Thursday, December 7, 2017

Normandy Park Ale House Beef Dip

I was going to meet up with my neighbor and pal Dave Niederkrome who owns and operates the Normandy Park Ale House.  I hadn't spent much time in Nomandy Park (near SEATAC Airport) before.  Coincidentally I had another business meeting in the area beforehand so this worked out quite well.  Dave had been on my podcast previously and is an expert in business finance.

Here it is.  It's a lovely building in a strip mall and very nice inside as well.  It had a good, neighborhoody vibe and nice waitstaff and patrons.

It's called the Beef Dip there.  Dave and I were chatting and I figured I'd move forward with the review.

It came with fries and the jus was unique.  It could have been augmented via larger bread and skewers in the bread to let me know it was fancy and tasty.

The size was not huge.

But the meat and flavor were good.

Tasting Notes

Thanks to Dave for his graciousness and kind spirit.
The sandwich was average sized.
The jus was sweet and had a distinct, nice flavor. 
Nice Macrina (local bakery) bread but not large.
The taste overall was great.
It had a nice cayenne taste.
This sandwich gets a 4 of 5 overall. 

Thanks, Dave, for the opportunity to visit your very nice establishment and best of luck on all of your pursuits.

Emory's Whiskey BBQ Burger Dip in Everett, WA

I was out with my wife and her family and we went to one of my favorite places in Everett, which has a really great French dip.  And I saw that they have a burger dip as well.  So I proceeded.

Their menu cover.

Our view.

Jeremy, Edison, Nicole and Jessica.

Our partially outdoor dining arrangements.

Edison busy at play.

Sorry it is tilted.  Lo, we can see broccolini, a rich bbq sauce jus, a large sandwich with lots of beef and cheese well-toasted. 
We see rich, thick BBQ sauce, good-looking beef and visible herbs on the sandwich.  We are generally impressed and happy.

I think it was gouda.  Creamy.  Rich.  It's making my mouth water thinking about it.

Perfectly prepared broccolini.

The money shot.  Looks really herby and beefy and rich.  It was.

Nicole, Jeremy, Edison, Jessica and their dogs: Barney and Norman.

Detailed Tasting Notes

Very thick size.
BBQ sauce indeed.  Rich.
Looks good.
Big size.
Well Toasted bread.  Good.
Great sandwich/burger alone, chewy 5 of 5.
Thick, nice burger. 5 of 5 on meat.
Great bread.  Yum!!
Smoked gouda gets a 5 of 5.  One of my if not my favorite cheeses.
Gouda could have been better melted so could lose a point there.
Warm, spicy, vinegary jus, thick 3 of 5 only.  I prefer au jus.
Bread needs jus when it ran out of toppings.  Some strikes.
Toasted flavor 5 of 5.
Perfect all dente salty, fresh veggies.  Yum.
BBQ sauce shouldn't be labeled Au Jus.  Shame on them.  Strikes.
Good onions present.
Is there bacon on it?  It's good.
Meat 5, big, flavorful, chewy, dense.
Gouda and toastedness is the signature.
Oil sheen on jus, great flavor, salt, rich, hot.

Overall a delight.  5 of 5.  Go Emory's!

Daman's Bar and Grill French Dip in Redmond, WA

It was a sunny stretch of weather in December in Seattle.  Here we see steam emanating from some local fence-posts.

I've been to Daman's quite a few times.  It's a traditional sports bar near Microsoft headquarters in a strip mall.

I was greeted by a very friendly and fun waitress, Andrea, and provided the menu.  I had a bit of a cold and had the day off work.  Daman's was on my French Dip To Do List and it sounded comforting, so why not.

There is is.  Under $15.  Came with tots.  Was asked if I wanted cheese on it.  They have a burger dip option as well.  

I wait.  But not for long.  There's a view of the kitchen so I knew if progress was being made.

Here it is.  Looks really good.  Jus looks really rich, tots good, big size.  Colored, frilled skewers.  And a side of horseradish FTW.  

The side of good horseradish (not the creamy kind).  And you can see the good pickle spear in the bottom left of this picture as well.

Was provided with the necessary ketchup and yellow mustard as well for my tots but I wound up not using it.  My cold was getting in the way.  But horseradish and that fun, intense "nasal hit" would come to the rescue.

Jus looks good with some marbling from beef bits.

I opened the sandwich and slathered it with horseradish.  Why not?!

The money shot.  Was great.

Good bread, nice melted cheese, skewer.  Life is good.

$16.77 total.  I just went with water as a beverage.  It was worth it.  Good value, I'd say.

Detailed Tasting Notes and Scores

Perfect horseradish side was offered and I slathered it onto the sandwich thickly.
Swiss cheese was nicely melted and got a 4 of 5.
The beef was somewhat chewy at times but still good and gets a 4 of 5.  Good flavor and plentiful.
Tots were good and hot but only get a 3 of 5.  Weren't especially salty. Still good.
The jus was good, rich and hot and had a somewhat but not in a bad way texture 5
Overall this thing gets a 5 of 5.
Good size.
Orange and blue frilly toothpicks add a nice touch of care and concern for the eater.
Good looking, nice toasted, large bread.
Good, high quality dill pickle spear.


