Hudson’s Bar and Grill/Heathman Lodge

Hudson’s Bar and Grill/Heathman Lodge

Hudson’s Bar and Grill at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, WA is one of my very favorite restaurants.  My husband and I are friends with one of the managers and have been impressed with the consistently expert service from the servers and delicious food from the chefs.  It’s a great place to go to celebrate any event or just to enjoy the holiday season.  They tend to be quite busy during the month of December so make sure you have reservations!

The ambiance adds to the excellent service and delicious food.  There is a cozy fireplace that sits between the dining room and the lounge area.  It’s rustic with wrought iron light fixtures and northwest artwork.  Some evenings there is a pianist.  You can see the cozy ambiance via the photo rotator on the Hudson’s Bar and Grill website.

On my recent visit, I tried out a new menu item-the pan seared Idaho trout.  It came with bacon lentils and cucumber and watercress salad.  It was a wonderful juxtaposition of flavors with the hearty lentils and the soothing salad.

In the last 3 years Hudson’s has been avidly pursuing sustainable practices with their efforts with local farms as well as recycling practices.  They are considered one of the top 100 green companies to work for by the Oregon business magazine and the 2010 business generator recycler of the year by the Washington state recycling association.

I didn’t indulge tonight, but I often indulge in bar tender Julie’s delicious Spanish coffee.  Check out her process in this YouTube video clip.  The only thing missing is her famous “HL” for Heathman Lodge in nutmeg or cinnamon on top of the whipped cream.

Andaluca

Andaluca

No visit to downtown Seattle is complete without visiting Andaluca for tapas or dinner.  The last time I had indulged in Andaluca was 2 years ago.   I was really looking forward to their trio of gazpacho and other Spanish-inspired tapas, but their menu had dramatically changed!  So, we started out with a couple of tapas.

Salumi plate-An assortment of sausage, bread, and olives is always a nice way to start.  It was missing some cheese.  A few slices of Iberico ham would’ve been a nice addition as well.

Salumi plate

Papas frites-This dish had a nice kick to it with potatoes, egg, and mushrooms.

Papas frites

I forgot to take a photo of our Paella, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was a much smaller portion for 2 people to split than typically occurs with Paella.  The hazelnut gelato was a perfect dessert.

King Tut Exhibit/Hotel Andra

King Tut Exhibit/Hotel Andra

This fall/winter is the last time that the King Tut exhibit will be in the U.S. so it was a great opportunity for a weekend trip to Seattle.  I did my research to figure out where the best place to stay was and discovered that certain hotels in downtown Seattle were offering King tut packages that included VIP tickets among other benefits.  The VIP tickets meant that you didn’t have to stand in line to obtain your tickets for a specific time slot.  You could go anytime that the exhibit was open.  Some of the hotels were no longer offering this package and some were sold out so we selected Hotel Andra.  What a wonderfully modern and relaxing hotel right in the middle of the busyness of downtown Seattle!  It’s on the corner of 6th and Virgina which is just a few blocks from Westlake Center, Pike Place Market, etc.

The Hotel Andra King Tut package included 2 VIP tickets, a bottle of King Tut packaged wine from Northwest Cellars, truffles in a bit of a pyramid shape, and free valet parking.

King Tut package

The view from our room out onto 6th was very festive with holiday lights.

Xmas lights

We took the Monorail from Westlake Center to the Seattle Center/Pacific Science Center.  It’s a fast few minutes there.

This was a beautifully festive Christmas tree outside of Westlake Center.  I can’t imagine how they decorated it.

Xmas tree

The Space needle was beautiful after disembarking from the monorail.

Space needle

There wasn’t much of a line when we got to the Pacific Science Center, but we swept right up to the door with our VIP tickets.  We chose to view the IMAX movie Mummies before viewing the exhibit.  No photography was allowed in the exhibit.  It was incredibly crowded in the exhibit which ruined the experience a bit, however, it was still impressive.  There was room after room introducing us to the historical time and key figures and then into various artifacts that were found in King Tut’s tomb such as a bed, chair, jewelry, etc.  It was a nice history lesson.

