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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Seattle – Foodie Heaven, Part II (Saturday & Sunday)

Thanks for coming back to hear about the rest of the good food I got to try in Seattle!

Turkey & Swiss Croissant and Pecan Roll

On Saturday morning, my roommate and I went back to the Specialty Bakery for breakfast. I got a chai tea latte, a turkey and swiss croissant and a pecan cinnamon roll. Both were still warm from baking!  The turkey croissant was so buttery and flaky, and stuffed with turkey! The pecan roll was sweet and delicate, and they made a perfectly filling breakfast.
Seattle Coffee Works Coffee Shop

A little later in the morning, I had a break in my schedule so I joined another one of my roommates and together we ran down to the Pike Place Market. OMG! This market is heaven for foodies like me. My friend knew of a great place to get some baked goods so while she waiting in line to order, I checked out the produce stands and the fish mongers. The produce stands were overflowing with fresh apples, berries, artichokes, oranges, broccoli, etc. It was like the supermarket produce section on steroids. Everything was bright, beautiful, fresh, and local! The produce guys who work there are great too… they're all eager to talk, give out samples, answer questions, and bag anything up for you. The fishmongers were very similar. They all greeted me, answered my questions, gave me some great information about their fish, and didn't mind that I wasn't there to purchase.

Check out those oysters! And so cheap!
Look at that produce!
Baked Goods, Fresh and Cheap!
Lucky for me, my friend had been on a walking tour of the market earlier that week, so she got to show me around. Once inside the main market area, she showed me the fishmongers who throw the fish back and forth, the flower stands, the dried fruit stands, cheese shops, and the jam/jelly people. All of the workers in the market were so friendly (nothing like people in Florida) and didn't mind that we were just admiring their goods. They were also very liberal in their samples, many times offering many different things to try without any pressure to buy. It was great. I pretty much ate a second breakfast just from all the samples I was given!

Flower stands... the picture is blurry because I was so excited I was shaking!

All the bouquets were $15 or less!
That afternoon, for lunch, I ran right back to the Pike Market. While there I ate a slice of pizza from DeLaurenti's Italian Market, then stopped and bought some candied coconut almonds and caramel cashews from a nut vendor. Walking around the market a little more, I was given samples of some more jams and fruit.

Monk Fish
A machine that drops in doughnut dough, fries it, flips it, takes it out, and dumps it into sugar

Later, after the conference wrapped up, I again returned to the Market to explore. I checked out the Rocky Mountain Chocolate shop and purchased a chocolate covered jalapeno, a dark chocolate caramel square, and was given a white chocolate and caramel dipped marshmallow. I ate the marshmallow there, saved the rest for later, and then went to check out the rest of the market. There are several levels of the market, with shops selling jewelry, wind-up toys, soaps and lotions, bags and purses, quilting supplies, trinkets from China, etc. As I wandered around and back up to the street level, I had a few more samples of produce and cheese, later trying and buying small bottles of white and black truffle oils, a pickle from Britt's Pickles, tried a $3 charcuterie sampler (with cured ham and salami samples), and picked up two large pot-stickers and some bbq pork on a stick from a Dim Sum bakery. Holy cow was I full! I just kept wandering around with my food, trying everything that was handed to me.

Great selection!

Chicken, duck, and quail eggs
Ostrich and Emu egg shells

Original Sour Pickles from Britt's

BB Butcher sampler platter

About an hour later (yes, I was still full) I met up with some friends and we wandered around to find somewhere for dinner. We ended up at Fisherman's Restaurant which was right off of Alaska on the pier with the ferris wheel. There I got a half dozen raw oysters for dinner (again, I wasn't hungry, but who can pass up inexpensive oysters?).

Yum! Oysters!

