Saturday, August 2, 2014

Humble Pie

I've been driving by Humble Pie every day to and from work since it was first being built, but hadn't realized quite what it was.  The view from Rainier Avenue only reveals the pizza oven, not the beautiful courtyard they've created.

Driving by one day recently, I thought I saw our neighbor, Matt - one of a few guys living in a house across the street - working there.  Like us, the first thing they did after moving to the street was to tear out the lawn and plant vegetables and fruit trees... so I knew they were good people.  They've taken care of our chickens for us in the past, and are great neighbors.

I took some zucchini over to Matt soon after seeing him at the restaurant, and confirmed it was him.  I also learned the restaurant has chickens, which sold me.  Today after Hilo's annual check up, we checked it out.

They have lots of picnic table style seating with shade umbrellas outside, plus seating inside for rainy days.  The courtyard is surrounded by raised planters full of edibles, and a huge chicken coop with (I counted) nine hens who are super friendly - they ran over when I came to take their picture, undoubtedly disappointed that I wasn't giving them treats.  The tagline of Humble Pie is "people * planet * pizza", and there's definitely a clear focus on those three.

The menu itself is full of locally sourced, organic ingredients, and they've got draft beer and wine (and non-alcoholic options, of course).  There were lots of interesting pizzas to choose from, like one with field roast and red peppers, but we went for the Mushroom, Egg and Arugula pie.  I'm fairly sure the guy making our pizza is also one of Matt's roommates, though I've never met him.

The crust style is thin and crisp, baked in a big wood-fired oven out back.  This particular pie didn't feature any sauce, and the arugula wasn't dressed nor wilted, so the net result was a little drier than your usual pizza slice.  The egg was definitely the star.  We wondered if they come from the hens, or if the ladies can't keep up with demand.  The yolk seemed lighter than the ones our girls produce, but that may be because they forage for bugs and greens all day.

One of the perks was that since the seating is outside, bring Hilo along didn't raise any feathers... since he could care less about chickens.  It's always nice to find a spot we can dine with him, and it doesn't hurt that the restaurant is staffed by neighbors and clearly focuses on sustainability.  We'll definitely be back and have already told a vegetarian family member about the field roast pizza.

Humble Pie on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 27, 2014

Food Truck Friday - Taco Time Traveler

For this week, I'm showcasing a truck that some might disparage as a corporate attempt to hone in on a grassroots movement, but being a Seattle-area native, I consider to be NW comfort food: Taco Time Traveler.

Two of the victims of the Capitol Hill condo-fication were the Taco Time on 15th Madison and the Taco Bell on Broadway. When I lived on 'the hill', I was a regular at both. Usually Taco Time during daylight hours (or a quick bite before going out on the town), while Taco Bell was my 2am, drunken indulgence. When Dan & I moved to South Seattle, one of the perks is that we have a Taco Time and not one but two Taco Bells in our area. I even brought Taco Bell to our friend Craig on his last birthday, as we were often together on those drunken visits to the Broadway TB. And both bring up childhood memories of getting the treat of having fast-food for dinner, and high school years spent at Taco Bell.

Given my love of both, I was super excited to see the Taco Time Traveler parking regularly in the SLU neighborhood. They have a very limited menu of crisp & soft tacos, crisp burritos, and tostada salads, plus Mexi-fries (Regular and Sweet Potato). My real weakness on the menu is the crisp burritos, but couldn't justify the calories, so I went for the classic Chicken Soft Taco ($5.50 with tax). I could tell you how it was, but if you've ever had one, you already know. Just like their brick & mortar restaurants, the food was consistently produced using fresh ingredients, and was just what I expected. The service was also really friendly - coming out of the truck to greet me and take my order, and with a table set up with hot sauce, napkins, etc.

On my second visit, I went for the Bean Tostada Salad ($7 with tax). I'm not sure I've ever ordered one at their restaurants, so wasn't sure what to expect. It apparently normally comes with Ranch Dressing, but I was given the option of hot sauce instead. It was a little sad for the price - a flour tortilla bowl with beans, shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, black olives and hot sauce. I didn't intend to eat the fried bowl, but couldn't resist a few bites... which turned into half the bowl. Oh well. It's a salad, so it's healthy, right?

Say what you want about Taco Bell, but don't you dare disparage my Taco Time.  They're a local, Seattle-born company celebrating 52 years since they opened their first store in White Center back in 1962. I'm happy to see they continue to evolve to match what customers want, and that I can get my fix here in SLU. It's worth noting that they give you enormous bags to carry your food away in, and as I carried the walking billboard into my building, it caught a lot of attention from folks excited about the prospect of Taco Time for lunch, too.

Taco Time Traveler on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 13, 2014

Food Truck Friday - Evolution Revolution

For this week's Food Truck Friday, I tried out the truck offering "New American Street Food" - Evolution Revolution.

My first visit was on a beautiful sunny spring day, and they were offering Mahi Mahi tacos, so I couldn't resist.  They were loaded with fish and bright flavors, though turned out to be a little messy.   The staff were super friendly, even saying hi to my dog, Hilo.  Later, Hilo did his best to spill my tacos, pulling me toward an adorable puppy he really wanted to sniff.

On my second visit, I tried out two menu items.  First, the Fried Brussels Sprouts ($5), which were golden brown and fragrant and tossed in a house made sambal chili and honey dressing.  Not too spicy hot, more sweet really, but wonderfully satisfying if you dig Brussels sprouts.

Since that wasn't exactly a full lunch, I also got the Thai tofu wrap ($8), which was packed with noodles, fried tofu, basil, tomatoes, and lots of peanut sauce.  It was pretty large (I really should've stopped at half), and my only complaint was the simple flour tortilla was a little gummy, as they tend to be .

The service in both visits was very friend and this time Hilo got a treat, too.  The food was yummy and I'll definitely head back soon.

Evolution Revolution on Urbanspoon