Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wonderland

It's not Tukwila, and it's not a weekday, but I just had to write about it...

While in Phoenix yesterday, my dear friend La Cobra took me to the best Mexican supermarket... ever, Ranch Market. It was much like Seattle's Uwajimaya, with a huge food court, billions of food items that one can only guess at their contents, and a enormous butcher area filled with stacks of red meat, animal body parts - even the occasional animal face.

It really was a wonderland, and La Cobra was a perfect guide to lead me to the section of the market that had about 15 different selections of fruit juice and horchata. After having a horchata and getting lost in the piles of chiles and fresh tortillas, La Cobra and I decided to head out for Mexican food at a place down the road.

The name of it.. can't remember, but the food was delicious and the decor - kitschy. I had the veggie burrito, and La Cobra had enchiladas. We chowed our food while watching the Spanish version of "Epic Movie" and drinking Miller Chills. It was a quintessential Phoenix lunchtime adventure, and that's one of the reasons I so love this city.

Thanks, La Cobra!

Food: 5/5
Good times: 5,000/5

Friday, September 26, 2008

We Should Have Gone to Sizzler

Since B is still out on vacation, and J and I have both had colds this past week, we decided it was a good time to try Old Saigon Pho in Southcenter's industrial park.

I had a dish called "Vegetarian Delight" that was mostly comprised of cabbage and tofu swimming in a sad, watery, half-peppered sauce, floating around a bed of white rice. It was literally, the most depressing thing I've ever eaten.

To make matters worse, it seemed that everything I touched had a sticky film - the salt shaker, the table, the ponzu bottle, the rooster sauce bottle, the backs of the fake flowers on our table, even some of the guests looked sticky.

J had the "give me the cow" beef noodle pho which included a variety of cow bits in a steaming bowl of beef "from the can" broth. He seemed depressed as well. All of this had us wishing we had gone to Sizzler instead.

To make up for all this sadness, a trip to Red Mango was in order. The fro yo with the Golden Grahams helped make up for the sadness of lunch.

Why, oh why can't Pho Than Brothers (best pho in town, hands down) put a location on the southend? It's been terrible trying to find good pho in this area. If anyone has a suggestion - please, let us know.

Food: 0/5
Atmosphere: 0/5
Good times: 2/5 (thanks to J and fro yo)


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Garlic Water: Return of the LL Lunch

While B is on vacation, and J lunches with some lady who usually stands him up (let's call her Little Miss Unreliable Lunch Date, or ULD for short), I decided to stay in, catch up on world news and eat some garlic water for lunch.

Yes, it's the return of the Loneliest Lesbian Lunch: Trader Joe's garlic noodle soup... not nutritious, but semi-delicious anyway.

I hope everyone else is enjoying an exciting lunch today.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mariah in Tukwila


B had lunch at Joey's with a colleague, MF (making her T2 debut) based on J's previous recommendation. The food was quite good, although a little pricy for lunch (especially in Tukwila). The highlight of the meal was the skinny fries; they are quite skinny and quite delicious.

The other items that were quite skinny (and here, skinny translates into microscopic) were the outfits on the female employees. When I first walked in I thought I was at a strip club and was waiting for dance poles to descend from the ceiling at any minute. I swear it looked like the official Joey's uniform for females was purchased at "Whores R Us". YIKES!

So if you've just been released from prison and haven't seen a woman in years, Joey's is your place. Be sure to bring plenty of one dollar bills.

Food: 3.5/5
Good Times: 4/5
A modicum of dignity and class 1/5

Friday, September 19, 2008

You Can Put Fancy Tape on a Staircase...

...but you're still in Tukwila.

Recently, the Compound replaced the carpet on the back-entrance staircase with this new, rubber-textured flooring. To make us all feel we're in the grand halls of the state capitol, they applied marble-esque tape along the edge (as seen here in this photo).

At first, we all thought they had made a mistake and forgot to glue something down, but then we realized - as always, it was just the poor taste of the Compound's property management company. As weird as it looks, it won't be long before it's covered in filth and blends in with its surroundings.

Speaking of blending... J and I went to Blue C today and everyone in the place looked like everyone else. I surmised that Blue C attracts a certain (high) class of people, J agreed. As usual - DeShawnda served us, and the food was excellent.

Meanwhile, B is downtown hanging out with the Navy. I'm sure his blog will be more interesting than mine.

Food: 5/5
Compound Atmosphere: -5/5
TGIF: 5/5

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The 5 Mexicans You'll Meet in Heaven

Today, while B dined with the Power Womon, J and I ventured out of the Tukwila area for lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Tacos Guaymas
in White Center.

