I was supposed to write about my trip to Seattle in April when it happened, but much to Vivian's dismay, I waited until I could develop my film and then...forgot about it.
And yet five months later, I am still thinking about the food I had on that trip. I figure that's enough reason to finally finish this half-written entry.
By far the most memorable restaurant was Thai Tom in the U District. It's a small place set up somewhat like a diner, so you can watch the chef make each dish as you wait for your order. Watching him juggle various curries, noodle, and meat dishes without burning himself was mesmerizing. I ordered the spicy noodles, "very spicy" as I stupidly told my waitress. I forgot that Thai spicy and regular spicy are different things. I also got the fried tofu, because seriously, who likes being healthy?
The tofu was good, but didn't quite have that crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside property of amazing fried tofu. I did however enjoy the peanut sauce that accompanied it, a slight variation from the usual. The spicy noodles, which came second, were fantastic. Every time I have ordered drunken or spicy noodles since then, I half-expect it to taste as this did. It never does. Everywhere else, the sauce provides the flavor, but at Thai Tom, the noodles seemed to carry all the flavors of the dish sans sauce. The only drawback was that I had ordered it "very spicy," and it was physically painful to eat towards the end. My tongue was numb for the next half day, but it was worth it!
The day I flew home, I went back to try another dish and take a terrible picture of it (success!). Based on a recommendation, I ordered the green curry off-menu, this time "medium spicy."And even though I'd had such a good meal there a few days earlier, I was surprised to be served with pretty much the best restaurant meal of my life. The flavors were bold, yet balanced, with a lot of spice and hints of creaminess. The chicken and veggies were delicious on their own; combined with the curry, they were amazing.
I've been on the lookout for a Thai restaurant that good in California with limited success. I'm hesitant to order curries in particular because they have tended to be either too mild or lacking in depth or both. I'm hopeful that I'll find one, or at least a good enough substitute to tide me over until my next trip.
I also stopped by Ivar's, with its delicious fried seafood and terrifying resident seagulls. My cousin and I ordered fish and chips, fried clams, and clam chowder.
The fish was good and the clams excellent. The fries and clam chowder were just alright. I am all about those clams though. Mmm.
For breakfast, I went to The Crumpet Shop, directly across from Pike's Place. What the eff is a crumpet, you ask? It's similar to a biscuit, but less fluffy, and topped with an assortment of sweet or savory toppings.
My crumpet was topped with just Nutella and ricotta cheese. Along with an Earl Grey tea, it made a very delicious breakfast. I would definitely recommend a visit to try one of the many variations of this treat.
Finally, my half sister Christine treated me to a wonderful lunch at Matt's in the Market, of which I have no pictures. I ordered a braised beef brisket sandwich on a brioche bun with arugula and horseradish aioli (weirdly specific ingredient description taken from the website). The beef was tender and flavorful, the bread rich, the aioli perfectly seasoned. It's a bit pricey, but the quality of ingredients and preparation explain the extra cost.
The fact that my few meals in Seattle are among the better ones I have had anywhere says a lot about the food in that city. I barely scraped the surface of what is available and still came away with some amazing finds. It's the kind of place that demands to be visited again and fully explored.