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Eastside Report - Highlights & Lowlights

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Just spent a long weekend on the Eastside and caught at least part of the heat wave Seattle was going through last week -- yay! Because of the 405-S closure over the weekend, we opted to ditch our reservation at Tilth -- so this is purely an Eastside report... Here goes:

Brix Wine Cafe (Juanita) -- We got in Friday night and opted for somewhere close to the hotel. Since it was a hot night, we thought we'd try and catch a table outside. DH and I split the caprese salad -- heirloom tomatoes were strangely warm -- almost hot -- but the cheese was cold, so we got over ourselves and ate it. I had the pulled pork sandwich -- if you're thinking you'll have a down home Southern pulled pork sammich, don't order it. The pork is beyond pulled -- in fact pulverized to the point of deviled ham consistency. I was bummed. The highlight -- the Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl riesling. Perfect for an 85 degree evening!

Cafe Juanita -- Despite another thread getting a lot of traffic right now on the board, we had a great experience. Could have helped that we had completely different items than the OP on that thread -- including a terrific papa al pomodoro soup, well seasoned and rich with tomato flavor. The prosciutto and summer fruit (melon & figs) was ok and the burrata with assorted fritti fine, but nothing to write home about. The goat cheese gnocchi with lamb sugo on the other hand -- excellent. I should have ordered the entree portion The lamb entree was also excellent -- it was served over some kind of hummus like puree.

George's Place -- Breakfast was good as usual. DH's greek omelette very tasty -- I love that they serve tzatziki with it. I was running around on my own later in our stay and had the gyro pita as well. It's served with an enormous greek salad. Good value.

Cactus -- Really enjoyed the navajo fry bread taco w/ carnitas. DH liked the butternut squash enchiladas (probably even better in season). If I'm really honest though, is it better than most El Torito's? Mmm, probably not, but in an area where there are so many chains, I'd rather support these guys (Just wait, I'll find out this is a chain, too. :-P) They also had a lot of interesting drinks -- including a non-alcoholic "Mexican lemonade" which adds jalapenos and cilantro to standard lemonade. Good stuff.

Pomegranate Bistro -- Great breakfast on Sunday morning. Ordered the shrimp and grits w/ scrambled eggs. Tasty and definitely generous with the shrimp. Would have been even better with an over-medium egg. Awesome coconut banana muffin. Got it to go and ate it two days later -- it was still moist!) Firebread also looked killer -- we'll order that next trip.

Bamboo Garden -- There were only two of us so there was a ton of stuff we would have liked to get...ended up doing hot and sour soup, green onion pancakes, dry fried spicy green beans (the hit of the meal), szechuan chicken. Even this was too much food for two people. Was trying to figure out which chicken dish is the one with the tingly szechuan peppercorns. If anyone knows, please let me know!

On the froyo wars, DH's vote goes to Ce Fiore -- he digs the raspberry-pomegranate.

And finally -- the other thing that has to be mentioned is the Mac and Jack's African Amber Ale.
A top notch beer out of Redmond -- and given the hot weather, we had a few of 'em at Zeek's Pizza. Zeek's is also pretty decent. We had the Wood Butcher. Only would have asked for it to be cooked a little more -- it wasn't undercooked - we just like the pepperoni a little more done.

Mac and Jacks: http://www.macandjacks.com/index.php.

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Brix Wine Cafe
9749 NE 119th Way, Kirkland, WA 98034

Cafe Juanita
Kirkland, WA, Kirkland, WA

Cactus
Kirkland, WA, Kirkland, WA

Bamboo Garden
202 106th Pl NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

George's Place
108 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033

Pomegranate Bistro
18005 NE 68th St, Redmond, WA 98052

Zeeks Pizza of Kirkland
124 Park Ln, Kirkland, WA 98033

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  1. > Cactus -- Really enjoyed the navajo fry bread taco w/ carnitas. DH liked the butternut squash enchiladas (probably even better in season). If I'm really honest though, is it better than most El Torito's? Mmm, probably not, but in an area where there are so many chains, I'd rather support these guys (Just wait, I'll find out this is a chain, too. :-P)

    They are a chain, though commonly-owned and only 3 locations.