I was also down in the States last weekend, and although I was hoping to have some quiet time to relax in my hotel room and blog, it didn’t quite happen. This time around, we decided that we wanted to try different restaurants that Seattle had to offer other than just the restaurant chains we were used to (I’m looking at you, Cheesecake Factory and PF Changs). Yes, they are delicious and reputable restaurants, but I wanted to try places that were only offered in Seattle.
One of the places that we wanted to try on our visit here last month was Toulouse, but we didn’t get the chance to. This time, we made sure that we would check this place out! We were also quite fortunate, as our hotel was a mere 10 minute walk away (if we didn’t get lost, that is.. but in my defense, we didn’t have a physical map or data on our cell phones to find it).
After walking around the Queen Anne neighbourhood for a bit, I knew that we had reached the restaurant when I saw tons of late brunchers waiting outside a dark/lime green-ish building. I braved the crowd and asked for a table of two. We were told that the wait was going to be 35-40 minutes. WHAT?! Since we were set on trying this place and we wanted a seemingly delicious lunch, we sucked it up and walked around Queen Anne a bit before coming back to wait in line.
After 35 minutes of waiting, we were seated at a big and high communal table, with 4-6 other brunchers sharing the space with us. The colouring and decor of the wall gave it a very rustic and homey feeling, despite the high ceilings. The liquor cabinet was definitely something to be marveled at though, look at how extensive their collection was!
But it was too early for alcohol and I had already bought a smoothie while waiting in line earlier. The boyfriend was very impressed with the intricate detailing of our tables, known as wood inlay. With his carpentry background, he knew and appreciated the about of labour and effort that went into what (to me, at least) looked like a seemingly basic painted wood design on the table. Needless to say, we were very impressed with the decor and ambiance.
Another thing to note about Toulouse is that it has won numerous awards and was featured a couple of times on The Food Network (!!!!!). We had absolutely no idea until we were reading the menu. That explains the long waits and high ratings!
Toulouse is rated one of the Top 5 Restaurants in America by Trip Advisor. That is crazy, I had noo idea and it just made our restaurant trip even better. At that point, the boyfriend decided to order two entrees because he couldn’t decide, and it wasn’t often that we ate in one of the “top” restaurants in USA LOL.
Snake River Farms Kurobota Ham Egg Benedict ($14). I thoroughly enjoyed the smoky flavour of the ham, which was a bit salty as well. The ham was very light and carved really thin. The yolk oozed perfectly onto the ham and english muffin. The hash was seasoned very well and very filling. I’m not a huge hollandaise fanatic, but I do appreciate a delicious hollandaise sauce, this one was no different. It went very well with the smoky and thin texture of the ham. This dish takes second place out of the three entrees.
This was the entree that I finally decided on, the Spicy Creole Andouille Hash ($14). First off, my eggs were perfect and ahhhhh-maaazing. It was cooked perfectly in the way that the yolk slowly oozed out, encompassing all of the hash, sausages, and veggies underneath. I was very impressed and happy at how perfect it went. As for the hash, tasso, housemade andouille sausage, peppers and tomato confit underneath, I enjoyed it as well but found the taste of the red pepper taste to be a bit overpowering. It was my first time trying andouille sausage, a Southern classic. I wouldn’t mind trying it again. There was a lot going on in this dish, but every ingredient complemented each other perfectly, bringing together a very dynamic Creole dish. The fresh green onions on top was the cherry on top of a great dish.
My favourite plate, hands down, of the day. We found ourselves constantly thinking about this dish even after we had finished it on our stroll back. Cured Pork Cheeks Confit Hash ($15), featured on The Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” TV show. Was it the best thing I ever ate? It certainly came close. The cured pork cheeks was SO GOOD, it was very tender and melted in your mouth, packed with flavour. Mixing in the ooey yolk, hash, arugula, and other vegetables, it was love at first bite.
I love my hearty Southern food because of how savoury and comforting it is. Would I wait 35 minutes again in line? Yes. From the friendly service, intricate decor, and delicious southern food, I am very glad we made the stop here on our trip.