Seven Courses of Beef

Tamarind Tree opened in the International District about a year ago and has since received rave reviews. It’s an unassuming Vietnamese place stuck in the back of a strip mall at 12th and Jackson. It’s been on my list of places to try for many months and last night we finally made it. Being a Friday night, there was a 45-minute wait for a table but we were told we could be seated on the patio immediately. Remember, it was cold and wet, but the patio was covered and they had lots of heaters so we decided to give it a go. We were too hungry to wait 45 minutes!

The patio was wonderfully atmospheric with a falling wall of water and little lanterns on each table. We were given hot tea almost instantly and we kept refilling our little cups to keep our hands warm. The menu was entirely overwhelming and we decided to get the 7 courses of beef to keep things simple. For beverages, G had a mojito and I tried one of their specialty cocktails- the kumquat crush martini, as recommended by our server. YUM- mine was definitely the favorite at our table.

The courses were all excellent. None exceptionally large but it was plenty of food. The 1st was a salad with fresh veggies and herbs, topped with beef and a dressing of lime and fish sauce. Excellent combo of flavors. 2nd course was ‘make your own spring rolls’- a bit messy but so much fun. We had a vinegar broth to cook the raw beef, hot water to soften the rice paper, fresh basil and mint, lettuce, pickled carrots, bean sprouts, vermicelli and anchovy sauce. The 3rd, 4th and 5th courses came at once and were different sorts of grilled beef. My favorite was the La Lot beef. We’ve had it at other Vietnamese restaurants but this was the best we’ve tasted. Apparently they use a very high fat ground beef, which is marinated, wrapped in la lot leaves, and grilled. 6th course was like a large beef meatball with fresh cilantro and peanuts. Finally, the last course was a ground beef congee-type soup, which was delicious. Total bill was $33!! We thought the 7 courses of beef was $18 each but it was actually $18 TOTAL. What a steal. G and I proclaimed it our new favorite restaurant and promptly called several friends and told them to go eat there as soon as possible. If you live nearby, I urge you to do the same.

Cold, windy, rainy.

I took today off from work. I’ve been feeling burnt out and uninspired and thought a day off might help. And in fact, I woke up in a significantly better mood than recent days! I had planned to go for a run but started to wuss out when I saw what the weather was like. Cold, windy, rainy. Yuck. But G told me he’d been out for a run already while it was STILL DARK (as well as cold, windy, and rainy). So I decided to tough it out.

And what a great run it was! It’s nice to go out without a plan sometimes. I expected to run about 5 miles but was enjoying myself so I tacked on an extra mile, then 2, 3 more and ended up with an 8 mile run. My GPS wouldn’t get a signal so that’s just an approximate distance. I even did some speed work at the end on a new track they built near our house. It was one of those ‘great’ runs and the wind and rain barely phased me. Until the very end of the workout when my hands felt like ice cubes, that is. Next time, must remember to wear gloves.

I’m considering running the Seattle half marathon in 3 weeks. Probably won’t register in advance- just wait and see how I feel that week. It’s always the weekend after Thanksgiving, which seems like a bad idea to me. Who wants to go for a long run AFTER eating all that rich food? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the race before the huge holiday meal?

Happy Halloween

I was prepared to be really sore this morning from yesterday’s run. For the most part, though, I felt great. My arms and neck were the most sore- probably from breaking my fall. G woke to tell me he’d dreamt of trail running- maybe I’ll convert him yet! I’m already counting the days to next week’s trail run.

We must be the least interested in Halloween of anyone we know. We were invited to two casual ‘pumpkin carving and beer’ evenings this weekend. At last night’s iteration, we deemed it (pumpkin carving) one of the quintessential American experiences- right up there with making Smores. The Waddell household is ignoring it altogether- no decorations, costumes or candy. I, for one, will be perfectly happy when it’s over. Thanksgiving is much more my speed.

Hard Core

Welcome to my blog! I’ve been considering doing this for a while but it took G setting it up for me to finally do it. He’s been on my case since my birthday (Wednesday) to put up my 1st entry, but life has just been too busy.

So this morning I went out for my first ‘group’ trail run with the Seattle Running Club. I’ve wanted to go for ages but they meet at 7am and I haven’t been able to bring myself to get up that early on a Sunday until today. I figured if I can’t do it today when the clocks change, I’m never going to make it!

After a bit of confusion over meeting place/time, I finally hooked up with the crowd around 7:45 at Red Town Trailhead (Cougar Mountain). They intended to run 14 miles but the leader decided to hang back and do a shorter run for the newbies. We ended up going approximately 11 miles with 1500 feet of elevation gain. It took us 1 hour, 58 minutes.

It was fantastic! I think G might be getting sick of me talking about it already. The group was very friendly and accommodating, the run itself was amazing, and I was able to keep pace very well with the 5 other runners in my group (2 other women, 3 men). Towards the end of the run I took a spill and landed literally, ON MY FACE. I think my lip got brushburned- ouch! Pretty messy fall but I got up and started running more or less right away. Glad no one was behind me at the time. I guess I’ve been indoctrinated now I’ve had my first fall. Damn, I think this is what ‘hard core’ feels like.

Between my long run and the obscene amount of food I ate at an Indian buffet lunch afterwards, I don’t think I’ll be getting much of anything else done today.