Rene Redzepi, head chef/co-owner of the-most-famous-restaurant-in-the-world Noma, is coming here, and he's going to be at an extremely great-sounding dinner made by Matthew Dillon and Redzepi protege Blaine Wetzel of Lummi Island’s Willows Inn, served outdoors in Pioneer Square (under a tent, I hear, because: November 18 in Seattle).
If you would like to go to this and you have the $200 to do so*, you'd better hurry and get a ticket, because this will probably sell out very fast. Also, I am jealous of you.
*Which yes, is a lot of money, but does include a copy of Redzepi's new three-volume book A Work in Progress, the four-course dinner, dessert, wine from Walla Walla’s Syncline Winery, coffee from Pioneer Square’s Caffé Umbria, taxes, and gratuity.
It's mid-October and I'm still eating garden tomatoes, although they're mostly all ripening in the rain-free clime of my kitchen these days rather than on the vine. And yes, the basil in my garden has not completely rotted away either.
The pole beans are mostly played out, the remaining raspberries are a soggy, moldy mess, and the zucchinis are long gone. But mustard, arugula, carrots, lettuce, leeks, and herbs are still going strong. And of course, kale. Always kale.
How's your garden?
• THE COTERIE ROOM • Belltown: Brian McCracken and Dana Tough (Spur, Tavern Law, and the new Old Sage) took over the space from Restaurant Zoe, betting they could make a go of a fancy Belltown spot after Zoe decamped to Capitol Hill. Now, after just two years, they've made it private events only, calling it "exciting news" (though they're probably actually less than thrilled).
• VESSEL • downtown: Vessel was one of the first Seattle craft cocktail spots when it opened in 2006. The location near the 5th Avenue Theatre closed in 2010, and just a year ago, Vessel was reincarnated at Seventh and Olive. Now it's already gone. Owner and ace bartender Jim Romdall says, "Business was fine, but we had a lot of debt that was difficult to pay off. We thought everything was very stable, but then many things happened that were beyond our control that forced us to close down. Sad, but life goes on!"
• BAUHAUS and THE CAPITOL CLUB • Capitol Hill...
Capitol Hill's got bars with "concepts." There are two upscale Mexican places (Barrio with its wall of candles, Poquitos with its 14,000 hand-painted tiles), at least two "speakeasies" (one behind the fake safe at Tavern Law, one behind a text-message-reservation system at Knee High Stocking Company), an auto-mechanic-themed sports bar (Auto Battery), a Cuban-esque nightclub (Havana), a steam-punk something-or-other (Grim's), a faux Bavarian beer hall (Von Trapp's), a carnival-style bar with rampant stripes (the Unicorn), a gluten-free cider pub (Capitol Cider, which is also old-timey because... just because). The Old West taxidermy of Linda's and even the medieval shabbiness of the Canterbury look practically authentic now, just by virtue of being more than a couple years old. It's like the goddamn Disneyland of drinking up here.
Maybe a Southern bar was inevitable? In any case, Capitol Hill got two of them—they opened approximately a week apart—last month...
Today, Chef Þráinn Freyr Vigfússon (let's see what the internet does to those diacriticals! that's Thrainn Freyr Vigfusson) from Lava Restaurant on the Blue Lagoon in Iceland came by the office to feed us some Icelandic seafood, lamb, harðfiskur (aka "Viking snacks," in this case dried haddock, which someone said was like fish jerky, eaten with lovely Icelandic butter), and geothermally baked rye bread (for real). The seafood—torched langoustine, smoked char, cured salmon—was exquisite, and the lamb was excellent (it grazes on herbs in the Icelandic highlands, so it's seasoned from the inside out). If you want to get some while he's here, you'd better get right on it; the $65 prix fixe menu at the Dahlia Lounge from now through Sunday is almost all booked.
The other part of this Seattle/Reykjavik sister-city-promo thing is a free concert at Nuemos on Saturday night, with three Seattle bands—Kithkin, Vox Mod, and Kaylee Cole—teamed with three bands from Iceland—Sin Fang, Germigervill, and Borko. "Borko" is a great name for a band.
Here is your recipe for this super-dense, almost chocolatey, very good bread. When we finally get some more volcanic action around here (could be anytime!), we can bake it right.
Rúgbrauð: Geothermally Baked Rye Bread
In Iceland, this bread can literally be baked in the ground, by filling an empty milk carton with dough, wrapping the carton in foil and burying it underground for 24 hours. Here in Seattle, an oven will have to suffice [FOR NOW—Ed.].
