my papa’s 60th

In my move I pretty much missed my father’s birthday – and it was a big one.

So on my last trip home I got the fam together and made of my pop’s favorite dishes – osso buco. (I found out this was his favorite when we went to Italy a few years ago and he set out on a mission to eat osso buco at every place that served it. Honestly it was an amazingly interesting experience – we tasted osso buco from fancy places to corner cafes, each a little different.)

You will find soon that I am not the biggest fan of traditional recipes – I much prefer the paragraph method that is basically me telling you the story of how to make something with extremely loose quantities.

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Start with thick beef shank; salt and peppered. Sear to a dark crust in cast iron. Add chunky mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onion) garlic, and sage. Deglaze pan with red wine – about a half inch. Cover and throw in a 300degree oven until the beef is falling apart. Add more liquid if you need, the meat must stay moist. This will take a few hours.

Pull the meat off the bone – place on platter. Scoop out mirepoix with slotted spoon and place around meat. I also like to place the bones on a separate platter on the table, so people can eat the marrow at will. Simmer the pan liquid – adding stock if necessary – until it is tasty. Whisk in a whitewash (water and flour, 2:1) and thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and add a touch of light vinegar or lemon juice if it needs a bit of brightness.

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I also made home made peanut butter cups – my dad’s two favorite things are peanut butter and chocolate.

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a little queen anne. a little vinyl.

had lunch today in Queen Anne at Toulouse Petite. it was phenomenal – i had the best gnocchi i think i have ever put in my mouth. with chanterelles and cippolini. the place is beautiful during the day, i can imagine it is super dramatic at night as well.

then we walked down the street to “some random record store” – which turned out to be one the most famous record stores in Seattle (Easy Street Records), having an amazing sale because they are moving in two days. Yes. and yes.

for $20 i got a giant stack of used vinyl. four of the best being these:

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progressive dinner. south city style.

i’ve been living in South City St. Louis for the past 6 years – it’s an international and diverse place to be. i will surely miss it.

but last night, the Mayor of Food Town took me and the Mixologist on a tour of South Seattle. it is also diverse and wonderfully full of tiny hole-in-the-wall gems.

we started at Catfish Corner – it’s exactly what it sounds like – on the corner, small, friendly, and bursting at the seams with golden fried goodness. some of the best catfish and hushpuppies i have ever had. who knew Seattle had soul?

then we went next door for the proclaimed “Best Ethiopian in Seattle” – Assimba.

 

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the injera was wonderful, the honey wine was weird and interesting, and the vegetarian lentils and greens were missing something (a bit of flavor, i would say).

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then we drove across town and stopped into a little bar and grill called, Rose Petals.

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first day on the job. with no job.

dropped into Seattle last night after a long plane ride of puking children and bad movies, only to enjoy one champagne cocktail before retiring to a dead sleep.

but, alas, my first day in jet city proved out some of the best food i’ve had in a while:

taco bus

 

the taco bus (Taqueria El Carreta) at 150th and Aurora. this little piece of heaven is a mostly hollowed out school bus (the drivers seat and controls remain), outfitted with a little kitchen and counter in the back half and basic wooden  bar stools and a metal eat tops in the front. the distractingly hilarious and loud TV keeps you from having to make too much lunch time chat with your date.

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minutes after arriving for my “ride” on the bus, our food came out and i dove into my sopita and mulita – both with the most savory and salty carnitas i have ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth. i also enjoyed salsa roja, pickled jalapenos, and sliced radishes – all while staring out the same old metal windows i dramatically stared out of during my middle school years.

i think this might be starting out on just the right foot.