Thursday, April 23, 2015

Prime Steakhouse Review

Jason here. We took another trip to Redmond for a night out, and decided to try Prime Steakhouse.

Prime is a restaurant focusing on steaks, but also has a good collection of burgers and sandwiches. The best part is the menu itself lists gluten free options, which tends to entice me to try out a place.

The restaurant itself isn’t too large, or at least they section off various rooms so it feels more intimate then most places. I was able to hear the table conversation without too much trouble, but we had to speak up. 

Of course I can’t go to a steakhouse and not order a steak for the first time. I honestly not sure if I have tried a dry-aged steak before. At the very least I have never tried them side by side. With this in mind, I decided to order the top sirloin baseball cut 12oz dry age steak, with a side of baked potato.

The baked potato was well crispy on the outside, although I just scooped out and ate the fluffy potato inside. Pretty standard affair.

The steak was fabulous. I ordered medium and that’s what I got, pink with a little red. It was plenty marbled with fat, which just melted in my mouth like cotton candy. The most delicious sensation one can have when eating a steak. This is the quality of a high end steak. If it’s a low quality cut, the fat will turn chewy and stringy, and be tough to actually eat. Everything here just melted in my mouth, from the first to the last bite. I did not add one ounce of salt or pepper, and ate it exactly how it came out. Not wanting to waste a good steak by having to reheat left overs, I finished the whole 12oz there which I was a bit worried about when it came out. I ordered the smallest of the dry aged steaks, so be prepared for leftovers if you order something like the 24oz porter just for yourself.

It is a high end steak restaurant so you get what you pay for. I got a really top end steak, the meal is a bit on the higher end. Although my sirloin, wasn’t too bad. I actually ordered this cut for the size, not the price, but it worked out for me.

Kayleigh here. While most steakhouses can put together a gluten free steak meal with relative ease, Prime has gotten nearly the entire menu to accommodate a gluten free diner. I failed to ask if the sandwiches would be served bunless or if they had an alternative, but I think there are more than enough options regardless. All of the salads, most of the starters, and many of the vegetable and potato sides are gluten free by default, as well as (of course) the steaks. And if you’re like me and are the odd duck that orders a non-beef entrĂ©e, you are pretty much guaranteed to find something that tickles your fancy. The menu is not particularly large, but so diverse and well thought-out that I think anyone would walk out happy.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Japanese Cheesecake for One Recipe



Kayleigh here. I know I just posted a cheesecake recipe a couple weeks back, so it seems too soon to post another one, but I feel strongly that one should go into battle armed with knowledge and options. Choose the one that appeals most to you, and go forth!

To give a little bit of a background to this, I found that quite a few foods I have come to enjoy in America are slightly different when bought in Japan. Beers are almost all pale lagers, bottled teas were unsweetened and usually green or barley, and peanut butter was replaced with peanut cream- a syrupy, lightly peanut flavored concoction that would best find its home on an ice cream sundae. Desserts were as likely to contain matcha or adzuki beans as they were chocolate, and coffee (if not bought in a can) was often brewed in fantastical steampunk contraptions of glass spheres and metal workings. But what this recipe focuses on is the cheesecakes that I would find, not in the refrigerated aisle, but on the baked goods shelf.



Really, this is pretty far from what the average American would consider a cheesecake, given its light and fluffy texture and mild creaminess-it's like someone mixed a New York cheesecake with an angel food cake. Because of this, I think it's the only cheesecake I've ever had that actually tastes best at room temperature, or even slightly warm. Heavy mix-ins or extra sweet toppings may not pair very well with this- I would recommend flavor add-ins like matcha/cocoa powder or tiny bits like mini chocolate chips or finely chopped chestnuts if you choose to embellish.

Japanese-style Cheesecake for One Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Egg, white and yolk separated
2 ts Sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar
2 TB Unsweetened Applesauce (if sweetened, reduce sugar to 1 ts)
2 TB cream cheese, Plain Greek Yogurt, or Sour Cream (whatever you have on hand)
1/8 Cups Millet Flour
1/8 Cups Vanilla Whey Protein powder
1-2 drops Vanilla Extract
1 Pinch Baking Powder
1 Pinch Salt (tiny amount!)