After dinner, and after hiking up many flights of stairs to get back to 1st street, we went to Chocolate and Wine on Pine. Just like it sounds, this place was a chocolate and wine shop, paired with a cupcake and ice cream shop! While there, I got an 8 oz salted caramel hot chocolate (made in store from real chocolate, homemade caramel sauce that they smeared inside the cup, salted caramel homemade marshmallows, fresh whipped cream, caramel drizzle and chocolate shavings). As I said when I took a sip, "swiss miss ain't not nothin' on this". IT WAS SO GOOD! I couldn't believe how rich and creamy the drink was and within a few minutes I was buzzing around the store on a chocolate high. Again, the staff at this place were super friendly, answering questions, explaining all their products, and even let us try some super rare cocoa-butter candy bars flavored with lemon and pepper. These bars, at $6 each for a size smaller than a Hershey bar, were so creamy and didn't really taste like chocolate. I guess they come from the cocoa fats and it's rare for anyone to sell them because most of the cocoa-butters get turned into skin care products (shame!). I also bought a Seattle souvenir chocolate bar and an caramel & chocolate fudge square.
Hot Chocolate Bar with wine tasting in the back!
Choices... hmmm
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
Obama Chocolates
All their chocolates come from local producers
Look at the selection!
On Sunday, I got up early to enjoy my last few hours in Seattle. My friend and I went back to the Market (can you tell how much I liked this place) and bought some pastries for breakfast. I got an almond croissant claw and gobbled that down. Again, we sampled more fruit from the produce guys, ate some dried cherries (bought two packs, one regular, one wine soaked then chocolate dipped), tried and bought some sweetened dried strawberries (then I bought a pound of them to take home) and a jazz apple, sampled some more jam, then headed over to the cheese store. At Beechers Cheeses, I bought a quarter pound of their truffle goat cheese and a quarter pound of their truffle cheddar (each were about $20/lb). We then went across the street, bought a "mini" aka 15 in long French baguette for $.1.25 and ate it with the cheese. SO GOOD. I also bought a small container of the cheese curds to take home with me.

Lunch of cheese and baguette
Then, sadly, I had to return to the hotel, get my things, and fly home. Sigh…

I will also try to post a few pictures from my friends about their food experiences in Seattle as soon as I can compile them!

Street performers
The Pike Piggy Bank
Closed up for the night
What I bought...

Candied nuts, chocolate and caramel fudge, truffle oil, 
chocolate covered jalapeno, dark chocolate caramel square

X-Hot Pepper Jelly

Squid Ink Linguine, Chocolate Pasta, and Seattle Chocolate Bar

Sweet Dried Strawberries

Dried Cherries, and Wine Soaked Chocolate Covered Cherries

Have any of you been to Seattle? What is your favorite food city? Anything I missed (I’m sure there is plenty!)? 

Such Talent!

Fish tossing

Seattle – Foodie Heaven, Part I (Wed – Friday)

Last week I attended a conference in Seattle WA at the Washington Convention Center. The conference was good, I learned a lot, did some excellent networking, and received some great feedback on the poster I presented. But beyond that, I ran around Seattle like a crazy person, trying to take in all the great food experiences I could in a short amount of time (and without spending a ton of money).

Washington Convention Center

So, to give you a glimpse into some of the experiences I had around the Downtown Seattle area, I am going to give you a picture tour of my trip to Seattle.

Check out this building!

The first day, Wednesday, I got into Seattle around 3pm, and took the ORCA light-rail train into downtown (30 minute ride from the airport, only $2.75) and checked into my hotel (Sheraton Seattle).

I was pretty hungry when I got settled (by this time it was about 7pm East Coast time) so I decided to walk around and see what was nearby. I started out of the hotel in a random direction (I think I walked down Union) and came across a bunch of shopping places (H&M, Banana Republic, American Apparel, etc) and then to a bubble tea smoothie place.

I love Bubble Tea! I even did a post on it… Here! Whenever I see a place that sells bubble tea smoothies, I have to get one. I found a place called Bobachine and ordered an orange creamcicle smoothie with a scoop of the traditional bubbles. Bobachine had a bunch of drink choices along with different "bubble type" things such as small gelatin pieces as well as food (Ramen, Banh Mi subs). The smoothie had a great flavor, and I was off to a good start!

Samurai Dog with Smoothie
Next, I came across a food truck/cart selling Japanese style hot dogs on Pike and 2nd. I think it was called Dog Japon (I forgot to take a picture of the sign) and according to their sign, Andrew Zimmern from Bazaar Foods has eaten there. His favorite was the Samurai Dog, so that's what I got (I trust that man). It was a Chicken & Apple Sausage with Wasabi May, Orashi Graded Radish, and Japanese Onion. I think there was also some soy sauce on the top. It was so good and you could really taste the wasabi bite.

