Our commitment to eating locally and seasonally has been steadfast. Each week, we prepare, freeze, bake or dehydrate for the days ahead, and frankly, I've been cooking up a storm.
When we laid out the ground rules for this project, we first turned to other locavores, to see how they handled "exceptions". There were the obvious exceptions, such as olive oil, salt and spices, and the not so obvious, like "junk food".
Our year long experiment meant that we could live without a lot for just one year. So while olive oil, salt and spices made the cut, things like chocolate simply did not. But one exception by Leda Meredith, an author on the subject, really grabbed our attention, and we clung to it like barnacles: dining out.
We LOVE to dine out. We have taken vacations that revolve around nothing more than food. We would finish one meal, only to look at each other and say "well, we've got a few hours to kill until our next meal, what should we do?"
It seemed like a natural exception, then, to allow ourselves the little luxury of eating out a few times a month. But when we decided that we wanted to cash in on our exception, something peculiar happened. Nothing sounded good. Delicious Italian? Yeah, but where does all that flour come from? Japanese? Hmmm, that fish might be questionable. As we become closer to our food sources, we find that the questionable sources sound less and less appetizing.
So on Thursday night, we braved the rain and found ourselves in Upper Queen Anne, at the darling and delicious restaurant Emmer & Rye, a locally focused restaurant that specializes in serving food that is regional and seasonal.
This place is LEGIT. While enjoying the cheese plate and a Vodka Soda (the Vodka was from Dry Fly, made from Washington Wheat), I drilled our waitress with questions.
How long have you been in business? (Since January) How local is local? (90-95%) Oh yeah? What about these crackers? (I thought I busted her, turns out, they are made by their pastry chef from Bluebird emmer flour. Wow.) I continued asking questions about every morsel of food brought to our table, to which our waitress graciously answered where it was from. The night continued with plate after plate of locally raised meats, locally grown vegetables, and of course, wine from local vines. It was a fabulous evening, and a great way to eat without any of the guilt.