Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

Where In Seattle is Edward Sugimoto? – January 23, 2013

January 23, 2013

With the lack of comments so far, early this year, I figured I’d shoot myself in the foot and change locations to make things even *more* difficult. LOL! Nah, I just wanted fo’ try something different. We go see if this works…

Photo #1
Where in Seattle is Edward Sugimoto? - January 23, 2013
Where in Seattle is Edward Sugimoto? – January 23, 2013

Photo 1) Wea Dis Stay? ________________________

Photo #2
Where in Seattle is Edward Sugimoto? - January 23, 2013
Where in Seattle is Edward Sugimoto? – January 23, 2013

Photo 2) Wea Dis Stay? ________________________

Photo #3
Where in Seattle is Edward Sugimoto? - January 23, 2013
Where in Seattle is Edward Sugimoto? – January 23, 2013

Photo 3) Wea Dis Stay? ________________________


VH07V SPOTTED!

This week’s “Spotted” shot for VH07V is with another Hawaii-born pro athlete! A big mahalo to Shinogu Sato of Hawaii Web TV who was able to snap this shot of former Kamehameha Schools player and US National Team champion (2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup), and current Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching at the 2012 Pro Xtreme Soccer Camp where Ching was teaching!

Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching loves his VH07V Tee!
Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching loves his VH07V Tee!

Weekly VH07V Updates!

* I think I may be doing (having a booth at) the Ukulele Picnic event next month. More details to come!

* Still waiting on my HUGE re-fill order to come in (the holidays wiped me out)! Hopefully it doesn’t take too much longer.

* Getting closer to finalizing new styles (wicker type polo) and designs.

* Started the voting process on our next new design. Which one you guys like da bes’? Post it in the comments below!

VH07V design concept 1
Concept 1
VH07V design concept 2
Concept 2
VH07V design concept 3
Concept 3
VH07V design concept 4
Concept 4
VH07V design concept 5
Concept 5
VH07V design concept 6
Concept 6
VH07V design concept 7
Concept 7
VH07V design concept 8
Concept 8
VH07V design concept 9
Concept 9

* Get all of the latest VH07V gear at:

SHOP.VH07V.COM

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)


Missing Cat – FOUND!

Remember that missing cat I asked you guys to help me find for my friends? Well, after being gone for 24 days, his parents are proud to announce that he has been found!!! Here’s a message from them:

24 days later, hachi is HOME!!!!! unbelievable! big ups to Teylor for spotting him near a friend’s house near longs/rec 4 side! so crazy! we have lifted hearts tonight. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Missing Hachi - Found!
Missing Hachi – Found!

Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

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Hawaii Self Storage’s Clear the Clutter New Year Promotion

Hawaii Self Storage's Clear the Clutter New Year Promotion
Hawaii Self Storage’s Clear the Clutter New Year Promotion

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Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – May 2, 2012

May 2, 2012

WOW! Only 7 comments last week! I gotta step up my game here! Haha! Actually, I only had time to post 1 photo the last few weeks, so maybe that had something to do with it? We go try go back to tree…

Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - May 2, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – May 2, 2012

Points for Photo #1…
* Funniest name for each kid: 2 points each
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Why wuz I dea?: 3 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - May 2, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – May 2, 2012

Points for Photo #2…
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Why wuz I dea?: 3 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - May 2, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – May 2, 2012

Points for Photo #3…
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Why wuz I dea?: 3 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

[Da Leadahboard]

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Weekly VH07V T-Shirt Update!

Since I had such a blast at last month’s Hawaii Ocean Expo, I decided to try and kill myself again by doing it all over at yet another expo. 😛 If you’re free, come on down to the Big Boys & MMA Hawaii Expo on June 15, 16 and 17 at the Blaisdell and say hi! I’ll have even more VH07V (New Products) by then!

This week’s “Spotted” shot for VH07V was submitted by my buddy Thomas Yamada, who runs nvrMT Promotions out of Seattle. He was able to get a shot with local recording artist J Boog before the concert he helped put on.

nvrMT's Thomas Yamada VH07V-ing with local recording artist J Boog
nvrMT’s Thomas Yamada VH07V-ing with local recording artist J Boog

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and helping to spread the VH07V! 8)


New AroundHawaii article

My new food article for May went live yesterday. This month, we’re covering a popular Japanese restaurant in Pearl City called Spicy Ahi & BBQ. Check it!

Spicy Ahi & BBQ - Ono Japanese Eats in Pearl City
Spicy Ahi & BBQ – Ono Japanese Eats in Pearl City


New Time Warner Cable Untangled blog

My new blog for Time Warner Cable’s corporate blog called Untangled also went live yesterday. It’s about local boy Matthew Shimura who took first place in a national, student video competition called StudentCam. He beat out over 1,000 other entries coming in from all across the country! Way to go Matt!

Hawaii Student Matthew Shimura Takes Top Honors in National Competition [Photo Courtesy: Kiman Wong]
Hawaii Student Matthew Shimura Takes Top Honors in National Competition [Photo Courtesy: Kiman Wong]


Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

Ship’s Ahoy! – Experiencing an Alaskan Cruise for the Very First Time – Part IV

January 1, 2010
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

We’re down to our final three days on this whirlwind vacay. One in Ketchikan, one in Victoria, and the final in downtown Seattle after de-boarding. Three left of our seven days on sea. Guess we should hurr’up and make the most of what’s left to see!

According to our daily program, “the city of Ketchikan stretches along the southwestern shore of Revillagigedo Island for several miles, facing Tongass Narrows. With 14,000 inhabitants, this fourth largest community in the 49th state is known as ‘Alaska’s First City,’ because it is the first town that travelers reach when ferrying north.”

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to experience anything other than the welcome sign…

Ketchikan Welcome Sign
Ketchikan Welcome Sign

’cause at 9AM sharp, we had to go a ziplinin’!

The land tour is via Bear Creek Zipline Adventures, lasts approximately 3 and a half hours, and was $176 per person ($125 for children).

Rather than listening to me babble on, let’s let my photos and the description in the Shore Excursions pamphlet narrate thangs for us:

Enter the fly zone! An eco-rainforest adventure for those seeking excitement and exhilaration! Featuring 7 zip lines, 10 lofty tree platforms, Alaska’s longest skybridge, 250 foot long mountain slide, and rappelling. The ultimate Alaska action experience.

Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary
Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary

Your adventure begins with a ride up the steep hillside in a custom all-terrain 4×4 Mercedes Unimog, to the outfitting chalet.

Custom all-terrain 4x4 Mercedes Unimog [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]
Custom all-terrain 4×4 Mercedes Unimog [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]

Steep hillside ride in our custom all-terrain 4×4 Mercedes Unimog.

After outfitting and orientation…

Chris, Kerri-Ann, Aunty Amy and Uncle Mike strappin' up!
Chris, Kerri-Ann, Aunty Amy and Uncle Mike strappin’ up!

Ed’s Tip: If you’re a germaphobe like us, I would recommend bringing along a bandana so you have something you can put between your head and that sweaty, stinky helmet. 😉

Leanne saying her prayers before flying through the air. [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]
Leanne saying her prayers before flying through the air. [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]

… it’s an uphill hike via an improved rainforest trail to a ground-based practice zip line, where your guides introduce you to zipping.

Aunty Amy, Kerri-Ann, Lee, Leanne and wifey waiting their turn for the practice zip line
Aunty Amy, Kerri-Ann, Lee, Leanne and wifey waiting their turn for the practice zip line

Our guide briefing us
Our guide briefing us

The group listens intently
The group listens intently

Chris getting ready for his practice run, while Uncle Mike looks on
Chris getting ready for his practice run, while Uncle Mike looks on


Dad doing his practice run ground-based zipline.

