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  • Writer's pictureAvalara Foodmaps Elves

IRONSTEAK and an Iron Chef in the ID

Abigail: So, today Roxane was heading out for lunch and I tagged along because we both agreed that a small bag of chips and some pineapple at 10:30 were not lunch. We wanted to stretch a leg and look around the ID without deciding where we were going to actually get lunch. Great decision, because found all sorts of news about food in the ID that’s fun to be aware of!

Roxane: I simply needed a walk. And some lunch. Always up for an adventure, I deemed the International District as the neighborhood to explore.

Abigail: Let’s get the Dochi out of the way first: A mochi donut counter opened last week in Uwajimaya, right near the door nearest to Avalara’s Seattle office (food court). It’s called Dochi and currently they are so popular post-opening that there’s a significant line. They’re only open of Thurs and Friday during the week, from 11 until 2 or when the dochis run out. Thanks to Sasha Demyanik, who braved the line and was generous with tastes, I got to try two flavors. Between the chocolate caramel and the cookies ‘n’ cream favors, cookies ‘n’ cream favors was the BIG favorite. Dochis are chewy but not heavy, and have a fried-cake-donut flavor/aroma that is lovely. Recommended. In fact, you might want to sign up for the September 5th Dochi outing on the Foodmaps calendar.

But, back to today...

Roxane: The first part of the adventure was when, within the first block of Weller in the ID, Abigail stops in astonishment. “What happened? What’s going on?” I think. She is standing in front of Momosan.

Abigail: I think my astonishment caught you off-guard! It caught me off-guard, too, because I had been reading about it in anticipation, and there it was!

Roxane: Momosan will be—as of September 5th—the Seattle installation of original Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s popular ramen restaurants. We must wait until Wednesday for opening day. I spied what must be chefs and staff inside at the table. Sampling, I presume.

After much explanation of Momosan, we continued on our stroll, not yet starving. This was the time to look around. On Weller after just crossing 6th, I notice “Young Tea” and cutesy porcine signs on the building across the street. The happy pig represented Mongolian Hot Pot, but Young Tea enticed us to come inside.

Here at Avalarian Foodmaps Headquarters (i.e., Abigail’s desk...I sit right next to her), we schemed that a tea-tasting outing might be nice for an Avalarian Foodmaps event. Our eyes were open for tea shops.

We walked into Young Tea to determine its offerings.

Abigail: I instantly loved this shop because it was quiet yet bustling, very comfy in its vibe. And the *l e n g t h y* menu seemed to have something for everyone, no matter what their preferences might be. Hot tea, cold tea, bubble tea, herbal tea, black tea, green tea, and milk tea (What’s that?!), it’s all there.

Roxane: I think milk tea is the way I drink tea! Black tea with milk and sugar. The way the British drink tea. I was very pleased to see their “milk tea."

Abigail: You can have ALL the milk tea, then!

Roxane: Also of note about Young Tea: this is the home of the mason jar of tea. About 10 minutes earlier, I had noticed someone on the street with bubble tea in a clear container with a sturdy lid. That’s Young Tea’s sustainable efforts.

The grape fruit tea (not grapefruit but grape) enticed me, but I needed substantial food first.

Abigail: Once we left the tea place, we were about to go around the corner but didn’t make it because we saw IRONSTEAK. It sucked us in faster than a turbine.

Roxane: Yes, the pictures of raw steak really had me. Seriously. I knew if raw steak was involved, they probably have an ancient secret to not overcooking the meat.

Abigail: Before we knew it we had ordered.

Roxane: I chose the sirloin steak with an addition of broccoli. I wanted to add cabbage too, and ordered that after I was satisfied they’d steamed that too.

I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. This was my first time here.

Abigail: Same.

Roxane: While staring out at the intersection of Weller and Maynard, I asked Abigail about the two restaurants in sight: Honey Court and Ho Ho Seafood Restaurant.

Abigail: I have veg friends who used to swear by Honey Court and I think I went there once back in the day. Would be fun to stop back in and see what’s up! I had no idea about Ho Ho Restaurant.

While puzzling over that we bumped into Maggie Alexander and Carina Garcia...whose fave lunch spot IRONSTEAK has become. Glomming on to the pros, we asked what their favorite dish at IRONSTEAK is. Answers: Maggie loves the Sirloin, and Carina loves the Shrimp Alfredo.

Maggie and Carina showed us how it’s done: Order “for here” not takeout if you have the time. If you eat there, your lunch comes in a sizzling cast-iron skillet with a cute paper collar. Enchanting and full of sounds as well as smells and flavors! And, the room is very fun.

Roxane: Clearly, we made a rookie move.

Abigail: Walking back to the office with our takeout versions of IRONSTEAK, we passed some intriguing stuff at the corner of 6th and Weller that will bear some future inspection. Oasis offers bubble waffles which I have seen in shops lately but which I have never tried. It’s time and this seems like the place: Large and seemingly quite prosperous! They also have bubble tea with whipped toppings (Is whipped cream cheese topping a good idea?)

The Oasis website is very animated and exciting!

Next door is something that’s either coming or going. Milkie Milkie is a Korean dessert shop with a location in Edmonds. I'm pretty sure the ID location is incoming rather than outgoing but we’ll see! If it’s incoming I am totally interested in dropping by to learn about Korean desserts.

Roxane: Back at AHT, it was time to dig in. I followed the proprietress’s instructions. I first tasted the sauces. The reddish sauce was very spicy; not pure chili sauce or sriracha, but clearly one of those was a main ingredient. The second was a salty sauce, like a black bean sauce or oyster sauce. The third had some sweetness, but not sweet like teriyaki. That third one was hard to describe but what I sauced my steak with.

IRONSTEAK’s meal was hearty, lovely, and flavorful.

Abigail: Agree! I would go back anytime but I would for sure order “for here” and bring a gang to ooh and ah over the sizzle.

Roxane: Stay for the sizzle!

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