Our Authors

Meet the Empanadas of Latin America

If you've ever visited Argentina, ridden a bus in Bolivia, or made friends with a Venezuelan, you've probably tasted an empanada of some sort. But it would take a lifetime of non-stop empanada-eating to try all of the infinite combinations of doughs, fillings, and cooking methods around. Here's an introduction to the styles that are typical in different regions of Latin America. More

An Introduction to Sri Lankan Cuisine

Sri Lankan food is not for the timid eater: the fiery curries, sweet caramelized onion in seeni sambal (onion relish), and sour lime pickle are all powerful flavors that startle awake senses dulled by the thick, hot island air. More

Where to Eat Outdoors in Seattle, 2014 Edition

When it's nice out, Seattle is the most beautiful place in the world. Summer might not start until July 5 (in order to guarantee rain on the fireworks, one presumes), but it sails straight through Labor Day, and everyone in Seattle, local or tourist, does their damndest to soak up as much of that sunshine as they can—which means taking all meals outdoors. Here's our guide to the best of Seattle's outdoor dining. More

Seattle Cheap Eats: 10 Great Dishes Under $10

Cheap eats in Seattle run from one end of the food spectrum to the other, from the elegance and indulgence of lunch at Le Pichet to the sheer amount of amazing food at El Paisano, each checking in at under $10 a meal. So where do you go in Seattle when your budget is tight? Here are our top ten picks. More

The Ultimate Oyster Experience on the 'Oyster Bus' in Seattle

At the risk of sounding like someone who just woke up from an amazing first date, it's difficult to imagine how any oyster-eating experience could improve upon the Walrus and Carpenter Low Tide Picnic (a riff on this Lewis Carroll poem. An empty beach, a 'sulkily shining' moon, such quantities of sand, and yes, that briny beach, make for a magical evening recreated for oyster enthusiasts by seafood guru Jon Rowley and Taylor Shellfish Farms. More

A Beginner's Guide to the Best Dishes at Chiang's Gourmet, Seattle

Chiang's Gourmet is an unlikely place to find good Chinese food, hidden in a corner just off the freeway, miles north of Chinatown, in a rootbeer-keg shaped building that was once home to an A&W. Once inside, it can still be a difficult place to find great Chinese food, thanks to the three overwhelming menus on offer at any given time. Here's a primer on what to order to make the most out of your meal. More

We Eat Everything at Feast Portland's Night Market

What happens when some of the best chefs in the country are instructed to make bite-sized portions of internationally-inspired street food? Feast Portland's Night Market. One of the marquee events of Feast, the open-air festival is an opportunity for a mix of local (such as Naomi Pomery of Beast and Expatriate) and national (hello, Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milkbar) restaurants to bring their take on street food to throngs of ravenous attendees. More

The Best Dive Bars in Seattle

The best dive bars are defined not by what you drink (though it's mostly beer—rarely do the mixed drinks have more than two ingredients), but by environment and patrons. At a great dive bar, the regulars look like they've been on their stools for years. The diviest bars still smell faintly of smoke, even though the smoking ban was put in place most of a decade ago. Most importantly, though, the best dive bars help you forget the stressors of the outside world. More

Where the Locals Eat: 5 Great Spots for Seafood in Seattle, WA

The thing about great seafood in Seattle is it's everywhere. But that place out-of-towners dream of, where they sit in a nautically-themed restaurant and order a simple grilled salmon entrée while gazing out over Puget Sound? It exists mainly in the tourist corridor, where fulfilling that fantasy is far more important than serving up the finest Dungeness crab, freshly-shucked oysters, over-sized geoduck, or shockingly-sweet spot prawns. So where to go for the good stuff? Here's where the locals eat their seafood. More

First Look: It's All About Scotch at The Old Sage in Seattle

The oddity of bright, eccentric murals in the middle of a classic, dark space underlines Brian McCracken and Dana Tough's struggle away from bar trends. Nobody else was paying much attention to scotch, they point out. "Smoked meats and malts," the sign proclaims over the door of the Old Sage, sibling to Tavern Law, Spur, and the Coterie Room, succinctly getting to the heart of the mater. More

The Best Po' Boys in New Orleans

Other than my personal favorite (Parkway) on here, I'm most excited that I haven't tried these all, so I have so many to go. While I agree with PSFam--I've had some great ones at Verti Mart, I trust that this just means there are so many more that I need to try that came in ahead of it! And god, my experiences at Mothers were terrible, with you there, Max.

