Thursday, November 4, 2010

Road Trip - Destination: Seattle

“What is your unrelenting passion?”

I bought a postcard in Seattle that states this in bold red letters. Sam laughed at me but he couldn’t really answer the question in one sentence. I say – ICE CREAM! That may seem a little bold since life is so BIG but for the sake of today and my ode to our vacation to Seattle we shall say in big bold letters: ICE CREAM.

Sam and I recently drove over to Seattle to take a break from lovely little Whitefish and find some much needed inspiration. I know we needed this little trip because my list of places to eat and explore in Seattle had grown to unconquerable lengths before we even got in the car. So much food, so little time. Of course, a lot of those things on my list to eat and do involved sweet treats and especially the frozen variety.

The West Coast’s love for ice cream is nothing compared to the obsession for the frozen treat found on the East Coast. But – Seattle is doing its share to spread ice cream love. They have these ice cream spots - to name a few places:

Molly Moon’s

Blackbird

Husky Ice Cream

Parfait

And the occasional ice cream found on the dessert menu at local restaurants and churned in house, too!

We have visited them all on a variety of occasions and it is nice to feel part of a community of ice cream creators. It is inspiring and we all need inspiration no matter what we do. Our recent trip was filled with stops here and there to check out potential suppliers and to taste other sweet treats.

Poppy, an Indian meets Northwest Cuisine concept restaurant has amazing ice cream. For dessert I told our server that I wanted a scoop of every ice cream they had in house. A fleet of little sundae dishes arrived and the flavors were divine. We may have Lemon Dill but they did amazing things with Rosemary. Their Malt inspired me to learn more about that old fashioned flavor and their grape sorbet... it was creamy and simply delicious. Thank you Poppy! My tastebuds needed that bit of love and inspiration!

We found amazing chocolate at Theo Chocolate in Fremont. We were too late for a tour of their chocolate facility but we did get to taste test a handful of unique flavors and we can’t wait to get our hands on some of their chile sipping chocolate for this winter.

Check them out online: http://www.theochocolate.com/

I ate this delicious Lavender Cupcake at Cupcake Royale and can’t wait to create our own ode to Lavender in some delicious yet-to-be decided upon ice cream flavor. We have a great local lavender supplier that grows the most vibrant lavender I have ever seen in the Rocky Mountains.

Check out Cupcake Royale at this link: http://www.cupcakeroyale.com/index.html

Us Montana kids are delighted to find Made In Montana products when out in the “Big City”. We frequent a popular bar in Seattle not only due to the rustic atmosphere and quality drinks but also for the snack menu. What bar outside of rural Montana would sell M&S Jerky as an appetizer? Actually, jerky made a second appearance on our trip in an unexpected place. At a chic tapas and cocktails joint we couldn’t help but order a small plate of beef jerkey laid delicately across lettuce leaves and drizzled with a cherry chutney/sauce. It was an intriguing combination both difficult to share (How are you supposed to cut jerky using the equivalent of a butter knife and an appetizer fork!!?) and not very thrilling to the tastebuds. Lettuce and jerky – sorry but it sounds like something you would pretend is dinner in college.

Jerky aside, I ate the most amazing Crab Egg Benedict with two of the most wonderful friends in the world at Toulouse Petit. The crab really was that good and of course the mimosas and conversation made the meal unforgettable. Earlier in the trip, one of the said wonderful friends took us to a classic Greek restaurant on Queen Anne. Each dish was rich, garlic laden and drenched in olive oil. It was all delicious but nothing could compare to the OPA! Cheese. It was another appetizer we couldn't pass up. This cheese came flaming to the table so that all diners could yell OPA! upon it's arrival. It soon became clear we were not the only diners to think this was hilarious. As the restaurant grew busier the yells of OPA! and the light from the flaming cheese began to happen more and more frequently. It is a restaurant made for a movie like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” just without the Windex and the wedding. The décor in the shop included ivy vines, empty wine jugs, plastic grape lights and the usual family photos. It was heavy with décor for a cozy if not kitchy evening with friends.