Monday, January 5, 2009

Seattle: Good Food + Good Company + Good Times = Long Post!

We've been settling back in to real life since returning from last week's Seattle escape. It's such a great city--makes coming home tough. It's the only place that makes me want to live in an actual city (rather than in the furthest commutable farming town). Renting a car and venturing out to the neighborhoods did nothing but encourage this desire. I love the personalities of the homes, the abundant parks, and the adorable downtown streets found around every turn. Sigh.

Anyway, I got on the plane for the return flight, and didn't put a down payment on a home while we were there, so we're safe. Here are some highlights from the trip (you may notice a distinct foodie theme):

  • Staying at the Pan Pacific was sweet. We got a great rate, especially considering it was over NYE, and especially appreciated the wine glasses and bottle opener in the room! And I couldn't ask for more than to be staying directly above a Whole Foods! Made for an awesome first night picnic dinner, and some yummy local beer options.
  • PURPLE!!! For those of you who haven't heard me rave about this place, it's my favorite restaurant...of all time. Purple is a big cavernous wine bar and restaurant. I get one of their tasting flights of white wines and a super rich gorgonzola pasta, and simply bask in the bliss! We stumbled across Purple on accident our last time in Seattle, and it's one of the top reasons why we can't wait to get back.
  • Ringing in the New Year with my HS friend, Brad, and his girl, Sherilyn. They took us to this adorable little neighborhood bistro for dinner. And when I say "neighborhood", it was literally in a house on a regular street. Considering how tiny it was, we had to wait a bit to get a table, but it was so worth it! Everybody's dinner was perfect (trust me, I tasted all of them!) I had this pasta with a beet and cream sauce, with big beet chunks and sausage. Now, I'm not a huge fan of beets or sausage...but, WHEW! This was good stuff. Raf had a smoked cheese pasta that sounded like too much to me...nope, perfect. If you can find it, you should definitely check it out next time you're in the area. Casa D'Italia in the Ravenna neighborhood. Whatever you do, don't order from the menu they hand you! We're told that's a sure sign of cluelessness. :) They have quite a list of daily specials on a chalkboard they bring to your table--that's the way to go.
  • Running into Kate and crew in the Volunteer Park Conservatory. This was so eerily, perfectly us. You remember Kate--the one I told you about--we worked briefly in Redding, would run into each other at Cal Poly, and are now simultaneously planning our weddings, in partnership, after she found my blog online. Freaking random. Well, I've got another incidence to add to the list--Volunteer Park. We hadn't even chatted yet about when/where we might have a chance to meet up while we were in town, but as Raf and I were looping back around this big, awesome, overgrown greenhouse in the middle of Volunteer Park, we run in to who? Kate, Paul and two of their friends visiting from the Bay. Seriously? No really...seriously?!?!? To be honest, I wasn't even surprised. Obviously this is the nature of our relationship--random, and perfectly in sync. Anyway, we also finally had our very first planned run-in. We met up for a couple beers in Kate's neighborhood to chat about wedding goodness just a few hours before we flew home. I just wish we had more opportunities for planned chats!
  • Good steak and better banter in Bellevue. We shared some good times with a couple we travelled with in Peru in 2007, Chala & Kelsey. We've kept in touch here and there, and Chala randomly emailed me just a few hours before we flew out for Seattle (yes, this is my life), so we made plans to have dinner at their place. It was so great to spend time with them! We got there early, had a chance to meet their adorable kids, chatted at length about their most recent trip to Tanzania (crazy!), and shared laughs until nearly 1am! I still don't know where the time got away from us. Time flies, huh? They're ready to make the move to sunnier pastures, and while I may personally think they're nuts to leave Seattle, I hope we can convince them to join us here, if they must go!
  • Noshing and coffee, coffee, coffee! Raf couldn't get enough of the local coffee shops; I couldn't get enough cafe snacks! Joe Bar was an exceptionally good coffee shop for people watching.
  • The Volunteer Park Cafe is destined to become a repeat favorite for me. For starters, their slogan is, "Always Fresh Goodness"--you know how I love that word. And the chicken pot pie we shared was simply scrumptious! It seems like the perfect place to be, no matter what you're looking for--breakfast, snack, afternoon coffee/beer/wine--it was just a great place to lounge and enjoy life.
    I don't know if I've ever seen Raf as excited as he was standing at the counter at Trophy Cupcakes, searching for the perfect flavor. Trophy's came highly recommended by Brad and Sherilyn--they swear by the S'mores cupcake. Unfortunately, they weren't serving it the day we were there. I stuck with a plain chocolate; Raf ventured out with a Snickerdoodle. On our next visit, I'll definitely be more adventurous. Mine was good...but his was amazing!

Ahh, just thinking about Seattle makes me hungry! Man, I love that place. Until next time...


Danielle said...

im going at the end of the month!

Jordan said...

if you were a good sister you would've shipped me a cupcake - overnight mail.