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Monday, March 29, 2010

Txori- I'm a fan 'coz of their Stuffed Ink Squid

Txori - I'm a fan 'coz of their stuffed ink squid!

I've recently been searching for excitement and inspiration in food by dining out. Food always excites me and I'm sure most people feel the same way these days with all of the fancy cooking shows on tv.

We came across this restaurant by accident as we were looking for a place serving live octopus. When I say live, I mean physically live! Yep it's physically moving while swallowing it. That was what I was looking for.

Anyhow, that place is closed down, so we ran into Txori- Spanish cuisine (as they mentioned on the website). What enticed me at first was the stuffed ink squid as one of the most popular dishes. Since I was looking for a bizarre food just like the show on Foodnetwork Channel, Txori and its menu fell into my category. My adventurous eater friends and I didn't waste much time, it was our mission for that week. After setting up the date , we were there on a Friday night. I made a reservation even though on some websites it said no reservation necessary. I did it anyway. I didn't want to drag all my friends there and end up with no seats. The reservation was made. Rule #1: Make a reservation before you go.

I've been to 2nd Ave in downtown Seattle many times but didn't notice this place at all. In fact, I probably walked by without knowing good food was there. It's located on 2nd Ave and is a small place compared to other restaurants in the area. You have to look carefully otherwise it's easily missed. The logo at the front door is in red color and the decoration is loft style. We sat down and were ready to rock...BUT...we didn't understand any name shown on the menu as it's in Spanish. It was silent until one of us shouted out "read the caption!" After a few seconds pause, the noise started to begin. 

The dish names are hard, including drink names. We couldn't even pronounce it. The wait staff could probably see from our facial expressions, one of them came to us and asked nicely with a big smile if we needed help. We sure did. Rule#2: Ask for help if needed

We started with drinks and beverages, the guys went for Spanish beer and the girls went for a beer with different flavors of soda; such as lemon and orange. It was very light and tasted good. I'm a very light weight drinker and the beer with lemon soda made my night. We ordered food after ignoring the names and focusing on the descriptions. I actually knew what I'd like to try - stuffed ink squid, blood sausage, chorizo, and pear-on-baguette. We all wanted to try pretty much everything so we ordered a lot and shared. 
Rule#3: Try everything and share! (at least if you don't like it, you don't have to end up eating it all by yourself)

My first expression when the stuffed ink squid arrived's so small!.. Well don't let a photo fool you, I guess. I say this because I saw this dish on a review website and it looked huge like a sandwich. I even asked my girlfriend if she wanted to split it before it arrived. Never mind then; I definitely could finish it myself. The wait staff said it's imported from South Africa. Okay...this dish goes international. After we tried it, i didn't regret it. It was creamy and you could see the ink inside. The texture was less chewy than I thought. Surprisingly, the ink wasn't fishy and bitter. It made me wonder if this was what it actually tasted like. The creamy from the ink, the chewy texture from squid, and the crunchiness of the fried baguette, all incorporated well together. Rule#4: Don't let a photo fool you.

I don't quite remember the name, but it's made from tuna, egg, and caviar. The tuna, boiled egg, mayonnaise, and its seasoning, are served on a baguette with a slice of boiled egg and olive on top. Actually most dishes are served on a thick piece of baguette. They are more like appetizers and light meals as called in the menu "pintxos" - Don't ask me what it means!  Prices range from $2-$5 per pintxo dish. This tuna was OK to me. It was not the excitement I was looking for.

If you're a big fan of oysters and are a Seattleite, you would know March is the oyster festival at Anthony's. Txori doesn't have oysters here so we got fried egg, bacon, and oyster mushroom to substitute. We were guessing oyster mushrooms could substitute raw oysters (silly us!). The oyster mushroom had a strong taste. I could taste its fishiness. I like raw oysters but not so much this oyster mushroom. Sorry!

Okay. Not everyone that night likes bizarre food. Yes, I'm talking about my husband - Keith. He's not an adventurous eater like me but had to come along. That was funny when everybody was excited to try new food, he jumped to the wait staff and asked what dish is the most normal one. He would get that. So, he got an egg and potato sandwich? Looked like it to me. It's a bigger dish with that baked egg. It was quite good for a normal dish here. Rule#5: Don't overlook a normal dish

He also liked this - a prosciutto bruschetta with something else like garlic that I didn't remember, on a fried baguette of course.

Chorizo with white wine and fried baguette. I found it was too dry for me...However, I saw a huge chorizo link at the kitchen upfront. It was cool.

I came here for this one too (other than stuffed ink squid)! It's called blood sausage. I imagined it would be juicy blood when I poked the sausage. Na was cooked blood. At least it was bizarre at some level. In fact, in Asian kitchens, there is pork blood cubed in a few dishes. Therefore, Txori's blood sausage didn't excite me much. You definitely should try it, tho. You could taste something from the sausage too.  I'm sure it was that blood chunk!

The blood sausage - that was the inside of it. Blood and piquillo pepper mixed with the sausage. We were busy eating and couldn't hardly wait for me to snap a photo of it. All I got was a blurry!...

Vinegar cured anchovies and jamo'n (ham) crab sauce. 

Grilled pear -blue cheese- walnut

Braised Oxtail Tartlet. I thought it would come in a tail with bone! It tasted like shredded beef to me. I like the sauce. I'm not sure what kind of sauce but I was thinking of parsley sauce. It came with mashed potato. 

This is rabbit..seriously. I don't remember the name. It's on the entree menu which doesn't appear in the appetizer menu. It tasted like turkey but with a beef smell. You know when you eat beef, there's a beef smell? Similar to when you eat seafood, there's a fishy smell. That's the beef smell I'm talking about. This rabbit was served with palef (I think). It's bigger than pintxos and for sure more expensive. That was the last dish we had that evening. Were we full?? Nah not really. Well, I was but not for the guys who need more fuel! 

I'd come back to Txori! I haven't tried its dessert menu and other pintxos! I wanted to try the octopus wrapped in a bamboo stick called galicious octopus!


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