Chuck's Donut Shop

 5335 Se 4th St
Renton, WA

Get There Early

If you aren’t into the mass-produced Krispy Kremes, you might head a little further south and give Chuck’s Donuts a try. They aren’t open Sunday, and you have to get there early (before 12pm for the best selection) on Saturdays. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen them serve powdered sugar donuts, but the boston cream, and the cake-style donuts are great! Definitely worth going to if you like a more homemade taste.

There is a small cafe right off of I-90 on Front Street in Issaquah that advertises Chuck’s Donuts. I’ve never bought any from there, but it might be worth trying if you don’t want to go so far out of your way.


Tortilla Sam's Fresh-mex

 107 Highland St
Worcester, MA

Fresh Tortillas and Black Beans

Tortilla Sam’s is a unique Mexican restaurant specializing in black bean dishes. This place kept me fed while attending college at nearby WPI, and really made me a fan of black beans. The carry-out area provides quick fast-food style service with restaurant quality food, and is typically how I ordered. If you have time, however, it’s worth dining in the Cantina. It has a much larger menu, with many of the same dishes you find at other Mexican restaurants, cooked Sam’s style.

Other then the black beans, a few things separate Tortilla Sam’s from the average Mexican restaurant in my mind. Flour tortillas are pressed and grilled fresh in the take out area, while you watch. I assume most restaurants buy their tortillas in bulk, because you just can’t beat the taste and texture of the ones from Sam’s. If you’re planning to consume alcohol, be aware that Sam’s has a BYOB policy, and doesn’t serve any of their own alcoholic beverages. There is a liquor store nearby if you need to stock up before dinner. Finally, if you like spicy food, try the “napalm” salsa. Despite the gimmicky name, it’s actually a very flavorful addition to your meal.

P.S. They had a cream-based pumpkin soup as the soup of the day once. If they happen to have this while you’re there, order it. It tastes like hot, liquid pumpkin pie!

Black Bean

The combination of beans and spices make this simple burrito one of the best dishes Sam’s has to offer.


Mediterranean Kitchen

 103 Bellevue Way Ne
Bellevue, WA

If you love garlic...

This is an excellent restaurant hidden away in a strip mall in downtown Bellevue (I’ve never tried the one in Seattle). The food is delicious and very inexpensive for the quality. They could charge twice as much for these entrées and I’d still consider it money well spent. I make a point of bringing friends and family when they are visiting Puget Sound. The dining area is rather small and intimate, lit by candlelight during dinner.

Two warnings: First, the portions are huge. My wife and I normally share a meal and we still have enough left over for at least one more meal the next day. The $5 split-plate cost is a good investment. Second, you have to really like garlic, and so does everyone you plan to come in contact with for the next 24 hours. The food is tasty enough that it’s worth being shunned by your friends for a day.

My favorite menu item is the schawarma: lamb is best, but chicken and beef are pretty good too. But before you order, ask about the specials. They always have something interesting to try; usually as good or better then what you find on the menu.

Lamb Shawarma

Always a great choice. The meat is very tender.


Noodle Boat Thai Restaurant

 700 Nw Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA

Easily the best restaurant in Issaquah. Noodle Boat has...

Easily the best restaurant in Issaquah. Noodle Boat has a large menu so I’ve only scratched the surface of what they have to offer, but I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve tried so far. Fresh ingredients really make the difference over other Thai restaurants. The decor is a little nontraditional, but I’ll let you figure out what that means.


Jet City Pizza

 1420 Nw Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA

Bertucci's Brick Oven Pizzeria

 161 Turnpike Rd
Westborough, MA

Coho Cafe

 8976 161st Ave Ne
Redmond, WA

Sole Proprietor Seafood & Sprt

 118 Highland St
Worcester, MA

Bertucci's Brick Oven Pizzeria

 374 Boston Post Rd E
Marlborough, MA

Casa Vallarta

 1299 156th Ave Ne
Bellevue, WA
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