I'm back with another entry in the Tough Life journal.
This time, I, along with the other editors of Seattle magazine, was treated to several dozen still-warm, just-baked cookies from Robin Wehl, who's opening her first cookie shop, Hello Robin, in early December on Capitol Hill's 19th Avenue.
Affable celebrity chef Michael Symon is the special guest at this year's St. Martin's University Gala on Saturday, an annual event that raises scholarship funds for students with a live cooking demo and both live and silent auctions. This will be the eighth year of the gala, and the third with a celebrity chef as the focus, with St. Martin's alum Armandino Batali acting as the driving force behind that initiative.
Our Best New Restaurants 2013 feature is hitting newsstands now (look for Mackelmore on the cover!) and while I'm excited--I love the challenge of putting the top 11 in order, and this year I snuck one last restaurant in there at the last minute (can you guess which it is?)-- I'll admit to a touch of trepidation.
As the bridge-and-tunnelification of the Pike-Pine corridor steadily pushes residents of the Hill out of the area, especially on weekend nights, businesses are branching out into other corners of the hill. We watched the wave hit the crest of the hill three years ago, leaving the Melrose Market in its ebb. Then 12th was conquered (Ba Bar, Presse & Stumptown, Von Trapp's).
Now everyone's got 19th in their sights. In the next few months, two new restaurants will open, one will expand, and a grocery will move in.
I once overheard George Page, owner of Sea Breeze Farm, answer a question from a customer at the West Seattle farmers market, and I'll never forget what he said.
The customer walked up, briefly glanced into the coolers, and then asked Page, "so are you certified organic?" To which Page replied, "we're so far beyond organic, man." The customer walked away without buying anything, but I couldn't help but grin.
It's really the best when you can fight for something you believe in by eating really well. And drinking, too. With your friends.
That's the story this Thursday, October 3rd, when you can choose between two neighborhood restaurant hops (one in Ballard, the other in Capitol Hill) to raise funds to support 522, the initiative to make labeling of GMO foods the law.
I spent the last three days and nights ingesting a crazy amount of food and bev at FeastPDX, the Bon Appetit-sponsored food fest in the Rose City. It was the festival's second year; I attended last year as well. And while I had no complaints about last year, overall I think this year's festival was better: more events, a few free events, some very good tasting panels and speakers, and of course, the primo events: the Sandwich Invitational, Night Market and High Comfort.
This weekend, the biggest and best Northwest food festival is taking place in Portland. Seventy food media and at least that many star chefs--from Philly, New York City, Charleston, Austin, LA and Seattle--are taking over the Rose City for Feast Portland, a nonstop food blitz: tasting events, lectures, wine and beer events, collaborative dinners, and woah, are there some after-parties.
But if you're not already going, you're not going, since almost everything's sold out.
It's hard to know what to root for this time of year: More of this sensational summer weather, long dinners on the patio, meals at home that come together almost too easily with just a sliced ripe tomato and some cheese to start, something off of the grill for the main, and peak season fruit to finish. Or for the soothing cool mornings of autumn, sweater weather, the coziness of meandering walks through dry leaves, trips to the pumpkin patch, apple sauce and cider.
They said they were opening next Tuesday.
But, in a twist (who doesn't love a twist?), Westward and Little Gull Grocery, the north Lake Union waterfront seafood-centric, boat-up spots we've been waiting all summer for, are open! Right now. For lunch and dinner. And the in-between hours (11am til 10pm, or 11pm on weekends).
There've been some really nice developments happening down in the Rainier Valley lately. At the top of my list is the opening of Tin Umbrella, a sweet coffee shop in the under-served Hillman City neighborhood. Owner Joya Iverson spoke with the Rainier Valley Post about how she came to open the shop, and her story's quite an inspiration.
Last winter I introduced you to my favorite Snoqualmie Pass lunch stop, the Aardvark Curry Trailer. I've got a soft spot for folks who live their passion, and Dan's the happiest guy cooking out of a trailer I've ever met. His curry bowls are a huge hit with boarders, skiers and snowshoers, but he's outgrown his tiny digs. Wood's hoping to move into a real kitchen, one he intends to build inside a train. Well, part of a train.