It’s hard to select one bite that’s the best, so I’m just going to go for my favorites.
When you become as obsessed with food as I am, what starts to matter the most are the foundational bits. That the ingredients and prep of even the most basic foods are done with the highest standard of care, because that translates to the rest of the meal.
And here, Rintaro impressed me with their dang rice.
Yes, the mille-feuille pork katsu was expertly done, thin yet tender with that crisp panko crust. But I was totally distracted by how awesome the rice was from the first bite: each grain was individual yet slightly sticky, something close to the ideal for Japanese rice. And I was supposed to not eat all of it? I had to share?
(If Rintaro announced today that they were moving to donburi, or rice bowls, for their lunch menu, I’d probably be planning a trip back right now. No joke.)
Brioche french toast, quince butter, creme chantilly, brown sugar-oat tuile, Petit Crenn
That thick slice of brioche was custard softness, layered with the earthy delicacy of quince butter and creme chantilly. I’m glad we shared it because it left room for more food, but I would have been glad to eat it all.
Honestly, I feel like I’m understating how good it was here. The crust was still a touch crisp, the interior soft and vanilla. YES. I haven’t had a French toast that good literally in years.
Black sesame brittle, Neococoa
Last year at the NW Chocolate Festival, I totally stopped our roving group of chocolate geeks to grab some, since the Dandelion booth had brought a few bags. I regret nothing.
Annoyingly there’s no source for this brittle in Seattle, but Christine is working on it and fingers are crossed. (If you’re in SF though, the La Cocina booth at the Ferry Building Marketplace has an excellent lineup of their stuff!)
Rainbow Sprinkle Cookie, Wise Sons
This wasn’t a culinary masterpiece, but it gets included because it was the end of a decade-long search.
I didn’t see my grandparents all that often growing up, and my memories are few. One of my clearest memories is going (mainly with my grandfather) to Brenner Brothers, a jewish deli in Bellevue that closed years ago. It was always the same order: my grandfather got barley soup, and I’d get that unnaturally pink lemonade Snapple and a rainbow sprinkle-crusted sugar cookie.
As an adult, I’ve searched off and on for this cookie. And I happened to walk past an outlet of Wise Sons and spot The Cookie. And I asked: “is it crunchy?” and the guy said yes so of course I got it.
This won’t win awards, and honestly I can’t actually recommend it as a must-eat cookie. It’s sweet, slightly almond in flavor, and the main thing about it is the texture from the sheer coverage of sprinkles. But what it was was a memory and I’m glad I found it.
Chocolate soft serve with hot fudge, Bi-Rite Creamery
How is this combination so good? And why haven’t I had it outside of a Dairy Queen?
Bi-Rite already makes good, smooth soft serve. Adding the velvet hot fudge just makes everything more awesome.
(For the record, this is actually a sample – that I tipped for. Given how filling this was, I’m super curious how large a small is.)
To catch even more of the treats I loved, I made some vlogs! (What, you thought I could stop here?) Here’s the first of the mini-series: