Puff pastry with stewed apricot and fresh cream, Cafe Besalu, Ballard. Photo by Mark Brown.
The skies were spotty, some sun but mostly clouds. The gray water of the sound darkened in tidal pockets, the white sheets of sailing craft were sporadic and isolated. I was wearing borrowed, black fleece and remembering the triple-digit August I’d left in the hellish trough of the heartland a few hours earlier. The quietness of Puget Sound stilled me, its black pools a deep, dark welcome mat to me alone. I forgot, for a moment, that there was food to eat and ale to drink. Not an easy thing to forget in Seattle, where a café sits in every strategic space, a pocket of neighborhood restaurants—any old neighborhood—emits a swarm of sweet aromas, a mixing glass rattles and froths with the emulsion of some new, smart set of elixirs.