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whip egg white, sugar, and cream of tartar in a bowl until stiff peaks form.
2) Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and stir thoroughly. Gently fold in the egg white mixture afterwards.
3) Pour/spoon the mixture into an oven safe bowl (sturdy coffee mugs or bowls work, and giant ‘Texas size’ muffin tins are great if you want to increase the recipe and make more than one). Bake for 20 minutes, or until the surface is cracked and lightly browned. If baked it in a container with little surface area, then you may also want to check the center with a toothpick to make sure it cooked all the way through.
4) Let sit for 30 minutes or until nearly room temperature, then transfer upside down onto a plate to cool completely. You can also refrigerate the cake for 1 hour or more to enjoy it chilled.



Jason here. So I never got to try any cheesecake while in Japan, or any baked goods really. Gluten free wasn’t really a known thing in Japan. That’s why I was excited to see what Kayleigh was raving about.

Some long time readers may remember the amazing Dragon Cake recipe. The thing about that recipe though… is it is ridiculously sweet. It’s basically sugar infused angel food cake coated with sugar and more sugar on top. If dentists had an arch nemesis, it would be that recipe.

The Japanese cheesecake tastes a lot like angel cake, but without all that ridiculous sugar. Sure it still tastes sweet like angel cake should, but it’s also got a creaminess to it that makes it good to eat all on its own.

We enjoyed our little cakes topped with raspberries, which added a nice tartness to it. Something fruity, but not too sweet is what I would recommend as a topping. As mentioned, the cake itself has a light sweetness to it, so you don’t want to overwhelm it. Something sour or tart makes for an excellent addition.

If you’re interested in trying out Japanese Cheesecake, or just looking for another angel food cake recipe give this one a shot.
 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Redmond Bar and Grill Review



Jason here. While looking for more places to try in downtown Redmond we discovered the aptly named Redmond Bar and Grill.

Be aware that parking can be a bit hard to find depending on what hour of the day you are heading there. You can check out their website which lists some nearby lot which are open to the public after certain hours.

The first time we went with friends and it was late at night so we got a nice booth to ourselves. While it was busy, there was still no wait time. Also despite the crowd I could always hear the conversation going on at my table. In contrast, the second time we went was closer to dinner and there was more people. This time it was just Kayleigh and I, and we were placed at a small table near the bar which was not really large enough for two people ordering a full dinner. There was still no wait, so that was nice.

On both visits our waiter was kind and helped us figure out which items were gluten free. Note, that while they list items that are gluten free on their menu, they do not take into account items which go into the same deep fryer. This eliminated quite a few options off the appetizer menu.

I ordered the Redmond’s Burger and swapped the French fries with the soup of the day, clam chowder. I could tell the burger was cooked at a high temperature, with the outside a bit charcoaled, but the inside still pink. I ordered medium, so this was fine by me and it tasted fantastic. The Chef’s secrete spices tasted like a buffalo sauce mixed with the garlic mayo. I wasn’t expecting anything spicy, so it was a bit of a surprise. The sauce was heaped on the burger, so it really carried a flavor punch.

The clam chowder my favorite part of the whole meal. It was thick, but still creamy and had plenty of clams in it. The taste was like the clam chowders you get walking along a shore front, as opposed to the overly salty stuff you find in canned soups. I often ask about the soup of the day and places we go, but it’s usually not carried that day or not gluten free. Indeed when we went back, our waiter told us they do not serve soups on Sundays.

Speaking of our second visit, I also ordered a Redmond’s Burger but this time with just a small Redmond’s House salad. While all of the veggies were fresh, the salad just tasted bland. It might have to do with me picking out all the cucumbers though. It was essentially just some lettuce, carrots, and few grapes and sprinkling of feta. The first time we went, I love my burger so I was excited to dig into that. Unfortunately, this time around it was burnt to a crisp which was pretty much all I tasted. This was not helped by the fact that they went really light on the sauce, which also made the burger dry.

Redmond’s Bar and Grill is an interesting one. On one hand we had an excellent meal the first time, and I felt safe eating there with my allergy. On the other hand the second time we went was less then fantastic and there are plenty of other options nearby. I have a feeling I’d be willing to give them a shot again on a weekday where I could hopefully get that clam chowder again.

Kayleigh here. One quick thing- I appreciated the salad using feta and grapes for added flavor, instead of just piling on a strong dressing. To conclude the review, I think the server’s knowledge of food allergies and the quieter hour made a much better visit on our first try, so I would recommend that you avoid the busier mealtimes when you visit here. The food was prepared with more attention paid to details, and the atmosphere was much more conducive to talking and socializing when it was less crowded. And when you’re looking for a wholly gluten free experience, the last thing you want is rushed cooks and frazzled serving staff.