It was my birthday this past week and on Friday night I had a lovely dinner party with friends. There is nothing I love more than sharing great food and wine in the company of my friends. I feel really blessed.

This weekend I was able to check out Volunteer Park Cafe & Marketplace in Capital Hill. This quaint little restaurant is on a tree-lined street with beautiful old homes. 100 years ago this place was a grocery and meat market. Now, they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have one large rustic wooden table running down the center of the space and other smaller tables around the perimeter. Huge windows in the storefront give lots of natural light. I love, love, love that they use local, organic and sustainable ingredients. They are even putting in a garden of their own.

There is something fun about communal dining. I like meeting new people and talking about food/wine. I can’t wait to go back and have dinner. They have a nice selection of wines in house and the dinner menu (chock full of PNW fare and comfort food) looks fantastic.

Those of you that know me, are well aware that I love bacon. Since we went for breakfast I quickly scanned the menu and chose the bacon and egg breakfast panini. The Stumptown latte was the frosting on the cake. I was in a happy place.

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hori hori dig dig!

Cafe Besalu, oh how i love you

September 21, 2009

I love food and I hate running. This is a problem for me. I’ve had to get creative with my exercise routine in order to justify the food/wine I love. There are a few places in Seattle that I will return to again and again and again because they have nailed it, whatever it is. Besalu is one of those places.

Cafe Besalu is a little pastry shop in Ballard on 24th Ave. that smells like heaven when you walk by. People flock here each morning and wait in long lines for what can only be described as the most buttery, flakey, delicious pastries in Seattle. I can’t imagine a happier place to work; surrounded by the smell of baked goods, butter, dough, sweet fruits, savory treats and more butter…hello?!

I normally get the ham and swiss pastry, but yesterday I tried the onion and gruyere. It was delicious. I have a friend that sometimes talks to her food. And every once and a while when I am about to eat something amazing I pay homage to her by speaking to my food as well. “Hello lover…” Besalu pastries should be talked to. Each pastry is a little work of art and as such should be properly honored before being eaten! I could die happy right here.

hori hori dig dig!

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Portage Bay Cafe recently opened in Ballard. I learned my lesson the last time I tried the new Portage Bay Cafe in South Lake Union. I waited a while before attempting to have breaky at the new location so that all the kinks would be worked out. There is nothing worse than a bad breakfast experience!

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First, let’s discuss the toppings bar. I’ve never experienced such a thing before dining at Portage Bay. The toppings bar consists of a large bar-height table that is filled with large bowls of all things sweet and delicious. Whipped cream, butter, blueberries, strawberries, brown sugar, syrup, nuts (not my favorite as I am allergic, but for those of you who are nut fans…I gather you would enjoy it). You get the idea. Lord have mercy… I could just roll around on that table (sans nuts)!

There is always a line at PBC for this reason: the food is great. Breaky is a treat for me. I have a fruit smoothie every day during the week for breakfast, so having someone cook me eggs, bacon (you will often here me rant about how much I love bacon) and french toast is simply delightful. At PBC they serve you coffee while you wait, and they are kind enough to cover their entry way with posters of events happening around town. A little reading material for you. How nice. Today we sat at the bar, so we didn’t have to wait as long.

PBC is also just a hop, skip and jump from the Ballard Locks, so you can take a nice little stroll after your trip to the toppings bar. You can enjoy the gardens, fish ladder and watch the boats go through the locks (there is always some good boat drama!).

hori hori dig dig!

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