We continue our conversation with Etsuko Minematsu, co-owner of Fresh Flours bakery, with locations in Phinney and Ballard. (Read the beginning of our talk, here.)
credit: freshfloursseattle.com Green tea cookies at Fresh Flours. Minematsu asked not to be photographed for this piece.
Etsuko speaks for her husband, Keiji, Fresh Flours head baker, who was in bed with a bad back the day I met with her. She'll explain where the couple would spend $100 on sushi, and it might just be a place you've never heard of.
SW: If you were making a pizza at home, what would be on it? Minmatsu
Minmatsu: I always like simple cheese pizza. Four or five cheeses. A cheese pizza, no marinara, with ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Gorgonzola. I like strong flavors. We, in Japan, we love seafood pizza, with little cooked shrimp, and olive oil instead of marinara sauce, and onions.
Where do you eat if you have just $5?
He said any noodle. Any Asian noodle. Actually next door is pretty good [JhanJay Vegetarian Thai]. It's not under five. I used to go one in Renton and one in my neighborhood; it's called 88, but I can't guarantee it's under five.
Where would you eat if you had $100?
We really love Kisaku sushi in Greenlake. They've been around for five, six years. That's my favorite. Keiji and I always go there. We just ask Mr. Nakano to come up with his best, and to serve us the best. We usually just eat white fish, and shellfish, No red. And no rolls, just the nigiri. He always come up with five, six, seven different kinds in season. I know Keiji's favorite shellfish is a geoduck, and I like scallops and sweet shrimps. You should go. And it's so reasonable, prices are 20-30% cheaper than other places, you know, Shiro's.
What's your after-work hangout?
We used to go the climbing gym, that's like the opening of the Phinney shop, and then we got older and tired, and I guess now he try to go to driving range, and I try to go jogging. I don't know if you can call that a hangout. Me and my husband Keiji, when we leave [work] it's between two and five. We tend to go to early bird dinner special, where older people hang out. Bay Café at Magnolia's seafood terminal, an old diner place, always open weird hours. It's too early for happy hour and it's definitely too late for lunch, so we end up going to those diner places. It's not a hangout, but we love this Japanese grocery store called Maruta In Georgetown. We go there, pick up some bento boxes, go home. We lost dogs. We used to have these two dogs, we lost last year and the year before. Fifteen, sixteen years, so we got into the habit of going straight home. We tend to stay long at work. We take them for a walk. Or we'd got to an off leash park and then go home and relax at home. But that changed after we lost dogs, so we are still looking for some alternate hangout. We try to go to hot yoga, Bikram yoga in West Seattle. We can't afford it so it's on and off. We try to stay healthy. We tend to not eat at all during work hours, especially Keiji, he can't work and eat, and he works for ten hours. So we come home and eat a big meal. It is kind of important to think of what you'll eat for dinner.
What would you like to see more of in Seattle from a culinary standpoint?
He said, when we used to live in New York, there were tons of noodle joints that specialized in soba noodles. And in Japan, at nice soba place, they also serve really good quality sake, too. So it's more like a diner place that features good sake, with soba as a side dish. We hope that someone will start a high quality sake bar that serves a good quality noodle.
Check back tomorrow for Fresh Flours' green tea cookie recipe.