This is your introduction to 5,200 feet of dual cable ziplines…

Uncle Mike going through his first zip
Uncle Mike going through his first zip

Leanne, who is deathly afraid of heights, holds back the tears after her first zip, while Chris smiles on
Leanne, who is deathly afraid of heights, holds back the tears after her first zip, while Chris smiles on

… intersected with a 250 foot long suspension bridge…

The suspension bridge ahead
The suspension bridge ahead

Aunty Amy and Uncle Mike take on the suspension bridge [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]
Aunty Amy and Uncle Mike take on the suspension bridge [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]

Kerri-Ann looks over the edge [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]
Kerri-Ann looks over the edge [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]

… providing an aerial view of Bear Creek and a forest waterfall.

Looking down into the river from the suspension bridge above
Looking down into the river from the suspension bridge above

Wifey makes it across as Uncle Mike and Aunty Amy look on
Wifey makes it across as Uncle Mike and Aunty Amy look on

Experience panoramic ocean, forest and mountain views from the tree platforms on this exciting and safe adventure at the lush Herring Cove rainforest reserve, an 8 mile coastal drive from Ketchikan.

Aunty Amy gets a zippin'
Aunty Amy gets a zippin’

Kerri-Ann gives it a go
Kerri-Ann gives it a go

Ed’s Tip: By now, it becomes pretty obvious that getting that perfect shot is a challenging task. You are latched in at all times and must go in sequential order so capturing a certain angle or person will really depend on where you are in line and how much slack your line has (usually not much). You might want to ask your guides to take photos and videos of you (if they are willing) as they will have the better angles and expertise.


First person perspective of Zip-Lining in Ketchikan Alaska

In addition to tall stands of spruce, hemlock and cedar, the ecosystem here supports an extensive wildlife population. Although sightings cannot be guaranteed, guests often see eagles and bears. You will then rappel to the ground from the last tree platform.

The view below
The view below

Leanne's rappelling gear. Notice her vise grip? 8)
Leanne’s rappelling gear. Notice her vise grip? 8)

Ain't no thang. :P
Ain’t no thang. 😛

Animation of the Brother In Law rappelling down
Animation of the Brother In Law rappelling down

And then you get to the grand finale: The mountain slide!

Speeding down the mountain slide will be one of the highlights of your zipline adventure.

(While we’re animating the BIL, let’s keep it going with one of him going down the mountain slide!)

Wheeeeeeeeee!
Wheeeeeeeeee!

Ed’s Tip: At the bottom, in order to slow you down, there is a carpet-like material on the ground. Don’t try to stop yourself with your feet, or let them get caught under you as you may do a forward flip. I won’t mention any names, but this may’ve happened to somebody in our group. 8)

Just let the ground stop you gradually
Just let the ground stop you gradually

And then, you reach the end. Time to celebrate!

Lee and I are stoked!
Lee and I are stoked!

What tears? I don't see any tears... :P [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]
What tears? I don’t see any tears… 😛 [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]

Board the Unimog for a forest hillside descent and transportation to the base camp…

The Unimog awaits us
The Unimog awaits us

… where you will be presented with a special award in recognition of your achievement. View your action photograph and shop in the General Store before departure for the dock.

Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary General Store
Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary General Store

Ed’s Tip: If you can help it, try not to go too fast on the zips that have the cameras set up for them. The action photographs for some of us caught nothing but the air behind us. LOL! Perhaps they fined tuned their camera’s timing since then?

Before long, it was time to board our shuttle and head back to the boat where the mad rush and long lines awaited us.

Waiting in line to board our ship
Waiting in line to board our ship

Not too long after that, the gangway was raised and we were off to Victoria, British Columbia. Before we got there however, we had time to sit down at the 5:15pm early seating of what was called the Master Chef’s Dinner. Here’s a description:

Tonight, “dinner theater” takes on a while new meaning. Your dining room stewards sing, dance, and juggle tableside as they serve a very special meal created by Holland America Line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin. For this one night only, there are only two dinner sittings. The fun begins at 5:15pm for early seating and at 7:45pm for main seating. Bring your cameras. It’s all capped off by a big finish and a dessert you won’t want to miss!

Dinner Theater was right. Here’s a clip of the entertaining intro:


Intro for the Master Chef’s Dinner aboard the Holland America

Even grandma got into the act!

Grandma having fun at the Master Chef's Dinner [Photo credit: Norman Kubota]
Grandma having fun at the Master Chef’s Dinner [Photo credit: Norman Kubota]

As usual, the eats was supah onoz!

Act 1 started with “The Ballet Service”, a mushroom mousse.

Chef's Amuse Surprise - Mushroom mousse with asparagus in bouche
Chef’s Amuse Surprise – Mushroom mousse with asparagus in bouche

“The Swing Service” in Act 2 was referred to as the Show Salad Spectacular.

Show Salad Spectacular - Assorted baby greens, pepper rings, mushroom, scallions, and cherry tomatoes with a honey mustard dressing
Show Salad Spectacular – Assorted baby greens, pepper rings, mushroom, scallions, and cherry tomatoes with a honey mustard dressing

We then we moved on to the starters…

Dialogue of Alaskan Salmon Tartare with Avocado - Cold-smoked, pickled and chipotle-hot-smoked salmon with lime-avocado-tomato salsa
Dialogue of Alaskan Salmon Tartare with Avocado – Cold-smoked, pickled and chipotle-hot-smoked salmon with lime-avocado-tomato salsa

Golden Baked Brie in Phyllo Dough - Served with a cinnamon-spiced apple cranberry compote [Photo credit: Andi Kubota]
Golden Baked Brie in Phyllo Dough – Served with a cinnamon-spiced apple cranberry compote [Photo credit: Andi Kubota]

Lobster Bisque - Sensuously smooth classical shellfish soup enhanced with aged French cognac and whipped cream [Photo credit: Andi Kubota]
Lobster Bisque – Sensuously smooth classical shellfish soup enhanced with aged French cognac and whipped cream [Photo credit: Andi Kubota]

Oxtail En Croute - Flavorful classical soup slow-simmered and served in a crisp pastry crust
Oxtail En Croute – Flavorful classical soup slow-simmered and served in a crisp pastry crust

And then it was off to the entrees…

Sauteed Shrimps "Provencales" - Scented with Mediterranean herbs, tomato concassee, florets of crisp, tender broccoli and sticky rice [Photo credit: Andi Kubota]
Sauteed Shrimps “Provencales” – Scented with Mediterranean herbs, tomato concassee, florets of crisp, tender broccoli and sticky rice [Photo credit: Andi Kubota]

Duck Breast a l'Orange - The old-time favorite, oven roasted until crisp and served with a Grand Marriner sauce, braised red cabbage, pea pods, carrots julienne and William potato [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]
Duck Breast a l’Orange – The old-time favorite, oven roasted until crisp and served with a Grand Marriner sauce, braised red cabbage, pea pods, carrots julienne and William potato [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]

They closed the show for us with a Baked Alaska in Act 3, “The Final Service”

Baked Alaska - A not-so-traditional Baked Alaska with a warm brandy bing cherry sauce
Baked Alaska – A not-so-traditional Baked Alaska with a warm brandy bing cherry sauce

In my feeble attempt to train for the Tinman, I took a leisure jog around the ship’s Promenade following dinner. As the sun set, I felt like I had to run back up to the room to grab my camera to snap the beauty before me. Good thing I did!

