5.29.2008

May 17 - Cheese! and other stuff.

What a beautiful day for cheese!

Lucky for my Fargo friends, they happened to be in town the same weekend of Seattle's amazing, spectacular Cheese Festival!

This was actually something I had missed last year. The thought of pulsing hoards of cheese-hungry tourists. *shudder* But this year I thought I'd brave it to show my friends a good time. And because, let's face it, cheese is awesome.

There are no lines. It's madness. MADNESS!!

We were at the Market at an unreasonably early hour. Why? I'm not sure, but thank god - avoiding the crowds by going early is so the way to work it. And now forget that I just said that, because I don't want you people getting in my early bird cheese next year.

Another tip you can forget I'm giving you is that there are no lines. Sure, your 2nd grade teacher told you it's kosher to wait in line, quietly and politely, but reason goes out the window at the Cheese Festival. It's every man for himself. And there's cheese on the line, people.

Oh, that's what the wait is about.

After trampling on young children and the elderly to get to the cheese, we were rewarded by myriad free samples of every kind of cheese imaginable. Well, except for that nightmare Italian cheese. That stuff is proof that god doesn't love Italy. But all of the little creameries that came out to promote their wares really represented. There was some damn good cheese in attendance.

My favorite cheese haus!

Even though I see them every weekend at the Broadway farmer's market, I was pleased to see Mt. Townsend Creamery out at the Cheese Festival. They have a small selection of cheeses, but they're all done remarkably well. Their Trailhead cheese is totally kickass. And I think that's a completely valid way to describe a cheese.

So much cheese!

I think we probably only wandered half of the cheese gamut, but we were pretty much on the verge of vomiting free cheese all over the ground. And as funny as it would be to do that to all the tourists, we decided to give the cheese a rest. I can't believe I'm saying that.

Luckily, a break from cheese doesn't necessarily mean a break from caloric onslaught. Guess what's just off the cheese route. . . Le Panier!

Oooh. . . . pretty. . .

As tempting as those beautiful little eclaires were, I was in the mood for something lighter. A palmier? Well, usually, but not on this occasion. I know, it's weird. Those little heart-shaped happy makers are usually a no-brainer for me, but on this cheese-filled day, I felt like getting something slightly fruity. And gnawing on it until it oozed it's raspberry innards all over my hands, leaving me a sticky mess. I love croissants!

Oh, the carnage.

Xtine, who is not (yet) bound by the siren's song of the palmier, made the seemingly painless decision to go with . . . . that thing that looks like a rectangular madeleine. I forget what they're called. Man, I should know that. Anyway, she seemed to enjoy it.

nom nom nom

Brenna was taken in by that thing that's always kind of scared me. She got a merengue, which to my understanding is sweetened styrofoam. She sure did make it seem tasty, though.

Kaaarunch!

After having walked off some of the "yeearrg I'm going to vomit" feeling downtown, we jaunted over to the international district for some Japanese food.

Unfortunately, the Japanese apparently have something against eating before 5:00 pm. Every Izakaya bar and restaurant was closed. WTF? Not awesome. So we decided to check in on Green Leaf, for some loud, red headed fat man-approved Vietnamese cuisine.

Nothing to sneeze at.

Aside from winning approval from that Food Network buffoon, Green Leaf has also won the hearts of almost every publication having to do with food in maybe the entire country. I don't know how they managed, that, but kudos. And more kudos to them for adding a second floor so that I no longer have to wait hours for a table.

Decisions, decisions.

It was ridiculous hot out that day, so they set us up with some lovely iced tea and we set about ordering way too much food for three people. But it's Vietnamese food, so it's calorie free! Right? Right??

Well, not if you order the cha gio, those magical little deep fried beauties served up with nuoc mam, otherwise known as the greatest juice to get squeezed from fishes ever. Stop being grossed out, whitey, it's delicious.

Hot, tasty innards.

To counter the grease of the cha gio (because that's how eating works), we had an order of the fresh green spring rolls. These things are ridiculously easy to make and I usually feel silly ordering them at restaurants, but the ones at Green Leaf are special. They have a roll of deep fried eggroll skin inside them that brings a surprise crunch to the party. Does it negate some of the healthy of the springroll? Maybe. Is it worth it? Many times over.

Surprise inside!

Xtine loves mushrooms. I do not. It is the source of some tension in our relationship. I remember that time we got into a spat about mushrooms and it got so bad we ended up painting a line down the middle of our apartment that no one could cross. It got really wacky when I realized the kitchen and door to the outside were on her side of the apartment, and the only thing I had to eat were the cans of mushrooms she kept throwing to my side of the line.

Anyway, she ordered these skewered mushrooms on a bed of green stuff underneath some fried crispies. While I didn't eat them, I did enjoy that they were impaled with sticks. Die, mushrooms, die!!

Death to the mushrooms!

Food time! Following her mushroomstravaganza, Xtine tucked into a plate of rice noodles topped with stir fried vegetals and more of that crispy stuff. You know, I have no idea what that stuff is. Is it Vietnamese? I don't remember any of it from my youth. Hmm.

Noodles and veggles.

Even though it's something I can make at home and that always makes me feel guilty, I had to order the bun - vermicelli noodles topped with green stuff and meat stuff. It's perfect hot weather food. Especially with a liberal dose of nuoc mam. Mmmmm. . . fish sauce. . .

I want some right now. . .

Afterward we wanted something in the way of sweet and cold, so we headed to Oasis for some bubble tea. Bubble tea!! Man I love that stuff. Icy slush with chewy tapioca balls and a flavr. I tried avocado flavr for the first time that day - it was crazy weird, but oddly refreshing. Would I have it again? . . . maybe.

HAPPY!

I think Xtine got passionfruit flavr. It was apparently amazing.

. . . not happy.

Brenna, on the other hand, was not on board. Apparently sucking balls of chewy goo with fruity slush through a massive straw is just not up her alley. Go figure.

That night we went to Can Can for their burlesque-y caberet type show. It's dancing and gymnasting and all sorts of entertaining. How can you not fall in love with that? Xtine and I did, as you can see. I also want to point out that I don't like wearing glasses. Look, the frames are in the way of me seeing the camera. Irony.

Asians in this picture: one total.

Is the Brenna and Xtine madness over? Not yet!

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Crispy topping stuff on Vietnamese dishes:very often it is deep fried shallots.