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Pike place market

Who doesn’t love the Pike Place Market?  There is something for everyone in the liveliness of downtown Seattle.  I was in the area for the King Tut exhibit (the last time in the U.S.) which provided a great opportunity to spend a few hours at the market.

The 1st stop was at the famous Pike Place Fish Market where they are known for throwing the fish from the floor to package it for the customer.  They are quite good!  The salmon “jerky” is quite good and a little goes a long way.

Pike place fish market

The next stop was Raven’s Nest Treasure with quite a selection of Native American artwork.  Some of the silver jewelry from the Haida tribe in Vancouver, BC was beautiful.

Then, Simply the best to sample some beet, mixed veggie, and baked apple crisp chips.  They were all delicious.

The next stop was Market spice.  They had a nice selection of teas and spices including Harissa which I purchased.

Finally, lunch at Pike place chowder.  There are many excellent chowder places in Seattle including Duke’s, however, this my very favorite.  It’s tucked away in a little alley in the middle of the market.  It’s always packed.  The salmon chowder is always a great choice and it can be ordered with or without a bread bowl.  It’s even more delicious when enjoyed with my husband. 🙂  Of course, you can see the evidence of the Starbucks coffee that originated at the Pike Place Market.

Pike place chowder

Simple Life-Asian Eye scarves

Simple Life-Asian Eye scarves

I’ve been waiting to visit Seattle so I could check out Simple Life downtown by the Pike Place Market.  They are one of the larger Asian Eye scarf retailers in the area. Their blog is updated frequently with information on their new items.

I was not at all disappointed.  The selection they had was tremendous although many were scarves that I’ve already purchased or I would’ve snapped them right up!  My current favorite is Bandhani scarves in spiral type of patterns.

They had a gorgeous brown silk bandhani shawl, but I never have occasion to dress up so I have no need for a shawl.  It would have been beautiful as a smaller scarf as well.

I really considered the options and what was similar to what I already had and what I needed.  Most of my scarves are lighter silk so I considered the wool options they had.  I have to be careful with wool as I tend to get hot too easily, but they had a gorgeous lighter wool scarf that I just couldn’t pass up.  The pattern reminds me a lot of Japanese style artwork with the striking leaves and apple blossoms.  It was perfect timing with the cold winter wind that day.

Asian eye scarf

I also had to purchase this whispy brown scarf as I’d seen one similar to it at Oxalis in Portland, OR a few months ago, but it was much too bright of a color for me and I had wished that it was brown instead and here it was!  It will be light enough for spring and also warm enough for fall/winter.

Asian Eye scarf

I now have a nice mix for all occasions with blue, taupe, grey, brown, etc.

Coffee fair at World Forestry Center

Coffee fair at World Forestry Center

Coffee fair

This event was one that we stumbled upon when looking for events in the Portland area.  It was held at the World Forestry Center by the Oregon Zoo.  We missed the cupping event as we didn’t have an agenda of what was going on and when.  So, we attended the Home brew workshop by Marcus Young of Central City Concern’s coffee roasting social enterprise.  It was a couple of hours and very informative on making delicious coffee using many simple devices including the aeropress, clever dripper, chemex, etc.  Clive Coffee was mentioned as a great resource.  We’ve not yet been able to go check it out, but we plan to soon.  We purchased an aeropress and it was quite good coffee, but too many details and pieces to deal with so we’ll stick with our french press.

We then browsed through the vender stands and found the following to be of the most interest:

Dovetail coffee roasters

We sampled a couple of coffees and purchased a bag of the Tanzania peaberry.  Here are the tasting notes from the website:

“…Tanzania Peaberry is a bright and rich coffee, medium body with a delicate acidity, and some hints of wine…”

It was interesting to look at the map they had of the coffee growing regions and think about the influence of the soil and weather on the natural flavors of the coffee.

