Category Archives: Seattle

First Time Making the Wreath

A few weeks ago, my dear friend, Jennie, invited me to join her and her friends to make wreath for the Seattle Children’s Hospital. I’ve never made any wreath before, but I love the idea of doing things that involves children. So I said “yes”, even though it required me to get up earlier than I usually do on any Saturday.

The day before our scheduled date for making the wreath, my friends notified me about needing to get gloves and gardening tools. This made me start to worry about the logistics of making the wreath. I couldn’t help imagine the pictures of me on the field for cutting branches and plants for the wreath’ draw materials.

Luckily, on the day of our scheduled appointment, we showed up and learned that all of the materials are already been cut and ready for use. I was surprised, in a very good way, that people had already put in effort for the project.

Now is the time to make a wreath. Luckily, they showed us how to make a wreath from scratch.

I was freaking out, because I wasn’t sure that I could do it. My friend, Jennie and I decided to work together.

It turned out, our wreath came up pretty good, even thought it took us a long time.

The wreath were to be sold for $40 each the following week, but I decided to buy the wreath we made. So I did.

My Dinner at Canlis Seattle Restaurant

Canlis is one of Seattle’s oldest restaurants. It was established in 1950 and has been popular ever since then. Canlis has an elegant but relaxed feel — not really traditional and not really modern. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Canlis is unique, at least for Seattle.

I went there with two of my friends on a Friday, for no special reason other than we all like food. None of us had ever been to Canlis before. My bottom line is that I liked Canlis a lot and I’d go back again for some special occasion.

I had a four course meal that started with scallops, seared with a vegetable presentation. Next, my friends and I shared an order of raw oysters. They were very fresh and tasty. Next came a mixed green salad. It was better than the average mixed green salad but it wasn’t amazing in any way. Then we all shared a pate foie gras. It was excellent and it came with really good toast — some of the best I’ve ever had.

CanlisOysters

CanlisSalad

My main course was duck, which I shared. The duck was whole roasted with a honey glaze. The entire duck was presented at the table, then taken to the back where it was carved and then retuened to our table for serving. I’ve had duck quite a few times, and this was probably the best duck I’ve had. I’ve had good duck at some Chinese restaurants too, but the preparation was so different I can’t really compare the Canlis duck to any of the Chinese duck dishes I’ve had.

CanlisWholeDuck

CanlisPrepared Duck

We finished our evening with coffee and dessert. For dessert I had a vanilla souffle. It was good — maybe the second best souffle I’ve ever had (next to a souffle at Joel Rubicon in Las Vegas).

CanlisSouffle

CanlisChocolate

All in all, I was very happy with my Canlis dinner experience. It was quite pricey, but that was expected and I felt I got good value. If you’re ever in the Seattle area and are in the mood for dinner at an upscale restaurant, consider Canlis.

The New Upscale “Starbucks Reserve” Cafe in Seattle

I live in the Seattle, Washington area. Seattle is home to several large companies, including Starbucks. Starbucks is constantly trying new products and new approaches. This weekend (as I write this post), Starbucks debuted a new upscale cafe called Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in downtown Seattle (the Capitol Hill area), not far from their original cafe.

StarbucksReserveExterior2

On their first Sunday, I decided to visit. I went there about 3:00 in the afternoon. Parking anywhere near downtown Seattle is always a mess, but I was able to find a lot with an open stall not too far away.

The place was packed and there was a line out the door. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait too long and got inside soon. Once inside, I found myself in a waiting foyer area. A host explained the history of the building and the layout of the store. I waited in the foyer only a few minutes. Then I was allowed to enter the actual cafe. Inside, I first walked around a bit and checked out their merchandise; many items are available only at this one store.

StarbucksReserveMerchandise
Starbucks Reserve Merchandise

Next, I looked at the roasting area, where coffee beans are actually roasted. Then I got in line to order some coffee and pastries. Many of the drinks are unique to this store. I ordered an unusual iced coffee drink. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t think I’d order it again. Instead, I’ll probably order a standard coffee item.

I also ordered a potato scone and a macaroon cookie to eat. After ordering, I found a seat. My drink and food order was delivered to me. I was a bit surprised that they found me — I’m not sure how they did that.

StarbucksReserveFood
Starbucks Reserve Drinks and Pastry

My bottom line is that the new Starbucks Reserve is a great place for friends to meet and get together. My guess is that the “Reserve” concept will be a success and you might see these establishments where live, in the no-too-distant future.