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102 Cuisines: Taking Inventory (SEA)

equinoise Jan 25, 2009 04:14 PM

As some may have read, an out-of-work playwright in Santa Monica recently took it upon himself to eat in consecutive days one meal per day representing over 100 international cuisines. Most all of this was done in the greater Los Angeles area. For details: http://manbitesworld.com/

Looking at this made me ponder whether a similar feat would be even possible in the Puget Sound. While I lack this ambition (maybe), I decided to take stock of what's locally available by pasting in the Biting Man's list and seeing what is represented in the 206 (and 425, 253).

For each cuisine, I entered one or two examples I had heard of. I include only those I've tried and/or liked most where discrimination is possible. I placed a solitary ? where I had no candidates. I placed a (?) following places where I had doubts whether the listed place was actually serving items true to the cuisine in question (as opposed to pan-regional cuisines).

Personally, I would really like to see some Ghanian, true Lebanese, Burmese, Egyptian and Croatian/Slovak food.

Any ideas about what's lurking out there?

Day 1: Mexico : La Carta de Oaxaca, El Quetzal

Day 2: Argentina : ?

Day 3: Spain: Harvest Vine; Txori

Day 4: Thailand: Noodle Boat; Sea-Thai

Day 5: Ukraine: Cafe Yarmaka (?); From Russia with Love

Day 6: Vietnam: Tamarind Tree; Green Leaf

Day 7: Honduras: El Sabor Chapin (?


Day 8: Poland: Dom Polski; George's Deli (?)

Day 9: Serbia: ?

Day 10: North Korea: ?

Day 11: Trinidad and Tobago: Pam's Kitchen; Kallaloo

Day 12: Morocco: Marrakesh; Kasbah

Day 13: Pakistan: Naan N Curry; Kabab House

Day 14: Peru: ?

Day 15: England: George and Dragon (?)

Day 16: Jamaica: Eloi; Island Soul

Day 17: South Africa: ?

Day 18: Ecuador: ?

Day 19: Taiwan: Facing East; Yea's Wok

Day 20: Sri Lanka: ?

Day 21: Croatia: ?

Day 22: Ghana: ?

Day 23: Italy: Il Terrazzo Carmine; La Medusa

Day 24: Laos: Thai Palms; Vieng Thong

Day 25: Germany: Feirabend; Hans' Deli

Day 26: Singapore: Malay Satay Hut

Day 27: Nepal: Everest Kitchen; Annapurna

Day 28: Guatemala: El Sabor Chapin

Day 29: Russia: Cafe Yarmaka; From Russia with Love

Day 30: Lebanon: Karam's; Mediterranean Kitchen

Day 31: Lithuania: ?

Day 32: Venezuela: ?

Day 33: Canada: ?

Day 34: Indonesia: Julia's Indonesian Kitchen; Padi

Day 35: Kenya: ?

Day 36: Chile: ?

Day 37: Bosnia and Herzegovina: ?

Day 38: Cambodia: Phnom Penh Noodle House; Cafe Kiriom

Day 39: Ethiopia: Meskel; Ras Dashen

Day 40: Armenia: ?

Day 41: Burma: ?

Day 42: Nigeria: ?

Day 43: France: Cremant; Rover's

Day 44: Ireland: Fado (?)

Day 45: Haiti: Waid's

Day 46: Egypt: ?

Day 47: Portugal: Brasa (?)

Day 48: Greece: Panos Klefitko; Georgia's

Day 49: Nicaragua: ?

Day 50: Switzerland: ?

Day 51: Syria: ?

Day 52: Malaysia: Malay Satay Hut

Day 53: Bolivia: Copacabana (?)

Day 54: Bahrain: ?

Day 55: Austria: Danube Bistro (?)

Day 56: Uzbekistan: ?

Day 57: Hungary: Budapest Bistro

Day 58: Australia: Australian Meat Pie Co.

Day 59: Japan: Nishino; Tsukushinbo

Day 60: Denmark: ?

