Eating in Olympia
November 13, 2009
There’s . . . this girl. She coerced me into visiting her in her college town on the sound. I guess it was a good time. Here’s a little rehash of the food that slid past my tongue.
“Slid” is actually an appropriate word as the first full meal I had in Washington State was at McCormick and Schmick’s and we ate four pan fried oysters as well as four raw oysters. Without saying that these tasted great, they tasted better than the rest of the meal which my girlfriend and I walked out of the restaurant unimpressed with. I ordered the Dover Sole while the girl tried the rockfish with hazelnuts and apples. The plates came with golden crusted fish and some leafy greens. They both looked the same and the food tasted the same, greasy. We were disappointed, we looked forward to this meal. My sister used to work at this location and I remember going there at 15 years old and my parents, sister, and brother-in-law loving the food. I think it has gone downhill.
The meal we ate at a mexican restaurant was unexpectedly tremendous. The locals call it “QB,” which made me think this was going to be an adventure at another Q’doba or Chipotle, but I was soon corrected. I left the “Quality Burrito” very satisfied, and the below pictures show why. We ate Sweet Potato Chili and Lime soup, Sweet Potato fries with Mango Ketchup, and then I had a Carnitas Burrito with roasted apple. My food and the appetizers absorbed me so I do not remembebr exactly what the girl ate. But I tasted it, and I remember liking it.
I decided I would finnd a recipe for that soup after I ate it at QB and I think I discovered the exact recipe here. James Peterson published it in his book Splendid Soups. I love his books. I am currently waiting to receive Splendid Soups in the mail after ordering it from Amazon.
We made a couple meals too. One we made for her roommates as well. I had a hankering for my mother’s asparagus cream casserole (I know, a hot dish!?), my partner made a roasted cauliflower dish with kalamata olives, garlic, and oil as a sauce, and I fried up some make-shift chicken nuggets with breaded chicken thigh chunks. The vegetarian were clearly better tasting.
Then when our last night together was on its way we went down to the farmers market and decided we would make a dinner nearly exclusively from ingredients purchased there. We decided on mussels in a chanterelle, shallot, and garlic sauce, Steelhead with tomato, garlic, and capers, and a dish that has become a staple in my repertoire apparently: celeriac salad. I think the only things we did not purchase from the market were the mayo and dijon for the salad. There were also some hot toddies involved. While the brandy and tea were not local, the honey was. This meal was fun because I got to bring it up to her bed while she was doing homework and we ate on her bed while she was in awe of how awesome I was. Maybe I should pop that ego-bubble my head is growing.
You know what, for simply the reason of food (not to mention everything else we did, you know, the long walks on the beach, the intellectual conversations, etc. etc.) I have to upgrade this trip to fantastic.