Sunset views aboard the ms Westerdam
Sunset views aboard the ms Westerdam

What an awesome way to close out the night leading into the final full day aboard the ship.

The next morning, we celebrated the 4th of July with the “Happy Birthday America” BBQ. Before that though, we participated in the Basketball Free Throw contest on the 11th floor Sports Deck, hosted by DJ Jazzy.

DJ Jazzy briefing the contestants
DJ Jazzy briefing the contestants

Lee taking his shot [Photo credit: Leanne Nakamura]
Lee taking his shot [Photo credit: Leanne Nakamura]

Leanne getting pointers from DJ Jazzy
Leanne getting pointers from DJ Jazzy

Wifey smiling at her shot
Wifey smiling at her shot

Dad shoots [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]
Dad shoots [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]

Yours truly
Yours truly

Then it was off to the “Happy Birthday America” BBQ at midship on Lido Deck 9.

4th of July desserts and decorations [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]
4th of July desserts and decorations [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]

The chefs manning the BBQ
The chefs manning the BBQ

Games for the keiki
Games for the keiki

Celebrate America’s birthday with live music, pool games, kid’s carnival and a traditional American BBQ. The Beverage Staff has prepared unlimited Stars & Stripes Drink Specials for $14.95 and unlimited tap beer for only $20 – both served in a souvenir glass.

D’oh! Had I known about the unlimited tap beer, we would’ve stayed. 8) Instead, we headed to the Vista Dining Room for a light lunch. Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of the menu this time so I don’t quite know/remember what these dishes were called. :o)

Eggroll appetizer
Eggroll appetizer

Fruit medley appetizer
Fruit medley appetizer

Chicken pasta dish
Chicken pasta dish

Fish and shrimp dish
Fish and shrimp dish

After lunch, we took a break and just relaxed, until it was time to eat again for dinner. Where did we head? You got it: the Vista Dining Room. And look who we were randomly placed next to!

Dad and Mom
Dad and Mom

Here are more blah captioned food shots for your viewing pleasure. 😛 Sorry!

Chicken Satay
Chicken Satay

French Onion Soup "Les Halles" - A Parisian classic of golden simmered onions topped with melted Gruyere cheese
French Onion Soup “Les Halles” – A Parisian classic of golden simmered onions topped with melted Gruyere cheese

Scallops and Rice
Scallops and Rice

Chocolate dessert
Chocolate dessert

As scheduled, we docked in Victoria, Canada shortly after at 6pm. Our scheduled land tour was “Enchanted Butchart Gardens (Evening Calls)” which was $69 for adults and $39 for children. Here’s a description:

As darkness falls, an extraordinary world comes to light at the Butchart Gardens near Victoria. Colored lights provide an interplay of light and shadow, transforming the famous Gardens into a fairyland scented with summer blooms. One of the largest underground wiring installations in North America helps this vibrant wonderland of flowers, rare trees and winding paths to take on an enchanted aspect. The magnificent Ross Fountain, the centerpiece of these lush gardens, dances with creative lighting effects. Enjoy the cascading fountains, footbridges, music and outdoor entertainment while you learn how a barren rock quarry metamorphosed into a world renowned horticulture attraction. On select dates in July and August on Saturday evenings you may be treated to the Butchart Gardens fireworks display, choreographed to music. During early May and September, daylight is limited and this tour is operated predominately in low light with subtlety illuminated gardens. Please note: This tour operates during evening calls in Victoria.

The Butchart Gardens sign
The Butchart Gardens sign

For those like me, with a short attention span when it comes to flowers, 🙂 here are the highlights.

The Sunken Gardens
The Limestone deposit was exhausted in 1908 and the quarry abandoned. Mrs. Butchart conceived the idea of transforming the barren pit into a garden and thus the Sunken Garden came into being. In 1910 she planted Lombardy poplar trees in an attempt to block the view of the cement factory. By 1912 the development of the garden was underway and it was completed in 1921.

Overlooking the Sunken Garden at Butchart Gardens [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]
Overlooking the Sunken Garden at Butchart Gardens [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]

Ross Fountain Lookout
This smaller quarry was a source of limestone in the 1860s. It was here that Ian Ross, grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Butchart, devised his spectacular fountain with the assistance of his plumber, Adrian Butler and his electrician, Vic Dawson. The Ross Fountain commemorated the 60th Anniversary of the Butchart Gardens when it was installed in 1964.

Ross Fountain Lookout at Butchart Gardens
Ross Fountain Lookout at Butchart Gardens

The Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is home to 2500 roses in 250 varieties and is the only part of the garden in which the plants are labeled.

The Rose Garden at Butchart Gardens
The Rose Garden at Butchart Gardens

Wifey having fun at the Rose Garden
Wifey having fun at the Rose Garden

The Japanese Garden
Reflecting their world travels, the Butcharts created this Japanese Garden in 1908.

Japanese style arch/gate at the entrance of the Japanese Gardens
Japanese style arch/gate at the entrance of the Japanese Gardens

They also had a Japanese style bridge, rock steps, and much more!

And then it was off to the northwest portion of the gardens where the fireworks were ready to go off.

Fireworks at Butchart Gardens
Fireworks at Butchart Gardens

Fireworks at Butchart Gardens [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]
Fireworks at Butchart Gardens [Photo credit: Lee Kojima]

Fireworks at Butchart Gardens [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]
Fireworks at Butchart Gardens [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]

Immediately following the end of the fireworks show, we had to rush back to our bus to get back to our boat. There was major traffic pulling out of there, but we weren’t too concerned as we booked this tour through our ship (see below).

Ed’s Tips: If you are on the same schedule as us, there will be no time to stop anywhere else. Have your camera ready to capture the Victorian sights along the way from aboard your shuttle. Also, when you get to Butchart Gardens, sunlight will be minimal as daylight falls, so be prepared to set your camera settings to long exposures for the best shots. If you can help it, try to aim for one of the dates in July or August, as mentioned above, to catch the fireworks display. Let’s face it. As a guy, I’m not a huge fan of flowers and shrubbery, so the fireworks really made it worth my while. Also, book this, and probably all of your land tours through your cruise as opposed to direct. Reason being, sometimes, they will run the duration of your entire stay in that particular city. If it was booked through the cruise, then they are aware of your whereabouts and will not set sail without you. In the case that the ship must leave, they will arrange alternate transportation to the next stop for you on their dime, not yours.

At about midnight, we finally set sail for our final destination. One final night on the boat and we were to hit land – in the form of Seattle Washington.

At 7am, we arrived in Seattle and caught a shuttle to our hotel, the SpringHill Suites in Downtown Seattle. Unlike our stay at the Comfort Inn & Suites SeaTac on our first night, this hotel was a little more convenient as it was a brisk walk away from Pacific Place (aout 7 blocks), Westlake Center (about 8-9 blocks), and Pike Place Market (about 12 blocks).

Naturally, our first stop was the touristy Pike’s.

Famous Pike Place Market sign
Famous Pike Place Market sign

I won’t get into too many scenic shots here as my photo count for this article is already at a whoppin’ 68 (good lord!), but here are some nice family shots from mama’s camera.

Dad and Grandma at Pike's [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]
Dad and Grandma at Pike’s [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]

Uncle Norman and Aunty Andi at Pike's [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]
Uncle Norman and Aunty Andi at Pike’s [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]

Kerri-Ann, Uncle Mike, Aunty Amy and Chris at Pike's [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]
Kerri-Ann, Uncle Mike, Aunty Amy and Chris at Pike’s [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]

Paparazzi shot of Uncle Norman, Evan, Aunty Andi and Travis [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]
Paparazzi shot of Uncle Norman, Evan, Aunty Andi and Travis [Photo credit: Mom Kojima]

We mostly went for our Pike’s favorites/usuals like Piroshky, Piroshky, Starbuck’s (the first location), Beecher’s, etc. For more Seattle info and photos, check out Part I and Part II of my “See and Eat Seattle” series from a couple years ago.

