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Moving to Seattle SOON, looking for some things

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After 16+ years in Phoenix I will soon be heading to Seattle to join my boyfriend, who moved there last summer (and LOVES IT).

Of course I've been following this site for recommendations for all my visits, and for where to go once I'm there for good. Still, there are a few things that I'm hoping you can help me find (either because I can get a great version in Phoenix and will miss it, or because Phoenix is lacking and my new home will come through for me!).

1. Kolache. I'm originally from the Dallas area, and whenever we'd drive to visit relatives in Austin we'd stop in West, TX (not to be confused with west Texas) for delicious kolaches. I want the fruit kind AND the sausage kind. Have trouble finding them here in AZ; guess we don't have much of a Czech population?

2. Cuban sandwich. Yes, Paseo is DEFINITELY on my list of places to go. Still, I'm not sure if what they do is what I am looking for, which is: pork roast, ham, swiss, mustard, pickle, pressed & toasted. Once upon a time there was a place here in Phx that did this version of a Cuban WONDERFULLY, but since it closed I haven't had one I was totally happy with.

3. Fruit boba drinks made with REAL fruit and not just the powder. There's a pho restaurant here that does a "fresh soursop boba" that I ADORE. Surely with all the Vietnamese/pho places in Seattle, there must be somewhere the does fresh fruit boba...right? I REALLY want soursop, but other flavors would be good too.

4. Chausson aux pommes. Last fall I got to go to France and, at little bakery in a little town, had AMAZING chausson aux pommes (apple turnovers) hot out of the oven. It was one of the best things I've eaten in my entire life. Other bakeries just had "apple goo" (smooth applesauce) inside, but these had big chunks of apple along with the goo. I still dream of them.

5. I know nothing can replace Pane Bianco in my heart or stomach (Chris Bianco's pizza has been heralded as the nation's best, but it's his sandwiches I crave. Goat cheese with roasted tomatoes. Italian sausage. Tuna with lemon & gaeta olives. Roasted lamb and escarole. Soppressata with aged provolone. Etc....), but I am definitely looking forward to trying Salumi. My boyfriend is a vegetarian -- do they serve anything he can eat, or am I going to have to make the trek on my own (I'm completely ok with that, it's just best to know in advance)?

There are probably other things I'll want that I just can't think of right now. I guess if anything new occurs to me I'll post to this thread.

Thanks in advance, Seattle Hounds!

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Salumi
309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

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  1. The Cuban sandwich you're looking for is The Cubano at Paladar Cubano. Paseo has great sandwiches but not the authentic Cuban you are looking for. Paladar also has other stuff on the menu.

    I like the chausson aux paux at Le Fournil. I would also recommend their croque fournil special breakfast.

    For a taste of France with a pretty reasonable price you also might like Le Pichet.

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    Le Pichet
    Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

    1. 1. I am from Houston and Austin originally, and both places had lots of kolache shops, so I know exactly what you are missing. You won't find them here (or at least I haven't). Try piroshkys in the Market for something different, but also good.

      2. it's not the traditional, but you will crave the no. 1, no. 2, and midnight roast at Paseo in short order!

      4. I would try Cafe Besalu and Bakery Nouveau. Both have amazing pastry, I just don't know if they have that particular one. Le Panier in the Market would be an alternative suggestion.

      5. I don't think a vegetarian will be happy at Salumi. Also try the Baguette Box. Thye have a variety of meat and veg sandwiches that are memorable and addictive, even for my veg friend.

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      Cafe Besalu
      5909 24th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

      Bakery Nouveau
      4737 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

      Baguette Box
      1203 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

      Salumi
      309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

      5 Replies
      1. re: cocktailhour

        Thanks to you both; we're off to a good start!

        Have tried a couple of things at Piroshky, Piroshky and yup, yummy in their own right. But not kolaches, alas.

        I've been reading great things about Cafe Besalu, just haven't gotten to that part of town yet. Have my fingers crossed that they have chausson. Le Panier didn't (at least not when I've been there), but I've tried some of their other pastries and they were very good. I'm looking forward to trying their macarons too -- didn't have them in France, but we have a place here that does to-die-for ones (salted caramel, YUM).

        Yeah, I was pretty sure Salumi was going to have to be a solo trip. He & I have both had & liked Baguette Box, tho' (I had the Drunken Chicken, I think it's called?) and I look forward to trying more of their offerings.

        Ok, adding Le Fournil and Paladar Cubano to list of places to try as well.

        1. re: Bax

          When I heard Jane and Michael Stern talk about Kolaches on the Splendid Table, it sounded like they were not found many places--Texas and a few little towns in the Great Plains, mainly. Try the pastries from Little Prague Bakery at our farmer's markets (I know they're at Phinney, Ballard and the U District. They aren't Kolaches but the woman is Czech, and they are delicious fruit+dough pastries.

