Is there anything better than celebrating a birthday in Seattle? And how about paying off some bets I made with our dear friends who are diehard Seahawks fans? That was one bet that I lost, on December 23, when our Super Bowl bound Forty Niners visited Seattle and laid a big egg! It is going to cost me at least two bottles of champagne! I wonder if they remember that they went double or nothing on the Seahawks game in Atlanta?
Winter in Seattle can be both a blessing and freezing cold or snowing. With a mild winter so far, I am expecting four days of bright sunshine. But regardless of the weather, we will enjoy Seattle, its fine people, great shopping, and dear friends. Who knows? Maybe we will even find retired pharmacist, Uncle Ed, or my cousins, Marlene and Mike. And the talented and fashionable ones, like Wendy, Damon, Tanya, and Michael. And don’t forget Lori, Ben, Victoria, Lacey, Vhleck, Colleen, and others I have left out!
Why is the Seattle vibe so, you know, so vibrant? One reason, a rather obvious one, is that the gloomy Seattle weather forces people to just keep trudging ahead, with a smile, and an obvious fierce entrepreneurial spirit. Another reason could be its melting pot constituency, much like San Francisco. Or it could be the way they blend the old with the new. And not just their famous coffee.
I plan to find the guy on the Travel Channel who adventured to Bolivia in search of the world’s best coffee. He drove the famous Bolivian “death road” in a rented SUV, and traversed across canyons over 2000 feet deep to find a lonely hilltop farmer in the hinterlands of Bolivia. The episode and series were called, Dangerous Grounds, for good reason. His name is Todd Carmichael. His search for the perfect coffee has taken him to Haiti, Ethiopia, Cuba, Vietnam, Madagascar, and Borneo, as well as Bolivia.
Did you know nearly a billion people drink coffee each morning? It is the world’s second largest commodity after oil. Todd says his favorite coffee chain is Caribou, and least favorite, Dunkin Donuts. His favorite coffee is from Ethiopia, shade grown and from high altitude. In 2008, he traveled solo to the South Pole, and has sailed solo across the Atlantic when he was in his twenties. I would say he is the perfect guy to find good coffee.
While coffee is a big deal here in Seattle, it is not the reason we have fallen for Seattle. Like most places, it is the people. We can find good food anywhere in the world. In fact, Penang, Malaysia has the BEST food in the entire world. But Seattle keeps drawing us back several times a year.
Turns out Tony Bourdain is also in Seattle this week. Insiders say he is in town to film his latest TV show called The Layover. He visited the cheese counter at Calf and Kid, and slammed a few drinks at Rob Roy. He had dinner at the more traditional Canlis, and will do a shoot at Walrus and the Carpenter. Personally, I could care less, but I guess he has become quite rich and famous from his TV shows. We did see him in 2007 when he was in Seattle for some food and a lecture at the Moore Theater.
Like many other cities, the food truck scene has hatched here in a big way. Why it took so long can be blamed on the fact that Seattle cooks are such bad drivers! (Just kidding!) I still find the food trucks in the Washington DC area to be the best, most varied, and most plentiful! And reasonably priced.
One food truck in particular, piqued my waning interest. It is called Tokyo Dog. It is comprised of a cheesy brat, furikake, tonkatsu sauce, grilled onions, Japanese mayo, and bacon bits. Sounds like a heart attack in the making. Bring your statins!
So, in a town with great food in brick and mortar buildings, the gauntlet has been tossed by the food truck scene. Let the games begin! Everybody who likes to eat will be the winners. Put me in that category.