Pie – Mac and Cheese w/Peas Pie, Key Lime Pie, Coconut Cream Pie

The Food

Mac and Cheese Pie

Mac and Cheese w/Peas Pie –  Price: $4.95

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Coconut Cream and Key Lime

Key Lime Pie –  Price: $4.95

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Coconut Cream Pie –  Price: $4.95

Rating: ★★★★½ 

The Review

The same weekend that found me in Tacoma also had me exploring the Fremont area of Seattle. I spotted the signage for Pie on my way to the Fremont Sunday Market and I knew this would be my lunch destination. After exploring the wares at the market and successfully avoiding spoiling my lunch plans with tempting food cart food, I arrived at Pie. Their menu spanned all kinds of comfort foods in pie form.  Chicken pot pie, broccoli and cheese pie, peppered steak pie, English meat pie and mac and cheese with peas.  Craving mac and cheese from the day before, my choice was a no brainer. The warm pie was plucked from the warming cabinet and I was soon settled in for lunch. My first impression was that it was too cute to eat. Nicely browned pastry with a browned crumbled top. I cut the pie in half. It was full of cheesy noodles dotted with peas. The crust was flaky and not too over bearing.  The mac and cheese was moist but not runny and had a good full cheese taste.  It was a fabulous lunch on a very cold but sunny day.

They also have sweet pies and I could not leave without buying a couple to go. I picked a couple of our favorites, Key Lime and Coconut Cream to share with B. They survived the trip back to Vancouver and after the first bite of the coconut cream I wished I had bought even more. This was the creamiest, most “coconutiest” coconut cream pie we have ever had. The key lime was also great with a smooth tart finish. Pie is now definitely on our list for future Seattle dessert stops!

Reviewers

M –  Mac and Cheese, Key Lime, Coconut Cream

B – Key Lime, Coconut Cream

Pie
3515 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Tel: 206.436.8590 http://sweetandsavorypie.com/
 

Pie on Urbanspoon

Embers BBQ House – Beef Dip and Pulled Pork Sandwich

The Food

Embers BBQ - Beef Dip

Beef Dip – Thick cut oven braised beef with onions and cheese served with an au jus dip  Price: $9.00

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Embers BBQ - Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork Sandwich – slow roasted pulled pork with red onions and their own coleslaw and homemade BBQ sauce.  Price: $8.50

Rating: ★★★★½ 

The Review

Embers BBQ House has been on our radar for quite a while but we haven’t had a reason to be out in the Mission area. Finally a Saturday rolled around without any plans and we headed east for a drive along Lougheed highway. Embers is tucked behind the main street in Mission. If you weren’t looking for it you probably wouldn’t know it was there. Heck, we were looking for it and we had trouble finding it. Even our GPS took us in the wrong direction along Logan!

We arrived around lunch time so the menu was limited to mostly sandwiches and wraps as the meat plates are only available after 5pm. We ordered the pulled pork sandwich with fries and the beef dip with caesar salad. As we were waiting for our meals, we watched the cook staff in the open kitchen pull large pieces of meat from the ovens. When you are hungry, this sort of show can make you down right famished!

A couple of years ago we attended the Canadian BBQ Championships up at Whistler (if you haven’t gone before it is a must for the BBQ fan!). While sampling the beef brisket from all the different BBQ teams, there was one that really stood out to me. It was a team from Calgary Alberta and what made their brisket a little different was their rub. It wasn’t the traditional paprika based rub that most teams put on their BBQ. Paprika was in it but there was something more, something different. It tasted more Mexican. Yup, their rub had all the tell tale signs of the seasons you would taste in a taco. Cumin, coriander, etc. It wasn’t exactly taco seasoning though, it was a highly calculated mixture of a traditional BBQ rub and Mexican flavours, and it really stood out.

Where am I going with this? Well, the pulled pork sandwich that I had at Embers BBQ House had a very similar flavour. This time however it seemed like it was coming from their BBQ sauce and not the rub, although it may have been both. Not having anything else in this meal with BBQ sauce, it was hard to tell if that is where it was in fact coming from. But where ever it came from, I liked it. I liked it a lot. It is a unique BBQ flavour profile I have only tasted once before and I want more of it. Once the weather gets a little nicer it will be one of my goals to recreate this unique flavour within my own rub.

As far as the french fries go? Well, it really depends on what kind of fry you like. I really enjoyed these, although I know there will be a lot of people who will not. They are full of french fry flavour but kind of on the limp side. The easiest way for me to describe their fries is to compare them to the fries at the classic Dick’s Drive-ins in the Seattle area. These are exactly the same in taste and texture, the only difference is the fries at Embers were a little thicker cut. Dick’s Drive-in fries are infamous in the Seattle area, most people absolutely love them or hate them, and I can see Ember’s fries being the same.

