Revisiting the past is always an interesting jaunt. It can be full of emotions left dormant awaiting the day of closure. It can include friends left behind whose lives have either changed or stayed the same. Some of those changes might encompass relationship or living situations. Some, maybe just hair color or weight. But the true test is for yourself. It’s almost surreal diving back into a life you once left to move on to bigger and better things, whatever that really means. It’s more like leaving a life to continue your own story book. Everyone has one. It’s just up to us to create the chapters we imagine appropriate. Or maybe we’re not really so in control of our chapters at all.
This trip I’m on right now, I’ve discovered, is definitely focused around soul-searching. It’s almost as if I’m floating around on a cloud revisiting a past to decide which chapters I want to close and which I’m not quite done with. But whatever happens will greatly affect the rest of my life. No, I’m not on any drugs. And no, I’m not changing my blog to focus on life’s little mysteries, though some foods can definitely be mysterious. Part of my trip is going back to old haunts. So let’s revisit some of those favorite dining spots of yesteryear.
1. Top Pot – The coffee is still good, and the donuts were a little tough, but I still love ’em.
2. Cupcake Royale – Ooooh, new and improved cupcakes. I think they had Lemon Drop before, which I just discovered is my favorite. But my chica Aimée is in LOVE with the texture of the Red Velvet. They also have one with coffee beans. Their coffee was never my favorite, but now it just always tastes burnt. Clearly, something strange is going on there as it’s quite inconsistent.
3. Piecora’s Pizza – Still de-lish New York-style pizza, though did their crust get fluffier or is it just me?
4. Thaiku – Wonderful as always, and I much more enjoy sitting in the bar area now since eye-candy Jake works there. He’s a sweetheart too!
5. La Isla – Small Puerto Rican restaurant on Market Street in Ballard with a super empanada meal. Perfect for sitting on the patio on sunny days.
6. People’s Pub – Still kinda grungy, and the fried pickles are remain a hit in my book. A cool Ballard hangout (at least one left before all the Belltown-ish condo kings and queens take over the Scandinavian village. Strange changes taking place.
7. The Smoke Shop – Also, a very typical Ballard hangout. Don’t go there if you want clean and high-end. I opted for an open-faced chili burger with chili, cheese, and onions. It was so disgustingly divine. The waitress was a peach, and the clientele are serious locals. Don’t go in with an attitude. They were there first.
8. El Chupacabra – Didn’t make it there, oddly enough, though I hear the service has gotten worse. I remember that the service always pretty much stunk, but, man, those tacos sure were delightful.
9. Beth’s – Made it there with Mariana for some serious divey breakfast grub. One thing you can always count on in Seattle is the dives. My kinda town.
10. Le Panier – Of course it’s still there and amazing. Notice the line going around the building?
11. B&O espresso – Didn’t have much time to hang out with Amanda, but we did manage to grab a coffee one night. Still has a great atmosphere and nummer coffee.
12. Agua Verde – Made it there on ‘Dining for Darfur’ night with Ludo, Meg and their friends. Though it was super packed, we managed to greatly enjoy some margaritas and fish tacos. You MUST go there during the summer. Think about renting a kayak too down below. One of the best spots in Seattle.
NEW (to me)
13. Saint Germain – Owned by my good friend Jean-Michel, this is a cute small bites stop on Madison offering open-faced toast treats, Hachis Parmentier, Endive with ham, salads, and bold wines. It was packed when Katie and I were there, with a line. You just might wanna check it out.
14. Crémant – An upscale, though not TOO pricey, dining spot in Madrona. The waitstaff were most delightful and informative, and the dishes were de-lish. Grilled sardines on toast and steak tartare, finished off with prunes in Armagnac. Guess I was going for some theme that night, but I sure was happy.
15. Nervous Nellies – I’d been there before when it was just a whole in the wall off Market near Anchor Tattoo. However, now, it’s a whole ‘nuther ballgame. Located on 56th and 17th, this coffee joint is now huge with another seating loft, and serves up the best (and only) Swedish Toast I’ve ever had. My favorite: toast with cheese and kaviar. I could definitely eat that every day, especially if I got to hang out there with Chris and Christine (two of my favorite girlies).
So that sums up my Seattle eating spots. As for the soul searching, some chapters were closed, some were opened, and a few were just cleaned up. Next stop… Louisiana. I’ll tell you now that despite the amazing amounts of unforgettable dishes in this state, I am cutting back on food at this time. Taking a few weeks to exercise, eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water; you know, all that boring stuff. But next month, my storybook brings on the beaches of Spain, not to mention fountains of wine, fun tapas, and late nights, so my body is now crying out for a clean bill of health. But this whole fruits and veggies thing isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, mainly because I am excited about being healthy. I LOOOOOVE food, don’t get me wrong. But there is no reason to store as much in my body as possible as if I’m hibernating for the winter. Moderation must be remembered, but a good balance of the right foods to moderate is key. Bon appétit.