Going to Seattle? Don't Miss the Vietnamese Food

@Andrea thanks for even more of your expertise!

Going to Seattle? Don't Miss the Vietnamese Food

@Irene, Thank you! I try to be in Asia as often as possible (flew home from Hong Kong in June), and, in fact, as I finished up this article, I said to my husband we should really get back to Vietnam! It's been 6 years since we were there.

Going to Seattle? Don't Miss the Vietnamese Food

Hard to tell--instinct is that the holes on that look much larger than in what we ate, but that could be variation. There was definitely no crunch after these were cooked in the hot pot, though--they were completely soft.

Going to Seattle? Don't Miss the Vietnamese Food

@Irene: It could be! I tried to google it a bit after the server told me that's what it was, because I hadn't heard of it like that, but it was hard to tell from the photos if they were or not.

Going to Seattle? Don't Miss the Vietnamese Food

@johnnytakes5--Thanks for the note! My research suggested there was some fermentation during the resting period, possibly natural fermentation, but we're going to take the word out while doing some deeper research on it.

@annieNT--That's a great idea, I also didn't even try to start into the drinks (my favorite is the soda sua hot ga, egg yolk and soda, not to mention the lime soda and coffees) because there is just so much to cover. Hopefully there's another article in the future!

An Introduction to Sri Lankan Cuisine

Oh, I eat shrimp shells and tails all the time! On these, you'd probably barely even notice, since they are tiny, but even on bigger shrimp, you can totally eat it. Best if it's grilled or deep-fried, but often if it's easier than peeling, I'll just eat them.

The Best Ice Cream (and Other Frozen Desserts) in Seattle

@MayoHater I agree, Mallard is fabulous! It was just a little too far for an article about ice cream in Seattle.

The Best Ice Cream (and Other Frozen Desserts) in Seattle

I wasn't overly impressed with Old School (we checked it out in the name of research for this piece). It is certainly good, but didn't feel like it was up to the level of these places in terms of best-in-category. I wouldn't kick it out of bed--er, cone--though.

Where to Eat Outdoors in Seattle, 2014 Edition

@gamingwithbaby, I agree with you in theory, but in practice, technically Dick's is takeout, not outdoor dining--there's no seats, you' getting the food to go and need to find your spot to eat it outdoors.

Leftovers: Meat Map, Ice Cream Cleanse, and More

As a traveler who's been hit with various bugs while eating around the world, all I can say is if ciproflaxacin is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Manner Matters: Hands off My Cake

I know it seems gross, but in defense of the friend, a sinus infection is very unlikely to be contagious.

Can't Get Into Talde? Where to Eat and Drink Instead

A bit of a longer walk, but since the wait was long, we did our talde wait at Skylark--with a good kim chi pancake to boot.

Biang! Makes a Bang with Spicy Xi'an Noodles Near Seattle

David, you are correct that Xinjiang foods are generally Halal, however, Biang is serving Xi'an foods--from Shaanxi province, some 1500 miles east of Xinjiang.

Four Hours for Barbecue: the Psychology of Waiting in Line for Food

@ilovebroccoli: You're dead on. A lot of this research comes from Disney and other theme parks. Other related research I read was also on general waiting and came from shipping companies (FedEx,etc) and from airports. Not quite close enough to make the article cut, but one of my favorite from the psych part: Since occupied waiting is 'shorter' than unoccupied, airlines found that they had happier customers if they parked the plane further from the baggage claim and let people spend the time it took their bags to get to the carousel walking to the carousel, rather than get off the plane, be at the carousel, and have to wait that same amount of time for the bags to arrive.

Four Hours for Barbecue: the Psychology of Waiting in Line for Food

@laem I have actually stood in the Hot Doug's line, at the behest of my Mother-in-Law, and really did NOT enjoy it, actually. I believe we only waited maybe 45 minutes, but it seemed to take forever--felt about 4 times as long as the Franklin line. I thought it was very hot, but in asking my man, he claims it was winter and cold. Regardless, we were unhappy. Furthermore, I also interviewed Doug for this piece, though didn't end up adding in any of his quotes, as he didn't really do anything that fit in with the psychological factors--which might explain why that line felt so eternal.

