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Palace Kitchen

With the exception of Ting Momo and Etta’s, I’ve had some chow at all of Tom Douglas’ joints. While my favorite is Lola, there’s always a little bit of something at each place that makes the visit worth it. Especially since none of the places have decent parking. While Palace Kitchen had been on my list of places to try, its location on 5th and Lenora made it the kind of last minute place that we were walking past one sunny afternoon and said “Oh, hey, that place,” and gave it a whirl.

We arrived right as they were opening for dinner and thought about sitting at the bar for happy hour, but the sun made the window seat a winner. I started out with the seasonal fruit lemonade which was a good beginning to the evening, tart and tangy and just the right amount of liquory.

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The best thing about this cheese plate was the names and descriptions of each cheese. Ok, not the best thing, but thanks for keeping it real, Palace. The handcrafted Northwest cheese plate came with five different cheeses including cirrus, naughty nellie, goat gouda, l’or des domes , and port edison. Naughty nellie is just fun to say, but the cirrus was my favorite because I love a thick, creamy, buttery cheese.

I loved the bread service. Tom knows how to keep the carb folks happy, and why shouldn’t he share the goods from that ginormous bakery he’s got? It’s a good chewy bread with a firm crust, perfect for dipping into an olive oil tricked out with actual olives and balsamic.

If chicken wings are on the menu, James is ordering them. The wood grilled chicken wings had that crispy char on the outside, but remained juicily delicious on the inside. They were served with a coriander cream and weren’t especially spicy. Would definitely order these again.

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The Palace Burger Royale lived up to its name–a 1/2 pound of hand-ground chuck, served on a dahlia bakery onion bun–like a champ. It wasn’t just a hunka hunka meat with no flavor–it had that nice char on the outside and was extremely juicy. Charred and juicy is about as good as meat gets. The fries were a nice afterthought, but completely unnecessary.

The creme caramel claims to be “world famous” at the Douglas restaurants, I guess I was expecting more flavor. Maybe I was just too overloaded on meat by the time this arrived, because it looks like it should be delicious. I loved the idea of that rice crispy treat topping it off as a fancy garnish, but it was too crisp and didn’t have much flavor, either.

This leaves Etta’s and Ting Momo on the list. I walk past Ting Momo’s five days a week and have yet to be tempted, so I guess up next is Etta’s.

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