There are three experiences I forgot to tell you about from my trip to the Pacific Northwest this year. The first experience happened on a morning in West Seattle (I’d written “East Seattle” and then Craig corrected me) with our friends David and Celia and their new baby, Johanna. Early in the morning, before my appointment with a chef at 9 AM, we all had breakfast at The Salvadorean Bakery.
I have to confess, when the idea of breakfast at a Salvadorean bakery was pitched to me I was at first wary. Not that I didn’t want to have a new culinary experience, it’s just that I was about to spend six hours cooking with chefs for my cookbook and I wanted some familiar food to pass down my gullet before getting to work. But after a failed attempt to go to a more American-style diner (it was closed until 11), the Salvadorean bakery was our best option. And, as it turns out, I’m glad that we went there!
Look at all these pastries they sell in the front:
Here’s Celia & Craig at our table:
And there’s Johanna (she requested her own table):
As for what we ate, it’s hard to put into words. This is the plate that was set before me:
So on the left side was what felt like a bunch of thinned-out sour cream, on the right side refried beans. Nuzzled in there were two poached eggs and roasted peppers. And it’s all served with hot tortillas (very thick) that you use to scoop everything up:
I have to say, the hot tortillas and all the flavors on the plate made for some good eating. Celia and Craig ordered the same thing but a fancier version that came with fried plantains, sausage and cheese:
If I had to do it all over again, I’d get that too. It’s a great deal and the sausages were packed with flavor, the plantains perfectly crisped and the cheese–well–kind of unmemorable.
But what was memorable was the whole overall experience. I love The Salvadorean Bakery and, next time you’re in Seattle, go there and you will love it too.
* * * * *
Do you remember in 2008, during that giant snowstorm that hit Seattle, how I couldn’t get up to Bellingham and Molly and Brandon rescued me? If not, see this old post. Well, during that stay, Molly and Brandon took me into the empty, unfurnished, unpainted shell of a space that was going to be their restaurant. Their excitement and anxiety was palpable; I couldn’t wait to return to that same space to see how it would all turn out.
Well it turned out like gangbusters. The place couldn’t be more popular (there are sometimes two hour waits!) and the food. Oh the food.
My cursed iPhone camera didn’t do the food or the setting any justice (maybe I should’ve annoyed everyone with a flash) but, in this terrible picture, you can see the faint outline of a glorious pizza:
Brandon really has his technique down; the pizza at Delancey rivals all of my favorite pizza in New York (and I say that sincerely.) I was there with my friends Rena and Aubrey and they too loved everything we ate.
Aside from the pizza, we also loved the salads (the dressing has garlic powder in it, evoking the pizza joint salads of my childhood) and, especially, this dessert; a Meyer lemon budino (somehow this picture came out):
Congrats to Molly and Brandon on such a huge accomplishment. I can’t wait to go back!
* * * * *
Finally, when we were in Bellingham, Craig’s mom Julee told us that on the Thursday before Christmas we’d be going to a Glogg party. “A Glogg party?” said Craig. “A Glogg party?” said Craig’s sister, Kristin.
“Yes, a Glogg party!” said Julee.
What’s a Glogg party? Well, it’s a Swedish Christmastime custom where you serve mulled red wine. And in this case, the party was thrown at the home of Julee’s Swedish friend, Anna.
Well, Anna, like her home, was quite lovely. Here she is with Craig who’s sampling Glogg for the first time:
And here’s the Glogg up close:
It’s served hot, in little glasses, and it’s infused with all of those Christmastime spices–cinnamon and cloves and, perhaps, a pinch of nutmeg. The first sip is a bit unpleasant; it’s like trying to swallow hot acid (after all, wine is acidic.) But once you get used to that, it’s a very nice Christmasy thing to drink. And it goes great with this traditional Swedish Christmastime snack: gingerbread and blue cheese.
That might sound strange and off-putting, but the sweetness of the cookie plays beautifully off the intensity of the cheese. I went back for several more.
But Anna didn’t stop at Glogg and blue cheese and cookies. She had a whole buffet of food!
Here’s Craig digging into it:
The buffet included this extravagant caviar pie:
Oh, and a traditional Swedish dish of potatoes cooked with onions and anchovies (I’m sure one of you, in the comments, will tell me what it’s called.) It was quite creamy and decadent and Anna kindly showed me the specific Swedish anchovies she used to make it:
I’m pretty sure, and don’t quote me on this, that they’re packed in wine and sweeter than the briny anchovies we get here in the States. You have to fillet them yourself. But again, don’t quote me on that.
All in all, I had a terrific time at the Glogg party. Thanks so much to Anna for having us and for letting me take pictures!
The next time your mom tells you you’re going to a Glogg party, don’t say “a Glogg party?” Just say “yes.”