Where's the best Mexican food in Renton?

First off, I have to brag that this blog is now featured on the Renton Chamber of Commerce's website.  Check it out at  If you'd told me thirty years ago that I'd be hanging out with Chamber of Commerce types in the future, I'd call you nuts. But the Renton Chamber of Commerce is different. Grassroots. Nurturing and promoting the vitality of downtown Renton and other neighborhoods. A bunch of funny, creative people. So there! Go ahead, call me a corporate stooge! That out of the way, let's talk local Mexican food. I'm not going to tell you where I think the best Mexican food is in Renton. Because I don't know, and because my mood changes. But there are some worthy contenders. And what's best, anyway?
For me, the food has to be delicious. And even if it is delicious, it might not be the best if it takes a long time for me to get the food I ordered, or there's very long wait for a table, or the service is unfriendly and incomp…

I Like Bread

I like bread. I know...carbs. I know...empty calories. I know....heart disease and cancer contributing White Death.
But, y'know? We all make choices. I eat no meat other than seafood. I don't smoke. I barely drink. I eat lots of vegetables. I get lots of exercise.
Fifteen years or so ago, I was on a low carb diet. I lost fifty five pounds( and only gained about twenty of it back), so for a long time( six, seven years?) I did not eat bread. Oh, I ate the stuff sold in the stores as low carb bread. And I told people it was pretty good. I lied. It was as if some crazed chemist created some weird concoction out of sponge, sawdust, and melted plastic. And called it bread.
What I'm talking about is real bread, from a bakery( or made at home).
To the best of my knowledge, Renton does not have a bakery that makes bread, other than supermarket bakeries. It's too bad, because I think bakeries really enhance a town or neighborhood. Renton Highlands used to have the Sugar, Flour …

Mystery plant, Food Innovation Network, Mexican weekend buffet, and Chantrelle mushrooms

Today's post starts with a quiz. The flowering plant above is something I grew in my garden. The photo was taken September 7th. What is it?
A. Marijuana
B. Opium Poppy
C. Okra
D. Tomatillo
I'll reveal the answer at the end of the post.

Boon Boona Coffee is hosting some pop up fundraiser lunches for the Food Innovation Network as they try to obtain commercial kitchen space for budding entrepreneurs who need mentorship, guidance, funding, etc. They are raising money to develop the Tukwila Food hall( and I'm jealous that it won't be in Renton.) Nonetheless, it's already started, and on October 4th, they'll be featuring the food of the Congo, on October 18th Kenyan food, on November 1st Soul Food, on November 15th Kurdish, on December 6th Mexican, and on December 20th different Kenyan food.  It's from 11 AM-1PM. You can buy tickets in advance or just show up at Boon Boona, 724 S. 3rd St, Renton. The…

Tacos and beer in Renton. Tacos and beer in Georgetown. And salad in a Skyway tavern.

I didn't go into Dubtown Brewing(201 Main Ave S, Renton) thinking that I would like the place. For a couple of reasons. One is that I'm a Four Generals Brewing( 229 Wells Ave S. Renton) loyalist. I love Four Generals, and have liked almost all the beers I've tried there. Another is that I hate "progress" and development, and remember fondly the former gas station on the site of Dubtown that housed Jet City Espresso, the former coffee shop/junk shop/cool hangout space. I know, I don't sound like much of a real estate agent saying I hate development. But I'm more partial to funky old buildings. Nonetheless, Dubtown makes good beer. And the space is nice, in a modern space/concrete floor kind of way. I've sampled a few of their beers over a few visits, and the Pfudor(less intense IPA) is pretty delicious. I don't remember what it all stands for, but the PFU is Pink Fluffy Unicorns.
Anyway, it appears that downtown Renton can support two breweries. I…

Hot Sauce, Beer, and Portobello Sandwiches

Five years ago, I appeared on KCTS TV's "Check Please Northwest" as a panelist.
Many months earlier, I had been watching the show, and at the end of the show, they expressed interest in having  viewers go on the show for one episode. All you had to do was suggest a restaurant for the panelists to all try , fill out some paperwork, and hope you got selected. I did! With three panelists, you had to try the other two panelists choices. And then get reimbursed for the food, which was really good at all three places. The host was Amy Pennington, who was perfect at the job. She absolutely insisted that the show would go better if we were loose, not tense, and comfortable talking. So we sat around and drank a lot of wine. Diane picked me up after the filming, and I just staggered out of there. But to make a short story long...
The restaurant that I suggested was St. Dames, a vegetarian restaurant near Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood , on the light rail line. I was no…

Ice cream, lavender lattes, bagels, Canh Chua, and grits.

About a month ago,  Boon Boona Coffee, 724 S. 3rd St.  in beautiful downtown Renton hosted a pop up for an ice creamery called Sweet Alchemy. It was pretty divine. Then a couple of weeks later, they hosted a couple more popups,  Sweet Alchemy once again, and also Seattle Bagel Bakery, who were doing a lovely bagel, lox, and cream cheese with tomato and thin red onion, as well as bagels with just cream cheese, or with hummus. Pretty great.
So it begs the question:
Wouldn't having the option to go get really good ice cream in downtown Renton make it an even cooler place than it is? Or going to get baked on premises cookies, breads, and pastries? Dude! That ups the ante on the quality of life scale by a lot.
Boon Boona upped the ante. It's a large espresso place and roastery, with sandwiches, pastries,  lavender lattes, and Ethiopian coffee ceremonies. It's a hopping, happening  place. Some places seem to be instant successes. Efram the owner sure looks like he knows what he…

Does good gluten free pizza exist?

I consider myself fortunate that I don't have Celiac Disease, or a gluten intolerance.  Because I really love good pizza, and there's very little actually good gluten free pizza out there.
Diane has arthritis in her left ankle, and when she eats gluten, her ankle throbs. So sometimes that calls for eating gluten free pizza. Either in a pizzeria, or at home. Face it, I'm a saint to suffer like that.
Pizzerias often have gluten free crusts available these days, but they don't often make them. They buy them parbaked and frozen. From what I understand, there are only a few sources of wholesale to pizzeria frozen gluten free crusts. I've had a few. They're not terrible. But it would be a stretch to say they're good.
I'm a native of New Jersey, where there is no shortage of good pizza. Thus, I'm a huge pizza snob, and while I'll eat most any pizza( and not leave it over), I will complain about it as I grab another slice.
There's a pizza place in …