2010 was a big year for food writing for me.
Book-wise, I was pleased to be a co-editor/author for the Fearless Critic Seattle Restaurant Guide.
Magazine-wise, I’ve brought my worlds of food and sex together in writing the regular “Hot Plate” feature for Edible Seattle. I’ve also contributed to Northwest Palate magazine, and look for an article I wrote about the Culinary Institute of America’s conference on Japanese food in the January issue of Ibuki magazine.
Blog-wise, I’m playing with the food and sex theme with my “Sexy Feast” feature in Seattle Weekly‘s Voracious blog, where I also just debuted a weekly noodle article called “The Mein Man.” I also did a bit of writing for the Serious Eats blog, and joined the team at TheSunbreak.com.
And what an honor it was to contribute to USA Today‘s “Great American Bites” series! I made my picks for “great” (not necessarily “best”) ice cream, burgers, and pizza in Washington state.
Ice cream: Here is what I wrote about Mallard Ice Cream (whole article here): With an emphasis on fresh, local and organic, Mallard Ice Cream is a fun hangout in Bellingham (home of Western Washington University) for students and townies alike. Check the online Flav-o-cam for the current menu, with flavors ranging from standards to exotics, including a recent “hot” favorite: apricot/tamarind/cayenne.
Burgers: Here is what I wrote about Pick-Quick Drive In (whole article here): Pick-Quick Drive In in Fife is the place to visit when you want the whole package: cooked-to-order burgers, greasy-in-a-good-way fries and thick milkshakes some made with seasonal fruit. As the name implies, you best order quick to avoid the wrath of those in line behind you. But then you can relax as you enjoy your burger at a picnic table surrounded by beautiful flowers.
Pizza: And here is what I wrote about Serious Pie (whole article here): Serious Pie is a place to rub elbows with fellow Seattle diners while eating artisanal, hand-shaped oblong pies made with local ingredients and cooked in an applewood-burning oven. The guanciale (house-cured Italian bacon) with baby arugula and soft, runny eggs is a favorite. If you want to sample more, like the pumpkin, pork belly and pistachio pie, go during happy hour when mini-pies are only $5 each.
(Funny…USA Today used the photo at the top, but it’s shot with my Panasonic Lumix LX-3, and not with my new Canon DSLR. Proof I still need to practice using the new camera!)
(See my original Serious Pie write-up here.)
Again, these aren’t necessarily the best, but they are great. In fact, one of my New Year resolutions is to use the word “best” less and less frequently. I have favorite dishes and restaurants, but that doesn’t always make them the best–a word which can put down other people’s favorites.
Besides, there will always be other ice cream, burgers, pizzas, and more to explore. Here, for example, is a slice (arugula and egg) from Proletariat Pizza in West Seattle. I like the people and the pies, and would gladly eat here again, though I wouldn’t call Proletariat my favorite. I do appreciate the seasonal ingredients and the use of Shepherd’s Grain flour in the dough they make daily.
Across the street is Full Tilt Ice Cream, a perfect complement to a pizza meal. This is a peppy place, with games galore and spirits high. There are signature root beer (and beer) floats, and the ice cream flavors are always a lot of fun. I enjoyed grapefruit tarragon sorbet last visit.
Regrettably, I’ve not yet made it to Zippy’s Burgers in that same stretch of West Seattle (some people say it’s the “best” burger in the area), but hope to before they’re potentially forced to move. So, how about a hot dog instead? Po Dog gets creative with the weiners. You can customize your own, or go with one of their specialties, like the Wasabi Egg Roll Dog (wrapped in wonton paper & deep fried, then topped with homemade wasabi aioli) or the Deep Fried Danger Dog (wrapped in pepper bacon & deep fried, with sauteed onions and homemade spicy chili sauce). Here you see a special mac and Tillamook cheese dog.