800g whole wheat flour
4 kg rye flour
2 tsp salt
100 g dry yeast
3 liters milk (hold onto the cartons)
Mix the ingredients together and knead well.
Half-fill each 1 liter carton, pressing well to avoid air bubbles in the bread. Wrap with tin foil and stand on the bottom of the oven and bake at 200°F for about 12-13 hours. If you want to cook in the ground, it takes 24 hours, and you have to travel to Iceland [ibid].
In the Seattle Times this morning:
Labeling genetically engineered foods would come at a cost, but it’s impossible to say how high it will be, says a report released Wednesday by the Washington Academy of Sciences.
“The numbers just aren’t there, and the numbers that are there vary widely,” said Eugene Nester, emeritus professor of microbiology at the University of Washington and co-chair of the panel that examined Initiative 522 at the request of several legislative committees...
The group concluded that the cost of labeling itself will be negligible, but that food producers are likely to incur extra expenses from having to separate genetically engineered ingredients from other foods."
I wrote about previous studies bought and paid for by pro-labeling and anti-labeling sides. This one comes from the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and their report was commissioned by the state legislature. And it's the first study I've seen on Initiative 522, which would mandate the labeling of foods with genetically engineered ingredients, that takes a non-ideological approach. And their findings are that we don't exactly know how it will impact food prices if this passes, which is interesting.
They also looked at things other than price, including the safety of GMO foods. From the summary on food safety:
There have been no statistically significant, repeatable evidence of adverse human health consequences due to GM products. Given the current state of knowledge and evidence, GM foods are considered to “not differ” in safety as compared with foods with non-GM ingredients. Continued surveillance of food safety, including long-term health effects, is warranted for both GM and non-GM containing foods.
I can tell you right now: People who are anti-labeling will read that and tell you, "See? It says there's no health or safety issues. So there's no point in labeling the food. And in fact, labeling is anti-science and meant as a scare tactic to get consumers not to buy GMOs." The pro-labeling side will say, "See? It says we need continued, long-term surveillance of this stuff, and labeling will introduce more accountability and transparency. And food labels are about transparency and consumer choice, not food safety, anyway—think country of origin labels and whether something's been frozen or not." (This is why my head explodes every time I get into this issue.)
You can look at the report yourself right here. It's dense but relatively easy to read; I've only just seen it so I haven't had time to dig really deeply into the whole thing.
Lewis Kamb at the Seattle Times notes something pretty interesting:
In September, the St. Louis-based biochemical giant dropped a single contribution of $4.2 million into the No on 522 Committee’s campaign account, after spending $8.1 million last year to help defeat a similar ballot measure in California.
But for a time in the late 1990s, Monsanto touted its support for disclosing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods sold in the U.K., including in separate ads that featured a genetically engineered potato and a strawberry.
“Recently you may have noticed a label appearing on some of the food in your supermarket,” one advertisement said. “This is to inform you about the use of biotechnology in food.
“Monsanto fully supports UK food manufacturers and retailers in their introduction of these labels. We believe you should be aware of all the facts before making a purchase.”
Jesus, that last quote, save for the "Monsanto" part, sounds like a Yes on 522 press release. Read the rest.
Hundreds of salmonella cases tied to Foster Farms chicken have been reported all around the western US, including Washington. The outbreak wasn't caused by the shutdown, but the shutdown sure isn't helping. Rebecca Boyle at Popular Mechanics writes:
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced chicken produced at three Foster Farms plants in California has been linked to salmonella sickness. "The outbreak is ongoing," the alert said. News like this normally comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which monitors foodborne illnesses. But thanks to the lapse in federal funding, the CDC is not running its normal surveillance, and most of its communications staff has been furloughed.
During an outbreak, the CDC not only leads federal agencies' response but also heads up the epidemiological work. That includes the lab and field research required to link cases across state lines and to attribute a specific person's illness to a specific food. This information can be used to close a processing plant, start a recall, or take other action. Right now, that work is not being done. And the CDC unit that tracks illnesses, overseeing a database called PulseNet, is working with less than half its normal staff.
They are: Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Subway.
