July 10, 2011

Dining Yin Yang

Yin Yang.  Part of the Wiki definition is "Yin yang are complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system."  

Last Sunday and this Saturday we were lucky enough to go out for dinner.  (Thanks again Mom!)  The two meals were both delicious but completely Yin Yang.  Well, they are in my freaky mind.

Last Sunday I was supposed to go out with a couple girlfriends.  One of the kids got sick so we rescheduled. I called my mom and she came right over!  Love it!!   C and I headed to one of our fav Seattle neighborhoods, Ballard.  Everytime we're there it seems 5 new restaurants or shops have sprouted.  This time we tried Hi-Life.  I admit we were sucked in by the big ol' sign above the door that said "Fried Chicken Sunday!".  

I cannot tell you the last time I've had this no-no delicacy.  Probably several years.  I decided it was ok since I've had my fair share of fried chicken tenders and that can't be any healthier...  Here's what you need to know: HALF a chicken marinated overnight in hot sauce, buttermilk, and spices, fried, and served with garlic mashed potatoes with gravy, buttermilk biscuit, and seasonal veggies for the low-low how-do-they-do-it price of $13.99!  Yep.  We each got one!

It was sinfully good.  I loved every bite.  Believe it or not I asked for more gravy and they brought out a gravy boat!  Oh thanks, I didn't already feel like a fat a$$ now you're bringing me a boat!  Lesson learned?  Nope.  We asked for extra biscuits (for C, I swear).  As you can tell in the picture there was an obscene amount of butter.  I paid for it later.  (you always do)  I had trouble sleeping and felt like I morphed into mashed potatoes in the morning.  Would I do it again?  Heck yes!!

Fast forward a week to my best friend, Carolyn's bday on Saturday.  She's vegetarian.  You see where this is going?  We met to celebrate at another lovely Seattle neighborhood, Madison Park, called Cafe Flora.  One look at the menu and I wanted to order pretty much everything on it.  

Interesting note, the front of the menu lists all the farms where they get their veggies.  Nice touch but definitely a Portlandia moment where I wondered if the waiter would hand me a portfolio detailing the life cycle of the asparagus I was about to enjoy. (Is it Local?)

This place did not disappoint!  We ordered yam quesadillas and coconut fried tofu with chili oil dipping sauce for apps.  My only complaint was there wasn't more!  Too yummy.  For dinner I got spinach fettuccine with roasted cherry tomatoes, foraged morel mushrooms, with a Mascarpone sauce.  drooool.  Normally, I don't go for cream sauces but this was heavenly.  

Finally, the waiter brings over the dessert tray!  One thing vegetarians always win at is desserts.  My theory is that vegetarians live easily without meat cuz they could skip the savory foods all together and b-line to dessert.  I got this insane huckleberry tart with a almond crust sitting in a caramel sauce.  Cuh-razy!  There were 7 other desserts on the tray plus the waiter named a couple ice creams and sorbets.  They are serious about their sweets!  Sorry I didn't take pictures of the food.  I didn't want to bust out my camera with friends.  I just snapped these shots right before Carolyn showed up.

Two completely different meals.  I left both restaurants happy yet stuffed for completely opposite reasons.  Wonder what my next date night will have in store?  Can't wait!

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