It’s been six years since the last local Trader Vic’s shut its doors, and, really, only a few bars carry the tiki torch in Seattle full-time anymore. But, as the faux-Polynesian drinks regain steam around the country, Seattle bars are dedicating nights to the strong, playful flavors.
Naomi Tomky is the unrelentingly enthusiastic eater, photographer, and writer behind The GastroGnome. Since 2006, she’s brought her (sometimes over) eager mouth to tables around the world in search of new things to shove in it. From Beijing to Texas, from un-cleaned pig intestine (it sounds worse than it is) to huckleberry ice cream, there’s an adventure on every plate she dives into. Her writing can be found in the Seattle Weekly, Serious Eats, and Eat Your World. Her food and restaurant photography have appeared in all of those, plus Edible Seattle, Food and Wine Magazine, and Sunset Magazine. She lives in Seattle with her fiancée, and muppet-like dog. By day, she is the marketing manager for a group of grocery stores. When she’s not eating food or writing about it, she’s usually trying to work it off by skiing, running, or mountain biking.
Recent stories by Naomi Tomky
The best thing about eating and drinking is that everyone has to do it. Even your brother training for the Ironman has to get his “fuel” from somewhere. Some people are more enthusiastic about where their food came from - but the key is, food gifts are an easy answer for anyone, because everybody eats.
If you think Chera Amlag’s bright-green flan sounds strange, wait until you get a load of her purple cheesecake. “Color is intriguing,” Amlag says, attributing some of the success of her Hood Famous Bakeshop’s signature product to the purple color of ube yams that flavor it.
Thanksgiving is all about food and Black Friday is all about money. So there’s no better time than this week to put your money where your mouth is and donate to one of Seattle’s great food-related non-profit organizations.
Is your fantasy food market full of stalls serving Vietnamese bun cha (char-grilled pork), Kenyan chapati breads, and Filipino lumpia? Do you wish you could have a side of pulao rice with your ceviche? These are also the dreams of Philip Deng, the founder of MarketShare.
When cold season descends upon Seattle, its time to bring out the big guns in germ warfare—and I’m not talking about a purse large enough to hold all the tissues. Steaming bowls of soup, spicy and slurped, from the International District are just the type of Eastern medicine needed to chase away the sniffles.
Put the warhammer down, not everyone who eats brains stepped straight out of World War Z. This week might be Halloween, but there are a few Seattle restaurateurs who know that, year-round, eating brains is far more treat than trick. Instead of running screaming from the zombies, just think of them as dinner inspiration.
By stepping onto the ferry, you’re leaving something behind. Routine. Commute. Work. Even just a quick hop across from to Bainbridge warrants a glass of champagne when you make it Hitchcock Restaurant.
For visitors, the secretive nature of Kaua’i can make it more difficult to navigate the jagged peaks, uncover the best red dirt road, and find the best Hawaiian version of ramen, called saiman. After spending a few days talking to the experts on the island, we've got the five most important things to know when planning your trip to Kaua’i.
Like anyone else who spent childhood summers on Whidbey Island, I believe it is a magical place where teenagers roam free, dashing through the salt air, learning to open beer bottles on the chain link fence of Fort Casey State Park.
With ski season still more than a month away and mountain bike season in the rear-view mirror, the restaurants, spas, and hotels of the Canadian resort town are desperate to bring in enough money to keep them afloat and retain their top staff during the in-between seasons. Done right, it’s a quick enough drive for an easy weekend trip, poising Seattleites to take advantage of lavish menus and luxurious spas.
Not to detract from something people obviously love, but the seasonality of drinks has been around far longer than the arrival of the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). We ask the drinks that actually embrace the seasonal ingredients of the Northwest’s harvest come forward.
Regional fast food chains inspire surprisingly fierce loyalty: there’s no question that if Harold and Kumar were in California, they’d be going to In-n-Out, and if they were in Washington, I’m certain they’d be heading to Taco Time for the Crisp Beef Burrito--the greatest fast-food innovation of all time.
The smell of rain is the smell of fall, the smell of football, the smell of mushrooms! The excitement of native Seattleites about the coming of fall has always confused the city’s newest arrivals. Mushroom season is coming, it's time to get prepared.
Buried in the sub-levels of the Pike Place Market, a group of chefs are perfecting recipes for homemade Starbursts, chocolate bars composed entirely of coffee, and savory ice cream salad. Sound like something you might want to eat? Too bad. These real-life Willy Wonkas aren’t running a restaurant: if you want to taste these magical flavors, you have to make them yourself.
Can't stand another season full of french fries and mozzarella sticks? We've got a few tasty treats with a side of men-in-spandex lined up.
Yogurt meant just one thing when I was young: the slimy white stuff that stood between my mouth and the sugary “fruit on bottom,” described on the side of the container. Now, Seattle's experiencing something of an international yogurt revolution. French, Ethiopian, or Vietnamese, it's time to find your yogurt flavor.
Seattle is a stunningly good town in which to eat hamburgers. However, it’s been a tough week for Seattle’s best hamburgers with the untimely closing of the groundbreaking Katsu Burger in Georgetown and the final service of Capitol Hill’s La Bête. Rather than mourn lost beef brethren, burger-lovers of Seattle, it’s time to get out and eat more burgers!
Move over soup dumplings and Din Tai Fung, there's a new dumpling in town: shen jian bao. Meet this fluffy, meaty, crunchy dumpling and see why it's time to head to Bellevue's Dough Zone for fun with carbs.
IPA is popular all over, but in Seattle it enjoys a special, cult-like favoritism, dominating tap selections. Bright, citrusy beers laced with the local crop of hops created a unique category of Northwest IPAs. But what a Northwest IPA is and why it is so well-loved around town is rarely discussed.
If the mention of tequila still makes you moan and groan and curse Jose Cuervo while shuddering at memories of the inside of your toilet, Northwest Tequila Fest is ready to show you the more mature side of agave spirits this weekend.
There’s no denying that Seattle has an array of cuisines from around the world that could serve as Epcot Center for the modern gourmand, but it’s missing a few really spectacular ones.
Whether you’ve run out of ideas for what to do with the case of peaches you bought or your mint plant is threatening to swallow your garage, a new crop (pun intended) of books is ready to help you bring the same plethora of plants to your glass.
When food is terrible at a new restaurant, how can great service turn what could have been a declaration of it as “a place of no return” into someplace you look forward to trying again—once they’ve had some time to settle?
The best neighborhood bars have enough space that you’re comfortable bringing in ten of your friends when you’re sick of them destroying your house, but you also know you’ll have a stool at the bar when you just need to cry into your beer by yourself. And a great neighborhood bar doesn't even need to be in your neighborhood--here are three worth driving to right now.