|Ev'ry-body in the club gettin' Tipsy - burger from Tipsy Cow - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
I'm fortunate that a lot of close friends are on similar schedules as me, so we try to make regular lunch dates to try out places and just pretend we are Leisurely Ladies (or Lads) Who Lunch. I'm slowly making my way through the Tipsy Cow Burger Bar's menu, over in Redmond. They opened recently, late last year -- the place was packed to the gills at the time. It was better to just get something to-go, but since then, the crowds are more manageable, and if you go after the lunch rush (usually after 1:00), it's much more relaxing and low key.
Great menu full of regionally-sourced ingredients -- the beef is grass-fed from Long Valley Ranch (which is actually over in Central Oregon, but that's closer than stuff getting trucked-in from, say, Texas), Macrina Bakery in Seattle makes the buns, and they try to use ingredients like Walla Walla sweet onions and cheese from Beecher's, so there's a lot of mindfulness that goes into sourcing the menu. And it shows in the burgers -- my most recent Burger Escapade had me trying The Winemaker, which was an all-beef patty topped with melty Brie, a tangle of fresh alfalfa sprouts (which I totally want to do all the time now), caramelized sweet onions and a smear of white truffle aioli. No actual wine in the burger, but it does sound like something a fancy winemaker would want in a burger, no? It was delicious and messy with the gooey Brie, but that's why you go with a good friend who won't judge when you just inhale that tasty burger and a pile full of shoestring fries.
|Burger Break at the Tipsy Cow in Redmond - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|It's good to be bad - coconut cream pie bite for breakfast - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
My friend and I made a pact to trek out one afternoon to have a slice of this mythic dessert and see if it's worth all the hype. We decided to fully embrace a day of Great Things, which was easy to do, so freshly off a Seahawks Super Bowl win. We said, to hell with rules and a sensible Food Pyramid -- we're going to have coconut cream pie for breakfast!
We also picked a freezing-cold day to do this, and Dahlia Bakery is more of a to-go place, with no indoor seating -- consider this when you want pie for breakfast. But fear not - we had our breakfast dessert in the warm comfort of the Nordstrom Cafe, who was so gracious to let us eat our not-from-their-bakery desserts with their lovely coffee with many, many refills. The pie was as amazing as legends and heads of state claim; a light topping of whipped cream over a coconut curd-like base. Richness defined, and not overly sweet -- it reminded me of a fresh-made haupia pudding. And you'll notice it's not pie-shaped at all -- I took a look at the whole pies, the size of the slices, even the "mini" pies behind the glass at Dahlia Bakery, and they were culinary beasts to be reckoned with. And I didn't want a sugar tummyache. But bless their sensible hearts, they have coconut cream pie bites, which are golfball-sized bonbons that you can have one (or two) and not feel the overwhelming guilt of sugar and high-fat dairy products.
|Markets, dresses, and wigs - just a day in the life of Downtown Seattle - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Dessert for breakfast, eggs for lunch - never let me leave this crazy train - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
My lunchmate and partner in crime had Loulay's trout salad, full of peppery arugula, chunks of savory-smoked white trout, and sprinkled with arils of pomegranate seeds. That sounds so sensible and good-for-you. I was like, eff that, I may not see the light of day again, I'm having their Croque Madame, which is a ham and cheese sandwich covered in toasted mornay sauce, topped with a duck egg.
|Go big or go home - Croque Madame at Loulay with a duck egg - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
I consider luck and fortune to be on my side to live where I live, and do what I do, even if it means not going out as much as before. But I think that's part of the blessing of feeling fortunate, that you are able to recognize and truly savor the little luxuries you can afford now and then.