Saturday, August 30, 2008
One of my favorite people in the world, my friend Lindsey, came to town this weekend. 5 years ago she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the media world (behind the scenes), and I miss her. But she surprised me with a text message from Portland yesterday, and her train came to town today!
Dan & I picked her up at the station and headed to get some dinner. She's a popular gal, and always has a packed schedule when in town to try to see everyone here in Seattle who misses her. So we only had a short time to get to a restaurant, get food, eat, chat and catch up before she had to meet another friend and head to a competition.* Since she was meeting Leilani at Babeland, and we'd talked about eating Vietnamese, we switched up or destination and hit Tangerine Tree, upstairs from the QFC on Broadway and Harvard -- and just a half block from Babeland.
Ever since my job moved me from the International District to Downtown, I've not been getting my usual Pho fix, so that's what I went for - Tofu Pho. Every place does it a little different - featuring different broths, condiments and veggies -- but this was definitely good, and had plenty of everything. As you can see from the before and after shots, I love my condiments in Pho, and add plenty of everything to make a spicy, brownish orange broth. Perfect for those days when you're not feeling very well.
* Though Lindsey ended up staying a couple nights at our place, so we got a bit more time to talk in the mornings before she was whisked off to conferences and meals and stuff.
Friday, August 29, 2008
After returning home from Vegas & Sun Lakes, and after getting sick yesterday, I didn't feel like cooking and we had nothing in the fridge, so we went with delivery. After not eating anything yesterday besides an egg sandwich, I as hungry (and so was Dan), so we each ordered soup (hot & sour for me, egg drop for Dan) in addition to entrees.
For our entree, we went with General Tso's Chicken and Walnut Prawns. Beyond the food being just what we wanted, we were delighted by the friendly service on the phone and in person. The same woman took my order and drove it down to us, and was really sweet. She even complimented me on what we've done with the yard!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Another Sun Lakes tradition is Dan's Mom's potato dumplings.
One morning (at least), Carolyn cooks up potato dumplings using a recipe passed down through the family. She actually makes them ahead of time, and then fries them up with some eggs and bacon for everyone. And they are delicious.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
One of our Sun Lakes traditions is to stop at the grocery store in Ephrata (the last major city on the way there) and stock up on snacks and meal-fixins. Almost every year, we seem to meet up with Dan's folks there, regardless of when we all leave home.
I treated myself to a Hansen's Dragonfruit flavored soda, which I hadn't seen or tried before, but was taken by the prominent 'cane sugar' and 'no corn syrup' references on the label.
The soda is actually pretty tasty. I haven't tried a fresh Dragonfruit yet, so I can't speak to whether it tastes much like the fruit it claims, but I drank the whole 4 pack.
We hit the road this morning, heading East for Sun Lakes to meet up with Dan's family for a couple nights. It's a long held tradition that I've had the pleasure of enjoying with them the past 5 years. Sun Lakes is a little 'resort' on one of a chain of lakes near Grand Coulee that resulted from ice flows long, long ago. There's a mini golf course, paddle boats, a snack stand, a small swimming pool, and the lake (of course). But the real beauty of Sun Lakes is not what there is to do, but what there isn't. We all just kick back and read books and magazines, watch the kids play, and relax.
To get there, we headed over the pass via I-90, but we stopped at the top of the pass to get some breakfast at a place called the Family Pancake House. I ordered the Paul Revere (many of their menu items have Americana themed names that seem to have nothing to do with the actual items). The place was packed, and the service wasn't great, but the food was decent, and what I expected.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Packed between our Vegas trip and our family vacation starting tomorrow, we managed to land an invite to a dinner party at a condo on Queen Anne built in an old school. Turns out there are more than one set of condos in a converted brick school on 2nd Ave on Queen Anne Hill (who knew?), which made finding the place a little tough... but well worth the effort.
We were first treated to some wine, delicious cheese, and crackers.
Then when all the guests had arrived, we enjoyed a wonderfully garlicky bread salad.
Followed by pasta with clams, and finally some lemon sorbet with berries and lemon cake/cookie (too much wine to remember, I guess).
All the dishes complemented the warm Summer evening perfectly - fresh, crisp, and clean flavors. And the conversation made the experience all the better.
Friday, August 22, 2008
The last day of any vacation it's usually tough to do much - depending on when your flight out is. We've historically done late flights out, to eek out as much Vegas as possible - but learned the hard way that on your final day in Sin City, spending the day without a room to go back to, with all your luggage in bag check, isn't all it's cracked up to be. You can't go lay by the pool, you can't change into shorts if it gets too hot, and you can't take a nap if you get tired. So this time, we booked a mid-day flight out, giving us just enough time to pack our bags, check out, and hit the Hawaiian Tropic Zone for some lunch.
We both had one final cocktail (margarita and mojito, just like day 1) and had a couple sandwiches. I went for a Black Pepper Seared Tuna Sandwich, while Dan tried out his first Cuban sandwich - which he really enjoyed. Fittingly, my camera ran out of batteries just after clicking pictures of my food.
When we arrived back in Seattle, we kept our vacation tradition alive and hit the grocery store for some Coronas, and got some dinner at Taco Bell - which we enjoyed while catching up on some TV before bed.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
We had hoped to make it to Quark's more often during our trip, but today being our last full day we made a point to go there for lunch after a visit to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. Dan started off with the James Tea Kirk ($8.50), described on the menu as "The legendary Captain Kirk went where no man had gone before and tasted exotic beverages from around the galaxy. This drink, on Earth a Long Island Iced Tea, is offered at Quark's with Gin, Rum, Vodka, Blue Curacao, Sour Mix and Sprite."
I started off with an Acturian Fizz: "Lemon Rum, 151 Rum, lemonade and strawberry puree make this pleasure enhancing drink a hit with Lwaxana Troi."
But then switched to a Mutara Nebula: "An interstellar beverage clouded with various colors sure to knock your sensors off. 151 Rum, Blue Curacao, Pina Colada, Grenadine, and whip cream."
Then we ordered some food. The Cardassian Fish & Chips for Dan: "Cardassian beer-battered fish, pacific red snapper and seasoned fried chips, served with tartar sauce and lemon."
And the 'Saucer Section' for me: "BBQ Chicken, roasted poblano peppers, red onion, cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese, layered in three tortillas, served with lime cilantro sour cream."
And we opted to eat dinner in the room again, ordering shrimp pasta, a grilled chicken Caesar salad, and some devil's food cake to share.
I loved that the pats of butter were even branded with the Planet Hollywood logo. That's some attention to detail.
The food was quite good, and laying in bed together, sharing a huge piece of decadent chocolate cake was a great way to spend our last night in Vegas.