Monday, May 07, 2007

Where's for dinner?

Lulu tagged me with a places-to-eat meme, so I guess I have to spill the beans about where's OK for food in Walla Walla :)

Here're the rules:

1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you.

Include the city/state and country you’re in.
(Sydney, Australia)
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
(San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
(Jakarta, Indonesia)
(London, England)
(Utah, USA)
(Toronto, Canada)
(Saitama, Japan)
(Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
(Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Alasdair (Walla Walla, Wash., U.S.)

2. List your top five favorite places to eat at your location.

3. Tag five other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Well, let's see. Walla Walla is a city of about 30,000, tucked away in the southeastern corner of Washington, near the Oregon state line. It is fast becoming a big-deal wine destination, so the places to eat have changed quite a bit in recent years. One thing we have very little of is chain, sit-down restaurants. We've got Applebee's and Shari's, but that's about as far as it goes.

I'll be honest here. I miss southern New Hampshire/Greater Boston pretty intensely when it comes to food, and we rarely go out around here. I may not be a professional chef, but I'm sorry to report my meals are significantly better than most of what you get in restaurants here. This isn't a complete wasteland, though: Here are some good places for chow, in no particular order:
  • Taco trucks: Walla Walla has a whole bunch of these, step vans that carry a kitchen on board and can be found pretty reliably at a few locations around town and at special events (like game days for the regional Mexican Soccer League or over at the alma mater). You gets your basics here - a beef taco on corn tortillas with salsa and lime for about a buck. Tasty, quick and friendly is standard fare, whichever one you choose. There's also a place called Taqueria Yungapeti, which is kind of like a taco truck except that it is a sit-down restaurant. The food's the same, but the venue's nicer on any of Walla Walla's 50 or 60 annual days with rain.
  • Whitehouse-Crawford: OK, this is really a place I/we go for drinks, which are pricy, tasty and strong. The restaurant and bar are in a reconditioned mill and the ambience is maybe a third of the reason to go. Besides sidecars and martinis and such, W-C also has tasty fried onions (I love onion rings) and excellent desserts, especially their twice-baked chocolate souffle/cake and flan. Plus, if you spend a lot of money, they'll give you a customized woodworker's pencil as a souvenir.
  • Rosita's Mexican restaurant: Besides the taco trucks, we have no shortage of Mexican restaurants here. Rosita's is a kind of quiet, hole-in-the-wall sort of place that's been around for decades. The enchiladas verde are the best Mexican food I've had in Walla Walla by a long shot - spicy, rich in tomatillos and with a good proportion of chicken, cheese and sauce. Most out-of-towers don't notice Rosita's because it isn't near the main entrance to the city and because it isn't flashy. So much the worse for them, but so much the better for the locals, who don't have to wait for a table...
  • Fast Eddy's and Ice Burg: Two high-profile drive-ins, both of which are good old-fashioned hamburger joints. At Fast Eddy's, the lady comes to your car, at Ice-Burg you step up to an outdoor counter or use a drive-through. Both places have quality burgers, really good milkshakes (Ice-Burg has fantastic blackberry shakes) and serviceable onion rings and fries. Compared to In-N-Out Burger, these are both highway robbery and just all right for food, but they're pretty damn good for local fare.
  • Patit Creek Restaurant: The classic fancy place in the area, this little restaurant is in Dayton, a smallish city north of Walla Walla. Frommer's gives it two (out of three) stars; I've heard someone else offered three (out of what I don't know). I have actually had their signature dish, filet mignon poivre verte, which I would put in my top-five all time for steaks (another meme, perhaps. The others were 1) an open-face roast-beef sandwich at a steakhouse in York, Neb. I think it was at Chances 'R'. 2) a steak at Front Street Steakhouse in Ogallala, Neb. They even give you an ice cream sundae for dessert. 3) lunch special at Suehiro in Kyoto. You cook it yourself on a little griddle brought to your table. Served with some kind of proprietary soy sauce - fantastic. 4) New York strip steaks grilled by yours truly in Newmarket, N.H., bought at the Durham Marketplace meat counter and seasoned with Spade L seasoning. 5) Uh, Patit Creek? Yes, and it was very good.)
So, I suppose I have to tag some people. How about the butterfly lady, mama, MWR, Daphne and Rich. The first one and the last two don't follow the rules for geography, but I like to compare (and I have a limited circle of acquaintance!).


Nicole Tan said...

Fast Eddy's and Ice Burg sounds like very cool drive in...too bad we don't have any here in sydney...and patit creek restaurant sounds like a very nice cosy restaurant to be in

ps hope you had fun doing the meme..please feel free to drop me a message if you know of anyone you tagged did the tag so I can update you guys..thanks

velverse said...

woo... looks like lots of mexican food.. and I see Taco didn't I? Never tried but saw on TV before. Yummie... felt like I can eat loads of it :D

Walla walla sounds like fun place with great food.

Thanks for doing the tag :)

lulu said...

You gotta love a place that gives you a free pencil. Sidecars, mmmmmm I haven't had one of those in ages.

Chase said...

yeah, yeah, I see your tag...I am getting to it...after Colorado...