Mama Stortini’s

It had been several years since last we ate at Mama Stortini’s, an Italian restaurant on the border of Puyallup and Sumner, Washington. It is a very good restaurant with a great menu, though we were a little disappointed to find the entree Sampler Platter no longer available (there is a sampler of appetizers); it was a large dish and one suspects it was not cost effective. We also noted the menu includes a number of non-Italian items now, including hamburgers and other sandwiches, no doubt a competitive necessity.

No matter, the individual entrees are delicious. I had one of my favorites, chicken marsala on a bed of risotto and mushrooms. It could have had a little more sauce, but the flavor was just right. Other members of our party enjoyed lasagna (one of Mama’s best items), lobster macaroni and cheese, and seafood fettucini in white sauce. Our appetizer was the cheese bread with housemade tomato feta relish–a great choice which could have made a whole meal. The dessert menu includes cobbler, ice cream sundaes, the obligatory tiramisu, and other  delights. We had spumoni, a chocolate sundae, and an exquisite little individual “Italian Style” cheesecake.

Service was excellent–there was no waiting–and the dining room is comfortable, not over-crowded the way so many restaurants are. Overall, a very satisfactory night out. If you are in the Puyallup/Sumner area, consider Mama’s next time you are in the mood for Italian. Additional locations are in Kent and Northgate (Seattle).

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Ocean Shores

Although I have spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest, and much of that in Washington state, this past week was my first visit to the little coastal resort called Ocean Shores. It is situated just northwest of Gray’s Harbor, a sharkbite shaped bay along the middle of Washington’s Pacific coast. Besides being known for its clams and crabs, the bay is home of Aberdeen, a rough and tumble timber port called the “Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula”. Ocean Shores is a pleasant town tucked into the coastal woods of one of the peninsulas that define the outer boundary of the bay.

 

 

We stayed at a condo/resort/hotel called The Canterbury Inn. Facilities were clean, tidy, and very pleasant, with open views of the beach about a quarter mile away. Although there were some spectacular blue skies and beautiful clouds, days were mostly overcast, cool, and intermittently breezy, comfortable for us humans who are not very heat tolerant, but brisk for Mitzi, the Havanese puppy we brought with us. She spent much of her time being held and sheltered from the elements.

 

 

Besides the usual assortment of generally good seafood restaurants, Ocean Shores is home to Galway Bay, an Irish restaurant, pub, and gift shop, well worth the visiting. Their fish and chips was outstanding, cooked with a good beer batter rather than the light coatings currently the fad in the Seattle area. Their soda bread is excellent, comfort food at its best, and the perfect accompaniment to their clam chowder. Another dish we tried is called Forfar Bridie, a Scottish dish invented by a Forfar baker in the 1850’s, described in the menu as “beef and lamb slowly braised in white wine, flavored just right with sautéed onions, carrots, potatoes,  garlic and herbs.  Then baked in a puff pastry and covered with our famous Whiskey Cream Sauce.” It reminded me of a sort of partially disassembled shepherd’s pie on a plate, and, aye, it is “flavored just right.”

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We will certainly return to Ocean Shores, about two hours west of Olympia, and definitely return to Galway Bay. They will be hosting, incidentally, their 15th Annual Celtic Music Festival October 16-21, 2018. We can hardly wait.

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