Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip
We returned from our trip and immediately became busy with work and home, so I haven't had a chance to write about our trip. But I really do want to chronicle it, because it was a great trip. So I'm going to try to gloss over the uninteresting bits in hopes of saving writing time and energy for the good bits. (Also: we took almost 1600 pictures on this trip. I'm definitely striving to winnow these down to just the reasonably good ones, but do feel invited to poke around in the flickr stream and ask about anything that catches your eye.)
The flight to Seattle was uninteresting. I'd hoped that the time zone change would help us be more morning-oriented than usual, but we landed around midnight Seattle time and got to our hotel room about 1:30am, so our schedules were reset right away.
The highlight of Saturday was visiting our friends Eli and Katy. Eli and Katy have two young babies, just recently released from the hospital. So we brought them food. We brought fish and chips from Spud Fish and Chips because it was Roadfood-listed, and cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes because Katy had carefully sampled all the cupcake providers in Seattle (a city of many fine cupcakes), and selected Trophy Cupcakes as the only cupcakes to be served at her wedding.
We went to the Trophy Cupcakes in University Village.
Our lemon cupcake, though we ate it later:
These bins of umbrellas to borrow were definitely an "You know you're in Seattle..." thing.
Spud Fish and Chips turned out to be fairly close to Katy and Eli's house, so we could bring them food while it was still warm. The fish was crisp and greasy; the grease stains in the paper that wrapped it may be the best signs of what it was like.
We cooed over the babies, chatted with Katy and Eli, and took a tour of their house. They have strawberry plants in their garden. So we were able to pick strawberries at the point of perfect ripeness, bring them indoors and rinse them, and serve them five minutes after they were removed from the plant, still warm from the sun. This was a truly splendid way to eat strawberries, one of the great gustatory delights of our trip.
After bidding them farewell, we walked around Green Lake for a while. We got some lovely pictures, though I don't know that they're terribly dramatic. Here's a selection:
We didn't have a Roadfood-listed destination for dinner, so we turned to Urbanspoon. We discovered that Urbanspoon had a "Northwest" category, and narrowed our search to that, even though I couldn't say exactly what Northwest cuisine is. (Jane later told us, "a lot of seafood and blackberries".) Lori was entranced by the mention of crab mac and cheese in one restaurant review, so off we went to Jimmy's on Broadway in Capitol Hill. Once I realized it was a hotel restaurant, I was a bit wary - but, y'know, crab mac and cheese.
I had a local beer, Mac and Jack's African Amber. It was very good, with a complex, full flavor. And a fancy/wacky backlit photo:
Lori's crab mac and cheese was not everything we'd hoped it would be. It did have a clear flavor of mild, sweet, crab, but the crab mac and cheese of our fantasies had a much thicker, creamier sauce than the rather thin sauce we were served.
I ordered the fried oysters, described by the menu thus: "Local yearling oysters tossed in a cracker meal, deep fried to a golden brown..." (I assume that 'yearling' means the age of the oyster, though it might also be a variety.) The preparation of the oysters was extraordinary. They were very tender, crisp, and light; tender enough that you could bite through the oysters without fragmenting the breading, but sturdy enough that you could drag them through the tartar sauce without losing any breading. And they didn't taste greasy at all. It was really a phenomenal job of frying.
But - and it's a big but - the oysters themselves were not to my taste at all. They were briny and murky-flavored, and I kept thinking "this would do nothing to convince an oyster-hater that oysters were not the boogers of the sea." But the preparation was so good that it made me almost like the oysters. If you like your oysters so, ahem, full-flavored, then I think that you'd find the oysters at Jimmy's sublime.