Sometimes plans work out and sometimes they don’t. With this adventure our plans fell through somewhat, but it was still an adventure.
Our grand plan was to stay and relax two nights with a friend in Des Moines, followed by our 43rd anniversary celebration at Salty’s at Redondo. A previous adventure took an extra day and then family events slowed us down, so we arrived in Des Moines about 26 hours later than we had anticipated.
We entered the electronic gate for the condos in the late afternoon. The sky and water were dark gray. We made ourselves at home in a lovely bedroom with our own bath across the hall. We sat and visited with our hostess, Maryo and then drove to Redondo for our dinner at Salty’s. We lost the chance to dine with Chef Gabe because of our “a day late and a dollar short” arrival.
We parked our car and immediately began seeing nutcrackers. Greeting us was the "Nutty Chef." He kinda reminded me of Executive Chef Gabe Cabrera. He stands about twenty feet from the front door. The nutcracker décor (standing seven foot tall) is repeated throughout the restaurant.
You can read more about the nutcrackers and the artists who created them by visiting the Salty's website. You can see the collection at Salty's at Alki, Salty's at Redondo, and their restaurant on the Columbia River. There are sixty nutcrackers in all. Also, you can enjoy special holiday dinners, appetizers, and festive drinks this holiday season at Salty's.
Matt greeted us at the front desk and then left to prepare our table. When he returned he ushered us to our window table. We could see reflections on the water, but the view unfortunately was nill. Salty's at Redondo is pretty much by itself and so the night is not lit up very much at all in Redondo, which in itself is not a bad thing. A red Salty’s balloon floated at our table. The red balloon matched the color of the tablecloth as Matt wished us well and introduced Brian, our waiter.
We started off with a glass of Malbec for Peg and a fancy tropical juice mixture for me. I had two and then switched to Sprite. For an appetizer we selected the suggested Trio, which had three dipping sauces and calamari, coconut prawns, and crab cakes. The prawns were served over a mango chutney, which was excellent. Of the three dipping sauces, one was a tartar sauce, one was a chili sauce, and one was a tangy habanero/citrus sauce, which worked well with the both the squid and the prawns. The crab cakes are best by themselves. Accompaning the calamari was a yellow pepper that had a little bite to it. I thought Peg wouldn't like it at all, but she had a couple of nibbles. I liked it, too.
For our main courses, Peg ordered salmon and I had the Seafood Alfredo. After serving us, Brian gave us each a few twists of the pepper mill and we settled into an excellent meal.
Peg loved her salmon. The fish was cooked perfectly. She gave me a hefty portion (yummy) and still took about half of the dish with her when we left. My Seafood Alfredo was excellent. The noodles were cooked just right. There was plenty of seafood (scallops, shrimp, mussels, and clams). The bread brought to our table was excellent. It was warm and crispy. There were two containers of butter: a whipped tomato-basil butter, and a plain whipped butter. The bread went well with our meal.
I gave several pieces of my plentiful seafood to Peg. I would have traded some of the bay scallops for a couple of seared jumbo scallops. Also, there was one mussel with a broken shell . . . a big no-no. Otherwise, it was a great meal . . . a filling meal. I even left some noodles in the sauce.
Just as we were making groaning sounds and preparing outselves to leave, Brian brought us a slice of white chocolate cake. Served on a white plate with a red raspberry trail, it was beautiful, specially with the red table cloth . . . and two mint leaves on the top of the cake. It screamed Christmas. Brian offered to box it up for us, but being good soldiers Peg and I ate what we could. Okay, we ate it all. Then before we departed, as a special gift, Peg asked for a red Salty's apron. What could I say? She loves to wear aprons when she cooks, and I like a happy cook. She acknowledges her messy inner child and doesn't like stained clothes.
Before driving back to the condo, Peg and I took a chance on finding a movie to watch in Federal Way. None of the movie times matched up with us, so Peg opted for shopping at Borders. I opted for putting the seat back in my Durango and relaxing as I listened to an interview by Terry Gross about the animated film, Fantastic Mr. Fox. It sounds like a winner.
Eventually, Peg made her way back to the SUV lugging a new sack of books. We drove back to the condo and went immediately to bed. Our friend was hosting a home owners association meeting. We didn't bother them, they didn't bother us.
The next morning I was up at six. Maryo had the coffee maker filled and ready. All I had to do was turn it on. Well, actually, all I had to do was find the light switch and then turn it on. I found several switches as I turned on the deck lights (twice), the hall lights, the bar lights, and finally the kitchen light. I turned the coffee maker on and then looked for the dining room light. I managed to turn the garbage disposal on during my search. As it became lighter outside, I saw a small rocker switch at the bottom of a dimmer switch and then I had light to read and write by. After a short while, Maryo joined me and then Peg did, also. We had a nice time talking about the theatre and art and much more. For breakfast, there was a selection of five cereals, jams, jelly, half-and-half and a very nice coffee cake. I chose the pomegranat cereal, but could have gone for the mango granola, as well. I could have sat there for hours eating, drinking coffee, and talking, but that's not what I do. Sitting, that is. Well, maybe that is what I do, now that I think about it.
The morning view was wonderful. All blue-gray and foggy, Maury Island (actually connected to Vashon) peeked out through the haze. Des Moines is less than a mile from Interstate Five and a few miles south of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It is located about half-way between Tacoma and Seattle. The condo where we stayed sits above the marina and looks out on Puget Sound and Vashon Island. We had a great time, but we will have to visit again so we can walk the streets of Des Moines and enjoy a little more local flavor. We have been invited back. Thank you, very much.