The first and only time I ate at Ivar's, I was all of ten years old, embarking on a magical journey. My father, oldest brother Scott, and little old me had trekked west from our Montana home to the lovely city of Seattle. Our main destination was a Mariners game - my first major league soiree. I was ecstatic. Unthwarted by Dad's thrifty stresses (he was still peeved about the bargain hotel that charged us a crazy expensive $75 a night), I had my eyes on the prize.
We took a break from fast food ventures and hit up Ivar's on the afternoon of game day. Daddy likes a good chowdah, see, and they're famous for 'em. I remember us each getting a steamy creamy bowl of clam goodness, and piling over to a nearby picnic table. The scents of the chowder meshed with the sea-salt air and the echoes of gulls and tourists is etched forever in my memory bank - like gold engraving on a leather bound diary. I recall looking at Dad and Scott and seeing they were just as happy, and I thought they must have food like this in heaven. Hell, I was already there.
I don't remember too much about the game. I did catch a fly ball and got Jose Canseco'sautograph, which rocked, but just wasn't as special as my chowdah moment. Thinking back on this now, I am mindful of why I love food so much - it's like the glue that holds together our memories. Only tastier.