Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 18 - Keeping It Close

This morning dawned as I suppose most Seattle mornings do.  It was cloudy and drizzly.  Brett was awakened by a phone call early this morning.  Tom Atwell, a garden writer, from the Portland Press Herald called him to do an interview about his worm composting operation.  The Worm Wiz will be mentioned in an article at some point but we are not sure when.  Once my little celebrity calmed down we needed to decide on a plan for the day.  Brett was just as happy to not spend another day in the city center and I am most happy when he is happy so we did a fair amount of puttering close to home today.  I did speak to Lowell this morning and he seems to be getting nicely settled into his routines with classes starting on Monday. 

We got groceries for the boy yesterday and needed to get some supplies for us before we head off into the wilds of coastal Oregon.  First we had fun trying out Gas Buddy and finding the cheapest diesel fuel near us.  $4.39 hardly seems inexpensive but it was the best in the area.  Then our trusty GPS showed us the way to an Albertson's supermarket.  
It didn't seem to be too crowded which surprised us for a Saturday morning.  Also a lot of windows seemed to be covered.  We did think that a lot of the shelves looked very bare (hardly any bread).  We mentioned it to the cashier who told us that they'd been informed 2 weeks ago (by text) that the store would be closing.  So they are waiting to see where they will be working when the day arrives (they weren't told when this would happen).  I was still heartened to see a Starbucks when we walked in the door. 
Did I mention that there are coffee shops everywhere out here?  I have seen more drive up espresso stands than anywhere else in the world.  I can't understand how so many shops that sell the same thing so close to each other can all be doing a good business but they do seem to be.  Did you know there are 424 Starbucks in Seattle?  This includes the oldest surviving one which is at the Pikes Place Market.  That shop has lines of people extending to the sidewalk every morning.  Every coffee shop we went by had people in it.  I figure Lowell may be drummed out of town since he is a dyed in the wool tea drinker!  We'll see. 

Getting groceries at about lunch time is always a good excuse to try out a new restaurant.  I've been wanting to try Pho for quite some time and happened to spy Pho Bao An in a little strip mall next to the market.  This little mall also sported an Indian and a Kenyan restaurant.  Pho (pronounced fuh, which rhymes with duh) is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup.  The broth is made with beef bones and has star anise and cilantro in it.  When you order, the cook heats up the broth very hot and adds very thin slices of beef or meatballs or chicken or tofu and rice noodles like the ones used in Pad Thai.  The server brings a separate dish with fresh bean sprouts, lime wedges, fresh basil,jalapeno, hoisin sauce and a fiery chili, garlic sauce.  You add whatever garnish you wish.  We got to choose from small, large or very large.  It's a good thing we ordered the small.  This was at least a quart of soup.  The extra large bowl looked to be the size of a wash basin!  Most of the diners had chosen that size.  Except for one other person, we were the only non-Vietnamese patrons.  I always feel better about eating at an "ethnic" restaurant when the clientele is predominantly of that ethnicity.  I suppose it speaks to the quality of the food.  Although it might also be the price.  Small = $6, Large = $7, Extra Large = $8.  It was good value for the money. 

Our waitress was a charming lady who had enough English to get by.  She knew the numbers (you order by number) and "small, large, x-large" and thank you.  We did just fine.  I noticed 3 other Vietnamese ladies out in the kitchen. 

The garnishes arrived first.

And then the pho.  Big steamy bowls of soupy goodness.  It was another lunch to remember.

This is my art find for the day and my new reusable shopping.  It has a wonderful drawing of Seattle on it.  Won't I look quite the character when I carry this around in the Hannaford while wearing my genuine, Western cowboy hat?

And finally, I had to go to Starbucks because I'm in Seattle and that's what I thought I should do.  The drink tasted just like it does at home.  I'll be checking out little, independent places from now on.  So, we shopped, we ate, we got to see some more of the neighborhood, we had a walk, we had some coffee and we are getting ready to dust it tomorrow morning.  I am trying not to be so planned for this part of the trip.  Our purpose is to mosey along the coast of Oregon, taking a few days before we reach the Redwoods Park.  We'll see how it all works out.

1 comment:

  1. The proliferation of coffee shops is the signature of a civilized populace. Its foggy and drizzly in Maine too, but wait a minute, the sun will out.