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Veg Out: Uber Catch-Up Edition

September 11, 2012

People. I said Über CATCH-UP. As in, “I have eaten lots of delicious things over the past few months and have gotten behind in telling you about them and now I would like to tell you about them.” Here they are:

Strawberry-rhubarb and apple pie at Whidbey Pies Café, Greenbank Farm, Whidbey Island

Me: Whatever shall we do on this glorious summer weekend? I long to feel wind in my hair, sun on my face, sea salt on my lips! Why, let us take a spur-of-the-moment jaunt to Whidbey Island!

Jules: Cool. Why are you talking like that?

On the bright side, there was no line for the ferry, and it was perfect weather for eating warm slices of pie in a repurposed barn.

Olive oil and vinegar at Quintessential Gourmet, Seattle
My aunt and cousin treated me to a Savor Seattle food tour, and this was my favorite stop. I have no pictures because I was too busy flitting from sample to sample. Combinations the Italian Willy Wonka must have dreamed up–tarragon olive oil with espresso balsamic, sparkling lemonade spiked with white peach balsamic–will beckon me back come holiday gift time.

Spring Peas Gone Rogue at Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles

English peas roasted in a woodburning oven until blistering, tossed with herb butter, sea-salted, and slurped out of pod edamame style.

A slice of strawberry cake from the coolest vintage cake box ever, courtesy of one of my coworkers.

You do not mess with a confection transported in this baby. I cannot get over the “CAKE” placard. Doesn’t it look like it belongs on the back of a 1985 Chevy Suburban?

Ice cream sandwiches from Cake Monkey Bakery/L.A. Creamery at Umami Burger, Los Angeles

From now on, I would like all of my ice cream sandwiches cut up into bite-sized pieces, thankyouverymuch. Presenting dessert this way did not make me eat any less, mind you, but I did eat it faster with less brain freeze. A major step forward.

At first we felt a little funny asking about veggie options at a fancy burger joint, but our server was gracious and helpful. Umami Burger can substitute a portobello mushroom on any of their specialty burgers, and they have a housemade veggie patty. (We preferred the mushroom-as-burger.) Also, ours was not even close to being the weirdest food request of the evening. A screenwriter at the table next to us ordered a pickle plate, and only a pickle plate, for dinner. This was only after questioning the server in detail about each type of pickle. He was extremely opposed to beets.

Don’t worry, Mr. Pickles. I burned off at least half of the chocolate-covered red velvet cake while traipsing about the Hollywood Walk of Fame searching for Kermit the Frog, Dr. Seuss, and the one singer Jules and I always agree on.

Dinner at sunset at Ray’s Boathouse, Seattle. Ahhhh. That is all.*

* I had never been to Ray’s before, in part because I felt ridiculous going to a seafood restaurant and ordering no seafood. But they were very nice about the whole thing. I had the one veggie entree on the menu (giant, crispy spring rolls in red curry sauce) and they made Jules a special pasta dish. Also, you can order the tofu dish off the menu from Ray’s Cafe upstairs. O.K. now that is all.

Mousseux fraise cocktail at Canon, Seattle. Lillet, strawberry, Aperol, light bubbliness. Pale pink. Comes in a bottle. Invites you to drink with a straw. Didn’t have to ask me twice.

 A long, leisurely dinner at Cantinetta, Seattle

Rich, eggy vermicelli with squash blossoms and pecorino. The type of beautiful, simple food I always destroy when I try to make it myself. Not pictured: (A) A surprisingly good strawberry-basil salad, with basil for greens and instead of lettuce, and (B) Me drinking far too much rosé.

It was a long, leisurely dinner, as I mentioned. On the way home we stopped by Bartell’s, and a woman cut  in front of us in the check-out line to buy some jumbo Reese’s peanut butter cups. At which I scoffed, “You have GOT to me kidding me!” The rosé must have amplified my scoff volume considerably, because as we were leaving the store, our cashier approached me to apologize and explain the situation. The poor woman had already been in line when she got a last-minute, urgent cell phone request for jumbo Reese’s peanut butter cups. The call was from her husband, who was sitting outside in their car. As we left the store, I saw her handing them over to him … his hands outstretched … his eyes widening. Oh, I know those hands, those eyes.  Just goes to show you: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle

My roasted-cacao-scented clothes, after touring the Theo Chocolate Factory, Seattle

O.K. I admit I did not actually consume my clothes, but I would have if I could have. I don’t know why I didn’t go on this tour sooner. You get lots of samples. Everybody gets a free hairnet. And if you have a beard, a free beardnet!

I didn’t inquire about mustachenets …

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