After another rainy day – this one in Olympia, Washington – we picked Anna up and left for Seattle around 3:30PM yesterday. Unfortunately, the rain kept us from doing much exploring. I did find a dog park – this one totally unfenced, right in the center of a quiet neighborhood. When we arrived, there were two dogs playing around. Max was really good, waiting for permission to get out of the car even though his whole body was quivering in anticipation!

I sent him across the street while I grabbed some treats for my pocket, and when I looked up the three dogs were swirling around one another, sniffing, tails wagging. By the time I got across the street they were racing down the field towards me, Max in the lead wearing a big old doggy grin.

The dogs, Biggsy and Betty, belonged to Laura, who had brought balls and a Chukit (ball thrower for you non-dog owners), and Max was READY to run. He and Biggsy ran after balls while Betty begged me for treats! The field, which Laura told me belongs to the adjacent church, is about an acre. She said the church allows dogs on the field, and even provides a hose for water and cleanup bags! How great is that?

We had fun, until we noticed that Max’s right foot was bleeding. When I examined it, it looked like he might have jammed a nail. It was minor, but I decided we should get him into the car, clean it up and keep an eye on it while we went off to explore around Olympia for a bit. I blotted it with a napkin, and realized it was really minor.

With nothing but rain happening – sometimes pretty heavy – we drove around Olympia for a bit, then stopped off in a little lakeside park for a nap before meeting Anna. After that, a quick stop at Starbucks for a mid-afternoon jolt, we picked her up and started for Seattle on I-5.

Friday afternoon – rush hour – heavy, SLOW traffic crawling north. We were literally inching along for about a half hour. Then, with no clear reason evident, we were back to the posted speed limit: 60 MPH! Soon back to a crawl, and so forth and so on for what totaled over an hour.

As we approached Tacoma, I realized that Tumbleweed – with two people aboard – qualified for the commuter lane on the far left, and we started making some hasty progress north! The right hand lanes were traveling at a stop and go pace averaging between 20 and 35 MPH, as we whizzed by at 55!!

Along the way, I gave Anna my iPhone to locate a restaurant that she had been told was excellent. Tilth features locally sourced, organic cuisine in a casual chic setting, with an emphasis on service. A fancy-ass way of saying it’s located in a large bungalow style house on 45th Street NW, with a superbly trained staff, and the most creative local, organic, sustainable food and wines available!

She read reviews to me from, and I said call them and see if we can get a table. Oh joy! Oh rapture! They had space, and she reserved a table for 7PM. All we had to do was keep making time, check in at La Quinta, and feed Max his dinner before heading across town to Tilth.

We did all of that, arriving at Tilth at 6:55. We even found on-street parking a block away! I can think of nothing better than dinner out on a Friday night in a strange town with a like-minded “foodie” to share the experience! OK, maybe a few things better than – no, make it equal to – the experience. It helps when the town is a foodie town, too.

A quick snapshot on the way back from dinner. I wanted to capture the feel of the rainy streets – and the marquee of the Majestic Theatre, but this photo doesn’t quite do it for me. Since I have no other photos from Friday, this will have to suffice!

We both wanted to sit at the bar, where we could watch the kitchen activity while we ate, drank, and talked, and it was a good choice of seating. Ginger martinis have become my new fave, and the bartender assured us that she could make them. Not quite gingery enough for us, she took them back and added more of her house made ginger tincture and they were perfect – zingy, not so sweet that you forgot you were drinking alcohol, and perfectly chilled.

We decided to order the tasting menu – regular (with meat) for me, and vegetarian for Anna. Smaller portions even than Tilth’s small plates, the five course menu was a fabulous mix of flavors and textures. The pace of the meal was leisurely – allowing us time to savor each course before the next arrived.

Here are the two menus, mine first:
5-Course Tasting Menu
Sunchoke Soup
dungeness crab, preserved lemon, sorrel

Penn Cove Mussels
yukon potato, lardon, grilled bread

Smoked Heirloom Bean Cassoulet
hedgehog mushroom, oven dried tomato, truffle butter

Grilled Dakota Beef Sirloin

baby turnip, truffled potato puree, worcestershire

Vegetarian 5-course Tasting Menu:
Sunchoke Soup
preserved lemon, sorrel, olive oil

Grilled Spring Onion
pine nut, parsley pesto, sumac

Oxbow Farm Potato Gnocchi
butternut squash, swiss chard, preserved orange

Smoked Heirloom Bean Cassoulet

hedgehog mushroom, oven dried tomato, truffle butter

Both menus finished with:
Olive Oil Cake
fennel ice cream, satsuma tangerine, olive brittle

Oh. My. God. What a feast! This rates as the best meal I’ve had on this trip – and right up there with the best ever. They offer weekend brunch, it’s 9AM Saturday, and I’m already thinking…


About Maureen Farr

I am a graphic and web designer – and the publisher of the print version of Arts Guide, a free guide highlighting the arts, dining, events, and more on the coast of Maine. In addition, I am a visual artist working in mixed media and encaustic, as well as creating found object jewelry. I am currently at work revising a short novel that I wrote as a participant in the 32nd Annual 3-Day Novel Contest.
This entry was posted in Eating out on a road trip, Friends along the way, Seattle, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle, Washington and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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