Not surprisingly, the other meal was once again a beef dip sandwich. The meat was juicy and stacked high on the fresh bun.  The cheese was well melted, the onions were carmelized well, and the au jus was dark and full of flavour. Just a really great beef dip sandwich. The only disappointment was the caesar salad’s size. The salad itself was perfectly dressed and had good flavor. There just wasn’t that much of it (three or four bites) especially compared to the heaping mound of fries that came with the pulled pork sandwich.

We wish this place was a little closer to home. We have yet to be able to get out there for dinner as they are closed at 8pm every night and are not open on Sundays or Mondays. If you happen to be out in the valley, Embers is a must stop for good BBQ.

 

Reviewers

M – Beef Dip
B –  Pulled pork sandwich

 

Embers BBQ House
#107-32559 Logan Ave,  Mission BC
Tel: (604) 826-1191
http://www.embersbbqhouse.com
 

Embers BBQ House on Urbanspoon

Stink Meat and Cheese – The Stinker

The Food

Stink Meat and Cheese

 

The Stinker – Grilled peanut butter, blackberry preserves, bacon & blue cheese on multi-grain bread. Served with a small house salad (Mixed greens, seedless red grapes, bleu cheese, and honey roasted nuts tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette.) Price: $9.00

Rating: ★★★★½ 

The Review

On a cold but sunny Saturday in February I had some time to kill in Tacoma, so I spent the morning hunting through the antique and collectable stores along Tacoma’s Antique Row. I ended my exploring at the Modern Cottage Company, a store my sister had asked me to check out. The owner, Alison, had some great refinished furniture pieces. She also had a great lunch suggestion. Just around the corner was a small deli/restaurant called Stink Meat and Cheese.

The name might be off-putting for some but it was just the kind of place I couldn’t pass up. Their short menu consisted of sandwiches, fresh salads and some daily specialty items including mac and cheese. The mac and cheese was tempting but I went with one of the more unusual items on the menu, The Stinker sandwich. This grilled sandwich consisted of chunky peanut butter, blackberry preserves, bacon & blue cheese crumbles on multigrain bread. My first bite impression was “Why isn’t bacon on every peanut butter and jam sandwich?”. The bacon added a new layer of saltiness that complemented the sweetness of the blackberry preserves. The blue cheese taste was kind of lost in the sandwich but it was in full force in the fresh side salad. The light salad was well balanced in flavor and textures. The creaminess of the blue cheese was matched against the crunchiness of the nuts. The fresh bursts of sweetness from the grapes was a good contrast to the tang of the balsamic dressing. It was a great paring with the rich tasting Stinker sandwich.

So if you are shopping along Antique Row in Tacoma, walk a block up the hill on 7th Street to Stink Meat and Cheese. Refuel on a delicious and satisfying sandwich and then head back out for more adventures!

Reviewers

M –  The Stinker

Stink Meat and Cheese
628 St Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402
Tel: (253) 426-1347 http://www.stinktacoma.com

 

Stink Cheese & Meat on Urbanspoon

Fairway Cafe – TBS Sandwich, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, French Dip Sandwich, Biscuits and Gravy, Breakfast Special

The Food

Fairway Cafe - breakfast special

Breakfast Special: 2 waffles with apple caramel walnut sauce with 1 egg (over easy) and 1 meat (sausage patty).
Price: $6.50

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

fairway cafe - biscuits and gravy

Biscuits and Gravy 2 buttermilk biscuits smothered in sausage gravy with 1 egg (over easy) and hash browns.
Price: $7.95

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Grilled TBS Sandwich Turkey, bacon and Swiss cheese on thick cut sourdough, served with homemade BBQ sauce and fries.
Price: $8.99

Rating: ★★★★½ 

French Dip Thinly sliced roast beef simmered in au jus on a fresh french roll. With au jus and fries.
Price: $8.99

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

fairway cafe - grilled cheese

Grilled Cheese Sandwich 3 cheeses melted on sourdough with salad.
Price: $6.99

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

The Review

We haven’t been as frequent with our posts as we would like,  but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been hunting for good, cheap eats. The delay in posting means we have had time to visit the Fairway Cafe a few times and review more than one set of meals. In fact, we have been to the Fairway Cafe more times than most places we go to. It’s really good diner/cafe in a quaint little town, and can get very busy on weekends. It seems as if the entire town of Lynden is at the cafe at times! It also happens to be that the Fairway Cafe is right beside another one of our favorite spots, the recently reviewed Doris Jean’s Bakery!

