Saturday, September 23, 2006

Renton Restaurant gossip

The All City Diner will not be re-opening. In the same building will be a place called "Touchdowns".
Doesn't strike me that people go to a place with that name for the food.

Aloha BBQ has a new phone number. It is 425-721-4451.

Activity is going on in the space that formerly housed Armando's before they moved around the corner, but I don't know what's going in there. If anybody reading this does know, please fill us in.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Gordy's Steak and BBQ

I've been to Gordy's a few times. It's located in Tukwila at 13500 Interurban Avenue S, at the Foster Golf Links. 206-267-7427

Gordy's is pleasant, comfortable and not too expensive.
It has big windows overlooking the golf course, but it's not a pretentious place.

Diners can select from entree salads, sandwiches and burgers, BBQ, steaks, and seafood.
Salads include a smoked salmon cobb, a seafood salad featuring dungeness crab and smoked salmon and shrimp, and a prime rib fajita salad.

Sandwiches include BBQ favoties like pulled pork, brisket, chicken, hot link, as well as bratwurst, a crab melt, and a vegetarian Portobello burger.
The Foster Burger includes avocado, bacon, and cheese.

Seafood entrees include catfish, crab cakes, and smoked salmon. I believe it is in house smoked salmon, and is very nice and moist.

I haven't had the steak there, but have had the BBQ chicken and pork ribs.
I love most BBQ ribs, and Gordy's is no exception. They're smoked in house and are tender. The BBQ sauce is wimpy and mild. The cole slaw is pleasant and not too sweet nor too mayonnaisey.

The place is on a golf course, and is sort of upscale, so you could choose to spend a lot of money there, but you don't have to.
Service has always been friendly and efficient.

All in all, this is a place worth going to.
I've had far worse BBQ, though I prefer Jones BBQ to Gordy's.
Nonetheless, overall, the food is better than average quality, the service is good, the atmosphere pleasant, not too expensive, and a place I will continue to revisit periodically.
I like Gordy's.

Freakazoid Freddy's Primary Primer

Tuesday, September 19th is primary election day in the state of Washington.
This is not my usual diatribe about restaurants, but the politicians we elect can and do affect our quality of life.
Politicians piss me off. Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, I can name you politicians I dislike because they are insincere liars.
That said, the latest politician to dislike is John Groen, running for the state Supreme Court.
Have you seen his commercials?
It shows Supreme Court justice Bobbe Bridge, who is not up for election this time.
She got cited for drunk driving a couple of years ago. The commercial goes on to say that after her arrest, her fellow (and up for re-election) judge Gerry Alexander stated that she deserved support.
The commercial made it sound like Alexander and Bobbe Bridge were the same person. Gerry Alexander did not get cited for drunk driving, and Bobbe Bridge is not running for anything.
So it's offensive, reprehensible , and doesn't really say why Groen would be worth electing.
It's an attack ad, and isn't the State Supreme Court supposed to a little more dignified than that?
Then, this morning, I get one of those pre-recorded campaign phone calls from none other than John Groen.
He went on to say things like " If you're disturbed by Supreme Court Justices driving drunk, you should vote for me, and if you're disturbed by Courts legalizing gay marriage, you should vote for me, blah blah blah."
Well, you know what?
First of all, there it was again, the inference that it was Alexander who was caught driving drunk, and second of all, sometimes courts have to act when legislators won't.
Politicians will go to where voters or donations are, and most of them don't give a shit about doing what's right.
Judges are supposed to balance the legal issues before them and make a fair decision not based on politics.
So, yeah, regardless of my position on gay marriage, absolutely the Courts have a right to decide whether gay marriage should be legal..
Politicians will not always act to end discrimination...if continuing to discriminate will result in re-election or big donations.
John Groen is not acting like a Judge is supposed to act. He's acting like a slimy politician. I don't know enough about his opponent, Gerry Alexander. But I've been so offended by Groen's slimy campaign that I would vote for Alexander now even if he decided to campaign naked.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

In Praise of Ordinary Food

If Bill Gates were to phone me and tell me he wanted to take me out to the restaurant of my choice, we would not be going to Tommy's Cafe, 74 Rainier Ave S, Renton 98055 tel 425-227-9910.

But I usually pay for my own meals, don't live far from Tommy's, and it's consistently pretty good food at reasonable prices.
Service is unfailingly good, and the place is comfortable and homey.
Breakfast is served all hours, and includes pancakes, omelettes and scrambles. Particularly noteworthy are the in house made home fried potatoes, made with onion and peppers.

They also roast their own turkey, and have a pretty decent salad bar.

The Tran family has operated Tommy's for almost 25 years, and some of the regular customers have seen little Trans grow up to be big Trans as they worked there over the years.

Tommy's does some things quite well, and are always willing to cater to customers weird dietary requests. One of the breakfast dishes, "The Mess" is a scramble with potatoes, eggs, meat, etc, but they'll happily substitute broccoli for the potatoes if you are so inclined.

Burgers and steaks are better than you'd expect, and the salmon is also quite good.
You can choose to spend a lot of money at Tommy's on things like NY steak with lobster or crab.
But Sauteed prawns with garlic is a less expensive winner, as are the stir-fries.

Salads include a warm seafood salad containing salmon, shrimp, and scallops, bacon, and parmesan. Again, they'll happily delete the bacon or the scallops if that's your inclination.
They also have milkshakes, and will tolerate weird customer requests in that vein too.
Diane had dental surgery about a week ago and couldn't eat solid food, so she ordered a shake, wondering if they could add tofu for extra protein. They didn't have tofu but suggested adding peanut butter to the chocolate shake, and it turned out great.

What don't I like about Tommy's?
Not much. The soups are home made but sometimes too bland.
I'd love to see more fresh veggies.

What I do like is the diversity of the customers, almost reminding me of an East Coast style diner ( without the rice pudding.)

Senior citizens, folks of various ethnicities, gay couples...all are accepted and welcome at Tommy's.

On my 0-4 scale, for food Tommmy's rates a 2.75, service is a 3.5, atmosphere a 3.5 and value a 3.5.

From the outside, Tommy's might appear to be a dump, a bad greasy spoon, but it really isn't.

Tommy's is better than it's competitor around the corner , Mimosa's, and it appears that the All City Diner is out of business, and the Yankee Grill in Renton is barely better than Tommy's at much higher prices.

Ordinary American food is increasingly becoming harder to find in these parts.
Too many places serve things like marinated pigeon entrails in a beurre blanc ginger cream reduction, served on small plates for 25 dollars, so going to a place like Tommy's is refreshing.