Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Grav's Alaskan Adventure: Day 1

      It's the first day of my great Alaskan adventure... Well, the word adventure might be just a bit strong. I won't be wrestling bears, climbing Denali in a loin cloth, or anything spectacular like that. However, I will be on my first cruise. I will be spending two weeks exploring the Alaskan and Canadian shorelines; taking pictures of whales, glaciers, and all the groovy food that Holland American's “Amsterdam” has to offer. That's pretty darn cool by my books, even if I won't be putting a Kodiak into a head lock.  Over the next few weeks, I will be giving y'all a day by day summary of life on an Alaskan Cruise, food, trips to shore, etc.

       The boat does not leave for another forty hours, but that does not mean I have nothing for you in the interim. I am staying with my Aunt Bev, who lives in the town of Sumner, Washington. Sumner is a lovely little community. There are almost no chain businesses here. Sumner started out as a farming community, but it has evolved into a bedroom community with many of it's citizens commuting to Seattle and it's busier suburbs to work. We will be exploring the town in depth tomorrow, but for today I have only one point of interest, but it is a real good one.

Sorci's is a lovely little Italian cafe in downtown Sumner. The place has an ambiance that makes one feel that they have stepped into a cafe in Tuscany. The walls are a combo of stucco and faux brick with plenty of the sort of art and artifacts one would expect to see in stereotypical Euro cafe. They were actually playing tunes from the Putamayo Euro Cafe album. All the doors and windows were propped open with ceiling fans creating a sufficient breeze to keep the diners comfortable. They have a rack filled with all sorts of Italian desserts and breads. They have a full cappuccino and wine bar. There was even a decent selection of gelato.

       I ordered the Italian Polpette. This was advertised as a beef and pork meatball panini. However, this was unlike any of panini I have ever had. For one thing, this was an open faced sandwich. Texas toast thick slices of crusty Italian bread, covered with marinara sauce, Italian sausage chunks, beef meatballs, and enough mozzarella cheese to choke a mule. The bread had a the flavor and consistency of a good ciabatta. The sausage had the perfect mixture of spices. The meat was infused with a delicate mixture of anise, rosemary, basil, and sage. However, it was the sauce that kept me nibbling long after I was full. It had a very clean flavor, just lightly seasoned, allowing the quality and freshness of the other ingredients to shine through.

       Even though I had a full stomach, the dessert racks were calling to me. I skipped the rich gelatos and tiramisu, fearing they might make my stomach upset. I've got to pace myself after all. However, they had the perfect solution to my sweet tooth. Sorci's has an extensive selection of biscotti. I opted for the pistachio biscotti. The cookies had the flavor of a classic vanilla biscotti with solid undertones of pistachio flavoring. I might have preferred a stronger pistachio flavor, but that could easily be my adoration for the noble nut talking. However, it was a well made biscotti, and quite worthy of note. If you find yourself in Sumner, check out Sorci's. Your taste buds will thank you later.

1012 Ryan Ave
Sumner, WA 98390
(253) 891-8400

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