Posts Tagged ‘capitol hill’

Bifrost Six Ways

Last night the Elysian on Capitol Hill was the sight of the Winter Beer Festival. This morning, my tiny studio apartment is the sight of a massive hangover. Metblogs does the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.

It was easy to pass up the sampler of guest taps to experience six different versions of Bifrost from two different vintages. (Yes, I am talking about vintages and beer.) This was the lineup:

1) Bifrost 2008
2) Jack Frost (aged in second-use Jack Daniels barrels)
3) Oak Frost (conditioned with French Oak staves for one month)
4) Brett Frost (re-inoclulated with Brettanomyces and aged in a Cabernet barrel)
5) Bifrost 2007
6) Cask Bye-Bye Frost 2007

The Jack Frost and Oak Frost were both very good; like the judicious use of oak on a good wine, these beers had added complexity. The 2007s seemed a little faded; more of a curiosity that a good example of an age-worthy beer. (This is why you get the sampler rather than committing to just one. And this is not a metaphor for life, I am just talking about beer.)

The clear winner that was so good I had to run to the ATM and come back for a schooner (only because the Elysian would not pour a pint for liability reasons) was the Brett Frost. I am familiar with Brettanomyces (a non-spore forming genus of yeast, duh) from the world of wine and my understanding is that the Brett found in wine is at best funky and at worst disgusting. The addition of Brett to the Bifrost, however, transformed the beer into something akin to a strong Belgian farmhouse ale; it was a delicious and deadly sipper.

Now enjoy the finest in cell phone camera technology; this crap photo looks like it was taken by my poor liver, which was worked harder than a rented mule:

(Or was it the tequila and mescal-soaked karaoke at Jalisco’s in Queen Anne afterwords where the real damage took place?)

Obama and the Hill: Part 1

Recently on, several posts have popped up
regarding the temporary residence of an infant President-Elect Obama
and his mother Ann Dunham on our very own Capitol Hill, to be specific
516 13th Ave E, in an apartment complex that no longer exists.

Today, Capitol Hill is synonymous with diversity and acceptance. On
November 4th, 2008, we banded together in celebration of the election
of our first African American president. A drag queen sang God Bless
America from the Neighbours rooftop as people of all colors, creeds,
and sexual orientations wept with joy in the streets below. Many had
become one, our community unified by a “change you can believe in”.
This is the Capitol Hill and the Seattle we are familiar with.

Unfortunately, the history of Seattle’s Capitol Hill is not quite as
uplifting. On the website Segregated Seattle, one finds a deeper look
into our city’s sordid past of racially restrictive property and
neighborhood covenants, real estate and job lockouts for African and
Asian Americans, as well acts of violence on their homes.

The Capitol Hill Times briefly courts the subject of race in their article “Barack Obama: from Capitol Hill to Capitol Hill”by commenting on the likelihood Ann Dunham “came across many social
prejudices in the predominantly all-white campus” when in reality,
just three years previous to her move to Seattle, a mixed-race couple
Ray and Marion West, found a cross burning outside their house U-
District home. CHT continues “[p]erhaps Ann Obama felt more at ease in
the diverse neighborhood of Capitol Hill”. It’s doubtful she had much
of a choice.

Map of residential patterns for African Americans in 1960 from Segregated Seattle.

Get This At Your Farmers Market This Weekend

Chanterelle mushrooms; these made the trip to the market from North Bend. At the Broadway Market they are eight bucks for a 1/2 pound, and I got a very heavy half-pound. I ended up just eating them out of the pan, alternating each bite with a sip of an excellent Pinot Noir.

Need to know where and when a market is happening in your area? Click here.

Click here if you want the recipe

I Came, I Zaw, I Blogged

I have been walking by the pizza place called ‘Zaw for months now on my way to the Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s, and it is now open. While under construction, the windows were plastered with such groan-inducing slogans as, “Remember when that cool kid moved in on your block? That’s what ‘Zaw is.” (Or something like that.) Everything about it pre-opening tempted me to go into snark overload the likes of which the world of blogging has never seen. HOWEVER, I am just going to try* to present the facts and let you, dear reader, add your well-reasoned thoughts to the comments:

They describe ‘Zaw as “pizza in the raw” (the concept formerly known as “take and bake”)
They use Bob’s Red Mill organic white and wheat flour, and they make a limited amount of a gluten-free dough as well
They will add freshly-ground flax seed to your dough
They sell growlers-to-go for beer
The beers and wines are local and, in some instances, organic
They strive to make pizzas with S.O.U.L. (that’s Seasonal, Organic, Unique, and Local)
They call their Italian flatbread starter an “appeti’zaw” and have pizzas and salads named “The Arizawna”, “The Vietzawm” and “The Caezaw Salad”
They offer delivery via bicycle

So what do you think of the concept? Is it an idea that sounds intriguing enough that you will give it a whirl? Will the overlords at metblogs reach into their vast, deep, pockets to reimburse me for a pizza (I mean, ‘zaw) and a growler?