After the smoothie and the hot dog, I wasn't quite full so I wandered back up to the hotel area and found a place called Specialty Bakery. This place was amazing (you'll hear more about their food soon)! I ordered a cup for their daily soup, that day's soup being a braised cabbage and beef soup with roasted potatoes. It reminded me of a corned beef and cabbage dinner in a bowl and really filled me up. It was especially nice to eat after walking around in the cold, drizzly weather outside.

On Thursday, two of my roommates and me decided to venture out to get breakfast. I had found a good-looking breakfast place on Urban Spoon, but we went out of a different exit of the hotel and I got turned around. Because we were crunched for time, we just dropped into a Starbucks. I am always trying to eat at not-chain places when I travel, but I guess in Seattle, Starbucks is local. Oh well. Coffee and bagel. Done.
For lunch, we headed out to find some sushi (it’s a conference roommate tradition of mine to have sushi with the women I'm sharing a room with) and we found a place in the Union Square Mall that had a great "fast food" style sushi. I had the spicy salmon platter, with a spicy salmon roll and spicy salmon nigiri. It was very fresh and was nice and spicy, all for less than $12!

Outside of Ivar's (fat seagull)
For dinner that night, I met up with some friends from school to eat some local seafood, which Seattle is known for. Being right next to the Pacific, you can get so many fresh fish and shellfish, it would be terrible to not enjoy large quantities of it. We made our way down some very steep streets to go to Ivar's Acres of Clams on Alaska and Madison. Ivar's has two sections, one is a to-go clam shack, selling the typical fried goods, and then a very nice indoor restaurant. We sat at a table overlooking a ferry terminal and enjoyed some great seafood. The prices were a little high, but all the food is local (there is even a map on the back of the daily specials showing where each variety of their fish is from). Liking variety, I ordered the oysters rockefeller ($12 for 4 oysters), oysters with a topping of sausage, spinach, and parmesan cheese, baked until crispy. They were amazing! The flavors worked together really well but didn't overwhelm the oyster underneath. I also ordered their clams (after all, the place had "Acres of Clams" in their name) in white wine sauce ($13 for a bowl). The clams were good, if a little small, and everything else that I sampled off my friends plates was amazing and I waddled my way up 3+ flights of steps to get back to the hotel.

Clams in White Wine Sauce
Oysters Rockefeller
On Friday morning, my roommates and I managed to find the breakfast place we got lost trying to find the day before, Sweet Iron. Sweet Iron is a waffle place unlike another other! They serve "real Liege waffles" (more info here: which are made from a risen dough, instead of batter. The waffles are small and you only get one but they are dense and with the toppings, they are very filling. I ordered their Bruleed Banana waffle with caramel and fresh whipped cream ($6). Amazing! The bananas were sweet and had a crisp topping from being bruleed with a torch. I also ordered a caramel latte, and that beat the pants off of anything from Starbucks.

Bruleed Banana Waffle

OMG this sandwich!
For lunch, I took my friends to the Specialty Bakery (where I got the cabbage soup), and I ordered a "Turkey, Bacon, Brie, and Apple on Ciabatta sandwich". Nuf' said. I also got a side order of the Thai coconut curry soup with herb focaccia bread. This soup was good, but not my favorite with the sandwich. Oh well. This bakery is so good and they make everything fresh in house (the smell on the street when we walked by in the morning stopped us in our tracks). It's kinda like Panera, but way better.

For dinner on Friday, my roommates and I met up with some friends and went out to Cheesecake Factory. I know, I know, I don't like to eat at chair restaurants when I'm in a new city, but I had never been there before, either had most of our group, and it was next door to the hotel. Anyways, the food was good, we drove the waiter crazy, and had some great cheesecake. To drink, I had a Georgia Peach (blended fruity girly drink), and for dinner I had two of their small plates: Chicken Samosas and Pot-stickers.


Keep your eyes out for the second half of my Seattle Food Tour!