Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pop Til You Drop

Tragically, I was going to start this story with something predictable (but true) about how I love going to the movie theater because of the glorious, butter-drenched popcorn that awaits me there. But then I got to thinking. Strange as it may seem, I possess a nice little collection of happy memories that center around popcorn. Really, I do!

Ask me about childhood camping trips. Go on, do it! Then I can tell you about how I built some biceps, spastically shaking that little Jiffy Pop tin over the crackling campfire. I felt giddy hearing the first pop-pop, eventually followed by the her-contractions-are-getting-closer-together pop-pop-pop-pop that caused the foil to expand, creating a silver, pregnant belly full of popcorn.

Then there were the trips to the pumpkin patch, where my mom would buy magical ears of dried corn on the cob. They came home in a brown paper lunch bag that we'd fling in the microwave, and by golly, that popcorn would pop right off the cob!

In college, my favorite late night (alone at last) snack was a bathtub-sized bowl of freshly air-popped popcorn. In an effort to reduce the belly bulge brought on by daily Chihuahua-sized burritos and countless $1 pints of Sierra Nevada, I drenched each and every fluffy white kernel with a spritz of I Can't Believe It's Not butter spray. It's fat and calorie free, you know. Oh, and it also kills roaches on contact.

You have to hand it to popcorn. It is a magic snack! And certainly not lazy. What other food literally flips inside out when it gets all hot and bothered?

Well, I nearly flipped inside out after tasting the popcorn at Seattle's Market Theater, an establishment appetizingly located right next to the famous Post Alley gum wall.

These thespians take their popcorn seriously. First they pop it to perfection. Then they toss it in a big bowl with real melted butter. Then they shake on a little truffle salt (Holy halter-tops am I obsessed with truffle products right now). And then, just when it starts to seem ridiculous, a casual sprinkle of fresh tarragon. It's a truly tasty trip to Truffle Town, for a mere $2 a bag!

Just when I thought I might have closed the book on fond popcorn memories, here I go creating new ones. *Satisfied Sigh*

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

You Don't KNOW me! I blog what I WANT!

Believe it or not, sandwiches are not on my short list of absolute favorite foods. But a quick graze through this blog would inspire that very fact.

I recently realized that I never write about my favorite foods. I never write about the amazing restaurants I formally review, and I never write about the fancier foods that pass through my (fancy?) lips. It's simply far more fun to scribble on about Beefaroni sandwiches and trips to the farmer's market.

Maybe it's time to stop living a lie, and show you the real me. The girl who constantly craves Asian cusine. I honk for garlic wokked Japanese eggplant, swimming-pool-sized bowls of pho, shiny slices of sashimi and umami-tinged agedashi tofu.

Ever since I was a wee little piglet, I have enjoyed the comforts of a steaming bowl of udon soup. It's the only thing I remember eating when my family went out for Japanese food. My parents must have deemed it a "safe" dish that I wouldn't spit back into the bowl.

So when the new and hip (um, totally me) Boom Noodle opened on Capitol Hill, I had to have a slurp. Here in Seattle, I have a partner in noodle soup crime. A gal who knows that ramen is far more than a freeze dried desperation dinner. I told her to put on her newest and hippest frock, and meet me at the dinner table.

I was initially skeptical of Boom, as it comes from the folks who brought us Blue C Sushi. But one look at the drool worthy menu, and I started to have higher hopes.

The Wild Salmon Udon not only features chunks of smoked white king salmon, but includes crisp, salty peels of fried salmon skin. There's a fat and meaty shitake mushroom, ribbons of silky spinach, tamago, and lots of slippery buckwheat noodles to slurp from the white miso broth.

Unable to resist the siren song that is the Boom Noodle menu, we also split the Chilled Sesame Tofu.

It is a visually intriguing small plate, featuring
shiitake mushrooms, wakame, bamboo shoots and green onions, all atop slabs of tofu and doused in creamy sesame sauce.

It was a nice mix of crunchy and tender, and the sauce was finger licking good, but the tofu could have used some serious marinating. A perfectly acceptable dish, but not the one that will draw me back to Boom. But, have no fear, I will be back.

As long as I am able to wield a pair of chopsticks, I plan to slurp up all the ramen, soba, and udon noodles I can get my sandwich loving lips on.

Yeah, that's right. I do love sandwiches. And on second thought, some of them do make my short list of all-time favorite foods! I may love me some toro sashimi, but I might sell my sister for a perfect grilled cheese sandwich.