I, and I’m sure everyone else in the Seattle area, am at the point where if there is even a hint of sun you’re convinced it’s summer weather and want to be outside. So, on Friday night after meeting a friend near Pike Place I insisted we get drinks on a patio/balcony/near the water to enjoy the sun and high 50 degree weather. This location was a great choice, I loved the mountains in the distance!
The two of us then met our other friend who just got off work and headed over to Ba Bar, a Vietnamese restaurant in Capital Hill. I’ve become a complete Vietnamese food enthusiast after trying pho for the first time, and every amazing dish a chef at work makes (I talk about her a lot… I want her to be my personal chef. She made this and my favorite vermicelli noodle dish that has cilantro, mint, basil, chili sauce and fried tofu among other things.) Pho is a dish that I had never had or heard of until I moved to Bellevue, and I am thankful that dark period of my life is over. At Ba Bar, it was a challenging decision between a vermicelli noodle bowl or pho, but I finally decided on the Pho Tai Nam, featuring brisket and London Broil steak. You get a lot of food for your buck, in this case a heaping pile of thin sliced medium rare steak on top of another pile of noodles in a personal cauldron of onion-y, cilantro-y, beefy broth. The typical sides of bean sprouts, jalapeno, basil, siracha and plum sauce were included as well. It was pho-mazing. I just made my own mouth water thinking about it. Runners up included pretty much the entire rest of the menu, proof that I must go back. I’m already excited thinking about that prospect.
The dessert selection was unfortunately incredibly blah, so we took a trip over to Chocolati, a coffee shop type place that is best known for their decadent hot chocolate, along with assorted truffles, chocolates and caramels. I indulged in a medium turtle hot chocolate (caramel and hazelnut), along with a pecan caramel and a salted caramel. The hot chocolate was insane. It was so thick I believe a pool of it may have supported my body weight. The entire top half of my cup was foam that was similar to drinking a thin chocolate mousse. I almost started to believe that the hot chocolate was really that thick before I finally made it down to the milk.
My only complaints are that they used a hazelnut syrup that gave it a fake taste, and the chocolate base and milk separated as the cocoa cooled so you’re left with what is essentially melted chocolate on the bottom of the cup. It isn’t the worst thing to complain about, but it started better than it ended. The chocolates were good, but the cocoa was so heavy and rich that I could barely enjoy them. I might be back, but it also may have been a “once is good enough” experience. Chocolati cocoa impressed me with its richness and texture, but Angelina’s in Paris will always hold the spot for the most amazing hot chocolate I’ve ever had. Read about it here.