food road trip: more savory seattle
It's Seattle round two as I continue to eat my way through a few days off in the Pacific NW. And just like SF, seems down home Southern cooking is a "thing" here too. Of course, I couldn't let an opportunity like that pass me by could I? Okay, actually I could since attempts to bring the South to the West, while done with good intentions, don't always translate successfully. But it seemed like a no brainer to try out a place called Serious Pie & Biscuit. They are actually a local spot with a couple locations specializing in both biscuits and handcrafted thin crust pizzas. I thought the pie part was for dessert pies originally, not pizza, but that's on me. Still, they had a number of biscuit options and stuff to choose from and I thought I'd kick it off with these:
Hushpuppies! Deep fried balls of cornmeal that in the South they serve like bread. You get a free basket when you sit down, here they are an appetizer you gotta pay $7 for. I was still game to try them even though they also came with a side of some spicy remoulade dipping sauce, though I also asked for some butter, because it's me. While they weren't terrible, they were a bit overdone. Some of the outside crust was on the darker side and inside was thick and somewhat dry. And I can't even begin to explain why the came on a bed of plain cabbage, seemed a bit unnecessary. All I can really say is, at least they were hot enough to melt the butter when I slathered them in it. A small consolation though.
They have a number of combos to choose from and I went all in with "The Zach" at $14! A buttermilk biscuit with a fried chicken breast, fried egg, bacon and a side of tabasco black pepper gravy. Well, they didn't skimp on the gravy! It was kind of like soup and a sandwich Southern style. The biscuit wasn't quite as thick and fluffy as I might have liked and it was a little short on the buttery flavor. The chicken was nicely fried and the bacon was crispy at least. Normally this kind of gravy is made from drippings of sausage, this was more vegetarian friendly with just milk and flour. Could have been a little thicker but it still had a nice kick from the tabasco and pepper. Overall, decent enough, though that price was still a little hard to digest.
Not to be discouraged, there was a place called Coastal Kitchen near-ish to where I was staying which was doing a tour through the South kind of thing on their menu and this month's stop was North Carolina. Well that just seemed like an open invitation to me. They were only featuring a few dishes but I wasn't in the mood for shrimp and grits so opted for the catfish po'boy and fries for $16. Don't be deceived by the picture which makes it look bigger than it really was. I got two tiny pieces of cornmeal fried catfish with shredded cabbage and remoulade sauce on a soft hotdog bun.
The bun wasn't even toasted and way too soft. The remoulade had no spice and there wasn't a whole lot of fish going on in those two tiny nuggets. At the price they were charging, totally not worth it. At least the fries were hot and crispy. The bartender who served us refilled my tea glass as much as I wanted which was a plus. He was also adorable and just so happened to be from Raleigh, NC so I'll give them that. But they should be ashamed of this sandwich.
After this brief trip through NW ideas of Southern food, it seemed like a good time to get back to local-ness.
What better way than with local brew Rainier, named after the mountain in case you didn't know. It was definitely a hops forward beer if you like that sort of thing. Sort of Busch meets Coors kind of thing. Might have been better colder but it is the kind of beer you have with a hearty burger, which is what brought us to 8oz Burger & Co. When I walked in I was all set to burger down, but then thought I'd go a little different....
and got the fish sandwich with a side of onion rings. You can get your cod several ways so I chose grilled, to be healthy you know. It comes on a toasted brioche bun with wild baby arugula, onion, pickle, chipotle tartar sauce and an avocado creme spread for $12. Okay, kind of a lot for just a "burger" as the side of IPA breaded o-rings was an added $5. But it was super tasty and probably the best thing I had while in Seattle. Fish was perfectly cooked and neither one of the sauces overpowered each other or the fish. I just bit right in and was like yum, this is good! The o-rings were also thick onion slices enveloped in a crispy beer batter, a nice side compliment. A fish sandwich winner at a burger joint, go figure.
By now I'm sure your asking, wait, it is all savory, did you skip the sweets? To that I'd say hahahahahaha, you should know me better than that! I certainly had my fill of sugary options, I was on a mini vacay after all. But those are for next time.