After playing tourist, we headed back to our hotel to rest and freshen up before dinner. I suggested one of my favorites in downtown Seattle: Umi Sake House. We went to town there, grinding such items as the Dynamite Bake, Mochi Sato Age, Seafood Gyoza, Yakisoba Seafood, First Ave Roll and Hottie Roll.

Dynamite Bake - assorted clams & shrimp baked in spicy crab mix - $10
Dynamite Bake – assorted clams & shrimp baked in spicy crab mix – $10

Mochi Sato Age - fried taro potato & mochi in tempura sauce - $7
Mochi Sato Age – fried taro potato & mochi in tempura sauce – $7

Seafood Gyoza - homemade shrimp & scallop dumplings served with chili soy - $9
Seafood Gyoza – homemade shrimp & scallop dumplings served with chili soy – $9

Seafood Yakisoba - seafood stir friend with egg noodles & vegetables - $15
Seafood Yakisoba – seafood stir friend with egg noodles & vegetables – $15

First Ave Roll - shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, tobiko topped with spicy tuna & spicy mayonnaise - $12
First Ave Roll – shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, tobiko topped with spicy tuna & spicy mayonnaise – $12

Hottie Roll - spicy scallops, tobiko, cucumber, weapped with salmon - $12
Hottie Roll – spicy scallops, tobiko, cucumber, weapped with salmon – $12

And let’s not forget to wash it all down with one of the best beers on earth. 8)

Umai!
Umai!

After posing for a photo opp outside of Umi’s…

Us outside of Umi's
Us outside of Umi’s

… it was off to Ohana’s across the street. That’s a given.

Inside Ohana's
Inside Ohana’s

One too many
One too many

After filling up with liquid courage, the BIL and I dragged the lady friends through a “scary” alley – just because – to see if anyone wanted to mess. Nobody did.

BIL's ready to throw down
BIL’s ready to throw down

Then it was off to meet some of Leanne’s friends at Belltown Billiards.

Shooting pool at Belltown Billiards
Shooting pool at Belltown Billiards

As we were walking out of Belltown Billiards, the doorman hooked us up with Voss bottled water. Either he liked us or knew that we needed it. 😛 Whatever the case, much love BB door man guy! It hit the spot.

Voss Water
Voss Water

A wonderful close to our wonderful Alaskan vacay.

Mahaloz for sticking through it and reading all 4 parts. If you have any questions or comments about any part of the entire cruise experience, feel free to post them below. Shoots!

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

Ship’s Ahoy! – Experiencing an Alaskan Cruise for the Very First Time – Part I

August 1, 2009

 Part I  | Part II | Part III | Part IV

For someone who’s spent his entire life on an island completely surrounded by water, it’s amazing that your boy has never traveled much on one of them floaty things… What are they called now? A yes, a boat.

I mean there were those times on fiberglass-infested kayaks, small fishing boats, and touristy catamarans all over Hawaii, or that local ferry in Seattle, or even that Honshu to Kyuushu hovercraft in Japan… but nothing really to write home about.

So when the fam wanted to get together for a little family bonding on the water – Alaskan Cruise ship style, I was in like flint!

Now because the ship’s first port of call was out of the Port of Seattle (Smith Cove Cruise Terminal on Pier 91 to be exact), we “Hawaiians” had to fly over to our Northwest neighbor in order to start our Alaskan adventure.

Ain’t no thang. All it meant was that we’d have a bonus night (going) and whole day (coming back) in the Emerald City. Sa-weet! Two vacays in one!

After a quick stay at the Comfort Inn & Suites SeaTac – which was preceded by a high class meal at the Silver Dollar Casino Restaurant & Lounge, and followed by a visit to the “International Festival” at nearby Angle Lake Park the next morning, we were shuttled off to the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal.

Smith Cove Cruise Terminal, Pier 91 - Seattle, Washington
Smith Cove Cruise Terminal, Pier 91 – Seattle, Washington

Much like the airport terminals across the country, this seaport terminal could get confusing and hectic real quick if you aren’t paying attention.

Choose the right boat!
Choose the right boat!

Expect to stand in line for like 20-30 minutes.
Expect to stand in line for like 20-30 minutes.

Following the long wait and mandatory paperwork, we were ready to board yo!

Sign for Holland America Line's ms Westerdam (7 Day Alaskan Explorer)
Sign for Holland America Line’s ms Westerdam (7 Day Alaskan Explorer)

Not sure if this is typical of cruiselines, or we were just waaay too early, but our rooms were not ready when we got on the ship. We decided to kill some time familiarizing ourselves with our home for the next 7 days, and its many amenities.

The Lido Bar
The Lido Bar

The Sea View Pool
The Sea View Pool

Alas, our rooms were ready… If you’re claustrophobic, your stateroom may be a bit tight for you. Check it.

View from the "hallway" to the bed (front door is behind)
View from the “hallway” to the bed (front door is behind)

View from the "bedroom" to the hallway and bathroom
View from the “bedroom” to the hallway and bathroom

Pretty tight quarters for the potty and shower/tub, but it worked.
Pretty tight quarters for the potty and shower/tub, but it worked.

Our luggage was not delivered to our room yet and we wondered where in the heck it was. Turning the corner to get to the elevator answered all of our questions.

Mystery solved: the pile of luggage (ours is in there somewhere) [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]
Mystery solved: the pile of luggage (ours is in there somewhere) [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]

Ed’s Tip: If you love your luggage, buy a hard case. They stack everyone’s luggage near the elevator, on the floor you’re on, before room delivery.

Before we could even catch our breath, it was time for the all-ship, mandatory (yes mandatory!) safety training, where we geared up in our lifejackets (provided in each room) and proceeded to the 3rd floor deck for some instruction.

Cousin Evan in a sea of orange
Cousin Evan in a sea of orange

After roll call (yes, roll call! 😛 ), we were trained on what to do in case of an emergency. Although it was supposed to be serious, we were able to find humor in our fashion.

This is how we roll [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]
This is how we roll [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]

Ed’s Tip: Be sure to study the chart on the back of your room’s door. It shows the quickest, shortest route to your designated meeting area outside, in addition to how to properly wear your life jacket.

Emergency Information on Holland America room door
Emergency Information on Holland America room door

Following the training sesh, we further explored the ship, discovering the Hydro Pool, Thermal Suites, Fitness Center, Lido Pool, and all-important basketball court!

Going left on the Brother-In-Law
Going left on the Brother-In-Law

Brother-In-Law made the mistake of challenging the Sugimotos to a 2-on-2 game of hoops, which led to the following victory and defeat photos. *grin*

2-on-2 champs! [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]
2-on-2 champs! [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]

Maybe next time? :) [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]
Maybe next time? 🙂 [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]

Ed’s Tip: If you try to hoop it up and it’s insanely windy, don’t give up. The wind up there on the 11th floor varies, depending on the weather and what day of the cruise you’re on.

Before long, it was time to get ready for dinner. Since it was casual night, we decided to just eat BBQ food (served next to the Lido Pool) and follow that up with some dancing at the Northern Lights Nightclub on the 3rd floor.

