Tag Archives: Seattle

seattle, or sandwich city

Prior to my brief sojourn in August, my exposure to Seattle was two-fold: watching Grey’s Anatomy in high schooland hearing excellent things about it in college from native Seattleites.

I stayed with my friend Hannah and her family, which was great. It is pretty special to contextualize college friends in their home environment, especially when that environment involves adventures in cooking salmon whole.

Wassup, fish? You were one tasty finned creature.

Now, I know Seattle is known for its rain and its salmon and that giant thing that was built for the 1962 World’s Fair, but I came to know Seattle for its sandwiches. Hannah picked up at the airport and we went directly to get banh mi at Saigon Deli in the International District, conveniently on the way from the airport to Hannah’s house. Cilantro needs to appear in more sandwiches I make for myself. Maybe I’ll start a container garden for the winter.

We went to Pike Place Market, watched the guys throw the fish, tried some uncooked chocolate pasta (what?), and bought some Rainier cherries to have as the dessert course for the lunch we were both anticipating. A few hours earlier, we had been waiting on line at Salumi to order sandwiches. The employees make the wait a lot easier by bringing around plates of samples. Bless them. It’s only right, considering that the store is owned by Armandino Batali, father of Mario.

My sandwich had mozzarella, peppers, onions, and Agrumi salami, a variety cured with citrus and cardamom. Slathered together on some great chewy-crunchy-airy bread, it shot me right up to sandwich heaven. My favorite part of Salumi, besides the actual food, was this narrow walk-in refrigerator filled with salami. If I could live anywhere…

The final sandwich stop was Paseo’s, where I got the straight up Cuban roast sandwich for which they are apparently known. Very hard to eat, in a great way. Thick, succulent grilled onions. Well-seasoned and perfectly-textured pork. Really, how was I ever a vegetarian?

Seattle treated me well. The weather was ideal, the company great, the coffee unforgettable, and you know how I feel about the sandwiches. And Mount Rainier bid farewell to me on my way back East, for a breath-taking finale to my West Coast summer.

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august

This August was the busiest month of my life. After closing out my time at Mano Farm, I traveled up the California coast–along the water and through (commercial agriculture) farm country–to San Francisco. I spent one full week in SF hanging out with a lovely smattering of folks and an even lovelier smattering of nibbles and libations. A short flight from San Francisco to Seattle left me in the Pacific Northwest for the first time, where I hung out with my friend Hannah and her family and a lot of really good sandwiches. I cannot wait to return.

The East Coast finally reeled me in, and I spent about two weeks ridding myself of a lot of unwanted belongings and organizing my thoughts and things for the long drive up to Maine. Luckily, Hurricane Irene left me and my father alone on the trip, save for a little rain and the news that a giant oak tree fell on my lawn in New Jersey. Apparently, my family is going to be without telephone, internet, or cable until October 1st, but that is only if they make it that long.

Nanette Cherichello's sittin' in a tree; it's so very B-I-G.

I had my first day of work today, and my first day of exploring on my own in the Pine Tree State. Naturally, I have a lot to report but since I want to do justice to the people, food and revelry of the past month, I will be rolling out entries over the course of this week that concern not-Maine. Trust me, the wait for Maine will be well worth it.

Oh, okay, fine!–one quick sneak peek:

That’s the Northeastern Special from the Southgate Restaurant in Bath, ME, where I am currently living with my friend Carrie and her fabulous family. Blueberries and Canadian bacon (from Canada? I have no idea…) put the “Northeastern” in this “Special,” but geography aside, this breakfast left me satisfied and absolutely stuffed for the majority of the day. Enough food for three meals, it was kind of an unruly choice for my first breakfast in Maine, setting quite the obesity-precedent and antithetical to the reason I am here in the first place (i.e., farming, nutrition, etc.). But the last time I was there, back in 2009, I vowed that as soon as I possibly could, I would bring my dad because it reminded me so much of diners back in Jerz. Except this one opens at 5 am to accommodate the employees of Bath Iron Works and closes at 2 pm because Bath lacks that certain je ne sais quoi of drunk Jersey guidos that power diner business back home.

Hopefully, all the goings-on of my August will help me be august (ba-dum-chh) in my new position in my new community in my new state. I can tell already that it is going to be one helluva year.