I'll be back and this was a great French dip.  They took care and it was really good.  They have a burger dip, so I'll need to keep Daman's on the French Dip To Do list.  Thanks to Andrea for her friendly and fun service.  Go Daman's (yelp)!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Pizza Pi - Seattle, WA - Field Roast Dip

We're expecting snow.  Oh joy.  Nov 4th.  Hopefully a good ski year here.

Went to a place called Pizza Pi because it was on my list and it was intriguing to me that a pizza place had a French dip.  I would soon be very disappointed.

I always wanted to write "gangster" but never really learned.  How do the gangsters train themselves to write in such cool, embellished fonts when they are probably otherwise of limited talent?

So I go into this place and the lady asks if I need a menu and to sit anywhere.  It's pretty empty in there and poorly decorated.

Sure enough, there's a sandwiches page in the menu and they have a French dip.  But it's a field roast French dip.  I had previously had an excellent vegetarian French dip from Georgetown Liquor Company so was generally hopeful that this place would do something nice, given they were not playing with a full deck.  (Nope) 

The order counter.  Uninspiring.

Two young workers on a Saturday.  7 people may have showed up to the place while I waited and ate.

Here's my table, all marked up.  Just kind of ugly.  I had a lot of "vegan thoughts" while there as I listened to the hipster indy music and wondered and hoped if they'd be able to make a good French dip.  They had a hot oven, I was hopeful.

Savory Field Roast slices, grilled onions and cheese (they don't say what kind but it was some flavorless mozarella like substance, I would come to find) on an oven toasted hoagy roll - Served with our house made au jus.  Seems like they had thought it through to a degree and one review on Foursquare had recommended it.  That's why I was there.  And I was in the neighborhood because I was returning our friend's cat to her, which my wife and I had been watching.

When I ordered, the fellow suggested the Caesar salad.  It was the star of the meal but still lackluster.  I do give it a 4 of 5 in overall quality and tastiness, so that's quite good.  It was a very simple salad in too small of a bowl with the dressing on the side and perhaps too many very herby and very crunchy croutons.

Zoomed in on that there salad.  

So when the French dip came out, I was basically like "WTF?"  why is it all white?  Where the meat.  And the jus, also WTF.  That's a bunch of floating garlic.  I was by no means impressed and here I am two hours later writing up the review and still smell the garlic on me and I'm not impressed.  Very angry in fact!  This sandwich was coyote ugly bad.  I wanted to eat my own arm off to get out of the situation but instead I ate the whole sandwich.  But it was a punishment like that I hadn't experienced in some time.

Let's see: a French dip sandwich that physically looks like it's oozing coleslaw.  In fact it was flavorless and under-melted (probably vegan) cheese.  The vegans might not know food.  I was also affeared that there would be no use of butter and those fears were fully confirmed.  My rage is growing.

Seriously.  Why does it look like this?

I feel ashamed to hold it in my hand.

I feel like I am eating a Seafood Delight sandwich from Subway.  But it doesn't taste good.

I chew some and believe that the sandwich is under-flavored.

The sandwich dipped into the jus in incrementally better but I am still not impressed.  That is was not greasy is perhaps its only saving grace but other than that this sandwich had about zero redeeming qualities.

Just sorrow.

Here's the second half.  I dreaded eating it.  I wanted to leave.  I was so sad, so disillusioned, so alone.

But I plowed on because I am a man.  But god it wasn't good.  It was extremely oniony and garlicky tasting.  And that cheese just looks so horrible and out of place.  Unpleasing.

This is the failed jus at the end.  I didn't want it.

Just not good.  A pile of mess.

Raw Tasting Notes:

Weird place
Salad came first
Small salad bowl
Simple Caesar
Cold lettuce 4 in quality and flavor
In Seattle to drop off Tak at brie's
Good, herby croutons
Very crunchy croutons
Nice to start with a salad
Music playing
Definitely hippie
Stark interior
Too many croutons?
Will there be butter?
What kind of cheese (not disclosed)?
Slow water dispenser
Fine in a pizza oven
Weird color
Flavor of sandwich 3
Jus flavor 3, hot, garlic flavor
Cheese not melted, looks like Coleslaw
Predominant onion and garlic taste
Traditional hoagie probably not buttered
Size average
Didn't even want to eat 2nd half
Flavor 2
Jus improves and moistens
2 overall, maybe even 1. Not being greasy saved it.
Too Garlicky
Bland flavor


Bread 2 - It was fine and of okay size but because vegan, not buttered and just plain.
Meat 0 - The Field Roast was salty and probably not enough of it.  Very forgettable.
Non-Meat Toppings 0 - The onions were fine but too predominant.  The cheese was an awful and ugly failure.
Au Jus 0 - Visible garlic floating.  Causes indigestion.  Flavor maybe 2 but overall on the jus, a zero.
Overall 0 - Terrible sandwich.  Never go back.