Monday, January 26, 2009

Incredible sushi! Where? Whitefish, Montana

Had some fantastic sashimi and sushi rolls at Wasabi in Whitefish, Montana. Went there on the train to ski for the weekend, and was reminded how much I love that special place. So beautiful. (And so dang cold, skied in 8 below temps.)

Warmed up at Wasabi with a OMG That's Hot roll, spicy scallops, shrimp tempura, red hot chili peppers, deep-fried. Talk about heat. 

Why shouldn't Whitefish have kick-ass sushi? In our global village, who says proximity to water makes for better sushi? The hamachi carpaccio pictured above tasted super fresh and I loved the preparation, pounded thin and finished with a drizzle of hot chili oil. The rolls were more inventive than any I've seen in Seattle and the place was jam-packed, testifying to its success.

I'll be writing more about this weekend adventure in next Thursday's Getaways section in the Seattle P-I. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wish I would have been there, but....

I was glued to the news yesterday, watching CNN live streaming, listening to NPR, watching ABC, talking to my sister in L.A., sending Tweets in between.

Man, I wish I could have been there among the millions, or even out in a crowd soaking up the good vibrations. But deadlines loomed, so I stayed home and made a massive breakfast that was all-American, if you now have adjusted your internal compass to "anything goes" on our culinary patchwork landscape: Austin-inspired migas, refried pintos from Colorado, ginger-chili-raspberry jam from New Mexico on outrageously delicious bread made right here in Seattle by Macrina, a mug of organically grown Starbucks. Only thing missing was a Fran's salted caramel chocolate.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day of service?

I've been watching clips from famous speeches delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr., this morning. I am in awe of the prophetic sermon he preached the night before he was assassinated, which rings so true the day before President-elect Barack Obama's swearing in as our country's new leader. MLK had been to the mountaintop and seen the promised land. Amen!

So, I've been struggling to figure out how to juggle deadlines and the parade and the business of life and still find time to dedicate to the day of service. It might not happen today, but I'm committed to giving my time this year, working as a board member for the U-District Food Bank. And, just in case this day passes without me giving, I'm going to go to the Web site and make a cash donation this morning. Because, even though our household stands to lose two incomes if/when the P-I closes in March, I know there are many, many people who have far less than me. So, with the words of Dr. King still ringing in my ears, I'm going to give. Here's a link to the page, which makes it easy to donate: U-District Food Bank.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bush is out! Obama's in! Let's get hammered!!

Really, I don't know whether to drown my sorrows over the past eight stinking years or drink to the pretty scary future. There certainly are a ton of options.

Maybe, I'll just focus on the here-and-now and plan on hitting the 12-hour long happy hour at Moe's Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

The free-for-all fete will feature good/cheap eats from Pike Fish Fry and discounts on all sorts of booze. I am not going to be suckered into an Obamatini. Oh wait, that's at Tini Bigs Bash. 

Sure are a whole lotta parties going on. Where will you be when BO puts his hand on the Bible?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Look who I had lunch with the other day

Yup, that's world traveler extraordinaire Rick Steves, in front of his "usual": a chicken tostada at a friendly Mexican restaurant near his office in Edmonds. 

Here's what I learned that didn't make it into today's column (click here for the link)...

He grew up in Edmonds, where his father was a piano teacher. RS was going to follow in his father's foot steps, but ended up hosting travel seminars instead, which has blossomed into a booming business.

He's just recently discovered the pleasure of Belgian beers.

He's always been a food-is-fuel kinda guy. OK, that tidbit was in the column. But it still floors me when I meet people who are indifferent to the complex art of food, the comfort it can bring and the awe it can inspire. I try to make every bite I put in my mouth count, so I stay away from junk food.

Most of the time anyway. About once a year, I get an undeniable urge to eat a bag of Cheetos. Even though the cheese that goes crunch makes my fingers a hideous shade of orange. What's your guilty junk food pleasure?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

That's the spirit!

So tempted to make the inauguaration celebration party at Tini Bigs and Hula Hula, where you can order a $5 Obama-tini and take a turn at the "Throw the Shoe at Bush" competition.

According to the news release: "Shoes will be provided by Tini Bigs and Hula Hula."

First order of business one week from today, though, is brunch at Tom Douglas's Palace Ballroom. The restaurant titan has commissioned 10 poems from his daughter Loretta's class of 2008. Can't wait to hear that slam!

Totally random aside: I was in Top Pot Doughnuts on Saturday and guess who was standing in line behind me? Yup, one of Seattle's finest. I thought about making a joke, but kept my mouth shut.

Friday, January 9, 2009

This news totally BITES!

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is for sale. It's probably going to cease to publish its print product soon. Not only will I be out of a gig, so will my talented husband and more than 200 colleagues. 

Anybody hiring? 

I heard this devastating news last night and wrapped my fist around a giant shot of George Dickel while listening to Delta blues at Highway 99. Fitting, eh?

It's sad, sad news, but not exactly shocking.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Elvis!

Still the King! So what if he's left the building? The Big E lives on...

I'm going to celebrate tonight by going to hear some Delta blues and eat what passes for Southern food in Seattle. We'll just see about that. 

After living in Memphis for several years, I hear plenty of stories about Elvis. He loved meatloaf, ate it every day for a long stretch. I ate fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches at the Graceland diner. Did a story on the cookbook based on his favorite recipes. But nowhere did I find a reference to what might have been his birthday cake flavor of choice. 

I'm going to guess it was a sock-it-to-me cake. Mmmm.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Survival of the fittest? Opal closed

The paper went up today on the restaurant atop Queen Anne that showed such promise when it debuted less than two years ago. What went wrong?

Well, the prices seemed high for the neighborhood, the kitchen had a revolving door with chefs changing several times. These are tough times and we're certain to see more papers appear on shuttered venues. 

There was a sign on the window: New restaurant coming soon. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Heidi's makes the world's best jam

Got a jar of Heidi's Organic Raspberry Red Chile Ginger jam for Christmas and it's already empty. I'm all about balance when it comes to food, and this exotic combo hit the mark beautifully.

The chiles provided a kick, but nothing too hot. The ginger was subtle. And the raspberries tasted like a summer afternoon. KA-Pow! Take that lousy winter weather.

I just went online (Heidi's Raspberry and ordered three more jars, but if anybody has spotted this New Mexico-made gem around Seattle, please holler. I'm not sure I can face getting out of bed on a dark drizzly morning knowing my cupboard is Heidi-less.

Is there another contender for world's best jam? Let's hear about it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Coming right up...

This week's review is of Preservation Kitchen in Bothell, which, no, has no connection to New Orleans, even though you wouldn't be alone guessing that, especially since the logo features a Fleur de Lys, symbol of the Crescent City. (I'm talkin 'bout New Awlins, Ya'll!)

Can you guess what the dish is, pictured above? Bet you cannot because it's pretty darned novel: goat cheese fritters in a honey-lavendar "soup". Sweet or savory or all of the above? Definitely one of the most original creations I've had in a while.

The beautiful venue is located in the spot that was once home to Gerard's Relais de Lyon. Here's your pre-review tip: Get in there! Tout suite!