Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maharaja Cuisine of India

Maharaja Cuisine of India > West Seattle > 98116 > 4542 California Ave. SW > Bars > Lunch > Dinner > Happy Hour > WiFi

After a long absence, I am returning to this blog with one of my favorite places of all time, The Maharaja. You may have driven by the cheesy exterior of Alaska Junction's Indian restaurant, or even eaten inside the chandelier strewn restaurant -but many have not been inside the hidden jem, the Maha bar.

Although not as cozy and 'divey' as it once was, with it's 60's decor, torn booths, and year-round Christmas tree, it has somehow maintained the feel of a welcoming neighborhood bar. I attribute that to Bogie, the bar manager. The dark granite, fancy bar, leather chairs, and fancy finishes, are balanced with quirky regulars, stiff drinks, the original wall mural of Seattle(the one thing left intact after the remodel), and the welcoming bartenders. Bogie, the bar manager/bartender, is the only bartender that I've ever given a Christmas card to. He makes this place feel like a friend's living room to me, as well as many others. Now, there is a new addition to the staff, the sweet and adorable Courtney.

Without further ado -and sappy descriptions, here are the Top 5 reasons that I LOVE the Maharaja Cuisine of India:

5. The Lunch Buffet is $9. Although it isn't as good as the actual dinners, I can come for lunch, work on the free WiFi and chat with my favorite bartenders all at once! What a great place to come for a work lunch!

4. The cast of regulars. The Maha is like a uber-dysfunctional version of Cheers. The look of the bar may have changed, but the patrons have not. You never know what to expect as the night progresses.

3. The happy hour. From 4-7 ad 10-1, there are drink and menu specials. The happy hour menu is a spectacular deal.

2. The stiff drinks. Enough said.

1. The bartenders, Bogie and Courtney. I have never seen bartenders take such pride in their work. If the Maha and it's bartenders had a mission statement, it would probably be, 'The Maha Lounge is a drinking establishment with the goal to create a comfortable atmosphere in which patrons can happily take part in extensive drinking, dancing, singing, and bullsh*tting." P.S. Bogie's drink concoctions are tasty -so just ask him to surprise you!

Thank you Maha. I'll see you tomorrow.

Restaurant Inspection Results

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Best Beef Stew Ever!

Recipe > Beef Stew > America's Test Kitchen

This was FANTASTIC (as is every recipe on America's Test Kitchen) as well as easy! You seriously can throw in just about any vegetable without screwing this up. Can't wait to hear how it turns out for you!

Recipe Based off of America's Test Kitchen

Serves 6
3 1/2 pounds blade steaks , 1 inch thick, trimmed of gristle and fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
(I used 1lb steak and 1lb lean ground beef)
Table salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
(I used olive oil)
2 pounds yellow onions (about 3 medium), halved and sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups)
(I used 1.5 large yellow onions)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 1/2 cups beer (12-ounce bottle or can)
(Blue Moon's Full Moon beer was excellent!)
4 sprigs fresh thyme , tied with kitchen twine
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
(I also threw in some diced pumpkin and carrots)

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees. Dry beef thoroughly with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke; add about one-third of beef to pot. Cook without moving pieces until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes; using tongs, turn each piece and continue cooking until second side is well browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer browned beef to medium bowl. Repeat with additional 2 teaspoons oil and half of remaining beef. (If drippings in bottom of pot are very dark, add about 1/2 cup of above-listed chicken or beef broth and scrape pan bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; pour liquid into bowl with browned beef, then proceed.) Repeat once more with 2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef.

2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty Dutch oven; reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and tomato paste; cook, scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until onions have released some moisture, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and stir until onions are evenly coated and flour is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in broths, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits; stir in beer, thyme, bay, vinegar, browned beef with any accumulated juices, and salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to full simmer, stirring occasionally; cover partially, then place pot in oven. Cook until fork inserted into beef meets little resistance, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

3. Discard thyme and bay. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste and serve. (Can be cooled and refrigerated in airtight container for up to 4 days; reheat over medium-low heat.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cafe Rozella

Cafe Rozella > White Center > 98106 > 9434 Delridge Way SW > Coffee > Literary Arts > Community > WiFi

I don't get it, maybe I'm not enlightened enough, maybe I just don't know the whole story. Cafe Rozella is dirty...really dirty. I think the sidewalks are cleaner than their floors. It wasn't just their floors, EVERYTHING looked dirty. The Mexican mocha that I'm drinking is pretty good and the barista was very friendly. I had heard that they also serve wine. The barista said no, but I should ask the owner, a stoic man heavily puffing on a cigar right outside the door.

Hold, please, while I do my research.

Okay, so Cafe Rozella hosts all sorts of multi-cultural activities as well as live performances. "Where do these people perform?", you ask. I don't know. Cafe Rozella is tiny. During the summer, they host activities in their parking lot. Also, they host gatherings for writers, poets, artists and other sorts of intense and interesting people. Unfortunately, I don't fall under any of those people. The only two topics I can bring to the table are food and real estate. That fact aside, I still think I get it -this is more a community gathering place than a coffee shop. Cool. Did I mention how dirty it was?

