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What is The Heliotrope?

I guess this all started in the early part of the last century. My cousin once removed, Bud Weisen, remembers that his grandparents, Morris and Mary Weisenberg, had a restaurant in New York City on 35th Street off of 5th Avenue across from where Altman’s opened its flagship store. The family of Bud’s mother, Cookie, had a lunch wagon in New York in the 1920s and 1930s. 


Fast forward to my first year ski bumming at Alta in 1979. I flipped burgers and poured beer at the Alpenglow while living the dream halfway up the mountain. I washed dishes and did some prep cooking at the Shallow Shaft part time, skiing home by moonlight or hitching a ride with the groomers after work.

Jump to my senior year at UW in Seattle. I was "head chef" at Le Pigalle, a small French restaurant in the University District for about 6 months. It was an educational experience working with the French owner and waitress, churning out Provencal dishes in a tiny kitchen. That was in 1984.

In 2018 my wife, Jenn, our 11 year old son, Jackson, and I set off on a trip around the world. We left the states with a one way ticket to Lima and a list of countries that we hoped to visit. We didn't get to all of the countries on our list but we did manage to visit Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Nepal, Jordan, Israel, Dubai, South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Senegal and Bermuda over the course of 13 months. Some of our best experiences revolved around eating. The food we ate provided inspiration for some of the dishes here, while our world exploration without a set itinerary but with a strong sense of curiosity contributes to others.

We hope you enjoyed exploring some of the tastes from around the world that I have shared over the last three years.

The Heliotrope comes from the ancient Greek helios/sun and trepo/turn. It is an "instrument, employed in triangulation, that uses a mirror to reflect sunlight toward another, very distant, surveyor". It is a purple flowered plant that turns so it faces the sun. It is the ridge on Mount Baker where hikers, climbers and skiers go to escape the rainy lowlands and hopefully find the sun. It is a place in Glacier where people went to find food, beer and wine that took their taste buds on a journey to new lands.

The Heliotrope Restaurant lived in the heart of town, across the street from Graham's and the post office from the fall of 2020 through the spring of 2023.

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