Co-ops are the best. They all smell the same (spice and dirt). You end up buying things you never knew you wanted. You buy all the health food you could possibly imagine, only to find out it's just as bad for you as the regular crap you buy. But, you feel good doing it, right!?! Also, it's so perfect when you're waiting for the ladies room, and some stranger tells you to put your phone away because she can't be around cell phones. God bless!
My favorite Co-op is the one in Mount Vernon. There is a strong granola vibe there. It's possibly the best Co-op in Washington state. I say that because of the size, variety, amazing food bar, and gift shop upstairs.
Recently they opened a cafe next door. It's called C.Square. There's a deli, ice cream parlor, and a well lit, delicious cafe. I love indulging, and I really love indulging hen I get to pretend to be healthy. The art is local. The bar is stocked. It's a fun place to dine.
You want to be there right now, don't you? They have all the meats, all the cheeses. They have an amazing fig ice cream. I love everything about this place. If you have a sleepy weekend with no plans, please make this your plan. You won't regret it.
Dry January? I've Got Ya!
Who all here has heard of Dry January? If you haven't, it's a thing where people feeling guilty about their over indulgence, take January off and abstain from alcohol. It's kind of a New Year's resolution/body reset plan. In my humble opinion, it's a month some of us take to evaluate whether we're alcoholics or not. Am I participating? No! I'm a glutton through and through. I love all the foods, and all the drinks. Thinking about abstaining from anything I may want in the moment makes me angry on a physical level. That said, sometimes I would rather grab a tasty, well crafted soda, as opposed to something that is going to further bloat my liver. For those of you committing to Dry January, those who don't drink, and to those who just love a tasty beverage, this one is for you!
Pictured above is a grapefruit soda by Pok Pok Som, out of Portland. It's light, tastes very much of grapefruit juice (pulp floaties included), and at 90 calories it's not going to destroy your diet. Beer, wine, and spirits will most certainly make you fat if you don't practice moderation. Looking online, Pok Pok Som specializes in drinking vinegar. I'm not sure what that is, but I'm intrigued. Kombucha tastes like vinegar, and I like that stuff.
I see this stuff everywhere. People love to serve Dry. Sparkling at events that are sans alcohol. You can even buy some of their products in large 750ml "wine" bottles. I can see why it's so popular. The Rainier Cherry tasted most definitely of fresh cherry, not that nasty artificial candy flavor. It reminded me of sparking water with a hint of sweetness. At 60 calories a can, this one is our list's big winner if your resolution is weight loss related.
Oh Blue Sky! How I love you! Let me count the ways... This soda shaped my childhood. It's a part of many of my favorite memories. In fact, my all-time favorite lunch included: Blue Sky, Kalamata Olive bread, Mascarpone, and grapes. I guess it was the child's version of a winery picnic. Perfect for this post.
Blue Sky is a New Mexican soda, and up until recently, was not found outside of The Land of Enchantment. It was made with real sugar, no artificial coloring, etc. before that was even a thing. New Mexicans can out granola you any day of the week. I remember visiting Toronto in high school, and I was so excited to find it in this tiny shop I stumbled upon. Now you can buy it almost anywhere, because everyone is into "health food." Let's not kid ourselves, it's still soda. This one pictured is a whopping 180 calories a can, but it's probably not going to give you cancer or dementia, at least, I don't think so.
Maybe it's because I didn't grow up in or near Seattle, maybe it's because I love being an eternal tourist, but I love Seattle Center. I love the Space Needle, and how it peers over Lake Union when you're driving into the city going south on I-5. I love the Pacific Science Center (we frequently buy an annual membership. If you have kids, it's worth every penny). I love the newish Chihuly Garden. It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever experienced. I love the International Fountain in the Summer, and the Winterfest Ice Rink in the Winter. I love the pan flutists, puppeteers, and moving statues. All that said, my favorite place to be at is the Armory.
Shocking, right!?! The Armory currently houses 17 different options for food and beverages, and while some of them are large chains (Starbucks), others are little tastes of local restaurants that are thriving (Skillet: Counter). Almost every time we're in the vicinity, we eat there. My husband's absolute favorite is Bigfoot BBQ. So, when we were at Key Arena a few weeks ago seeing Macklemore (obligatory name drop), we had to stop by.
We've eaten here several times before, and I've never ordered something I didn't like. Of course, you have to remember that I'm not terribly picky, but I do think they do a good job with their barbecue, which is the most important thing for a restaurant with their name. Honestly, my favorite thing about this joint is the atmosphere. If it's not too crowded, I recommend sitting at the bar/counter. You can then enjoy the faux wood cabin vibes they have carefully crafted. Who doesn't love a fake window with a view of the outdoor woods? Plus, I don't know if this is consistently true, but I've found that their staff usually has a great sense of humor. When we were there last, they kept saying "Oh, is that Macklemore?" and then standing back and watching the masses scramble. Love it!
Pictured above is the smoked chicken, smothered in Bigfoot's extra spicy sauce, beans, and a Bud. My hubby was warned to be careful with the spicy sauce. He didn't listen, and immediately realized his mistake. I don't know if this is always the case, but the beer was only $1.50. 'Murica! Any hoo, if you have the chance, if you're hosting out of town guests, if you also love Seattle Center, whatever the reason... If you're visiting Seattle Center, you should go to the Armory, and if you love BBQ and beer, go visit my friends at Bigfoot.
I can count on one hand the foods I dislike, and I'll typically even eat those. Typically frugal, but I'll pay top dollar for an amazing/unique dining experience. Never passed up a free meal, which has led me to become the #36 ranked eater in Major League Eating. July 4th, 2020 will be my third time competing in the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest at Coney Island. I've been on ESPN. That's right people, I'm an athlete.