I’ve been planning a trip up to Vancouver with Zach and wanted to get some caviar to bring up with us—to go along with a bottle of champagne I received from my bosses at Christmas. Zach had never had caviar by itself, so I took him with me to the Seattle Caviar Company for some taste-testing.

For $5, we each had a sampling of Iranian Beluga, Iranian Osetra, Iranian Sevruga, Yellowstone River Paddlefish, California White Sturgeon and Ikura (salmon roe). I liked the Osetra and Sevruga best because they were salty and the cleanest tasting. Zach liked the Osetra and Beluga because it was buttery.

I had recently read an article lauding the white sturgeon caviar from Stolt Sea Farms in California and wanted to try it—and with the Iranian caviar starting at over $100 per ounce the white sturgeon was the clear choice. Although in a side by side comparison, we both wondered about the quality as it tasted somewhat muddy.

I also bought golden whitefish caviar, because a Swedish friend of mine had once served it to me in a great salad, which I wanted to replicate. At $27 for 4 ounces, it’s a steal and can be frozen for future use. The lady that was helping us threw in some frozen blini and crème fraiche and we were good to go.

Later that evening we met some friends of mine at Barbacoa for dinner. After looking at the website, I was expecting a loud and bustling restaurant, something more along the lines of the Frontier room in Belltown, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the restaurant was very small and quaint.

We started off the meal with fried green tomatoes served with ‘Oaxacan’ mayo. The tomatoes were extremely crunchy, due to the corn meal coating and were good, but not outstanding. Zach ordered a double-cut pork chop with frizzled onions, which was tough, despite the fact that it was almost raw in the middle. Kristina ordered the chile relleno, which I didn’t try, but it came in the same crunchy coating as the tomatoes. Tim had the enchiladas verdes, which I thought was the best dish at the table.

I ordered the pork ribs with “10/15” onion rings. I asked the waiter what 10/15 meant and he said the onions were planted on 10/15. This confused me greatly so I Googled it when I got home, but I only came up with onion recipes that served 10-15 people or are cooked for 10-15 minutes. The ribs were okay, but not anywhere near as good as Jones BBQ. The most annoying thing was that the onion rings were piled a foot high on top of the ribs. I thought vertical food went out in the early nineties…