Pike Place: Seattle Market Series, Part One



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Pike Place Market is one of the more famous landmarks in Seattle.  The iconic “Public Market Place” sign and clock mark the entrance off of Pike Street, it’s namesake.  A popular tourist destination, the market is also one of the best places for locals to go and find that perfect filet of fish or ‘rare’ italian ingredient. (How truly rare are things in this globalized world?)

Pike Place Public Market is the first place I take any out-of-towners.  With beautiful views of Elliot Bay, handfuls of places to grab unique and delicious street food, and Victor Steinbruek Park to sit and take it all in…it easily wows.

The tour I give is the same market habit I personally have. It begins with traveling by bus to Westlake station with a purse full of reusable grocery bags, a reusable (always stay green in the Emerald city!) water bottle, and an appetite.  We walk down 4th Ave and make a right onto Pike Street.  From there it’s just three blocks to the iconic entrance I mentioned earlier, and foodie overload.

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The best way to see and enjoy the market? Walk walk walk! Walk towards the main entrance, but turn right before you cross the street.  Admire all of the fruit and vegetables laid out with such precision.  Take advantage of the vendors offering you a slice of the best Honey Crisp apples in the market; a slice of an “Oh-my-god” peach; a small cup of Market Creamery yogurt; a smidge of Beecher’s Handmade cheese; and a sample of coffee.  Buy and slurp a raw oyster shooter.

Then plan your picnic.  I insist on buying a few pieces of seasonable local fruit.  Get a small hunk of your favorite cheese from Beecher’s (mine are the flagship or fresh curds) or maybe go all in and get a cup of their “World’s Best” Mac n’ Cheese.  Pick out some vegetables if you like them raw.  Buy a savory piroshky from Piroshky Piroshky (my favorite is the smoked salmon pate).  Walk along Pike Place towards Pine Street until you get to Victor Steinbrueck Park.  Grab a bench or sit in the grass, and enjoy your feast while overlooking the beautiful piers jutting out into the sound.  On a sunny day you can see Bainbridge Island across the way and the Olympic Mountains to the North.

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Is it raining?  You should still do the picnic. But if you’re one of those rare people actually made of sugar, you could avoid melting by eating as you peruse the stalls. Grab a piroshky and eat it along the way.  Then a piece of fruit.  Perhaps have a drink at Lowell’s at a window booth in the bar – it’s the best view of the sound from indoors. Don’t worry about overeating, there’s a lot of walking to be done. Follow the whimsical signs to the infamous gum wall (second germiest place in the world, according to Trip Advisor), grab a beer at the Alibi Room to maybe kill some of those germs.

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Then take the stairs down down down to the waterfront and walk up and down the piers. Check out the Seattle Great Wheel, and maybe take a ride. I’ll admit I’ve been in the wheel and not the needle, but it was pretty great, especially on a clear day.

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Views from the Great Wheel

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Head back up the stairs and walk through the market one more time. Pick up any treats that are MUST HAVES and groceries for a special dinner later. Don’t resist buying an amazing $5 bouquet from the flower section. They’re incredible.

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Finally, walk down cobblestoned Pike Place and make a right up Pine Street. Stop in at Cupcake Royale and ask for a cone with two scoops:  Stumptown Coffee & Burnt Caramel Sea Salt. If they have some, get a bacon crack sample. Don’t like coffee or caramel? Not to worry (or maybe worry a little because you straight loco) honey sinckerdoodle, fresh strawberry, all the flavors are delicious. Best ice cream in Seattle? Probably not, but it’s way better than any B&J’s, Haagen Dazs nonsense. It’s also the perfect ending to your afternoon (morning? evening?) at the market.

I’m on the very important mission of discovering the best ice cream. I have a long list, including goat milk gelato. This could get rough, so I expect your full support.

IMG_2800The dinner we made with our market finds (00 flour, tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese = homemade east coast style ‘za!)

Ciao ciao,

JT

 

Do the Can Can


I’ve been a bit of a failure at updating ALREADY.  I’m sorry.  My new job has taken over (not really) and exhausted me beyond belief (actually true).  So here are some quick tidbits about my life now.

I have to climb out of a hole to get anywhere.  Truly, our home is at the bottom of four different GIANT hills and I am constantly out-of-breath going anywhere:  the bus stop, the gas station, the local bar, etc!  When I get to the top, though, I can see far out to the Cascade mountains and it really just takes what little breath I have left away. Pictures can never capture it so I’m sorry you’ll just have to visit to see!

I have forgotten how to drink water.  I have no desire to drink any water whatsover which is the WEIRDEST thing, as I could finish about three 32 oz bobbles a day back in Jersey.