Day 61: Colombia: ?

Day 62: Iraq: Mawadda Cafe

Day 63: Georgia: ?

Day 64: Eritrea: Dahlak; Hidmo Eritrean Cafe

Day 65: Bulgaria: ?

Day 66: Norway: Svedala Bakery; Copper Gate (?)

Day 67: India: Spice Route; Curry Leaf

Day 68: Bangladesh: ?

Day 69: Cuba: Paseo (?)

Day 70: Afghanistan: Kabul; Bamiyan

Day 71: Belize: ?

Day 72: Romania: ?

Day 73: China: Bamboo Garden; Szechuan Chef

Day 74: Vatican City: ?

Day 75: Israel: ?

Day 76: Czech Republic: Danube Bistro (?)

Day 77: New Zealand: ?

Day 78: Brazil: Tempero do Brasil; Ipanema Grill

Day 79: Tunisia: ?

Day 80: Mozambique: ?

Day 81: Philippines: Kawali Grill; Kusina Filipina

Day 82: Hong Kong: Jade Garden; Homestyle HK Cafe

Day 83: Senegal: Afrikando

Day 84: Turkey: Bistro Turkuaz; Espheseus

Day 85: U.S.: Crush; Union

Day 86: South Korea: Kawon; Sorabol

Day 87: Scotland: ?

Day 88: Iran: Persian Grocery & Deli; Saffron Kebabs

Day 89: El Salvador: Mi Chalateca; SalvaMex/pupuseria (Burien)

Day 90: Puerto Rico: La Isla

Day 91: Macau: ?

Day 92: Belgium: Brouwer's

Day 93: Sweden: Svedala Bakery; Copper Gate (?)

Day 94: Finland: ?

Day 95: Latvia: ?

Day 96: Yemen: ?

Day 97: Dominican Republic: ?

Day 98: Tibet: Everest Kitchen; Annapurna

Day 99: Samoa: ?

Day 100: Jordan: ?

Day 101: Costa Rica: ?

Day 102: Slovakia: ?

  1. Teknotic Nov 4, 2010 10:18 PM

    Argentina - Buenos Aires Grill
    Venezuela - Meza
    Burma - no, but supposedly, Bombay Grill has a menu item or two
    Ireland - Mulleady's
    Australia - Kangaroo & Kiwi (with an added bonus of New Zealand)
    Iran - Caspian
    Jordan - Petra Mediterranean

    Also, we've got :
    Eritrea - Hidmo

    And personally, I really like the salvadoreno food at Tropicos Breeze

    Bombay Grill
    4737 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

    Buenos Aires Grill
    2 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

    Buenos Aires Grill
    2000 Virginia Street, Seattle, WA 98121

    1. o
      orangefleabait Nov 3, 2010 11:25 PM

      el sabor chapin isn't listed as honduran in this stranger article : http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/un...
      but if you know about a honduran restaurant, i would love to hear it. actually, searching honduras is how i found this very interesting article. a few new ones for the bucket list!

      8 Replies
      1. re: orangefleabait
        equinoise Nov 4, 2010 11:25 AM

        Still have not been to Chapin. I heard from somewhere, aside from the Stranger piece, that they had Honduran offerings. I have been Honduras, and enjoyed the cuisine there, especially the sopa de marinera served on the bay of Tela; the pupusas I had at a little place in Copan; and the balleadas we bought from a stand outside the airport in Roatan.

        This list could use a few more updates. Several of the places I originally listed have closed. I think El Comal in Bellevue is the best Salvadoran place now, and Paladar is a good cuban option.

        1. re: equinoise
          equinoise Oct 12, 2011 11:17 AM


          Bosnian: Dino's Grill in Tukwila is apparently serving at least cevapi.

          1. re: equinoise
            dagrassroots Oct 12, 2011 01:24 PM

            Peruvian: San Fernando roasted chicken on rainier, a couple blocks south of dearborn, has pretty decent chicken depending on what time you get there. Other dishes sound promising as well.

