Category Archives: Fremont

Tilth & Agrodolce

Maria Hines’ Seattle restaurants include Tilth, Agrodolce, and Golden Beetle. I have been lucky enough to try Tilth and Agrodolce. And hopefully the Golden Beetle is in my near future. Based on my experience with her other restaurants, I have high expectations both for the food and for the gluten free competency at Golden Beetle.

Tilth:

I have a weakness for old houses that have been converted into restaurants and bars. This factor, combined with all of its rave reviews and awards, made me excited to try Tilth in Wallingford! It has taken me several years to have enough in my wallet to get there, but I am happy to say that I have now managed to go to Tilth for brunch and for dinner.

I was somewhat underwhelmed with the gluten free brunch options. I resorted to the scrambled eggs each time, and they were good, but not excellent –or at least not excellent enough to justify the price. The most exciting part of the brunch was the homemade gluten free raisin bread which was outstanding.

The service at brunch has been friendly but not always knowledgeable. One brunch server told me the granola was a gluten free option. When I asked about the oats, she said that they were not ‘specifically gluten free’ but assured me that they were still safe … ahem. Not true. Normal oats: not safe for consumption.

Dinner at Tilth, however, was a completely different experience. It was excellent. I was impressed with the food, presentation, ambience, service, and most importantly, the plethora of gluten free options.

The server was very helpful with the menu and the kitchen was good about avoiding cross contamination.

And sitting outside didn’t hurt either! It’s such a fun and rare treat here in Seattle!

I recommend Tilth and hope I can go back for dinner again soon! We tried a chilled soup, halibut, pea risotto, and asparagus with smoked salmon.

 

Tilth Halibut:

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Tilth Risotto:

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Tilth Asparagus: 

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Agrodolce:

A friend recently brought our attention to Agrodolce in Fremont when they stumbled upon their gluten free menu(!). We were pleased to discover that Agrodolce is another Maria Hines restaurant. And, once again, she did not let us down. The food and the service were both just as good as Tilth.

If I was forced to decide, I would give the slightest edge to Tilth’s food for the cleaner, fresher flavors, but it’s a stylistic preference and it’s basically a toss up. I’d be thrilled if you bought me dinner at either one! And even though Agrodolce is not in a converted old house, they still did an impressive job with the space. Sitting inside still felt like the outdoors.

They had awesome gluten free pasta imported from Italy. I can’t help but wonder, though, why they don’t make their own? I’m sure the chefs would do an amazing job. We also tried a fig and arugula salad (really good), seared broccoli (really good), and st. jude’s albacore tuna (really great).

Agrodolce St. Jude’s Albacore Tuna:

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Agrodolce Broccoli:

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Tilth on Urbanspoon

Agrodolce on Urbanspoon

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Filed under American/Northwest, Fremont, Restaurant, Seattle, Wallingford

The Whale Wins

I was not expecting to write a negative review of The Whale Wins. There has been a lot of buzz around it, so we had high expectations. Perhaps it was over-hyped because this is Renee Erickson (of The Walrus and the Carpenter)’s latest creation. But I’m sad to say that it was not a memorable experience. For us, The Whale did not, in fact, Win.

The service, ambience, and design were stellar: an open layout with plenty of natural light (we sat near the windows). They managed to use their warehouse-like space cleverly and did a great job decorating it in a fun, yet simple, way. I especially liked the big neon letters hanging from the ceiling!

One big advantage of their menu is that most items can be prepared gluten free (yay!). But it might not be worth the price or the high expectations. We were a small group and shared the Lettuces Salad, Roasted Carrots and Fennel, Brown Butter Roasted Turnips, Roasted Dungeness Crab (with Harissa butter), and the Roasted Whole Trout.

The highlights were the Trout and the Turnips (everything is relative). The other dishes were a major disappointment  –especially the crab. There were only wisps of crab meat and the harissa was completely overwhelming. It was impossible to taste anything else and we had to ask for clean plates to the save the other dishes from harissa-contamination!  The carrots and fennel suffered the same fate. The salad was fine, but it ends there. It was very very simple.