Party animals aboard the ms. Westerdam
Party animals aboard the ms. Westerdam

Holland America’s reputation is that it is more for the older crowd, and nowhere was that more apparent than the empty nightclub that night. We owned the dance floor baby! Later, we were told that formal nights are when the club (and everywhere else) gets crowded.

Ed’s Tip: Party on formal nights. You’ll have more company.

Every morning, you’re greeted with a “Today at a Glance” daily itinerary in your room’s mailbox. Itemizing various activities hour by hour, you’re never short of possibilities to fill your day (e.g. Basketball Shootout, Ping Pong Challenge, No Limit Texas Hold’Em Poker Tournament, Bingo, Digital Workshops, Wine Tasting, Culinary Arts Presentations, Broadway-esque shows, etc.).

On day two, we decided to make it a true vacation and fill our time with long overdue pampering, courtesy of room service for breakfast and the Hydro Pool and Thermal Suites for hard core relaxation.

Room Service for breakfast
Room Service for breakfast

The Hydro Pool
The Hydro Pool

Our view from the Thermal Suites (beds are heated)
Our view from the Thermal Suites (beds are heated)

Ed’s Tip: Part of your fees includes a daily charge of $11 for tip. Since you’re paying for it anyway, you might as well order up room service for those times when you just don’t feel like going out. For the Hydro Pool/Thermal Suites package ($40 per person), order this to start the morning of a full day on the cruise (no docking) to make the most of your money. This way, you’ll have all day and night for in and out privileges. For the Thermal Suites, try to pick an off-peak time to go. With just 6 beds, you will hardly ever find a bed open during peak hours.

And then it was formal night!

I was probably in the minority on this one being that I was fairly excited. How often do we get to play dress up and grind good kine eats like this?

The wifey and I on formal night at the Vista Dining Room
The wifey and I on formal night at the Vista Dining Room

The Crab Cake was a winner for all of us. I ordered two for good measure.
The Crab Cake was a winner for all of us. I ordered two for good measure.

Surf and Turf combo
Surf and Turf combo

Crab Legs!
Crab Legs!

Ed’s Tip: If you’re a big eater, portions will be small. You may want to order up several rounds to satisfy the ol’ appetite.

But don’t forget to leave room for dessert!

Leanne and Lee enjoying their dessert
Leanne and Lee enjoying their dessert

... But not as much as us!
… But not as much as us!

After squeezing in another session at the Thermal Suites, we decided to put day 2 to a close in preparation for the next day’s festivities.

Day 3 called for us to turn our clocks back one hour (from Seattle time to Alaska time) and involved many on-boat activities, including the highlight: majestic Glacier Bay.

Huge glacier wall near Glacier Bay
Huge glacier wall near Glacier Bay

My attempt at an artsy fartsy shot near Glacier Bay
My attempt at an artsy fartsy shot near Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay, Alaska [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]
Glacier Bay, Alaska [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]

Glacier near Glacier Bay (notice the relative size of the ship in the water and the gushing waterfall in the cave?) [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]
Glacier near Glacier Bay (notice the relative size of the ship in the water and the gushing waterfall in the cave?) [Photo Credit: Lee Kojima]

Family shot in Glacier Bay
Family shot in Glacier Bay

Ed’s Tip: Give yourself enough time to eat so you’re not rushing to finish eating in order to get a good view of the scenery. The Glacier Bay Park Ranger Commentary, for us, began at 1PM (check your daily schedule). Also, dress warm. During certain hours, staying outdoors to experience Glacier Bay for long periods of time may prove to be too cold for some.

And then, it was time for socializing with our tour group at the Captain’s Corner of the Crow’s Nest (10th floor Observation deck)…

Our tour group with one Michael W Perry! [Photo Credit: Mark & Carolyn Yasuda]
Our tour group with one Michael W Perry! [Photo Credit: Mark & Carolyn Yasuda]

… with dinner to follow at the Vista Dining Room again (9th floor).

Sitka Sound Dungeness Crab and Artichoke en Bouchee appetizer - Tender pieces of crab and artichoke, braised in shellfish sauce and served in a pastry shell, topped with lemon-Hollandaise sauce
Sitka Sound Dungeness Crab and Artichoke en Bouchee appetizer – Tender pieces of crab and artichoke, braised in shellfish sauce and served in a pastry shell, topped with lemon-Hollandaise sauce

Fairbanks Seafood Platter appetizer - A fine selection of Alaskan spotted shrimp, salmon jerky, clams, hot-smoked salmon and smoked halibut.
Fairbanks Seafood Platter appetizer – A fine selection of Alaskan spotted shrimp, salmon jerky, clams, hot-smoked salmon and smoked halibut.

Ketchikan Fisherman's Chowder - Halibut, salmon, cod, shrimp, thyme, celebry, red-skin potato and corn braised in a creamy clam soup, served with sourdough croutons.
Ketchikan Fisherman’s Chowder – Halibut, salmon, cod, shrimp, thyme, celebry, red-skin potato and corn braised in a creamy clam soup, served with sourdough croutons.

Reindeer Sausage and Vegetable Soup - Rich beef broth with sausage, diced carrot, onion, potato, green beans, peas, cabbage, fresh herbs and finished with sherry pepper to add a little extra spice.
Reindeer Sausage and Vegetable Soup – Rich beef broth with sausage, diced carrot, onion, potato, green beans, peas, cabbage, fresh herbs and finished with sherry pepper to add a little extra spice.

Halibut Caddy Ganty entrée - Topped with sour cream, onion and fresh breadcrumbs, served over olive oil red-skin mashed potatoes, broccoli florets and roasted cherry tomatoes.
Halibut Caddy Ganty entrée – Topped with sour cream, onion and fresh breadcrumbs, served over olive oil red-skin mashed potatoes, broccoli florets and roasted cherry tomatoes.

Razor Clam, Bay Scallops and Manila Clam over Noodles entrée - Tender egg noodles, diced tomato, garlic and parsley, tossed in a white wine cream sauce, topped with sautéed razor clam, bay scallops and streamed Manila clams.
Razor Clam, Bay Scallops and Manila Clam over Noodles entrée – Tender egg noodles, diced tomato, garlic and parsley, tossed in a white wine cream sauce, topped with sautéed razor clam, bay scallops and streamed Manila clams.

Ahhh… the end of day 3. By now, you’ll be getting used to the VERY long days.

Bright blue skies at almost a quarter to 10PM!
Bright blue skies at almost a quarter to 10PM!

Tomorrow, we are expected to see land for the first time in 3 days, as we hit Juneau Alaska at 6AM in the morning. See ya bright and early!

To be continued…

 Part I  | Part II | Part III | Part IV

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 22, 2009

July 22, 2009

Although somewhat vague 😛 , we’ll give last week‘s victory to YN after she correctly guessed Pike Place Market in Seattle. For those who were wondering, it was actually the alley (Post Alley) behind Piroshky, Piroshky. Congrats on your first (of many?) victories YN! 🙂

We’re back in the 808 this week, and back to some eats to make you hungry. Ready?

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 22, 2009
Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 22, 2009

Hint: Somewhurr in the streets of Waiks! 8)


Da “Where In Hawaii” Winnahz Circle!
 

Happy Hump DayWhere In Hawaii Wednesday y’all. 🙂 Shooooots!

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 15, 2009

July 15, 2009

I know, I know… I missed last week’s WIH Wednesday. My bad. Sometimes a brutha’s gotta do what a brutha’s gotta do. 8)

The good news is that you should be even hungrier for this week’s game ’cause you missed it so… RIGHT!? 🙂

I gots no idea how Coconut Willy did it, but Dubya’s quick eyes caught the split second animation action and correctly guessed our game from a couple week’s ago: Kilauea Ave near Kahala Mall. Please help me congratulate ol’ eagle eye! 😉

This week, I’m gonna make it a little trick-ay! We be going outside the 808. Awwww yeah!

