Crabbin’ the summer away

Moving back to Washington just in time for summer has proven to be a solid decision. ¬†These past few weeks of 75 degree days have been just what I’d been craving during our time in Indonesia. ¬† We’ve taken advantage of the pleasant temperatures with lots of dining al fresco and strolls on the beach. ¬†But our best outdoor activity thus far has been our days we’ve spent crabbing. ¬†My husband Joel grew up coming to the beaches in northwestern Washington so he’s an old hand at this crabbing thing. ¬†But the experience was new to me and I learned a lot after a couple of trips out. ¬†Here’s what I’ve picked up so far.

PTX Studio crabbin' in WA

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Pigeon & Mutton

Joel lived and worked in Jakarta for two years prior to us moving to Semarang.  This week his friend David visited from Jakarta and took us out to try some fried pigeon.  I was surprised when the pigeon showed up head-on, but they were tasty nonetheless.

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David’s son was visiting from Australia and wanted to hit all of his favorite hometown snack spots. ¬†After dinner we went searching for¬†the kaki lima (food stand) with Semarang’s best¬†mutton soup. ¬†The kaki lima vendor¬†has a couple of shelves with fresh veggies and some non-refrigerated meats on sticks. ¬†He prepares each bowl individually in his only pan over a small wood fire stove. ¬†I had mutton with potato, tomato and garlic and it was awesome. ¬†His broth was some of the best I’ve ever had. ¬†I would say I’ll be back but being that this is a¬†3′ by 5′ cart that sits on a¬†dark side street, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to find it again.

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Date Night!

Well we’re still on the hunt for real nachos. ¬†Each time we see them on a ¬†menu, Joel and I get very excited that we may get to experience a little mexican food bliss. ¬†But once they hit the table we’re usually let down. ¬†Our previous experience was ordering nachos that¬†were labeled new & improved! on the menu but arrived as a bowl of cold chips with a side of cold shredded cheese. ¬†I can’t imagine the dish they were improving upon.

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Last night we stumbled upon a¬†restaurant called Fifty Seven. ¬†Their theme is a bit scattered as the name and Chuck Berry music seem to reference 50’s Americana, but the decor is Japanese motorcycle posters and a vintage, British telephone booth with a Union Jack flag. ¬† Their¬†nachos did come with guacamole which was a vast improvement, however instead of cheese there was a warm yogurt sauce. ¬†Yes, it was strange. ¬†Joel’s comment- ¬†This is obviously a case of someone who has only seen photos of nachos online. ¬†The highlight for me was the nude lady drink stir in my tea which I forgot to put in my purse- dammit!

Stir

We left there and headed over to an Indonesian restaurant called Ikan Bakar Cianjur for entrees- vegetables saut√©ed in peanut sauce and fried tofu and stink beans. ¬†Their specialty is ikan bakar (grilled fish) but Joel wasn’t interested so I’ll save that one for next time.

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We concluded date night with a walk through Gang Lombok for dessert.

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Gang Lombok is a night market where dozens of vendors set up booths selling all sorts of delicious and sometimes strange goodies. ¬†I topped off my dinner with a vanilla bubble tea. ¬†Maybe next time I’ll try the waffle cone that you can fill with mashed potatoes, fried chicken and cheese. ¬†I’ve never had my chicken and mash in a cone but I like all those things so why not roll them all into one, right?

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I did try the durian ice cream from this vendor and sadly I was not into it. ¬†Maybe trying durian for the first time in ice cream wasn’t my best idea. ¬†I really wanted to like it but it just tasted too much like onion ice cream, not really my thing.