No Carb Left Behind: The Finale

After a month of complications, it’s official: I’m currently at the airport, heading out of town tonight, bound for the land of humidity and alligator jerky.

What has the past month entailed, beyond the unconscionable shirking of my D.A. Days duties? Well …

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There were yet more heartfelt goodbyes to my favourite place on campus.

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I saw this sign and toyed with the idea of buying this coffee shop and renaming it either Schrödinger’s or Heisenberg’s. I’m still uncertain.

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I saw this delightful sign at the Seattle Pride Parade, which tickled me to no end. (If you can’t read it, it says “Mawage is what bwings us togeva today.”)

Speaking of which, if you’ll grant me a soapbox for a moment … I wrote about one benefit of pride parades last year, but I thought of another this year when I saw several local teen shelters and resource centers in the parade, many of which had a delegation of their teen patrons and volunteers. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be an LGBTQQIA teen, facing intense harassment and discrimination on a regular basis. Pride parades are one way we get to say to those kids, “We love you, and we’ve got your backs.” Because as the ever-inspiring Hannah Schaefer pointed out, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what our opinions on sexuality are — these people are still coming out, and they’re still facing higher risks of violence and suicide and homelessness. If we prioritize our opinions over their lives, that paints us in a pretty ugly light.

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Yesterday’s news was that I moved out of my apartment and had to say goodbye to this guy. It was heartfelt. There were tears.

Granted, he was sacked out on a chair at the time, taking his 18th nap of the day. But I just know he’ll miss having someone to tickle his feet and call him The Dude.

The tabby in the picture, a.k.a. Bandersnatch Cutiebutt, couldn’t have cared less. As far as he’s concerned, my exodus means one less biped hogging the couch.

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After relocating to my friends’ house for the night, I spent today with these two entities. Meet Delia and Delbert, our contestants on this week’s episode of The Biggest Loser. They had eight hours to lose 9 pounds each … and what do you know, they did it, folks! Let’s hear it for Delta Airlines’ accurate scales!

And finally …

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… I saved the best for last in our No Carb Left Behind series: Kaffeeklatsch, in Lake City. I cannot recommend this place more highly. I lived within walking distance of it for two years, and I credit it with maintaining my wellbeing throughout grad school. It’s right under my friends, my family, and my counselor, and right above naps. They have amazingly moist cinnamon rolls, and super flavorful bread (try the Rustic White), and a modest yet sufficient tea selection.

And on Wednesdays they have chili. You guys. The chili. OMG. I never thought I was a beef person, but this chili has won me over, heart and soul. I’ll share my wannabe vegetarian recipe sometime. In the meantime, get yourself over to Kaffeeklatsch and try it yourself. Hitchhike if you have to. Hang-glide. Parasail. Steal Borrow your neighbour’s daughter’s horse. Camp out for 36 hours like you’re waiting to get into Hall H. Do what you have to do. Just be there on a Wednesday.

I’m now having trouble remembering why I’m moving away from this place. What’s that? Full-time employment, you say? Very well, I’ll board this plane. But don’t stop being awesome, Seattle — you can bet your buttons I’ll be back.

Southward ho!

~ S.

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No Carb Left Behind, episode 2: U-District

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For the next installment of my food-centered farewell tour of Seattle, we travel north to the University District, home of the excellent Magus Books, a much-touted annual streetfair, and the unparalleled University of Washingon.

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Oh yeah, that’s my alma mater.

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Heck yes. Go Huskies.

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This place does have a formal name, but everyone just calls it the Harry Potter room. Early in the morning, before the tour groups start coming through, there’s no better place for a solo cup of tea and meditation on your philosopher of choice.

Anyhow, as you can see in the first picture, I chose Guanaco’s Tacos for a plate of rice, black beans, pickled slaw, and two zucchini–spinach–cheese pupusas (which, if you’re new to them, are a bit like stuffed pancakes made with corn flour). It was a fantastic meal, especially for the price, but really at the limits of my stomach capacity. Next time I think I might skip the plate and order one pupusa, a side of rice, and a side of beans.

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Just down the hill, at the University Village, there’s a branch of the inimitable Molly Moon’s. It’s a bit on the pricier side, which is why I hadn’t been there since last June, but worth the money for a special occasion. I love their Honey Lavender and Maple Walnut flavours, so this time, I took a chance on another of their year-round flavours, Salted Caramel. It was a bit salty on its own for me, but I can see it really shining alongside a scoop of Melted Chocolate.

I once looked at an apartment quite close to the University Village. I rejected it partly because I would have wound up being far too familiar with Balsamic Strawberry and Vanilla Bean, the scent of homemade waffle cones drawing me on like a siren song.

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“Scout mint … Scout miiiiint …”

These are by no means the only, or even the all-out best, places to eat in the U-District — I also love Shalimar for slightly formal (but still affordable) Indian food; Molly’s Café has some of the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had; and the District Market‘s excellent ready-made soups and sandwiches will always have a special place in my heart for welcoming me back to Seattle after a long early-morning flight from Alabama.

In short, it’s hard to go wrong with the U-District, food-wise. Whether you’re looking for a meal on the go or need a good place for a date, the U-District has your back.

If you live in Seattle, what’s your favourite food place in the U-District? Alternatively, what was your go-to food place in college?

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Image credit: Siren from Azumi79 on Pixabay.

No Carb Left Behind: episode 1

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First off, I should admit that I did not come up with this tour name myself; it’s what Liz’s friend calls her Italy trip in Eat Pray Love. Unlike her, I do not have ready access to fried squash blossoms and homemade tiramisu and roasted endive and penne ai quattro formaggi and pizza that incurs an existential crisis.

Perhaps it’s just as well.

However, we do have some pretty awesome street food, delis, and bakeries here in Seattle, and it’s my sad duty to revisit my favourites in the process of moving away. It’s not as impressive as Cher’s farewell tour, I know. But at least I’m only planning one.

My first stop was Michou Deli, in the Pike Place Market. It has a wide range of sandwiches and salads, with a respectable collection of pastas, soups, and pastries as well. My favourite sandwich, the one you see above, is the Tuscan chicken, with chicken, tomato, artichokes, greens, mozzarella, and pesto. This time I got a side of kale–wild rice salad to go with it. Such a good lunch — and super affordable, too; my sandwich–salad combo was under $7.

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And while I was at Pike Place, of course, I had to stop at Three Girls Bakery (no official website, but here’s their Yelp listing) to pick up a pastry. I decided on a poppyseed rugelach in the end, but they also have fantastic palmiers, croissants, brownies, and cookies. They’re reasonably priced, too (I paid $2 for this rugelach, and the guy threw in a broken one for free), so if you decide that the line at Piroshky Piroshky is too long, just walk a block further and get your pastry fix at Three Girls.

Also, a word about visiting Pike Place Market: I highly recommend going there early. Le Panier opens at 6:30 a.m. and Lowell’s at 7 a.m., so by the time you finish breakfast, many of the produce, flower, and seafood vendors will have set up their wares, and you’ll be able to stroll the market without the crowds. It’s a much more relaxed, personal, and efficient way to experience the market. (If you’re there for the crafts vendors, you’ll probably have to wait until 10 a.m. But that’s all the more time to mooch around the nearby coffee shops, right?)

Stay tuned for the next installment … but in the meantime, I want to know: What’s the best sandwich in your hometown?