Four Hours for Barbecue: the Psychology of Waiting in Line for Food

@laerm: This was not intended in any way to be a review of Franklin. As I said in the article had absolutely no intention to stand in the line, except that when we drove by to check it out, and I got out to talk, I ended up having such a good time that I decided to stay until it stopped being fun--which never happened.

This article is an examination of why this happened--I too thought that it was not possible for a wait in line to be worth it/fun/not miserable, so when it was, I wanted to know why. Hence the title is not a review, but about the psychology of waiting in line.

Four Hours for Barbecue: the Psychology of Waiting in Line for Food

@Lorenzo: Yes, this was the best BBQ I've had in my life, but I will mention I live in a BBQ desert, so that is not saying much. I felt similarly about being unable to imagine why I would do that--and I was prepared to walk out of that line the SECOND it stopped being fun--I only got in it to have something to do while my partner-in-crime got us breakfast tacos. It just, as I say in the article, didn't stop being fun.

@Where'sPancake'sHouse I'm sure if there aren't already there will soon be places doing better bbq, I make no claim to being a bbq authority--in fact, I didn't even go to the other reputable place (La BBQ) by our hotel. Regarding denial: certainly it could be a factor, but that's why I mention in the final paragraph that before I even ate the meat, I already knew it was worth it. The quality of the food was irrelevant to the enjoyment of the food. (Also, expect a private message next time I'm in Austin, I promise I'm good with secrets ;) )

Open Thread: Thanksgiving Disasters!

My mother will kill me for telling this story in public, but when I was about 15, she was attempting to follow a Martha Stewart recipe that involved draping cheesecloth over the turkey. Our very old house had 2 small ovens, rather than one large one, so the fabric was far too close to the heating element, and it caught fire--though rather safely still contained in the oven.

I, being a 15 year-old girl, was totally mortified at having to call 9-1-1 ("what's your emergency?" "Um, our turkey is, like, on fire and stuff?") and yet more mortified that they were going to send the full deal fire truck and sirens and such ("Trucks will be there in two minutes" "NO! Please! It's not that bad! No sirens! Tell them to drive slow, it's totally under control").

There was a pretty good ending to the story, though: the firemen were extremely nice and stood there devising a way to put out the fire that would salvage the turkey, then once they did it, stayed and helped pick all the burnt pieces off the bird with forks. Other than it looking like it had a bad facial peel, it was perfectly fine by the time it got to the table.

The other upshot: standing in the kitchen with the very fine gentlemen of Seattle's fire department, watching them save our turkey, my mother gave me an important life lesson on which finger to look for a wedding ring on to see which ones to swoon over.

Behind the Scenes: Making Tabasco Sauce on Avery Island, LA

@Lake Neuron: Fair enough--the one name I remember seeing on a barrel is Buffalo Trace, which definitely is bourbon, but I suppose they over-generalized when they explained this step to us at the factory.

Open Thread: What Food Are You Dressing Up as for Halloween?

I was the Morton Salt Girl one year...and by the end of the party, I'd adopted someone else's pig face mask and declared myself bacon salt.

The Best Places to Drink Outdoors in Seattle, WA

Yes! I love their new patio. I completely agree.

Market Scene: Mercado San Juan in Morelia, Mexico

@Coody, Me too! Unfortunately, my pineapple vinegar was taken away by American Airlines before I could board the flight home. :(

Market Scene: Mercado San Juan in Morelia, Mexico

I suppose you could, in the same way people drink apple cider vinegar, but in general it's used in marinating meats, making dressings or salsas, or general flavoring.

Market Scene: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

@Phillamb168--I'm quite sure I paid a tourist tax on the pottery (not speaking French, being a tourist, all that), however it was so reasonably priced (about 4 Euro a bowl/mug) that I was hardly about to complain.

Regarding the white asparagus, I have to admit, I've never prepared it myself, but when we had it in restaurants around Provence it was always unbelievably good--like concentrated asparagus flavor--but unfortunately I can't help you regarding the cooking.