1424 E. Pine St. (at 15th)

*Whenever someone says they will “try” to do something, I can’t help but remember an episode of The Simpsons where Marge asks Bart, “Promise me you’ll try to behave?” Bart’s respsonse: “I can’t promise to try, but I promise I’ll try to try”

Finally, A Spanish/French/Greek/Turkish/Lebanese/Moroccan Place

Since I only live a block away, I am always rooting for something interesting to occupy the quaint yet troubled space at 12th and Denny. In my four-year tenure in the area, I’ve seen a coffee shop, a pizza place, a pizza/burrito place, and a burrito place. I do like the idea that there will be booze, and they are sprucing up this very tiny space inside/out. And although the only word associated with an eating/drinking establishment that makes me cringe more than fusion is gastropub, I’d like to see this tiny little space succeed. A mildly indifferent Google search could find no further information about this place or its owner; does anyone have any further information about Esmeralda?

Sidewalk Dining in Capitol Hill: Now With Less Gutter Punks, Skinny Jeans

Full disclosure: I am a crotchety old man whose complete physical, mental, and emotional transformation into Larry David is nearly complete.

The last place I want to dine outside is at a restaurant on Broadway. While on foot it’s easy to quickly bypass the panhandlers, crackheads, and Hot Topic-bedazzled hipster teens, when you are sitting down, shoe-horned into a sidewalk table, you are trapped with no way out. Not so charming an experience. Which is why I flee to the other side of the hill to Vios on 19th.

The Greek/Mediterranean fare is very fresh and flavorful, and Vios gets extra points for using excellent bread to make my eggplant sandwich with grilled haloumi (a cheese that’s kind of like a tangy mozzarella) and sweet pepper relish. My dining companion had the meze plate will a grilled chicken skewer and we split a Greek salad (pictured).

The only trade-off is that this place is a stroller magnet and you might be overrun by screeching children at any moment. But then again, what else should you expect at a restaurant with a playpen inside?

So if you were eating lunch outside what would disturb you more: panhandling addicts and preening hipsters or bawling babies and adults speaking in affected, baby-talk voices to said rug rats?

Vios Cafe and Marketplace
903 19th Avenue East
(206) 329-3236

Pretzel Logic

Pretzel, Anybody?

Pretzel, Anybody?

Normally when I wake up bleary-eyed after a long Saturday night I shortly go out in search of Vitamin G to cure what ails me. Lately, however, I have gone straight to the Capitol Hill Farmers Market every Sunday at 11am sharp to get an insanely delicious pretzel from Mike at Heavenly Pastry and Cake. Heavenly was founded by his wife, Allison (who used to work at Cupcake Royale); they are up at the crack of dawn cranking out pretzels (and a plethora of pastries and breads as well) by hand.

Banish all thoughts of a dry, bland soft pretzel, spinning under the heat lamp at various professional sporting events. These have a chewy, toothsome crust and an airy interior that would shame many baguettes. The secret, according to Mike, is time: you have to let the dough rise until it is overflowing, then punch out the air and let it rise again. Kosher salt on top finishes it off but, if you must gild the lily, a bottle of yellow mustard is on hand:

Mike brings 180 pretzels to the Capitol Hill market, and, at only $2 each, often sells out. According to Mike there have been no incidents of pretzel rage, but he has had people remark incredulously, “How could you run out?!?” What is it about the humble pretzel that inspires such passion, comfort, and emotion? Find out for yourself at the Capitol Hill market, or Fridays at Madison Valley and Saturdays at Magnolia. Or for the ultimate food and drink pairing, head to Elliot Bay Brewing in West Seattle for a beer and a pretzel. (Mike does admit that the humble pretzel is also a fine match with a humble, well-chilled PBR.)

capitol hill block party : firing up the recommend-o-tron

“Block Party” is more than a slight misnomer for the thing that’s starting on Capitol Hill in just about four hours. Don’t expect to find your neighbors grilling hot dogs in the street. Instead, inside the walled-off two block section of Pike Street between 12th and Broadway you’ll find a rare commodity in this era of overwhelming summer music events: a relatively inexpensive small scale music festival with outstanding talent on multiple stages. From mainstage headliners to opening acts in satellite venues to afterparties, there’s far too much to keep you occupied during the one and a half days. It’s more like a month of shows you’d like to see crammed into a single weekend.

Honestly, even if you used a random number table to plot your course it would be hard to go wrong. As far as I’m concerned, the only critical mistakes would be (1) not going and (2) not seeing Girl Talk while you’re there. In a infinitesimal section of Feed the Animals running from Cheap Trick into Jimi Hendrix over Yael Naim and through Eminem, Gillis has given us one of the best and most entertaining minutes of knowing cultural commentary we’re likely to hear all year. And that is just one among dozens and dozens. Set loose among and outdoor crowd, it has the potential to be the smartest sweating you’ll experience all summer.

Here’s the whole schedule [stranger]. But because we can’t resist telling you how to spend your time, a few recommendations from your pals at Metblogs. Start ginning up excuses to get out of the office early because there are highlights from start-to-finish. See you there!


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