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The Top 5 Foods I Dropped on My Baby’s Head across CA, Portland, and Seattle


(And Some Delicious Foods I Did Not Drop)

You walk around with your baby in a carrier.
The baby falls asleep.
You get hungry.
Don’t wake the baby!!!!

giphy

Crumbs get dropped.
Sometimes, good crumbs.

Before it got cold, my wife and I took our three-month-old on a two-week-long west coast “meet the baby” tour, and chowed our way through four cities.

These were the five best foods we dropped on the baby’s head – plus some bonus foods that we didn’t drop, but were so good they cry out for mention.

*****In case you were worried, the baby is fine and was unharmed during our entire research (eating) process.*****

LA
Boulangerie (bakery, Culver City): almond croissant

(Photo: La Dijonaise Cafe et Boulangerie)

Light, flaky, yummily buttery, filled with almond cream, covered with fresh toasted almond slices, and dusted with powdered sugar, this is pretty much the Platonic ideal of an almond croissant. Pure almond croissant.
Not dropped on baby’s head honorable mention:

Pinches Tacos (tacqueria, Culver City): pollo mole taco, chorizo taco, carne asada taco, adobado taco, breakfast burrito, huevos rancheros

(Photo: Pinches Tacos)

Friday night: arrived LA, ate tacos at Pinches
Saturday morning: ate breakfast burrito at Pinches
Sunday morning: oops, I left my credit card at Pinches yesterday . . . back for more!

Handmade tortillas, good meat, good salsa, Jarritos, what more do you need?

SF
2nd Story Bakery (bread, San Jose): sprouted rye loaf

(Photo: 2nd Story Bakeshop)

Raise your hand if you like bread products that are dense and Germanic, slightly sour, and toast into warm, hefty, crunchy slices that make a hearty breakfast slathered in peanut butter and banana or draped in a ton of lox or dressed in barely-hardboiled egg topped with sea salt or or or or or . . . because if your hand is raised you will love this bread. Like, a lot.

They make other breads that are just as amazing, in different ways (maple miso loaf), but there is really no substitute for this one.

(Photo: 2nd Story Bakery)

Not dropped on baby’s head honorable mention:

Tacubaya (tacqueria, Berkeley): chips and salsa, tacos of all types, ensalata de primavera, watermelon agua fresca, platanos maduros.

(Photo: Tacubaya)

“We’d like to take you to our favorite taqueria,” said our SF hosts, as soon as we arrived at the airport immediately following our LA taco-fest. OK!!!

Homemade tortillas, great meat, just-picked veggies, fully fruity and not too sweet agua fresca, and perfectly caramelized platanos, the food I would most like to sleep with beneath my pillow.

(Photo: Tacubaya)

The saddest thing about this meal is that I didn’t get to go back for another one during our visit.

PDX
Karam (Lebanese/Syrian food, downtownish): tabouli, hummus, grape leaves, baklava

(Photo: Karam)

When you’re Jewish, you end up eating a lot of hummus, which is not a bad way to be . . . especially when it’s lemony, warm, lightly whipped, and nestling whole chick peas in its pillowy embrace.

The stellar hummus would have been enough (dayeinu!) . . . but then there was the tabouli. And the dolmas. And the BAKLAVA, which was a work of art. (I say this as someone who doesn’t care for baklava.)

Somehow each layer of phyllo was the best combination of crispy and soft, and the honey/syrup was sweet but not too sweet, and the nuts were nutty, and I miss it already from 3000 miles away.

(Photo: Karam)

Not dropped on baby’s head honorable mention:

Bijou, Cafe (local/seasonal New American, Old Town): ota tofu scramble, oyster hash, oyster omelette, pancake, eggs/sausage/pear muffin

(Photo: Bijou Cafe)

Normally I’m meh on zucchini – the side of the tofu scramble – but they cooked it to exactly halfway between hard and soft, then sauced it in something that made it tangy and luscious, and I’ve thought about it almost daily ever since.

Also, my spouse is still pissed at the server for taking away her last bite of omelette before she was done with it. So there you go.

Seattle
Raconteur (new American food, Seward Park): fried chicken sandwich, B.L.A.T.T.

(Photo: Raconteur)

Before we talk about the food, you should know that this place is HUGE and attached to an enormous new/used bookstore and a downstairs bar/performance space.

It’s super easy to drop all your cash on all the books you’d ever want/never have time to read!! (Recommended.)

Ok now we can talk about the food: It hit the spot! The fried chicken sandwich was crispy on a melty soft roll, and the B.L.A.T.T. (bacon, lettuce, avocado aioli, tomato, turkey) came on toasted warm focaccia with warm aioli, plus pickles that pickled the way pickles should pickle.
Not dropped on baby’s head honorable mention:

Caffe Vita (coffee): espresso

(Photo: Caffe Vita)

When in Rome, eh? A well-pulled pick-me-up on your typical rainy Seattle afternoon, served in a tiny squirrel-sized paper to-go cup.

Feast with (or without) a baby:
Culver City, CA

La Dijonaise Cafe et Boulangerie
8703 Washington Blvd.

Pinches Tacos
8665 Washington Blvd.

San Jose, CA

2nd Story Bakery
138 E Santa Clara St.

Berkeley, CA

Tacubaya
1788 4th St.
b/t Hearst Ave. & Virgina St.

Portland, OR

Karam
515 SW 4th Ave.

Bijou Cafe
132 SW 3rd Ave.
Old Town – Chinatown

Seattle

Raconteur
5041 Wilson Ave. S
b/t Hudson St. & Farrar St.

Caffe Vita (multiple locations)
813 5th Ave. N
b/t Valley St. & Aloha St.
Lower Queen Anne

Chaia has also written about where to trek around Park Slopewhere to go for a non-traditional NYC bachelorette party, Ithaca with no car and a newborn baby and delicious popsicles in NYC.

A taco-based life form, my quest is decent east coast carne asada. Blah blah blah, cats, boba, merry-go-rounds, parenting, etc.

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Chaia • December 4, 2016


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