I have gone on a run once and it was 1.5 miles downhill and then 1.6 miles back uphill.  I actually gained 200 ft in elevation in less than a mile.  Phew.  I now feel like training for a marathon is possible.  A really, really flat marathon.

I experienced my first Seattle rain, while waiting for the bus with close to fifty pounds of groceries hanging out on my shoulders.

I have supervised and assisted in the making of 1,000 organic local canned goods.  Yes!

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EVERY SINGLE BUS DRIVER HAS TOLD ME TO HAVE A REALLY NICE DAY.  People, you are so friendly, it confuses me.  Keep it up.

I have been to Pike’s place twice.

I have made three friends.

And now I must sleep.  I leave for work extra early…6am!

The Pacific Northwest – Seattle

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Seattle, Washington

We arrived, by bus, in Seattle around noon.  Unable to check into our hotel, we hit up Top Pot donuts, as recommended by my brother, Matt, who also happened to be in Seattle.  This is where the donut binge begins.  I just noticed begin and binge have the same exact letters.  Coincidence?  I think not.  We enjoyed a Maple Bar and two lattes with rice milk.  Yum.  The coffee and donuts were fresh and so so so good after getting off that bus.  You can stand in the back of Top Pot and watch them knead the dough.  Awesome.  Any time I go to a place like this I’m like, “I want to work here!  I want to learn to make delicious yeast risen blob donuts yum!”  Because I have a problem and that is being obsessed with food.

Michael has been to Seattle probably like ten times via the job so he took me on a tour of all the things he wanted me to see.  The Pike Place market, the OG Starbucks, the gum wall, etc.

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We met up with Matt and Sabrina for dinner at this amazing Italian place Sabrina picked out called the Pink Door.  Yes, it’s door is actually pink – it’s only indicator of the restaurant as there is no signage.  Whew!  What an amazing dinner we had with some of my favorite company :).  After dinner we wandered the city a bit, popping in and out of different bars for drinks, and ended our night at the Five Point Cafe for a little diner food.  Yum, this place is great!  And we got an awesome night view of the Needle!

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Thursday we slept late.  Like, later than I would ever sleep on an exploring vacation.  Woops.  No problem, we headed off to the EMP Museum to check out their new Nirvana exhibit.  If you love music like we love music, you have got to go to this museum.  Their exhibits are really cool, and there is an entire room where you can interact with different instruments.  You can learn to play them, or go into a recording room and record a song.  It’s AWESOME.  And the Nirvana exhibit was pretty amazing.

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We walked to the Space Needle, which is like right next to the museum, and debated paying good dollars to go up in it and decided against it.  Thought about going to see the Chihuly exhibit but decided against that as well.  We followed Matt’s recommendations and headed down to the pier to walk around and ride the giant ferris wheel instead.  WORTH IT.

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Michael then took me to get his favorites snacks in the city.  This included: a vegetable piroshky from Piroshky Piroshky in Pike Place (really delicious fillings folded and baked inside a buttery-fluffy roll); a SALTED CARAMEL and coffee ice cream cone at Cupcake Royale; and macarons, which aren’t really his favorite but I found them and you all KNOW how I feel about macarons.

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We met up with Sabrina for sushi at Umi Sake House.  Can I just say, that this place has the best sushi I HAVE EVER EATEN.  We ate at Morimoto in Philly recently, and while their sushi/sashimi was a force to be reckoned with, Umi’s rolls are just creative.  Spicy and sweet with amazing flavors INCLUDING blood orange and cilantro.  So so so good, and thank you Kelly for the recommendation.  The Moonraker roll was phenomenal.  Ok.  Rave over.

Friday morning we ate breakfast at Serious Biscuit which serves, you guessed it, biscuit involved items.  Frittata, fried chicken, fried catfish, PB and banana, egg and cheese.  Again, amazing food.  Another place I was like “Think of all the biscuitty goodness and crazy arugula combinations I could make working here!!”.  Then we spent some time in Green Lake – a neighborhood MDK frequently stays in while in Seattle.  It’s a cute area, filled with a lot of college kids from the U of W.  There’s a lake with a nice path around it, so we walked off our breakfast, or at least tried.  Then, because we are gluttons, we ate at Mighty-O donuts.  Yes.  More donuts.  Mighty-O happens to make cake donuts, which, let’s face it, I totally love.  I had the Raspberry Riot and MDK got the French Toast, and then we were given a free mini Coco loco donut.  Really.  As if we hadn’t consumed enough donutty goodness.  Good thing we were about to get in the car to sit for five hours for the drive to Portland!