“It’s not because we can’t spend more as travelers; it’s not because our companies won’t allow us to [spend more],” the business-travel-expert-guy says. It's because business travelers are in a hurry, looking for wi-fi, and, apparently, have horrible taste. To wit:
Incidentally, in the report’s top-rated restaurants, a category where restaurants are ranked aspirationally rather than just on frequency of purchases, the top five are Jimmy John’s, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread, and (ready for this one?) Dunkin’ Donuts.
So those are business travelers' FAVORITES? Ugh. More at the New York Times.
This morning, the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) released a study of the potential financial impacts of enacting Initiative 522, which would require the labeling of foods made with genetically engineered ingredients. They determine that labeling would not increase grocery prices, potential litigation costs would be minimal, and, citing the state's Office of Financial Management, any tax burden on state residents will be minor as well.
This is likely a response to the No on 522 campaign's claims that the initiative would cost average families almost $500 a year in increased grocery prices, based on studies the No campaign paid for. This new study wasn't paid for by the Yes on 522 campaign, but it's funded by a decidedly pro-labeling organization. (The ANH is dedicating to promoting natural health care choices.) And the debate over prices is a total retread of the same arguments that were made in California last year when their similar Proposition 37 was on the ballot. ANH even commissioned basically the same study, by the same professor, in California last August.
The fight over prices is playing out because voters respond to it—they don't respond as well to complex, nuanced debates about science and technology. So this is the conversation we get.
But both sides are being relatively disingenuous here.
The Seattle Great Wheel is having a contest tomorrow from 2 to 4 p.m. Contrary to the implication of the press email's subject line (above), the contest does not involve eating the Seattle Great Wheel; rather, participants will be challenged to eat a "Big Burro" burrito, a pulled pork sandwich, a 10-inch pepperoni pizza, three pieces of fried cod, a cup of clam chowder, a cheeseburger, fries, and a 21-ounce drink in one hour. WHY, GOD, WHY?! Because:
The Gold Rush Food Court [adjacent to the Wheel] opened just months ago and is an exciting offering of a wide variety of food. From Shucky Mucker’s burgers and fries to The Taqueria street tacos. The Food Challenge is a way to showcase all of the different offerings of food in this one unique location.
The Wheel goes on to note that contestants who experience "Reverse Fortune" in the 20 minutes following the one-hour eating frenzy will be disqualified (not a good way to showcase all of the different offerings, apparently). Contestants do not have to ride the Wheel.
There is no mention of any prize, but in a contest like this, no one wins.
From king5.com on September 19:
It's so cool, it's a secret.
At least that's how Seattle's newest coffee shop appears during it's invitation only roll-out.
At the Pike Place Market, Storyville Coffee Company is brewing intrigue at what is described a new coffee experience.
"We don't think Seattle needs another coffee shop," said Storyville Co-President Jamie Munson. "It needs a new coffee experience and we're here to build the dream, the ultimate coffee experience."
Any reporter worth their salt would ask about the previous experience of the owner, and wonder about the great expense put into the buildout of the poshest cafe the city has ever seen, and question the money poured into the initial promotion—including the Teslas and bike-riders in the video above, not to mention the weeks of freebies during the roll-out. Google Jamie Munson, and you will find the that he was very high up in the Mars Hill Church hierarchy until 2011. It's easy to find that the rest of the owners of Storyville have Mars Hill connections, too. (Ronald Holden at Eater Seattle made note of the connection in a post dated the same day as the breathless "it's so cool" report above).
And just this week, KING 5's Evening Magazine broadcast from Storyville, with more breathlessness about how the name comes from how "everyone has a story to tell" (or, um, this?) and lauding the "Love everybody" motto. Nothing about Mars Hill, still.
KING 5's station manager has not yet gotten back to me about whether they plan to cover the Storyville/Mars Hill connection.
So many drinks served in mason jars these days. (Who is this mason? John Landis Mason of Philadelphia, American metalsmith and inventor of [or at least patentee of] the screw-top lid, 1832–1902. He also is said to have invented the screw-top salt shaker, and possibly to have burned down his own house.) Also pickles (house-made, thankyouverymuch) and terrines and desserts and all kinds of stuff, all in a mason jar. If you've been eating or drinking out, a mason jar full of something has been put in front of you.
Today, a press release from Tini Bigs tells the world that they are making their own beef jerky and serving it in, yes, a mason jar. This news (and I use the term very, very loosely) prompted the following reaction from Megan Seling:
I HATE MASON JARS SO MUCH. Why is everything in a mason jar these days? STOP IT. PUT IT ON A PLATE LIKE A NORMAL PERSON.