There is a really great article about Cafe Rozella from the times. Take a look at You can also find out more about their events and activities at the Cafe Rozella Blog.

Restaurant Inspection Results

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Ode to Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries
Haiku by Tara

Sweetness of Candy
The Crispy Salty Goodness
Swimming in Ranch Sauce

Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Recipe by Tara

Man, do I love those deep fried sweet potato fries at Dukes. However much I reason that "sweet potatoes are more nutritious than regular potatoes, so they are the healthy choice", I'm still not convinced. I definitely won't be purchasing the evil deep fryer so I can make them at home!

I decided to come up with a guilt free recipe for sweet potato fries.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel a sweet potato and cut it into fry size strips
  3. Rinse and dry the potato strips
  4. Dip them in egg whites
  5. Spray some cooking spray onto a baking sheet
  6. Set each strip separately on the sheet.
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt
  8. Bake until crispy on the bottom and cooked on top (can't tell you how long because my oven is shot)
  9. Flip them over -or heck, just shake them around and leave them in the oven till they aren't soggy any more.
  10. While you are waiting, mix up a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch and make it runny.

TAH-DAH! Almost as good as the real things!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, the same Be's as West Seattle.

Be's Restaurant> White Center > Breakfast > 98146 > 9826 16th Avenue SW > WiFi

Uuuuuhh. Hmmmm. What to say? I walked in to the dance club turned restaurant (and it still looked like a dance club) and asked if this is Be's. Yes, the friendly owner said...are you looking for Be? I replied, nope, just breakfast. The place was dark and dingy and I'm really surprised that there wasn't a disco ball hanging from the ceiling.

The hashbrowns were fresh and hand cut, the eggs were fine, and the bacon was a nuked piece of jerky. The service was good. I must say that I was distracted by the decor, which included a live piranha, so I forgot to take a picture of my meal. I wonder the fish was acquired when the night club was purchased or if it is a new addition? I wonder if my paper napkin is new or seems a little smooshed.

A greasy spoon in White Center is a SPECTACULAR idea! Be's needs to just make a little effort to create an atmosphere in which you feel comfortable eating breakfast. There is a diverse community in White Center, make a breakfast that appeals to many! For the time being, make a trip to Endolyne Joe's and spend a couple more dollars for an unforgettable meal.

Restaurant Inspection Results

Thursday, November 6, 2008

As I Sit in Neptune...

Neptune > Seattle > 98103 > 8415 Greenwood Ave N

...I realize that I've found my second living room. Actually, I like it here much better than my living coffee is terrible and my cat is a jerk. Not only can I wake up here with a good ole cuppa joe, but I can have a PBR or glass of wine, eat a tasty sandwich, have friends over, listen to great music, bullshit about the female view of "Family Guy", work, and even craft!

Yes, I am cheating on Chocolati, my past favorite Greenwood coffee shop (sorry Molly!) -but this is so much more roomy and bright!

Top 5 reasons why I love Neptune:

5. They sell Mighty O Donuts, which are donuts that I don't feel so terrible about eating because they are organic.

4. The owner let me bring my dog once. (Yes, I am now one of "those people". But don't worry, I have yet to buy a doggy carriage or a knitted sweater. However, I could knit him one on Wednesdays at Neptune during the Stitch & Bitch. )

3. Everyone who comes through the door of Neptune either for work or coffee I could see myself having a 4 hour conversation with. Good people. (Even that weird little guy who does the internet marketing software programming or whatever. Well, maybe just a 30 minute convo with him)

2. The coffee is FANTASTIC! They even make my latte foam pretty. Sometimes hearts...sometimes fluffy ferns....

1. It has WiFi and is a spectacular place to work.

Thanks for coming to Greenwood, Neptune!

Restaurant Inspection Results

Friday, February 15, 2008

909 Coffee & Wine, Oh So (yes, corny)

909 has the fine dining and class of Downtown Seattle with the comfort of a neighborhood cafe.

909 Coffee & Wine > Burien > 98146 > 909 SW 152nd > Cafe > Wine

WOW! All I can say is I was VERY impressed!

I walked in a half hour early for my dinner date in order to put postage on my mailers (patron from hell...I know). However, not only was I greeted with a smile and sat immediately, but I was repeatedly checked on by my friendly server, Mindy -who would make sure to stop and chat with me each time she passed.

When my friend arrived, we each ordered the house white (very good), and the breads and dips appetizer platter. Not a big fan of the hummus, but the other dips, particularly the pesto, was delicious. For our entree, Mindy suggested the chicken thigh in garlic sauce as well as the chicken stuffed crepes. Both were SPECTACULAR!! The chicken melted in our mouths and the crepes (heart attack on a plate) were bursting with flavor.

Also on the menu (which caused me much anguish when trying to decide) was boar filled tortellini, a rabbit sausage, lamb, a roasted veggie salad with goat cheese, etc. I can't wait to go back!

Here are my top 5 reasons I LOVE 909:

5. Great wine list.
4. Lighting that makes you want to stay forever.
3. Mindy
2. Delicious menu
1. The neighborhood feel. Everyone new everyone and it was lively and friendly.

I only wish they had Wi-Fi during the day. I would never leave! (I don't know if that is good or bad)

Hope to see all of you there!

Restaurant Inspection Results

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