One of my goals for 2013 was to read at least one new book a month–which I’m happy to report I did! While taking a look back at what I read, I noted that my first three books of the year were all memoirs.
Wael Ghonim’s “Revolution 2.0” charts how he utilized social media to play a major role in the 2011 Tahrir Square protest movement in Egypt. In “Breaking Up With God,” Sarah Sentilles discusses faith, theology, and her ordination process to become an Episcopal priest.
The third memoir was “Fresh Off the Boat” by Eddie Huang. It’s the story of Eddie’s life–how he grew up, and went from being a drug dealing thug to lawyer to streetwear mogul to Food Network cooking show competitor to restaurant owner.
I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of detox diets. Many of them seem to be based on dubious nutrition claims, and the people I know who’ve gone through these programs were never happy about it. Instead, they were irritable and depressed.
However, after 6 months away from the gym due to a knee injury and an indulgent vacation that included one too many piña coladas, the number on the scale was truly alarming. I weighed almost as much as I did when I was pregnant with my son 5 years ago.
So I started researching cleanses.
I’m one of those people who like to channel surf. While I’m flipping through channels, I’ll inevitably wind up watching something on PBS. I love that at any given moment, PBS will be showing something compelling and thought-provoking (“Run to the East”), shamelessly geeky (“History Detectives”) or just weirdly watchable (“Antiques Roadshow”).
In addition, KCTS 9, Seattle’s PBS station, produces great local programming. Last year it introduced a new show called “Check, Please! Northwest.”
The show brings three strangers together to talk about their favorite restaurants. Each person recommends a restaurant, everyone goes to the three places, and then they discuss the food and their experiences.
When I traveled to Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Interactive conference, I definitely had a lot of barbecue, but I also was fortunate to eat at Uchiko, the Japanese restaurant where Top Chef Season 9 winner, Paul Qui, is executive chef.
The restaurant, of course, was completely booked weeks before I arrived in Austin. I thought maybe I could score a seat in the bar during happy hour if I got there early enough. My conference roommate, Dominique, was game to try. While she was on the Uchiko website getting directions to the restaurant, on a whim, Dominique checked online availability of reservations that night. She found a 5:30 pm slot was open and booked it immediately. Score!
My husband and I parked, and went into what we hoped was the entrance to the restaurant. There was no sign.
We uncertainly started to make our way down a dimly lit hallway when another couple came up behind us.
Uncertain that we were headed the right way, my husband asked them, “Do you know where you’re going?”
The woman laughed. “No,” she said. “We were just following you!”
Filed under Reviews, Savory
It’s Friday, which means that people will be plotting all day where to meet their friends for happy hour. Last year I wrote about some of my favorite happy hours, and there’s one more I definitely need to add to the list.
It’s the pizza happy hour at Serious Pie, Tom Douglas’s gourmet take on a pizzeria. Happy hour is early (3:00-5:00 p.m.) and short, but if you can make it during this window, you should. It can be virtually impossible to score a seat in Serious Pie during lunch or dinner.
Full-size pizza are usually around $17, but during happy hour, you can order mini pies for just $5. Happy hour beer is $3 and wine is $5.
Last week my friend Sharon and I were shopping downtown one afternoon and ducked into Serious Pie for a hearty snack and to escape an impending rainstorm. Pizza toppings run the gamut from basic (mozzarella and tomato) to full-blown foodie (guanciale, soft egg and arugula).
We ordered two mini pies to share: the chanterelle mushroom and truffle cheese and one with Penn Cove clams, pancetta and lemon thyme.
The clam and pancetta pizza is a salty snack lover’s dream, while the mushroom and the other pie had a sweet and mellow flavor with just a hint of truffle. The pizza at Serious Pie is soft and pillowy (no cracker-thin crust here!) making the top-notch ingredients taste that much more luxurious.
Filed under Reviews, Savory
During a short trip to the nation’s capital last month, I had four dining experiences that represented very distinct cultures and approaches to food.
After I wrote the previous post about the proliferation of cupcake shops in Washington, D.C., I saw a commercial on TV for a new show called “DC Cupcakes.” It’s a reality show all about sisters Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis and their shop, Georgetown Cupcake.
After watching the first two episodes, I don’t think I’ll be back for more. Instead of building a show around compelling characters, the show’s producers try to make Sophie and Katherine interesting–when they really aren’t. As a result, everything–from the sisters’ cardboard narration to the “wacky” supporting cast including their mom and surly baker–seems very forced.
I’d rather watch 30 minutes of pure video footage of cupcakes, or the so-awful-it’s-fabulous movie, “D.C. Cab.” My favorite exchange in this intro is when Mr. T. the cab driver throws out a prostitute attempting to, ahem, service a client in the backseat of his cab. She insists, “I need the bread!” To which Mr. T. responds, “Then get a job at a bakery.”
When I was in Washington, D.C. last week, it seemed like no matter where I was in the city, there was a cupcake shop nearby. I unexpectedly managed to visit two of the top shops in the DC area.
After wrapping up a business meeting in Georgetown, I had some time to walk around the area. My friend had told me that I visit Georgetown Cupcake. I asked my DC colleagues about it, and they recommended that I visit Baked and Wired instead.
When I headed out on my own, I had the address of Baked and Wired but no map or directions so I didn’t think I would find it. But after walking for a few minutes, I found myself right in front of the shop.
I loved the way they display the baked goods under glass–especially the cupcakes.