            1. re: dagrassroots
              GreenYoshi Oct 13, 2011 12:50 AM

              "pretty decent chicken depending on what time you get there"

              Explain. When is optimal chicken time?

              1. re: GreenYoshi
                dagrassroots Oct 13, 2011 04:19 PM

                It's a crap shoot because they dont roast them to order. Not sure if they have a roasting schedule.

                1. re: dagrassroots
                  equinoise Oct 17, 2011 11:42 AM

                  We had no choice but to wait for our chicken from San Fernando, which took about 20 minutes, and it came out great. It would seem you could always request a freshly roasted one, and they may be willing to do it, assuming such a wait is feasible.

                  1. re: equinoise
                    dagrassroots Oct 17, 2011 04:45 PM

                    Did your try anything else there?
                    The tripe stew looked interesting and I also want to try some of their other traditional dishes.

                    1. re: equinoise
                      tsquare Oct 17, 2011 05:45 PM

                      My experience was okay, but both of us were very aware of how salty the chicken was after the fact. We drank water all night long and woke parched. I did not really notice it while eating. I think I am done trying Peruvian food (one of the worst meals in my life was the place in White Center, since closed.) Unless somehow I end up in Peru. Oh, and it wasn't their fault, but we went to Andina in Portland and before the meal was served, I got a screaming migraine, so my association there is not so good.

        2. d
          dkcaudill Nov 25, 2009 12:10 PM

          I've been pretty floored by the lack of diversity in Seattle as compared with Nashville and Atlanta. I had certainly expected the opposite. Hell, we had entire neighborhoods of middle eastern food.
          I guess it just depends on what immigrant groups your city draws... in the southeast we had a lot more africans, middle easterners, and latin americans from the looks of our restaurants.

          3 Replies
          1. re: dkcaudill
            mrnelso Nov 26, 2009 04:04 PM

            It's all about the wars, baby. We have been seeded with strong representations, through the years, with each tending to be assimilated and diffused over time. Railroad brought Chinese, WWII Japanese, Korean Conflict Korean, Vietnam, Vietnamese (some great stuff still), and a little Cambodian. Oddly, we have good sampling of Ethiopian/Eritrean. In South Park, bring a translator if you don't speak Spanish.
            Italian immigration predates all this, of course, but its history is too rich to relate here. For today, find Big John's PFI and Salumi, from which sites entre to the current community can still be had. Mention Italo's and be ready to hear stories...

            1. re: mrnelso
              orangefleabait Nov 3, 2010 11:23 PM

              the italo's of shoreline? that's a passable indian place and extremely seedy karaoke bar now?? you just brought me back...

              1. re: orangefleabait
                mrnelso Nov 5, 2010 02:11 PM

                I know nothing of Italo's in Shoreline. The Italo's of memory was a dark little joint on Rainier (or was it MLK?), when I knew it, in the seventies (though it may have moved around some).
                When googled "red-sauce joint," just now, a wikipedia entry popped-up that pretty much describes what I remember.

          2. w
            wallyz Nov 18, 2009 12:40 PM

            Sanfernandos for Peruvian., Ecuadorian/ Venezualan/ Colombian? Marimba, at Rucker and Hewitt in Everett.

            2 Replies
            1. re: wallyz
              equinoise Nov 19, 2009 10:29 AM

              Marimba does have an interesting assortment of South American dishes. I am usually wary of restaurants attempting more than two cuisines, but these people seem to know what they are doing. http://www.marimba-restaurant.com/

              Anyone been?

              1. re: equinoise
                wallyz Nov 19, 2009 01:58 PM

                I've been, and was just as leery as you about their range, but I have had no complaints.

            2. soypower Aug 7, 2009 10:15 PM

              Is San Fernando Roasted Chicken in Lynnwood still open? I went there a while ago, but they had some pretty good Peruvian.

