Growing up, I was fortunate enough to enjoy many different types of cuisine, and ingredients. I was also raised to believe that eating spicy food, and consuming large quantities of food were admirable qualities in a human being. I met this challenge by eating plate after plate at the Old Country Buffet, but also by treating spicy foods like a dare. Only the best people ate spicy food. Those that didn't were weak, lesser than. For a tiny blip in my memory, it was just my mother and I in an apartment in Albuquerque, NM. My mom loved to cook with ginger, and shiitake mushrooms (still a food I despise), and these little chiles that she grew in a small clay pot, and then hung to dry. When she'd dry the chiles, my eyes would burn for a bit upon entering our home. With these fabulous chiles she made my favorite dish, Shining Noodle Soup. I don't remember the other ingredients, but I remember the noodles. I now realize they were shiny because they were rice noodles, and I remember those wonderful chiles that I now know as Tien Tsin Chili Peppers (based on images I found on the internet). What did I love about this dish? The broth ran down my face and made my chin numb, and I felt so cool!!!
This is my long-winded way of saying that I ate magical things growing up, things other kids would turn their noses at, but were truly missing out. That said, until my Sophomore year of college in New Brunswick, New Jersey, I had never experienced the joy of Indian curry. R U crying yet?
Top-left clockwise - Butter Chicken, Goat Curry, and Paneer w/ Peas over Basmati Rice
I think that restaurant is still there, Bombay Grill. What I know for certain is that I ordered a veggie based curry dish, and by the end of the meal I felt like I had been drinking (alcohol). I was in the throws of a spice-high. If you have never experienced a spice-high, you should seek it out. When you get the right spice mixture, your body releases endorphins and you experience true food happiness.
Since moving to Washington I have been treated to some amazing Indian restaurants, now my favorite cuisine. I've been trying to find a restaurant that is equally as pleasing as that first bite, and I think I finally found it, unassuming, next to a 7-11, in the part of Everett I was warned against living in, but I did (holy run-on sentence). I have found the perfect Indian cuisine in the Everett area. Ding, ding, ding! The winner is Curries!
Look at that feast! I love it all. My husband thinks that curries don't photograph well, and he may be correct when it comes to my photos, but I don't care. It tastes so good! The lunch-tray at the beginning of this blog is exactly that, my Wednesday lunch. I loved it so much I took my family back the following Saturday and took the dimly lit photos I'm subjecting you to for the rest of this entry.
Do you like Samosas? Wait, scratch that. Do you like carbs? Try carbs smothered in the delicious endorphin inducing spices I mentioned earlier. That accurately describes the Samosa Chat, pictured above.
From Top to Bottom - The Malai Kofta (basically shredded veggie balls, seriously yum!) and below that, the Curries' Speical Curry (the house special). Both were ordered at a level 4 spice. The Malai Kofta was less spicy. There may be more tomato present in the overall sauce. The special was especially spicy and wonderful. I think I have a new favorite dish, and a new favorite lunch spot. The only sadness I feel is that this restaurant opened after I moved away from W. Casino Rd. It would have been within walking distance...
This year I am working on my Instagram game, and improving my #foodporn pics (life goals, right?). I still cringe at that term, but it's probably accurate. I, and so many others, have become food voyeurs since we gained the ability to share every meal with one another through our amazing phone cameras. Granted, many of my friends hate food photography, and make their voices loud and clear via Facebook. "I don't want to see your breakfast!" This is why I have learned to love Twitter, and Instagram. Twitter wants to know what I'm doing right now, and exactly what I'm thinking, no matter how banal. Instagram wants to see what I'm eating, and especially if it involves yolk. Don't believe me, if you dare, check out Instagram and query #yolkporn or #putaneggonit ...
Pictured above is my favorite food pic I've taken to date, the Spicy Grilled Cheese. It's perfect. It has ooey-gooey cheese, plenty of color, action in the back, it's at a 90% angle to the sandwich (trust me, this is important), but most importantly it has natural lighting! I did not use a filter on this photograph, and although filters can be wonderful, the best food photography does not require them. As I have learned from Bon Appetit, commandment #1 is "Thou shalt worship no other god besides natural light ." Yes, there are rules to photographing your food, and if you're wise you'll follow the link, and learn your commandments.
The above pictured tacos, tofu then pork, left to right, are not pictured according to the rules. I should not have the empty/dirty plate en scene, but I kinda like it, so deal with it if you can. I'll admit that I was not initially excited to try this place, but my friend Chris really wanted our entire group to come here last Saturday, and I told him I expected something blog worthy. I'm not sure Chris planned it, but food aside, Shelter Lounge at Green Lake is amazing because right now our weather is beautiful, and almost the entire ceiling is a sunroof. NATURAL LIGHT!
Please do not read my comments above to mean that the food wasn't quality. We enjoyed such pleasures as the PB &J Jalapeno Poppers, and the Parmesan Avocado Fries.
There were also many drinks to choose from, like the Pollen in Love (Center stage). All said and done, I was very pleased with this spot as a Saturday date/group outing. It was fun. The food was fun. The drinks were fun. My friends are always fun, and most importantly it had natural lighting!!!
Eat up, my friends!
Allow me to introduce you. Pictured above is the spicy goat taco from the Indian cuisine themed RollOkPlease truck. I did order the extra spice, and it was everything I hoped for and more. Today was the annual Taco Libre Showdown. 40 food trucks were present, and 25 were competing. I was there to eat. I brought my family, and my good friend Lori. I ate way more than I should have. Here is a visual journey through our gastronomical adventure.
Both my husband and daughter ordered dogs from Tokyo Dog to start. This is not to be confused with Dog Japon, which is an all-time family favorite. The verdict was that it wasn't as good as Dog Japon, but still satisfying.
Next, I tried BeanFish. I had never heard of taiyaki before, but I fully appreciate this special treat today. On the left is an impossible to open Japanese drink. I finally did get the plunger to push down the glass marble, and was rewarded with something like a Clearly Canadian. On the right, is taiyaki, a fish shaped waffle sandwich with treats inside. I ordered the "K-Pop," which not only had an awesome name, but kalbi beef, kimchi, and pepper jack cheese.
My son got the Stoner Special from Maximus/Minimus. This included a perfect pulled-pork sandwich topped with mac and cheese. Needless to say, many people had food envy as we walked by trying to find a seat. I got a bite, and can say that the BBQ was the perfect level of smooth and spicy,
I'm a not-for-profit worker that loves food, both healthy and indulgent. I've eaten the 12 egg omelette at Beth's Cafe: toast, hash browns, and all. Take that Adam Richman!