A dining club for hip, young Seattleites meets once a month for dinner and drinks. High jinks ensue.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Pumpkin Bread from Starbucks

Now, I love pumpkin bread and I love coffee and I love that at this time of year you can get both items at several area coffee shops. While Starbucks might not be my first choice of a place to frequent (far too many awesome neighborhood joints in Seattle for that) I don't have a deep loathing for the place either. They treat their employee's pretty well, the staff is generally friendly (if not a bit over caffeinated) and the goods are passable. So the other day when I had a few minutes before my chiropractic appointment I had no qualms or reservations about hitting up the Starbucks that is just around the corner. I got a latte and a slice of their pumpkin bread. To be honest, even though this is clearly fall, clearly pumpkin season the thought that pumpkin bread might be available hadn't crossed my mind, so I was pretty excited to see it in the display case at Starbucks - life was looking pretty good. The latte was perfectly respectable (maybe it could have been hotter, maybe there could have been a little more oomph there but nothing to detract from the enjoyment). I turned my attention to the pumpkin bread, took a bite...and was kind of revolted. While it tasted fine and the consistency was good and it had been thoroughly baked it left my mouth feeling like it had been coated with some kind of viscous, plastic-like, oily substance. It was gross and it stuck with me for a long time despite trying to watch the effect down with some coffee. Now I haven't had pumpkin bread from Starbucks in about a year (or any kind of Starbucks produced pastry for that matter as I tend to go in for their offering from Top Pot Doughnuts, which is another thing I appreciate about Starbucks) so I have to ask - has it always been like this? Perhaps Wendy or Tia could shed some light on the issue given their recent foray into the world of the Starbucks Pastry.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Thanks for kicking things off, Hannah. Yes, I agree. The food was excellent and inventive. I think that the only (small) gripe I had was the portion sizes. Now, I know that meals should be about quality and not quantity, but I have to admit that after three courses I was hungry a bit later in the evening. Sigh. Since I'm on a weight loss kick, I think this is OK. In fact, it's probably a good thing. In any case, better to have small portions and excellent, excellent, excellent food than go to the Claim Jumper for a two-pound piece of steak that tastes suspiciously like A1 sauce.

My favorite thing at Tilth of course was the bourbon pecan pie with bourbon ice cream. Yum-mo (to quote Rachel Ray)!!! And the corn milk creme brulee--that was totally unexpected!!

As for the main courses, my salmon was delicious. The arugula/bleu cheese/walnut/pear salad I had was tasty, even if it was a common dish (aside from the whole 95% organic thing).

I was in charge (sort of) so it makes sense I'll need to kick this off

The group headed to Tilth in Wallingford for the second gathering of Ladies Who Lunch.
This was a last minute, snap decision and worked out pretty well considering. They did a good job accomodating us despite a moment of reservation uncertainty, in which Rico nearly got our reservation cancelled at the last minute - just because you couldn't come is no reason to take it out on the rest of us!
Tilth is a new addition to the scene and their whole thing is being certified organic. What this means (as our server informed us) is that 95% of what's on the menu is certified organic and the remainder is foraged or found (like in the woods). Which I think is great and was one of the things that drew me there in the first place. It is kind of like mixing politics and firmly held beliefs with your meal though, so it's possible that not everyone will think this is as fantastic as I do.
Tilth is in a converted bungalow on 45th, very fresh and bright inside. Really comfortable. Beautiful place settings and flat ware. Over all a really nice, well put together place.
And the food - the food I thought was phenomenal. Everything on the menu comes in 2 sizes, making it possible to mix and match and share with others to your little hearts content. I started off with the Tilth version of French Onion Soup. It was in a beef broth with a delicious toasted bread/cheese yummy thing and just a bit of melt-in-your-mouth beef (grassfed!) in the center of the bowl. Quite good. Next I had the smaller size rare seared albacore tuna with heriloom tomatoes. This was also delicious and is supposedly caught in such a way that catches the smaller, younger tuna so your mercury exposure is very low. See what I mean about the whole mixing of dinner with environmental concerns?
Next was dessert. As a table we sampled all of their dessert options. There was delicious pecan pie with bourbon ice cream, huckleberry tart with black pepper ice cream, miniature caramel apples (so cute and fun!), creme brulee (somehow featuring corn) with sugared bacon (weird sounding but truly delicious) and a chocolate/grahm cracker/marshmallow thing that was oddly dissapointing (IMHO).
In summary - I liked Tilth. I would go back. It would be an excellent place to go on a date...now all I need is somebody to take me on a date. Anybody?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dining Notes for October 2, 2006

This weekend I had the pleasure of having lunch at Racha on Queen Anne with Mike and Sue Veseth. (Mike is the prof I went to Prague with and Sue is his wife.) Enjoyed a nice conversation as well as several fabulous dishes: Ginger Garden with Chicken (similar to the dish I always order at Jamjuree), Sweet and Sour with Pork, and Green Beans. YUM! What a treat!

I also binged with Tia on pastries and lattes from Starbucks on Saturday night... Highly digestible carbs were a necessity to sustain us during our (Arrested Development, Season 3) marathon. And while I am the first to say that Starbucks pastries are kinda "meh" in comparison to some of Seattle's fine artisanal bakeries and independent coffee houses, the pastries definitely served their purpose. The sugar rush was exactly what I needed to stay awake until midnight!!!

And now tonight I'll get to enjoy Caribbean cuisine at Casuelita's with Tam & Elissa. Casuelita's is one of my favorite spots in Belltown.

I am eating well this week!