Katsu Burger

When Randy brought up the idea of going here for dinner, I thought it sounded like the perfect compromise between my constant desire for Japanese food and Randy’s never-ending burger cravings. Plus, it was in Georgetown, a short drive from West Seattle.

Katsu Burger is the second restaurant to come from the genius mind of Chef Hajime Sato of the famed sushi joint Mashiko’s in West Seattle. I have so much good stuff to say about Mashiko’s, it really deserves its own post. But this is about Katsu Burger. Man, I’m hungry. What were we talking about?

Katsu Burger is a Japanese take on the classic American burger and fry joint. Their patties, your choice of pork, chicken or beef, are panko breaded and deep-fried. DEEP-FRIED, people. If at this point you haven’t dropped everything and sped to Georgetown, I don’t know if we can be friends anymore. Nevertheless, I’ll continue anyway.

I had the Wabi Wasabi , a beef patty with wasabi mayo, pepperjack cheese, and tonkatsu sauce. It was massive.

Wabi Wasabi
Try not to drool on your keyboard.

My husband and I both chose a combo meal, so we could try the nori and curry fries with wasabi mayo and curry sauce. It was all so very good. With the combinations of different types of burgers, fries and sauces, it would be a long time before you were forced to repeat a meal at Katsu Burger.

Aside from the great food, the staff here is very nice and helpful. They even gave me a button! I wear it with pride, but I should probably hide it because it makes my mouth water every time I see it. If they had served beer, I probably would have stayed and noshed on fries all night until they had to roll me outta there, Violet Beauregard style.

Katsu Pin
Show your burger pride.

Tuesday Ten – iPhone Apps

At the top of my list of most-loved electronics is my iPhone. It hasn’t been far from my person since I got it nearly two years ago. (Yeah, that’s right. Two years. Knock knock. Who’s there? UPGRADE FEVER!) Here are ten of my favorite applications.

1. Groceries

This is the perfect grocery shopping app for me. It comes pre-loaded with a ton of brand name and generic food products, all sorted by aisle. You can create different lists for all the different stores you visit. As you pick up each item, you can tap to cross it off the list. I also love that I can easily email the list to my husband. This app has certainly saved me money. My phone is always with me, so my list is always with me. I am less tempted by impulse items when I have a well organized list.

2. Awesome Note

Awesome Note iconAwesome Note is, well, awesome. It’s my go-to digital date book. Each folder has calendar or to-do list functionality, and the app syncs with Google Docs or Evernote. I use it to keep track of my to-do list, my brother’s band activity, pay bills, track blog ideas and my reading list, and plan menus. I do wish it would sync with the calendars on my phone, but the good still far out weighs the bad. If you’re skeptical, check out the free version first, Awesome Note Lite.

3. Instagram

Instagram App IconInstagram is an app to share and take photos. After taking a picture, you can choose from several lovely filters, or add a tilt-shift effect. From there, the app has a social aspect to it. You publish your photos to your stream, and friends from Facebook or Twitter can follow your stream, comment on your photos, or simply “love” them. Popular photos are published on the, wait for it, “Popular Page.” It’s a great way to share your photos with friends, and see your friends’ great photos on the go. The only thing I don’t like about the app is that once you take and edit a photo using Instagram’s built in camera and filters, you either publish it to your stream or lose the photo. There’s no option to keep the photos to yourself.

4. Beluga

Beluga App IconBeluga is a group messaging service. A lot of smartphones have a function like this built in, like Blackberry Messenger. The iPhone does not, so Beluga is the next best thing. As a bonus, it’s also available through the web, text, and Android phones. Groups of friends are called pods. I have a work pod, a friend pod, a family pod, and pods designed around events like SXSW. These pods are so helpful with group communication. I don’t have to text everyone I know to get the word out or find out what’s happening on a Saturday night.

5. Zappos

Zappos App IconDid you know I like shoes? I like shoes. I love shoes, and I love Zappos. I’ve been a long time customer, and the online retailer has never let me down. That, and I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that I don’t enjoy shopping. I’d rather try on shoes in the comfort of my home that a crazed Saturday sales floor. So for me, the Zappos’ iPhone app is a thing of beauty. There aren’t as many options to search and filter as there are on the website, but I can easily search for my favorite brands and browse new styles on the go. The product photos are clear and large. My favorite feature comes into play when you add a product to your basket or list of favorites. Add a pair of shoes to your favorites, and a little kitten comes out to drag the shoe to your cart. Kittens! Shoes! What are you waiting for? Download the app and commence shoe shopping.

6. PopSugar

PopSugar App IconDon’t let the pink star fool you. PopSugar is so much more than celebrity gossip. This app boasts sections for celebrity gossip (Popsugar), tech (GeekSugar), fashion (FabSugar), makeup and beauty (BellaSugar), interior design (CasaSugar), finances (SavvySugar) and cooking (YumSugar.) It also has sections pertaining to things I don’t have, like kids (lilSugar), pets (PetSugar) and relationship and personal drama (TresSugar.) I do have a few complaints. The app doesn’t switch between portrait and landscape, and will continue to show you ads for the Shop Style app long after you’ve downloaded it. I also wish it options to share the content on social media sites.

