Monday, August 2, 2010

Dishes that are crap that pass for "food" and obscure $3 films.

"The room smelled like a gust of wind from Satans anus. "

- from No Reservations Season 1 Episode 2 Iceland narrated by Anthony Bourdain
I had the good fortune of joining up with some adventurous friends (Jesse, D and Jodi) for the Capitol Hill Block party a couple weeks back. The concert itself was a fun time, but more importantly we went to try some Ethiopian food at the Blue Nile up on Capitol Hill. It was really kick ass food. There was a lot of this dough-y bread that they served to eat and grab the little piles of various Ethiopian dishes. There was a lentil base that reminded me of a yummier version of baked beans. They also had some chicken, beef and lamb dishes that reminded me a lot of some Indian dishes like Palak Paneer for instance. It was spicy as hell but it raised our spirits after a long and sweaty day of bar hopping and music.
The experience was in stark contrasts to the rest of that day. The day was filled with swarms of drunken twenty-somethings roaming Capitol Hill bars in search of friends and good spots to catch the show. For us it turned into a mosh pit up front with one of us coming away with a fresh layer of puke all over. But the midnight excursion to Blue Nile was a welcome reprieve; our group consituted half the people in the establishment. We all ate in silence in the dimly lit restaurant but it was an overall experience.
Take that whole experience of going to Ethiopian and compare it with my other experience last week. I met up with my friend Doug for a random adventure to the Seattle waterfront. We ended up at some hole in the wall seafood fryer for a quick bite to eat before heading South to find a decent movie to watch. The food was a poor comparison with the movie we watched that night.
I ordered this fried combo platter that had fish, shrimp, clams and french fries. Overall the food stank (or it could have been the entire waterfront) and my shrimp was inedible. Mind you, I love seafood and love to pop shrimp like popcorn but this place has somehow found a way to prepare shrimp in a way that will make me second guess eating popcorn shrimp moving forward.
The film we saw later that night was called City Island. It is a dramedy but I liked the fact that all of the underlying drama in the film was the source of the comedy itself. The film follows a dysfunctional family from a relatively unknown part of the Bronx. The father is played by Andy Garcia and his wife is played by Julianna Margulies. Each member of the family harbors some sort of dark secret. The relationships within the family and how they affect each secret is subject to great comedy as they are constantly maneuvering (in ever awkwardly esacalating fashion) around one another. I honestly think this movie will get some early oscar buzz but I would hesitate to assume best picture. I could however see this getting some recognition for screenplay and acting (Andy and Julianna). Also, the reader should be mindful that I like to call Andy Garcia an Italian-Bill Pullman, so to say that he did a really good job in this movie would be saying a lot...
For the trailer, click here.
I love contrasting events in my days. Crappy, stinky stuff makes me appreciate the good experiences so much more.
Pill # 54/180


  1. Man, I'd love to try Ethiopian food sometime. Hey if you ever want to go on a random ethnic food excursion with me, please let me know! Also thanks for the tip on the movie, I'll have to check out this "early oscar buzz" worthy flick! Keep posting!

  2. The bread is called injera and has a sourdoughy sort of flavor. Ethiopian food is delicious! I get heartburn every time but it is totally worth it.

  3. Caught City Island last night, really entertaining movie! Thought the youngest son's "dark secret" was a bit far fetched and distracting but funny nonetheless. You summed it up quite niceley.