headed north
Celine instigated today’s bike ride out on the Snohomish Centennial Trail — we met at the trailhead near Snohomish, to bike to Arlington. The day started rainy (see above), but I think we lucked out with only a 30 second sprinkling close to the end of our 50 mile ride. Our total bike time was about 4 hours.
Just finished: Snohomish Centennial Trail. Decent day for a 4 hour  ride.
Our gang of 6 stopped halfway for Mexican food at Playa Bonita in Arlington’s downtown. Everyone scarfed down the chips ‘n salsa & who doesn’t love a lunch combo special on a Sunday afternoon? Good times.
ms. nMid-ride margaritas
Naomi's bikeWatch for Cougars!

Playa Bonita on Urbanspoon

at the end of LUPEC Rum Class at Spur
Today rolled in gray, making my earlier decision to attend the LUPEC Rum Class appear almost prescient. (Like many in Seattle, I dread boxing myself inside on a potentially sunny day!)
LUPEC Rum Class at Spur
The event was held at Spur & our teacher was the talented Marley. We arrived to find a great spread of antipasti & a thick packet of information, all about rum. Marley led us through tasting many kinds before wrapping up class with two kinds of Mai Tais & the potent final: The Zombie. Sidebar: this was an excellent exercise in pacing. One must be on their marks, right out the gate.
Marley
The Zombie at Spur

In our state, an impromptu dumpling crawl in the International District sounded like an ace plan. First up, the Ping Lee Market to investigate future takeout. Excellent:
We'll return for takeaway dumplings, later.

Then we wandered into the cave-like Fu Lin for our first delicious order of Shanghai Juicy (soup) Dumplings. They were solidly good & inexpensive.
Fu-Lin
Fu Lin on Urbanspoon

Next, we visited Shanghai Garden for Shanghai Juicy Dumplings with ginger, pork & scallion, High Nutrition Barleygreen Noodles, and Spare Ribs.
Shanghai Garden - Shanghai Juicy DumplingsShanghai Garden - High Nutrition Barley Green Noodle
Shanghai Garden Spare Ribs
The verdict at Shanghai Garden: wicked awesome.
Shanghai Garden on Urbanspoon

Our final tasting stop was Uwajimaya’s Food Court for Beard Papa’s new Paris Brest and the Dulce de Leche Cream Puffs. Good, but I almost always want their cream puffs to be more than they are.
Papa Beard's
Beard Papa's on Urbanspoon

Sufficiently back down to earth, we wrapped up our late afternoon shopping the aisles of Uwajimaya.

Yeah, I’d say it was the perfect rainy Seattle Saturday.

Seattle Repertory: Attempt Fail

We waited in line to get into Mike Daisey‘s show tonight at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Seats were free, and we lined up an hour early, and strangely, the line thickened in front of us. Consequently, we found ourselves heading elsewhere for our evening’s entertainment. At least the company was delightful. We’ll try again when he comes back.

Shilshole Bay
This was such a lovely evening, it nearly gave me writer’s block.

Tonight, I was lucky to have dinner with two friends, Eliza & Sara at Ray’s. Sara recently re-introduced me to this Shilshole gem over a sunny July lunch — we agreed we must take Eliza here during her upcoming visit. Eliza’s visiting the state from my hometown.

Gulf Prawns
Ray’s is a classic seafood restaurant with high standards, but what I really love is the deck of Ray’s Cafe on a Summer evening. See above (top picture), the view from our table. We were in prime sunset hours.

Ray's

We talked late. Can’t wait til we meet again.

Ray's Boathouse on Urbanspoon

This just in
Around 2 o’clock, my dog quickly and quietly ran to the front door, only to stop and glare at the weatherstrip. Thirty seconds later, I heard the postman thud. Inside — pictured above, my new note set. Thanks, mom!

We had abysmal service at a little pizza place in Ballard tonight. You know it. Memories fade when you don’t get into details, so I’ll say aside from the reserve-able big table with friends, I only ever want to sit at the bar in the future.

Lunch with a Talented Photographer from Dunder Mifflin
Today, sprizee & I had lunch with a talented photographer from Dunder Mifflin at The 35th Street Bistro.

My dining companions had a Croque Madame Brioche & a Farmer’s Lunch that included a grilled cheese on brioche plus a side salad and Watermelon, Cucumber and Honeydew Melon Soup. All bistro-lovely. I had the Salade de Crevette et de Romaine Grillée. There were only 3 prawns, grilling the romaine was unnecessary, and it benefited greatly from a healthy dash of salt — but I will still happy with it. Must be something to do with the bacon lardons included. I’d return. There are few places of this restaurant genre near “south Fremont.”
35th Street Bistro Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Mad Men Mondays
We caught up on this week’s Mad Men.

Note to broadcasters: I’d love to be able to buy an episode a la carte, on the night of! Someday.

Chef's Table Menu August 1
We joined friends at Tilth for today’s installment Seattle Chef’s Table. Chefs were present from Rover’s, Lark, Cafe Juanita, Crush, Terra Plata, & Tilth. It made me want to swear never to visit their establishments without checking that they’re behind the stove. It makes such an immense difference.

My favorite dishes were Billy’s Tomatoes & Burrata and the Greek Yogurt Mousse. Oh, but that smoked blackcod’s memorable too…Ok, so I enjoyed every last dish. If you can go, do it.

Our menu, transcribed from above & with my opinions, behind the cut:
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