seattle: my kind of town

Fearless readers, postings have been slow around A Fine Kettle of Ish lately, I know. For me, summer in San Diego means beautiful weather and all the delights therein: gardening, grilling, late night picnics, cold beer on sunny patios (heck, cold beer on dark patios). In short, “so much to eat, so little time to blog.”

One of the things holding my attention lately was a trip north to Seattle. Home to a city of food and drink enthusiasts, i’s a fantastic destination for anyone passionate about craft beer, local food, and painstakingly researched cocktails. If you haven’t been to Seattle, or haven’t been lately, now’s the time to plan a trip: summer in Seattle offers an occasional respite from the rain and clouds, and non-stop flights from San Diego can be found for around $200.

My whirlwind trip covered all the food and cocktails I could squeeze into three days – here are a few highlights and lowlights:

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fennel sausage with butter beans and long hots

As any East Coast transplant will tell you, fried peppers in general and Long Hots in particular are a critical component of the best sandwiches, as well as dogs, dips, eggs, and, well, certainly most savory foods involving meat and/or bread.  They are also notoriously difficult to find here in San Diego, which is why I was so excited to stumble across a jar of Mancini Fried Long Hots on a recent trip to Little Italy.  Serendipitously located on a shelf next to some butter beans, I grabbed two jars of each, a pound of hot fennel sausage and a beautiful loaf of focaccia, and scurried home to start dinner. 

Long Hots, Butter Beans, and Sausage

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so what’s happenin’, mama? (17 feb)

thursday, february 17

9pm-12am.   Mad Men Thursdays at The Pearl.   Throw on your best vintage 60’s party gear and head to The Pearl for their weekly Mad Men party.  Mad Men on the big screen over the pool, 60’s jams, and specialty “Mad Men” cocktail menu.  Email carcher@thepearlsd.com for the chance to win a $100 Mad Men party food and beverage credit.

friday, february 18

5pm – 8pm.  Fifty Seven Degrees Wine Bar is hosting San Diego’s largest (and, uh, first?) mobile food gathering ever.   Our friends over at San Diego Food Trucks speculate that Friday’s event will see feature debut of two new delicious, delicious trucks! 

saturday, february 19

5:30pm – 9:30pm.  The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum’s 15th Annual Banquet celebrates Yuan Xiao Jie (Lantern Festival) at Pearl Restaurant.  Musical performances, silent auction, and a ten-course Chinese feast.  Tickets start at $60 to celebrate fifteen years of preserving Chinese culture and history in San Diego. 

sunday, february 20

10am.  San Diego Mycological Society celebrates all things mushroom at  their annual Fungus Fair at Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.  Event includes mushroom cultivation and cooking demos.

1pm – 2:30pm.  Curds and Wine hosts free hands-on winemaking event at their Clairemont Mesa location.  Class goes through all of the basic steps of making wine from kits, from start to bottle.  RSVP at the link.

monday, february 21

4pm – 12am. Classic Cocktail Party at URBN to celebrate the release of their Classic Cocktail menu.  Check out URBN’s Facebook page for the details and a list of classic cocktails that will be $6 all night.   If you were looking for a place to wear your suspenders, bowler hat, and handle-bar moustache while eating coal-fired pizza and drinking a Sazerac, this is your night!  Extra points if you arrive on an old time-y bike.

6pm.  With more than 75 combined years in the meat business, Stan Glenn (master meatcutter and supervisor of meat operations at Iowa Meat Farm and Siesel’s Old-Fashioned Meats) and Chris Brill (Chef Instructor at San Diego Culinary Institute and Chef at Siesel’s and Iowa Meats) present meat information and tasting at Great News cooking school.  $59.

wednesday, february 23

3pm – 7pm.  Adams Avenue Certified Farmers’ Market.   Fruits, vegetables, eggs, fresh baked bread and pastries, fish, meat, cheese, flowers, spices, olives and sauces, local artists and craftspeople, live music.  Check out the San Diego Farm Bureau for a complete daily listing of farmer’s markets around town.

thursday, february 24

7pm.  Dinner with 6 Strangers.   Fifth in the series, this three-course, family-style meal at Alchemy offers paired dinner and drinks and conversation with 5 people you’ve never met, with the goal of  uncovering “a well of conviviality, with deep pots of food and laughter.”  Reservations at the link – this event is limited to 3 tables of 6, so sells out early.  $48.

 

so what’s happenin’, mama? (10 feb)

thursday, february 10

6pm – 10pm.  Valentines gift bazaar at El Take It Easy.  Free tosti locos and all night happy hour – eat and drink while supporting local businesses by buying crafty gifts for your sweetie!

friday, february 11

10am – 1pm.  Alchemy of the Hearth presents “Start a Food-Based Business.”  $65. 

saturday, february 12

11am – 4pm.  Six contestants compete in a live cooking challenge for a spot as an instructor at Great News! Cooking School.  $10.

12pm-5pm.  Pizza Port Carlsbad Brewbies Festival!  20 local handcrafted beers plus a special edition Pizza Port pink beer. 100% of the proceeds go directly to Keep a Breast to support their efforts to increase breast cancer awareness among young people.

1pm-5pm.  For the Love of Chocolate.  Downtown Escondido festival will include vendors, chocolate pairings by local breweries and wineries, champagne garden with live music, and beer & wine bar.  Tasting tickets are $20 for 10 tastes.

sunday, february 13

10am – 5pm.  Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with San Diego Chinese Historical Society & Museum in downtown San Diego’s Asian Pacific Historic District.   Why not make a day of it and also hit up the Third Ave Certified Farmers’ Market and Asian Bazaar between Island Avenue and J Street from 9am to 1pm?   Check out the San Diego Farm Bureau for a complete daily listing of farmers’ markets around town.

monday, february 14

Well, it’s Valentines’ Day.  Seriously, this is a made up holiday and all the restaurants will be slammed, which means your food will cost more, take longer, and not be as good as it usually is.  This is not romantic.  Do yourself and your sweetie a favor and make a romantic dinner at home tonight.  Not sure what to make?  All thumbs and no knife skills?  Check out tomorrow’s post for a no-fail, super easy, romantic dinner roadmap!

No sweetie?  No problem!  Make a beeline for Proper Gastropub’sAnti-Valentine’s Day” Party starting at 4pm and enjoy their specially priced “Kiss-Off!” cocktail list.  Dress in black or bring a pic of your former flame and get a Screw U Driver off the special cocktail menu for just $1 (and isn’t that cheaper than therapy?). 

tuesday, february 15

730pm – 8pm.  Stop by O’Brien’s Pub and catch Three Sheets with Zane Lamprey, a half hour tv show featuring drinks and drinking customs around the world.  If you’re lucky, they’ll have some Dogfish Head left over from this week’s Dogfish Head night!

 wednesday, february 16

7pm – 11pm.  It’s DRINKABOUT time!  Hop on the free bus and do a loop of some of the best craft beer bars in San Diego (or beyond!) with stops at the Blind Lady Ale House, Small Bar, Live Wire, Toronado, Hamilton’s and more.  Complete schedule and map here.

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