Then, taking up the opposing side, Christopher Frizzelle:
I'm pro–mason jar and I vote.
To the legally binding polls!
Beloved-by-all Green Leaf was shut down by the health department yesterday afternoon for:
• Handwashing facilities unavailable
• Preparing food in an unapproved room without any sanitary facilities
• Interference with the health officer
That last violation is one I've never seen before. Yikes.
Green Leaf in Belltown remains open, as does brand-new Lotus Asian Kitchen & Lounge on First Hill, run by the Green Leaf people. You may find out when Green Leaf re-reopens here. (Why would you want to, you ask? Favorite restaurants have been shut down before and doubtless will be shut down again.) Good morning!
• Support our right to know what the hell is in the food that we eat (VOTE YES on I-522!) by eating specially prepared small plates at great restaurants on Capitol Hill (Cafe Presse, Zoe, Quinn's, Sitka & Spruce, Terra Plata, Dinette, and Cafe Flora) or Fremont/Ballard (Delancey, Golden Beetle, Hot Cakes, Joule, Staple & Fancy, and The Whale Wins), or, if you're really ambitious, both! It's $50 for the passport to your mouth's present happiness and your mind's future ease (when, if we all work together, genetically modified foods are labelled like they should be).
And coming up this weekend and early next week:
• "free Crips [sic] Beef Tacos" from Taco Time in honor of National Taco Day (WHAT ABOUT BLOODS TACOS?!)
• the Depressed Cake Shop (featuring The Stranger's own Megan Seling!)
• the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival (autumn squash nectars!)
• Marché's anniversary party (with free bubbly!)
• and tons and tons more.
Full info about all this good stuff is RIGHT OVER HERE, in the Chow Calendar.
Storyville Coffee is the new cafe in Pike Place Market owned by people with serious ties to neo-evangelical, homophobic, misogynist Mars Hill Church—here's the story on that. Asked about the connection, a Storyville marketing manager assured me, "As a company, we are not affiliated with any religious organization of any kind." I answered that while there may not be an official connection, given the involvement in Mars Hill of the company's principals, it seems logical that profits from Storyville will end up benefiting Mars Hill. Would they be willing to comment on that? They still have not responded.
Now an internet sleuth in comments on that story has discovered a cached page from the Mars Hill website that indicates that as recently as 2009, the Storyville Coffee Company (which at that point was a roastery without any cafes) was donating directly to Mars Hill Church:
God has used Storyville Coffee to bless Mars Hill Downtown. Since the Downtown campus has been planted Storyville has donated tens of thousands of dollars worth of coffee, supplies, and equipment. God is continuing to use Storyville to bless people and advance the gospel message.
The blog post has apparently since been taken down.
So, do you want to spend your money at Storyville cafe? Some people in comments are saying it doesn't matter. Spy D disagrees:
Just because you don't care whether your consumer spending supports hateful politics, that doesn't mean others don't. We vote with our dollars more than with our votes in this country. You send money their way, you promote their ideals and agenda by making these people more powerful. Failing to see that doesn't make it less true (just like denying climate change doesn't fix the fucked up weather).
And commenter soggydan points out:
most importantly, $32 a pound coffee is an insult to both God and man!
...at least a little bit, and every little bit counts, right? Here's the list—including an app to find out what local foods are in season, an app to find out what farm your produce came from, an app to find free fruit just hanging from trees near you, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch app, and more—courtesy of foodtank.org. Most are free!
I ate a Big Grab–size bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos pretty much every day for approximately two years in college. Now I only eat them on road trips. They are still so, so good (for something so, so bad). Why?!
They are, of course, specifically scientifically engineered to be that way—with vanishing caloric density, super-fine orange dust-flavor (including romano cheese), three kinds of salt, MSG, a lack of sensory specific satiety, and more.
Related: In praise of MSG, featuring David Chang.
You just can't win. This ad...
...has inspired a protest by the
One Million Couple Dozen Moms.
Ruby Tuesday is replicating a form of media that is gaining popularity and intended to be naughty but should be avoided if a company is concerned with its reputation.
The only question is which is worse, the slogan "Fun Between the Buns" or the graphic that is included with it? Parents do not want their children repeating the slogan, and the graphic is equally disturbing because it is symbolizing nudity. Everything between the top and bottom hamburger buns is pixelated, including condiments, meat, cheese and other toppings. This should only be done when trying to protect someone's privacy and should not be tolerated when unnecessary in any other form of media.