The thing about the Fairway Cafe is not necessarily the quality of the food, although it is good. It isn’t necessarily about the amount of food, although the portions are HUGE. It is about a small cafe, in a small town, where all the locals hang out. It is about  serving consistently good, ol’ fashioned home cooked meals at a reasonable price and with a smile. Even if you have never been to the cafe before, you feel like you are welcome and at home. The decor is simple and the tables and booths may have seen better days, but there is just something that keeps bringing us back.  Like a favorite old sweater or pair of shoes, there is just a comfort in being there.

Most visits to the Fairway Cafe have been for lunch, because as mentioned, it can get very busy there on a weekend, especially at breakfast.

Breakfast

I would say the breakfasts are your typical American fare, nothing too fancy. Just freshly prepared, hot, and wholesome food. The Biscuits and Gravy included baked from scratch biscuits, with a homemade country gravy with sausage crumbles.  I am a sucker for biscuits and gravy. While the previously reviewed Jethro’s Fine Grub’s biscuits and gravy were heavier with a bacon infused gravy, the biscuits at the Fairway Cafe are traditional, very light and fluffy and compliment the thick rich sausage gravy well. I ordered the egg over easy, which there were no complaints, and received a massive load of hash browns. The hashbrowns were a little different than your normal variety. They seemed to be thinner, almost like a flake, rather than a typical shred. Nothing bad with them, in fact they were quite good,  just a little different.

The breakfast special is always changing. On the morning we had our camera, it was 2 waffles with apple caramel walnut sauce with 1 egg and 1 meat. The waffles were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The apple caramel with walnut sauce was not too sweet and perfect for a fall morning. The egg (over easy medium) was cooked to perfection and the breakfast sausage was a typical breakfast sausage though not as greasy as you can get at some diners. At first I thought the portion size seemed small, considering the sizes of other meals we have had here, but after I was done I was full so I guess looks can be deceiving.

Lunch

As mentioned, most trips to the Fairway Cafe find us there at lunch time. Not that I’m complaining as their Grilled TBS is now one of my favorite go-to sandwiches. The Grilled TBS, or Turkey, Bacon, Swiss also comes with a side of fries (or a side salad) and a side of homemade BBQ sauce. The sandwich itself is huge, with several layers of turkey, multiple strips of bacon, and melted Swiss cheese, all on chewy sourdough grilled to toasty perfection.

The sandwich itself is quite dry as there are no sauces on it, which is why there is the side of BBQ sauce for dipping. For me, I prefer my sandwiches to be on the dry side so I reserve my BBQ sauce for dipping the fries in. The large portion of fries are very similar, if not the very same fries that Costco sells in their cafe and they are very good for dipping. Their BBQ sauce, which almost seems like a store bought sauce that they have added their own ingredients to, is very addicting. I am not sure whether or not it is entirely made from scratch as it reminds me of what my mom would have done with a store bought sauce, added her own fixings to make it her own. To me, this just adds to the homey, comfort food feeling. As with most things here, the portions are large and you will definitely be full if you are even able to eat your entire meal!

If there is a french dip (or beef dip) sandwich on the menu, chances are I’ll probably order it. After all that experience, I’ve become very picky at what I want in a french dip sandwich. The sandwich at the Fairway Cafe hits most of the high points. Fresh soft bun, grilled in garlic butter, and a dark, full bodied au jus. The beef is the only stumbling block. While it is flavorful and tender, it is sliced super thin and then grilled. At first glance I thought it was “deli beef” which always kills a french dip for me. Fortunately it was freshly sliced roast, but the thin slicing and grilling tend to dry it out a little. The bun and the au jus save it, making it an above average french dip sandwich.

We have talked about how much we are fans of a grilled cheese sandwich in a previous post. Here at the Fairway Cafe they serve it with three cheeses and a choice of bread. They don’t scrimp on the amount of cheese on this sandwich which is emphasized by the cheese strings with every bite.  There is so much cheese and tasty grilled bread that I prefer to pair it with a salad instead of fries (although if that is your thing, go for it!). The side salads here are fresh with freshly cut up vegetables (radish and tomatoes in the pictured salad), croutons and cheese. A side of baby carrots rounds out the plate.  A very satisfying meal!

From what we’ve heard online, The Fairway Cafe has gone through some bad times a few years ago, but since the current owners have taken over, things have been better. The food is above average in quality, prices are relatively cheap, and the portions are huge. The staff are friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable about the dishes.Both the service and the food is quick, you can usually get in and out in less than an hour…that is if you’re not waiting in line to get in. If there is a line, don’t worry, it moves quickly. The cafe is larger than you think and the quick service helps free up tables quickly.

Reviewers

B – Grilled TBS, Biscuits and Gravy
M –  Breakfast special, French Dip, Grilled Cheese

Fairway Cafe
1726 Front St, Lynden,WA 98264
Tel: (360) 318-1302

Fairway Cafe on Urbanspoon