Archives For food

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PAX West is just around the corner! My nerdy heart goes pitter-patter just thinking about it. At PAX, I love walking the floor, attending panels, and playing games—but I also love taking advantage of the beautiful host city. Last year, I had so much fun spending a couple of extra days in Seattle, exploring like crazy. Because it’s so massive, the options can be a little overwhelming, so here are my top recommendations for what to do while you’re there.

1. Make Friends with a Bridge Troll

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This friendly troll resides at 4505 North Troll Avenue in Fremont, under the north end of the Aurora bridge. Getting to this troll’s abode means taking a 15-minute Uber from downtown, but it’s worth it. Not only do you get the unique experience of coming face-to-face with this massive monster (which will put a smile on your face), but there are lots of other cool things in the Fremont area—it’s my favorite neighborhood in Seattle.

2. Visit Add-A-Ball in Fremont

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Pinball, arcade cabinets, booze, and an insane Patrick Swayze mural reside in this cozy underground gaming space. Bonus: there’s a nice patio out front with seating if you need to get some air between heated matches of Bubble Bobble. Add-A-Ball is located at 315 N 36th Street, Seattle—just an 8-minute walk from the bridge troll.

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supernatural pie

On July 24th, Utah celebrates Pioneer Day, commemorating the Mormon Pioneers who traveled 1,300 miles by foot and wagon train and finally settled in Salt Lake Valley in 1847. It’s a big deal in Utah– like a second Independence Day– with fireworks, parades, and festivals. Many local businesses even shut down for the day, including local banks.

For those who feel out-of-place in Utah’s greater culture, and for most residents of Salt Lake City, it’s easy to feel outside of the festivities. Luckily, in the last few years, Salt Lake has embraced Pie & Beer Day to celebrate, maintaining the tongue-in-cheek, counter-culture spirit that makes Salt Lake wonderful. This year, more restaurants and bars than ever hosted Pie & Beer Day events. The most popular was Beer Bar‘s second annual Pie & Beer Day bash, featuring a Pie Pass (for 6 slices of pie!) from several local bakeries.

Jeff and I decided to take a quieter route and go to one of our golden favorites: Avenues Proper, a restaurant and brewery in our neighborhood, walking-distance from our apartment. We devoured apple-blueberry-raspberry crumble pie with stout ice cream from Hatch Family Chocolates. It was everything I’d ever wanted, and the stout ice cream was the surprise star of the dish. (Mind you, good pie and ice cream is my favorite dessert, only possibly rivaled by fruit-stuffed beignets, which are basically little fried pies.)

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If you haven’t gathered by now, we love food. Cooking, sharing food with friends and family, and experiencing edible art are a few of our favorite things. One of the things I love about food is that it’s ephemeral. You can have the same dish multiple times, but you’re never going to have it in exactly the same way. Ingredients will vary: one tomato is not exactly the same as another tomato, even of the same variety because ripeness, flavor, and aesthetic differs from one to another. Preparation of dishes also varies. A chef may do their best to achieve uniformity, but there’s going to be small differences every time you have the same dish on different occasions. That’s the nature of chopping, cooking, and pouring– there are so many factors that it’s imprecise to some extent, even at its most masterful.

When you eat delicious food, it’s a transitory moment that you can’t experience in the same way ever again– and I love that. I love forcing myself to focus, to be mindful of my senses, and to thoughtfully process what I’m literally taking in as part of myself. This is why– despite the ridicule of being another basic Instagram girl– I love photographing food, as a reminder of an experience, a memory of a feeling.

Because food is the source of so much of our happiness and gratitude, for Jeff’s birthday we decided to do a progressive dinner around Salt Lake City, visiting our favorite haunts and ordering a dish or two per stop. It was unlike anything we’d done before and not for the faint of heart: 10 straight hours of eating and walking around the city with a couple of our closest friends. It was quite the event, and below you’ll find our itinerary and a documentation of our adventures.

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At Salt Lake Comic-Con, we had the fortune of finding some of the coolest chocolates ever, made by The Truffle Cottage. We loved them so much, we bought beautifully molded chocolates in the shape of zombie body parts, a companion cube, and a Death Star. And those were so good that when Halloween rolled around, we giddily bought even more unique chocolates from the talented chocolate crafters.

This place is the real deal. Not only are the chocolates lovingly crafted with striking detail, but they are absolutely delicious and come in unique flavors like strawberries and cream and pumpkin pie. As the holidays approach, keep an eye out for gems from The Truffle Cottage. They’re sure to come up with new creations that will make perfect gifts from the holidays. As examples of their awe-inspiring work, here are some of the chocolates they showcased at Salt Lake Comic-Con (now available on their website).

IMG_0888 (1024x687)(Star Wars and Walking Dead goodness)

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avenues proper

If you follow me on Instagram (@AshleyGeekGirl), you’ll find I un-apologetically snap photos of all the delicious morsels we eat– both that we make ourselves and that we find dining out. Whether I use our fancy camera (bought for the sole purpose of photographing food) or my phone, I love documenting our culinary adventures. Well,  today it has finally paid off. One of my photos is featured on a Utah news site, KSL, along with a shout-out to Geek Appetite and a quote from me, gushing about the perfect happiness that is a steak from Avenues Proper. Check out the article here.

New York Mouth

Ashley Walton —  February 21, 2013 — Leave a comment

New York Mouth is one in a million. You can order high-quality small batch foods, shipped straight to your door. Plus, I could easily spend hours perusing their gorgeous site, complete with colorful pictures of all the food and specific descriptions of each product– some with hilarious six-word reviews. There’s something for everyone—gluten-free, vegan, and carnivore customers alike. And as awesome as their website looks, the packages they send are even better. There’s so much attention to detail, with a personalized note, a free chocolate, and a free canvas tote bag (that I now use to take lunches to work). Plus, each of the items is carefully and individually wrapped to make sure it survives shipping. It can’t get any better.

What NYM offers changes with the seasons, as good food should. There’s lots of stuff we still want to try, but we wanted to give you a look at our first shipment. We can’t wait to order more and possibly ship goodies to friends. Some highlights that we’ve loved so far: bourbon smoked sugar, peanut cocoa butter, and drunken monkey jam. We still have our eye on some outrageously good-looking stuff, such as  The King candy barblack truffle salami, and red wine poached pears.

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Chocolatier Blue

Ashley Walton —  January 31, 2013 — Leave a comment

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Even though I’m usually anti-chocolates on Valentine’s Day, just in case, I feel it is my duty as a good citizen to notify the world of the greatest boxed chocolates money can buy. They’re from Chocolatier Blue and be warned: they will ruin all other chocolates for you.

Our photo hardly does these beautiful, hand-crafted gifts justice, but pictured we have spiced apple, white Russian, spiked egg nog, peanut butter and strawberry jam, peanut butter crunch, and cookies and cream. We’ve also had the pleasure of consuming banana split and s’mores.

These are no ordinary chocolates. Each chocolate is gorgeous—with glossy luster, hand-painted accents, and even, occasionally, a hint of golden glitter. And they are made with some of the finest ingredients. Now, many cheap food companies say that phrase to the point that it becomes meaningless—“made with the finest ingredients”—but in this case, it’s true. We’re talking the world’s best butter, Fleur de Sel salt from France, and fresh ingredients. They are not kidding around.

The flavors are constantly in flux with the seasons. Some new flavors that have caught my eye: French toast, coffee and donuts, waffle cone and ice cream, cinnamon roll, and strawberry milkshake. So, if you insist on buying chocolates for Valentine’s or any other occasion, go with Chocolatier Blue. Order online, or if you’re in the Salt Lake area, stop by Caputo’s.