Thoa’s Restaurant & Lounge

Mango Fizz

Strawberry Lemonade

Chicken Pad Thai – Traditional Thai styled rice noodles pan-fried with chicken, bean sprout, cilantro, crushed peanuts, lime and onions in tamarind paprika sauce

Chicken Curry Fried Rice – Chicken, rice, eggs, carrots, pineapple, coconut milk,
hint of yellow curry & onions

Recently J and I decided to go explore downtown Seattle and check out the Pike Place Market. I had this feeling that I came here when I was really young, but I really had no memory of it. We got there around lunch time and we were starving, so of course we decided to look for food. I had checked out some popular spots in the market beforehand, but since it was lunch time, line ups were everywhere. What a busy area! We were way too hungry to wait, so we walked beyond the market, more into the downtown area, but still near the waterfront. We finally found Thoa’s Restaurant & Lounge, which seemed to be a pretty nice, modern-looking Vietnamese restaurant. We were starving, and saw no line up, so we didn’t care anymore! We just wanted food! Thoa’s was definitely not as busy compared to those popular shops in the marketplace, but it was still roughly half occupied.

I decided to get the Strawberry Lemonade, while J got the Mango Fizz. I found my lemonade a little sour, but it was alright. It was a hot, sunny day, so the drink was greatly appreciated. As for food, I got the Chicken Pad Thai. I found the noodles a little overcooked, as they were pretty soggy and clumping together. It was also pretty bland, and lacking flavour. I’ve definitely had better pad thai back in Vancouver, so I was not too impressed. I tried a bit of J’s Chicken Curry Fried Rice, and it was also just mediocre. We both agreed that we’ve had better versions of these dishes. Service was also not that great. We weren’t greeted right away when we walked in, and the server also gave us no utensils until I asked for them. The mood seemed pretty “dead’ in there, even though it was all decorated to fit the cuisine’s culture. Overall, not bad, but probably wouldn’t revisit again.

Thoa's Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

The Local Yolk Cafe

Fresh Orange Juice

Our Famous Combos – French Toast, Sausage Links and Three Country Eggs

One Pancake – with two eggs and two slice of bacon

Eggs Benedict – English Muffin, Slice of Ham, Hollandaise Sauce and Hashbrowns

My family had stayed in Lynnwood since we booked our hotel last minute, and everywhere in Bellevue was full, or at a ridiculous price. We got up early to start our day of more shopping, and we decided to head out to grab some breakfast. I really wanted to try these KFC chicken bites that were new, but we were 30 minutes too early, and it wasn’t opened yet. We decided to go to Denny’s which was in close proximity, but we ended up passing by The Local Yolk, which seemed to be a local breakfast place. So hey, why not give it a try. The parking lot had a few cars, so we thought it couldn’t be too bad.

It seemed to be a family run business, and surprisingly it was quite packed on a Sunday morning. The prices were the typical breakfast prices, around $10-$15. My sister and I shared the Eggs Benedict, which was quite large, and consisted of 3 English muffins. The hashbrowns were also really tasty with some crispy edges to them! I also enjoyed their Fresh Orange Juice, which consisted of pulp, so you knew it was freshly squeezed – at least I hope it was!

By the time we left, the parking lot was jam packed, so I guess people really do like coming here for breakfast. Much better than Denny’s for sure in my opinion.

The Local Yolk on Urbanspoon

Cheesecake Factory (Bellevue)

Tropical Iced Tea

Complimentary Bread

Grilled Rib-Eye Steak served with Mashed Potatoes and Onion Rings

Petite Filet served with Fries and Onion Rings– a smaller version of Filet Mignon

Bistro Shrimp Pasta – crispy battered shrimp, fresh mushrooms, tomato and arugula tossed with spaghettini and a basil-garlic lemon cream sauce

Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake – raspberry-vanilla cake, creamy lemon cheesecake, raspberry lady fingers and lemon mousse

It seems that my family always ends up going to The Cheesecake Factory whenever we’re in Seattle. Perhaps it’s because it’s the perfect place to go to after a long day of shopping at Bellevue Mall. Cheesecake Factory is always packed around dinner time, so we had to wait for roughly 30 minutes before we got seated. I decided to get the Tropical Iced Tea, but I didn’t realize that American Iced Teas were unsweetened! And so I was left with a rather bland iced tea with hints of fruitiness to it. My parents both got steaks, and the Petit Filet Mignon was exceptional. I stole a bite, and the meat was extremely tender. I also tried an onion ring, and loved the outer batter as it was thin and crispy. And I forgot to mention, that Cheesecake Factory’s portions are absolutely huge, and it is almost impossible for me to finish a plate by myself. And so of course, I decided to share a plate with my sister, who doesn’t eat a lot either. We got the Bistro Shrimp Pasta, which was extremely delicious. I loved the spaghetinni, as it was thinner than normal spaghetti, and the shrimp also had a lovely texture since it was coated with a light batter. The sauce was light and not too creamy, which I liked. My whole family was extremely full by the end of dinner, but who goes to the Cheesecake Factory without getting a slice of cheesecake! Most tables had their cheesecake to go, but since we still had a long ride back to our hotel, and the weather was quite hot, we decided to just stuff ourselves and eat it at the restaurant. We chose a lighter cheesecake since we could not go for something extremely rich at that point, so we got the Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake. The lemon and raspberry gave the cheesecake a lighter taste to it, with its hint of tangy flavour. I especially love their whipped cream, since it’s super light and airy. You can barely even taste the cream in it! So delicious!