Barista bath and body

Salt body scrub

The “one lump or two” Coffee and sea salt body scrub smelled so delicious with the ground coffee and peppermint scent.  I will enjoy using it in the shower!

9 bar espresso

We tasted the New Guinea peaberry which was very smooth.  Here are the tasting notes from their website: “… New Guinea Peaberry Kimel Estate has a dense body and is malty and aromatic with an earthly complex finish…”

Red Ridge Farms/Durant Vineyards wine and olive oil club pick up event

Red Ridge wine and olive oil club pick up event

This is our first year with the wine and oil club so we didn’t know what to expect at this event.  There was a nice sampling of their chardonnay and pinot noir along with tasty bites from the following local venders:

Briar Rose Creamery
Their goat cheese was delicious.  I particularly liked the spicy chipotle chevre.

Fino in Fondo

Their thinly sliced salami was quite an assortment of mild to spicy options.

Smitten Truffles

There was quite a range of flavors from vanilla to salty caramel to lime.  Their Kalamansi was quite a surprise.  Here are the tasting notes from their website:  “…Filipino lime puree paired with a layer of creme honey for a tart yet slightly sweet finale…”

Olive oil and vinegar     Olive oil

We received great value for our $150 with 3 wines (2 pinot noir and 1 chardonnay) and 3 olive oil/vinegar (Arbequina (Spanish) and Tuscan (Italian) extra virgin olive oils and fig vinegar).  The fig vinegar combined with the olive oil will make a delicious salad dressing!

Durant vineyards wine     Durant vineyard pinot noir

Here are the details on the wine:

2010 Heron Vineyard Pinot Noir
Block:      
            Southview
Vineyard:            Heron
Clone:                  Pommard
Rootstock:           5C
Planting Date:    1993
Aging in Barrel:  21 Months in French Oak
Winemaker:        Marcus Goodfellow
Cases Produced: 101
Tasting Notes:  Darker, more brooding notes of black cherry, blackberry and coca-cola on the nose with leather and spice on the palate. Medium-bodied with light tannins, medium to high acidity with a velvety textural quality. A longer barrel aging program (21 months) lends to more intensity of fruit, complex flavors and a silky smooth finish.

2010 La Casita Vineyard Pinot Noir
Block:         
Southside
Vineyard:   
La Casita
Clone:         
Pommard 3309
Tasting Notes:  Medium ruby color in the glass with nose of spices, vanilla, and sweet red cherries.  The flavors develop from bright red fruit into oak and soft earth character.  The finish is long and smooth, with supple tannins and balanced acids.

2011 Raven Vineyard Chardonnay
Block:      
             Southview
Vineyard:            Raven
Clone:                   Dijon 76
Rootstock:           101-14
Planting Date:    1993
Aging in Steel:    8 months, one new barrel
Winemaker:       Isabelle Duarte
Cases Produced:125
Tasting Notes:  Pale lemon in the glass with aromas of green apple, pear and citrus notes. Bright, clean, with vibrant acidity and hints of grapefruit that spill across the palate. This wine is medium-bodied with delicate flavors showcasing a purity of fruit.

Yummy salad with bacon

Yummy salad with bacon

Okay, I’m back with some healthy food ideas.  I got a bit busier than I’d expected this fall after all of the adventuring this summer.  This is a simple salad combination that could be adjusted for what you have in the fridge and/or your palette.

Salad

Ingredients:

Lettuce-romaine or boston
Avocado
Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Bacon, applewood smoked
Feta or shaved parmesan cheese
Oil and vinegar dressing
Crusty bread-I often use olive loaf, but it could be a ciabatta loaf or your favorite

Preparation:

Fry the bacon while slicing the salad ingredients and bread.  Toss with your favorite oil and vinegar or homemade dressing and serve.