Set in the center of downtown White Center, Guaymas offers authentic Mexican food, a deliciously fresh and interesting salsa bar (complete with limes and pickled radishes), horchata and Telemundo on the TVs that can be found in each of the two dining areas.

Guaymas is perfect for cold, cloudy Seattle days like today. It's definitely on my comfort food list.

Food: 5/5
Atmosphere: 3/5 (minus 2 points for feeling worried that I may end up in the crossfire of a drive-by while dining in White Center)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jesus Loves Mongolian Food

Adding to B's blog - - I had been to the Mongolian Grill a few years back, and I don't remember hearing Spirit 105.3 (local religious music channel) playing in the background, and definitely don't remember the painting depicting Jesus during one of his famous events on the wall near the cash register. Really... I felt like I was in Utah.

Strange that going to the MGrill has become a religious occassion. Regardless, the food was okay, the service was headed up by a control freak and the atmosphere has seriously gone downhill.

We'll get you for this J.

Food 2/5
Atmosphere 1/5
Bitterness 5/5

Bait and Switch

J cheated on B and R. J reported that he'd be lunching with "another" at the Mongolian Grill in the Target Shopping Plaza (I just made up that name). B and R thought it would be humorous to drop in on the "secret luncheon rendezvous" to both enjoy some Mongolian style food—whatever that is— and to confront the infidelity.

Adding insult to injury, J was not at the grill when B and R arrived. He and the other woman decided to eat at Joey’s at South Center instead.
The Mongolian Grill is very “guy-centric”- R was the only woman there for quite a while. The fill-your-own bowl concept was entertaining, until the sauce making station. Big choices, with little instruction on making the perfect flavor composition. At this point, I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best. The result was slightly above average. The décor was lackluster, almost depressing even with the smiling faces of ancient Mongols painted on the wall. Who knew that camping could make someone so happy? Also, who knew that ancient Mongols had cauliflower, snow peas and water chestnuts to feast upon?

R and B have learned their lesson; never try to secretly tail a colleague to a lunch- you may end up eating at the Mongolian Grill without them.

Food 2.5/5
Controlling Buffet Attendant 1/5
Décor 1/5
Good times 3/5
Going to Joey’s when you say you’re going to the Mongolian Grill- unforgivable

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Joey's--Home of the Double Standard (and the Classy Slut)

Today, J ditched B&R in favor of a special guest lunch star, Long Lost Friend. LLF pulled a fast one, initially selecting some scary Mongolian Grill as our lunch destination, then switching mid-drive to the new Joey's at none other than Westfield Shoppingtown Southcenter (B&R were not happy about LLF's choice--I'm sure there will be more details forthcoming).

Joey's decor is a little overdone for the Southcenter lunch crowd--the place screamed "meat market" to J as soon as he entered the establishment. Satiny hostess stations, silky chairs, and velvety booths festoon the interior (and patio)--they look nice now, but will be totally skanky with ground-in body soil in a year. The "washrooms" were also a little strange. The men's room featured black and white checkered marble, smoked glass stall doors, and a wall-sized photo of a forest with urinals hanging from the trees.

The wait staff was friendly, but awkward. The hostess was shiny and pleasant, as was the server. He was also a bit overeager, saying, "Let me tell you what's good, " and then basically reciting the entire menu to us. He also spent an inordinate amount of time giving J and LLF a long-winded description of heirloom tomatoes when a) they already knew what heirloom tomatoes were and b) they both hate the vile things, whether or not they are the "fine wine of tomatoes" or not.

One final comment on the wait staff--there was a clear double standard here, much more egregious than the Dukes of Earl's Girls fiasco. While all the male servers appeared to be in a uniform--black shirt and black pants--the female servers were wearing their own clothes, all of them slightly slutty in an upscale sort of way.

After all this commentary, one might think this is a scathing review of Joey's, but the service was quick and efficient, and the food quite good. J had a French dip sandwich on a stone ground mustard bun that was delicious and non-greasy, and served with a tasty horseradish sauce that nearly made his sinuses fall out from the heat, and a little silver bowl of shoestring fries that were just a little too salty. The ranch dressing was gross, though. LLF had the Viva (TM) salad, which J did not get a good look at due to vision blockage by the large size of the fried taco shell it was served on--it had chicken and lettuce, and possibly some fruit. LLF pronounced it delectable, and J sneaked a crouton, which he liked.

Again, Joey's was a little pricey for lunch ($34 before tip for two people) and for being stuck on the ass end of Southcenter mall, but they did have a lower priced lunch menu that was pretty good and had something for everyone. Overlooking (or in J's case, looking down on and laughing) the pretension, Joey's is recommended for occasional dining.

