Maternal Wisdom

What I Actually Want to Eat on Mother's Day

Because breakfast in bed is never quite as good as it seems.

By Allecia Vermillion April 27, 2023

If you’re someone who celebrates this holiday, there’s often a bit of a disconnect. Honoring what moms do the other 364 days of the year is noble, indeed. But—at least in this mom’s opinion—making her breakfast in bed means a mess in both the kitchen and the bedspread. Going to brunch is great in theory. But wrangling kids at a restaurant is often the opposite of relaxing. 

As someone who spends most of her waking hours thinking about local food and/or my children’s needs, I have opinions. These are my own, highly biased ideas for what constitutes a meaningful moment of appreciation that can involve kids (though a pass for an adults-only dinner out is always welcome). 

A Restaurant Meal That Keeps Everyone Busy 

The nigiri and maki at Kura Revolving Sushi Bar in Bellevue aren’t exceptional. They’re perfectly fine. However they do come on a conveyor belt that trundles past every table. A yellow robot brings your drinks, and cooked items (including fries) get whisked to you on a little car. Kids adore this place, no matter how they feel about sushi. If my dream meal is an omakase at Sushi Kashiba, at least my reality can be watching my offspring have fun exploring a cuisine that I love. (The waits are bonkers, but Kura's app can help.) Korean barbecue and yakiniku offer similar opportunities to get interactive with your dinner—and those involve fire. 

Chocolate. Lots of Fancy Chocolate. 

Bars of high-end chocolate offer the sort of luxury you can ration, breaking off a square after dinner each night, or at various moments throughout the day. At my house, special occasions call for Spinnaker; these bars are exceptional—especially the one made with 2Bar bourbon—and a visit to the chocolatier’s shop in Ravenna is an event unto itself. But Seattle is rife with great local chocolate, from Theo to ultra small batch Hédonisme. Seattle Chocolate’s flagship store in Tukwila lets you browse its rainbow of truffles and assemble your preferred combo by the pound. 

Breakfast (Sandwich) in Bed 

Lovingly homemade (if slightly overcooked) eggs and toast has its charms. But running out to get mom a professionally assembled breakfast sandwich signals a deeper level of commitment and an ability to plan ahead, the ultimate maternal catnip. (Just make sure you find a good place relatively close by, so it arrives home warm.) These are some of our favorites, but most local-minded coffee shops, bakeries, or cafes are bound to have a good one. This also extends to doughnuts and biscuits, though those might merit a follow-up gift of changing some crumb-filled sheets. Bonus points for letting me, uh, I mean the recipient of this kindness read a novel in peace while she eats her sandwich. 

Lunch and Shopping in Fremont 

Here’s an idea I straight-up stole from my cousin-in-law: Her family recently took her for lunch at Local Tide, then hung out while she browsed the nearby Fremont boutiques to pick out her own gift. It’s a brilliant move, equal parts thoughtful and self-directed. Local Tide’s seafood menu is a perfect pre-shopping stop, but other nearby options include Made in House, Dreamland, Rasai, and Kin Len

Oysters and Soup Dumplings 

Two of my favorite foods often necessitate a trip to a restaurant. But not always. Hit up any local seafood market—Taylor Shellfish, East Anchor, Seattle Fish Company, Wild Salmon, Mutual Fish, or Seattle Fish Guys, even the seafood counter at the grocery store—and come away with a dozen or two raw oysters. Procure an oyster knife if you don’t already have one, and make sure you have ingredients on hand for a mignonette. A bottle of something dry and/or bubbly doesn’t hurt, either. Shucking oysters isn’t easy if you’re a beginner. It requires muscle, exertion, and the ability to extract something delicate without crushing its surroundings to bits. You know, like childbirth. Meanwhile, Bellevue-based MìLà (formerly Xiao Chi Jie) makes astonishingly good frozen soup dumplings you can steam at home. The kids might be more into this than the oysters.

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