So they're against pixelating images. Got it. Let it all hang out, folks!
"WE COME IN PEACE," shouts the Storyville Coffee Company website. "Love everybody," say the T-shirts worn by the exceptionally cheerful, helpful staff. "CAN WE BE OPEN WITH YOU?" the website asks.
Storyville started as a specialty coffee roaster in 2006 on Bainbridge Island, eventually also selling grinders ("BUY HAPPINESS" reads the website copy for one) and coffeemakers (one's called FREEDOM) and other equipment. And now Storyville has just opened its first cafe—"COFFEE HAS A NEW TOMORROW," as they say—in the former Shea Chez space, upstairs in Pike Place Market...
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has added another $5 million to the No on 522 campaign, the campaign against the GMO-food-labeling Initiative 522. As we've reported, a citizen's group is suing the no campaign over what they allege is a violation of campaign finance laws by the GMA; the no campaign countersued last week claiming that suit was frivolous.
This newest contribution brings the No on 522's total raised to just over $17 million. Yes on 522 has raised $4.7 million. Meanwhile, the yes side and its supporters continue to host small, friendly gatherings, usually centered around food, to get their message out. Check out tonight's "A Conversation about 522" at Cafe Presse with chef Jim Drohman, if you like.
UPDATE: The Seattle Times has a great breakdown here on how 522 stacks up in state initiative history, noting that No on 522's $17.2 million easily beats the record for the most money ever raised to oppose a statewide ballot measure, previously held by no side on the I-1183 campaign on privatizing liquor sales, which raised $12.4 million. This fight is huge.
Joel Connelly at the P-I brings up an interesting point in this fight in a post this morning:
The No-on-522 campaign has brought in the nation’s premier hired gun to oversee the campaign. The Beverly Hills firm of Winner & Mandabach worked in the California campaign, and has been both promoting and fighting state initiative campaigns—almost always on the side of big industry—for more than 30 years.
The firm, as Winner Wagner & Mandabach, gained initial prominence in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s by defeating a series of ballot measures designed to curb the growth of nuclear power.
Its first defeat came with Washington’s 1981 “WPPSS Initiative.” I-394 sought to curb soaring costs of the Washington Public Power Supply System’s nuclear construction program by requiring that customers of public utility districts vote to approve the issuing of bonds.
Nuclear contractors and Wall Street brokerage houses spent $1.2 million—a kingly sum at the time—to defeat it. But the measure passed on election day with 58 percent of the vote.
I felt like such a jerk. More than a year ago, while judging a pie-baking contest at Capitol Hill's High 5 Pie, I was sitting at a table surrounded by local food connoisseurs—well-known bakers, cafe owners, and food editors—when someone chimed, "Does anyone want something to drink? Water? Coffee? Rachel's Ginger Beer?"
While the others immediately started cooing—"Rachel's Ginger Beer!" some cried in unison, fighting back the urge to climb over the table to get their hands on that bottle just one second faster—I looked around and said, "What's that?"
"WHAT'S THAT?" someone asked with utter horror, as a cold brown bottle was handed to me. "Here, drink!"
My mouth instantly puckered, and my face tingled all through my cheeks. I even felt a little tickle on the tip of my nose. At first it was sour, then sweet—and the wave of cool liquid burned, delightfully, as it washed down my throat. It was, perhaps, the best drink I've sipped—a perfect, simple blend of ginger, lemon, sugar, and water that was unlike any ginger beer or ginger ale I've had before.
I don't like the headline on Gregory Ciotti's story at Medium. "Is Yelp Turning You Into a Crappy Customer?" is obviously one of those SEO headlines that overpromises in hopes of catching a few extra eyeballs. But the story itself raises a good point, arguing the flip side of that old saw about the customer always being right.
What we often forget, however, is that we, as customers, also shoulder some responsibility in the service that we receive. Customers themselves play a very important role in the customer service process, but this importance often goes overlooked.
In short, you have to speak up if you're not getting what you want. Good customer service doesn't involve reading minds. Rather than going home and passive-aggressively complaining about the experience on Yelp, or leaving the store in a huff and taking out your aggression on anyone who crosses your path on your evening commute, the simple act of speaking up could save you a sudden spike in blood pressure.