After lunch was a quick trip to Nordstrom Rack where LLF looked at women's shoes, and J pretended (poorly) to be interested in women's shoes and Nordstrom Rack, followed by a stop at ceFiore for fro yo (J original with almond, coconut and fruity pebbles, LLF acai berry with mochi and a variety of slimy diced fruit).

Food 4/5 (except the ranch dressing--0/5)
Service 2/5 appearance and schmooze, 3.5/5 for actual service
Atmosphere 3/5 (and falling as the booths get dirtier)
Value 3/5
Good times 5/5

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Belt

"Have You Done the Belt? It's Dangerous!"

We actually heard someone say that as they walked by our booth at Blue C today (sorry Unicorn Pony Dreamcatcher, Sizzler will have to wait for another day).

They were referring to the conveyor belt style delivery of sushi that makes Blue C so great. And yes, it is dangerous: before your done with your first plate of self-served sushi, you're already reaching for the next. Before you know it - you've eaten 9 plates.... ahh, delicious danger!

In other news, J has started carrying his camera case as a murse. A while back, B and J gave me puh-lenty of grief over the Italian leather satchel that I had started carrying around after a trip to Florence a couple of years back - "Hey look everyone, R's carrying a purse!"

Whatev. At least J won't be able to make fun of me anymore... I'm bringing back the Euro-bag!

 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not a Duke of Earl Girl

Not much I can add to J's posting, except that while I really enjoyed my experience at Duke's, I was dismayed by the signs on the bathroom doors: Duke of Earl, and Duke of Earl's Girls (men's and women's bathroom respectively). Funny, but not. Happily, my soup and salad were the best I'd had in a very long time.

Anyway - thanks for the suggestion meilee! Sizzler is next on the list.


Food: 5/5
Atmoshphere: 4/5 (minus one point for sexist signage)


Recommendation Review: Duke's Chowder House


With B allegedly stuck in an unfortunate meeting, it was only R&J who were adventurous enough to take on a fan recommendation dare, and headed for lunch at Duke's Chowder House at Westfield Shoppingtown Southcenter. The anticipation upon entering the mall was palpable...what lay behind those blue doors--untold culinary delights or kitchen nightmares?


R was struck by the decor, proclaiming the establishment "cute," though J, being fussy, was much harder to please. He found the atmosphere to be kitschy, but not unpleasant, and reminscent of the homes of Minnesota where he grew up, full of artfully placed fishing rods and tackle. Noticeably absent were the dead fish mounted on the wall, of which there were none at Duke's. R appreciated the plaid carpet; it made J feel like he was eating on a dog blanket.


The waitstaff there was all female: clean, professionally dressed, and blandly hot in a women's volleyball team sort of way. They were quick to grind fresh pepper on your chowder or to refill your Diet Coke.


Both diners felt they should eat some sort of chowder as a starter, Duke's being a chowder house and all. R chose a wonderful-smelling cioppino, which she prounounced delicious. J echoed these sentiments with his Pernod lobster chowder.


As an entree, R selected a mahi mahi salad, which she enjoyed despite the tuna being overcooked to the point of it resembling steak rather than fish. The salad was full of cabbage and orange slices, and a big honking piece of tuna. J had a baked halibut, stuffed with shrimp and dungeness crab. J is not a fish person, so this was a big departure from his usual diet of red meat, and while it was good, he could have done with out the beurre blanc sauce and the crab shell which nearly took out one of his teeth. He gave points for the original vegetable accompaniment (snow peas), but quickly subtracted them for the ghetto rice pilaf which tasted like it came from a box.


Both diners balked at the price--lunch for two came to $60 before the tip. R&J concluded that Duke's will be a good place in the winter when we want soup, but overall the prices would prevent them from becoming regulars.


J's Review: Duke's Chowder House


Decor: 2/5

Wait staff: 5/5

Food: 3/5

Value: 0/5

Repeatability: 3/5

Good times: 3/5

Spot Us!

R&J will be making an appearance today around 12:45 at Duke's Chowder House at Westfield Shoppingtown Southcenter for a fan recommendation! If you can find us, we'll be signing autographs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lunch with The Chef

We had lunch with The Chef today. The Chef is queen of Foodland, and I was more than happy to comply when she requested that we eat at Taco Del Mar.

Of all the delicious choices in the Tukwila area, TDM is possibly one of the tastiest, but of course you, and The Chef know this already.

Speaking of queens: B sleuthed the location of the missing Taco Queen! Apparently, the Taco Queen has been on assignment in Bellevue, and will be returning to Tukwila in just a few more weeks!

