Posts Tagged ‘chocolate chip cookie’
Summer is finally here in Seattle! We celebrate the long days of glorious sunshine by being outdoors from dawn to dusk on weekends, the city thriving with activities. There are festivals day and night, and restaurants have oiled the decks, hosed the patios and swept the courtyards for al fresco dining.
I love city parks, urban oases of fresh air, mowed lawns and pruned trees. Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill is a compact version of this. At its heart is the Seattle Asian Art Museum and at the top edge is the Volunteer Park Conservatory. We strolled through the serene greens to Volunteer Park Café for lunch.
I had sampled chef Erika Burke’s fare at Keren’s book launch party and Foodportunity, and was curious about the controversial eatery. Located a couple of blocks east of the park on a leafy street, Volunteer Park Café is in a century old building. Rusty azure chairs contrasted with the creamy yellow timber.
There are three sets of tables and chairs on the sidewalk, the one in the blazing sun is conspicuously vacant.
A blackboard easel listed daily specials.
Breakfast and lunch items were listed on three walled blackboards. Staff were frantically assembling sandwiches as we queued to order.
Discs of golden cookies in tin buckets, their flavours stamped on placards, were visual lures.
The centrepiece of the cosy space is the communal table. We pirouetted to sit by the window. It was a warm day, and the enclosed room was sweltering and amplified the cacophony of the crowd.
Layers of pastrami and caraway sauerkraut were accessorised with Swiss cheese and thousand island dressing. The thick rye bread was gently toasted. It was a moist and tender café Rueben, the tangy fermented cabbage moderated the savoury meat.
Steadied by a bamboo toothpick, the prosciutto and mozzarella baguette was a chewy delight. Peppery arugula, sweet fig balsamic, buttery prosciutto and milky mozzarella were a splendid combination.
We exited quickly and took our parcel of chocolate chip cookie and cinnamon swirl coffee cake back to the park, and shared dessert in quiet contentment.
Disclosure: I attended this event as a guest of GreenRubino. This is not a sponsored post.
I had had lunch at Pop Kitchen + Bar prior to going home to Australia in November. I returned yesterday to sample their happy hour fare courtesy of GreenRubino. An afternoon downpour was looming and I was glad to be indoors. Located in the Experienced Music Project Museum, Pop Kitchen + Bar has changed management since it opened and it is now operated by Wolfgang Puck.
A signature textured metallic crumble, the café has a spectacular view of the Frank Gehry designed EMP.
The interior is modern with white benches and lemon chairs.
Screens looped music videos above the bar. A generous glass of Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon was smooth and fruity.
Vases of daisies in vibrant hues decorated the buffet table.
Layered into a plastic container, the Chinese chicken salad was spiked with a pair of chopsticks. Mixed greens were tossed with shredded chicken, pickled ginger, coriander and shards of crispy wonton skins.
My favourite item on the happy hour menu was the spring salad of mixed greens, sliced strawberries, shaved Manchego and candied walnuts. A piquant vinaigrette was tempered by the sweetness of the fruit and nut.
A fluffy flatbread was topped with mandolined potatoes, cubes of pancetta and dotted with ricotta and Pecorino. I also nibbled on a wedge of cheese pizza of molten mozzarella, Gouda, chèvre and Parmesan.
A healthy vegan option, the cute slider was skewered by a cherry tomato and stacked with a white bean and quinoa patty.
Dessert was ginger molasses and chocolate chip cookies. The ginger molasses cookie had a rich caramelised flavour and the chocolate chip cookie was delightfully chewy.
I left with a gift box which I had guessed were cookies but was surprised by half a dozen macarons.
I had one of each flavour for supper!
Myra gathered a group of food lovers at short notice for a conversation with author Marissa Guggiana yesterday. Marissa was a judge at Lamb Jam last weekend and returned to Seattle from Portland for a demonstration and book signing with Ethan Stowell at the University District Farmers Market this Saturday at 10am and an ‘Off the Menu’ dinner on Sunday at Tavolàta.
A large stainless steel bowl filled with ice chilled bottled beverages.
There were salumi and pizzas from the Serious Pie kitchen. On the left is translucent mangalitza, and on the right is marbled lamb coppa.
Blistered and charred, the sweet fennel sausage, roasted peppers and provolone pizza is a regular order for us.
Buffalo mozzarella, tomato sauce and fresh basil are ingredients of the classic Margherita pizza.
We snacked on a couple of cartons of Dahlia Bakery caramel popcorn.
Author of Primal Cuts and Off the Menu, co-founder of The Butcher’s Guild, ex-editor and contributor to Meatpaper, a 2008 fellow of Roots of Change and a board member of Ag Innovations Network, Marissa studied at Seattle University and lives in Northern California.
An aspiring playwright, she moved to New York after she graduated but soon returned home and was the first employee at Laloo’s Goat’s Milk Ice Cream. Her family owned a food distribution company and was buying meat from Australia, cutting and re-selling it. She became interested in the origins of meat and soon changed the business model to buying whole animals only.
Welcome Books is a boutique publisher focused on the context of food, and published both Primal Cuts and Off the Menu. She took all the photos for both her books.
For Primal Cuts, Marissa drove 15,000 miles in a Prius in four months! She interviewed fifty butchers across the country. She spent days with them recording hours of conversations that were transcribed and edited. Her goal was to present the whole industry and not just the art of butchery and knife skills. The book includes recipes for every part of the animal, a variety of cooking styles and culinary traditions, and from industrial to niche retail butchery.
Marissa identified a need to connect butchers to share expertise and thus, The Butcher’s Guild was founded. She mentioned young butchers were learning from YouTube videos! It takes time for butchers to educate their customers and the guild is a network to support this.
Off the Menu represents Marissa’s approach to cooking. Staff meals are quick, cheap and tasty. Basic techniques and quality ingredients are fundamental. The commitment to dining together every day builds morale and exemplifies respect for each other. Marissa ate fifty one staff meals in two months!
She obtained recipes from the cooks and the chefs submitted answers to a questionnaire. Marissa noted Blackbird in Chicago as a highlight where the staff meal was braised, battered and fried duck leg served with waffles and coleslaw. Tavolàta epitomised the concept of the book where staff meals are after service in a relaxed atmosphere. Marissa was effusive about the culture of service in New Orleans. Loyal staff work at the same restaurant for decades.
Off the Menu celebrates the ritual of communal dining. She spoke passionately about her experience at Camino in Oakland. Dignified staff eat in the restaurant, they understand the food and there is a transparency in how the restaurant operates.
Marissa’s interest is in food systems and her next book will be on the future of protein from an academic perspective. Genuine and humble, sincere thanks to Marissa for joining us for the afternoon.