Our first stop after dropping the bags at the hotel was Efeste Sodo for a wine tasting reservation at 4pm. We used to be wine club members years ago but left the club because the shipping got to be too expensive. While there wasn’t a seat reserved for us – there were a few parking spots reserved for the bar. Considering we arrived before the start of a Mariners game, we were super happy about that!
Our tasting with Jenna was relaxed and informative. We were happy to discover that the wines were still excellent. Even better, the $25 fee was waived with the purchase of two bottles. We left with six: 2018 Final-Final red blend, 2018 Eleni Syrah, 2019 Big Papa, 2021 Evergreen Riesling, and two 2020 Feral Sauvignon Blancs.
We got caught up in some police-directed traffic trying to get south to see our friends for dinner at the Electric Cello bar but managed to make it close to on time. Once seated, we each ordered a drink and then decided on a series of small plates to share. The smoked mussels and the steak tartare we’re my two faves but for the price, I thought the wine glass pours were a bit skimpy. After dinner we walked across the street to Matcha Man Ice Cream and each couple split a taiyaki cone – we got the coconut creme and pineapple whip swirl filled with nutella. Afterwards we hung out at their place for an hour.
We haven’t had soup dumplings in ages so when Eric reminded me that Din Tai Fung was an option in Seattle we drove over the I-90 bridge (for the millionth time) to the University Village location. We found a spot in the garage one floor up from the restaurant and grabbed a newly opened table in the bar – perfect! We ordered two baskets of the pork xiaolongbao and devoured them. As good as we remembered. One of the pricier locations we’ve been to at $15.50 for 10 dumplings but worth it.
We still had an hour and a half to burn before we needed to meet our friends, Mark and Marie, for dinner so we stopped into Lantern Brewing. The two sours were mouth puckering and they don’t have dark beers so I opted for the Ch’Boum – a Belgian wheat ale with cherries and pomegranate. A little light for me but a solid beer nonetheless. Eric got the Gyrophare – a dry saison with tart Washington cherries. He loved it.
Met our friends and their kids (teenagers now!) at their place and decided to do Thai for dinner. The food at Chaiyo Thai Cuisine was good but the service was spotty. A few items were wrong or forgotten. We still enjoyed the Massaman and Penang curries and the veggie delight. We hung out a bit back their place comparing artwork (me and the kids), hanging with their pup, and catching up.
We stopped at Blazing Bagels on our way out of town. The parking lot was a bit tricky but we managed to find a good spot. I got a jalapeno bagel with lox schmear and Eric got a bacon egg and cheddar on a pretzel bagel. We enjoyed both although we’re slightly annoyed that all the indoor tables were stacked in a corner. Clearly they want a take-out crowd only.
After a quick hike in Yelm, we had some time to burn before showing up at our friend’s house, so Eric found a bber place for us to chill at for an hour. 507 Taproom is housed in an old bank building with lots of space to spread out. I ordered the Belchin’ Beaver !Viva la Beaver! for me and Eric ordered the Blueberry Hedge Maze from Urban Family.