Check back on Friday afternoon when we critique Duke's Chowder House at the request of reader "meilee."

Food: 5/5 (of course)
Entertainment: 5/5 (thanks to Chef, and to B for figuring out where the Taco Queen had gone)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Legends of the Fall - a Haiku


R fell in the air
like a swan out of water
lovely disaster.


You recommend it, we'll decide if it's worth it

Where in Tukwila should the T2 Team eat next?
Give us your suggestion - we'll eat there and blog about it.






Lunchtime Trip

Yikes. There I was, casually walking out of the mall past some construction that was being doing on the floor, and WHAM! I nearly owned the mall.

The tripping seemed to last forever. I remember thinking... when will it ever end?

I tripped on some uneven flooring, kept on tripping, took out the "fencing" they had placed inside the hole in the floor, tripped some more, and then miraculously - I righted myself. With half the mall staring at me, all I could do was laugh myself silly.

I never thought I would say this, but I blame a burrito. Today I ate at the new Mexican food restaurant, Sharky's in the Westfield food court. The burrito was like eating a gummy tortilla that had been stuffed with garbage disposal waste.

I was sick to my stomach, and busy recovering from an awkward, scent-overkill stop with B and J at The Body Shop when the nearly-tragic event occurred. I was light-headed, nauseous, and vulnerable. I'm really just shocked that I didn't fall flat on my face.

Food: 1/5
Good times: 4/5 (an extra point for laughing so hard that I cried)
Missing my chance at owning Westfield Southcenter: -5

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lunching with the Enemy

I know it's unusual, and maybe even a bit on the unholy side, but B and I had lunch with the Bird Killer today at Taco Del Mar.

Lunching with the enemy is not usually something I would even consider, however, we did get to ride in his so-called "premium-luxury sports car for young, aggressive males" although, the car was neither premium-luxury (I think that description expires after 10 years, BK), nor was he young and aggressive since he's pushing 40, and it took us 20 minutes to get back from the Southcenter area, which is usually only a 10 minute drive. He also demonstrated how to wrap a baby in the "Mummy Swaddle" using a bottle of hot sauce and a paper napkin, which was both weird and amusing. So at least lunchtime entertainment was different from the usual, and all of this makes for semi-interesting blog writing.

The Taco Queen is still MIA, though we're starting to think she has been dethroned and a new, Evil Taco Queen is standing in her place. All I can say is: you better make certain you understand how to order from their highly-complicated menu - throw her game off, and she won't think twice about shankin' you in the yard.

After lunch, it was off to ceFiore for some fro-yo. The BK was having trouble keeping his pineapple in his cup and ended up spilling most of it on the floor, but I think he was distracted by the strangely posted health benefits of frozen yogurt (see B's blog entry below).

Meanwhile, back at the Compound - an ice cream social was in process: like our fat-tastic staff need a reason to cheat on their "diets." J is convinced that free ice cream is just a soothing technique for impending layoffs… so we'll see.

Tacos: 5/5
Entertainment: 4/5 (minus 1 for weirdness)
The Compound trying to kill its staff: 0/5

Yeast and Yogurt

R and I had a highly memorable lunch today, not only because we visited Taco del Mar (I know, we’re stuck in a rut) for fish tacos, but more so for our lunch guest. New J or as I’ll call him, “the Birdman” joined us and provided significant levels of both entertainment and disbelief. Interesting tidbits:

1) We were driven to lunch in a 10 year old Audi A4 owned by Birdman that is frequently referred to by him as a “premium luxury sports car for young aggressive males”. The ride was not premium, luxury or aggressive—so much so that a colleague diving a 20 year old Mazda Protégé (with no brake lights) smoked us.

2) There’s a new Taco Queen in town, who I believe could win an extreme fighting match (against the men). She’s not messing around, so I highly recommend knowing your order in advance, speaking clearly and moving on to the next station in a quick and orderly fashion. Only make direct eye contact as a last resort.

3) The plates at TDM are apparently defective and do not work right according to the Birdman. What that means, I’m not sure. R, any ideas?

4) After TDM we visited ceFiore for delicious topping-included yogurt. The Birdman proceeded to read out the benefits of yogurt (from a poster on the wall of the shop) including that yogurt protects against yeast infections. Who knew?

So, as you can imagine, lunch was both awkward and entertaining. It’s sort of like watching a make-out scene on TV with your parents. Birdman will be a first time parent next month; I imagine lunches with him will get more bizarre as time goes on.

Fish tacos 4.5/5
ceFiore Yogurt 5/5
Personal hygiene lesson at ceFiore 1/5