          In addition to the excellent bakeries that have been mentioned here already, also try Honore. It certainly won't be a bad gig, shuffling between Nouveau, Besalu, Honore and others looking for the best apple pastry.

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          Honore Artisan Bakery
          1413 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA

          1. re: Bax

            I have not seen chausson aux pommes at Besalu. They do have some wonderful, fruit pastries. If they did make chaussons, I bet they wouldn't use apple goo, either. Unfortunately, even in France that's the norm, so you were lucky.

            Although I prefer to make my own puff pastry, I think you might do well to buy frozen puff pastry and do your own filling to make chaussons at home. It won't be that hard with the ready made dough, plus they will be fresh and warm when you eat them. There's nothing worse than a fruit-filled pastry that has been sitting hours in a pastry case and gotten soggy.

            1. re: RandyB

              And a fine place to get frozen sheets of butter puff-pastry is Big John's PFi

          2. re: cocktailhour

            My wife's childhood friend was a vegetarian - until I took him to Salumi...

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            Salumi
            309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

          3. If you do hit up Honore in Alonzotown, you must try their Kouign Amann. They also carry multiple flavors of traditional French macarons.

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            Honore Artisan Bakery
            1413 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA

            1. There's a place on Aurora by Green Lake by those sleazy used car dealerships where there's a tiny Cuban place run out of basically an extended-size drive-thru coffee stand. Haven't had a chance to try it yet, but a place that looks like that has to be authentic to a good degree, unlike Paseo (which is good at what it does, but is certainly not authentic).

              Ambrosia in ID uses real fruit (may be a surcharge) for their drinks. I watched them prepare my mango ice drink in the summer, using an entire mango and making everyone else wait in line while they meticulously scrape every bit of mango meat out of it.

              I've always liked Boulangerie nantaise in Belltown, but their selection is a tad limited sometimes.

              2 Replies
              1. re: HungWeiLo

                The place on Aurora by the sleazy used car dealerships is Paladar Cubano. Definitely, try it. Though I'm judge of whether it's authentic by sister has friends from Miami who vouch. I'll add that the tostones are about a million times better than La Isla's tostones. The fried yucca is also well worth a try.

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                La Isla
                2320 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

                1. re: seattleviking

                  The cross street is 90th, I think. I really dig Paladar, I indirectly know the owner, and he is really Cuban, for what that's worth. My only add-on: they're really, really slow, and the location is not so pleasant to hang out in, so I'd highly recommend calling in your order ahead of time.

                  Smith, a gastropub on the Hill (15th / Thomas), usually has a non-traditional Cuban on their menu- it's not as good as Paladar or Paseo, but it's still pretty good, and they have a better beer selection.

              2. Answer to no. 3 - If you really want the best, drive up to Vancouver, BC and try Pearl Castle (the best IMO.. the food in PC is good too) in Richmond or DragonBall Tea House (they use real fruits here!).. Otherwise, try Mee Sum and Pochi in the u-dist, Tapioca Express up in Edmonds, or Ambrosia in the Intl Dist.

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                Tapioca Express
                22315 Highway 99, Edmonds, WA 98026

                1. Bax,

                  I too am a Valley of the Sun transplant. I miss Bianco's Pizza and Sandwiches as well. For Pizza, the closest I have come to his is Serious Pie. Haven't really found a Pane equivalent yet. I also have been Jones-ing for some Richardsons (which I heard burned down), Los Sombreros or Barrio Cafe gourmex food. The closest I have come in that space is Pesos, but it was well below what the Holy Trinity provided in AZ.

                  Something I have enjoyed up here, that I didn't experience in Phoenix area is GastroPubs. Try Quinn's and Spur, they are exceptional!

                  Billy Bob

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                  Serious Pie
                  316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Billy Bob

                    Thanks to everyone for the input so far -- I'm really looking forward to doing some eating in Seattle!

                    Here's something else I'll want -- REALLY GOOD garlic bread. And by really good I also mean REALLY GARLICKY. Like you can see actual bits of garlic on there. There was a place in Dallas we used to go when I was young that did garlic rolls (knots) and the garlic would get caught in the creases and there'd be a little bit of buttery, garlicky goodness on the plate after you took your roll. Here it doesn't have to be rolls -- the toasted bread type would be fine -- but actual, recognizable garlic is required. And if the accompanying food on the menu is worthwhile that'd be a plus, of course.

                    Thanks!

                    1. re: Bax

                      I'm eagerly awaiting people's responses to this follow-up. There used to be fabulous garlic bread at a pasta place on Fremont Ave. N. (chef made his own tremendous, doughy bread), but that was like 8 years ago.

                      Lately I haven't been able to find anything half as good as what I make at home.

                  2. If you happen to be on the eastside in the Kirkland, check out "The French Bakery." I prefer their pastries over Le Fournil. The almond croissants and fruit tarts are amazing.