The Trout:

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The bad crab:

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We did not try any desserts or drinks, so I cannot comment on those. Next time I’m in the area, I’ll skip the Whale Wins and head next door to give Joule a try instead!

The Whale Wins on Urbanspoon

 

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Filed under American/Northwest, Fremont, Seattle

Revel

About a year and a half ago, I called Revel in Fremont asking if they were able to accommodate the gluten intolerant. I asked the usual questions: Will you be able to point out which dishes were gluten free? Will the kitchen be willing and able to use clean pots and pans and clean parts of their grill to prepare gluten free dishes?

Back then the answer was a clear and blunt: No. That was it. Just: No. I was saddened.

Recently I gave them another chance and was completely surprised by the difference in their response. This time, they confidently listed the gluten free dishes and assured me that they were able to, and happy to, use clean pots and pans, and everything else. What a pleasant surprise –I’m glad I gave them another chance.

What I like about Revel:

  • The atmosphere is loud, energetic, and vibrant. The volume somehow doesn’t feel obnoxious and I can still hear my table-mates. The interior is bright and colorful (but not fluorescent) and the open kitchen layout is a lot of fun.
  • The food totally kills it. It’s great.
  • The service is excellent (Quoin bartenders included) and the servers are very knowledgeable and confident about the menu and about gluten free needs

What I don’t like about Revel (you will notice that these are very clearly outweighed by the above ‘likes’):

  • There aren’t tons of gluten free options but the menu is succinct, so it’s understandable.
  • The salads have been hit-and-miss.
  • The rice bowls have too much rice.
  • The pancakes are not well suited for chopsticks.

I am obsessed with the Albacore tuna, fennel kimchi, escarole rice bowl (see picture). I can’t have the egg yolk, which is marinated in non-GF soy sauce, but it is still super delish without it! It’s a little salty (albacore), a little spicy and sour (kimchi), a little smoky (grilled escarole), and a lot of rice. I am similarly obsessed with the garlic shrimp pancake.

I recommend those two dishes, sitting at the counter, a glass of wine, and a few good friends with which to enjoy Revel!

Albacore tuna, fennel kimchi, escarole Rice Bowl

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Garlic shrimp, chermoula, white bean Pancake:

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Revel on Urbanspoon
 

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Filed under Fremont, Fusion, Korean, Restaurant

Uneeda Burger

I went to Uneedaburger over a year ago because I’d heard they had gluten free buns! At the time, I was still a vegetarian.

(If you thought that trying to eat out gluten free was hard, try eating out gluten free and vegetarian. The intersection of the two diets leaves one with, at times, no options. I eventually decided that it would be worth it to allow poultry back onto my plate.)

I digress. I was still a vegetarian and had really only been gluten free for a few weeks -if that. I ordered a veggie burger on a gluten free bun. I asked the girl at the counter what was in their veggie burger and whether or not it had wheat or gluten in it. She assured me with great confidence that it was, indeed, gluten free. She was absolutely, 100% wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. Their burger is made of emmer.  Emmer is otherwise known as farro which is otherwise known as WHEAT! While I should have known,  someone who works at such an establishment should either know the ingredients or they should ask a supervisor, a co-worker, or they should have phoned a friend. Certainly someone that was working that day and flipping the burgers would have known this.

I was pretty unhappy about this, but a year later I decided to give them another chance now that I’d had plenty of time to do plenty of gluten homework. Now when I ask questions, I know how to understand and interpret the answers. When I went to Uneeda Burger again, I ordered the chicken breast on a GF bun. I went through the thoroughly uncomfortable task of talking them into using clean surfaces, gloves, knives, etc … for me. After some trouble (they really need to train their staff better), they kindly complied and delivered an extraordinarily messy-in-a-good-way nom. And now I give them a thumbs up. It might even be much better than Blue Moon Burgers. The forks are, without a doubt, much better. I shall return.

A messy messy Uneeda Burger

Uneeda Burger on Urbanspoon

 

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Filed under Burgers, Fremont, Restaurant, Wallingford