October 13th, 2010


anorexics are out of their minds! i.e, food notes ahead

first off, how the hell did i forget to post photos of joe's cake?!@!# i edited the previous post to include this wonder of artistry, & here's your direct link back to the pics.

second, for those keeping track, my $747 ambulance ride from july came to only $74 after insurance, & my $4700 hospital stay is about $450 for me to pay. ahhh, insurance. i hate/love having/getting to use you.

thirdly, so many fun guests lately, & SO much good food. atrophie came back from california, & we took this fun picture together at a free seattle event. then iphise made her second appearance in two months from colorado, & we had a fantastic dinner at the 5 spot - mine being a fresh salmon burger on a brioche bun & mashed yukon golds, & we three split dessert of the "520 floating bridge": an in-house curved chocolate cone, almond roca pontoons, & local raspberry ice cream. joe & i split this once before, but it was much more manageable with three. (we took corey to marrakesh last time, which i've written up before.)

we also hosted jessie, who we've missed terribly, while she was back in town from graduate school in ohio. we ate at the coastal kitchen, where i had a seared ahi tuna & arugula appetizer, then an absolutely delicious opah with a lemony yogurt sauce & rice pilaf, & finished with their "ambrosia" dessert of semolina cake, warm custard, candied figs, & sesame-anise biscotti. the opah - i could easily eat that opah every day, especially with that thick yet somehow light sauce. for jessie's last night with us, we went to volterra, & i enjoyed a stupendous slow-cooked wild boar with polenta & spaghetti squash, & a flourless chocolate orange cake topped with semi-sweet chocolate mousse, mmfph. we hadn't been there before but we will certainly be back.

& finally, i set up another silverwood trip, like we took last year except with different people since the lesbetereers are busted broke - christopher d. & chris m. went with us. everything went smoothly last year except for finding food, so that was planned in advance this year. we stopped at these two zagat-rated restaurants on the way through spokane each direction, & i was as excited for them as i was for the park itself.

the trip to silverwood, though well-planned, wasn't expected to be nearly as great as last year for one major reason: thunderstorms. all day. & i mean the hourly forcast for athol (YES, SILVERWOOD IS LOCATED IN A LISPING ASSHOLE & IT RULES) showed serious lightning & thunder from 7am straight through 7pm with no relief. in 50 degree temperatures. & it had only gotten worse as i'd been monitoring weather.com all week. blech. but since half our party was busy next weekend, we decided to risk it. we loaded up on ponchos & extra warm layers, & drove through a fair amount of rain to our first dinner stop.

at mizuna, joe & i started by splitting the ahi tuna shiitake poke' in roma cups - raw tuna with scallions & hazelnuts on tomato. delicate flavor, i liked it more than joe did, but he tends to favor a single bold element in his dishes. we then split both: the brandt ranch 10oz NY strip (i always give the temperature option to the chef, who claimed "medium-rare" but only just barely got it that warm), with truffle-mashed yukon golds (omg) & veggies; & the pan seared halibut with saffron butter, herbed risotto, & arugula. fucking delightful, those - i think i preferred the halibut actually. i couldn't resist their flourless dark chocolate hazelnut pave with port pear conserve for dessert, & it was perfectly tiny & utterly phenomenal. (i also had a bite of christopher's crispy banana lumpia, served with candied cashews, warm chocolate ganache, & house-made ice cream, which was concurrently excellent - & i don't much care for bananas.)

the next morning it was gray at our hotel in coeur d'alene, half an hour from the park, & we didn't bother checking athol. we just got there as close to opening as traffic allowed, figuring more time at the park = more potential time for rides between downpours. but though it was completely overcast & dark, it wasn't raining when we arrived... & it wasn't raining by lunch... & in the late afternoon we started seeing tiny bites of blue sky through the clouds. cold & windy, yes, but it didn't rain on us all day! i deeply appreciated this, but there was blood to be paid:

just before lunch, i had an Incident. for $5, you can play "battlezone", where you actually climb into enclosed toy boats & shoot CO2-propelled rubber balls at each other. hitting the other's targets kills their ability to fire for ten seconds. spectators can also shoot at the boats for $3 per bucket of balls, or two for $5. christopher really wanted to go, so i went in with him. he was in the lower section which controlled steering, & i rode in the upper turret, which could spin 360. it was fun enough, & we kicked the other boat's boat ass. on the way back to the dock, the other boat rammed us (unintentionally, i'm sure - steering was for shit) just as we were about to hit the wall, & my chin was slammed into the metal gun mount. it was pretty fucking painful, & i was bleeding. i was holding my chin hard to curb the pain, & couldn't move my jaw, but i had the wherewithal to check my bottom teeth with my tongue. thankfully, they were fine. EMTs came & steri-stripped me, & put a giant ugly bandaid on my chin. the pain started to fade after a bit, & though i expected a giant bruise, my jaw didn't seem to be fractured. on the way out of the attraction, i said to the terrified guys running the booth, "i think if i bleed on your ride, we get our money back." the dude who'd initially taken our payment was shaking & pretty much leapt to hand back the $15. i Strongly Encouraged them to put some foam on the gun mount, or at least warn their fucking customers to always sit back as far as possible.

we went right from battlezone to lunch at lindy's, the same delicious place as last year. i milked the waitress for sympathy about my chin & she gave me a free huckleberry smoothie, which was yummy & cold & really did make me feel better because i am five. i also had a lovely turkey burger with avocado on a whole wheat bun, & they have excellent fries.

as the day grew colder still, one particularly awesome note of schadenfreude is that people were still going on the "bumper boats", & were getting pretty wet. not only does each boat have a squirt gun on it, but there's a row of "water cannons" along one edge of the pond where passersby can pay a quarter for thirty seconds of continuous soaking power in a 1/4" stream. they're easy enough to avoid, but people aren't that skilled - or necessarily that smart. so chris & christopher had decided they wanted to go on the boats, & despite his efforts to the contrary, christopher ended up 50% drenched. thus, they headed directly to the cannons & proceeded with several dollars' worth of retaliatory terrorism. the boys soaked the everloving shit out of several people, including some chubby, trailery, over-processed mom-type wearing only a low-cut tank top. she was so shocked by the onslaught that she couldn't even steer her boat away from the barrage - she sat in place, bent over, trying to cover her face with her arms, just taking it. from dry to pneumonic hypothermia in ten seconds, go team asshole!

other than incurring an amusement park injury, which was a whole lot more minor than, say, a scalping, the rest of the day was great. the aftershock remains my favorite ride, with panic plunge a close second. we stayed until closing, bought cotton candy, then drove out to vin rogue.

i was having trouble deciding between the duck breast with a sweet mandarin chili glaze, or the sea bass. i asked the waiter, who noted their sea bass is flown in from france for them, & i could hardly say no to such a pompous fish. it was served with diced tomatoes in a lemon caper white wine butter sauce, roasted yukon gold potatoes (clearly they're my favorite tuber as i keep ordering entrees that contain them), sauteed spinach, & a new taste on top: caper berries. i never again need to put a caper berry anywhere near my mouth. texturally fantastic, but not a flavor i ever want to experience again. the sea bass though: exceptional. the edges were crisp & it was spiced beautifully, & the capers in the dish were cooked to be quiet & not overpower the fish. for dessert, they offered a chocolate raspberry mousse with chocolate cake base, covered in ganache, plated with raspberry sauce & fresh slices of strawberries. mmfph. i ate half & took the rest home.

the whole ride home poured rain, all the rain we were supposed to get at the park. what a great trip.


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1. mostly joe
2. milestones
3. i have too much hair.

coming up next: hawaii 2010!