Lately I have no urge to cook.
Not a drippety drop of ambition to do much of anything creative in the kitchen.
Makes excellent fodder for a food blog, I assure you.
In truth, I’ve just felt so happy buzzing about town, going here and there, meeting and moving, that meal time feels like it’s hassling me.
It started when Daniel’s sister Rachel came to visit three weeks ago. We went out to eat nearly every night. It was all the validation I needed to sup at at all the oldies but goodies and a whole slew of new spots. Seattle is just delicious.
And I remembered again, why I love, love, love eating out.
Something about trying the best a chef has to offer.
Something about exploring new flavors and doing the kinds of eating I have on my life’s to do list.
Something about describing a dish- texture, smell, taste- to Daniel, my favorite dining partner, just makes my insides tingle. Even if he’s supping the same.
Something about being in a certain place, at a certain time, on a certain date, with a certain someone, with that certain song humming in the back corners of my ears, makes eating out at a restaurant special. More memorable, maybe.
And it’s not all the time I feel so in love with restaurant hopping. In fact, for many years after I lost 135lbs, I felt nervous to dine out. I said to myself, oh but Chili’s, why do you insist on buttering every last bite down to the [damn] bun?
Why can’t vegetables ever truly just be steamed?
Can someone please just give me a full meal that’s five hundred [filling] calories? Is that so much to ask?
..and and and…
Can someone make sure a salad (salad for cryin’ out loud!) is never (ever) within caloric proximity of a Whopper? Because, if I’m being frank with myself, I’d just plain prefer the Whopper.
But, over time, those frustrations settled down, I learned to embrace the fact that restaurant meals are, eloquently enough- freaking delicious, and I tucked all my food fears neatly on my favorite shelf: Ignorance is bliss.
Bliss, I tell you.
This sandwich, the Cuban Roast, is from Seattle’s famous Paseo. Since moving here last year, I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews. I’ve even gone to their Fremont location on two separate nights to try that beloved pork sandwich, and both times, I’ve left because that line I waited in for half an hour? The one that wrapped around the block? Well it plumb drained the Cuban pork supply. I went home [quite begrudgingly] empty bellied.
Today I got to try that sandwich with two of my dearest friends. We drove to Ballard on our lunch break, picked up three greasy grinders and headed straight for the beach. Picnics are the only way to eat them, I hear.
It was. It is. The best sandwich I’ve eaten in all of the days of my life.
Slow roasted pork, garlic aioli, cilantro, jalapeños, thick caramelized onions, tucked inside a chewy French bread roll.
The combination of flavors is brilliant. It’s the creaminess of the aioli and the spice of the jalapenos with the rich sweetness of fat slices of caramelized onions and tangy strands of slow simmered pork. The cilantro brings bright freshness. The romaine adds crunch. The bread sops up a near puddle of sauce. TLC named the Cuban Roast the second best sandwich in America on the premiere episode of Best Food Ever.
So, until I’m into cooking again…oh…in, say, fifteen hours…Paseo is where I’m at.