Sunday, February 06, 2011

The New "Q" Review

Sam's Pitt II has opened at the corner of NE 4th St and Olympia Ave NE in Renton. It's a takeout only, hole in the wall BBQ joint a few blocks east of Renton Technical College, and directly across from Vince's Coffee.
They'd just had a health department inspection shortly before I arrived, so that had delayed some things from being ready, so the Mac and Cheese wasn't out yet, and the ribs could've used just a little longer in the smoker. But the brisket was absolutely awesome, the chicken was superb, and the collard greens were perfect. Lemon cake is made in house. Up until about a year ago, another BBQ joint existed a couple of blocks east and across the street, Bill's Bodacious. Bill's is gone, along with their odd, almost Asian, sweet BBQ sauce, but Sam's Pitt II fills the bill admirably. They're open 10-9 daily except Monday.

Santa Fe Mexican Grill is open at 1170 Sunset Boulevard NE in Renton, in the former Herfy's location. It's Guadalajara style Mexican food, and it's solid, competent food. Service is friendly, and the guacamole is one of a kind ( and fabulous). The menu is more similar to La Hacienda and Torero's than it is to Habanero's on Rainier. Good, solid, but not exotic. Everything on the menu will seem familiar. Which is fine for most people, but not if you're looking for a brain taco.

And the Lakeside Bistro, 11425 Rainier Ave S, Seattle 98178 ( just past the Renton city limits, across from the north end of Renton airport) has a vegetarian menu in addition to the regular menu. Not just a few tofu dishes, but fauxs. Faux beef, faux chicken, faux halibut, and faux prawns. I had the wok seared faux prawns, and damn if they didn't resemble and taste like the real thing. Not enough so that I thought they made a mistake in the order, but a very reasonable and tasty facsimile. Where else can you get faux halibut and Kansas City style BBQ ribs? The ribs aren't faux. I'd like to see them try. They'd probably come up with something more riblike than McDonald's McRib sandwich, which evidently does contain actual rib meat, though it tastes more like plastic. Maybe I should have taken the wrapper off.


CarmenSays said...

We are loving Santa Fe. Good, competent Mexican is what we are usually looking for. They told me the other day when I was in there that they had already had their inspection for the liquor license, so hopefully margaritas and Corona will also be offered soon.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say thanks for the good words, I wanted to tell you that Samspitt II is having the first annual blues fest in the highlands on the 21st of May 2011,I wanted to know if u would come bye and be one of our vip guest? and if so please call me... Cash Thomas 425-207-6406

C. Brown said...

I went into Lakeside Bistro on April 30, 2011 as I was famished and, every time I passed it, wondered how good it was.

With a Vietnamese emphasis, it also has Caesar salad and other non-Vietnamese fare. The interior, while it has a slightly Asian feel is an eclectic mix of modern and movie. Live jazz plays Fridays and Saturdays.

But I go to a restaurant to eat; ambiance is very secondary to me. And, while Lakeside Bistro's food is good, it's not even as good as, say, Thai #1 and Pho Cafe, which not only has excellent food, but has better prices (but admittedly, way suckier service!).

The eggrolls are $7 for two. They have some of the best filling I've had in awhile and are "hand made." But they are very greasy. The sauce is a sweetish spicy sauce and complements the eggrolls very well.

I had yellow chicken curry for $16. It was good - and very plentiful! - but not great. The noodle side, I figured, must have been something that I should have put my curry on as it was extremely bland, and some of the noodles were dried out. The "slaw" was very tasty, but some of the cabbage looked as if it had been precut and sat in the fridge a day or two. Luckily, the looks, as I mentioned, didn't detract from its taste which was the best executed of everything.

My husband had the scallops at $22. He told me he liked my scallops better. It came with the same sides; I added soy and sesame to his noodles. He also liked the slaw.

With tax and, a badly and undercalculated tip, the meal cost $55. I am so underwhelmed that - although the male server was very nice, not too hovery, yet accommodating - I will most likely not go back.