Passport to Pleasure: Flying Kites and Exotic Bites in Wallingford

by on July 15, 2011

In his regular Passport to Pleasure feature, food writer and sex educator Jay Friedman shares hedonistic ideas (from nibbles to “naughtiness”) for couples visiting Seattle-area neighborhoods and more distant destinations.

Wallingford has had a reputation as a neighborhood for families. But children are typically a by-product of passion, right?

Whether you have children or not, here are some ideas of how you and your loved one can spend a day heating things up in the Wallyhood.

EAT UP THE EROTIC BAKERY

Your first stop must be the Erotic Bakery. No need for embarrassment. This place has been open 25 years because it’s fun—in a folksy sort of way. Check out the cakes turning in the glass display, but since you’re going for a “quickie,” cash in on the craze and grab your choice of penis and vulva cupcakes. There are also cookies sculpted with body parts. Ah, the magic of marzipan.

As you shop the store, note that you can purchase pans to make provocative cakes in your own kitchen. (The breast-shaped pans look quite ample.) Or how about some blue ball ice cube trays to make good times explode at your next party? And it’s not just food-related wares at the Erotic Bakery. Before you leave, you can also replenish your stock of lubricants, games, and other adult novelties for your sex play.

GO BUY A KITE…

You’ll now go from an adult toy store to a kid toy store—though this is for kids from 5 to 105. It’s time for your inner child to come out and fly a kite, this time with support from a partner.

The Gasworks Park Kite Stop sells both single line and dual line kites. You can’t help but forget the worries of the world from the moment you enter the store, as you’ll be captivated by all the bright colors and interesting shapes and designs. Choosing one or two will likely be as challenging as learning to fly what you buy. (If you do need flying lessons, the friendly folks at the store will gladly give you tips.) Perhaps a simple orange butterfly kite, or maybe a classic box kite in rainbow colors to start? Pick up other toys like bouncing balls and yo-yos as back-up if you fear kite-flying failure.

…AND GO FLY A KITE

Gas Works Park is not just for the Fourth of July. It’s actually a lot more relaxing the other 364 days of the year. The 19+ acre parcel of land, cleared in 1906 to build a plant to manufacture gas from coal, became a public park in 1975. Parts of the plant remain, seemingly built into the park, and the hilly terrain makes for a perfect place to picnic while taking in views of Lake Union, the city, and all the surrounding activity on and around the lake.

Sit back and watch the seaplanes land and take off while enjoying your anatomically correct (or not) cupcakes. Then it’s time to climb the hill, take out those kites, and laugh as you both try to let them sail into the sky. Work together to get one going, communicating and negotiating and deploying all the skills that are useful in other aspects of your relationship. Worst-case scenario: fall flat in your efforts and roll down the hill—together. Nothing should keep you from have fun in this park.

THE JOULE OF THE EVENING

Stay at Gas Works as long as you like, as you’re building your appetite for dinner. Tonight, you’re dining at Joule, appropriately named for the spark and energy of its food. Chefs Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi have received numerous accolades, including an appearance on Iron Chef America and semifinal status for a James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest. Also, Joule was named one of the top 50 best new restaurants by Travel + Leisure in May 2009.

Yang and Chirchi recently birthed a baby and opened a second restaurant, Revel (in Fremont), so you’re no longer likely to see them in the kitchen together. (Too bad, as watching them work together teaches us a lot about relationships, as I described in my “Perfect Partners” article in Edible Seattle last year.) But regardless of who’s cooking in the kitchen, the food is imaginative and full of fabulous flavor.

Joule’s menu contains a limited number of items under the “Abroad” and “Native” flavor categories, as well as a 7-course “Collected” flavor menu for $35 per person (served family style for the entire table). It’s east meets west as you jump about the menu, and sharing small plates is the way to go. Expect a symphony of bold flavors, starting with any soup (I’ve long loved the spicy beef soup, but recently enjoyed corn vichyssoise with lime cream, cotija, and chili) and moving on to one of the fresh salads, such as bok choy with grilled corn. The Joule chefs are great with the grill, which you’ll notice in their preparations of beef tongue to octopus to fingerling potatoes. It’s always great to get a little glass jar of kimchi or pickles, and if you find whole fish on the menu (the current menu features whole mackerel with sherry glaze and cumin pickled carrots), grab it and pick through the bones with your partner. Joule is a contemporary little restaurant with dark wood and Asian accents, but your focus will be on the food—and then each other after eating one of the most intriguing and delicious meals possible in Seattle.

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