Ciotti uses the extreme example of someone on Yelp who loved a restaurant's food and service, but wound up giving the restaurant a two-star review because their cheesecake was served in squares rather than slices, which "made me uncomfortable because it was not at all what I expected." I'm pretty sure a waiter would be willing to serve that cheesecake in triangular form if that's what the customer expected. I'm also pretty sure that waiter would have rolled their eyes at this customer in the kitchen while fulfilling this request, but that's what you get for being the kind of naif whose entire evening can be thrown off kilter by being served a dessert in an unexpected shape.
With the exception of a few sociopathic outliers, nobody in the service industry goes to work wanting to screw up a customer's day. (Sure, some people are gruff, or bad at their jobs. But that's got everything to do with their own lives and nothing to do with you as a customer or as a person.) And as a customer, it's important to remember that the person who's helping you is a human being who can't know what's going on in your head. As uncomfortable as it may be for some people, actually having a conversation with another human being could easily resolve lots of these issues that you wind up reading about online.
Barilla has been my everyday boxed pasta choice for a long time—it's also the pasta of choice of Paul Constant, Megan Seling, and Anna Minard. Goldy and Dave Schmader both buy Trader Joe's dried pasta, which I used to get, but then found Barilla tasted better. Dan Savage says: "Gay people have to start eating carbs again so that we can stop eating the carbs this asshole is peddling." And Christopher Frizzelle says: "Gay people don't eat pasta." (Um, SAD, gentlemen.)
I thinka long time ago I read that Cook's Illustrated chose Barilla as best in one of their scientific taste-tests (though spaghetti results from 2012 are frustratingly behind a paywall). At any rate, my very particular friend Leslie Dean declared Barilla the best brand long ago, and she is better than Cook's Illustrated.
However, just recently, I used DeCecco's angel hair, and found it markedly thinner and lighter and nicer than the Barilla version (they say it's got a thickness of 0.033–0.036"; Barilla offers no such measurement of the hair of an angel). DeCecco seems generally quite a bit more expensive, though.
(This post has been moved up because Barilla has released a statement on the matter.)
The chairman of Barilla Group says his company will not feature gay families in advertisements for his products because he likes the "traditional" family. If someone disagrees, well, they can go "eat another brand of pasta."
Guido Barilla made the anti-gay comments during an interview with La Zanzara on Radio24 Wednesday. The radio host asked him why his company does not have ads with gay families.
This actually makes me kind of sad. When I was really poor, working two or three shitty retail jobs to make rent on my shitty apartment, I would always get excited when Barilla pasta was on sale for cheaper than the store brand. It was always a step up. And now I won't be buying it again, because I found out that the chairman of the Barilla Group makes his pasta for homophobes. Oh, well. There are better pastas out there, anyway.
UPDATE 2:27 PM: Grubstreet reports that Barilla is in damage control mode:
Through a spokesperson, the company said that its executive was merely trying to communicate "simply that the woman plays a central role in a family" and that the brand "embraces anyone."
That's probably not going to help much.
Full info about all this good stuff is RIGHT OVER HERE, in the Chow Calendar...
• On Friday (that's tomorrow!), Omnivorous will be full of food and drink from a number of great places, including Marjorie, Cafe Presse, Restaurant Zoe, Monsoon, Little Uncle, and Taylor Shellfish. DJ Rhythma of KEXP will provide the soundtrack. Proceeds from the event, which will take place at the Summit on Capitol Hill (the event space, not the tavern!), will go to help the great Capitol Hill Housing provide safe, affordable housing for people of limited means.
• On Saturday afternoon, take a ferry (fun!) and listen to Seattle sushi superhero Shiro Kashiba talk about his really lovely memoir/cookbook, Shiro: Wit, Wisdom and Recipes from a Sushi Pioneer (fun!), followed by a (FREE!) tasting at the Intentional Table in Winslow (FUN!).
• On Sunday, there is a vegan bake sale to benefit (live) bacons in the U-District!
• And there's Piketoberfest (Oktoberfest at Pike Brewing Company), Kirkland Oktoberfest (what it sounds like), Sustainable Ballard fest (ditto), and then, next Tuesday, Beer for Birds at the Kangaroo & Kiwi (which is drinking beer to benefit the Seattle Audubon Society; if you don't like beer and birds, there's something wrong with you).
Again, details on all this stuff and, as they say, much, much more: RIGHT THIS WAY, in the Chow Calendar.