Wea you axe? Click here for a hint of where it may be.

To make it a tad more challenging, City and State/Country will not be enough to win. Ya gotsta know (almost) exactly where (area) it was taken. Get um? Got um? Good! We go!

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 15, 2009
Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 15, 2009

Hint: Linkage.


Da “Where In Hawaii” Winnahz Circle!

Happy Hump DayWhere In Hawaii Wednesday y’all. 🙂 Shooooots!

Fantasy Football Draft Results

August 26, 2008

So we’re 4 picks away from completing our Fantasy Football Draft for this year.

Hallelujah!

There are 10 of us and it’s taking painfully loooong.

Since we couldn’t find a good time when all of us could meet up for a live, draft party, we decided to do the ol’ standy, the convenient method of drafting electronically. This year’s product of choice: a spreadsheet in Google Docs (where you can trash talk/chat right in the spreadsheet window… priceless!). Trouble is, many of us work or have a life on the weekends, so you end up getting lost in the draft process. The call or text message from the person drafting before you inevitably comes, and is followed by a “Wait what? What happened? Who got picked after me?”

This rigamarole repeats itself 18 times until the completion of the draft.

After my last pick, there was a defensive run in the 13th and 14th rounds: Brian Urlacher, David Harris, DeMeco Ryans, Kerry Rhodes, Jon Beason, Gibril Wilson, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Bob Sanders, and Kirk Morrison. I’ve always been a defense shmefense kinda guy once the top tier dudes are gone, so I went Warrick Dunn.

Stop laughing.

I figgah since my last 4 picks will be D, D, D, K (as it is every year), I might as well fill my last bench spot with a make or break type. Dunn’s back in Tampa Bay where he was a quality fantasy back, so perhaps something magical (or miraculous) will happen? 😛

Here’s a breakdown of how my 2008 draft turned out so far. Gimme some feedback on my team. Be honest. Lemme have it. I can take it. I’m a man. But I won’t mind compliments either. Holla atcho boy!

(In a QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, Flex, Flex, Flex, TE, K, DEF, D, DB scenario)

QB
Donovan McNabb
Marc Bulger

RB
Brian Westbrook
Larry Johnson
Jonathan Stewart
Ronnie Brown
Ahmad Bradshaw
Warrick Dunn

WR
Andre Johnson
Torry Holt
Brandon Marshall
Bryant Johnson
Derrick Mason

TE
Tony Gonzalez

K
???

DEF
???

D
???

DB
???

P.S. I wouldn’t mind your choices for sleepers this year either… 🙂

See and Eat Seattle – Part II

December 1, 2007

Part I | Part II

OK class, when we last left off, we ate up Seattle favorites like Piroshky, Piroshky, Le Panier, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Cafe, and Salumi’s. This month, we’ll be exploring Paseo’s Caribbean Restaurant, Umi Sake House and Salty’s on Alki, but before then, your homework assignment please.

Huh? You didn’t do what? Don’t make me schedule a parent-teacher conference!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about here’s a lil’ briefer: See and Eat Seattle – Part I. Historically we learned that a feller by the name Doc Maynard named the city of Seattle in 1853 after chief Noah Sealth. However, you and I both agreed that the word Seattle looked more like Sea and Eat with “tle” tacked to the end. Your assignment was to help me figgah out what the “tle” stood for. Remember?

K, now that we’re all caught up, let’s dive in.

Paseo’s Caribbean Restaurant was another one of those we discovered as a “favorite” of them online Yelpians. A rustic hole-in-the-wall type, complete with aluminum siding, this quaint eatery based in the Fremont area (in Seattle, not Vegas! 😛 ) is quite popular with the locals.

Paseo's Caribbean Restaurant
Paseo’s Caribbean Restaurant

I tried the Grilled Chicken Breast plate while the other two got the Caribbean Scallops.

Grilled Chicken Breast - 6 oz. of boneless, skinless, all white goodness. Grilled over an open fire with a caramelized coating of Paseo marinade embracing in all its natural juices ($11.25)
Grilled Chicken Breast – 6 oz. of boneless, skinless, all white goodness. Grilled over an open fire with a caramelized coating of Paseo marinade embracing in all its natural juices ($11.25).

Caribbean Scallops - Savory sea scallops seared in extra virgin olive oil & our garlic tapenade. Submerged in their rojo sauce with diced tomatoes, onion, fire roasted red peppers & mixed veggies. Available with fresh cilantro or spice 1-5 stars ($11.25)
Caribbean Scallops – Savory sea scallops seared in extra virgin olive oil & our garlic tapenade. Submerged in their rojo sauce with diced tomatoes, onion, fire roasted red peppers & mixed veggies. Available with fresh cilantro or spice 1-5 stars ($11.25).

They are quite known for their sandwiches, but because of our arrival time (dinner), they were all sold out. Perhaps we should’ve went earlier to try the sandwiches out for size because the chicken was not all that great. At least with the rating that the Yelpians gave this joint.

Paseo Caribbean Restaurant
4225 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103 (map)
(206) 545-7440

Our next stop is Umi Sake House, a contemporary sushi spot that looks like it could double as a night club. Probably because the area that it sits on used to be the hip nightclub called Bada Lounge.

Umi Sake House
Umi Sake House

With its cutting edge menu that pushes the envelope, Umi has officially taken over as my favorite sushi restaurant in downtown Seattle, formerly held by Shiro’s Sushi just one street over. (Funny sidebar story: Shiro’s was “discovered” by my pops who randomly asked a stranger on the bus where the best sushi was. After gaving him a strange look, he replied “Shiro’s”. Seriously? Who asks strangers on a bus where to eat!? 😛 ).

I started with a soup that was recommended by the owner: the Spicy King Crab soup. It was very tasty, but buyer beware, da buggah is spicy!!!

Spicy King Crab Soup - King crab, onions, cilantro & black tobiko ($8)
Spicy King Crab Soup – King crab, onions, cilantro & black tobiko ($8).

We then ventured into the Octopus Carpaccio, which proved to be THE most delicious way I’ve ever eaten an octopus. And that’s saying a lot because my own tako poke recipe is the bomb! 😛

Octopus Carpaccio - thin sliced octopus served on mustard, soy, cilantro oil aioli with roasted and peppered tomato mignonette ($12)
Octopus Carpaccio – thin sliced octopus served on mustard, soy, cilantro oil aioli with roasted and peppered tomato mignonette ($12).

While checking out the Fresh/Special List, something called the Geoduck caught my eye. I was like WTH? A cross between a car and a feathered friend? Then, I found out that it’s actually pronounced “gooey duck” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoduck) and after reading a description that said “Giant clam caught live from the Pacific NW” I just had to have it!

Geoduck - Giant clam caught live from the Pacific NW (Sushi $4, Sashimi $15)
Geoduck – Giant clam caught live from the Pacific NW (Sushi $4, Sashimi $15).

Whether, it was “duck” or clam, it was featherly delish! 😛

Then we ordered a flurry of rolls, like the Spicy Crunch Roll, Legend of the Rolls, First Ave Roll, and the 007 Roll.