              1 Reply
              1. re: soypower
                ritabwh Feb 10, 2010 05:39 PM

                I stopped by on Sunday. The place was packed. Every table full. I had not been there since they opened, and one more time after that. It was good to see them busy. I finally ordered the fish cebiche. A bit expensive, but it was outstanding. I tcould have been a little mor chile hot, but very good, and not too limey tasting. Reminded me of the Panamanian style ceviche I used to eat in Panama. It came with toasted/roasted/dried beans of some sort. It was fairly tasty. Can anyone tell me what that is?

              2. d
                dnamj May 18, 2009 09:36 PM

                El Salvador: Salvadorian Bakery in Burien!

                3 Replies
                1. re: dnamj
                  equinoise Jul 29, 2009 08:49 AM

                  Dominica: Eloi

                  I just visited Eloi, and learned, I am ashamed to say, that there exists a Commonwealth of Dominica, which comprises an island in the Lesser Antilles. I had read that Eloi's owner was from "Dominica" and assumed this meant the Dominican Republic.

                  The island looks pristine and lovely. I wish I could say the same about the food at Eloi.

                  1. re: equinoise
                    dagrassroots Jul 29, 2009 02:18 PM

                    One more to add to the list? http://www.queenanneview.com/2009/07/...
                    Hopefully its a good representation of Ghanaian food.

                    1. re: dagrassroots
                      equinoise Jul 29, 2009 02:29 PM

                      I love Ghanian food. Hope springs eternal. Good find.

                2. f
                  forkit Jan 27, 2009 08:03 AM

                  I hate to see the Vietnamese options limited to Tamarind Tree and Greenleaf. This city is blessed with a plethora of Vietnamese options , most of which I have never visited but I would certainly recommend The Lemongrass on Jackson and the nearby Saigon Deli. There are many Vietnamese restaurants on Raineer, especially if you count those that specialize in pho and deli takeout. with sandwiches. Many of these are patronized mostly by Vietnamese people, who may not use Chowhound.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: forkit
                    equinoise Jan 27, 2009 08:52 AM

                    By no means did I intend to "limit" possible Vietnamese restaurants to only those two mentioned. As I explained, where there were a mutlitude of examples of a given cusisine, I listed only the two I liked best. I also enjoy The Lemongrass, and also several different pho and bahn mi shops. I think you can understand that making a comprehensive list of the plethora of worthy Vietnamese restaurants in the city--perhaps a worthwhile task--is really unrelated to this particular project.

                    1. re: forkit
                      kkbriggs Jan 28, 2009 06:30 AM

                      Another Vietnamese option is Wrap O Roll - on Jackson just east of I-5. Had lunch there with a friend a week or so ago and have been wanting to go back ever since. The crispy tofu appetizer was absolutely addicting, and everything we tried (we way over-ordered with four dishes, but we tend to do that...) was fresh and very good.

                    2. c
                      cvn66 Jan 26, 2009 08:21 PM

                      Vatican City is Roman, so that shouldn't be that hard to find at any good Italian place in Seattle.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cvn66
                        equinoise Jan 26, 2009 09:42 PM

                        One would think, right? I have thought for some time that a faithful and specifically Roman eatery could succeed: saltimbocca, artichokes, offal, etc. I imagine this place exists somewhere, but not here.

                      2. e
                        equinoise Jan 26, 2009 01:32 PM

                        I also note that the Man Biting the World did not include Somali on his list, of which there are several locally, e.g. Marwaa, Salaama, etc.

                        1. e
                          Earl of Sandwich Jan 26, 2009 12:18 PM

                          Himalayan Kitchen in Ravenna does Burmese (along with Bhutanese, Nepalese and Indian). I'm no expert on Burmese cuisine and can't vouch for authenticity.

                          1. terrier Jan 25, 2009 07:07 PM

                            Interesting! A few gaps I know off-hand.

