Holidays in Seattle

I spent the week of Christmas in Seattle with daughter Mindy. We had two focuses for my time there; as always, being foodies and trying a few new restaurants, and then Mindy wanted to learn what I had learned about decorating cut-out cookies.

Mindy decor 002

To prepare for the decorating activities, I took everything we would possibly need. I took a card table so that we could set up a work area and didn’t have a conflict with the dining table. I took a premixed pot of white Royal Icing, and all the gel paste colors I had. I took the stencils, the piping bags, and the piping tips. Everything including about 3 dozen cutout cookies for her to decorate. I even took a crate with the stand mixer, and all the stuff to make more Royal Icing, or even to make more cutout cookies. I was prepared for any eventuality.

Mindy wanted to decorate snowflake cookies in white and blue. And after doing the 8 snowflake cutouts I had brought, she was satisfied. I admit that she is the artist between us. She sees the possibilities for something that is less mechanical than I see.

Along with all the resources for decorating cookies, I also took her third of the holiday baking of cookies and candies that I had done. The other two thirds were distributed to daughter Jenn and extended family daughter Kris. I had 13 different recipes I had made and each of the thirds contained at least a dozen pieces of each recipe. Some recipes made more that 3 dozen pieces and so there was quite a bit of rich holiday cookies and candies in the box. I need to add all those recipes to the blog, and that will happen over the next few weeks.

We had started our foodie eating out plans before I left for Seattle. Mindy wanted a good hamburger and french fries, and a good steak. I wanted to go to another Tom Douglas restaurant. Mindy wanted to drive up north, close to Bellingham to see an area that she had not seen before. And, we wanted to revisit some of the restaurants that we had discovered in August when I was last there.

While Mindy and I are Foodies, and love to test new restaurants, the foodie in us really is a family thing. Jenn is probably a better foodie than either Mindy or I. Mindy and I want good food of a type with which we are already acquainted. Jenn wants to explore and find new foods. She was the one who took us to the different Middle Eastern restaurants, and introduced us to the food of India. This all started when the girls were young; each girl got to pick the restaurant they wanted us to go to for their birthday.

So this vacation, we revisited Portage Bay, Serious Biscuit and Fat Hen for breakfast. We also decided to get a dozen Top Pot doughnuts for Christmas morning. We were already discovering that many of the places were closed by Christmas Eve and were changing our plans on the fly. We actually went to Portage Bay twice; our first choice for Christmas Eve breakfast was closed and we went down the road to Portage Bay. Now here is what we learned: if you want an Egg Benedict dish, go to Fat Hen! Portage Bay is a good breakfast, but Fat Hen has much better with the Eggs Benedict. And of course, Serious Biscuit is an entirely different type of breakfast. Serious Biscuit shares space with Serious Pie at the Westlake location (cross street Harrison); they are open for breakfast, and Serious Pie takes over for later in the day. This has confused several people with whom I have talked because Serious Pie is also a small shop down on Virginia between 3rd and 4th. The Serious Biscuit shop is in the South Lake Union neighborhood.

For suppers, we were trying all new places; we also brought in Chinese for Christmas day. Christmas Eve was a pub visit to get the hamburger and fries; we went to Elliot Bay Brewing Company in the Lake City area. We then wandered downtown looking at the Christmas decorations and ended up at Molly Moon in the Queen Anne area- our original spot.

In August, we had tried to go to a Mexican Food place in Ballard with the name La Carta De Oaxaca, but it had been closed for the Labor Day weekend. It was open the day after Christmas and we went there. It opens at 5 PM, and we got there at about 5 minutes before 5 and there was a line waiting to get in. A good sign. And we can understand why. Its food is excellent and I can highly recommend it although it certainly got crowded fast when we were there. So either get there at opening time, or plan to wait a little for a table.

After supper, we walked a little to settle our food, but then had dessert just two doors down from the restaurant at a shop called Hot Cakes. They make those little cakes with the hot chocolate insides– we use to call them Lava Cakes. Very good, and a wonderful end to a perfect meal.

For Friday supper, I had chosen to go to Tom Douglas’s Lola restaurant. This restaurant has a Grecian theme to the menu. We started with kebabs as an appetizer; then for our main course we had the northwest seafood extravaganza and the spanakopita. We were full, and decided to skip dessert.

On Saturday, we took the trip north to see an area just south of Bellingham. There are a couple small communities named Bow and Edison. The post office seems to be Bow, so all the addresses are there, but Edison is interesting in its own right. It is the gateway to Samish Island, which seems more like a peninsula than an island. It is a getaway area with lots of access to the ocean. After driving around Samish Island we went back to Edison and ate at the Old Edison Inn; it was an excellent meal, and the Inn reminded us of years ago when we would visit the Flying Wing ranch in Willamina and on Saturday go into town and how Herb and Jay knew everyone and everyone stopped to say hello. The Inn seemed like the town meeting place.

Finally, on Sunday evening we got Mindy’s good steak- actually excellent steak. The University district mall has been expanding, and there is a place called Joey’s Kitchen to which we went. Since the Seahawks were playing, there were a lot of football fans watching the game on TV at the restaurant. After we ate, we walked around the mall for a few minutes, and then stopped at the newest of the Molly Moon parlors. This one measures up to the one in the Queen Anne district except that it is more crowded; the mall makes it easier for people to just stop by.

So that was my Seattle vacation; we found several new places to eat, and I think all of them are worth visiting again. I hope if you are going to be in the Seattle area, you will think about these restaurants as some of the possibilities about where to eat. And let me know if I have rated them too high in your opinion.

Errol

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