until Saturday to order one of these dinners. Details below. Safeway’s orders have already started filling up, so ordering earlier would be better.

ALBERTSONS
You can order through the day before Thanksgiving, but the deli needs time to thaw a turkey so don’t expect to call Thursday morning. They also have ham and rib dinners, but I think that’s just sacrilege.

Classic Turkey Dinner – $44.99
This includes a 12-pound turkey, 2.5 pounds stuffing, 3 pounds mahsed potatoes and 30 ounces of gravy.

Ultimate Turkey Dinner – $59.99

You get all that comes in the classic turkey dinner plus 2.5 pounds green been casserole, cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie.

CENTRAL MARKET
I knew someone who did this one year and said the food was fantastic. At $100 bucks, it should be, though when you think about it, it comes out to about $12.50 per person and Central Market usually does a pretty good job with their prepared foods.

Dinner for eight is $99.99, which includes a 12-14 pound turkey, 2 quarts each of stuffing, mashed poatoes, yams and green beean casserole, cranberry sauce and gravy. (I may have missed something because my notes became illegible at this point as I started daydreaming about and drooling over all that food.)

The latest they’ll take orders is on Saturday. No more orders after Saturday.

DREAM DINNERS POULSBO

So this isn’t as free-wheeling as just ordering the whole thing via phone, but it may make you feel better about at least helping to prepare the food. If you’ve never heard of the Dream Dinners in Poulsbo , they’re a company that puts together the ingredients and instructions and you come in and do up the rest in freezer-friendly packets. You reheat the night or day you want to eat it.

They offer a Holiday Side Station option that’ll serve 6 modest portions for $36.45 (you could always double it). It includes a savory stuffing with sausage and pecans, a green bean casserole, ) home styled mashed potatoes with rich gravy and buttermilk biscuits.

The one catch is that when you set up a Dream Dinners thing, you have to commit to buying and make enough dinners for 36 servings. They don’t all have to be the holiday sides, you can make a bunch of different dinners for beyond Thanksgiving.

You also have to sign up for a session to make it and the only options before Thanksgiving are at 5 p.m. tonight and 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday.

FRED MEYER

The traditional dinner serves six to eight people. It’s $39.99 for a 12-pound turkey, 2.5 pounds of mashed potatoes, two pounds of stuffing, gravy, a green been casserole and an apple or pumpkin pie.

For $20 more ($59.99) you can up the sides to five pounds of mashed potatoes, four pounds of stuffing, more gravy and 3.5 pounds of green beans and a big pie.

They also offer spiral ham. But again: turkey.

SAFEWAY
Call the deli to order. I read a few online reviews of the Safeway dinners, and people said it was so-so, but it’s pretty inexpensive and the stress savings might be worth it. Each store has a limited number of dinners they make, so I would order soon. The Port Orchard store said they only had about 10-12 order open.

Dinner is $39.99 for an 8-12 pound turkey, two pounds of stuffing, two pounds of mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, a dozen diner rolls and an 8-inch pumpkin pie.

TOWN AND COUNTRY
The Bainbridge store said they’re not doing turkeys this year, but they will have all sides available in the deli case, and they’ll be open on Thanksgiving Day until 3 p.m. They’ll have hot case dinners, just not turkeys.

Note: If you’re still wanting recipes out of me, they’re coming. I’m going to focus mostly on sides, and I’ll make a little video about how to prepare a bird, though I’ll be demonstrating on a chicken.

A Sweet, Chocolatey Diversion

Sweet, sweet chocolate.

So, it’s not Thanksgiving, but it may be a good way to indulge after the stress. Or think of it as an early local gift idea.

A while back one of the Sun reporters wrote a story about 17-year-old Peter Crabtree of Kingston being named a nationally recognized entrepreneur for starting a chocolaterie, CBC Chocolates.

Videographer Mike Barnet of NuAmericas checked in with Peter recently and offered an inside look at the chocolate shop. The kid uses local ingredients, including … Continue reading

Tasting Before You Try in Poulsbo

I’m at the stage in my cooking studies that I can read a recipe and know what most of the ingredients and techniques they’re talking about are. I know the trick to chopping an onion superfast (I’ll show you a video of it soon).

But there’s still a lot I don’t know, which is why I’ve been searching for local cooking classes.

Lo and behold, I came across Central Market’s food demonstrations  from its Culinary Resource Center, which bills itself as “Inspiring the Cook in You.”

I’m a Bremertonian, and shopping regularly at Central Market isn’t something I do regularly. So, I ended up with visions of a Julia Child-esque figure in the middle of the produce section chopping and mashing away dropping all the secret cooking knowledge I could handle.

Hubbard SquashSaturday’s demonstration was on an Autumn Squash Lasagna, and I just happened to have bags full of Hubbard and pumpkin squash from my in-laws.

When I got to the market, I was a little disappointed at first when I realized that it wasn’t an in-store cooking class. What happens is a group of cooks come in early in the morning and whip up the recipe of the day. Shoppers get tastes of the food and a recipe card so they can get all the ingredients before they go home.

As I took a warm, savory bite, it hit me: I don’t have to make a whole pan of lasagna just to figure out what this recipe tastes like.  I’ve had some not-so-happy recipe accidents in the past, so being able to taste something beforehand can save days’ worth of suffering taste buds.

It also turns out that the ladies at the resource center are happy to answer questions and give tips, such as adding a little chicken broth to moisten up the squash for the lasagna.

I bought everything and made it Sunday night. See my results: