Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My Eldorado

My Eldorado is a brand new supermarket in Skyway, at 68th and Renton Avenue, in the space formerly occupied by Saar's, and many other businesses before them.
It's a clean and pleasant place to shop. prices are not especially low, but they have a large variety of meat and produce, and a fairly large selection of Russian and Kosher foods.
It is going to become a member only store, with a multi level marketing approach, so that if you sign up new members, you get a kickback and additional discounts.
On the face of it, it sounds weird to me. For the first month or so, memberships will be one dollar, and then go up to thirty five.
To me, it's a pain in the ass to "join" a supermarket, and I'm not about to recruit people to go by their cornflakes at a particular store. For that very reason, I let my Costco membership lapse a while back, and this place ain't Costco.
However, for the time being it is a pleasant place to shop, the quality of goods is decent, and the folks working there are friendly.
I wish them luck.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Viet Wah and other tidbits

Viet Wah has recently opened a Renton outpost, at 2820 NE Sunset, aka SR 900, in the Renton highlands.
Viet Wah is a fun place to shop. Seattle has long had Uwajimaya as it's giant Asian supermarket, and Viet Wah is similar. Yes, you can buy eel or yam noodles or many varieties of soy sauce, but Viet Wah also carries kleenex and hot dogs and milk.
Viet Wah also caters to the neighborhood. In this case, a nice selection of Mexican cheeses, meats, and spices.
Viet Wah has fresh seafood, including fresh salmon, smoked salmon, shrimp, crab, etc.
And a butcher counter with very reasonably priced and decent quality steaks, chops, and ribs.
And plenty of stuff unfamiliar to many of us.

On another note, Aloha BBQ (2439 Maple Valley Hwy) remains open. They have had landlord troubles and family illness, and are looking for someone take over their lease and then perhaps find another location.
Hours are 3-6PM Monday, 3-10PM Tuesday-Friday, and 4-10PM Sat and Sun. Phone # is 425-271-4451.
The place remains an excellent and very reasonably priced place. It is a Filipino and Japanese influenced Hawaiian restaurant with daily specials. Last time I was there the specials were Southern style BBQ ribs and pulled pork with beans. The beans were right up there with the best I've ever had.

Alas, Cocina Marina in Skyway is gone, at least temporarily. The big windstorm of December caused damage to their kitchen (tree crashed through the roof). Repairs are being done to the place, but it's unlikely the same folks will return to run it.

Gabby's Q is open in the 12600 block of Renton Avenue in Skyway, 7 days a week from 5PM, between the nail shop and the Beachcomber Tavern. This is a foodie find. Not the most savory of neighborhoods, but definitely savory food.

Friday, January 05, 2007

When bad things happen to good restaurants

I have the misfortune of being attracted to little hole in the wall restaurants in out of the way locations. An out of the way location might be to your advantage if you're running a meditation retreat, but it's generally not a good thing if it's a restaurant you've got.
On that note...
Cocina Marina of Skyway appears to be closed. At least it was when it shouldn't have been, twice in the last week or so. The place had been El Tapatio for a million years, and did well. It was succeeded by El Agave, a place I liked that didn't last long, and more recently by Cocina Marina. Had the restaurant been located on Queen Anne or in Wallingford, there would be people lined up outside. But as they say in the real estate world, location, location,location. It doesn't help that Skyway is thought of as a neighborhood you risk getting shot in. Personally, for me, it's worth the risk if the reward will be a good enchilada, or pizza, or ribs.
Speaking of Skyway, Gary Pollard has opened Gabby's Q, a take out BBQ joint in Skyway next to the Beachcomber Tavern and the nail salon. I've known Gary for a few years, as we are now both ex Metro transit employees. His barbecue is one of a kind, as he hails from Alabama. His coleslaw is spicy and unusual, full of jalapenos and mustard.
The sauce is slightly sweet and quite good. The meats are all fine and tender.

And finally, my Renton restaurant of the year for 2006, Aloha BBQ, is for sale, due to family illness.
It is still open and operated by the same people. The food is great, portion sizes are ridiculously large, prices are low.
A special last week was Pork ribs with grilled salmon. Oh My God! Was it good!
...So get there before the ownership changes. I've reviewed it previously and it saddens me to no end that ownership is changing. You just don't find creative cooking of fresh food at low prices at many places, served by nice people.
This has been one of those cursed locations..I remember it as a good Mexican place, then a mediocre teriyaki joint, then a Vietnamese place, and finally Aloha Hawaiian BBQ, which has had far more business than it's predecessors, because it was, and is, so good.