Eight years ago yesterday, I married my favorite person in the world. I like him more now than I did that hot July day, when I thought my heart would burst with how much I love him. Today, that love is deeper, lighter, more pragmatic, and the best part of my life. Marrying Danny was the best decision I ever made. It always will be, for as long as I live.
We celebrate with good food.
Yesterday morning, we didn’t know where we would go for dinner. We have our solid favorites in Seattle but we so rarely have the chance to eat in the city, just the two of us, that we wanted to try somewhere new. I was on a press trip (I’ll share that story with you next weekend) and asked my friends Aran and Ashley where they thought we should go. We talked about all the possibilities in the van as we drove out to a dairy farm in Monroe. In the midst of impassioned discussion of our favorite places, I mentioned I had heard of a new place called Chavez. Fresh Mexican food, chef-owned by a man from Durango, Mexico. The entire menu is gluten-free. Neither of my friends had tried it yet, but a young woman on the trip, Corinna said quietly, “Oh, that place is amazing. We just went and we’re still talking about it.” Corinna has celiac too and a solid common sense. I texted Danny. He remembered that someone who took our bread-baking class had been raving about it. He made reservations.
I cannot tell you how happy we are that we celebrated our anniversary at Chavez.
The food at Chavez is nothing like the melted-cheese-laden tastes of typical Mexican American food. Everything here was bright, clean, made by hand, and astonishing. The chorizo toppled onto the generous soft white beans had been hand cut. The tamales filled with langoustino and crab melted on the tongue, instantly ruining every standard tamale I’ll ever eat again. The shredded beef ribs taco was wonderful. However, the camarones tacos with chipotle crema was truly the best taco I have ever eaten. Danny took a bite then wanted to pound the table it was so good. I asked him to be quiet so I could hear every bite. I held the last bite between my thumb and finger for a long time, just staring at it. My god.
I can’t eat gluten. Danny can’t tolerate cream. So each had our own dessert and didn’t share. He said his churros were incredible. I didn’t care. These plantains simmered in sweet milk, smothered in chocolate, and topped with Mexican hot chocolate ice cream? All mine.
The service, the light, the incredible sour-savory non-alcoholic cocktails the bartender concocted for us — they were all remarkable. But underlying all of it was the knowledge that, with the exception of two of the desserts, everything on the menu was entirely gluten-free. I’ve rarely looked at a menu and been dizzied by so many good choices.
I have a feeling we’ll be going to Chavez any chance we get for awhile.
1734 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122