I do want to mention, however, that our waitress, Kelly, was one of the worst servers I’ve had. She came by at the beginning to take our orders, dropped off our drinks and food, and asked how our food was tasting once throughout our whole dinner. I’m not the type that likes to be bothered while eating, but it’s a common gesture to come by more than once throughout the dinner. Not to mention, that I asked for a straw for my drink, and she said she would be right back, but no straw ever came back. My parents also had to remind her to bring them steak knives, which was highly unprofessional. It was almost like we had to chase her down to get her attention. But that’s just our server. I’ve definitely had better servers in the past here, so I guess this is just an exception.

Cheesecake Factory (Bellevue Square) on Urbanspoon

Facing East Taiwanese Restaurant

Milk Tea with Tapioca

Five Spiced Beef Wrap

Soy Flavoured Chicken – (Three Cup Chicken) with fresh basil

Shrimp Fried Rice

Off I went to Bellevue for the weekend to do some shopping for the weekend. It seems to be a tradition by now that we head down to the south for some shopping during the summer. And even when I’m on vacation, I love to try new food, so of course I urbanspooned some places to eat! My sister ended up finding Facing East Taiwanese Restaurant, which is basically sort of like our Pearl Castle, where they offer bubble tea and Taiwanese food. It was rated 93% on Urbansppon, so we thought it better be good!

The mall was quite small, but was jam packed with cars, and we basically had nowhere to park during the lunch hours. We ended up having to park a few blocks down and walked over to restaurant. The restaurant was quite packed with families and young adolescents eating, but we got a seat quite fast.

We had just ate breakfast during a stop on our way, so we weren’t too hungry. We ended up just sharing a few dishes among ourselves. My sister and I decided to share the Milk Tea with Tapioca, and I have to say I was extremely disappointed. It’s not even up to par with some of the worse bubble tea places I’ve had back in Richmond. We could see the milk tea powder floating up, and when we tried to stir it in, we realized there was no point since our drink was cold. So they basically didn’t even dissolve all the powder to begin with before adding the ice. You could taste the powder, and it definitely wasn’t great. We also got the Five Spiced Beef Wrap as an appetizer, and it was alright. I personally don’t like cilantro, so it wasn’t exactly my favourite. I’ve definitely had better at Chef Hung as well. Next up, we got the Soy Flavoured Chicken. I found it a little too salty and the chicken was a little overcooked, so it was a bit rough. The chicken pieces were however huge. Lastly, we got the Shrimp Fried Rice, which I found was the best dish out of the 3. The flavour was just right, not too bland and not too salty. It also had loads of shrimp, and the rice was cooked well.

Overall, I don’t really understand why Facing East has such high ratings, because I honestly think it was just average. I’ve definitely had better in Richmond, but maybe that’s because Richmond is full of good eats!

Facing East Taiwanese Restaurant 東來食府 on Urbanspoon

McCafe

I don’t know if we have this in Canada, but when I saw it in the States, I decided to try it! It’s the McDonald’s McCafe Strawberry Lemonade. It looks really pretty, but I found it a little too tart for my taste. Really refreshing on a hot day though. Probably not something I want to drink right now though! It’s freezing here!!

California Pizza Kitchen

 Cranberry Cooler

Fried Mac N Cheese

 

California Club – Applewood smoked bacon, chicken and Mozzarella hearth-baked then topped with tomatoes, avocado and chilled lettuce tossed in mayonnaise

Trip to Seattle means having some good food again! Went to California Pizza Kitchen at Northgate Mall. It’s a place great for the family, similar to The Cheesecake Factory, with decent service. Big portions for the price as well! The California Club Pizza tasted basically like a Caesar Salad, so you don’t really need to order another salad on the side. I have to say, it’s quite a healthy choice for a pizza. The Fried Mac and Cheese was not the best though. I felt like it wasn’t very fresh, as it was kind of hard. It almost seemed as though it was made ahead of time and heated back up. Overall, the food is pretty good and worth a try!

California Pizza Kitchen (Northgate) on Urbanspoon

BK Chicken Tenders

Last meal in the states was fast food and we decided to go to Burger King just before we got back to the other side of the border. And if you’ve been to the states, you would know how ridiculously cheap and large the portions of fast food are! 20 pieces of Chicken Tenders were just $4.99! They don’t have these in Canada at Burger King, however. It’s basically the same thing as McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, but they do taste a little different. The crispiness is a little different, but I actually prefer the Burger King Chicken Tenders! Give it a try when you go down to the states!

Eagles Buffet in Seattle

Day two of my Seattle trip, we started heading back towards Vancouver and made a stop for the Seattle Premium Outlets. We were getting hungry and decided to stop by the Tulalip Resort Casino and have our lunch at the Eagles Buffet. Second time here actually, but we are always pleased at the variety of food they offer. Much better than the one we have at RiverRock in Richmond! I don’t remember exactly how much lunch was, but it was around $15 and definitely under $20 – so much cheaper than the buffet at RiverRock! Just some of the pictures of what I ate, but they offer so much more! They even have a ice cream section, which I was I was already unfortunately too full to grab some! Definitely a great deal for lunch or dinner if you stop by the Premium Outlets in Seattle, since it is basically right next to it.

Eagles Buffet on Urbanspoon