R and I just returned from a 7 day Alaskan cruise on the Celebrity Infinity. It was round trip from
We flew in to
Dungeness crab w/ house kim chee, radish, tofu
Dahlia smoked copper river salmon w/ hot mustard, sesame
King clam sashimi w/ pickled beet, fresh horseradish
Ahi tuna w/ yuzu kosho, avocado, tobiko roe
All were delectable and delicious little bites; I loved the smoked salmon, while R’s favorite was the tuna.
On a recent episode of the Food Network show, “The best ____ I ever ate” I watched Giada go orgasmic as she described Dahlia’s crab cake, so there was no question of what I was having for dinner. The lemon-scallion Dungeness crab cake was easily the best crab cake I’ve had (apologies to the state of
R had the grilled
Dessert is where the madness started. I have read much about the triple coconut cream pie, including a personal recommendation by my buddy, Doug, so that was definitely on the slate. There was a “Tom's world famous crème caramel” listed and R has a rule that if it is “world famous” we have to order it, so that was in contention. He also has a soufflé rule, so it’s a good thing there were none listed. Don’t forget, it was my birthday, and so there needed to be cake and a candle involved, which pointed to the chocolate peanut butter pudding cup with chocolate pudding cake. There was also a black pepper cheesecake sounded unique and interesting. Lastly, I was interested in the lychee sorbet; I love lychee and it is an ingredient seldom seen on a menu. The 5 contenders, 2 people; how to narrow down the field?
R (with a gleam in his eye): Do you trust me?
R: Come on, you trust me, don’t you?
G: Not as far as I can throw you.
R: Oh well, too bad.
He got up and left the table. He had a conversation with our waiter. If you know R at all, you know what happened next, don’t you? The triple coconut cream pie, crème caramel, chocolate peanut butter pudding cup, chocolate pudding cake (with a candle) and the black pepper cheesecake all appeared at the table.
All were delicious; Dahlia Lounge clearly has a skilled pastry chef. But, let me take the time to use every superlative in the book to describe the crème caramel. It was truly magnificent, and a contender for the best dessert I’ve ever had. The texture of the custard was truly amazing; it was unbelievably silky and creamy. R described it as the love child between the very best butter and ice cream. I keep eating spoonful after spoonful marveling at how they achieved this texture, I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. I like to think I ate so much of it for scientific purposes. I will go home and replicate this if it kills me (and it likely will, with fat and high cholesterol).
After the cruise, R and I spent another night in
What I want to know is, why didn’t R also order the lychee sorbet?
It’s a tourist mecca, but for good reason. There is stall after stall of seafood, produce, pastries, jams, jellies, candies and other tasty treats, as well as tourist goods: t-shirts, candles, jewelry, etc.etc. Here what we sampled:
The Crumpet Shop – We loved this tiny café with homemade crumpets and tea. Crumpets are like English muffins, but thicker, fluffier and fried. The crumpet shop offers them savory (egg, ham, cheese) or sweet (lemon curd, nutella, almond butter, homemade marmalades, etc. We had them both ways and I must say, the crumpet is a versatile delivery vehicle. I need to find a recipe and try my hand at them. Anyone know of a good one?
Piroshky Piroshky – It’s a Russian bakery, I read about in all my copious food research and people seemed to rave about it. Although it is a small storefront, you can’t miss the aroma that hits you 50 feet before you get there, or the line that winds out the door. Unfortunately, I think the smell was better than the taste. Piroshky is basically a bun, stuffed with either savory or sweet ingredients. We had a chicken and mushroom piroshky as well as an almond and cream. I thought the fillings were tasty but the bun seemed doughy and bland. As R said, “It’s not like
NE style clam chowder – I know, it’s weird to have NE chowder in
Smoked Salmon Chowder – It had Nova smoked salmon with capers and cream cheese. Pretty tasty.
Seafood Bisque - Pacific cod, salmon, calamari in a tomato-basil broth. I think this was our favorite.
Seared scallop – It had dill and lime juice and I think the lime did not work at all.
Le Panier – We stopped in for an almond croissant and a chocolate croissant. Both were excellent and would not be out of place in
Daily Dozen Doughnut Company – The doughnuts are the same size as the Hostess donettes of my youth. The stall is tiny, and the line is long, but 3 bucks garners you a brown sack with a dozen cinnamon sugar donuts that are melt in your mouth good. Make sure you get them fresh and hot.
Red Mill Burger – GQ listed it as “One of the 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die,” so off we went, not questioning what authority GQ has over burgers. It was a decent burger and the onion rings were excellent. I also enjoyed the thick shakes. But you can die without journeying out to this place.
Hot dog vendor – We wondered in to Platinum records, a record store around the block from Pike Street Fish Fry. We had an extended conversation with the guy behind the counter and he told us that we had to try a hot dog with cream cheese and onions. It’s a
That’s all for now,