7. One Bus Away

One Bus Away App iconYou know that moment. You’re running late, but you aren’t sure if you should make a mad dash to the bus or wait for the next one. One Bus Away, an app developed by the University of Washington, helps me manage the not-exactly-ideal schedule of King County Metro in real time. The app lets me know when the bus is running early or late, and lists all stops. If you are a bus commuter in Seattle, you need this app.

8. Seafood Watch

Seafood Watch App IconDon’t be shellfish — make sure you are enjoying sustainably harvested fish and shellfish so those delicious creatures are there for the next generation. You may have heard of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Guide. This app is the guide in mobile form, available on Android phones as well. Having this app on my iPhone ensures that I only buy and consume seafood that won’t harm myself or the environment.

9. Cocktail Compass

Cocktail Compass App iconThis app satisfies the inner voice saying “Get thee to a cocktail, STAT!” I generally work through the happiest of hours, so when I do go out I want to make sure I’m sampling the city’s finest discounted cocktails and appetizers. This app will find the nearest happy hours near you, and exactly how long you have to snag a $2 beer. Each listing features reviews, hours and phone numbers of the establishment.

10. Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs Zombies IconI’m so addicted to this game it’s almost embarrassing. Not only do I have this game on my iPhone, but I also have the desktop and iPad versions. You never want to be caught without Plants vs. Zombies. The game has you defending your yard from Zombies by strategically planting defense vegetables. I’ve beat the game several times over, but the addition of interesting mini games, bonus levels and specialty plants makes this game a long-term addiction. Try it, I dare you.

Tuesday Ten – Wedges

I’ve been obsessed with wedges lately. I borrowed the Steve Madden Platform wedges (pictured in silver below) from a friend last week, and they were the most comfortable and stylish shoes I’ve worn in a while. Since then, I’ve been adding cute wedges to my Zappos wishlist en masse. It’s the next best thing to putting them in the shopping cart. Most of these are just dream shoes, but there’s a chance the Steve Madden raffia platform wedges or the Tom’s fushia wedges could be on my feet by the end of the summer.

Dolce Vita platform wedge sandals
$80 – piperlime.gap.com

Wedge heel shoes
$150 – irregularchoice.com

Steve Madden platform wedge
$100 – zappos.com

ALDO platform wedge heels
$110 – aldoshoes.com

Steve Madden platform wedge
$90 – heels.com

TOMS clear shoes
$69 – toms.com

ASOS suede wedge shoes
$95 – asos.com

Elizabeth and James leather heels
$79 – editnewyork.com

Steven by Steve Madden leather shoes
$169 – bloomingdales.com

Jeffrey Campbell platform wedge shoes
$168 – modcloth.com

Goals for 2011

2011 is looking like it’s going to be a pretty good year. I’ve got big plans. Here, in no particular order, are my goals and plans for 2011.

1. Continue to be a non-smoker. I kicked the habit on Nov. 19, 2010. I’m saving money, smelling better and looking younger with every passing day. I don’t care if my friends get annoyed, I’m going to pat myself on the back for this accomplishment every day for the rest of my smoke-free life. I plan to buy a pair of ridiculous shoes as a reward.

2. Become Mrs. Randy Mentele. My best friend and love of my life asked me to be his wife on Dec. 22, 2010. We are throwing a big party in South Dakota for all the family and friends who have supported us as a couple during the last eight years. I can’t wait.

3. Roast a chicken. I hear that Ina Garten has a fool-proof recipe.

4. Blog more. This one is just embarrassing, and part of a larger effort to let out my inner creative. I’ve realized over the last few months that this type of activity is vital for my mental well being. I’ve been dabbling in printmaking, embroidery and sewing, so I have no shortage of projects to keep me busy.

5. Read less online news comments. It seems like people tend to be at their lizard-brained worst when they hide behind anonymous internet postings. I don’t know why I spent so much time reading comments in 2010. Not only is this activity a waste of time, but it was ruining any faith I had in the human race.

6. Paint my fingernails more often. No explanation needed. Good luck with all your colorful goals in 2011.


I’ve written before about my love of Facebook memes. The status du jour this time around is a picture of your doppleganger, with an anecdote about how many times you’ve been compared to this beautiful celebrity. Here’s mine:

Big Foreheads R Us

She’s Thora Birch, the actress of American Beauty and Monkey Trouble fame, depending on your movie taste. Here’s what I’ve learned from being compared to her: if you have a big forehead, nothing below the eyebrows matters.

This is not a food blog

The packaging says “Cook until reaching a minimum internal ravioli temperature of 165 degrees for at least 15 seconds.”

Who are they kidding? You poke a thermometer in one of those suckers and show’s over. The type of people who buy budget ravioli on sale, people like me, are willing to risk food poisoning. Our motto is not “when in doubt, throw it out” but something along the line of… Shit, what rhymes with salmonella?