Spicy Crunch Roll (above) - Fried spicy tuna, with avocado topping with sweet chili aioli ($12) and Legend of the Rolls (below) - Shrimp tempura roll with crab & creamy scallops on top then torched, served with teriyaki & tobiko ($15)
Spicy Crunch Roll (above) – Fried spicy tuna, with avocado topping with sweet chili aioli ($12) and Legend of the Rolls (below) – Shrimp tempura roll with crab & creamy scallops on top then torched, served with teriyaki & tobiko ($15)

First Ave Roll - Shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, tobiko topped with spicy tuna & spicy mayonnaise ($12)
First Ave Roll – Shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, tobiko topped with spicy tuna & spicy mayonnaise ($12)

007 Roll - Spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber wrapped with salmon, lime, cilantro, shishito pepper & jalapeno ($12)
007 Roll – Spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber wrapped with salmon, lime, cilantro, shishito pepper & jalapeno ($12).

Umi Sake House
2230 First Ave
Seattle, WA 98121 (map)
(206) 374-8717
Monday through Sunday 4pm-2am

You can’t be from Hawaii and NOT stop by Seattle’s favorite “Hawaii-ish” hotspot: Ohanas, where you’re bound to see a familiar face or two! So for that reason alone, we’ll walk right across the street to enjoy some after hour drinks and live, pau hana style music (Wednesdays only). Maika`i!

Live Island Music on Wednesday Nights
Live Island Music on Wednesday Nights

`Ohana Restaurant & Sushi Bar
2207 First Ave
Seattle, WA 98121 (map)
(206) 956-9329

I mention this next stop mostly because of the food shots I had that I didn’t want to go unseen. 😉 Joey’s is a Canadian based chain of restaurants that has made its way to the great Northwest. Locally, it has a reputation of being the place to be to find lookers, both employees and patrons alike. The food wasn’t so bad either.

Ahi Tuna Tacos - Seared rare Ahi tuna, Asian coleslaw, wonton tacos, & wasabi-lime aioli. ($8.99)
Ahi Tuna Tacos – Seared rare Ahi tuna, Asian coleslaw, wonton tacos, & wasabi-lime aioli. ($8.99)

Earth & Surf Calamari - Crispy calamari, tempura vegetables & roasted red bell pepper aioli. ($9.99)
Earth & Surf Calamari – Crispy calamari, tempura vegetables & roasted red bell pepper aioli. ($9.99)

Chinatown Lettuce Wraps - Hoisin vegetables, crispy noodles, peanuts & fresh cilantro. Veggie ($8.99) Add chicken or shrimp ($2.99)
Chinatown Lettuce Wraps – Hoisin vegetables, crispy noodles, peanuts & fresh cilantro. Veggie ($8.99) Add chicken or shrimp ($2.99)

Joey’s Lake Union
901 Fairview Avenue North
Seattle, WA. 98108-4457 (map)
(206) 749-JOEY (5639)
Open daily 11am – 2am

We didn’t have big expectations for our next stop other than eating with a beautiful view of the Seattle skyline across Elliott Bay. We’ve heard a lot about Salty’s on Alki, but didn’t think it was more than just a Fish ‘N Chips type of place. Boy were we wrong.

Salty's on Alki
Salty’s on Alki

Gerry Kingen and his wife KathySalty’s on Alki is the brainchild of restaurant super-entrepreneur Gerry Kingen, of Red Robin fame, who opened his first two Salty’s Restaurants (formerly known as Salty Pickerel & Angus McHereford on the Willamette in Portland, Oregon, and Redondo Beach in Des Moines, Washington) in 1980 and 1981. In 1985, Kingen purchased the then Beach Broiler and turned it into his 3rd highly successful Salty’s Restaurant.

A large part of Salty’s success is Kingen’s commitment to keeping his guests happy. He’s so serious about that fact that he’s named his company Happy Guests International, Inc. Salty’s’ staff training program emphasizes this concept further by supplying cards that contain information like their motto, philosophy and credo that team members carry with them. They also get a handbook that touches on every aspect of their employment as well as how they should treat guests.

OK, so they’ve got the customer service part covered. How’s their food you ask? Well, their awards speak for themselves. They’ve won numerous honors ranging from Best seafood, Best brunch, Best waterfront view, Best outdoor dining, Most Romantic, Best Place to Propose, etc. (see their long list of awards here: http://www.saltys.com/awards/index.asp).

And with that, let’s dig in!

After catching your breath from the spectacular sweeping view of the Seattle skyline (viewable from almost every seat in the house), you are first greeted with their breadstick/Lavash/muffin-ish type basket.

Breadstick/Lavash/muffin-ish type basket
Breadstick/Lavash/muffin-ish type basket

Next (from their newly refurbished kitchen) came our starter order of the Coconut-Flaked Tiger Prawns, which, along with Salty’s Chowder and Wild Salmon dishes, is amongst Salty’s best sellers.

Coconut-Flaked Tiger Prawns - Sweet and sour pickled root vegetables, thick Thai chili sauce ($14.95)
Coconut-Flaked Tiger Prawns – Sweet and sour pickled root vegetables, thick Thai chili sauce ($14.95)

Did somebody say Wild Salmon was a best-seller too? OK then! Here’s the Crab-Stuffed Wild Salmon dish.

Crab-Stuffed Wild Salmon - Lemon caper relish, champagne herb beurre blanc, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, house vegetables ($36.95)
Crab-Stuffed Wild Salmon – Lemon caper relish, champagne herb beurre blanc, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, house vegetables ($36.95)

For the last dish, we chose something off the Market Sheet of the day: the Panko and Nori-Crusted Alaskan Halibut.

Panko and Nori-Crusted Alaskan Halibut - with Lemongrass scented sticky rice, black bean wilted pea vines, sunomono salad, and a spring carrot vinaigrette ($29.95)
Panko and Nori-Crusted Alaskan Halibut – with Lemongrass scented sticky rice, black bean wilted pea vines, sunomono salad, and a spring carrot vinaigrette ($29.95)

Salty’s wine selection is also quite extensive, led by their Sommelier Tim O’Brien, who, oh-by-the-way is the Washington Wine Commission’s 2006 Sommelier of the Year.

“We know that our guests are sometimes intimidated by wine so our lists are formatted to make it easy to understand and to find a wine you will be pleased with. We are proud that we have won awards from The Wine Spectator, The Wine Enthusiast Magazine and Washington Wine Commission, for ‘Excellence’ and ‘Distinction,’ but our number-one goal is to make the list easy for you to use so that wine and food happens naturally with as little stress as possible. If you don’t see a recommended food-wine pairing on our menu, please ask your server. They are trained to guide you to a choice that is right for you,” states O’Brien.

Salty’s Bar area is also a fun place to be. They have music on Monday and Friday and a pianist during the weekend brunch. For a list of what’s available at their bar, aptly named the Apothecary Bar, see:
http://www.saltys.com/seattle/menus/Seattle_Cocktails.pdf .

When asked to talk about something people may not know about Salty’s, PR Spokesperson Eileen Mintz had a bevy of items to note.

“Something else that people don’t realize is that we sell Gift Cards, merchandise, a Cookbook, and a new one coming out in January, called “Good Ciao”, Italian recipes from Cortona Italy and northwest recipes from Salty’s. A collaboration with the owners, Kathryn Kingen and Gerry, with Kathryn doing much of the writing too! Also, we are most philanthropic. Every September, we produce for charity Cooking With Class, bring in all the other top chefs in the city and they cook together in 21 tables of 8 teaching everyone a great dish! We do Sexy Syrah in the spring for FareStart, to help the homeless and the list goes on. We also make a great steak!” exclaims Mintz.

So what’s in store for Salty’s on Alki? Mintz says “The owner plans to refurbish and remodel the bar area and bring the outdoors in with enclosed seating for year round eating on the decks. The city will go crazy with this one… they have been doing this for years in Vancouver waterfront restaurants but not in Seattle. It’s going to happen!”

