April 4th 3.0: mkt.

April 4th 3.0: mkt.

Ethan Stowell is beloved, down to earth kind of guy.  He owns 9 restaurants and 1 pizzeria all in Seattle.  He will be opening 3 more this year.  Yes, he is beloved and down to earth kind of guy, but he is also crazy.

He is crazy about food.  He is crazy about connection and relationships between food and people who eat his food.  Most of his restaurants are intimate settings.  Some have community table and some only seat 30 people or so.  Kitchens are not hidden, usually open.  Today is April 4th and it is a special day for me.  Archie was successful not to disclose where he was taking me this last Saturday night until we were almost there.

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Here is mkt.in Meridian neighborhood near Green Lake in Seattle.  When I opened the door, first thing you see is an small and open kitchen with 5-seat counter.  Very close to people sitting next to you.  We were seated right in front of Alvin. Perfect.  I was able to see what he was cooking and how he prepares the meal.  His expression and his voice.  I was feeling his and his crew’s energy flowing through this intimate restaurant.  They use Pacific Northwest Ingredients.  Alvin puts lots of care and just right amount of Jaconsen Salt and care.  American fare without any pretentiousness.  Great balance of boldness and sensitivities.

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My favorite restaurants always have great balance of 3-pillars, chef, service crew, food.   This place has food and chef covered.  OK, service crew.  Awesome.  Seth was our crew who tended to our  table and he was so much fun, cracking jokes, laughing with us, fist-bumping us, and cursing appropriately (yes, we curse a lot).  He is one of those people you actually want to eat dinner and share a bottle of red wine with.

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I am happy to say I found another excellent Seattle eatery that I want to go back many times more.  My April 4th was fulfilled with joy.

Story of Shotgun Trip to Seoul & Tokyo: over Via Tribunali in Georgetown

Story of Shotgun Trip to Seoul & Tokyo: over Via Tribunali in Georgetown

March 12 Thursday         left Seattle

March 13 Friday               arrived Gimpo Airport, Seoul, South Korea

March 14 Saturday          flew from Seoul to Haneda,Tokyo

attended concert of this Jin YiHan dude in the afternoon in Shibuya, Tokyo

flew back to Seoul from Tokyo in the evening

March 15 Sunday             Facial, city tour, massage, body scrub, shopping in Seoul

March 16 Monday           flew back to Seattle from Seoul

Who does this?

She and I have been friends since May 2000.  She is unique and I am quirky so we make sense together.  She is the one person whom I don’t feel uncomfortable seeing after not seeing each other for a long time and we can go back to where we left off.  We got together last Friday and we did not have any awkward moments whatsoever and we started our non-stop 3-hour conversation as soon as we met in Georgetown.

We went to Pizzeria in Georgetown in Seattle called Via Tribunali.  They have 20 descent kinds of pizza and some pasta dishes. We ordered one pizza with prosciutto and mushroom and linguine vongole.  To be honest with you, I don’t even remember how they tasted.  It must not have been bad because I didn’t notice.  I was too busy catching up with her whirl wind, insane travel story and it was way more interesting than the food we ordered.  She told me that this trip was her 10- year wedding anniversary gift from her husband, while he stayed behind to take care of his business and their 5-year old daughter.  I have no intention to be criticizing their decision.  I’d rather embrace how understanding her husband is and how hard Amy works every day by working full-time, being a mom and being a wife at the same time.  I guess her mom was so upset hearing Amy was traveling alone and leaving her daughter behind.  I understand where her mom is coming from but she should know already by now that Amy is spontaneous, curious and a determined person, which makes Amy so unique and interesting.

So, I have photos of what we ate that night but I don’t have any comments on them.  They were good.

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Really, who would do this kind of trip?  My crazy friend Amy does.  I am so glad that I have such an insane friend who makes my life way more entertaining and fun.

Embrace your craziness, Amy.  This is a huge compliment.

Hey, you are late for 1 on 1 meeting with your boss: Anniversary

Hey, you are late for 1 on 1 meeting with your boss: Anniversary

I thought I disliked surprises.  I found out today however that I enjoy them.

Do you love coffee?  I sure do.  I love everything about coffee, smell, shape, different flavor and taste depending on regions, history, romance of preparing coffee…list goes on.  I work for this coffee company and every day and every hour, someone is leading a coffee tasting.  Meetings-coffee tasting, birthdays-coffee tasting, welcoming new employees-coffee tasting, we have new crop-of course, coffee tasting, someone leaving the company-coffee tasting, someone getting married-coffee tasting.  Anyway, you get a point.

My boss sent me an email yesterday with this message, “Hi, can we please meet at 11 am on Thursday.  I’d like to talk a couple of things.”  She and I are tight.  She knows she can talk to me any time and on anything.  This message sounded a little strange to me because we do have regular 1 on 1 meeting every Monday.  I started to get nervous and I thought that she was going to leave the company (no!) or I was going to get let go (NO!!).

So today is Thursday.  I was having the meeting at 10:30 am with different team member and it was supposed to last only 30 min but the meeting went longer.  I sent a text message to my boss letting her know that I was running a little late.  She replied to me “you need to come see me now.”  Oh crap, I thought “this must be serious”  She will let me go.

I ran back to her office and she was waiting for me outside the door.  Oh great.  We are going to go to HR now to complete the exiting process.  She took me to this area where people can hang out, drink coffee, eat lunch, whatever that may be.  What I heard was, “SURPRISE!” “CONGRATS!”  Oh yeah, Today is my 1st year anniversary at work.

They prepared a big French press pot of Ethiopia coffee, dark chocolate to accompany with,a a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and a thoughtfully written card by my boss.

I will never forget the taste of coffee I had on the day of my 1st year anniversary at work and the day I found out I didn’t get let go.

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