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Fierce in Seattle: Totally Fried


A blogumn by Kelli Bielema

Living in Los Angeles could challenge my self-esteem at any given moment in a variety of ways.  The obstacle I was most commonly faced with during my near decade was the pressure to be thin.  Even as a character actress my physique was not portly enough to be the jovial best friend, but also not rail thin enough to be the comedic lead.  Because in our life and times, fat ugly folks should be heard and not seen.  Or this was my perception.  Once I decided to leave LA and the entertainment biz behind, I felt this pressure lift a bit. Oh, it’s still present, just not omnipresent.  I’ve gained about 15 pounds, which I loathe to admit.  I would be more likely to pass on another pint and a round of tater tots were I at the Ye Rustic Inn in Los Feliz, but while in Seattle, bring on the beer and fried treats!

On Taco Tuesday last week, also known as election night, my gal pals and I were chugging the pale ale for Obama.  We were also chomping on the nachos for Governor Gregoire and for our Californian pals that Proposition 8 was defeated and Prop Number 2 was approved– we threw back some fried potatoes in their honor.

Food is communal as we all know, but there is something about tater tots & beer in Seattle.  Yeah, I’m talkin’ tots. Those little starchy nuggets that would be on your cafeteria tray complimenting the slop o’ the day.  And as if those tiny devils weren’t tempting enough, there’s poutine.

Poutine, French for “oh my sweet sassy Jesus, I can die now.”  Being so close to Canada, there is just a tad of their influence in our food. Well, not too much ‘cause who goes out for Canadian, eh?  Anyway, poutine—essentially French fries covered in cheese curds and gravy. Oh, you heard me.  If you’re from the Midwest or select parts of the South, you’ve heard of wet fries (fries in gravy) but you’ve experienced nothing until you’ve chowed down on this monstrosity of deliciousness.  Poutine is the reason it’s hard for me to eat vegan. Also, poutine is located in just about every nouveau-funktastically-modern eatery in Seatown.  The coolest place to go is Skillet, which is an Airstream trailer-style roach coach.  You don’t have to be embarrassed when you eat from this truck.  The lines wrap around the streets.

As if I could stop at poutine, I have the good fortune of having a friend who is a food critic.  Uh-huh. Free meals and generally delicious at every turn. My favorite visit was actually on his taco truck tour. I can’t believe they exist here, either. And surprisingly, there are a couple of fabulous ones.  You can take a tour at Los Taco Trucks.  Not only is a map provided of taco buses—yes actually buses you can order and eat in (it’s Seattle, people, it rains here. We need our indoors any way we can get it), there’s also a blog and health report status updates.  BYO Pepto!  While I miss the authenticity of my favorite Santa Monica Boulevard auto shop by day/taco truck by night, Taqueria La Fondita #2 will do in a pinch.  Seattle may be known for ocean-fresh salmon and an unsurpassed bounty of local organic produce at the farmers market, but lord, dip me, fry me, and cover me in cheese.  And wash me down with a beer….