Friday, October 11, 2013

Sarah, Chocolate, Lunchboxes, and Rats

I met my husband 20 years ago. We were classmates and friends in the music program at APU for the first year that we knew each other. Now we are just about a week away from the 19th anniversary of our first date (it is the 17th or 18th or 19th...) So, even when we were just friends I heard stories about Sarah. Bobby and Sarah were in band together and also went to youth group together. Even before I met Sarah in person I felt like I knew her. With the advent of Facebook I got to peek into her life even more, introduce her to Suzanne (who I have only met in person once), and see her sweet boys as babies and as they are growing. One of her sweet boys and my sweet boy were born only days apart. When I finally decided to go to Seattle for the conference I sent Sarah a message to see if she would be willing to drive up from Portland, pick me up from the airport, and hang out with me for the night. Technology is weird. This was only the 4th time I have actually seen Sarah in person but I feel like we are great friends thanks to being able to "talk" to each other over the last few years! When Sarah said she would come to Seattle I was so excited! When she picked me up we went and checked into the LaQuinta near the airport and then headed out on a mission.

Since I was going to a food blogger conference, and because I like chocolate I checked Yelp for some suggestions. On that site I found reviews for a place called Intrigue Chocolates. The reviews spoke of a chocolate speakeasy. When you have to go up a staircase next to a sake bar and down a dark hallway and ring an old fashioned bell to get in you can see what the reviewers are saying. The door was actually cracked so we peeked in and were waved in by the Master Chocolatier, Aaron Barthel, himself! We were immediately welcomed by him and Justin (who was wrapping truffles) and asked if we would like to do a truffle tasting. As I was on a budget you know I had to ask if there was a charge. There was not so Sarah and I jumped at the chance to try 6 different flavored, handmade truffles. We were instructed to let each delectable morsel melt rather than chewing them. That way we were able to taste the flavors in each section of our mouth. We tried everything from longpepper, to bay leaf flavored truffles. I ended up purchasing 6 more for the road and Sarah picked up some hot chocolate. If you are in Seattle I highly suggest you check out Intrigue Chocolates! Not only were the truffles some of the best I have ever had, the experience of the one on one truffle tasting, seeing the entire kitchen and all of the spices used, and getting to talk to Aaron about the process, while feeling like we were in a speakeasy for chocolate is one I will remember fondly!

After our visit to the chocolate shop we went to the Trace to meet Dorie and the Doristas. Everyone was so welcoming of both me and Sarah and that was a lovely part of our evening. When that part of the evening wound down we were hungry and ready for dinner. We went to the Lunchbox Laboratory in Seattle. I had read a post from a Seattle native who said this was hipstery and fun. I ended up with Melmac (garlic alfredo mac and cheese), sweet potato fries, and a nutella shake. The shake was actually voted number 1 in Seattle Magazine! Sarah got a giant burger that looked amazing! One of the fun things about the Lunchbox Laboratory was that they encourage you to experiment with different items on the menu. I stayed with what they had already experimented with and was pleased. Once our food arrived our server, Rilke, (from New Mexico) let us continue the experiments with a tray of spices that included cinnamon for the sweet potato fries and bacon salt for the mac and cheese. And now you have another Seattle restaurant to try! Dinner flew by and Sarah I just talked and talked and talked like we had been talking for years. The beauty of this was getting to know Sarah so much better than the snippets we post for the world to see. :) I got to hear how she and her husband met, a bit about their college experience, and a few things about my own hubby! We were both exhausted and fell asleep quickly once we got back to the hotel.
In the morning we packed up and headed back downtown to the Sorrento Hotel and the Hunt Club for breakfast. You may be wondering about the rats in the title, well as we were driving near the hotel a rat ran out in the street right under a bus! You might think that mouse met its demise but you would be wrong! As the bus pulled away the rat ran back toward the curb...and then straight under our back tire....and then it met its demise. Turns out not only is Sarah a good friend she is a pretty good unintentional rat killer as well! We had a lovely breakfast at the beautiful Hunt Club and then walked back to make sure the rat was really was a grease spot with a tail by the time we got back to the final resting spot. Sweet Sarah needed to get back to Portland so she hauled me to the W hotel and dropped me off and was on her way. I look forward to the next time I get to hang out with her! Thanks Sarah for driving all that way to hang out with your friend from high school's wife! ;)


  1. What a fun experience, Karen! You certainly made the most of your trip to Seattle!

  2. Thanks, Karen! I just approved your blog claim. Now your Urbanspoon profile picture is displayed on your blog page. You can upload a blog-specific photo if you prefer, and can change a few other blog settings there. Also, if you vote for a restaurant that you've reviewed on your blog, we now show your vote next to your post everywhere on our site.


  3. Doesn't facebook make arranging get togethers with friends so much easier? So glad you and the rat killer got to spend some time together :)

  4. How awesome is that?? I loved Sarah's energy! Her happiness and interest in hanging out with you and all of us Doristas was just contagious! :)

    You found some truly wonderful places to eat at too, I'm making a note to have a girlfriend day at some of those places the next time I'm up visiting family in Seattle! They have been on my to-do list for awhile but I hadn't gone yet! :)

    Love the pic you got out the plane window too... :)