                            Day 2: Argentina - Buenos Aires

                            Day 91: Macau - Purple Dot Cafe

                            Day 10: North Korea: Whatever you can forage in the Olympic National Forest? Food shortages aside, I don't know that North Korean cuisine differs substantially from the cuisine of South Korea - much of what is served in restaurants descends from Korean royal court cuisine predating the partition of the country.

                            And I didn't know Afrikando had reopened! Excellent! I have a mad craving for West African dishes these days that the earnest but wayward Pan-Africa Cafe can't satisfy. (Man, if I could find a place in town with real Camerounais ndole...)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: terrier
                              equinoise Jan 26, 2009 01:21 PM

                              What is represntative of Macanese at Purple Dot?

                              I went to Afrikando once and really enjoyed the bouye drink (baobab nectar?), the accara (black eye pea fritters with shrimp sauce), and the spicy mustard sauce served on the lamb. The lamb itself was a bit overcooked. I'd try the yassa au poulet next time.

                              I've had Burmese once in NYC and found it a bit meh. Usually, they have a special tea leaf salad. I wonder what Himalayan Kitchen does with it.

                              1. re: equinoise
                                terrier Jan 28, 2009 07:42 AM

                                You got me (re: Purple Dot) - I don't know their menu well enough not having been in years. I just remembered Macau being the explanation for the strange western ingredients on the menu (cream sauces, toast, etc)

                                A return trip might be in order to investigate further...

                            2. dagoose Jan 25, 2009 06:23 PM

                              I can help fill in some of the blanks before I give a few lovely opinions: Bangladesh: Bengali Tiger, South Africa: well, I happen to work for a catering company that does a lot of south african foods, but I suppose that doesn't really count because you can't eat out there...Peru: El Chalan, Argentina: Buenos Aires Grill, Tango.

                              I think that my problem with this is that the difference between Eritrean food and Ethiopian food is minimal, while you don't get any credit for eating, say Veracruzano food AND Oaxacan, which are far more different, right?

                              Anyways, that said, I am so bummed about the lack of Ghanaian food around here, that is high on my wish list for Seattle restaurants.

                              1. d
                                dagrassroots Jan 25, 2009 06:22 PM

                                Great list,
                                It should be noted that as part of his criteria is that he allows home cooked meals. Many of these could be fulfilled doing this.
                                I do have a couple to add.
                                Argentina- Buenos Aires Grill- Not great but about as good as it gets in seattle.
                                Canada- Any of the restaurants selling poutine.
                                Peru- Mixtura might have filled the bill but it is closed.
                                Nigerian- Apparently Queen Sheba has nigerian dishes on the menu but I have not tried it.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: dagrassroots
                                  equinoise Jan 25, 2009 06:44 PM

                                  Thanks for the tips. I've never had Nigerian food anywhere though I've read about it in the Village Voice; there are several places in the Bronx, NY. I'd give it a shot at Queen Sheba; I ate Eithiopian food there a couple years back, and it was really bad.

                                  Dagoose--I agree with you that regional differences within a single large country are often vast, while trans-border cuisines in neighboring countries can be often indistinguishable. "Chinese" is another example: Sichuan and Shanghainese are like night and day.

                                  You mean Bengal Tiger? Though I've never had Bangladeshi food, when I went to Tiger I asked about Bengali dishes. Maybe Bangladeshi food is similar (mustard seeds, fish, etc.)

                                  El Chalan and Mixtura have both folded. We can't really get by as a city without a single Peruvian restaurant at any price point. Come on!

                                  Ghanian and real Lebanese are tied for #1 on my wish list. I had great examples of each back when I lived in DC.

                                  1. re: equinoise
                                    dagrassroots Jan 25, 2009 08:50 PM

                                    Bengali food and some bangladeshi food is very similar. Bengal was divided between india and Bangladesh. So the food has some of the same origins.

                                    1. re: equinoise
                                      mrnelso Nov 18, 2009 09:56 PM

                                      Kwa Tay's, across from the Coliseum (Key Arena) advertises Ghanaian. Though I've not been, it looks interesting...

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