She sounds pretty passionate about the restaurant, as should you. Salty’s on Alki is a great place to enjoy a delicious meal with a gorgeous view of Seattle. Don’t miss it!

View of Seattle skyline from Salty's on Alki
View of Seattle skyline from Salty’s on Alki

Salty’s on Alki
1936 Harbor Avenue. S.W.
Seattle, WA 98126 (map)
(206) 937-1600

So there ya have it. My See and Eat tour of Seattle has come to a close (for now). Wipe away those tears. I’ll be back again reviewing a city near you. I hope you enjoyed this one and that it comes in handy the next time you visit the Emerald City. And speaking of the Emerald City, after hours upon hours of research, I have come to discover that the “tle” in Seattle officially* stands for “Tasty, Luscious Emerald city”. In other words, Seattle = See + Eat + Tasty Luscious Emerald city! Take that chief Sealth! 😛

* No, not really

P.S. GO WARRIORS!

Part I | Part II

See and Eat Seattle – Part I

November 1, 2007

Part I | Part II

Ever notice that if you combine the words See and Eat, you (almost) get Seattle? Not quite sure what “tle” stands for just yet, but gimme some time and I’ll figure it out. For now, let’s just go with what nature, er, make that Doc Maynard has given us when he named Seattle in 1853 after chief Noah Sealth. Let’s See and Eat Seattle shall we?

In addition to being recognized for their coffee, the Space Needle and grunge music, Seattle is also well known for Pike Place Market, the public market in Belltown (downtown) overlooking Elliott Bay. Fittingly, that’s where we shall start our feast-a-thon.

Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market

Now of course you can go to Pike Place Market for some of the freshest seafood in town, but it’s the little hole-in-the-wall type discoveries that will keep you coming back. Russian bakery Piroshky Piroshky is one of those places.

Piroshky Piroshky
Piroshky Piroshky

Since opening their doors in October of 1992, Piroshky Piroshky has been serving up these little Russian treats to many locals and tourists alike.

Piroshky Piroshky Goodies
Piroshky Piroshky Goodies

At any time on any given day, it is common to see a line forming out the door for patient patrons. According to a dated sign hanging on the wall, their best sellers are:

  • Apple Cinnamon Roll
  • Cheddar Cheese Roll
  • Potato Mushroom & Onion
  • Potato & Cheese
  • Smoked Salmon Pate
  • Cranberry Apple Roll
  • Marzipan Roll
  • Smoked Mozzarella Broccoli & Mushroom

Smoked Mozzarella Broccoli & Mushroom - Whole
Smoked Mozzarella Broccoli & Mushroom – Whole

Smoked Mozzarella Broccoli & Mushroom - Eaten
Smoked Mozzarella Broccoli & Mushroom – Eaten

Chicken Mushroom and Rice - Whole
Chicken Mushroom and Rice – Whole

Chicken Mushroom and Rice - Eaten
Chicken Mushroom and Rice – Eaten

Apple Cinnamon Roll
Apple Cinnamon Roll

Owner Oliver Kotelnikov says that the piroshkies are baked in different shapes to help the bakers remember what is stuffed inside of them.

Piroshky preparation
Piroshky preparation

A cute concept for a cute and delicious eatery.

Piroshky Piroshky
Pike Place Market
1908 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101 (map)
(206) 441-6068
Open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm
 

Also well known and seemingly popular amongst the locals is a French bakery, fittingly named Le Panier Very French Bakery.

Le Panier Very French Bakery
Le Panier Very French Bakery

Due to the time of day (late afternoon/early evening), we were not able to get a good assessment of their full menu options, but their Tarte aux Pommes (Apple Tart) was tarte aux tasty.

Tarte aux Pommes (Apple Tart)
Tarte aux Pommes (Apple Tart)

Le Panier Very French Bakery
Pike Place Market
1902 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101 (map)
(206) 441-3669
info@lepanier.com
Mon-Sat 7am-6 pm; Sunday 8am-5pm
 

Next on the Pike’s hitlist is Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Café.

Beecher's Handmade Cheese Café
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Café

Primarily serving as a cheese factory (yes, they actually make their cheese here!) and a deli/market where they sell their assortment of artisan cheeses and cheese related products, the small café up front serves up deli style sandwiches, soups and their award-winning Mac & Cheese dish.

Beecher's Handmade Cheese Café sign
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Café sign

Though a bit on the pricey side ($4.60 for an 8 oz container or $7.95 for a 16 oz container), the rich, cheesy flavor soon makes you forget.

Mac & Cheese from Beecher's Handmade Cheese Café
Mac & Cheese from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Café

Great for a late afternoon snack!

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Café
Pike Place Market
1600 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101 (map)
(206) 956-1964
Open 9am-6pm daily
 

“Enough with the snacks awwwready!” you say? “I want a real meal outside of Pike’s!” say you? Say no more fussypants. Say no more.

We’ll take you to a uniquely Italian sandwich restaurant called Salumi’s located in the heart of Pioneer Square on 3rd Avenue.

The long line outside of Salumi's
The long line outside of Salumi’s

Known primarily for their cured meats, this little delicatessen serves up tasty, but costly sandwiches using their famous cured meats as the core. Once a favorite of Seattlites on Yelp!, it’s cooled down a bit, but still boasts a 4.5 rating (out of 5) based on 65 reviews.

We scored prime street parking right in front of Salumi, but, as expected, our wait was significant, causing me to have to re-feed the meter, numerous times. LOL!

Parking meter tickets
Parking meter tickets

Once you get in the door, the excitement starts to fill you (a sensation that always occurs when you have to wait a long time for something you anticipate). You’ll notice the cured meats hanging in the window to your right.

Cured Meats at Salumi
Cured Meats at Salumi

As you approach the Subway-esque sandwich making area, do not dilly dally. These sandwich makers seem to just want to keep the line moving and expect you to know what you’re doing. We quickly and frantically ordered the Prosciutto, Fig, Goat Cheese ($9.50) and the day’s special of Fennel Sausage with Cheese ($9.50).

Prosciutto, Fig, Goat Cheese ($9.50). One half was requested with no tomatoes FYI.
Prosciutto, Fig, Goat Cheese ($9.50). One half was requested with no tomatoes FYI.

Fennel Sausage with Cheese ($9.50)
Fennel Sausage with Cheese ($9.50)

My only complaints (aside from the price tag) are the overly tough/hard/crunchy bread (I couldn’t even fit it in my mouth to crunch down on), and the tight and crammy seating situation. The wait and ambience weren’t too bad, especially knowing that we were enjoying one of Seattle’s favorite lunch spots (2003 Best of Citysearch winner, 2004 Where Magazine Chef’s Choice Dining Award).

Salumi Artisan Cured Meats
309 Third Ave South
Seattle, WA 98104 (map)
(206) 621 8772
Tuesday-Friday 11am-4pm
 

Before this becomes a Harry Potter-like novel, I think I’ll end it here and pick it up again next month for part 2. Still on the hitlist for part 2 are Paseo’s Caribbean Restaurant, Salty’s on Alki and Umi Sake House. On the possibly-to-be-mentioned list are: Shiro’s Sushi, Joey’s, Fox Sports Bar & Grill, Kiku Tempura House, Ram Restaurant & Bighorn Brewery, and of course, everyone’s favorite… Ohana’s!

Until then, your homework assignment is to help me think of what the “tle” in Seattle stands for. Sea and Eat Seattle Part 2 coming right up! *ding*

Part I | Part II