1. Gluttony In Seattle part I

    Bloody Maria

    (Seattle/Ballard, WA)

    The idea of traveling while not having to travel seems like a painful notion for me (being someone who is typically away anywhere from 4-10 months out of the year), and couple that with a massive-emergency-wisdom-tooth surgery-recovery - the flight to Seattle was a long one. 

    Apparently, the roots of my wisdom teeth had grown so long, so entangled with the nerves in my lower-jaw, that I was a very high risk for permanent nerve damage. Before going under, at the consult - I ask “So… Doc… there’s a risk of permanent mouth damage with the surgery… what about without?” Doc replies: “Permanent mouth damage.” Damned if I did, damned if I didn’t. 

    I opted for the surgery, and this was my first surgery and first anesthesia experience. It’s a pretty weird process and setup - I hardly got to counting down from 10 to 8 when the next thing I knew it was like a drunken/drugged daze waking up in the drugstore parking lot where Ashley was getting my meds. All my friends all said: “Ah dude… it’s like 3 to 4 days tops for recovery, brah.” 3-4 days my ass. It was around 4 weeks before the pain stopped, 6 before I was able to finally stop cleaning my mouth-holes with an irrigator (MacGuyver-ed by the way, it was a Neil Med Sinus Irrigator… didn’t have time to find the real deal).

    It was very difficult for me to not be eating the way I normally get to - drinking everything through a straw was torturous, I couldn’t even look at a smoothie for months later without gagging a little inside. I can still picture how gross it was the very first time I saw what the damage looked like. I was a shell of my former self on this liquid diet… I opted out of the pain killers too (they made me a useless glob of shite) - so there may have been some of the extra pain right there.

    So towards the 3rd or so week of recovery, it was about time to fly across the country to Seattle to go to two dear friends of my wife and I’s wedding. Megan was Ashley’s college-roommate and costume-designer for In Waves; the first time Ash and I met Evan was at our wedding - and we all hit it off from there. 

    On the flight over, we watched Lost In Translation and I swore that I was never eating solid food again (I had just irrigated and saw some nasty gunk… I was bummed) - when we landed, everything was closed for food, but Meg and Evan promised some mind-blowing stuff would be coming up in the next few days. 

    We flew in early so we could hang a few days before, be at the wedding, and then head home (the same thing we did around our wedding time with our nearest and dearest). We checked in - zonked out.

    I always swear by the fact that food is the common-uniting factor in life; it’s what brings people together and helps us realize who are closest friends are going to be… judging by the places we were about to hit - I shoulda known we’d all become closest of pals. 

    I was done moping about my mouth-holes and I was ready to eat - even if it was going to hurt like hell….

    The first of the many amazing places we gorged at in the Seattle/Ballard area was Senor Moose. From the outside and from the initial walk-in area, it looks like your average greasy-spoon breakfast-diner; a further investigation and walk inside shows you that it’s setup more like your Mexican-Grandma’s dining room. Mexican knickknacks, table clothes, wall-ornaments, curtains and decor alike set the stage for the authentic home-made amazingness that was about to come.

    It was 9am on a weekday, so I thought I’d ease my way in: a Bloody Maria (Sauza silver, lime, tomato juice and secret spices). Probably the best bloody Mary I’ve ever had… just the right amount of spice, salt - probably an extra amount of tequila. This drink was meaty… the kind of meaty you’d expect from a protein shake. Every one else at the table soon felt inspired and ordered their adult-breakfast-beverages once I broke the booze-ice.

    We started with Corn and epazote with cream. Each corn niblet had the right amount of pop - moist and smokey-tasting. The epazote cheese was such a simple but such a bold flavored-topping. The crispy tortilla-almost-things that we gobbled along with the corn and cheese was a fantastic crunch that went just right with it all. 

    My main was me: Chorizo Con Papas Y Nopales Toda La Republica Mexicana: Chorizo, potatoes, fresh cactus; cooked together and topped with two runny eggs, served with tortillas. Anything sausage is something I need. Especially when you’re talking house-made. The cactus had a texture like okra - but more pleasant… somewhere between okra and a green bell pepper - earthy and delicious. I’ve recently become a massive fan of anything with a runny egg over it… I think it’s a combo of being an Asian (all the trendy little Asian food trucks and food stands always throw the obligatory runny egg on top) and being a mini-Bourdain-wannabe. 

    Ashley, Evan, and Meg all got something different that we each got to pick off of in my favorite of sharing-traditions.

    The next stop was a super local-gourmet tea and coffee house/bakery, Fresh Flours. I went for the Green Tea Latte and the Green Tea Macaron - both were intensely delicious and amazing.

    We all popped into Evan’s car and went to his parents place (where the wedding would be held in a few days from then). I initially wanted to help out with the setup that day… but oops… Trivium conference call. It lasted 2 hours. 

    Evan’s parents, (Mr. and Mrs. Christie as I call ‘em) are two truly incredible people. They quickly embraced me and Ash as if we were their own - we got to chatting about things like Architecture (Evan’s mom designed their guest house… it made me want to work very hard in life to achieve something like it. Picture a modern Swedish style/Bento box on the inside, Italian-esque on the outside, and a bedroom/bed designed like a sake cup). It was so organized… clean geo-metric lines - all locally sourced woods on the inside, assembled by a family member - it was everything I want (I am very about super organized, clean lines - modern-looking living spaces).

    Most of Evan’s parents and grandparents are creatives. Most of them paint or build something amazing (Evan and his Grandpa hand-build Ukeleles from responsibly sourced woods), and the home was decorated with art from all the family members who paint or photograph - it was really inspiring. 

    We had a great lunch, hung a bit, went to a nature walk to see the very Washington hills and woods and nature… then prepped to hit dinner.


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    Matt needs to write a book!
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    // “So… Doc… there’s a risk of permanent mouth damage with the surgery… what about without?” Doc replies: “Permanent...
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